With any beer trade there is a gamble attendant thereto. Outside of the boxes not being destroyed, you have to weigh local hype, separation anxiety for whatever you are giving up, and scaled palates for whatever you are seeking. When the Scribe was announced, I had Tomme Arthur PTSD and it sounded like some Cuvee De Trainwreck adjuncted quad that I couldn’t get behind. Lo and behold, I crapped out and everyone raves about that $1,000 bottle to this day.
Fast forward a couple years, my pubes are fuller, I am wiser. Locals touted this as the second coming of Scribe, a ba quad with plums and sugar added, AND EVIL TWIN WHAT COULD GO WRONG? A whole shitload, apparently.
The beer in totality comes across as this “yellowtail mint chip ice cream” type of affair where it is blending two elements that would be amazing discretely, but combined is this sweet, writing Umbrella corp. monster with one massive left arm. This tyrant stomps your palate with at the outset a waft of bizarre leather and tootsie rolls, not in the cool “oh wow this is a vintage old ale” I mean in a “how long have these grapes been in this backpack” sort of way. The nose has this acrid waft of orchard rot, sick sweet plums rotting in the warm Fresno sun, drip systems in full engagement.
When you actually taste this beer it pulls a full on Chrono triple tech attack on your palate and there is no safe haven. First it leads with a massive body not unlike a ramped up Langst, or a stepped down Anabasis but it has this Charles Shaw merlot sidecar tacked on that nerfs things at the outset. If this was shitty tannic wine in a plastic cup at an art gallery, fine ill tolerate tannic Yellowtail chablis, OH BUT WAIT. Someone smashed Ferrero Rocher into your vino, and a spray of Hugo Boss musky sandalwood cologne. The body frustratingly will not let go, bitter and intense tartness cling like a fourth date Bumble relationship. It’s offputting from start to finish and conceptually seems like a terrible idea and follows through on its ambitious threats/promises.
I usually get quick mileage out of Evil Twin and blame “FLAVOUR CONSULTANTS” or prattle out some yukyuks at the expense of a downtrodden gypsy palate technician, but this seems decidedly Side Project in execution. The worst is the Return-of-the-King looong finish that just keeps pounding you with skoal, camel crush, purple laffy taffy and black cherry bile burps. It just offers waves of punishment and does not relent. The resounding reviews must have been tiny tiny pours right at bottling or something, because I cannot honestly believe that people would rave about the Scribe if it was anything like this.
This beer feels like the time that I sat down to watch Rogue One after everyone raved about it and I felt like my entire social circle just clowned the shit out of old DDB just to soak me for two bits. Jokes on them, I watched Rogue One on a fucking Delta flight, but sadly I dropped full trade dollar for this bad ratchet. Fucking Dr. Pepper lip balm and HSV regret, balcony kisses from discordant aesthetics smoking KOOLS in a BEBE dress.
Narrative: Dylan relished the idea of having his wishes granted. The concept of power in the hands of a diminutive and oft-dismissed 17 year old made his palms wet with anticipation. The ornate Byzantine vase gleamed at him across the shop of antiques, patterns interlocking, concrete representations of gods forbidden. The shop reeked of incense and figs and he clumsily plopped down the wadden bills Dylan had hard earned dressed as a bar code in Footlocker.
Two months had passed and Dylan was more than content with his first two wishes. The genie passing in cool indifference around his nicely appointed room. A bottle of Opus One was knocked over on a gaudy taffeta rug. His first impulses were for unearned grace and glory. Smoldering hookah coals stinking up his parent’s home, still chained to their dominance. “DYLAN you said you would fix this with that GOD DAMN genie!” his father boomed down the tobacco smeared walls. Things had gone horribly wrong and Dylan wrung the same wet palms constantly thinking of a solution to compel his wayward phantasm to grant his final wish. The genie noisily scribbled in his molekin journal, lost in his own thoughts, wholly disatisfied with servitude, Unwillling to complete or defy. Dylan had pleaded with the all-powerful genie for a solution, an increase in quality, a derement from this endless olfactory hell. Like the Oracle at Delphi, the wishes were predictably loaded to defy his wishes and teach a trite lesson about materialism, but Dylan never thought it would be this rancid or plum steeped. It was a Dubai hell without bounds. If he could compel the final wish from the Genie who no longer wished to speak with him, he would plead for simplicity, a life predicated on four elements, a return to grace and splendor, uncorrupted by Evil, or Gemini astrology. Dylan sucked down a lingering sicksweet cloud of raspberry incense and shooed a peacock off of his purple satin Duvet cover.