Timber Ales has been on a recent kick to try and snatch the Stout Collaboration Crown from Horus. It is nonstop collabs from these peregrine gypsy brewers. Mash tun sloshing crude second runnings around in a caravan. It’s tough to keep up.
Like the Horus collabs, they vary in quality, but when I saw EIGHTH STATE was involved, my South Carolina sense started tingling and the air smelled like Pecan Sandies instantly. This beer is pretty okay.
There is something that feels inherently incomplete about a non-barrel aged stout these days. Call it customer entitlement, or palate privilege, I crave that depth now as the default. This is particularly apparent when it is a pastry stout that desperately needs that Urkel to Stefan aging chamber to calm it down. So many naturally aspirated stouts get hit with the lactose stick and come out feeling like Coffeemate Creamers.
This isn’t that, but it also isn’t anywhere near Parahelion or the BA offerings from these two. It has excellent carb and sustain, the ugandan vanilla beans never hit that Yankee Candle/Airwick zone, but it also feels like a dress rehearsal. When Subaru released the BRZ with no turbo, no AWD, part of you is like, come on. We know what you are capable of, this is a dental hygienist offering, I need them staves.
The cassia bark as usual just provides and ensemble role for light sweetness and it feels like Whoppers throughout, the scorned Halloween candy, not the scorned high school burger. Nothing about this is inherently wrong, it’s within striking distance of Mornin Delight but still a country mile from Proper Dose in the rawdog Stout realm. That is to say, it is rated higher than every other pilsner ever brewed in the history of all beer.
It feels like 8th State and Timber have a girlfiend that goes to another school and they aren’t as focused on Pastry Polo as they should be, but we know they are gonna hit that game winning goal and then Edwin McCain’s “I’ll Be” will start playing and Jason Stein will pull his ponytail out and we will realize that he was the hot girlfriend that 8th State wanted all along. It’s fine, this is fine.