One of the burdens of creating something amazing: you are fated to compete with your own work thereafter. Success is a gilded cage. There are 9100 breweries in the United States that would love to be held as the god tier standard for anything, let alone then be judged against their own catalog.
It’s a unique benefit and curse. Right when DBVSOJ was announced people were already pissed off. PROXIES ALLOWED BUT I LIVE RIGHT OFF KEDZIE IN AN INDUSTRIAL WAREHOUSE. This is a beer flipped by people who don’t even drink barleywine who are upset that other further away people will get barleywine. Then people were gobsmacked to learn it’s hard to buy something online competing against thousands of other people. Then they were mad they would sell it at the brewery itself. Then they were mad that a few ounces hit Tavour. It’s all sweaty palms being wiped on Tilly’s cargo shorts all the way down.
The real problem is sequelitis. How can you improve upon the masterpiece that is VSOJ? In this instance, we have a Godfather II/Empire Strikes Back/House Party II situation where the sequal somehow surpasses the original. One of the only flaws of VSOJ was its pure unwieldy cask profile that was fusel gatekeeping for baby palates.
If you are a casual haze enjoyer setting down your Fidens to see what this barleywine craze was about, you got sweet barrel chin music that floored you. I figured DB treatment would exacerbate this issue. I was wrong. The additional rye casking for ANOTHER 18 months imparted so much spice, fruitcake, Golden Grahams, Hot Tamales, and marble cake that is offset the fury of the bourbon casks.
The body usually feels thinner with extended casking and people complain. This isn’t the case, it breaks in Twizzlers PullnPeel waves of Sazerac Bananas Fosters, the intense heat tapering into a worn baseball mitt filled with Raisinettes. More is both more and less.
We have children and hope they surpass us and are ultimately humbled in all that they do. DBVSOJ has generational wealth but imparts a comforting rub on VSOJ’s leathery shoulders. He walked so DB could run and face all the complaints of entitled Chicago resellers, with dignity.
At least it wasn’t born Ann.