Outcast Brewing is here sending barrel-carbed waxed cans internationally, pastry love in the time of COVID. That old maple oil salesman, Patrick Schnarr, is the same guy who bought me that iconic DDB toaster, so it is only fitting to put it to use. Barrel carbed cans remind me of cinema verite. This was a French film movement in the 1960s that had an emphasis on mimesis and authenticity, imparting truth to conversations in cinema.
This weird can has a soft flex to it like it has gone through elevation changes and pours out languid without that frothy cocoa foam. It is documentary stout, the pauses and “uhms” of Kuhnhenn conversation. Given the soft CO units involved, the barrel is absolutely blasting waves of spicy fusel, Four Roses high rye execution, mocha mole, and dark chocolate with ancho to it.
The stripped down profile exposes the flaws more readily in a way that Hair of the Dog fans and old world naturalists will enjoy. So here is the obvious question: If so much care has been given to naturalistic execution, why even make this a Pastry Stout? The adjunctivitis seems to belie the framer’s intent. If what is sought is that verisimilitude of using a barrel thief and sipping from the cask, the interplay of the additives is as distracting as a Puddle of Mudd tattoo on an otherwise gorgeous woman. Like is she even old enough to have that.
In the can’s defense, the hazelnut and vanilla is not some Horus confectionary romp. The barrel is so prominent that they are the rhythm guitar in an Animal Collective cover band. They may as well be absent. The swallow is long and hot like damascus on a blacksmith’s anvil, but with this on-board canadian apology that renders the apple brandy more manageable.
Does it FEEL authentic? It feels like a choice, it is intentional, it feels casky, and in a world obsessed with single issue THICC voters, reducing the CO units, reducing the FEELING of viscosity. It’s a brazen move. Most stouts will be packaged at like 2.5 units. Private Press brewing, from the Jackie O’s pedigree openly carbs at 2.3 and will likely hear all about how it needs THICCCC from blunt palates. This will get the same complaints.
CANEMA VERITE: The stout feels real, and inauthentic palates will be up in arms.