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DOUBLE GEORGIA BREW REVIEW: @secondselfbeer Thai Wheat and Red Hop Rye

I know what you are thinking, “how in the fuck is DDB reviewing a Thai wheat beer? Red ales? What the shit is this?” In striving to keep my finger on the pounding pulse of Georgia beers, I must divine the Terrapin tea leaves to keep the South content. Second Self opened fall of last year and already has two flagship beers and a canning line. Ok, so far so good, but these days everyone from Tree House to Other Half is kicking out dank ass cans, so what’s the deal with this?

A homebrewer who used to work at Sweetwater teamed up with a foodie and here we are.  Let’s hit that Florida Georgia line and start Sippin on Fire accordingly

This is like exactly what life in the South is like.

No relation to THAI ME UP, the incredible brewery from Wyoming.

No relation to THAI ME UP, the incredible brewery from Wyoming.

Thai Wheat. Second Self, Georgia

Wheat Beer, commercial tug job:

“This SPICY American What beer is as EXOTIC as the country that inspired it. This beer uses both fresh LEMONGRASS and GINGER to give it a refreshing aroma and taste taking you on a trip access the globe. We keep the beer DRY letting the spices stand out on their own giving you a unique experience.
This flavorful wheat ale is great for an escape into your second self.
Pairings include: fish, chicken, pork loin, grilled vegetables, sushi, and Asian cuisine.”

The branding is pretty legit, but nothing as anus shattering as say 8 bit Pale ale

The branding is pretty legit, but nothing as anus shattering as say 8 bit Pale ale

Usually when I see “Thai” on the label, that means it’s gonna be some obnoxious shit with cardamom, tea, or coconut milk added. It is often the ultimate red flag for discordant palate clanging. I also had a disposition based upon the marketing to place this toe to toe with Modern Times Fortunate Island, which is a horrible stance from the start because FI is incredible and almost no sessionable beers can run at that clip.  If it wasn’t abundantly clear, this was a donation box.

Before I get yet another question about this god damn Teku: this is an old Tired Hands glass.  There you go.

Before I get yet another question about this god damn Teku: this is an old Tired Hands glass. There you go.

This fulfills neither of the expectations and goes a bit off book into a novel, food based sort of riff. The pour is turbid and has a hazy orange frothiness to it like a blended sherbert Flinstones pushpop. The nose is grassy and herbal, it leans closer to “lesbian closet” replete with Birkenstocks, Darjeeling, lemon zest, burnt floral incense, and crushed Rosemary.

The wheat struggle continues

The wheat struggle continues

This isn’t some hoppy banger, but it is an interesting enzyme that seems to be lacking its substrate complex, namely a food pairing. The lock and key of this shit is entirely predicated on serving this with a variety of dishes because the spice feels like a tow line with no tugboat. Those nontug feels are real. It is fun and whimsical on its own, albeit not earth shattering and God damn is this crushable in that humid disgusting weather Georgia residents continue to subject themselves to.

magic hour

magic hour

BUT WE WERE PROMISED A REVIEW OF THE RED RED HOP RYE WATDAFUQQQ
I don’t have a whole lot to say about the red hop rye. It is a by the numbers hoppy rye that is kinda sappy and resinous that is executed like a watered down Nugget Nectar with more spice and a caramel meets “scorched DME” finish if we have any negligent entry level home brewers in the audience.  I am not a fan of this style and usually for a red to get my cones wet it will need to be clean and restrained on maltiness, this is hazarding a more substantial execution and isn’t peppering my angus as result.

subconsciously this label made me want some Orange Whip.

subconsciously this label made me want some Orange Whip.

Second Self on the whole reminds me of a less inspired Modern Times, that courts higher mass appeal from less intense offerings. 4.5 trill units on the ultra trill trap scale (UTTS standard.)

So many of these will be consumed in Emory University parking lots

So many of these will be consumed in Emory University parking lots

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Funky Buddha Bonita Applebaum, No Winzipping, Only .Rar Archives in Today’s Review

Well what do we have here? A Funky Buddha limited beer that is bottled in a blank bomber? Sounds like something you could walk down to Binny’s and pick up, right next to the Daisy Cutter, right? This is one of like 28 bottles produced, and this sweet slice of pie is probably extinct, but let’s look back on desserts past in today’s review:

Applebaum jeans and the malts with the fur.

The Funky Buddha Lounge & Brewery
Florida, United States
American Brown Ale | 6.00% ABV

A: This is turbid and murky like bayou water. If Hill Farmstead uses Vermont water, I am confident that there is a bit of the everglades in this sticky brown ale. The sheeting is minimal and the lacing is pretty lackluster. It’s not the most unfortunate looking beer that I have ever seen but, it’s on the inside that counts, that’s what every person with stretch marks has ever told me.

This is how people react when you pour them this sweet treat. It also helps if they are overweight, and an alcoholic.

S: Holy sweet decadence. This beer is like walking into a fresh bakery and it happens to be a pie clearance sale. There are notes of brown sugar, biscuit malt, sweet apple, caramel, light vanilla, and this lovely cinnamon aspect to it. I said “lovely,” we are talking genteel civilized ales here.

T: This literally tastes exactly like a slice of fresh apple pie. I cannot explain it any more directly than that. It begins with a faint graham cracker and cinnamon then cinnamon and allspice come forward with apple aspects. You should pour this beer over a slice of vanilla ice cream and get shit a la mode real quick. This is the slice of American pie that your camp counselor never told you about.

If you are posting looking for Funky Buddha bottles, you are in the wrong neighborhood, motherfucker.

M: This is very thin and makes no secret about its brown ale roots. You know deep down, there was a normal base beer before they piled all of this incredibly strange but amiable elements on top of it. There’s not much coating but, with the pastries and confectionery going on, you don’t really have time to focus on that. How many times have you left the next morning without underwear on? Yeah, that’s what I thought, trollop.

D: This is decadent and excessive, but it is not exceptionally drinkable. Maybe if you were a baller ass 5th grader your sweet zones could take 22oz of this, but for those of us with pubes, the sweetness becomes cloying after a few ounces. This would almost be better served in nib bottles or as a gentle liqueur to serve to your overweight friends when they invariably get dumped for that tiny size 16 around the block. I would still love to have this again, I just wouldn’t eat a whole pie for dinner, because I have a small shred of self-respect.

You want a bottle of a beer that has less than 50 produced? Better start dropping fat stacks, racksonracksonracks.

Narrative: “Well if you can’t perform a scorpion into seconds with a DECENT TURNOUT, then maybe you need to lose some weight.” The 7 year old stood stunned before Sherry Sourmane, the most dour faced dance instructor in the tristate area. She thought of the sweet slice of pie that she had the night before and lowered her head to the ground. “I just..my tummy hurts and…” The room rattled with the clack of a 6 inch stiletto upon the ground. “Out of my sight, you like wretch.” She was a sour, stern instructor, best enjoyed in small doses. When dance class was over she took to berating the parents in turn. Each fully-grown person in attendance received a fully tailored dress down from Ms. Sourmane. John Marks collected his child and walked solemnly to his car. The dance instructor looked down her brow and took a bite of a Home Run Pie and was all too aware of the tu quoque that she lived on a daily basis.

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Uinta Labyrinth Black Ale, You Have To Fight a Minotaur at the End of The Bottle

Alright so let’s lay this to rest, black ale? No. Imperial porter? No. This is an imperial stout aged in rye barrels. I swear if they wrote that on the front in font size 22 they would have sold 200% more units. Everyone who stumbles across this ends up loving it and always says the same shit “BLACK ALE? I NEVER KNEW IT WOULD BE THIS GOOD!” Brewery kudos, labeling gaff, but in the end if you make an amazing product, you could call is Manticor Jizz and I would still probably drop the $15.99, just to, you know what I mean-

Infantile beer pics for the win.

Uinta Brewing Company
Utah, United States
American Double / Imperial Stout | 13.20% ABV

A: shiny black with a dull pallour that reflects a slight viscosity above a super black stout such as Abyss etc. Nice coffee colored head with thick lacing. The light around the glass was sucked in and not even photons could escape the lacing. This stout is a straight up entropy vacuum.

S: Black licorice notes, whisky heat on the nose, burnt coffee and oak scents, with a final sweetness that I cannot place, something akin to “dark caramel” if such a thing existed. There’s a mild anise and some leathery aspects, but a manly ass spaghetti western chocolate leather. That kinda shit.

A gigantic dark ale aged in rye barrels, Utah just introduced some serious problems to the rest of the Union.

T: Fantastic complexity, tons of bittering on the front with tomahawk hops and very herbal notes that give it an anise black licorice taste, think a shot of fernet brancha that fades into a chocolate milkshake. The coffee maltiness rounds out the body of this beer. The front explosion on the sweet taste buds is so overwhelming because the beer itself is so bitter, labyrinthian in character, your tongue cant make heads or tails as to where to go. The carbonation is moderate so the heat and chocolate oiliness is left to linger, which might be bad if the finish weren’t so pleasant.

At first when I realized this was a big black ale, my jimmies were rustled, then they were unrustled when I realized how good it was.

M: the mouthfeel has great coating, not excessive maltiness or carbonation. In fact, I feel that it was slightly flat if anything, but given the complexity of the flavor this is not a fair sleight to such an ambitious beer. Tough to push past the 2 beer mark unless you are really a fan of stouts and darkness to your beers. Most palates could handle a 5oz taster and that would be sufficient I am sure. But very tastey nonetheless and highly recommended.

D: I dont remember liking this style that much, what with Unibroue’s Terrible and Death and Taxes not leaving lasting impressions, however, this is probably the best “black ale” that I have ever had, excepting Mortification, which is very tough to find. It will likely be clositered into a niche where you use it to impress your friends who dont like beer, or relegated to the back of the cellar until Autumn begins its defoliation. This beer is certainly not welcome while one is working on his Transam or wearing cutoff jean shorts by the lake. Both activities comprise a large amount of my general lifestyle so it will be a tough one to work in.

After about 700ml of this, shit gets real and you start to wonder how you are going to get anything done in the morning. Scary realizations abound.

Narrative: Fumbling with the, is this it, my lighter? Click click, the flint strikes but only reveals more blackness. The last thing that I remember was approaching the everglades at night when I tripped over some licorice vines and, now I can’t make heads or tails as to where I am. The moon itself is obfuscated into a murky pallour behind jet black clouds, projecting a pathetic reflection. CLICK, finally the lighter strikes and I can see that my predicament is more complicated than I remembered, just darkness in each direction, an enveloping shroud that slowly seeps one of any hope of escape. Several paces later, and I feel more weathered, yet it seems I remain in my same position, more fatigued, with a lightness of the mind and body. Is this the “cave sickness” that they spoke of when I visited the mercer caverns as a boy? No, no time for that now, I have two options, continue down this murky path, ever exhausting and relentless in darkness OR lay down and succumb to the blackness. The labyrith will wait patiently for the sun to come.

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Smuttynose Julio’s Ry(e)an Ale, For All The Ryans In The Place With Style And Grace Allow Me To Lace-

Imagine my unending surprise when, upon opening a box from the Northeast, already my favorite type of box to open, I GET THIS THROWN IN AS AN EXTRA. I remembered seeing people scampering to and fro attempting to lock these down previously and what divine providence brought this to California for my sampling pleasure.

If your boyfriend's name is "Ryan" and he drinks 3 bottles of this, he has a 47% increased chance of cheating on you.

Here’s the deal behind this gem:

Rye ale aged in Sazarec rye whiskey, Buffalo Trace bourbon, and Four Roses bourbon barrels, brewed exclusively for Julio’s Liquors in Westboro. This beer was on sale on Sunday, May 23, 2010, at their 8th Annual Spring Beer Fest.

Smuttynose Julio’s Ry(e)an Ale, 8% abv, bourbon barrel aged Rye Ale

A: This has a ruddy amber character that fades to a bright maroon in the center. It’s a cheerful sprite for having spent so much time in bourbon lockup. The lacing is impressive and doesn’t leave one wanting. It looks like a genial iced with with a mildly murky luster.

This beer is menacing, yet gentle.

S: The smell is a bit heavy handed, particularly for the age, with generous wafts of booze, bourbon, babes, and brewskis. The oak and scorched caramel notes are present as well, but in a pleasing way. It comes across like tulle, adding accents to an aggressive endeavor. The bourbon cleavage is present in a big way within this beer. It reminded me of a more aggressive barleywine in the nose, but less stable on the malt backing.

T: The taste initially gives this crackly rye bramble whip and the interlocutor makes it clear that heat and speed will be the malty weapon of choice. The beer opens up into a caramel, butterscotch (not in an infected manner), toffee, and finally a scratchy thistle heat to the finish. If the foregoing sounds harsh, it is, however, it is harsh in the way a day of drinking on the beach of Cabo leave you with a light sun burn. The entry costs are far outweighed by the benefits.

The key to this beer is not overthinking it, just exhale, embrace the moment and you'll level up shortly.

M: The bourbon barrels just creep up from behind with that “tell me what your palate interests are, who they be with?” It gives a nice caramel stickiness that is melted away with a heat and oakiness and ruminated in a woody barrely manner for a minute after I swallowed. I can finish an entire bottle of this, but I kinda feel like the kid who hogs the controller and doesn’t let anyone else play.

D: This is a seriously delicious beer, but it is a bit like Bowser in Mario Kart, a bit to unbalanced for long sessions, unless you know how to use BA Rye Ales, then you will completely tear shit up, figuratively and literally. I want to keep drinking more, but the complex finish makes me slow down and ruminate on Rilke poetry and existence and I JUST FINNA TRY TO BE DRINK ON. Its faults redouble like the walls of a mitochondria and impair the drinkability. FUCKING RIBOSOMES.

Despite what my friends say, this is my lifestyle and I think that this is perfectly acceptable to drink beers aged in 4 different barrels. You should see my Christmas cards.

Narrative: The trash pile had gotten out of control. Burlinger, North Carolina had encountered a problem that seemed to have no solution. The trash workers were on strike because they didn’t get health benefits, but if the health union had to treat the trash workers, they would go on strike, thereby cutting all the funding for the municipal waste workers. Yessir it was quite the Catch 22 and this sleepy southern town hadn’t seen the likes of this conflict since the antebellum south. “I cannot and will not stand to look at those looming piles of refuse any further, I say I say, I just simply cannot!” chimed in one Christian Southern Belle wearing sweatpants with the words “JUICY” across where her petticoat should have lain. A man in a salmon suit strode into the unventilated court room wiping his brow furiously, “now I say I aint no big city lahh yuhhh, but what if, I say what if we make all this into quality wares for all the Yanks to enjoy!” The crowd responded with resounding applause and all the townsfolk set out to turn those Waffle House wrappers and Bubba Gump refuse into nice baubles for others to enjoy. A video of these poor miscreants was posted on youtube and hipsters bought the town out of house and home overnight. Suddenly, the trash repurposing union was losing their jobs and refused to work with the health workers union and HERE WE GO AGAIN AM I RIGHT?

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Boulevard Brewing Company, Rye on Rye, HOT STICKY RYE ON RYE ACTION, alcohol was involved.

Initially I did not seek out the Boulevard lineup because I really didn’t know what they were exactly, I just knew that they were from the midwest, traded mid-range, and weren’t on the top 100. Oh how I have learned from my transgressions. Their brett saison was a mouthgasm and this is like huffing exhaust from a Maybach: classy and destructive.

Sometimes it feels like this should be a pay site with all this hot Rye on Rye action going on.

Boulevard Rye on Rye, 11% abv, Rye Beer

Bottle #1767 of 12148, LOSES POINTS FOR LACK OF ULTRA RARE.

Ok so they took an amazing Rye Beer and then put it into barrels of Templeton Rye whiskey and aged it until we got this raucous potation, ready to scrap with the best of Affliction t-shirts.

A: The appearance is a deep murky amber with ruby tones and a translucence that light passes changed like an aurora borealis. The carbonation is absurd and gets nimbus status real quick and takes 3 minutes to stratify into porous catacombs where the aromas go to die. Looks like bayou bubble bath for neglected children.

This beer feels classic, yes impure, like being beaten with a Dinoriders toy, but you secretly like it.

S: There is a waft of whiskey, mild heat, prunes, figs, toffee and melted brown sugar similar to bananas fosters. It’s like getting a hug from your postman, professional but not so seccretly alcoholic.

T: This is really impressive and unique. It straddles right between a big quad and a bourbon barrel barleywine but remains unique but imparting that characteristic crackly rye finish. It dries the gumline at first but imparts deep pitted fruits and deep peppery notes that would keep even the flattest, most uninspiring midwest states entertained. I think California would never make something like this, because the moment someone was close they would fall in love with a hipster chick or an earthquake would happen or a celebrity would walk by or they would get hit on the head with a book of cliches. The taste has a faint floral note but it is impressive in how distinct it is but shares the penumbra of tons of different styles. You could even tell someone this was an old ale with the waft of booziness and WOULDN’T THEY LOOK LIKE SHIT WHEN YOU REVEALED IT WAS A RYE BEER.

Whenever I trade for something, it is a gamble, the verdict is MOAR.

M: The mouthfeel is crisp and light like spraying caramel binaca into your mouth. If you were born in the 90’s you probably dont know what Binaca, but trust me, it was so cash. It washes clean and imparts some drying effects with mild oakiness but I enjoy the complexity through and through. The booziness could be ratcheted back a bit, but then it is rye beer in a rye whiskey barrel so what was I expecting? Not some velvet smoothe experience, it tastes like a kiss from a University of Kentucky undergrad.

D: This is very boozy, hot, oaky, and reeks of acetone. It is also delicious. This ambivalence creates this push pull mechanism where you dont want to stop drinking but your palate and liver whisper silent pleas to stop the abuse. You can get a new liver, but trading for bottles of Rye on Rye is almost harder, I have PPO insurance SO I MIGHT AS WELL. Basically, its a bit prickly but worth the ride, like the end of Splash Mountain, except instead of singing bears, it is more like police sirens. Cutty.

It took me an entire bottle to decide how I feel about this and I can decidedly say: feelings. Rye feelings.

Narrative: Secale was always the snubbed cereal sister. She looked longingly through the window of the local department store and stared at the simple enzymes and pleasing chains of glucose and always looked at herself and thought “why me?” Every eligible substrate within the tri-ribosome county knew that she was prude and nearly impossible to postulate the “Lock and Key” hypothesis with, if we are speaking crudely. Rye held her head up high and Ms. Secale powered on. Perhaps it was a penchant for racism, as Secale was primarily found in Turkey, and her people stretched along the fertile crescent and the “pure” crops of corns and rice simply edged her out of all competition. Secale sobbed angrily into her long-leafed stalks and cursed her base heritage. Who would ever love a coarse grain like her? A gentle southern gentleman in an alabaster suit took her in his palm and caressed her intentions into a fanciful Pinnochio universe not unlike J. Worthington Foulfellow. Before she knew it, Secale was impressed to a life of hard alcoholism and then enslaved to a barrel. After years of hard fermentation she emerged a hateful shell of feminine herbal grace, her only desire, to burn and scorn the XY chromosomal order. Such is the hateful story of the Rye upon Rye, as true today as when it was written.