Voodoo Brewing Aphotic is a complete nightmare. Blanton’s Black Magick is a top 3 stout I have had all year. I cannot reconcile the two.
The newest aphotic falls to the depths upon Icarian wax wings of “doing too much//being too extra.” Say less bro. At first I was honestly confused and thought there was a latent pedio infection onset. It busts out of the staves with sour cherry, rotting grapes, this musky canvas and prune component. Even worse, this is Voodoo’s thickest stout so it is given ample room to expound on these insane notes without any degree of oversight. The swallow tastes like the assistant brewer was like “I made that black patent malt stout you wanted” “You mean you used black patent as the special malt right” Anakin.reaction.
It just twists the handlebars and goes top over into the sharpie, permanent marker, charcoal zone that even Scandinavian palates who obsess over black licorice and smoked herring would be like “it’s a bit much.” In a twist of sumptuous irony, the French Oak XO casks were their undoing. Only a detective in a Ducal murder mystery gets to say a sentence like that.
Blanton’s Black Magick is a masterpiece. It is the best iteration I have had since the 2017 Old Forester version and comes shockingly close to the inimitable, perhaps greatest stout of all time, 2013 PVWBM. It has a perfectly tailored body that hugs like a slim fit shirt, sized up. The loving folds of cocoa and macaroon button down the oaky cellulose viscose body. The heat resonates and provides the warmth that you desire without overdrying or drawing fusel focus. It has the sustain of a hollowbody Gretsch.
It is a masterclass in balance through excess. Blanton’s BM does this with no extracts, lactose, adjuncts or chicancery. The squaw bread and peanut brittle Linger like the Cranberries and I can’t reconcile how the same brewery made this beer and Aphotic.
The answer lies in creative discretion. VBC are artists and should be given license to make both Sixth Sense and The Last Airbender. If you don’t want them at their Aphotic, you don’t deserve them at their Black Magickest.MarilynQuote #GirlBoss.