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Eagle Rare 17, He switched from rum to whiskey, bang bang.

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Actually I don’t know shit about rum so that is a bit of a canard. I was gonna do another CLASSIC cagematch, but the differences wouldn’t make for a lot of yukyuks as the difference between the 17 and the poverty tier 10 are more nuanced. This is one of the proofed down; not even cask strength , stepped on product from btac.

At first blush it feels like, do you not trust us btac? Can we not be trusted to water things to our own preference. That diminutive spearmint asshole sazerac 18 waiting in the wings with baited breath. Despite the seemingly unremarkable breakdown, this juice shines like Cuba in Radio. It looks fantastic and, like it’s poverty tier cousin er10, it looks radiant and wouldn’t give clues to its serious age.

The nose has a fantastic balanced waft to it of caramel, light toastiness, nougat, vanilla, and some coconut. It just seems so tame and approachable that it creates an anomalous situation where you ask: who is this for? Entry level baby palates won’t pay $300 for this shit, they’ll stick to the basic tick version. Bourbon ballers deep in the game will just move on to the gts or WLW, so who can this middle ground of Kate Middleton refinement be made for? Wealthy Asian foodies. That’s my most likely/tacitly racist explanation.

That’s not to say this isn’t amazing, it is. You get a gentle, manageable experience of sweetness, faint clove and leather, toasted creme brûlée, and a closer like peanut brittle. It is wonderful; but there are plenty other blended offerings that cost far less.

This is for the dude who gets the cayman r, that person isn’t hardcore but wants people to know of his/her refined tastes, even if they aren’t exactly economical. It is crushable and a “session” bourbon because it is so delicious and tame that you can drill it in the same manner as pappy 15/20 without contemplation. That’s not exactly perfect praise, though. Most would consider a spirit worthy of reflection to be a laudable quality. This is just a simple pleasure, that happens to be wildly expensive, like getting your dick sucked by a clown.

I can’t knock this for not being more outrageous or less expensive, but in the canon of the btac ballers, it certainly is far from the most interesting.

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Ok maybe the cheaper alternatives aren’t EXACTLY as good.

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@westbrookbeer 2014 Barrel Aged Mexican Cake Set: IT’S A MEXICAN STANDOFF.

Last year people lost their fucking minds when these barrel aged releases dropped.  The inevitable comparisons to BA Huna flew left and right, people did predictable shit like asking for CCK and Blauw, and the bottle counts were in the hilariously low Floridian range, 200-300 each variant.

If you are new to the game, here you go:

http://dontdrinkbeer.com/2013/11/20/westbrookbeer-mexican-cake-4-way-battle-royale-columbian-lumberjack-rules-ladders-and-cagematch-setup/

TL;DR, in a huge upset, the apple brandy wasn’t the best, it wasn’t even second.  Jack Daniels was the best and everyone smiled khaki stained grins and felt content with the 1700 calories they just drank.  BUT WHAT ABOUT THIS YEAR?

Take a trip to Mexico by way of South Carolina, who incidentally, dont approve of Mexicans being in this country.

Take a trip to Mexico by way of South Carolina, who incidentally, dont approve of Mexicans being in this country.

So this year we have Four Roses (bourbon) Tequila and Double Barrel treatments.  Let’s just get right into this horchata gang bang already.

Let’s say this at the outset: they all look like Mexican cake.  Big surprise, can we move on and obviate the need for me to craft the same tired similes to obfuscated liquids? ALRIGHT GOOD.

Thank God they didn't name this North Korean Cake, this release might not have even happened.

Thank God they didn’t name this North Korean Cake, this release might not have even happened.

Third Place:

Four Roses Bourbon Treatment

I came in this year a touch wiser and placed my chips on this old standby to perform in a manner akin to the Jack Daniels treatment.  BOY, do I have some growing up to do.  This was simply too sweet and the bourbon profile didn’t mesh well with all the cinnamon and additions to the beer.  It was anomalous because the oak and dryness of Jack Daniels worked so well, but who knows maybe they had ultra saturate barrels? I AM JUST HERE TO SPECULATE.  It was easily the hottest and for 10.5% abv, shit was almost cloying on the nose with ethanol and fusel notes. Having hit my old 4R spot a few times I welcomed a spicy rye grain profile, instead it was a musky cinnamon bomb with cloying sweetness like a churro.  It was by no means bad, but with so many BA mexican beers out there these days, adjuncts falling out of their loose pink socks, you can do far better and give up far less.

"THAT GUY LANDED ALL THE MEXICAN CAKES!? He must be so cool in real life-"

“THAT GUY LANDED ALL THE MEXICAN CAKES!? He must be so cool in real life-“

Second Place:

Double Barrel Treatment

Alright so everyone talks about double BALs these days, but some people grew up under power lines or subjected to New Jersey public school systems.  Double barrel means it was casked in a barrel for a period of time, then racked entirely to a SECOND barrel.  It doesn’t mean you blended two different barrels together like some kinda slackjawed asshole.  This beer was aged 12 months in bourbon and rye whiskey barrels from Pritchard’s distillery. I don’t know if that means the former or the latter.  With such an overlap in the treatments, it really doesn’t matter.  However, I suspect this is more of a grand cru blend because it didn’t have that classic oxidized, flat, seemingly increased viscosity that double barrel treatments usually generate (DBH, DBD, etc.) No one gives a shit, just call it whatever generates them chubs.

This is a nice medium between the two variants, perfect balance of sweetness but intricate depth.  The chili and cinnamon doesn’t dominate, in a stout with THIS MANY POST-BOIL THINGS OCCURRING being focused and not sloppy in one respect is a brewing miracle.  This would outright be the best if the remaining deviant wasn’t so damn good and flat out interesting.  The alcohol is well integrated, the peppers show up as a cameo on the mid palate and never overstay their welcome and the barrel profile supports more than dominates.  Really tasty through and through.

With the right amount of additions, anything can become a top-tier gentleman's beverage

With the right amount of additions, anything can become a top-tier gentleman’s beverage

WINRAR WINZIP ARCHIVE CHAMPION: Tequila Barrel Treatment

This beer is fucking phenomenal and easily the best of the Mexican Cakes made to date.  Usually, when I hear about a Tequila BA offering, it’s from Mikkeller or something and invariably will be raw, scratchy, HSV of the palate.  Nothing could be further from that result in this instance.  The tequila integrates flawless with the cinnamon, tames the sweetness and ratchets back the heat of the peppers.  It is like a beautiful Mexican Mr. Holland conducting a cascading symphonic opus.  The alcohol is imperceptible and this knocks out all of the other BA Huna variants even, with the exception of the untouchable apple brandy.  Whatever you have to give up for this single variant, disregard all else and get it.  They crushed it out of the park with this and set a benchmark for this increasingly crowded segment.

So there you have it, what’s that? Rank them globally? Alright, sheesh:

6. Four Roses Barrel

5. Apple Brandy

4. Wine Barrel

3. Double Barrel

2. Jack Daniels Barrel

1.  Tequila Barrel.

Don’t act like you serious care about this petty nonsense.  You’re still crying about how Pirate Bay got shut down, real srs life problems.

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RYE COLOMBIAN LADDER MATCH: Sazerac Rye vs. Thomas H. Handy, The HNNNNG is real.

Teflon bullet proof the lambo, making excellent life decisions.  Saz6 got drilled harder than Sasha Grey.

Teflon bullet proof the lambo, making excellent life decisions. Saz6 got drilled harder than Sasha Grey.

Saved a drop of the regular saz to pour out respect for some distillers lost around the way.  Free C Murder.

Alright, much to the chagrin of whiskey kids who actually know what they are doing, DDB continues to review ryes with his 9th grader palate acting like they grown. Let’s break these 17s into rock bags in today’s review:

MFW traders offer up Nuthuluululolz for THH.

MFW traders offer up Nuthuluululolz for THH.

Sazerac Rye, Poverty Edition, $29.99 bottle

6 years old, 90 proof

This is the basic ticker entry level rye which admittedly smokes most other ryes in the category (Templeton, etc.) but how does it hold up against the aggro, uncut, straight dro THH? Well this is an admittedly beautiful rye with deep caramel notes that seems older/darker than the 90 proof/6 year would belie.  The nose is cinnamon, red hots, baker’s spice and cocoa powder, some lively crackle and white pepper on the finish.  It seems far more complex than some proofed down shit in the same segment and seems to stand closer to Michter’s rye in execution.

The taste is smoothe, no need for ice cubes or water, shit is already prepped RIP to Nate Dogg but no need to regulate.  The taste is sweet at the inception like melted caramel, spicy black pepper, imperceptible abv, a honey closer and syrupy coating along the bitter zones.  It is admittedly very tasty and could go toe to toe with far more expensive offerings like the jet fuel 2 year Willett Rye that costs almost twice as much.

U TALKING SHIT ON BUFFALO TRAEC? dont get socked fool. BTW what is a heaven hills?

U TALKING SHIT ON BUFFALO TRAEC? dont get socked fool. BTW what is a heaven hills?

Thomas H. Handy, 6 year uncut rye, 129.2 proof

Previously this offering received the most attention in the BTAC lineup but with Saz18 having abysmally low counts and WLW essentially flipping the script on what wheaters are capable, this bottle has been criminally overlooked in 2014.  But is it worth the universal praise? Is this just BTAC marketing and hype? IS BUFFALO RUNNING GAME ON US LIKE SOME 2am TINDER FLOOZIE?

In short: no.  This is fucking phenomenal.  If we are talking comparable priced items in the realm of Michter’s 10 rye and Willett 8 year rye, both phenomenal offerings, this unloads a full banana clip like an ACR bushmaster. The color is this tarnished bronze like gladiator codpiece, radiant at the edges like honey and legs longer than Taylor Swift.

When readers hook up spirits you have no business owning its like THANK YOU FOR BEING A FRIEND

When readers hook up spirits you have no business owning its like THANK YOU FOR BEING A FRIEND

This is over 2/3rds alcohol and, while present, there’s more to love in this Rye’s eharmony profile.  There’s a load of wafflecone, soft serve vanilla ice cream, nutmeg, and a mounds bar closer.  The waft doesn’t knock you out like fight night. Shit is deceptive, and things get fully turnt very quickly.

The taste is where the heater was hiding, laying low waiting for you to start slipping.  It immediately hits the sweet zone with an anesthetic dullness that coats substantially crackling along the bitter zones with a maple syrup and apple pie lighting shit up like Charlie Sheen in Platoon.

While you CAN drink this neat, and I would love to be that hard as nails reviewer, this opens up beautifully and is vastly superior to Saz6 once a splash of water is added.  Not down to 90, but lets call it 9 eyedrops full. Then shit is beautiful, its like in shitty romcoms where the clearly hot girl changes out of overalls and takes her glasses off.  We all knew she was legit, this just ups the appreciation into more normative levels.

The negs make distillers want you more, instill insecurity at the outset of a whiskey review.

The negs make distillers want you more, instill insecurity at the outset of a whiskey review.

SCIENCE VERDICT RESULTS:

Ok so big shocker, the one that costs four times as much is better.  But the important thing is that the valley is not nearly as wide as the Stagg Jr vs. George T Stagg.  In fact, once water is added, it’s like being in the same club except the THH has a table with ratchets hanging all over.  But it’s kinda the same night just scaled up.

WHAT DO I KNOW I JUST TOOK TWO SHOTS AND RELIED UPON MY THESAURUS THIS ENTIRE TIME.

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@7venthSunBeer Mixtape Collection UNDER PRESSURE, Tiny Bottle Run Revenge from Floridians

Remember back in 2011, those simpler times when Florida breweries kept knocking out sub-50 bottle releases making those Sole Comp runs look like Inbev production levels.  7venth Sun comes from that era of “ITS WIDE AWAKE AND I AM GETTING RAPED ON THE TRADE BOARDS” and 28 bottle releases of Funky Buddha Raspberry Berliners.  These were things that actually happened back then.

Remember back in 2012 when these guys released a cherry coconut berliner with fucking 25 bottle run? http://dontdrinkbeer.com/2012/08/31/put-the-cherry-in-the-coconut/

Because I do.  Anyway, let’s see how the intervening years has treated this Dundam giant.

If you thought your bottle game was legit, stop and ask "does my tick have a hand sewn sweater?" If not, up your bottle accouterments fashion game.

If you thought your bottle game was legit, stop and ask “does my tick have a hand sewn sweater?” If not, up your bottle accouterments fashion game.

Who knows the abv on this shit? Who knows anything about this except that it is a kumquat saison? Those 7S Guys are so mysterious, straight up Vincent Valentines of the berliner world.

KUMQUAT IN A SAISON? Florida swag levels about to be wetter than the Everglades.

KUMQUAT IN A SAISON? Florida swag levels about to be wetter than the Everglades.

A:  This is a gritty radiant mess and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  It’s like seeing deep crosshatching on illustrations or single grooves in woodworking that let you know this shit is str8 grassroots.  It is turbid with excessive carb that spills out onto the collar of the nicely appointed sweater.  I am serious, the bottle came like that.  The fuq, I know.

S:  This is pure farmhouse through and through, reminds me of Logsdon seizoen bretta with that greek yogurt and lightly sharp cheesy note like cave aged cheeses.  The citrus is not overwhelming and comes across less like juice and more of a wafty rind like something tropical garnishing a cruise ship drink.  The whole thing feels real good, complex in layers but a simple unified approach: fruit smoothie.

T:  This is less complex than the nose let on, but the trade off is that it is exceedingly crushable.  The fruit bursts off of the page in embossed italicize flavor font.  You get kumquat in a more manageable manner than say that acid rain that is Sour in the Rye Kumquat.  It is saison first and fruit second, everyone knows their role and precisely what it is that the rock is cooking.  I think the score for this beer either demanded too much or failed to appreciate the simplicity and elegance of the stripped down approach.  Of course, since we have a series of instarones who are saison experts all of a sudden, anything less sour than Beatification is off style to these 2k13 tickers.

I rekd thes saisons fest.

I rekd thes saisons fest.

M: This is creamy with an expansive carb that almost becomes irritating because you cant grip them fruits with all that billowing creamy frothiness covering your slippery tan body, wait wut. It could be a touch drier and a bit more acidic but ho hum, it’s like complaining about not having a LAY DOWN SEAT in your flight to Dubai.  Things are going pretty well either way.

D: this is crushable and I drilled this while playing Tales of Xilia, grinding away with some needless fetchquests.  If you want something complex to ruminate over, I would kindly direct you to Oxbow, Stillwater, or any of the similar purveyors of those saisons with depth.  This opts for sheer simple enjoyment and a flavor profile that crackles with personality and life.  Plus people will probably give these away for a song since the whole fucking world is in BTAC and adjunct stout mode right now.  Seeking out a saison in frozen conditions is like buying a car on a rainy day.

King ticker, popping fruited saisons up in the club, all the ratchets wanna get in them Anchor Bluezzz

King ticker, popping fruited saisons up in the club, all the ratchets wanna get in them Anchor Bluezzz

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Victory swing session saison, a clovey yard trimmings disaster of a farmhouse ale

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Man everyone is trying to get in the farmhouse game these days. The Belgian wit and hef purveyors of the late 2000s are now tossing weak ass Westmalle strain in tanks and acting like they served a nickel.

Mass producer Victory isn’t exactly who you think of when you imagine artisanal Saisons. It’s usually the hit you see on a restaurant menu and sigh before resigning yourself to a prima pils.

Enter their new offering. A sessionable saison. Right out the gates this just looks lackluster, pasteurized, a lazy pilsner aspect with admittedly beautiful carb. The problems begin from there on in.

If you are really into landscaping, eating Christmas wreaths, or botanical adventures with juniper bushes: you will love this uninspired beer. The yeast presents an off putting and substantial degree of esters and clove, overripe banana. It’s like De Ranke decided to start taxing girls without the hat.

The taste is even worse, how did this happen?

Seasonal release beer brewed w/ German & American whole-flowers, 2-row German malts, Rye, Oats & Wheat. Spiced w/ peppercorn & fresh lemon zest. Belgian saison yeasts.

Well that’s a long way of saying “we are going to brew a beer with an insubstantial malt bill then overload you with disgusting vegetal adjuncts.” Drop a glade plug in into Avril and burn some pine cones and you have this grassy aserose nightmare.

Amongst the worst Saisons I have ever tried, not fit for a South African jail.

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MFW this is someone’s first taste of “Saisons”