Ah Georgia, fine purveyors of Rich Homie Quan and Automatic for the People, for too long a barren desert of ale based inequity. They are now enjoying a renaissance of sorts with several talented breweries turning out wares that make the previously acceptable Terrapin wares seem like a Hootie and the Blowfish album by contrast.
When a previous wasteland strikes oil, profiteers move in, wild speculation occurs, the local populations are exploited and those driving the collateral markets attempt to drive up demand accordingly. Georgia is no different. When the amiable Creature Comforts broke out with noteworthy wares, leave it to the teeming masses at the gates to spoil things for everyone with rapacious waves of experialism. No sooner than this “KBBS KILLER” was released were the trade forums filled with shield and mace wielding Athens locals declaring unending fealty to these maple bals and firing flaming arrows at any passing caravan doubting the quality of their wares.
In the interim, Creature Comforts exhibited jaw dropping customer service, and not content to leave the shittiness on trade forums, people accused old DDB of being outright fearful of disparaging StS, amply plied with berliners and IPA cans. Fear not. The StS contingency continued to malign itself and writhe under the glaring lights of retrospect.
It was a shitty situation.
Granted it was a handful of clever dipshits posting fake trades, asking for Armand seasons, falsely reporting closed trades, working in collusion to dramatically outkick their coverage, grafting every ounce of value from this relatively unknown quantity. Alas the beer world, like MS paint, uses wide strokes and fill buckets to color an entire region. The subsequent reviews of this beer took a steep hit and those snakeoil salesmen who recanted “IT WENT 1:1 WITH MD” like an unholy rosary, were burned with the scorn of false appropriation.
BUT HOW DOES THIS BEER TASTE, FUCK ALL THIS SHALLOW EXPOSITION
The presentation is showy like a Young Thug video, the trappings and underpinnings of both luxury and urbane accessibility. The sheeting in beautiful obsidian waves, oily black like wet ink with cumulus nimbus whips of beige foam crowning the darkness below like adobe homes resting upon a Southwest night landscape.
The nose puts forth two opposing intentions that remain at odds throughout the experience. The malts give it a sort of coffee note that exhibits a roasty dryness like sub equatorial single origin beans flicked raw with elements of acidity like when you steep that sack too long. Remember when BCBCS used tortuga in 2012 and everyone was like “hol up, dafuq” the coffee dryness dominates in the same fashion. The Medusa to this Odalisque is the maple element that attempts to polarize and solidify the stout underpinning with a smoky IHOP type of experience. Either one would be welcome on their own, but each competes in tandem and the beer seems unfocused as a result. As warmer temps the maple dominates and it stabilizes into a very well done nose that few can approach.
The taste is admittedly exceptional in every way. It never becomes too sweet, flabby, or packs in that false DME mouthfeel with residual sugars. Creature Comforts hit all of the CBS benchmarks and put their own verve on an exceptionally challenging genre. It really becomes a conceptual battle while you drink it, there is a full tootsie roll meet espresso profile that staunchly opposes the breakfast bourbon elements of the swallow. This perhaps dials the iris in too fine a focus, denaturing the aperture. If viewed as a whole, it is unquestionably one of the best releases from 2015, but shifts upon the balls of its feet in the threshold of stout legends.
It would be disingenuous of old DDB to state that you shouldn’t trade for this beer, but it is equally malignant to look upon the gross speculation and false idolatry of the Georgian fanbase with a blind eye. This becomes the timeworn paradigm of blaming a brewery for the conduct of a whale starved population, the indictment falls largely outside the scope of their control. This stout is really fucking good. While perhaps not shattering the realm of world class molds, it carves syrupy rivets that clamor for your contemplation.
Edit: I realize that there is no coffee in this beer. I can’t believe that I actually have to address the fact that you can excise coffee flavor from malts, but there you go.