Sometimes I get an itchy butthole. This usually happens in the context of Six Flags or Blockbuster video, but for no reason, an irritated O ring onsets. There’s a degree of self awareness and discomfort to this sensation. The feeling of a lack of cleanliness or a part of you that you would rather not interface with. Ultimately, by hook or by crook, you get to scratch than anal dissonance away and it is sordidly fulfilling.
Chris Klien is my itchy butthole.
For those of you not steeped in the Beer Trade forum pages, Chris Klien is a homebrewer from Michigan who is known for 1) alleging that he spends 100k a year on beer 2) living with his parents and 3) noting that his homebrews are better than the finest commercial iterations.
I shouldn’t want to interact with my itchy butthole but there’s a satisfying degree of confirmation and fulfillment to finally address the issue. The latent shame and stink of this dark indulgence is known. Indulging that shameful desire and curiosity that is seeking out Chris Klien beers is the tawdry release of asshole scratching.
So in “Al’s of Hampden” terms of interaction, he’s pretty tame I guess.
Coconut Cinnamon Porter is arguably the most innocuously named Chris Klien beer considering the scope of his other entries (Interracial Love Child, Early Riser, Unicorn Piss) all fall within the scope of an 8th grader who pulls out his nutsack in class for attention. If there were an Adam Sandler CD in beer form, these beers would be it. I never know if old CK is an elaborate self aware huckster playing some dramatic foil like a WWF heel from the attitude era, or if it is an entirely nonironic bit. At any rate, the constant self-aggrandizing comparisons and attempts to sell homebrew self-appraised at $200 draw the ire of many.
So how is this beer?
At the outset I must comment that I was reticent giving a legit review to homebrew bottled off a keg but I can safely say that the two packaging picayunes were the least objectionable points. The carbonation was excellent and hit that ideal realm between tepid HotD and ebullient foam. Sheeting and lacing was minimal, tempered by either an intense ethanol profile or massive legs. There was no oxy or patent flaws in the keg to bottle and the mouthfeel was on par with a lean but fit Baltic porter. The beer is nicely dialed in and shows a modicum of precision to the grist bill and fermentation. If the highest praise is being awarded to mouthfeel and carb, you know the shitstorm is a brewing in the meaningful aspects. It’s like winning an Oscar for “best sound design” where you go, “I mean, alright?”
The real issue with this beer is a complete lack of integration. I am not some baby palate who cannot take a fusel load to the face. I am on the higher end of that degenerate spectrum if anything, I wrestle ethanol gators in the Pugachev swamp for fun. I once hogtied BTR and got the tri-county record. But this beer suffers from a waft that dominates and outshines that which the additives seek to conceal. It has a drying drag along the mandibular aspects that isn’t entirely offputting but it is distracting and cradle-kills the budding front palate flavors.
I don’t know if black patent malt was used in this but holy fuck does it feel like some bitter roasty continental European adventure. The issue in having the sweet notes overridden by heat is that the swallow is char and graphite pencils, nestle cocoa chips and leather. I dont know if this hit any of those patented 6th use 5 gal barrels that we hear so much about but, I would have expected some of these edges to have been filed down. If this doesn’t have a barrel component, then fuck please add one.
The flavor additives are admittedly well done and surprisingly restrained. The cinnamon is dusty and comes across like a subtle allspice or muted nutmeg instead of that churro face-fucking presented by any innumerable Mexican Toast Crunch Stout. The coconut is like one of those honorary diplomas that a university bestows upon Sean Penn where you go “I mean, I guess?” It has a nice lipid tone that serves to offset the functional heat and roast, and much needed sweetness is imparted gently but again, FUGEES tones by killin it softly.
In sum, this beer is a touch better than your average commercial 5 tap California ale special and shows ambition and drive but stumbles in a few areas. If this was on tap in the middle of nowhere, all the local residents on disability would probably hail this as best in the land while rooting for Kyle Busch and talking about their cousin’s opiate constipation. Globally it isn’t some apeshit treat, but for a homebrew it is far from bad. It aspires to be some Age of Ultron shit but ends up being the porter version of Transformers Revenge of the Fallen, which I guess some people enjoyed(?)
Stop bothering me to do ILC and Unicorn Piss. I am bringing back a vedeo for those but need someone to film it, we will get to those.