There is often a divide between “wanting” and “obtaining.” Any fifth grader can articulate how the week leading up a birthday party is better than the actual toys. The desire is the commodity that craft beer trades in. This is the reason a brewery’s value is so heavily stacked in their good will and not just the tanks and triclamps and hoses inside of it. The capacity to make someone value something is the transmutation of need fulfillment. Brewers turn people into 5th graders again, hopped up on pizza IPAs and cake stouts and milkshake hazies.
Coconut assassin is the converse of the anticipation/actualization paradigm. I wanted this beer to be not as good as it is. I want to subvert a $50 12oz retail price. I want to undermine the $450 resale price. I want to undercut a 162 bottle release. And then I tried it. Frustratingly the beer is just crushingly well done. Writing a review loaded with praise doesn’t exactly drip with levity. The hyperbolic highs are fueled by failures, those classic knee slappers attendant to failed art. This is too fucking good though.
The coconut aspect has faded and integrated lovingly and seamlessly into the barrel character. It is so much carmelized brown sugar, and that honeycomb Willetesque cask profile, Scotch kisses, flourless lavacake. It defies all the current stout benchmarks of excess: not flabby, solid retention, barrel driven with fusel aspects masked, no smegma coconut lipids coagulating on the top, no sheen of excessive oil, no Yankee Candle wafts of greasy waterpark bodies. It is a beer first and foremost and through excess it finds nuance. It’s super fucking annoying in that regard.
This would be way better if it were worse. It isn’t though, it is world class. I am worse off having had this beer because it sets the rubric for how much a Hawaiian tropic stout can accomplish, and here I am, actively reinforcing this behavior, and the store is all sold out of hand sanitizer for my soul, @tgbrews has dropped a depressing masterpiece.