Engine Nine, Pasadena with love, a lemon lime sprite masterpiece that no one cares about

If you aren’t actively seeking out Enine, then your palate is fake news. This is Lucas from those barrio ice cream trucks, distilled lemon Powerade, mid 2000s printemps meets Sierra Mist cunnilingus. It will drain ur limes hard and leave ur rind quivering. Its such a misnomer to call this a sour ale because it’s honestly more tried and true saison than most shitty acid bombs.

 I don’t care if I ruin this brewery for locals, they deserve to be ruined. It’s absolutely exceptional and if their branding labels weren’t some Avery printer shit people would care more. Maybe some phoned in Pynchonian diction or composite gerund phrases strung together: Embracing the More Than Without, a Tacoma fashion wallonian nod to citrus endeavors across the Ypres plains.


Wren House Brewing Beeline, them bees is poppin, Wren put a red dot on a mazer head like Rodman


Some have accused DDB of market manipulation with regards to the recent glut of barleywine fanfare.  I don’t know what this shitty tirefire of a wordpress site could stand to gain by promoting barleybangers at large, but, there’s still dipshits who believe in flat earth theories so who knows. Rule 34 everything.

So we all know that Superstition has been ticking away in their sunbleached Arizona hive, existing as the other counterpole to Schramm’s north of the wall.  The mead world is controlled and dictated essentially by the axis of these two apiary forces.  WHAT IS THIS DONT DRINK BEES DOT COM. So here we have an Umbrella Corp. project where a massive barleywine supersolider was racked for 6 months in a Superstition Meadery Endovelicus barrel.  Alright so we have American BW residual hops and its supposed to integrate with some fucking honey and raspberry? Let’s see.

Alright at the outset, the body is not some viscous monster.  It doesn’t have crazy syrup legs and the carb is spot on, so we know Kuhnhenn had nothing to do with this. It also isn’t dainty and swinging an epee on the balls of its feet either.  The nose is layered like corkboard, you gotta peel that shit back like a Grand’s biscuit.  I would use the term “dimensions” but all the purple toothed kids on mead subs would slurpily guffaw and grasp for their inhalers.

It’s hops above all else at the outset and a toasted american oak profile with residual bitterness like almond skin and crushed walnuts.  The fruit profile is a captivating supporting role and it never hits a jammy stride but the tannic structure reminds me of a cherry cordial or Strawberry Quik.  The taste hits a middle ground for both and it kinda reminds me of a fruited version of Gratitude, were such a thing to exist.  It isn’t heavy or tank class, but it is not exactly some poised delicate flower either.  The whole thing is a bizarre melding of flavor profiles between fruit and bitter, chocolate and leather, dry oaky Malbec and cocoa.  It’s like when you go to a buffet and don’t know what you want and your jello salad is running into your soft serve is running into your goldfish crackers, but you’re at Sizzler and $11.99 is $11.99 amirite.

I easily finished the bottle and then the bottle finished me.  So who saved who?  People who love barleywine will lament the hop forward aspects attendant to the dyed in the wool american aspects and people who love mead will, I don’t know probably complaint to their Manga pillow how it wasn’t sweet enough or didn’t have enough fruit or how clarinet reeds are too expensive these days. I don’t know what mead people are into, most of them are one step away from drinking the undiluted soda syrup concentrate straight from the box.

This is good and highly sought out and I see this being a polarizing beverage that I personally really enjoyed. Go push a yellowjacket up your urethra, there’s no time.


Societe Urchin, photo has potato adjuncts

Listen they all can’t be some deft expression of the AWA realm and this one missed the mark for me. Taking a [altbier?] base and adding cranberries to it, I don’t think even BFM could pull that shit off. The beer is clean and honestly lacks expression from the fruit. You heard that right, the cranberry wasn’t pronounced enough. Those of you still undergoing maxillofacial surgery from Cranberry Cascade can involuntarily gape jawless at that statement. 

The underlying beer is extremely clean and well crafted but the entire affair just seems ill conceived. It’s like walking away from a Tinder date that on paper has no deficiencies but lacks punch beyond “what major did you study at Cranberry State?” And I get it, a darker underpinning with arguably the hardest fruit profile to successfully wrangle, the fact that this didn’t end up tasting like some Deschutes BBXXVIII dogshit is astounding. I just kinda ejaculated a blithe lil “ehhhhhh” and got into costume. It was deece to deece mas.


Voodoo Breakfast of Champions, I fully expected them to add bran flakes

Breakfast of champions is a simple tiny Oat stout with a bunch of Pep Boys additions bolted on. You’ve got a maple wing, cacao cold air intake and a coffee coilover kit that is making things way too busy and distracting. It’s an easy drinker with a bunch of dissonant additions that don’t have enough floor space to dance upon. It isn’t bad by any means, it almost passes as a legit breakfast beverage depending on your governmental job. This emaciated lil guy was fine but didn’t savagely grind my bean.


Societe Savage, 21 21 skuurrrtt they the reaper huh, weak tickers get popped for all that reachin huh 

Societe took long enough but their new sour lineup somehow manages to stay innovative and relevant in a marketplace now teeming with imitation and acetic players. Given the bloodline, there’s no surprise that this beer tastes like Supplication, a lot. Maybe supplication meets an ultra gentle wanderer. If “petit Oude bruin” were a style, this is a pillowy soft version of that. Almond skin, cherry tart, light chalkiness and incredibly focused acidity drives up the croooosh index amiably. Casey doesn’t dabble in dark sours but that execution is within that realm where it remains firmly a well executed, classical Rodenbach type of base beer that never gets out of pocket. I went into this with 8oz expectations and easily killed the entire bottle. It’s like a time machine back to when Russian River was king, simpler times, free from lower middle class dipshits playing stock broker with bottles of sugar water.


Voodoo Buffalo Trace Black Magick, untappd ballers have srs opinions about barrel treatments

The black majick series remains one of my favorite staples of the stout world. Some may remember that I liked but didn’t love the rye iteration and fanbois from the PAjotenland stretched out their nutsacks like silly putty in discord. Fear not, this one came back on the scene pounding hard. The thing that Voodoo, and in a similar vein, Fremont, do so well is capture the essence of the barrel without hitting that back cervix wall of oversaturation. I imagine its eschewing the North Carolina trend of using a single cask and a fiscal quarter of aging time that prevents that phoned in profile we are often subject to. The adhesion on this beer is immense and it feels like it has young and old casks back blended in to preserve this batter sweetness, while still presenting a Diageo dusty barrel profile. If you have ever had some old ND bourbons there’s that weird stale meets butterscotch that is tasty. It’s like finding a rolo in the pocket of some jeans that have been through the wash.  

The saccharine elements never dominate and there’s a lively macaroon presence underpinning the gurgling petroleum crude underneath. A bit of me feels unfair to always hold these against the Pappy iteration, as that is a top 5 stout of all time for me. It’s like waiting for dad to come home only to have someone explain later what an “outstanding warrant” is. Cue the baseball glove pounding, curbside sitting. “Buffalo Trace” always mystifies me in barrel sourcing because, a part of me wonders if this means anything in the BTAC ambit, regular ass BT, or wut. Regardless, this has a massive stave pumping saturation and the oak shines magnificently through a toasty roasty base. I enjoy this much more than the original Buffalo Trace offering, not like any of the new money currency dipshits tried that any way. Very polished and a testament to upward trajectory that this brewery has set for its barrel program that already abuts the ceiling, figuratively and literally.


Tenacious Wee, malty cock push-ups and barrel rock squats 

had to wade through endless complaints from blunt palate dipshits about this beer. If you’ve been into the beer trading game for less than 18 months, you’re gonna want bakery aisle shit dumped into the secondary, and you absolutely do not want any style that is not a stout. It never fails. Guys who have little to no experience with Scotch Ales/Wee Heavies/Quads suddenly polish up their Certified Beer Server lapel pins with lofty opinions. I loved the last version of this, so let’s get a few things straight. This is going to be thinner than a massive barleywine, not every barleywine has to have a robitussin b2 deal with the devil viscosity to be “good” and there are no fucking green apples in this. GREEN APPLES. There are two buzzwords Untappd fleshlight riders love to quote: DIACETYL and PHENOLIC. This is not diacetyl. This is not needlessly phenolic. It is tightly tuned like a Shinola and presents a taut malts base that has the roasty throbbing baked bread meets english malt toastiness. The core is engaged throughout. 

The barrel is almost overpowering for such a delicate base, but it never gets fusel or loses its footing. There’s a creme brulee and pretzel roll soaked in rum. The real danger is how potent this is relative to how accessible it is. It’s like how they should charge way more money for the SS Camaro because people are going to kill themselves. People will wrap themselves around a Wee Heavy telephone pole with this one. In all reality, most of these bottles will be split 9 ways in between pours of other obnoxious Jelly Belly ticks, so the ratings wont reflect the attendant power of a graceful Wee that sweeps the leg. This beer exhibits massive barrel, high above the mucky muck, castle made of clouds.

As a whole, this beer is very good and excels the exceptional BA Wee Heavy offerings from Alesmith. The body isn’t resonant enough to sheet hard, so your swallows are larger, vascularity increases. I drank this while playing Horizon Zero Dawn and by the time I finished this, a game based on stealth and bowskills was unplayable. The “Totinos Pizza Roll Probability Index” approaches almost absolute certainty.