Calusa is a brewery that is decidedly “non-floridian” in execution. They aren’t on tap at Daytona, none of their beers taste like escort spit, and none of them feel like a trip to Nickelodeon Studios. They peddle in gentleness.
This has both strengths and weaknesses in such a strange market. Their “fringe” styles become amazing, English milds, table beers, Kolschs all end up being so refreshing that it feels out of step with their everglades pedigree. But what about their strong ales?
The same canvas that they splash highly attenuative sugars onto suddenly feels less severe. The barleywine begins to tell another tale. Without crushing residual sugars to float the typical MELANOIDIN-MAILLARD REACTIONS BRO that you usually hear nonstop from toffeemouths, interesting things happen.
Oak volatiles end up going rogue. That heavy toast from the bourbon barrels doesn’t just present the bromidic VANILLINININ that makes men in one-size-too-small screen print tees nod with wafflecone abandon. Things go tannic in a different direction. The bottom hem doesn’t even touch the belt line.
Ignorant Clod 2022 has this remarkable dryness. The oak lactone takes it to a coconut zone at the outset. But without the saccharine body, it hits an old ale meets European presentation akin to HOTD/Lervig Paragon. I hope you like wet prune and sticky Syrah. Things tweak just a little bit, like when Julia Fox says UNCAHT JAHMS.
This is a stylistic decision unquestionably since the prior coffee Clods were unlike this. I foresee people who want a strictly butterscotch affair will be all confused, like when you tell a Boomer to scan a QR code to see the menu and they lose their minds. The swallow holds the barleywine ship together and reminds you of the sweetness while imparting a port/Madeira aspect.
This isn’t like when you tell yourself you will “get gas in the morning” and wake up hating life. This is properly planned and imparts an effortlessness that draws Sarasota Florida closer to the UK. The opposite of this would be terrifying: dudes in XXXL Dolphins jerseys dipping Skoal stealing catalytic converters off of Astras in Shaftesbury.