I wanted to address Derivation 8 and OWK as a sort of Nilla apoetheosis of sorts, the two uniting as the varying sides of a bean flicking coin as the universal and actual currency of the stylistic limits. I wanted to, but then I was ruminating on the fact that I had these 3oz pours in 96 degree weather and I actively wondered how to scale the experience. If DDB is here to present some modicum of standardized experience, then it makes me wonder if all these different experiences can have a throughline drawn between them. On the other hand, with bottles like these anyone who actively dropped the $700 to $2000 to land them either 1) will never open them or 2) will be so emotionally and financially invested that impartiality isnt possible either. This is to say nothing of the serving size the average dipshit will enjoy, so perhaps some leniency on my own failings is permissible. Both of these beers are the pinnacle of what is possible in the wafflecone realm, but for differing reasons. D8 is coffee/coconut/vanilla but the heft of the body almost belies the roast and coffee. It works in tandem to integrate everything until just the bobbing of the vanilla pokes its tip above the obsidian waves. For such an absurdly excessive stout, the end result is something that is the closest to “balanced” under scaled malt economies. In wanting more of any one element, it becomes evident that a careful wrist was applied to that throttle to not slip the bean clutch. That is a remarkable dance and it’s like when you have the deep attraction to the poise of a male dancer how effortlessly strong he can mitigate gravity and you wonder what it feels like to be held and oh sure your friends all act like they dont know what you are talking about but they would drink it themselves.
OWK is something entirely different. On paper this checks every box to draw in the most toxic of profiteering shitlords 1. onsite only 2. no public takeaway sales 3. private club bottle only 4. $5,000 of vanilla beans 5. separate recipe 6. commemorative bottle/one off 7. an odd AKC pedigree of the inimitable Derivation 2 in the double helix. Add that up and some stretchmarked manchild who wants to play malty stock broker immediately literally fills the tasting room. We have already examined how people were attempting to raffle 2oz vials and the furious “LOL TROLL” backpedaling that came from this, and we are just getting started. This is a dual handed greataxe that just crushes with overhead waves of all things vanilla. Sit down in this ugandan sharper image chair and gets waves of cervical Whopper massage, waffle cone, an oily almost waxy mouthfeel akin to Twinkie frosting, Kit Kat wafer, and a swallow with a mild heat and residual sweetness that thankfully reigns it back in with a drag of Marlboro Red and Little Debbie brownies. It’s singularly the most over the top expression of vanilla as the zeitgeist of vanilla. Years from now we will view OWK as a 1982 Rush “Signals” type of decadence where you wonder where artistry can proceed. It took D2 which was 20% better than Vanilla Eclipse and then improved those margins by another 20%, cumulatively. Which is to say for 23 times the cost of entry, your bean throbs a scaled 12.5% harder. You can check the euphemism math on that.