Orpheus has a 50/50 K/D ratio with me. There are some of their canned offerings that Georgia locals go apeshit for like a Hootie and the Blowfish Reunion tour, that I just don’t get. Then there are solid workhorses that I would savor having available as a go to option for when I am denying science or doing burnouts in a Dodge Challenger or whatever happens down there. Suffice it to say, they don’t engage in the gauche pageantry of lottery 1pp raffle releases, phanto chairs, DMV lines, hand stamping, f5 japery when it comes to releases.
So what happens when they brew a black patent balls to the chocolate wall 14% Bourbon Barrel aged stout and then add the V word up in the mix? It’s the complete paradigm of hype for blunt palate dipshits who just stumbled away from a Compaq desktop with a Beer Server certification. It’s a tough realm to fight in, and I don’t envy any brewery who takes the bait and makes one of these.
Invariably, dudes with disposable income and understanding spouses will do one of those “19 vanila beer” lineups and the cringeworthy bleary eyes impressions will issue and no one wants to be in the bottom echelon next to Madagascar or whatever vanilla car crash Brew Dog released. This is neither of the two, nor does it flex its lats on the likes of Marshmallow Handjee either. Like a therapist trying to identify what grade was the most psychologically damaging, the answer lies somewhere in the middle.
The pour is wildly unimpressive and I was warned of this at the outset. It is Kuhnhenn/Hair of the Dog/Late 2000s Lost Abbey/Taiwanese gymnast flat. As a result a good deal of that waffle cone goodness remains inert unless you agitate that Coldstone tip jar.
I attempted to rile it up and that is all I could compel. About as excited as a middle eastern dude at a Jeff Dunham show. The legs are massive and this has a touch of toasted pumpernickel and fusel notes that are not acrimonious but, when a first date mentions a concealed carry permit, and has heat on them at the Applebees, there is a degree of reproach.
The taste is far better however and this delivers on both the alcohol and the vanilla. It’s like dunking a Klondike Bar into a dram of Weller, and I aint even mad. I have endured the darkest Bruery flagellation and the 18.9% Pugas, so this is hot but I dont need Bandages for this Hot Hot Heat. Sadly, the coquettish body detracts again from the flavor and just lies there like an uninspired cam girl. It is oily and slick on the palate and would benefit from some liveliness but it isn’t a deal breaker. The vanilla is fantastically executed and never feels either understated (i.e. that Cream Soda tier Avery offers) or synthetic (go ahead and pick your favorite Air Wick stout.)
I didn’t finish the entire bottle, not because it was offputting but it just didn’t feel compelling enough to make a substantial donation to the Bank of Mantits. This beer is Not4Goulet to the fullest and exists as a kind of Ford Focus ST: lots of bang for the buck, not outwardly appealing, but can deliver solid power to weight ratio for the cost of entry.
Welp highland park finally did it. They released their most disgusting looking albeit best tasting beer to date: it is inverse in proportion. I make trub and cakey jokes as the day is long but look at this cup of chicken bouillon and imagine how good this has to be for me to affirm this chicanery. It’s that good. I always felt HPB played second fiddle to Tradehouse and Monkish in this orbit of Trillium proportions, allllllllmost god tier. This is the fist can I can say clears the bar and scraps with the likes of the greats: albeit disgusting looking. You know in shitty 90s coming of age movies when horny teenagers somehow don’t recognize that the art student with a banging body in paint splattered overalls and her hair up is hot? This is as unlikely.
It is dialed in and almost forgoes the game genie crutches of excessive oat and flour, it’s clean as drops far lower than the Tired Hands foray it presents.
You see the exterior and know she has a chrono trigger save file and extensive Chuck Palahniuk fan fiction in tow. There’s depth and mirth, apricot and yard trimming bags, mint and kumquat, pitted peach and fellatio behind a Robecks dumpster: it is consensual and it works. Fine is the aesthetic stupid, yes. But at least it isn’t the opposite, some Toyota 86 that looks incredible and drives your hopes up and ends up being driven by a dental hygienist.
The body and character of this is awesome, like chapter one St Bretta so delicate and the crooked stave back logs. The one thing this lacks in is a phenolic aspect that feels like a free rise gone up in the 90s that allowed the fermentation to drop out odd flavors akin to latex glove and a lemony clown balloon. It does so many things well and almost enters the casey realm on mouthfeel and structure but the fumble in the red zone is Atlanta Falcons glaring.
But this was a limited 2pp release: crooked stave is in cans for all the nonexistent Colorado lakes. Doesn’t anyone in bolder even own a fuckin jet ski?
If you drink this at 45, it will be completely invisible but if you free rise the fuck out of the bottle and let it hit 60, it will gush and the showcase of these ultra unique hops will be dominated. This is a skilled brewery with a tactical error that ruins everything, like a fun well adjusted date who happens to be antivaxxx it just kills your entire boner. It’s too much for my tiny eraser nub.
Sneak peek at Vanilla System of a stout and there is a zero percent chance I am not locking this down, beans already oily and my cardamom pod is tumescent. I was leery of some ham fisted yankee candle execution and then I LOLed because beachwood consistently Errs in favor of subtlety. The coffee roast and vanilla profile work in harmony and come across like a dark chocolate dove bar, with this mocha frap mouthfeel that is whipped not stirred. Body is on point akin to the likes of Parabola and the barrel with cardamom is a gentle underpinning that makes everything else perform better, like a limited slip differential on an already beastly car. You can kill an entire bomber to yourself, and won’t feel like you wiped airwicks on your gumline. No Downey dryer sheets or febreeze tones to speak of either. In a world crowded with 1.050 “final” gravity stouts, this checks all the boxes without feeling Central Watersy with the tooooo dialed in profile. Immediately regret even typing this because when you utter the V word dudes in Osirises with black plugs stumble out of their beat up ass Integras for miles to attend a release, and like an 8th grader whose parents are getting a divorce, I am only harming myself.
Double Dry Hopped citra thrill seeker on cask, the closest thing beachwood has gotten to that pillowy soft haze craze, a creamy real ale straight from the gums of a soccer hooligan. No one is clutching their screen print tees with the same tired four superlatives that they saw on untappd. The macaw tickers parroting adjectives without intentionality ::braaaaak:: creamy juicy haze ::whistle:: in this jungle climate of blunt trudging and mimicry, things grow fast under the hothouse canopy. Dipshit beer expert cultures take hold and sprout instantly in a manner of months having never heard of an Orval or clutching to the earthy groundwork of beer. It’s a race for chlorotastic validation.
This is a well executed and resinous showcase of cottony mango fibers. In other words there’s no place for a focused, direct beer that isn’t dripping in peacocking or attention seeking pheromones. The dudes who rapaciously undercut and raffle endlessly for double digit “gains” will be the same pillars of generosity, their succor in the form of accolades and molar unit pours from strangers. No this cask ale would perish in that jungle. In a post fertility landscape the true currency is being above the absurdism of predicating your self worth on a beer. These little ground sweeping cones will be welcome in my heart any time, which only demonstrates that I don’t know shit an prolly won’t even tick then 3sons Mexican cake deviant in an Ohio basement. Brb imma eat these shade cones off the ground tbh