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Jester King Gin Barrel Nocturn Chrysalis is a Stellar Accomplishment

It’s never enough

American wild ales are justifiably maligned as they currently stand. They are too god damn sour and even places that start out elegant push morphology to its limits and end up with absolute piss vinegar cultures after a few propagations.


Like Daisy’s dock, there are still a few incredible examples of hope pushing my boat towards that lead me to utter those binary, coronating words: I finished the entire bottle. With most AWAs you can’t get close to drilling a full bottle. The GERD and dyspeptic reflux hits and the gelid sting of retracting gumlines sets in well before you go back for seconds. Just blame the fruit, then release a double fruited version.

Jester King enjoys this calm hill country repose. The brim of a tattered trucker hat surveys an entire amusement park of Texas devilry and bemusement, goats and rock climbing walls and bachelorette parties and triple wide strollers, lifted Tundras, insufferable techie transplants regaling onlookers with tales of how much square footage they NOW enjoy and well once they got the renters out, I BOUGHT IT AND MOVED TO AUSTIN RIGHT AWAY. So there’s this bat bridge-

But god damn it, this beer is magnificent. I used to rail against regular Nocturn because it was slightly too puckering. This blast of cool mint and jasmine in the gin barrels polishes these berries like some gorgeous garnet stone. Six pounds per gallon is so absurd, but the JK cultures ferment to BELOW 1.00 so it never feels flabby or acetoney . They made 600 bottles of this and I shook my head when I saw it in a massive 750ml bottle for $40. Then I crushed the entire thing instantly.

I swear this is a typo but this was…11 bottles per person? Maybe they just knew how refreshing these sour patch kids mixed with raspberry mojito would be, it’s a spa day and preserves are pressed against your supple skin. Finish is Barrolo and rose petal with currant and English-comedy dry and lingers like your unemployed friend who starts her day at 3:30 p.m.

I used to prefer Grim Harvest and this blows that out of the water, a style defining accomplishment in a field I was losing faith in. Run over these Texas berries with your Bronco Raptor, Texas daddy.

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Coppercraft 9 Year Single Barrel is a completely unexpected 9 year MGP stunner

That bottle can bludgeon someone

Normal Coppercraft is fairly trifling, NAS, forgettable huskwater. It’s fifty bucks and they take 4 year astringent corn solvent and add a teaspoon of 11 year bourbon, the classic Little Book 4 strategy. It’s not good and you can completely ignore it.

When I heard about the single barrel cask strength I was like oh good an even more powerful worse version that costs twice as much, sign me up, stomp on my stave.

I was completely wrong, this bottle goes off like a middle aged man when you add automatic gratuity to a table of 5. It’s MGP, but it’s not stepped on, 110 proof, and 9 years for $80.00.

There are 9 year picks that are far worse that cost more. Widow Jane is complete dogshit at this level and not remotely as good. Tiktok has been accused of “heating” and manually boosting mediocre content, well this is the opposite of that, taking things you thought were janky and are actually good.

The bottle for no reason at all weighs as much as a telecaster. You have to actively push to knock it over so don’t use it as a decanter in that Junior High stage play filled with iced tea. Branding is stock and as wince inducing as the “laugh” in Final Fantasy X. But the content itself is good and no one believes you. Like Chrono Cross.

This has so much Bit O Honey and round woodwind tones to the nose. You get Teddy Grahams and wafflecone with a touch of coriander. The taste has such a robust and loving embrace of honey biscuit, feeling on those sculpted warm black pepper and raspberry lats, the most neglected of muscle groups. There’s a reckless intensity to it like people who are legitimately mad about Splash Mountain closing, but you feel safe.

The swallow is a bit short but intense, crack of Dr. Pepper and latticed crust. It should cost more than this but who is actively seeking out some mid tier Michigan bourbon? The same type of person who thinks the interior of a Pagani is nice and fancy. It panders to ignorance but this time pounded out on every distilled cylinder.

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Revolution Brewing Double Barrel VSOJ Bears the Burden of Its Own Legacy

Smoke em

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.

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3 Sheeps Brewing Triple Header: The Old Wisconsin Goldilocks

No cheese added

3 Sheeps Brewing Company released Deeply Rooted, and it is not good. They also released Triple Barrel Wolf, which is absolutely amazing. The old Wisconsin compromise.

The biggest issue with Deeply Rooted is the adjuncts: orange peels and Ecuadorian vanilla. I know beer nerds with 3 roommates suddenly become experts on geographic bean sourcing. But like that surfboard in your Milwaukee studio apartment: you truly don’t need it. This is a case of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

3 Sheeps is clearly gifted in barrel aging and this grand marnier wafflecone derails all of that. The underlying beer is likely very good and then they hit up the taste equivalent of Auto Zone and just ruin this stock barleywine. The result is pithy zest vents on the sides, sticky marshmallow seat covers, tacky pastry spinner hubcaps that entirely distract. Barleywine as a style almost never needs additives and it is almost never improved by them.

When I see adjuncts on a barleywine label it’s like seeing “SEE CASHIER” on a gas pump, I am straight up leaving.

Imagine my surprise when the triple barrel wolf enters the picture and picked me up lovingly by the nape of my neck and made me a part of the “you’re getting nothing done tomorrow” pack. This beer is so tightly balanced, excessive but with traction control. Sometimes, multiple casking feels like the Reply Guy of the beer world like, damn ok you want our attention fine you have it.

This doesn’t need to bank on its multichambered experience. It leans into this “Wisconsin Svelte” execution you see from Central Waters. At first it feels insubstantial, but then you realist how much macaroon, lava cake, Jordan almonds, and Monkey bread is occurring. It is a kick to the obliques how many waves of cask massaging are occurring here. I love that disbelief moment where you taste this and then re-read the label like some idiot who threw the package away and there’s more microwaving instructions.


It is extremely spicy, hot, warming, molten ganache in your chest, chocolate rejection to the Sadie Hawkins dance. I don’t know how this same brewery made both of these beers but I want to shear this sheep again.

Canopy is fine.

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3 Sheeps Brewing Triple Header: The Old Wisconsin Goldilocks

No cheese added

3 Sheeps Brewing Company released Deeply Rooted, and it is not good. They also released Triple Barrel Wolf, which is absolutely amazing. The old Wisconsin compromise.

The biggest issue with Deeply Rooted is the adjuncts: orange peels and Ecuadorian vanilla. I know beer nerds with 3 roommates suddenly become experts on geographic bean sourcing. But like that surfboard in your Milwaukee studio apartment: you truly don’t need it. This is a case of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

3 Sheeps is clearly gifted in barrel aging and this grand marnier wafflecone derails all of that. The underlying beer is likely very good and then they hit up the taste equivalent of Auto Zone and just ruin this stock barleywine. The result is pithy zest vents on the sides, sticky marshmallow seat covers, tacky pastry spinner hubcaps that entirely distract. Barleywine as a style almost never needs additives and it is almost never improved by them.

When I see adjuncts on a barleywine label it’s like seeing “SEE CASHIER” on a gas pump, I am straight up leaving.

Imagine my surprise when the triple barrel wolf enters the picture and picked me up lovingly by the nape of my neck and made me a part of the “you’re getting nothing done tomorrow” pack. This beer is so tightly balanced, excessive but with traction control. Sometimes, multiple casking feels like the Reply Guy of the beer world like, damn ok you want our attention fine you have it.

This doesn’t need to bank on its multichambered experience. It leans into this “Wisconsin Svelte” execution you see from Central Waters. At first it feels insubstantial, but then you realist how much macaroon, lava cake, Jordan almonds, and Monkey bread is occurring. It is a kick to the obliques how many waves of cask massaging are occurring here. I love that disbelief moment where you taste this and then re-read the label like some idiot who threw the package away and there’s more microwaving instructions.


It is extremely spicy, hot, warming, molten ganache in your chest, chocolate rejection to the Sadie Hawkins dance. I don’t know how this same brewery made both of these beers but I want to shear this sheep again.

Canopy is fine.

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Rogue Brewing Goes From Dead Guy Ale to…Dead Guy IPA

Rip in peace

I will give you a moment to pick yourself up after falling out of that time machine to dust the pacman yeast off of your JNCO jeans. What a god damn ancient oddity we have here. Rogue’s flagship beer for 3 decades, a Maibock, now pivots to…a west coast IPA.

We can dunk on Rogue donut beers, or wince-inducing Sriracha Stout, but there’s something enduing about picking an obscure style as your flagship beer and sticking to it for 30 years. The IPA oddly merges the old caramel backbone days of the Bush administration with the dystopian Citra, Mosaic, and Belma present. Scooby Doo rhizome tones.

I do love their refusal to bow to customer demands. Having a Maibock as a flagship beer is amazing and that’s why I enjoy the OG Dead Guy Ale. $14 a six pack, old school west coast IPA in the modern era is bold in a world of RTD cocktail domination. This has that resinous aserose aspect, tangelo pith, Duraflame log and Green Polo cologne thing, with a sweetness underlying to add balance.

This pivot is fascinating and I love this Glass Onion disruption. Give us more Dead Guy styles from the crypt. Zombie Roggenbiers in 2023. This beer rolls over and asks “SO WHAT ARE WE?”

It’s for people just getting along in their day who have a bit of mental bandwidth to seek out a moment of peace. It’s not their entire life. It’s a danky cord of firewood and Tom Selleck in Blue Bloods. I like how Rogue is zfg, doesn’t date its beers, doesn’t price them to try to undercut anyone else and still sells insane volume. They sent me a single can in a tiny coffin filled with dirt. Insane decadence.

The smell is a Dead Guy callback, little earthy meet pepper flakes hop presence, taste leads with a McDonalds biscuit meets McGriddle grist, middle body is stripped like its watching its macros, grapefruit pith, the hop presence feels more spice/pine driven to allow the malty midswallow to shine.

It’s for people who say “im entering my villain era” and then just play Draft Kings and order Wingstop. Don’t think, it’s just thin crisp malt and warming hops. It’s the FF9 Tropical armor that lowers your stats, but you still seek it out.

Happy Dead Guy Day, Manny Calavera.

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White Bay Beer Co Sequoia Country has Australia Showing America How West Coast IPAs Should Be.

Sequins country brand stout

CAFE standards are a mandate Congress puts on automakers to ensure their entire fleet has better fuel economy. This has had some unintended consequences.

Breweries used to be praised for efficiency, but rewarding additives and residual sugar has led to larger beers. The wheelbase continues to expand. In 2016 the CAFÉ standards were amended to make the MPG goals based on its size. The styles could be redefined to hit their goals.

The once refreshing west coast IPA saw its curb weight increase. A once special, yearly indulgent TIPA now became de rigeur, expected even. Across a brewery’s fleet, it was no longer the abv that was the focus because efficiency was predicated upon the size of the beers themselves.

If you walk onto a dealership floor or a bottleshop and wonder why everything seems bigger, the goalposts have shifted. The normal west coast IPA now must be loaded down with oats, or increasingly absurd levels of tetra dry hopping. The Ranger is now bigger than the hoppy F150 of years past.

Sequoia County is a big west coast IPA that is exceptional. It is also Australian so this would be a “Perth style” ipa in their language and Holden’s are larger than ever. It is made by the guy who left Oscar Blues and this hit my doorstep like a transcontinental alpha acid rocket just dripping in dingo runnings. It is resinous in that delicious, coniferous, zested tangelo way. The body is just enough crystal to not feels like a wiped out cold IPA, a pop of sweetness to structure the raked foliage and Haribo peach ring.

It does all of this without making “big” its intention. The dryness and bitterness is certainly large but it isn’t a function of catering to market inefficiencies.

Automakers now crave hitting 6000lbs because then it’s an industrial vehicle and you can write it off entirely under Section 179. It’s why your friends completely unsuccessful Ju Jitsu studio somehow needs a G Wagon, and Shaelynn’s candle business has a 4Runner. The modern palate is a writeoff that brewers seek out.

This is classic and an amazing IPA, no tax tricks or MPG games necessary. As big as it needs to be and nothing more.

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Toppling Goliath Double Barrel Rye Assassin: Perhaps the best stout of 2022

I don’t know nobody in Yonkers

You can watch the burn rate of hypestout factories as they go through the expected casking motions. A new brewery will have heavily adjuncted pie filling on draft until that first year clears. Then they can stammer and drop that first barrel aged offering.

The moves thereafter are as predictable as Capricorn malevolence. Next vanilla, and then some fruited version, then a litany of adjuncts that mirrors some dessert, finally the double and triple casking. Classic. Go take a Bourbon County core sample if you need to see how the stout sediment is layered.

Toppling Goliath just moved on from the paleolithic vanilla/bramble/tequila era and now the stouts walk on dry and and use tools in the form of double casked rye. This is Rye to Rye. It seems a bit Ryedundant. However, there is a change in the intensity and saturation unlike the bullshit bourbon world that does multiple casking to make up for the fact that their distillate is dogshit and age statements are pre-K at best.

This was the last beer that I drank in 2022 and it is easily one of the best. I don’t want to tip my hat to the shitlords who went to a NYE dinner just to pad their pockets with these resales. But it’s incredibly good. The 4.9 on Untappd might as well be carnival barker for the Duck Race Razzlers trying to pull six bills still. But it’s insanely tasty.

The bottle is raffle only and $100 so it has to be good. I don’t mean that like in a pleading way, it HAS to be. Assassin has one of the best consistencies and mouthfeel out of any barrel aged stout, it is focused, flawless roast and tollhouse chips. The rye imparts a gingerbread, caramel pecan sandie meets old fashioned heel strike.

The barrel is crushing like Donkey Kong. You have to love that saturated intensity of York peppermint patties, fondant, chocolate turtle cake, and See’s filling. You also have to love the holidays because you get mouth pounded with waves of cinnamon, nutmeg, a zucchini bread aspect and Panettone.

You can get kinda close with something like Firestone Walker Dreamwood but, this is exceptional, unique and immaculately executed. It’s grating that they keep delivering at this level.

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608 Brewing Double Header: Dunkel vs Wheatwine

Pumps and a dunk

Wisconsin gang rise up 🐄 🧀 @608brewing made some solid ba stouts, but like someone who just bought an ACR bushmaster, we always want to test that range.

The dunkel is better than the wheatwine and that pains me to say. It’s exactly what I have been craving on these drippy socal days. The carb is frothy and whips lovingly like a reluctant Fiver dominatrix. You get a smack of toasted pumpernickel, light bitterness, playful clove esters, and a biscuity Gardettos chip swallow. You can sit with pinnochio and watch him praise dunkels and that nose stays the same size.

The ba wheatwine isn’t as sweet or honey driven as the style often provides. There’s an ultra saturated cask profile that dominates like a sazerac meets pretzel croissant aspect.

The two compliment one another like how only one person in a relationship can be the online one. The other has to have like zero social media presence it’s the rules. The clean restrained dunkel keeps the excessive wheatwine in line. Crisp lager balances the sticky spirit soaked pathology of that wheat. Parents who send their toddler to day care can launder their feelings of guilt by calling it “school” or you can sit at home with that .08 BAC Wisconsin parenting. Your Milwaukee mileage may vary.

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Parker’s Heritage Collection 16 is the Best Bourbon of 2022

Chill filter your tits I didn’t review the neck pour

Parker’s Heritage Collection: the Shasta Heaven Hill BTAC that is a cask roulette every year. This year we have a “DOUBLE BARRELED” blend that is sitting at a tasteful $650 secondary. But how do them casks stack up?

PHC15 was my whiskey of the year last year and let me just get this out of the way: PHC16 is even better. It is a celebration of form and oak. If you know that stupid dipshit who consistently just gurgles “ERR JUST DRINK ELIJAH CRAIG BARREL PROOF, MY STEPKIDS DON’T TALK TO ME-” finally you can stuff this stave in their sour mash hole.

At the outset, a double barreled bourbon sounds like total marketing bullshit. Secondary casks exists almost exclusively to make up for age statements and a lack of complexity. Your friend who loves Angel’s Envy and all those tired Jefferson’s expressions can be safely ignored in all matters.

This is different. You get a 13 year old cask and a 15 year old cask mated, and one of the barrels basically has leather seats, literally. The level 3 char is almost a nod to PHC15 heavy char but you only get Level 3 char, which is barely enough to scorch my kindling.

Look at the dehydrated rehab house piss tones on this one. It is Death Valley sun tea. The nose is such a blast of gingerbread, top grain leather, lacquer, nutmeg and Pecan sandies. Taste is warm, bananas fosters, long dry cloves and lattice crust, with a tempered 130 proof exhale that makes you immediately lose credibility in domestic arguments.

Roko’s Basilisk is this idea that AI can get so advanced that it logs evidence of who didn’t support AI and punish them later. This is bourbon dipshits. You have to buy everything in the event that you speak ill of some cornwater that is coveted later. I covet this eggplant ok, don’t punish me cobdaddy.

I love how this shows its age, depth, a creamy warmth like fustian fabrics, but still stays in the pocket and doesn’t go all LS SWAP status like Bookers and Stagg variants. It’s the elegant power of a woman fencing with an oak epee.

This is the pinnacle of bourbon in 2022 you must try this one.