If you’ve ever rolled a Dodge Stratus into the curb reeking of Underberg on the way to your 8am sociology class, finally a beer has arrived for you. This unlikely merger of Jagerbomb preacher curl bros and grocery store Cascade hop stepdads was a long time coming. Those nascent seeds that later turn into cocktail fetishists and homebrewers are tucked into this bizarre digestif soil. No one asked for this beer but it was willed into existence. The nose is one part Jager spice: anise, orange rind, juniper and saffron. The other part is a militant overextracted all boil C hop chaperone, WARRIOR resin, wax shatter pieces and high school gym coach aspirations.
It’s weird and not in the quirky “I matched with a life coach on Bumble, should I do it?” Way. It feels medicinal in this holistic essential oils way, residual cling like patrouli and burning sage. Ironically the prescription counter notes make this feel worse for you. The taste is like some good and plenties left rolling around the floorboards of a Pontiac Sunfire. Most p90x bros won’t know that neither Jager nor Arrogant Bastard are barrel aged, they are focusing on vascularity and whether the colts will cover the spread. You don’t need to focus on the lack of a barrel or the fact that this is a “hello fellow kids” marketing move that no one demanded but the current beer scene embraces in herbaceous novelty. It’s not good, but it’s such an insane eucalyptus meets sticky crystal hops mouth kiss from your aunt that you’re almost onboard for that offputting embrace.
This beer is made for a middle manager who clips his Nextel phone onto his woven JC Penney belt confident in his beer knowledge and Merona cargo shorts. To everyone else his eccentricity is a character trait, each wacky bottle he brings to cookouts a personality supplement. If you want juniper juice and the faded Malty underpinnings of chinook handjobs under the craft beer bleachers, the Pangs oF alpha acid past degrading the foreseeable future. You never leave this town, you marry the Cascade homecoming queen and both slide in bilateral domestic resentment and success. But you’re everyone else’s “beer friend” and you let the stretch marks show it.
I know every episode of @maltcoutureddb shatters expectations and reshapes all of craft beer from the stained glass fragments on a weekly basis. But this episode obliterates all expectations with the mendacious @permanenthangover Andy Godish! We do an ALL SOUTH CAROLINA BEER SHOOTOUT. We pit the SC king 👑 @westbrookbrewingco against @the8thstatebrewing and @bfsbeer and @chsfermentory . Only one remains. Also we play a new game of FASHION OR FERMENTATION. Andy really crushed it at that one. It’s too much to handle. I’ll be able to retire in Decorah on patreon dollars from this single episode.
Ok it’s time to play another round of: Was This a Colossal Waste of Money? The answer in the case of William H. Heavenhill is, Colossal yes, Waste of Money no. Let’s lay some foundation for this 16 year, 106 proof heater. First and foremost, this is a gift shop only bottle that you can buy after you go on the tour, for $250.00 retail. That last part likely made your balloon knot clench, and for understandable reasons. That’s like half a bottle of AVION in the club.
At this moment any other reviewer would immediately cop out, decry the price point and then proceed to point out that knob creek barrel proof costs a fraction as much and end the review with a pithy BUY ECBP INSTEAD. The slaps on the back would be resonant and endlessly accessible. Here’s why putting McKenna on a pedestal and being a false ally of the people doesn’t work: this is insanely good. The age statement alone is noteworthy but Diageo turns out geriatric trashwater so that cant carry the day. The secret sauce here is just how flawlessly rounded and poised this is. If you know the different between Booker’s and Booker’s 25th you know the difference some extra age and stock selection can make. This is like stock mustang vs GT500 difference in both price and quality.
The nose just separates in waves like flaky baklava serving up waves of cinnamon, apple filling and a ton of cherrywood split lumber. The taste feels so old and refined like some luxury hot tamales made by National Distillers. The swallow just vibrates with allspice and leather crashing like a zildjian cymbal. The internal mapping of the Heat travels slowly into your chest and you can almost see the inforgraph of the Vick’s vapor rub juice warming your guts in the best way.
The price is insane and you are paying a massive premium for a unicorn barrel. It is by no means a deal and I can already feel er10 dudes calling unrelatable DDB a tater shill. I get it: it’s expensive. It is also incredible and there are many far far worse bourbons selling for much more secondary. If you want to spend less go ECBP or Knob 25, no one will fault you. This however is some crazy unique cornwater worthy of at least a taste if you can smash it. Waste of money? Depends on how much Balenciaga you own. Colossal? Not by any standard.
We opened this @schrammsmead masterpiece last night on @maltcoutureddb with @theothermumford and it floored us all. Some beverages are so crushingly good that you are worse off having drank them. Every time I try this I forget how layered the fruit profile is, the long preserves drag, that sticky marmalade and floral closer. It’s more balanced than most god tier Napa Cabs and pushes the honey game to its logical peak. Sometimes when you see a spicy 4.9 on Untappd it’s like “yeah of course people dropping $192 on this 12oz will validate the purchase with that score.” But it isn’t recursive, this can command that price as a function of what it is, not what it seeks to convey. Very few products occupy this space and it’s aggravating how arresting this melomel is because it commands attention.
There’s no casual HOD sesh, and it feels tacky and decadent for consumption to be the event in itself. Some Condé Nast terminus shit, laser etched decanters talking about which cards have the best point perks. I’m a trash human who watches Bachelor in Paradise, so it’s good to occasionally have a sip of sublimity. Then back to Totino’s pizza rolls and Terrace House. Balance achieved through immoderation, the Aristotelian mead.
Summer is ending and thiccboi season is about to be upon us. To bridge the gap between seltzer days and high abv autumnal negligence, @urbanrootsbeer has provided us this succor. If you are old enough to remember Peter Hoey of Odonata fame, then you are entitled to a Rorie’s Ale veteran discount. Peter and Rob Archie decided to open up a bbq spot in where else Sacramento, California’s capitol, famous for bbq and train museums. The beer itself seems to be a playful take on an unwieldy style, a svelte poolside barleywine. The 10% abv isn’t exactly hiking refreshment and it drinks like a lightly sweeter Old Numbskull. Without barrel aging to contribute the depth and Dremel down the edges, it feels boozier than it should.
There’s a C-hop bite to it that nods towards mid 2000s Classic barleywines albeit in that “oh you brought Old Horizontal” sort of way. It’s well crafted and could stand some time in casky captivity. The Malty structure works but is too boozy and resinous for summer, not hefty enough for frigid Sacramento winters. At any rate I love seeing breweries release barleywine in general and can only imagine @sunkingbrewing was furtively rubbing their hands together praying for a barrel treatment. It’s pretty deece, albeit not earth-shattering.
Also this episode went live today.