0

Horus Aged Ales Proper Dose is Expensive, but it is also tasty AF

“You are Catboy!” Kyle from Horus’s daughter explained while working on a Paw Patrol foam puzzle. He had just opened Proper Dose with me in the haze of Oceanside afternoon: Birthday beers, as it were. She plunked a wooden box from below the table rim while I sipped waves of hazelnut. “This Minnie,” she noted and pressed a figurine into my palm. I was taking in the absurdly viscous liquid and trying to figure out why I was Catboy. The stout and the appellation defied explanation.

In the past week I have had numerous people ask for me to weigh in on this new Horus stout, Proper Dose. Some people want to know if $40 is excessive for a non-barrel aged stout. Others want to know my take on the post-hardcore collab. Still others just simply want to know is this petulant liquid “worth it.”

Let’s get this out of the way: ~$40 retail is expensive for any beer, barrel-aged or otherwise. When you realize it’s all motor, no forced induction, peoples’ blowoff valves release. I don’t know each person’s individual finances and a large part of the DDB satire is derived from deriding people with a skewed sense of priorities. The stout is very good. I say this not just in the realm of just non-BA stouts. That would be like being the most brilliant community college student. It swings on most barrel-aged offerings and this beer will be worse if it is barrel aged.

The typical Horus refrain is threefold when everyone inevitably whines about price: 1. ingredient prices 2. batch size and 3. free market don’t-like-it-dont-buy-it-itll-still-sell-out. Let’s deal with these in turn:

First, this beer is not coffee forward at all. The coffee is there and it is delicate and lightly roasty but its mostly on the drag. It structures the swallow, but it does not dominate. Cacoa nibs with the oils from the vanilla provide a type of residual sweetness and olfactory aspects kinda like ferrero rocher candy. The real star here is hazelnuts. It is an IED and an IUD of pure nut. When the four work in tandem it legitimately just tastes like a Kahlua Milkshake. Do you like Baileys? Because it’s fukn Baileys. That’s all you can really say about this, it’s a straight up decadent drink from TGI Fridays that a hair dresser would order. We haven’t discussed its greatest attribute yet.

The heft and cling of this is crushing. This beer had an 8 hour boil and is almost a parody of stout culture. It is thicker than an actual milkshake on the swallow and it petulantly gurgles out like EXXON crude with a cap of khaki meringue. If you think of the consistency of Angry Chair beers, then replace the sweetness with roast, here we are. I killed almost the entire bottle by myself.

I think there are something like 600 bottles of this and Horus isn’t dealing with public outcry, just 12pp to their club or whoever. I don’t know. I don’t care and they don’t seem to either. Finally, this will sell out. There are plenty of beers that sell out, is that an indicator of value though? This beer is among the best non-barrel aged stouts I have ever had and it fights in a different weight class from other stouts in general. The staff of Asir was a lactose landmine of gross granulated brown sugar, Goshawks were good, this is something altogether different, like the valley between Morning Delight and SR71, if that comparison is apt.

Is it worth it? I don’t know. What do they pay at Baby Gap these days? Some of my readers drop cases of haze cans into a Dodge Nitro with transmission problems. I am not here to tell you how to live your life. It is very good, but like everything else in beer, there is a cheaper analogue. If you have the chips, you would not be doing yourself a disservice by picking this up. If $40 has you dabbing your forehead with Arby’s napkins, birdwatching is a very cost effective hobby.

I’m still over here trying to figure out why I am Catboy.

Advertisements
0

Batch 14 of Malt Couture is live now, with special guest, Vito Trautz from Brouwerij West/Noble/Bruery/Beachwood !

Batch 14 promo.png

Batch 14 of Malt Couture is live now! We have special guest, Vito Trautz, the marketing maven who has worked with Noble Bruery Beachwood and most recently at Brouwerij West! We sample some MA hypecans, hit some old life from SD, crack a decade-old biere de garde from Switzerland, and pop on down to check in on the craft beer scene in Mexico! This episode sponsored by DrunkwoodinKentucky.com ! I know you need some sweet dulcet tones to listen to while getting destroyed at GABF.

http://bit.ly/Batch14VitoTrautzBrouwerijWest

patreon.com/DontDrinkBeer
instagram.com/DontDrinkBeers
instagram.com/MaltCoutureDDB
twitter.com/DontDrinkBeer
DDBquestions@gmail.com

makeoutclub.com/maltmaster

the last one is fake btw.

 

0

2011 Pappy Van Winkle Dark Lord is a masterpiece that defies time itself

Every year I engage in this Sisyphean, self-flagellating task of acquiring the new barrel aged Dark Lord variants, and then feeling the inevitable sting of being misled by Indiana hypemasters. Like Persephone falling to the deep and eating a soy sauce pomegranate, it never fails. Sometimes you get phenomenal standouts like Chemtrail Mix or Bourbon Dark Lord, but the overwhelming majority of them are punitive syrup. I get so tired.

In 2011, I was laboring to complete the Beer Advocate top 100 Beers of Fame for DDB. This list had some exceedingly hard gems to find, and was constantly changing. It was like trying to change the 13″ rim on your PT Cruiser, while it was driving in the Arby’s parking lot. Depressing, impressive, but challenging. It was in this year 2011 anno domini year of our [Dark] Lord that the first bottled deviants hit the scene. The varying skulls and yellow wax created a fervor on the trade boards unlike anything the ISO world had seen. It was simply above my weight class, plus I was busy trying to lock down things like 2009 Southampton Berlinerweiss, a huge 150 bottle release. As a result, I missed out on the crushing whale that was Pappy Van Winkle Dark Lord. It immediately was the standout and, at the outset, it traded higher than the now wallet-shattering Brandy Vanilla Dark Lord.

Don’t get me wrong, this bottle still moves for ~$700.00 secondary and it is still well outside of my striking range. It would take a laughable number of Monkish cans and Bottle Logic stouts to cobble together that leviathan. The point is, I had written it off as a ghostwhale. Furthermore, I contented myself with a dismissal that it WAS PROLLLY JUST SOY SAUCE ANYWAY LOL!!2!!. Sour Kikkoman Syndrome. I was completely wrong.

Let me say this now, this beer is phenomenal. It has aged beautifully and is easily one of the best beers that Three Floyds has ever made. Every aspect of it seems wholly divergent from the SPACE FORCE and French Vanilla Contrition to which I am accustomed. It never feels flabby, the residual sugar profile has actually served as a bulwark against oxidation. The entire experience eschews the brownie batter excesses and leans hard into the magnificent casking. The barrel is the true belle of the ball. It sheets with clear windex legs that strip downward leaving no khaki streaking on the glass. The taste has a dance of red fruits, figs, currant, this intense lacquer and peanut brittle that closes with a woody plum aspect. The swallow has an incredible sustain and parts of it remind me of those stout/barleywine line steppers like Anabasis that have blurred lines with extreme staving. The entire profile just commands your attention and it is well earned. There is no salinity or tobacco aspects to detract from the flawless balance. In sum, you can scarcely believe that the oft-troubled base Dark Lord was involved at all.

It would have been magnificent if this beer was bad, but it is an enduring masterpiece from an era of Megalodons unlike today’s Mariana trench depths of beer culture. I realize that giving a glowing recommendation to a 484 bottle one-off release from seven years ago is dumb. It is latently antagonistic, even. I get it. I would be remiss to not praise those Munster boys for making not only the best Dark Lord I have ever had, but an entry that is a dazzler in the global canon of barrel aged stouts at large. It’s simply that good.

0

LGVLABTOKF: Henson Brewing Company

Henson Brewing feels like one of those PS1 or N64 era games where you walk in and none of the assets have loaded. There are like four NPCs, stark white walls, angular geometry, all of the objects exist as polygons. Located in a, YOU GUESSED IT, leaky industrial area of Burbank near a massive mall and some odd little studios, this hamlet bubbles away. The branding reminds me of those Facebook shirts that are procedurally generated with algorithmic text “SEPTEMBER dads Love BEER so dont mess with my PRILOSEC im a CAPRICORN” with some wheat and hops flashart.

There’s a half built old car, a huge amount of space that is roped off, with a tiny tiny (5bbl?) system. Perhaps anticipating some massive buildout. To be fair, they opened like 6 months ago, but if not for Yelp, I would have no idea this place existed. The brewery has signs noting such activities as Fresh Brewed Small Batch Comedy Night and Beer Yoga (?!) with a pleasant, relaxing atmosphere. The servers are genial and the taplist has a cheat sheet on the back to keep the staff on its toes. That’s not a slam, I wish more places did that.

There’s a big Connect Four game and a toddler running and screaming about something. The most notable thing about this brewery was the plywood table pre-set for a game of beer pong. Not just tolerating but actively encouraging a carnival game of Red Cup dexterity. I really enjoy that. I am not being wry, I would legit go to a brewery just to play beer pong, that sounds amazing and perhaps illegal. The beers themselves are, ehh. The pale could be placed in a six pack lineup and you wouldn’t be able to identify which Two Row Chinook criminal assaulted you. It’s textbook to the point of feeling like a reference chart, light pine, mid 2000s panache of clean swallow and mild honey and arugula. It’s pretty solid and it is their best beer. I only tried three of the six beers on tap.

The saison was dubiously lemon pledge driven, but serviceable. Anomalously this spot is yet ANOTHER place making saison Micheladas [Sundays only.] I have so many questions. The IPA compelled an Irish goodbye. I had just finished a 4 mile hike in 93 degree heat so I wanted badly to drink an IPA and the lacquer and pine solvent in that hateful taster checked every warning box. Henson is a brewery that exists and will sell you items that are identified as beer. That’s essentially all I can drum up to say about this placeholding local grain steeper. It’s a touch below “fine.”

You undoubtedly have three of these breweries local to you no matter where you live:

So where do they rank in the LGVLABTOKF hierarchy?

1. Verdugo West Brewing

2. Dry River Brewing

3. Strand Brewing

4. Boomtown Brewery

5. Scholb Brewing

6. Cosmic Brewing

7. Brewyard Beer Company

8. Henson Brewing

9. Indie Brewing Company

The mission continues, I am told I have a mere 75 more Los Angeles breweries to go.

Great.

0

LGVLABTOKF: Cosmic Brewing

LETS GO VISIT LA BREWERIES TODAY OK FINE: Cosmic Brewing is yet another Torrance brewery that shares the unique problem of being equidistant between two of LA’s best breweries: Smog City and Monkish. The taproom is festive and unassuming, filled with beercasual patrons who seem to genuinely enjoy the beers and the taco truck without focusing too intently on the fermented wares themselves.

The taproom reminds me of an afterschool program where latch key kids can hang with a youth pastor. It has a free arcade cabinet that is legitimately bad ass with old school beatemups and probably a Raspberry Pi emulator with a bazillion games on it. They also have a touch Jukebox which proudly welcomed me with HAPPY BIRTHDAY AVICI and my ducts began to well up.

There are murals with astronauts and robots, laser lights and a second room which despite looking like a lasertag arena, disallowed children. I was stoked for this until I realized kids weren’t allowed only because it was a serve yourself tap station. This is a novel spin for a tasting room and sharply contrasts the ONE POUR PER PERSON culture of monkish, presumably because rival hop gangs have never fought in this Astronomy driven taproom. Heavy is the head that wears the rhizome crown.

The beer has a huge focus on saving dogs in every way: charity drives, cages for people to adopt dogs, fundraisers. They got me in the feels and it shows intent and this mom and pop flair to a business that could otherwise get sucked under the Torrance vorlauf. You may have noticed that I have been pussyfooting and burying the lede about their actual beers: they are a touch below mediocre. I didn’t want to strike them with an orbital strike, but here we are. The blondes were both lightly fruited and forgettable. The brown had a fine roastiness and a strange acidity to the swallow which gave me PTSD reminding me of another Torrance problem child, Dude’s Brewing. Cosmonaut was pretty fine. The porter was probably my favorite offering but it was miles away from something like Smog City coffee porter, which sadly was only hundreds of feet away. I applaud them for sticking to it for two years, but the type of degenerate who is already reading DDB really doesn’t have any business here unless it is for completionist goals. They have ALIENS VS PREDATOR IN AN ARCADE CABINET COME ON.

 

Ranking this one is like pushing a three of clubs into a deck:

So where do they rank in the LGVLABTOKF hierarchy?

1. Verdugo West Brewing

2. Dry River Brewing

3. Strand Brewing

4. Boomtown Brewery

5. Scholb Brewing

6. Cosmic Brewing

7. Brewyard Beer Company

8. Indie Brewing Company

The mission continues, I am told I have a mere 76 more Los Angeles breweries to go.

Great.