Let’s clear the air right away: I love bourbon barrel plead the 5th. It is one of my favorite BB stouts out there, without qualification. That being said, there have been a series of questionable ass releases from those metal brewers up in
depressing ass Norway Michigan. First, Fore Stout was a weird thin smokey mess. Then Borubon Barrel Mosnter 29 was somehow thinner, boozier, yet with a lower ABV than regular Monster 29 and was totally imbalanced. After I opened this actual monster, I figured I would work Dark Horse over with a bicycle chain for a bit in today’s review
Dark Horse Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Style | ABV
American Barleywine | 15.00% ABV (? I guess)
The bottle didn’t say, so I just assumed that the infected mess was similar in attenuation/bugs/vermin levels.
A: Beauty contest winrar alert: a beer this is. Look at that sloppy merlot mess. Are you drinking a 1500 bottle waxed release because the dead flat pour looks like you are enjoying some Kendal Jackson Merlot at an Applebees. No bubbles at all, it’s like a pour straight from a carboy, as lackluster as that dumbass new Jason Bateman movie, and equally predictable. The sheeting is clear and intense, with no residual sugars to balance out this imbalaced ass scale. And look at that janky ass label, was this approved? It looks like some homebrewer printed that shit off a HP Bubblejet printer, I had it in my fridge for like 4 days and the condensation already had that ink running like mascara on a fat girl’s face after prom.
S: Well I hope you like red apple vinegar, now mix in with your Melange 3. That is exactly what is going on here, there is this fusel cherry jolly rancher with a splash of a musky cabernet. It honestly reminds me of “accidentally” soured home brews where it straddles both genres so hard that it barely qualifies as either a wild or an old ale. Leave a fruit by the foot in a locker for a week, then enjoy it, you have just had Three Guys off the Scale, you won the beer game.
T: The rabbit hole goes deeper, take that classic caramel and nice roast from Hair of the Dog Adam, now go ahead and dump some acrimonious vinegar into it, but don’t even blend it to taste, just Bobby Flay that shit from shoulder height. The finish is intensely dry and I don’t know if it is oak or if it just busted open HSV sores in my mouth that I didn’t even know were there. It finishes with a taste I can only describe as “currency.” One time when I was a kid I clutched a bunch of dimes and went to the store and bought some candy, so sweaty ass coins and Skittles, that is basically what is going on here. Not exactly a panty dropper, even by Michigan standards, where a size 10 is literally a dime, that is top of the line.
M: This is dry, cracking, yet sickeningly fusel at the same time. The completely tepid nature doesn’t do it any favors, it just lays there and gets pounded like Ben Kingsley in Gandhi trying to get his vote on. I don’t want to pound this point home further but, there is no way this was intentionally sour, nor could it have passed the QC panel. I tasted “One” and it is a legitimate oatmeal stout, this, this is like if they left the brewing doors open and they let a bunch of disadvantaged Detroit youth try their hand at real world working times as a brewer. Then sold it.
D: On a scale from one to “call an oral surgeon” this is a Bluelady. If you don’t know what that means, you are lucky, this was incredibly difficult to finish and I even let it warm up and well, that was a mistake, this beer went HAM and was like “THIS ISN’T EVEN MY FINAL FORM!!!” and turned into a huge infected hydra, like most people’s ex-wives. I could barely get this down while watching The Room, I was like OH HAI DOGGY.
Narrative: Liz Wilkerson thumbed the elastic waistband of her Lane Bryant stretch pants and looked out over the desolate Michigan winter. She looked over the gazing starlets in US! Weekly and longed to be like Zooey Deschanel, wearing clothes that did not come from Fashion Bug or Tuesday Morning. She ran the tips of her fingers over the smooth fissures of her stretch marks, reminders of where she had been, and where she could not return. Life working at Michigan’s most esteemed winery was fine, for the 4 months of the year that the vines got sun, but the rest of the time she looked out upon the cold dead poplars and wondered what those tropical ass people in Kansas were up to, much less Floridians. She tried her best, but no one wanted her, at least not in her current state, she was on and off the scale, constantly mulling over her appearance, bemoaning other more beautiful girls, girls whose incisors actually made contact. She was big, sour, ungainly, and unwanted, and everyone in Flint knew it.