We took the new Hashbox munchies from Jack in the Box and did a Hashizontal with beers from Ale Apothecary and Skookum. The result was a mixed ferm we never intended.
We took the new Hashbox munchies from Jack in the Box and did a Hashizontal with beers from Ale Apothecary and Skookum. The result was a mixed ferm we never intended.
In a beer scene increasingly dominated by monoculture acid bombs, trubtastic slurrycans, and flabby batterwater, many iconic beers have fallen by the wayside. New palates have neither the time nor attention span for these outdated beers from the past. These beers represent the educational arc that many beer enthusiasts would imbibe on their way to honing their palate. We now exist in an instaRone paradigm, where learning is passe and not knowing is vulnerability. Now the beer journey begins and ends with a 16% double barrel pastry stout and new beer palates don a jaunty expert cap and instantly dislocate their rotator cuff patting themselves on the back.
As a result, these are the top 10 beers that New Money palates will never drink:
Brassiere D’Orval – Orval
Good luck trying to get someone from the 2017 BJCP class to open one of these. A Belgian beer that isn’t lambic hypewater? That will nerf your IG engagement. Once you tell them it is also a pale ale, watch their Supreme bucket hat sink lower as they try to reconcile why they would drink this classic, genre-defining beer, let alone age one.
Hair of the Dog – Adam
A hoppy old ale that isn’t even barrel aged? “So it’s like, J Wakefield Wilderness in Paradise? Where that fruit at tho?” They will inquire. This classic beer from the 90’s is akin to dusting off a Zip Disk and explaining that “AT THE TIME 100mb was quite a lot!” The layers flavors of tobacco and caramel are an old sage pressing a Zune into their palm and attempting to explain a pre-Wakefield existence.
Brouwerij van Steenberge – Gulden draak
If you thought getting someone who listens to Lil Xan to drink a BPA was hard, wait until you foist a Belgian Dark Triple on their unwilling palates. The nuance of a boozy ester-driven beer will confuse and disorient someone if LANGST was the closest thing they have enjoyed. Fold your arms and watch them start playing Fortnite on Switch as you try to explain how the beer is refermented with Bordeaux wine yeast. It’s too late, they’re recording a Music.ly lip synching Charlie Puth while chugging some Other Half cans. You’ve lost them.
Alesmith – Old Numbskull
A hoppy barleywine: your task is futile from the beginning. Modern palates want a 12 plato finishing “barleywine” that drinks like a caramel frap stout. It better be pitch black and taste like liquid turbinado sugar. Worse still, you’ll be subject to the tired refrain of “AGED IPAS ARE BARLEYWINES LOLOL TROOF #MOOD” as the new money ticker cackles in his Yeezy Boosts having employed a timeworn bit of levity passed down to him on high.
Fantome – Saison
A neophyte beer nerd will wince at Fantome saison and wonder what went so wrong because the pH isn’t even below 3.0. You will have to turn off CrunchyRoll and try to explain how esters are important and why the bottle is green. It’s too late, they don’t want to hear about the Ghost, they have already logged into Discord.
De Dolle – Oerbier
“This is a strong dark ale? It’s only 9.5%” they will scoff in their Diamond Supply Co. hoodie and dump the 2oz pour from a filthy taster glass. This beer that shaped so many intersubjective notions about aged beer and nuanced “high gravity” ales will not be compelling to anyone who grew up watching Ed Edd and Eddie. They will expertly describe this as an IMPERIAL RED on Untappd and drop a hot 120 character review before firing up Soundcloud and cracking some Hoof Hearted cans.
Great Lakes Brewing Company – Edmund Fitzgerald
One look at a “porter” and that paper thin abv and you already lost the modern consumer. What is even the point when porters are supposed to be at least 12%+ abv and component barrel aged. A nuevo dinero palate will likely correct you and note that this beer is actually a black IPA, another style they do not drink. The final nail will be the realization that this is sold in six packs, the death knell for any neo-cicerone hype beast who thrives on loss. “Mults drive secondary down bc then ppl have more products to flip, the 1pp stay on that stable gain”
BFM – Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien
First, attempt to explain what a Biere de Garde is. Second, watch them recoil when you explain that $22.00 used to be an “expensive” beer. Finally, break down that this is a beer for aging and they will respond by noting that razzle slot values drop over time. It will be a complete waste of your time to engage someone with a “sour” beer that doesn’t fully recede the gumline and compel twitching along the orbital socket.
Bassiere Du Di Ciel – Peche Mortel
The countenance of that jejune face will slide when the instaRone realizes that this coffee stout is not even barrel aged. NO KOPI LUWAK? NO GEISHA? He will protest as though he knows something about underlying coffee roasts. Watch this sad communications major drop to the knees of his Rag and Bone joggers when he sees this beer is only 9.5% abv, a session stout, a waste of Tumblr space.
Russian River Brewing Company – Consecration
At first when you mention “barrel aged sour” a new money floccboi will be all on board, pulling hard on that dual coil vape talking about these sick kettle sour berliners with unfermented fruit puree that his boy Trevin bought that blew up in his Scion TC. Then when you note that this hits shelves, the sadness will sink in. What’s even the point if other beta casuals have tasted it? You’ll likely be met with a rejoinder of “Honestly, I don’t fuck with Dark Sours ever since Pulling Nails 6 brah.” Any attempts at explaining the currant and pedio interplay will be drowned out by tattered Beats by Dre headphones pumping an Alesso playlist.
The upshot of the dystopian reality of dudes getting chondromalacia waiting for DDH trubcans is: things can steadily improve, breweries will continue to craft nuanced, amazing beers that none of this segment will ever drink. I for one welcome our new Razzle overlords.
The Virginia contingency has enjoyed the relative calm provided by Brothers and Hardywood. Neither one of them dumped a barrel of type O negative into the water for the mulesharks to swarm over and, like Washington, Virginia seems to be silently drinking their own supply and enjoying some furtive world class beers. AND THEN COCONUT RESOLUTE CAME OUT. AND THEN THE MIDWEST/FLORIDA CONCH SHELL WAS BLOWN.
The second you dump secondary ingredients into a stout, thereby guaranteeing flavor confirmation, all shit breaks loose on the boards. So let’s take four of these recent wave makers and and whip up some global comparisons. FOUR VIRGINIA STOUTS RANKED IN ORDER OF DANKNESS:
NUMBER FOUR: Apple Brandy Resolute
Right out of the gates I was stoked for this one, a solid base stout, a SOCIETY ONLY BOTTLE, and the legendary apple brandy barrels that turn everything into pure stout raffle currency. Sadly, this didn’t really knock me off my perch. At best I used my beak to hit the thin chocolate bell and look at myself in the brownie stained mirror.
We are making pet avian jokes now.
The real issue here was with the thinnnn mouthfeel. It has a substantial abv and you’d except some residual malts to lay the foundation for those classy ass barrels to hoof it upon. Sadly the apple brandy could have been any treatment given the fact that much of the treatment came across as muted and a sort of Nestle cocoa powder instead of sticky sweet caramel whipped milkshake. This is by no means bad but, certainly nothing to straddle a hitachi over either.
3) Apple Brandy GBS
Ok let me address something before everyone starts lactating cinnamon out of their sand dollar nips: the serving vessel did not kill this for me, in fact this is actually very tasty. The real issue is that the two beers following this were FUCKING AWESOME so this by contrast was like Central Waters BB Stout, you nod approvingly, enjoy the repartee, but never really sit and mull it over. The frothy mouthfeel is great but there isn’t a substantial drag for the spices to cling to like static charged dryer sheets.
Yes, you read that right, I am complaining about the LACK of spice interplay in a stout. I am truly being a bitch about the cinnamon. It was subtle and arguably very deftly done because it never became distracting like that nightmarish churro tyrant: BA Abraxas. This was a nice gingersnap cookie dipped into some chocolate milk. You get the waft of holiday bliss but also a sort of sweet moon pie/residual lactose nicety that makes it very pleasant to drink. Everything I said in the foregoing conflicts with my usual stance on beers like this, so for them to overcome despite impossible odds, that’s some Bad News Bears type of stout. I am a fan.
NUMBER TWO: Kentucky Christmas Morning
Alright, shit is getting real now. This is the bourbon+coffee version of number three and holy fuck is this good. The underpinnings of this is essentially a mocha PSL frap. The frothy sweet milk stout coats with that massive Moloko milk bar panache. The cinnamon serves as a bump/set to the fantastic coffee spike. This is insanely drinkable and the long finish and clean body makes this never seem messy and it remains focused with every sip.
I thought for sure this would be a complete mess for any number of reasons but I think the real takeaway from Hardywood is: RESTRAINT. They execute things akin to Beachwood and Great Lakes, where the realization is that beers, like steaks, are almost always better underdone. This never becomes one note, nor are the additions forgettable sidecars tacked on for some “limited release” alms cup rattling. The best part of this beer is the carb/sweetness combo from the lactose. A really solid beer, toe to tip.
Last but not least, this complete suntan lotion masterpiece:
Coconut Resolute puts corona in the corner with a shot of fireball to think about the things that it has done. If the underlying theme of this writeup has been balance and grace, this exhibits all of the foregoing expertly. Unlike the already incredible Goose Island Prop 2013, this doesn’t elect to lean strictly upon its milky coconutty interior. This is first and foremost a stout that can rest on its own merits and the nose and swallow are some banging backup dancers that bring massive waves of Almond Joy goodness.
The end result is a beer that brings the macaroon, sure the Mounds are tumescent and dripping, but remains an identifiable stout at the bottom of all those toasted flakes. That is a remarkable achievement because it lends depth in a category replete with 13 person shares where some dumbfuck just wants to confirm “WORTH THE HYPE DEF TASTS LIKE COCONUT.” Obvious observation badge unlocked.
While this isn’t in the canon of say, top 10 stouts of ALL TIME, it can easily rival the best of the best for a low hanging slot. It is an exceptional treat that you would be remiss to not seek out.
MFW that coco.
Man as much as I like to craft the yukyuks and make wild generalizations about how California being a vassal state of proxy slaves and Florida being packed with Nascar loving waterhags, you can’t deny: Cycle consistently kills it in the stout game. Even “misses” like Nooner 10, are still pretty phenomenal. No amount of cajoling or needling will change the fact that Cycle is putting out some of the finest stoutjams around, and doing so with alarming regularity.
This “DBR” has a murky history and I have heard a variety of things about it. Someone told me it is a bourbon barrel aged MASSIVE Rare Dos, which I guess would make sense at 14.5% Abv. Yet another person told me this was a DOUBLE BARREL Rare Dos, in two types of RYE barrels. There was noted inconsistency.
At any rate, today we have another fine entry into the already staggering canon of Cycle’s dark ale game: Discount Burt Reynolds. With the specs on this and mystery surrounding it, I am shocked that it isn’t fetching far more at this point because this is a relatively accessible sleeper gem at this point that you need to try.
First and foremost: this is 1) world class 2) from Florida 3) a stout and 4) CONTAINS ZERO ADJUNCTS. I know that the punchlines attendant to this zone is as well worn as polished marble, but that’s pretty fucking noteworthy. This beer is this phenomenal with no gimmics/no riddles/talkin white squares with the stamps in the middle. Ironically, the beer with NO adjuncts tells you to drink it immediately. The biggest beer they have ever made…needs to be opened fresh. I am totally fine with that, but we will still see some entry level dumbfuck raffling one of these in 2022 claiming “STILL DRINKING JUST AS GOOD CHECK OUT MY OTHER RAFFLE FOR 2010 BCBVS!”
It pours viscous but lively with flawless carb, just clingy enough, but the stout lets you hang out with your buddies once in a while as well: that Aristotelian mean. The nose is so incredibly well done that it very well could contain any number of additions. I am not going to lean on the old Georgian punching bag “contains no coffee” but the blast of fresh espresso mixed with cake frosting, massive vanilla wafers and whoppers makes this a fantastic beer to behold at higher temps. I opened this at 55 degrees and was taken aback by the fusel nature, but the folds part with warmth like the sticky petals of a chrysanthemum bathed in spring sunlight.
The taste delivers on all of the olfactory dry humping. You get the boozy, oak forward character that almost comes across as dark chocolate dunked in Rittenhouse Rye. Sure it’s there, but it never is flabbby or hefty despite its considerable abv. This reminds me a lot of Pugachev 25 with a touch more emphasis on the Kit Kat notes instead of that pencil shaving ultra aged depth.
If you have Cycle fatigue from their multitude of releases, palates, nooners, hazelnuts, ampersands and whateverthefuck: DONT SKIP THIS ONE. If you loved the boozy original BA Plead the Fifth, this is right in your tight 15% fuselhole. AND THAT FUSELHOLE IS HOT AND WAFTY.
Welp this morning has been fraught with controversy for the St. Louis contingency. From the recent peachy pitted Smooth release came typical secondary market dramatics and theatrics that seem to inevitably accompany nearly every SP release. So to get our minds off of who is a razzler and what facebook groups are full of cockfingerers (all of them), let’s instead look back on one of those coldstone creamery bombs that got us to where we are today: DERIVATION SECOND BLEND: the revenge: reloaded: eternal: with a vanilla VENGEANCE.
So it’s an ultra coveted stout with vanilla beans? So the fuck what, what else is new? WELP let’s allow those Side Projectionists to flesh this one out:
“Derivation is our series of Barrel-Aged Imperial Stouts in which we brew several recipes, age them in a variety of barrels and blend them before bottling to add depth and structure to this massive style of beer.
50% Wheated Imperial Stout aged in a Weller Antique Wheated Bourbon Barrel with Ugandan Vanilla Beans
50% Wheated Imperial Stout aged in a Weller Reserve Wheated Bourbon Barrel with Ugandan Vanilla Beans”
A few cases have been sold at Side Project occasionally as an “onsite only” bottle for like $75 (?) and I think something like 100 of these were sold at the old Wine and Cheese whale factory. That’s it, so basically cable car pumped with Bane serum.
The pour looks viscous and pushes the limits of what I will tolerate for that 02-40w synthetic look. Aside from perhaps Double Barrel Huna and Bourbon Vanilla Dark Lord, I cant recall a beer that has a pour this thick and menacing. It is sheets of raw obsidian, as dark as the hearts of Mumford and Sons, except I actually like this beer. AND I HATE VOLCANIC OBSIDIAN.
The nose is absolutely outrageous in the Platonic form: a cause of outrage. This is largely due to the inaccessibility of this beer and the refined riff on the tired vanilla cone brownie sesh. This isn’t Yankee Candle, or Pilsburry frosting, or a one dimensional Glade plug in, this is a nose that lingers and unpacks itself in layers. The wheated whiskey barrels add a level of heat, butterscotch, caramel ribbon, prailines, and other Froyo toppings that is almost unmatched. The vanilla certainly is center stage, but is more akin to an ensemble cast. All work in tandem for greatness, like the 96 Bulls, there’s more than Vanilla Jordan OKAY.
Oddly the taste isn’t quite as bean pod spreading as I expected and it honestly reminds me more of Assassin given the complexity of the barrel. Antecedent to the waffle cone is brownie, fudge batter, tollhouse chips, marzapan and like…rice krispy treats? This sounds far sweeter than it is and the underlying fusel body tempers the experience from becoming some Willy Wonka gangbang.
So should this command double to triple the value that Fundamental Observation or Vanilla Rye does? It really comes down to preference at a certain point. Should you pay more to stunt on people with a world class ZONDA when you can buy a more “reasonable” Aventador? I mean…I guess? I am not here to tell you how to flick your bean, you can hit backstagecastingcouch for that. This is undoubtedly the top of its class and minor preferences set it apart from the best in the world.
Who really wants to be a part of that crew? come on.
I wouldn’t look at the blind BA vanilla tasting and snub this beer for “only” getting 4th out of 19, look at what it had to go up against and look how close the metrics were in the results. I cant really address my full “audience” with reviews like these, so for the joel66ers of the world or people who have those giantslayer 9 person Philly tasting groups who go in on bottles like this, absolutely lock this down before it fades like DISAPPOINTING ASS 2010 BCBVS. GET IT TOGETHER OLD MAN.
TFW wen u don win den has 2x(sads)
Well as 2014 creaked to a close, the final bottle from the SARA Cellar program was the caress of death. This was the swan song and a single bottle was issued to 2014 members before all these 2015 SARA cellar gentrifiers come in pushing up property values, ruining the rich cultural heritage of the invite only society, driving out the original residents. Let’s see how this tart DARK farmhouse performs, whether you can slam this at a Bauhaus concert or if you should save it for the next Joy Division show.
Capitulation, Santa Cruz, CA
Black Barrel aged Saison, 5.6% abv
That commercial rubdown:
Everything ends. This simple fact reminds us to make the most of the things, to breath deeply, to chase inspiration, to live and love with abandon. With this in mind, we offer you the final installment of SARA’s Cellar 2014. Always in Death. A tart, barrel-aged, dark farmhouse ale, this single barrel selection stood out from the rest, and is now yours to memorialize in solitude or with friends. Everything ends, always, in death.
Put on The Spill Canvas, pour a glass of Grenache and sink into deep contemplation with your Sartre tome, WE ARE DISCUSSING DEATH.
A: Well true to form, this is a dark dark farmhouse that leaves you looking circumspectly at the jet black inky depths, that foam challenging you to a slap boxing fight in the old barn. I usually don’t enjoy this style or really any sours predicated entiretly on a porter base, but this is admittedly a pretty beer due to the bone dry lack of sheeting or residual sugars. This is like Natalie Portman in Black Swan, you come for the white swan, you stay to see her get stabbed.
S: The nose on this is phenomenal and reminds me of a baller version of Tart of Darkness, with a turbo charger and cat back exhaust. You get merlot and currant, tart cherry, craisins, oak and light cocoa. The closer is a sort of red wine Dr. Pepper aspect that again, feels agile and doesn’t leave its dark husks and tannins laying all around the living room its like HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU ABOUT THIS.
T: The taste sheds the Tart of Darkness robe and the ebony form glistens beautifully across the palate. You get the malbec and blackberry, tartness, a faint cheesiness, and a lingering intensely dry closer. I can confidently add this to a list of two other dark farmhouses REALLY worthy of your attention, next to Civil Disobedience 4 and Guillermo Prunus. Yes CD8, Shadows of their Eyes, and Edith are intentionally left off of that list. Dark saisons usually dont do it for me, but this exhibits the red grape and hay profile in such an elegant way, its worth your attention even though you might not give a shit about the style.
M: This is dry and presents a bouquet of tart floral goodness, its this odd melange of dry bakers chocolate a flanders red and a straight up saison. At warmer temps it feels a bit acetic but never enters a realm that someone would really complain about, I am just that prick who watches Whiplash and complains that the syncopation isnt timed with the frames of the drums. Nitpicking garbage because shit, otherwise why even read this.
D: This is this and you can easily crush the entire 750 without getting dry rot. It never becomes cloying or warrants splitting a million ways. Thankfully this doesn’t have any stonefruit in it, so dipshits on the trade boards will continue punching one another in the dick over the same tired lacto blonde ales and leave this well alone.
Man this single IPA has been ruining my life for upwards of three years. I remember this popped hot on the scene with twin desert eagles drawn back in 2012 just popping .50 shells into the trade boards, fucking with trade values like JadaKiss and D block. So after 2 and a half years I finally landed a growler of this elusive draft only quacker. Let’s see if other breweries have caught up with this world class peep in the intervening years.
New England Brewing Company
Single IPA, not doubles, no trips, 6.2% abv
A: This might have been revolutionary back when people were getting their BJ’s certified in 2012 and having a turbid IPA would DQ you like a blizzard. These days this is pretty legit and tame by modern standards since tired hands and Horny Trooplers make some of the slurriest yeasties this side of the game. It has substantial carb and it is quick to put two nines on your back like Wayne Gretzky.
S: This is an explosion of tropical scents, Donald Duck orange juice, tangerine rind, dry lingering citra aspects like a more ballerer Zombie Dust that doesn’t fade days after packaging. Really impressive and reminds me of a less Nelsony Pupil/Nelson. YAMEEN.
T: This follows the citrus profile in a substantial way, oily and sticky hops create a melange of grapefruit and pineapple that pulls the E brake and J turns into a resin alley. The finish has nothing akin to the opener, like that movie Inherent Vice. It closes with this aserose and pine, a resonant conifer on the swallow. WHERE DID THIS DOUGLAS FIR COME FROM.
M: I get surprisingly little duck on the mouthfeel, I wonder if they just dry hopped with infant ducks or if it was supposed to be in the boil. I can imagine the production costs would go through the roof, defending this against PETA, tossing live freshly hatched chicks directly into 150 degree sparge water. The mouthfeel closes dry thanks to the residual tufts of feathers and poached bills and tiny duck feet. It is exceedingly dry and oily, as is to be expected with a carnivorous IPA.
D: All duck jokes aside, this shit is so so so crushable. I drank this entire growler when I wrote that 1200 word 18th street sophmore saison review and got all manner of faded. I told my NEBCO hookup that a 32 ounce would be sufficient and just like getting pegged: BOY WAS I FUCKING WRONG. You could crush this all day while whipping up baking soda on a Foreman Grill. Someone needs to explain to me why they still bother canning that horrendous Sea Hag when this exists? Take all the money from G-BOT, cancel it, divert all funds into making nothing but this beer. No satire here, I am serious this is top tier, area dominating IPA without competition in the segment, unless Vermont starts flexing hard in the yard. This trades for absurd shit, not unlike Citra, and it is well worth it. I give this 9 out of 10 duck eggs.