1

2004 Zima XXX Fruit Punch, The Definitive American Kriek

Well look at what we have here, an immaculately cellared malt beverage from the mid 2000’s, that formidable period from before you shaved your pubes. I actually actively sought this out because it is historically relevant for the oft-over looked malt liquor genre. In the late 1990’s Zima was marketed initially as an “unbeer” for that HUGE segment of young men who can’t handle the aggressive profile of adjunct lagers. They later tried marketing it to women sexist manner until finally it seemed that the old HMS Zima had taken on too much water.

This was their incredible solution. They made ZIMA XXX, the hard as fucking nails version with a SKY HIGH 5.9% abv for those edgy motherfuckers who read HP Lovecraft and carry switchblade combs. Initially this was Black Cherry flavor but they did a limited run of this, the hardest variant to find, HARD PUNCH. Ultimately the brand died out shortly thereafter and this is both a precursor to the malted beverages pushed upon the XX chromosomal order. Without these trailblazing alcoholic sodas, those 13 year old kids may have not discovered their alcoholism until undergrad. Dentists and AA counselors alike salute this beer for its contributions to the “pre-consumer” market. That’s what macros like to call baby palates who can’t buy alcohol yet, but still want to fingerbang.

Let’s get to it and figure out how hard this punch is. I hope it is throbbing hard.

God if ever there were a time to dust off a "robeyy tonezzz" reference, it is now.

God if ever there were a time to dust off a “robeyy tonezzz” reference, it is now.

Zima XXX
Malt Beverage, 5.9% abv
MADE WITH NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS

A: Say what you will about this ridiculous vessel of afterbirth, but god damn is it beautiful. The carbonation still held up after a decade and cascades magenta and bright pink foam crackling against the edges like pop rocks. It almost immediately subsides and, apparently gallons or red 5 and jolly ranchers inhibit lacing. You learn something new every day. Like the Lisa Frank binders owned by the people this is marketed to, this has a fuschia radiance that honestly looks like Cable Car Kriek in a big way. Imagine the refill trolling opportunities. JUST IMAGINE THEM.

Pop open a Zima and pray that you can beat Giygas.  Get 6th grade wasted.

Pop open a Zima and pray that you can beat Giygas. Get 6th grade wasted.

S: You know those candy stores in the mall where all the pedophiles hang out? The ones where you take a plastic sack and fill up on a $18 of candy you would never buy separately, like GUMMY GUITARS and sea salt mexican taffy? Well this smells like those. It hits your eyes before your nose and has a waft like a malfunctioning cotton candy machine, just sugar and artificial cherry like Bubblelicious smashed with Melody Pops. The whole thing feels like an imperial Red Shasta more than an alcoholic beverage and children will hoover this up off a plate like so many wanting MyFreeCamsGirls.

Finally ticked the rarest Zima,  now I can get some rest.

Finally ticked the rarest Zima, now I can get some rest.

T: Before you open this, go ahead and schedule a dental cleaning. While you are at it, go ahead and book a colonic as well. This is so intensely sticky sweet that it tastes like if you melted down fruit by the foot and served it as a parfait to unsuspecting guests with insulin as a sidecar. I can’t imagine any self respecting adult could seriously finish one of these. It’s kinda like getting your dick sucked by a clown: a sweet, shameful event that makes for an interesting story, but no one could bring it to full completion unless you are a truly sick individual. The swallow is like the inside of those wax bottles with juice in them and closes with a highly nuanced Skittles coating along the gumline. I can only imagine how many Latter Day Saints ditched seminary to get their mouths coated bright red in clear recalcitrance to Joseph Smith. Str8 rebelz.

M: This is stick sweet and closes with a plastic waft like when you chew gum for too long. There is no alcohol, there is no grain or grist, it is simply melted HiChews in a glass. If you like Now N Laters, like I mean, you fucking love sessioning an entire pack of them, you might be able to take an entire bottle of this down. The subsequent offerings like Mikes Hard Lemonade and Hard Ciders are infintitely better in execution and drinkability. If you gave this to an 8 year old and told them this was what beer was, you can expect a lifetime of tee tolling. Your kid would be at a Frat Party like “what? You guys drink that shit? No I had beer in 3rd grade, it tasted like edible condoms and cherry astroglide, no thanks.”

The grim reaper will prevent you from earning that Zima cash

The grim reaper will prevent you from earning that Zima cash

D: I need to reiterate this: I traded for this. I actively sought it out and I couldn’t finish the whole thing. You have a better chance of finishing a bag of Halloween candy that you found under the radiator in August than taking down 12 ounces of this. If the panache of regular old Robitussin isn’t doing it for you and you find that your liquid codeine needs a more refined companion, this may be your jam. Fill up a double cup of this decade old beverage and start telling people about how you are gonna open a tattoo parlor, once your parole officer gets off your fuckin back. It is a cherry disaster of Squeezit proportions and no amount of puppies could lure me into an Econoline van if I saw one of these bad boys lurkin.

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@therarebarrel Ensorcelled versus @thebruery Wanderer, LET’S FINALLY PUT THESE COMPARISONS TO REST

Alright, whenever I bring up the dark sour lineage from Rare Barrel, some dipshit wants 1) demonstrate he knows that Jay Goodwin worked at the Bruery and 2) flex his peen and let everyone know that he has had Wanderer. At the Bruery anniversary festival, all I fucking heard was chortled comparisons from the sweaty jowls of attendees about “ERMAGERD ITS…basically…the…same…Wandere…” which I assumed was a comparison, since that “standing in direct sunlight” must have taken a lot of out the husky attendees.

So let’s settle this shit. Which one is better? Is there a difference? Can you approximate a vagina with a lukewarm cantaloupe? These questions answered today.

RESULTS INVALID: no Rare Barrel Glass utilized, unfair advantage from the outset

RESULTS INVALID: no Rare Barrel Glass utilized, unfair advantage from the outset

The Rare Barrel Ensorcelled
Berkeley, California, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale | 5.80% ABV

“Dark Sour Beer Aged in Oak Barrels with Rasperries” laconic as fuck.

VERSUS

The Bruery THE WANDERER
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale | 8.00% ABV

Notes/Commercial Description:
The Wanderer is a special blend of oak aged ales that we made with Craig and Beth from San Francisco’s City Beer Store. Blending a mix of sour ales and our anniversary ale the base of this beer has a delightfully sour tinge on top of a hearty malt backbone. To add to the flavor, Craig and Beth selected blackberries and bing cherries to be added to the ale adding to it’s already fruity complexity. This ale went on to win the silver medal for wood & barrel aged sour fruited ales at the 2011 Great American Beer Festival.

Alright enough cyber sexing, let’s bring this resolution to full completion:

A: Them Berkeley boys come out the gates with a slicker and more nimble offering that has more substantial carb and deeper darker tones serving to underpin the frothy mochawhip carbonation. The Rare Barrel offering LOOKS outright more attenuated and seems to straddle more genres in appearance than the paint by numbers AWA you may be expecting. By contrast Wanderer has deep garnet and ROBEY-esque tones with burnt sienna, dark amber and red brick frothiness in the head that seems more focused and calls to the fruits from within to harness their tannic nature like an acidic Captain Planet, unity through divested parts.

WINRAR: Wanderer, I just wanna get my mouth all up on that burnt red lipstick, red rocket session.

If you thought I was gonna go for some low hanging euphemism here you are wrong, and your vagina is dry.

If you thought I was gonna go for some low hanging euphemism here you are wrong, and your vagina is dry.

S: Ensorcelled puts forward an amazing, stripped down approach that is a decidedly jammy, raspberry banger that adds nuance and a level of complexity with caramel, toasted creme brulee top, almond, and an acidic closer that doesn’t toe the line into acetic. It knows the limits and pats co-workers on the low back, doesn’t grip their acidic asses. Wanderer, for all its charms is more like a RT Dodge Challenger in this regard and deliver MOARRRRR acidity, but with substantially less poise and grace. The fruit is there and you get almost a touch of Oud Bruin in there with a black cherry and currant appeal, however, there are sick burnout slicks tossing almost vinegar and acetic notes from overclocking that sour processor. For novice sour lovers, this will hit harder and light up their erogenous zones more completely, but if someone has been in that jammy jam game for a while, they will likely prefer Ensorcelled for its subtle wit and slow approach, like neck misses and an Oscar Wilde novel while Newsroom is on in the background.

WINRAR: Ensorcelled, because that slow palm up the inner berry thigh, straight juicy clearances.

T: Ensorcelled builds upon the nasal endeavors in much the same way, a dry tart opener with ratcheted acidic aspects, just enough to let the fruit shine through. It’s like in death metal breakdowns when the double kick pulls back to let those face melting hammer ons through, that’s how things progress with this delicate face melter. You get that framboise meets brown ale sort of execution, like walnut and caramel but covered in Smucker’s jammy goodness. The acidity compliments and doesn’t dominate the gentle fruit tannins. Wanderer has been doing sick dips and the acidic serratus is shredded, at full berry pump. The blackberry is present in the taste in a huge way and those tart cherries come through not unlike C&C old school La Folie. Which is ironic because Rare Barrel would be the low hanging La Folie comparison, I know, FOR OBVIOUS REASONS. However, with great power comes great acidity, Uncle Ben taught me that. The red wine vinegar notes are only present at higher temps and there is a touch of diacetyl if you sip this at room temperature. It’s more like if you are the consumer who buys the reasonable 2 cup Reese’s or if you go malty balls to the wall with a straight up 4 CUP session. I am not here to tell you how to live your life.

WINRAR: Wanderer, while more aggressive, your palate secretly likes its hair pulled by them blackberries.

Put these beers inside your buddies, get wild, touch his monkey

Put these beers inside your buddies, get wild, touch his malty monkey

M: Ensorcelled is more of a gentle fawn, presenting a nice berry basket of jams and welcoming you to the neighborhood. Wanderer walks right into your housewarming party and starts gripping your cousin’s titties and shes not even of age yet. The dryness of Wanderer is over the top and the acidity is that type of hegemony that some prefer because it lets the palate relax as the dominate notes are apparent. Bitch level cicerones will prefer Wanderer because they can point out pronounced aspects to their home brew club and feel like they don’t have an eraser dick. However, Ensorcelled has that poise and grace of the incredibly attractive mormon girl that everyone can appreciate and we all respect for her values and nuanced airs. Sure she isn’t tossing dome shots in the backseat of a Dodge Inrepid, but maybe you will like Rare Barrel more as a result, for taking that higher road and not just gripping your berries outright.

WinRARER: Encsorcelled, the ethereal feel of a CTR ring in your soft palm carries the day.

D: Ensorcelled is as soft as the Charmin bear and equally loveable, You can drink it before a Wake and no one will be all JUDGEY. Wanderer is more of a solo commitment. It demands more, it provides more, but compels all the same maintenance problems attendant with those extremes. Your jaw will hurt, you will be drunker, you will be more fatigued, like performing cunnilingus for minutes on end with a girl who is out of your league. But is the pain worth it? I cannot answer that for you, but to my own sensibilities, I enjoyed the frolic in the berry patch with the modest company of the berry hued sorceress. That doesn’t mean you wont like paying top dollar to get your blackberries stepped on. Hell some people pay a ton for that. It just comes down to preference in that regard and I prefer my berries intact.

WinRurerercellor: Tie for drinkability. Just depends on your tolerance and personal tastes.

AMERICAN SOURS ARE TEH ANTCHRIST. Belgiums only!11!!!!

AMERICAN SOURS ARE TEH ANTCHRIST. Belgiums only!11!!!!

OVERALL WINNER: Ensorcelled. Something needs to be said for the nuanced and stripped down approach to this baby bunny in the dark sour patch. While both are equally compelling, my personal tastes align more with this end of the Goldilocks spectrum. Both are exceptional beers, all that bullshit beer blog guarded language, etc, but Ensorcelled is better. I don’t think Patrick Rue is gonna lose any sleep over these 1210 words, plus I am a shameless Bruery apologist, remember.

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New Glarus R&D Very Sour Blackberry, V.S.B. PO PPA, no info for the D.E.A.

If you give the midwest a brewery only release, prepare for some hyperventilating from a cadre of ex-bandos. Whenever this happens, neckbeards jump in their Chevy Aveos and drive hours across bleak terrain that looks like it is north of the wall, all to secure some bottles. This happened with Fuzzy, this happened with Cahutlow, this happened with BA Abraxas, this happened with KBBS, and god help us if the bottle count is in that ultra rare 2000 or less range.

Enter VSB, an american wild ale with a story to tell, berries to flex, and a proud lineage rolling deep like an MC Hammer entourage. At a staggering $8 a bottle and 3 per person staggered over 3 days, you would figure this should trade for what, Double Huna? Flora? GUESS AGAIN AND GIVE ME YOUR CCK MOTHERFUCKER. The trade threads for this went to hell in a handbasket real quickly and honestly, if Secretpizza didn’t send this ratchet bitch to me for free, I don’t think I would have bothered throwing my hat in the ring. Whenever you see an Illinois dipshit posting things like “I only have 3 left but, I don’t think I would ever trade it, it is that good, unless something really good came along” you know shit just got real.

So thanks to Secretpizza for keeping my butthole intact and allowing me to get my berries juiced in today’s review.

Pour this bottle and it looks like the inside of a Claire's or a Wet Seal.

Pour this bottle and it looks like the inside of a Claire’s or a Wet Seal.

New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale | 5.00% ABV

Notes/Commercial Description:
Fourth in our series of spontaneous sour ales. Fermented and aged in oak barrels – on yeast lees – with Oregon blackberries. Refermented in this bottle. Open with care – This is a funky wild sour beer! There is also a bunch of illegible shit on the label I welcome you to try and read.

A: Just look at this fuchsia madness taking place above, it looks like a tween’s bedroom and only needs some chartreuse inflatable furniture to hit full on third grade sleepover status. The carb ranges from hilarious to excessive and doesn’t even burn off as exceedingly quickly as you would anticipate. The hue looks like St. Lam’s viscous cousin, deep thick grape Otterpop, that velvet violet merging with purpiest of purps. It is admittedly a very pretty beer and looks great sprayed on the hood of a Bugatti. Ball the fuck out already.

VSB for 50n? Wait hold on-

VSB for 50n? Wait hold on-

S: This presents more of a jammy countenance that the previous R&D endeavors would have led me to believe. There is a smuckers grape jelly, blackberry tannins, no cloying artifical sweetness and you get the crushed fields and farmer’s market kisses at the outset. Another interesting thing is, for all this VERY SOUR CUP YOUR BALLS talk on the label, it doesn’t smell intensely sour. It exhibits an incredible balance in form an execution, terroir from the berries, but a substantial complexity from the sharp shocktart back end. Can’t even front, it smells phenomenal.

T: This leads with a sharp acidity that immediately is pushed aside to convey a deep berry character, purple gushers, blackberry preserves, razzleberry pie, and this light dryness on the finish. This beer isn’t overly sour, it isn’t overly sweet, it isn’t intensely acidic, and it doesn’t go for an artificial heavy handed approach with adjuncts: IT JUST DOES EVERYTHING RIGHT. This is essentially a deep purple M3, a product that is so well balanced and highly revered that the biggest dipshits in the world covet them and it ruins the experience for you. I am fairly confident that this beer is not yet a staple in Persian bottle service culture, but soon.

If you decide to trade for this, be cautious: this pretty little beer can be a total asshole

If you decide to trade for this, be cautious: this pretty little beer can be a total asshole

M: This is not your daddy’s intensely drying Upland Lambic, it isn’t your momma’s one dimensional lactic Cascade, it lacks the sticky sweetness of the other cloying New Glarus fruit beers: it goes in hard. It provides tartness with a sticky resonance that steps in graceful time in a berry 3/4 scherzo. Usually I would toss my hater hat in the ring and pipe up with some shit like “BUT YOU CAN JUST GET St. LAMVINUS FOR LESS” but I don’t even know if that is accurate. This is distinctively American and seems to supercede the fruited lambic offerings that would be analogous. American Wild Ales are a genre born on derivative inspiration and this is the clearest example, second to Cable Car Kriek, of an AWA that is a genre defining beer. Place this next to batch 1 Persica 750ml and a short list of exceptional American sours. This that shit you need to learn though, that VSB, shit that makes your cellar burn slow.

D: This is intensely drinkable and the impossibility of obtaining one of these makes this entire appraisal laughable. I could drink several of these linked together like a chain wallet on some purple JNCO jeans. You could serve this to anyone, your lady friend who uses “supes” and “gorg” nonironically, or a confused young minor seeking your help. Everyone will get their mouth on this purple throbber. Wipe the juice from your chin and seek this out if you feel like it, but realistically, just drink Almanac Blackberry sour, it is verrrrry close, but not quite as good. Think like 09 BCBS Bomber to Rare levels of comparability. All in all, an otherworldly beer of staggering quality in almost every way.

Midwest coveting, ruining things for the rest of McDonaldland

Midwest coveting, ruining things for the rest of McDonaldland

Narrative: Grimace was misunderstood in Mcdonaldland from his very origin. He first appeared and swung his berry endomorphic frame, gripping the milkshakes of others, being a covetous monster. It was not his blackberry breath or his radiant violet hues, it was his offputting nature and unendingly sweet nature. It wasn’t his fault that he was overweight, he spawned that way in a land that no one wished for. A landlocked zone of purple obesity and hate could hardly beget the nicest of creatures, but Grimace rose above. Grimace had an unnamed mom, an unnamed dad, a grandma named “Winky”, a great-great grandma named Jenny Grimace, and might have had a brother named “King John Bailey”, who was the king of all Grimaces: BUT NO ONE GAVE A SINGLE FUCK. In the muck and mire of mediocrity and imitation, Grimace transcended the monster genre and became something sweet and sour at the same time. He was a gentle creature capable of deep destruction, but checked his privilege at the door and bumbled around lovingly. “YOU KNOCKED OVER MY ARCH DELUXE YOU FAT FUCK-” one patron would exclaim, but deep in this sticky sour heart, Grimace knew that he was worth more than those that surrounded him.

2

@hillfarmstead Biere de Norma BATCH 3: Garde’ing That Northern France Swagger By Way of Vermont

You might remember waaaayyyyy back in 2012, I reviewed the first batch of norma, that 180 bottle pre-Ann baller

AND THEN

I opened a batch 2 Normaa and was all pussy hurt because it wasn’t as lactic or tasty as b1. It toed the traditional BdG style guidelines and that isn’t necessarily my go to stroke material for that realm of beers.

BUT THEN FUCKING BATCH THREE CAME OUT

That top-down lighting makes everything look turbid.

That top-down lighting makes everything look turbid.

So what the fuck is happening with old Norma these days? Well it is much of a Goldilocks approach, more tart than b2, but more akin to traditional Biere de Gardes than that puckering b1. If b1 is cuddling up close to the AWA section and b2 was laying in bed with Northern French BdG’s, then b3 is somewhere in between, hanging down from the top bunk breathing hard and making both feel uncomfortable.

I still prefer batch 1, but this is a vast improvement over b2, and one of the most unique entries in the HF catalog of top tier saisons. It is not quite the acidic american wild that most bitch tickers favor these days, but it isn’t the earthy metallic biere de garde you might be expecting. Awesome cherry, red grape and merlot oak interplay with a beer that is highly drinkable without fucking your gumline like a Flanders Red. One of the best examples in the underserved BdG realm, certainly.

This is an old style but Vermont is keepin it sexy.

This is an old style but Vermont is keepin it sexy.

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@Tiredhandsbeer So It Goes, For Those Times When You are Firebombing Dresden and Get Thirsty

Ok, you have read Slaughterhouse Five. We get it. Shit, you may have also read Breakfast of Champions, hell you probably will email me with some Bukowski references just in case. I get it, you like post-modernist literature, random DDB fan. Let’s couch that and talk about TIRED HANDSESES FIRST WILD ALE. Some haters will likely chime in with “they have made wild ales all along, they just chose to call them farmhouse ales.” A monocle-polishing dipshit like that probably does great with the ladies.

Anyway, let’s take a look at this Flandersy wild ale before we become unstuck in time. OK LAST VONNEGUT REFERENCE I SWEAR.

DOES ANYONE NOTICE THAT MY NEW CAMERA TAKES LESS SHITTY PHOTOS? God, there's no impressing you assholes unless I take things to Adam Jackson/Sean Van Taggen lightbox levels. You simply aren't worth it.

DOES ANYONE NOTICE THAT MY NEW CAMERA TAKES LESS SHITTY PHOTOS? God, there’s no impressing you assholes unless I take things to Adam Jackson/Sean Van Taggen lightbox levels.
You simply aren’t worth it.

Tired Hands Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States
Style | ABV
Flanders Red Ale | 9.00% ABV

510 bottle release, 2 per person, people have gotten shanked for less. Ardmore Pennsylvania putting work in the streets, that PANDEMIC, yellowtops.

A: This looks like a straight up flanders red that got a lil tan, maybe did a 15 minute bed when the hot chick told her to only do a 11 minute bed. You don’t get that ruby red, not the Ring Pop sort of affair that you might have gotten all swole, and it almost starts toeing towards the Oud Bruin benchmarks with the old SRM. I know just mentioning OUD BRUIN makes some people’s buttholes pucker so we will move on. The carb is substantial and looks great, frothy cherry mocha whip, sitting on top of a dark burnt brick red medium. The whole affair feels more “substantial” than those bitch ass Rodenbachs you sip after your Zumba class. Sick vascularity, full range of motion.

this is bit bigger, thicker, redder, and more powerful than you expect, but the result is pretty cutty.

this is bit bigger, thicker, redder, and more powerful than you expect, but the result is pretty cutty.

S: This toes the old Flanders line and drops you somewhere in between a vintage Rodenbach (like the 2007 cellar reserve) and Caracterie Rouge. To clarify, you get a substantial acidicty and that borderline acetone/acetic that you would expect from the style, but it is lighter than the Oud Bruin side of things. There is the black cherry, marascino cherry, red chapstick, sucrets, some malty presence, and a tannic finish that reminds me of a big Napa cab. Again, this isn’t my favorite style but they are going hard in that cherry paint.

T: This takes the traditional flanders and jazzes it up with some hammer-on/pulloffs, bends, and slurs within the cherry/malt scales. Things feel more boisterous, the malt profile is ramped up and presents a sort of baked bread interplay with the cherry profile, the huge acidity mixes with the cherry cordial, the 1’s and 2’s are constantly cutting from dark cherries and bruised fruits and jumping back to balaton merlot beat drops. Tired Hands remixed the fuck out of your Duchess and you can’t even handle it. The closing taste is a bit too tart at cold temps and if you want those fruits to balance shit out, you need to let this open up. But once you let this warm up the abv starts peeking its head, so there’s a cost benefit analysis. You get some raspberry and pumpernickle bread, all laced with ornate acidity that never overstays its welcome, but chaperons throughout.

Them cherries will put you on that SubbyDoo swerve, other blogs start tucking they chains in

Them cherries will put you on that SubbyDoo swerve, other blogs start tucking they chains in

M: For the substantial malt profile you would expect this red wine monster to close with balance, but it remains pretty dry and thin due to the noteworthy acidity. I don’t want you to think this is some Upland Cherry sort of affair, but it isn’t exactly Cuvee de Tomme either, its a tart and puckering Flanders that underwent the Weapon X project in Canada but instead of adamantium in its bones, it was infused with powerful cherry acidity. WILL IT USE THESE POWERS FOR GOOD OR EVIL?

D: Given the dry profile, acidity, and lack of overwhelming fruit profile to reel things back in, I would say a 500ml is about right. I never tired of the beer, but I think a 750ml would be a touch ambitious for most people. If you like Griffin Bruxellois or some of the ultra tart Jackie O’s offerings in this same vein (Evelyn, things of that nature) then you will love this. If you approach this expecting a Tess D’Urbervilles walk through the garden with a flower tucked in your lapel, you will probably end up getting pounded like she did.

That face when you pop a legit wild ale and know hater tickers are gonna tell you about their Costco Duchess

That face when you pop a legit wild ale and know hater tickers are gonna tell you about their Costco Duchess

Narrative: Detective Walter Janicsykowski had been working this beat for 13 years and had never seen anything like this. “Sir, it’s the same as the others, victim laid in a prostrate position, cherry juice on the hands and mouth, grenadine in and around the vaginal area,” forensic scientist Mark Walmsly noted, pointing to the woman’s wrists and ankles with an LED light, “you can expect to see more of these.” The Squeez-It killer had been ravaging the Ardmore populace during what was an unseasonably warm May. The cherries were ripening at an alarming pace and Walter took a deep pull of his Wild Cherry Slurpee while surveying the glossy black and white photos. He noted pits and stems arranged with care near each victim’s body, each cherry homicide executed with more intent than the less. It was a paradox in itself. A pitted sweet fruit, the subject of multiple serial murders. Somewhere in the streets, the killer was pouring himself a Shirley Temple and planning his next mark.

0

DUAL WHALE SHOOTOUT: New Belgium Twisted Spoke and 2009 C&C La Folie, Lats Flexing Hard on that AWA Shred

If you are a bottleshop baller, that truck chasing pimp who knows every collaboration New Belgium has ever done, an adjunct loving asshole who can decry the subtle nuances of the Peach Porch Lounger relative to the vastly inferior Brett Beer, maybe you should get the fuck out of here. This clearly is not for you. This is the deep subrectum of the New Belgium catalogue that most tickers dare not tread. This is that NB C&C Game, swag to the fullest. If I wasn’t such a punk pussy, maybe I could have landed Falling Rock and actually presented you with a legitimate whale review as originally planned. I guess we have TacosNBeer to thank for that one, as he backed out of a trade due to the fact that old Subbydoo was banned from BA. I suppose that is another exclamatory tale for another day.

Let’s get deep in these wild ale guts and hit that oaky back cervix.

Back lit, oversaturated photos with sickening aperture. That's how I treat bottles that I hold onto for years.

Back lit, oversaturated photos with sickening aperture. That’s how I treat bottles that I hold onto for years.

New Belgium Brewing
Twisted Spoke:
Colorado, United States
Style | ABV
American Wild Ale | 7.00% ABV

“65% Ale aged in a wood barrel, 14% ale with cherries added and ale, 21% ale brewed with Coriander and 100% Aged in apple flavored whiskey barrels.” The beer was hand-bottled August 26, 2010.”

La Folie, Caged and Corked 2009
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States
Style | ABV
Flanders Oud Bruin | 6.00% ABV
“Flemish Sour Brown Ale fermented in stainless then transferred to barrels for 1-4 years of aging then blended to taste.”

Please note, I used the 2009 caged and corked version, not your Hi-V pasteurized start up kit shit. It was to my own detriment, as you will soon see.

A: The Twisted Spoke has held its carb beautifully and has a billowy frothy head that pops and snaps not unlike a baller ass rice cereal. The garnet underpinnings are beautiful and provide a Rodenbach nod of elegance and ruby meets jasper, the hem of regal oriental garments shimmering in crimson regalia. La Folie looks like shit. It lays there completely still like an unmotivated Craigslist encounter. It is darker than its pasteurized counterparts, a deep almost brownish purple that is uninviting and comes across like flat grape soda attempting to muster up a single fuck to give. It is a valuable portent of things to come.

"I reviewed La Folie on my beer blog and it got 95 hits"  Pasteurized: beta as fuck.  Step up your whalegame.

“I reviewed La Folie on my beer blog and it got 95 hits” Pasteurized: beta as fuck. Step up your whalegame.

S: The smell of Twisted Spoke is phenomenal and doesnt approach a hint of oxy or age at this point. I was thinking right around 4 years, AWA hit their sexual peak and start to taper off to autoeroticism, NOT TWISTED SPOKE. I can see this holding up for another couple of years before reducing to vinegar strokes. There is a bright cherry, jazz apple, white grape, intense raspberry farmers market makeout sesh, brandy, port sherry oak like those mahogany rooms Nana used to work in. There is a touch of acetic red wine vinegar but it is in light of the foregoing and more a throwback to the flanders red style as a whole than an implicit flaw. Still bangable for sure. La Folie just can’t get its shit together. It is vinegar, just straight acetic flaws, the burn of salad dressing from Sizzler, tart acidity, some currants, the brown ale just waving its sloppy dark cock all on the sink. You get vintage nail polish remover and some Aquanet, which might give you a chub if you piped down hard in the 80s. Not me tho, this shit sucks.

T: The Twisted Spoke follows through with full completion of the olfactory elements. No ticktease here. It delivers a complex tartness, tannic cherry skin, a touch of brandy sweetness which is like caramelized apples in a Home Run pie, and closes with a drying kiss of that flanders smooch. Delicious. One again La Folie is zipping its nutsack up in its footie pajamas. It’s like for fucks sake La Folie, you have the grace of Daniel Day Lewis in My Left Foot and the collected poise of The Elephant Man, at least taste good. It cannot, if you thought that chemical acetone was gonna taste better, I guess it doesn’t taste WORSE than it smells, so: victory? This is worse than the offshelf version. Past its prime, dip a baguette in it or serve it over kale salad.

With Flanders reds and wilds in general, balance and reasonable execution beat speed and Robotnik banging

With Flanders reds and wilds in general, balance and reasonable execution beat speed and Robotnik banging

M: The Twisted Spoke is a touch too drying for my tastes and rips along the gumline like that coward Shaun White, afraid to hit those deep pockets for fear of injury. The fruit flavors balance it out and this aspect has probably gotten more aggressive over the past 4 years, but here we are. La Folie just sloppily hits the bitter and the sour zones, trying to bang anything it can like a drunk bisexual Peruivan. It is a confused mess that is not only more tart, less fulfilling, but just facepalm worthy in general. As long as Duchess exists, you can avoid 2009 C&C La Folie without losing any sleep.

D: Twisted Spoke is delicious and complex, however, it is not exceptionally drinkable in light of its intense acidity, highly layered presentation, and lingering dryness. You get that GERD pretty early in, but its a fulfilling pain, like paying a high end stripper to work you over with a pack of twizzlers. La Folie, oh man, I don’t really have much more to say about this borderline condiment. I hazarded a 5 ounce pour, welcoming the shit talking from the anonymous contingency that is my degenerate fan base. The joke was on me throughout because it sucked shit throughout all 5 ounces, like when you look at a Brendan Frazier DVD and you see that 81 minute run time and you are like “oh well, that cant be too bad.” It is fucking horrible. La Folie in this format is a huge disappointment. Did you even see Crash? Fucking Ludacris.

This will get up in your grill hard.  Mayor McCheese will have the leather couch and the tripod.

This will get up in your grill hard. Mayor McCheese will have the leather couch and the tripod.

Narrative: Just take all the foregoing La Folie sentences above and add a paper thin proper noun monicre and personify it in some blatant overstatement. DDB 101.

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DOUBLE RUSSIAN RIVER WHALE REVIEW: Toronado 20 and Deviation, At the same damn time

In honor of everyone rubbing their yeastclits on their bedposts over Plineyyy the Yerngerrrr, I figured I would finally knock out reviews for two of the white whale Russian River bangers: T20 and Deviation. One was a one off brewed in 2007 for Toronado, another was a one off brewed in 2009 for Bottleworks. One is still delicious, another one tastes like if you left Consecration in a Toyota Corolla in Tucson for 3 months. WHICH IS WHICH? We find out in today’s whaley review.

Oh shit, if you feel like reading about other SUPER RUSSIEN RIVER RARIEITIES, check out this Russian River Depuration review or if you just joined the beer game in 2012, here is a review of Pliney the Younger for you to stroke it to, since you are probably still in your hophead phase

That is Depuration, I just left it in the cooler next to some silver bullets for a couple months.

That is Depuration, I just left it in the cooler next to some silver bullets for a couple months.

Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States
Style | ABV
American Wild Ale | 6.83% ABV (dat hundredths place value hnnnggg)

In celebration of Bottleworks 9th Anniversary, we are proud to present Deviation – a beer unique in every sense. This remarkable blend combines the oak aged diversity of PHI, Orphan Ale, and Sonambic Ale with 100% Brettanomyces Ale (Sanctification) and is bottle conditioned with additional Brettanomyces. Thanks Vinnie. Your beer is a testament to the art of deviation. 6.83%

Your buddy probably opened a T25 at one of your tastings and thought he was hard as fuck, putting up 8 plates, flexing wild ale lats on offshelf zumba tickers.

Your buddy probably opened a T25 at one of your tastings and thought he was hard as fuck, putting up 8 plates, flexing wild ale lats on offshelf zumba tickers.

Toronado 20th anniversary
abv 10.4%

The Toronado blend was 5 different beers blended together disproportionately:

1. Belgian style Quadruple aged in Firestone Walker (used) Double Barrel Ale barrels
2. Belgian style Strong Dark Ale – batch A in red wine barrels
3. Belgian style Strong Dark Ale – batch B in red wine barrels
4. Belgian style Pale Ale aged in wine barrels with Brett
5. Sonambic 100% spontaneously fermented ale – this was used to add acidity to the beer.

A: Let’s just get this out of the way right now, T20 is starting to get those oxy stretch marks on its thighs, looking a bit turbid and muddy in its old age, that wispy carb still holding up, albeit oldman strong. The robey tones are still intact over all these years, but it has seen better days. Deviation still looks fucking beautiful and has a certain grace and coquettish radiance that makes it more lustworthy than even fresh bottles of Temptation. The carb held up beatuifully and there was light lacing at the edges showing its virile life still pumping deep in those acidic veins. These pics suck shit because I didn’t feel like setting up a lightbox for some neckbeard enjoyment. I do this site as a favor to the boring ass beer world and tickers should be thankful I haven’t moved on to POV porn at this point.

Pictured above, the last 21 person tasting T20 was opened at

Pictured above, the last 21 person tasting T20 was opened at

S: The t20 is still intensely acidic with cranberry, currant, red wine tannins, merlot, huge acidic blackberry cab and a oaky musk. The musk is delivered in equal parts with a touch of oxygenation that is mildly cloying, but its too fucking big to be held down, like trying to spot your buddy who presses more than you squat, them tannic shreds throb hard and move weight. Deviation is a fucking intensely bright acid flashbang to the face. Take Zomer and ramp up the acidity, that lemon rind, cantaloupe, pears, musky brett, intense Slush Puppy acidity like a lemon lime detonation to the senses. It smells phenomenal albeit completely overboard, not in an acetic fashion, just aggressive in every aspect, zero hint of oxy or age on this. S.S. Indefatigable just sailing them seas with a proud ph2 stern.

sometimes things from the past return only to fuck your world up

sometimes things from the past return only to fuck your world up

T: T20 is a fucking disappointment top to bottom. That is not to say that it isn’t worth drinking, I mean, it is still a competent and well blended beer. It’s more like seeing that late 30s bartender who is all salty and jaded and you can imagine what a Kelly Kapowski dime piece she used to be. This was probably a complex decadent treat, now the oxy sets in like crows feet making it seem like a dysfunctional Consecration. There is currant and tart cherry but again, it is like a coovie of some old ass bottles of Rodenbach. Deviation is a vast departure from this model and holds up like those 1960’s Ferraris that are still graceful and will land you knee deep in the vaj. The lemon and intense oak, chardonnay, anjou pear, hay, old storage locker, and amped up Goozie notes. One of the best American Wild Ales that I have ever tasted this side of DDG and Cable Car 09.

bragging about drinking rare bottles of sugar water? Alpha detected.

bragging about drinking rare bottles of sugar water? Alpha detected.

M: T20 is still a massive beast, drying with an intense dryness that gushes like that fourth week of Lilith Fair. It is both hefty in mouthfeel and closing, but has a sort of dry depth to it that makes it incredibly drinkable. The ABV slides up behind your palate with a prison shank and puts in work on the bitter zones. Deviation is intensely dry, no reparations are given, antebellum south destruction to your gumline and tart zones. Go watch a Ken Burns documentary and eat an entire bag of Shocktarts and you will know the depths of the cankersores this can cause. Despite the rampant abuse, I come back for more, it’s like when I got all into cock fingering that one summer, all stretched out in self effacing pleasure.

Thinking about landing one of these? Prepare to deal with some shit and shit accessories

Thinking about landing one of these? Prepare to deal with some shit and shit accessories

D: T20 is incredibly drinkable, albeit slightly lackluster. I can’t really condone trading for this other than showing your thick meaty trader labias, dropping meat curtains on your tasting crew, those rare 2007 folds all weathered and undesirable. Tickers gonna tick. Deviation however, holy hell it is intensely delicious, amazing top to bottom, well worth the cost of entry and, most importantly, I cannot think of any readily available analog to this unique beast. Seek this out if you can, rally all those bottles of Backyard and Petit Mutant you can rally and cast them upon the funeral pyre with calm suttee to join your tastebuds in the afterlife. It is dro as fuck, red hairs, no stems no seeds, yayo weighed dry without being stepped on.

Narrative: read the foregoing 1000 words and finger your butthole in the shower with an Axe loofa.

reviewing them nostalgic old whale ticks, high off that juice

reviewing them nostalgic old whale ticks, high off that juice