Can a crow be a whale and a bird concurrently? Today’s inquiry delves deep into the nature of identity and anomalous monism. Psyche, we draining blubber, obvi. This is third in line to the lineage of most sought out barleywine after M and Wooden Hell. If you don’t believe me, go ask resident B dub expert Chadquest and he will show you on a ruler how hard this malty rarity gets him attenuated. So this one is the first Gratitude, the OG of the bird crew, 600 bottles from back in the day. I wanted this one to lay another White Whale to rest in a legit manner. Every other pic I had seen to date (1) had been some Juggalo 1oz pours and shit. You deserve better than that. I knew shit was real when I got 3 messages asking for the fucking empty bottle.
Anyway, let’s put a bird on this bitch and ruffle some feathers. One crow short of a murder.
Brewed by East End Brewing Company
Style: Barley Wine
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA
A: This is that same deep mahogany brown with a slight muddiness after over 8 years of captivity. The sheeting is notable and it has some nice legs that zambonies what minimal carb still exists. The edges have a sort of khaki dirtiness to it, but its like the hot ratchet chick at Coachella all covered in mud that you still wanna get up in them ugly waist high shorts so she has a story to tell her dorm mates when she gets back to Arizona. That kinda shit.
S: This still somehow smells fucking phenomenal. I was expecting some kinda oxy fest, white kids rubbing norco on their gums and listening to Macklemore and shit. No oxy fest to be found. It’s like East End aged this to perfection, abusing the 8 year old on the cellar gradually over time. If you have had this beer fresh this is a completely different experience. The hops have been acid washed out like some Jordache jeans and you are left with this Gloria Vanderbilt refined poise, the alpha acids almost come across as a wood profile, there’s a crisp oaky finish to the nose that compliments the sweet sticky fig/plum/caramelized raisin that reminds me of those Sugar Baby candies, or a Sugar Daddy I guess, if you love the D. This is still distinctively American Barleywine and if you are gonna go this hard, balls deep in the cellar, the English bitches cant stand the test of time, need them cones to snuggle up to on those cold nights, pulling the malty blanket up, peering through that cardboard wondering when its day will come, trying to silently masturbate in them yeasty sheets and not wake up the headmaster. Man that shit went off the rails pretty quickly.
T: This has a traditional sticky toffee, bitter underpinning, some port sherry and milk chocolate aspects to it, but again, the hops give this deceptive ass wood treatment to it because they have mellow to the point of interjecting some resinous complexity to the finish. If you are like me and bitch nonstop about the lack of barrel treatment (to the point of making YOUR OWN VERSION WHAT THE FUCK IS MY PROBLEM) this is the variant for you. I used to say that the 2010 is the perfect balance between hoppy profile and that sticky decadent profile but this is hands down the best vintage, or really any bottle that has this much time on it I guess. The faux american toasted oak from the hops unites the sweet malty malts and gives a platform to keep oxidation at bay.
M: As I noted before, this is a sticky muddy sweet lil minx, but it also has this residual dryness that keeps the bad bitch in check. I won’t say this has some sort of brandy or bourbon treatment to it, but it seems that the FG is far lower, the highs higher, pupils dilated running your face against the gentle crow. The abv is laughably integrated to the point of being a date rape bird, you can’t give consent after schooling this bitch. Triple double no assist, mix that crow and Malibu, call it Malibooya.
D: Exceptionally drinkable, for 11.5% this puts the pussy on the chainwax. 2013 tickers take fat loads on their face to land King Henrys and grat sits on the boards, there is no justice in this world. You can and should merk an entire bottle of Grat to yourself, and you wont feel like some fat shithead on State Disability while you do it. With this, I have tried every variant of Grat, laying birds to rest. The fresh variants are less drinkable, but this in particular goes down easier than a college sophomore with body image issues. Highly recommended, lube your butthole if you are gonna swing at the crow, feathers will be ruffled, jimmes: rustled.
Narrative: No one ever said that being a high school senior was easy, particularly not for an archmage living in the confines of Omaha’s suburbs. Bramblestitch Crowly earned a proud lineage in his own world and was unexcelled in alchemy, until a tragic accident sent him to our cruel reality. “HEY BRAMBLEBITCH, nice cloak, is there a NEEDLEDICK RAVE AFTER SCHOOL?!” the young men cajoled at his expense, his talismans clinking in metronomic pace as he walked slowly while thumbing through a calfskin tome with fragile parchment pages. “MR. CROWLY I SUPPOSE YOU FEEL THAT GEOMETRY IS GOING TO WAIT FOR YOU?” Mr. Billingsly boomed as Bramblestitch lowered his head and took his seat in a tiny desk in the back of the oppressive classroom. It was becoming clear that he may never return to his own time, a relic from the past, years beyond his time. Bramblestitch rolled a fresh quartz crystal in his palm, suffering the slings of adolescence, reflecting as to how a Nebraska school system would permit a fucking wizard to be enrolled completely without question.
2 thoughts on “2005 East End Gratitude, The Crow That Started It All, I Put a Bird On It”
Your write up made me trade for a 2013. Is it still pretty good?
It is a completely different beer, intensely hoppy, but probably the best non ba barleywine out there