I have been seeking this beer for a long, long time. Last December, Russian River released a mere 250 bottles, and I thought all was lost, what with the cellarrape that entailed landing a Batch 3 of this beast. Anyway, here we are 12,000 bottles later and I have to give a major thanks to my buddy Baldo for making the drive and snagging this for me. One more tick off the top 100, boom roasted.
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States
American Wild Ale | 5.50% ABV
A: This beer has that amazing radiant glow to it that I haven’t seen since Ithaca Brute was all up in the mix. It reminds me of when Vincent Vega opens up the briefcase. We happy. The lacing is minimal and lets you know of the aching acidity that lurks beneathe. The legs trickle up like those bubble coin games that they used to have at Taco Bell that were impossible to win. I was fat as a
S: When it is cold you get a lot of the acidity, the wet hay, and the more musky elements. It reminds me of a halfway house somewhere in between Cantillon Classic and Fou Foune. The fruit is apricot, pineapple, nectarines, and kumquats, but it doesn’t go as far as a fruited lambic, it has its own hybrid style like the Blake Griffin of the wild ale world, slam dunking the fuck out of imitators.
T: This beer has two sides to it, when it is cold, it is just acid and mild funk, none of the awesome fruits or rad complexity. When it warms up, shit starts to get real and you get more of the lemon and grapefruit tartness that starts dry fucking your gumline like the dudes in that Next video “Too Close.” This beer can tell you like it. While this isn’t a “skin” or a tannin, it reminds me of a tart strawberry that you get if you buy them super early from a roadside vendor and its both tart and drying due to the lack of sugars. That’s what it is like ok, just like that.
M: This hurts my lips, tum tum, and gumline but I put up with its punishment in the way that a 16 year old guy will put up with a completely apeshit girlfriend: the implicit benefits far outweigh the acrimonious exchange. The crackly acidity is in line with that feeling you get when you try to merk an entire box of Sour Patch Kids to yourself at a movie. You are strangely content but it does a number on your insideface.
D: This is a great wild ale but, admittedly, not my favorite sour of all time. It is unquestionably the best beer that I have had from Russian River but I still prefer Duck Duck Gooze and Veritas 007 to this, which is really picking the fly shit out of the pepper when it comes to that level, but you know what I am saying. This is exceptional, but not the absolute best/pinnacle of the genre. I can only hope that this comes out more often than once every three years because I dont want to have to ration one bottle every 6 months. Life can be challenging, you know?
Narrative: “Alright Devin, please continue, what happened after Mitch deactivated the pressure cylinder on the mixing vat?” Mitch leaned back in his chair and nodded knowingly about the sickest practical joke ever. “Well, I went to clean the vats so that the next batch of Atomic Warheads wouldn’t have an off flavor and, just as I was climbing in the vat Mitch yells-” “APRIL FOOLS MOTHERPUCKER!” “Ok Mitch, let Devin give his statement, this is serious.” Devin was still shivering, hair whitened and his modest clothes eaten through with patchy holes where the acid had eaten through. “It just burned my nose, finger nail beds and I was screaming, God it was so sour but my tear ducts were so dry and I couldn’t cry out.” Mitch nodded with a self-content smile “and then I was like, ‘DONT BE SUCH A SOUR PUSS!’ and he was all like being like ‘ah help mannn’ couldn’t even take the sour.” Devin’s eurethra was badly burned in the practical joke and it pained him badly to urinate. Mitch however, did receive a 3 day suspension and was transferred to the spicy section of the factory, where he assured Corporate that no “hot shit would go down.”