Prepping to record an absolutely insane episode of malt couture. The Pilsner calm before the storm with @enegrenbrewing and @bierstadtlager crushable challah juice. It usually takes a stand up comedian a solid decade to build that first hour of bulletproof material, to make it seem effortless, universally engaging, poised and so clean in execution.
It’s that type of economical Mulaney-esque delivery that makes it seem like anyone can do this. This is that. Beer that’s so refined and cleanly presented that it makes people feel like they could do this too. It takes an incredible degree of nuance and precision to craft someone universally loved, that bottom fermenting JK Rowling that gets dunked on by excessive post-modernist barleywine boyz and is taken for granted by neophyte young adult palates, the perpetual Pilsner plight.
It’s for that reason that I respect the incredible frothy sustain of the carb, the sheeting, the light herbal fescue like verdant stains on bugle boy jeans. It’s the best version of your old memories but improved upon. That nascent “first beer” thrill, maligning the detachable showerhead for Eros purposes in middle school. It’s so good and simple that you feel latent shame.
There is often a divide between “wanting” and “obtaining.” Any fifth grader can articulate how the week leading up a birthday party is better than the actual toys. The desire is the commodity that craft beer trades in. This is the reason a brewery’s value is so heavily stacked in their good will and not just the tanks and triclamps and hoses inside of it. The capacity to make someone value something is the transmutation of need fulfillment. Brewers turn people into 5th graders again, hopped up on pizza IPAs and cake stouts and milkshake hazies.
Coconut assassin is the converse of the anticipation/actualization paradigm. I wanted this beer to be not as good as it is. I want to subvert a $50 12oz retail price. I want to undermine the $450 resale price. I want to undercut a 162 bottle release. And then I tried it. Frustratingly the beer is just crushingly well done. Writing a review loaded with praise doesn’t exactly drip with levity. The hyperbolic highs are fueled by failures, those classic knee slappers attendant to failed art. This is too fucking good though.
The coconut aspect has faded and integrated lovingly and seamlessly into the barrel character. It is so much carmelized brown sugar, and that honeycomb Willetesque cask profile, Scotch kisses, flourless lavacake. It defies all the current stout benchmarks of excess: not flabby, solid retention, barrel driven with fusel aspects masked, no smegma coconut lipids coagulating on the top, no sheen of excessive oil, no Yankee Candle wafts of greasy waterpark bodies. It is a beer first and foremost and through excess it finds nuance. It’s super fucking annoying in that regard.
This would be way better if it were worse. It isn’t though, it is world class. I am worse off having had this beer because it sets the rubric for how much a Hawaiian tropic stout can accomplish, and here I am, actively reinforcing this behavior, and the store is all sold out of hand sanitizer for my soul, @tgbrews has dropped a depressing masterpiece.
L-O-L-O-L, I’m glad you find this shit amusin’. Ah yes. Finally the Wheatwine from @gooseisland the darling from last year makes a notorious return, to disappointed fanfare, but is it warranted? In a laconic word, no. In five words: Mon Cherie was way shittier.
Ok last year was better and had a fantastic peanut brittle and creme brulee shell, and this is far more oaky and planed pine. The entire canon in 2019 is more cask focused and less sweet but this will really step on your Caramel Cubes because it’s intensely tannic like American oak but has a fun redeeming bit o’ honey swallow that I really enjoy. The same dudes who hated the @perennialbeer Randall’s Devils Hearts of Gold will also dislike the barrel forward character of this lean, scotchkisses and see’s candy lollipop affair.
We didn’t get barleywine this year so we have to content ourselves with this oddly bitter malty stepdad. He reads Breitbart and sucks on sugar babies and reeks of entry level wheated bourbon, muttering angrily about all the smut and Spanish songs in the super bowl halftime show. Despite these shortcomings it is a lovable albeit woodsy endeavor that I enjoy, but we long for real maltdad who bought me barley heelies and let me drive his trans am. The 2019 is still a proper guardian tho.
Finally, Malt Couture comes to the East Coast! Yes 3/9 a MONDAY SHOW, kicking off Tampa Bay Beer Week we will descend upon Sarasota and Calusa Brewing leaving its residents dripping in malty discharge. Vip is sold out, general admission tickets are on sale now!
The taplist is going to be incredible and we have some special tricks up our sleeves. Get your tickets now, this event will sell out. And yes, we eventually do an east coast show that isn’t on the Gulf of Mexico.
This week’s batch of @maltcoutureddb is straight up insane. We previously had @crainsberry on the show and made him drink a @thebruery Black Tuesday horizontal, including 22% abv heaters like BT grand reserve. He didn’t die so we invited him back for more pastry punishment. In batch 83 we have a Bean Grinder Cagematch: three stouts with 1. Coffee and vanilla 2. Bourbon barrel aging 3. An Untappd score of 4.7 or higher and 4. Have sold for $500 or more.
The results are mind boggling. Will @foragerbrewery dethrone the inimitable @3floydsbrewing Handjee? Or will the DDB favorite @moderntimesbeer Monster Tones bisect our beans? We kick everything off with a phenomenal Dunkel from @heaterallenbeer . It’s a lot to process.
You already know that Rev has arguably one of the best barrel programs in the nation right now, so let’s figure out if it is worth standing in line in 30 degree weather on some Kedzie loading dock. There are two new releases: Cuvee De Grace and Ten Year Beer.
Cuvee de Grace is a fantastic gateway drug for your friends who are malt-curious. The problem with this beer is that it wont get out of its own way in lending that sticky chocolate malt hand out to the uninitiated. Two thirds of this beer is fantastic underlying strong ale/barleywine roots. Then oh shit, here comes that one overbearing guy in every improve scene, dripping in bakers chocolate and fudge “NOW WE ARE ON THE MOON” and like god now we have to play out the reality of a cocoa barleywine. The underpinnings of this beer is such a delicate blend of caramel and prailines, planed boards and old fashioneds. It is tasty crème brulee that has chocolate fondant applied to it, gilding the dessert lily. I am not saying every ba beer needs to just be an old ale. I enjoy playful reliance on different profiles. The issue here is that this good beer leans on oatmeal and rye stouts and it’s what a freshman English professor would call “tonally inconsistent” albeit extremely well made.
Ten Year Beer shows that X is indeed gon give it to you. Don’t let this cherry poppin daddy fool you, it is a completely ensemble role. Rev has such a deft hand in nuance and never his the fruited center divider the way say, Goose Island will, in not trusting its consumers to taste the fruit, but not be cardholding GUSHERs party members. The cherry is delicate and this is that same Saharan-dry body we found in Code Switch. It’s exceptionally tight, dripping with cordial, sucrets, Sazerac notes, and some Willett meets Sucrets interplay. I would bet that some people wouldn’t even know that cherry was outright present if they weren’t outright searching for it. It is that restraint that Marty shows consistently in the blending. This is “The Favourite” for people who maybe wont dive deep into Yorgos Lanthimos catalogue, but you toss some saccharine Emma Stone cherries on the bill and suddenly you got a resale market.
Neither hit the fantastic heights of VSOJ or VSOR but Rev is in the unenviably coveted position of being contrasted against its own catalog. Their “pretty good” beers still destroy almost everything else. These are the type of crosses that Shaun Hill must bear, and no one feels sorry for them.
Also come see us at SF Sketchfest on Saturday 1/25/20 at the punchline, tickets still available
(Or is this all just twilight beyond Atlantic Highlands) and @cartonbrewing enters a bold segment of high abv, high risk brandy barrels, high esters, Belgian strains, and somehow some way they sticky the caramelized banana raisin landing. This is nothing like the rest of their casual canon, whimsical coffee cans, imperial cream ales and XXYXXYX001 ales. This is serious genie bottle antics.
Candidly yes this is a touch Fusel and lights up your chest like ET, and there is a degree of brandy interplay that has a solvent character, but as it warms the sacchro takes over and it’s like peeling back the layers of grands biscuit. The malt is ribboned with figs and dates, the swallow is almost cloyingly long and drags resonates with muddled prunes and raisinettes. And you’re like “who smashed my old plums?” Augie Carton that’s who.
Carton stays gripping them plums with a sugar baby twist. I can’t finish the whole bottle but the complexity at higher temps alone sells the fantastic experience. This is big brain mode and I hope people take the gamble on a ba quad, this degree of risk and innovation is that type of brandy capitalism that deserves to be rewarded.