@tiredhandsbeer Artisnale Oyster Stout brewed with Escargot shells, THIS IS MAKING MY SNAIL COME OUT OF ITS SHELL

Alright stay with me here, I know this is a little crazy, oyster stout brewed with snail shells? I guess I should preface this entire review by saying 1) I don’t like oyster stouts in general and 2) I don’t eat snails, unless I am in a third world country and I am doing it for the lulz to show them I am just like thems. That being said, I will skull any beer and have zero regrets, well ok maybe SOME REGRETS.

But let’s bust these shells wide open and suck out the juices in today’s review.

snails poppin slugs at those haterzzz

snails poppin slugs at those haterzzz

Tired Hands Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States
American Stout | 7.80% ABV

A: The carbonation on this beer is legendary and even the slightest agitation takes it to pre-menstrual levels of anger. I know it looks like I poured this like an asshole, but srs, I was pediatrician gentle with it and it still was all rustled. The slick “light black” inkiness of the beer seems almost deep brown in a way, compared to most imperial stouts that are darker than Satan’s magic. The head is absurd and straight out of a Juicy J video, all dark and excessive.

if you drink this stout, chances are you aren't a complete piece of shit. Pic related.

if you drink this stout, chances are you aren’t a complete piece of shit. Pic related.

S: This has a really sweet tootsie roll sort of waft to the smell, light roast, baker’s chocolate, and a sort of milk chocolate aspect to it on the nose. The hops are really restrained an almost seem to be well integrated with the char of the malts. I will say at the very back end there is this sort of longshoreman brine meets salts sea captain sort of thing going on that almost reminds me of a jar of nickels. It is not all up in the spotlight but the imperial oyster aspects are in the background, spinning salty jams for everyone to rage to.

T: The foregoing is continued and sustained with a sweetness at the outset that is at first almost offputting like some “imperial” stouts from England where you just lul at them for trying, being all turbinado and sticky. But then out of nowhere off the high ropes fucking brine and this metallic aspect comes in and drops ‘bows and puts the roast in a figure four. You think the ref is gonna call it, but oh shit, the snail shell aspect just smashed him with a folding chair. Things get out of hand really quick, but strangely, I had a hard time putting it down because I was fascinated by it.

if you are drinking imperial oyster stouts, chances are you aren't a complete beta bitch in the permafriend zone. pic related.

if you are drinking imperial oyster stouts, chances are you aren’t a complete beta bitch in the permafriend zone. pic related.

M: This has one of the craziest mouthfeels from a stout that I have experienced in a long time. I am assuming that the inclusion of the escargot shells imparted a huge calcium and alkaline boost to the water profile because the water is super hard in this mix. After you swallow, the sugars dont even linger on your teeth and you get this sort of lip smacking aspect that is strange from a stout. This too reminds me of those UK stouts with a really gentle mouthfeel and dainty carbonation, this paired with the crazy sweet meets salty aspects leave me perplexed and straight draining the bottle.

D: This is exceptionally drinkable with the caveat that you must be able to tolerate some sweetness, hard water, and a light brackishness to your stouts. This might be a deal breaker for most people, but I was intrigued by it and finished this with celerity. For not liking the style itself, I would wager that this is about as awesome as this genre can get while still being on style. It’s like having the world’s fastest hybrid in a way, certain concessions will be inherently present within the confined of the category.

for an 8% beer, you hit this beer and this beer hits back.

for an 8% beer, you hit this beer and this beer hits back.

Narrative: Penelope Brigston slid lazily across the wet concrete and soaked in the misty Seattle morning. The dew from last night gave a nice moisture profile to Vicksburg street and her stomachfoot embraced the pavement with calculating execution. She slowly passed the smashed earthworms, those annelida too ambitious to restrain themselves from walking right into traffic. Penelope felt a small disconnect with the suburban street and thought about all of her taxonomic brethren, such diversity in her family and yet she was alienated from all of them. Hell, she hardly ever wrote to her sea mollusk family anymore and the better part of her days were consumed in either eating fescue or licking Tootsie Roll wrappers. Busy days all around. Her radula worked assiduously tearing apart a discarded piece of romaine lettuce and she savored the metallic taste of the sardines and salt in the dressing. It was a hazy morning but Penelope would face life with both antennae forward, living life out of her shell as much as possible.


Bullfrog Blue Condition Wild Ale, For PA Residents Still Hoping for Walez From That Aging Matriarch

I am going to address the residents of Pennsylvania for a moment here, so everyone else with dental insurance can tune out for a second: Bullfrog will not return to its previous glory. It was a marvelous time, but that age is over. I know you look longingly at Blue Cheer and Black Cherry Bomb and Bee Keeper and think of those simpler times but those beers were released back when it was illegal to hook up with chicks born in 1990. Now that is totally legal and the current state of affairs is in god damn shambles. People were all full sail when Oud 15 came out and the rest of us were all like “wait, 13% wild ale no one has tasted that everyone wants to trade away, hold on a second.” I know an anal bleaching when I see one. Anyway, let’s see what Bullfrog is up to in today’s growler only release, for the haters.

Frog Stomp.  We are making Silverchair references now.

Frog Stomp. We are making Silverchair references now.

Bullfrog Brewery
Pennsylvania, United States
American Wild Ale | 8.00% ABV

Because today we will be stomping…on Frog…God damnit you probably didn’t even lift in the 90s.

A: The carbonation is minimal and I don’t really want to blame fedex for this because I feel that some of this has to do with the body of the beer itself, which is on a Natalie Portman level of thinness and flatness and lacking tits in general. The look is a bit darker than I like my wild ales, but I don’t want to get things in a maltist ass prejudicial discussion. The dull copper and amber is nice but nothing to break out the charcoal set and draw like one of your French girls.

It is a down economy, I should be grateful for brewery only growler only releases, but, I am an insouciant prick. I dont even like beer.

It is a down economy, I should be grateful for brewery only growler only releases, but, I am an insouciant prick. I dont even like beer.

S: This is really muted and the acidity just kinda lays there with a light berry tannin that lets you pump away for $120, but doesn’t get into it. It is all business for this old blue cheer, and no one reads reviews of escorts beers anyway. Hey, you want some worse news? You have a full 64 ounces of this to deal with, AND YOU JUST FINISHED ASSASSIN’S CREED III. There is a bit of oak and some really tame acidity like the inside of a fruity pebbles box, but it is like that point during hooking up when you realize that you arent going any further than fingerbanging, and you have to leave the Hardee’s parking lot and drive home with your hand smelling all like Progresso soup. Kinda disappointing.

Two whole liters of this? Can I cho cho choose to drink something else?

Two whole liters of this? Can I cho cho choose to drink something else?

T: This is incredibly thin and simple in execution with a sort of metallic meets fusel alcohol character that is quickly covered by a sort of gushers/fruit roll up berry aspect. This comes across kinda like a weird Belgian golden that got mixed up with a weird berry gang so then you see them and you are like all “ok, a gang of Hmongs….wait…is that a fruit of the looms guy?” The aftertastes is kinda like Mike N Ike’s but in a movie theater sort of “fuck my mouth tastes like plastic” sort of way.

I thought I was gonna have some bad ass blueberry blabaer wild ale Cable Car hybrid, instead I got smashed frogs and berries

I thought I was gonna have some bad ass blueberry blabaer wild ale Cable Car hybrid, instead I got smashed frogs and berries

M: This would help if they didn’t decide to attempt to pound 8% abv into what is essentially a Honda CRX chassis. This is far too thin for what they were attempting to accomplish, give me something to hold onto. Ladies, you ever hook up with a swimmer and get creeped out because he is all smoothe? JUST KIDDING WOMEN DO NOT READ THIS WEBSITE YOU JUST HAD HOMOSEX THOUGHTS.

D: This is thin enough that you would think it would be something that you could take down easily but I shared this 2L growler and was bored pretty early into this endeavor. I actually started watching Do the Right Thing while I was drinking this and the beer was somehow worse than that shitty one dimensional movie, so one a scale from one to Spike Lee, this is Radio Rahim.

If the past 3 years of beer have been disappointing, maybe you should blame the PA beer reviewers?

If the past 3 years of beer have been disappointing, maybe you should blame the PA beer reviewers?

Narrative: “You sure you don’t need a ride home Mike?” Mrs. Chalmers offered to Mike while he sat and pounded his mitt looking off into the pouring down rain waiting for his absentee brother. It has been a long time since Mike’s brother Devin had done anything right for him, constantly abandoning him at practice, forgetting to support him, despite this he longed for that day when amazing things would happen again. He thought back to 2006 when life was good, things were simple, they would practice apiary and pick black cherries but now it was a series of let downs and even his friends went to hang out at Tired Hands Day Camp, which seemed to offer more fun activities than his asshole brother could muster these days. It wasn’t Mike’s fault, he was just living in the past, but the thinly veiled metaphors kept passing him on.


Peg’s Cantina RareR D.O.S., The Extra R Stands for “Rape”

Before my sweaty virgin contingency of readers get all upset, I know rape jokes are not funny, I know the R stands for “rum”, but go ahead and try to land this in the trade forums: forced intercourse. 300ish growlers (500ml small penis swingtops) and 3 per person. At least it was better than the previous run of 25 whopping growlers, but hey, it is a top 100 beer so tickers gotta tick, flipping bricks, crushing up raw. If you are some uninitiated dry vagina who stumbled into this site and somehow read the Rare DOS review then get on your pimping and come back when you are good and ready.

Ironically, the regular rad Rare Dos was more RarerereR

Ironically, the regular rad Rare Dos was more RarerereR

A: I guess leaving the home state of Florida was a lackluster affair for this lil growler because it shows up with little fanfare and lazily spills an Exxon black out of the bottle, a nice Huna sheen to it, with a lil bit of cafe au lait pencil lead thin foam on top. It isn’t dirty, but it isn’t exactly clean either, kinda like the Vegas Strip at 4am.

Slaying top 100 walez, not learning foreign languages, not meeting interesting people.  Living that beer dream.

Slaying top 100 walez, not learning foreign languages, not meeting interesting people. Living that beer dream.

S: This doesnt present that odd Rum aspect that other treatments had me accustomed to. This almost comes across as an entirely bourbon affair, you get mallow foam, coconut, a light caramel aspect on that Calvados tip, and a bit of that Sugar in the Raw that you never fucking use at coffee shops. There is a light chocolate and cocoa but those are cast as Inmate #3, supporting in the background, adding authenticity.

T: This has that same phenomenal balance of booze, chocolate, hershey’s syrup, slight roast but more sweetness from the rum notes. Again, if you are accustomed to the Rum Huna land, you will be confused as fuck when you enter this realm because it seriously is more like an amped up Czar Jack than some rummy endeavor. In classic top 100 form, I can’t really think of a direct analog to this because it really stands on its own with the residual sugars and novel pirate swagger (Carribean not Ethiopean.)

Pop that tiny growler, put on John Carpenter's The Thing, and cool the fuck out.

Pop that tiny growler, put on John Carpenter’s The Thing, and cool the fuck out.

M: This is stickier than something like say, Parabola, but doesn’t toe that Huna/Abyss line where you have to move that sticky black palm from your inner thigh, ruining the second half of Pearl Harbor for you. There is sheeting but then the residual sugars are kept in line by the Hueguenot force of clear alcohol, which honestly makes me wonder if this was more in the 13% realm. I ain’t to kinda WINE ASSHOLE, so who am I to say. Cabernets and shit.

D: This is exceptionally drinkable, if you happen to be some kinda of shipping magnate who can scoop up limited growler releases on the reg, lighting your cigars with Action Comics #1. If that is you, sure go ahead and drink away. For the rest of us, coal faced masses, pushing our gaunt faces to the window of Peg’s Cantina, hungering for that panegyric that will lighten our ticking hearts, we probably wont have this that often. Usually at this point, some bitter needledick chimes in about how good beer isn’t rare and how they are super stoked on their offshelf offerings, that’s fine, go drink your Storm King or whateverthefuck, let the real men discuss beer.

The average beer nerd will probably never try this in real life, but hey, beer nerds can always dream.

The average beer nerd will probably never try this in real life, but hey, beer nerds can always dream.

Narrative: They told me I could never do it, what with my having type II diabetes and bustling waistline, they just readily assume that I wouldn’t be a decent chimney sweep? That’s where they underestimated old Michael Jarvis, they didn’t know that I was born with superperceptive inner ear membranes that provide me with expcetional poise and balance. I can caress the roofline and tiles with fleeting agility as I pieroette and gracefully balance upon the brickwork of chimneys. Let’s see those dullards at the public house do that. I would love to see the fittest of their men compete against my 280 lbs frame as I amble the boards with Geckoesque grip and control. It is not about being the strongest, or the most memorable chiney sweep, it is about getting the job done. Post-victorian England isn’t going to unsoot itself and my poise and grace will win chimneys over one by one, if not for a lingering memory, for the sheer efficacy of my work and style. I dont need them to call the name of Michael Jarvis from the rooftops, the balance of my work is clamour enough upon the straining ceiling tiles.


Struise Double Black Stout, 26% abv for those times when Single Blacking Out Isn’t Enough

As my loyal readers may be aware, this site started with a compulsive desire to talk mad shit on every beer in every top 100 list, I think we are still on course. Aside from that, this beer would pop up at like 99 ever so often and I would have to whack a mole that shit constantly. Ever had Bligh’s Barleywine? I have, because it was in the top 100 for like 43 minutes. It is an amazing barleywine, I just want you to see the fucking troubles I encounter for your amusement. Anyway, this bottle was 70-100 euros and is a direct/less expensive analog to FIVE SQUARED albeit the stout version. So we ice distill the amazing Black Albert down to 26% and then drink it at Alesmith strictly for the lulz. Let’s get it.

Double Blacking out so hard on that 26% monster.

De Struise Brouwers
American Double / Imperial Stout | 26.00% ABV

A: For a beer with a staggeringly high abv, this actually was nicely carbed, but the crazy heat and inky thick vicosity strangle the bubbles out of this potation. The sheen is just that, double black. If Huna is an 8 on the darkness scale, this is an absolute black hole, absorbing all photons without mercy. The sheeting is the only thing keeping the staining malts at bay. You bust a sick swirl and watch the khaki darkness coat and then the huge alcohol sheeting comes down wet and clear, putting that pussy in a sarcophagus.

New beer users always obsess over ABV over actual taste, it is the fucking 9GAG of the beer world. Go drink 120 Min and eat my ass, this is big boy beer shit.

S: This goes HAM on all aspects, it goes apeshit with chocolate, deep hot bourbon, cocoa, intense roasted malts, light char, and a nice vanilla and coconut to the backend. I don’t know how they did this. Seriously. After suffering through Tactical Nuclear Penguin, I expected a nightmare from this, but it is incredibly drinkable and reminds me of an…imperial…Black Tuesday. Think about that shit for a moment. I am talking about a “single” format that is 19% abv. This is a full 7% above that. Game recognize game.

T: This will light up your chest like E.T. There is a deep bourbon at the outset with smoky malts to balance it and a deep chocolate finish. After the swallow the real fun begins, since most of this beer is in the residual power that you are going 12 rounds with. While it is in your mouth, it is too viscous and complex to discern elements, but after the swallow you get the emotions in waves, like being dumped on prom. You get a deep caramel and oak from the barrel, the roast lingers for a bit, there’s coconut and vanilla, finally a full 10 seconds later, you lick your teefers and get a butterscotch aspect. Then you look at your glass and realize you have another fucking 13 ounces to deal with.

I roll hard on 240 bottle releases, drop 100 euros on bottles, have them shipped from Belgium; thugging so hard.

M: I shouldn’t have to tell you what this coats like. This has a deeper coating than Trojan Twisted Sensations. You get this deep viscosity in the mouthfeel and upon swallowing you think that the experience is over since the heat from the bourbon and abv seems to burn off the residual sugars in your mouth, then the mendicant vagrants climb out from the cracks, sweet and chocolatey in the dystopian future that is your gumline.

D: I would be remiss to say that this is drinkable, per se. Sure, unless you are Shogokawada, you probably can’t merk a bottle to yourself. No hating on Shogo, I PROBABLY COULD, but then again look at my site, I have some demons going on beyond the ambit of most people lining up Netflix queues. So it would break down like this: you could drink half of this and enjoy it, I could drink a full bottle of this and then write a review like this, Shogokawda could drink a full bottle and then decide that it is time to get to work. And the hierarchy is maintained. Unless you are on a straight Brett Favre level, or on my Aaron Rodgers tip, pool your money like poor bastards and brag about this shit on the Matt Leinart scene, smiley as fuck.

At a certain point you just flex your beer lats, and go bat wing on all the haters. If you read this site, you already powerlevelled so hard.

Narrative: The cabinet of the Killer Instinct creaked with his intense power, sweating at the brow while ironically using Glacius. Sure he was 43 years old. Yes, he had a culdesac. Hell, Janus Milkerson even reeked of 4 Roses bourbon on the regular but no one would deny his ability to chain sick combos. To face him was to cast 2 quarters into the river of Styx, a hopeless endeavor. He was the darkest most hate filled individual in the entire arcade. Most children patronizing the location were doing just that, patronizing the location. To come to a place and spend hard currency on physical machines to imbibe the slow leak of outdated graphics was a strange foreign enterprise. “AH, and from when THINE CAME, thou shalt be returned!” Janus echoed, spitting upon the joystick, scaring the 5th grade opponent. He was the darkest, most hateful participant in the building, but he was strangely calm and poised in his madness. After playing a game with him, children would stand in cool reverence and wonder whether excellence was possible and whether the fleeting reality of shortsighted hedonism was a valid outlet, before exchanging their tickets for spider rings and jolly ranchers.


Green Flash Silva Stout, Double Stout Got Thinner and Got All Into Red Wine, Like a Recent Divorcee

Back when I set out to complete the top 100, this beer gave me a ton of trouble to lock down for some reason. Perhaps it was the fact that I was trading with people in SD and they didn’t want any of my petty wares, maybe it was because it hasn’t been released in a while. Who knows, either way, MrHrschybar finally make my boyish dreams come true by hooking me up with this.

Just illegally enjoying a beer right in front of Bruery Provisions. NBD. DDB – 1, City of Orange – 0.

Green Flash Brewing Co.
California, United States
American Double / Imperial Stout | 10.10% ABV

A: This has a slick but light cola sheen to it with a light mahogany resonance at the edges. The carbonation was generous and the lacing was nothing really too insane, but mild levels of anxiety are elicited. It looks like a pretty standard affair and borderline imperial porter in appearance if you are all into those kinds of exploits.

Classic beer, historically revered.

S: There is a light coffee and bourbon aspect to the nose, but I also get a tannic presence, not like an infection, more like a merlot grape or something from the oak. You get the base beer coming through in a big way, which is good because Double Stout is pretty solid on its own, but the added leather seats and sunroof really pushes this beer over the top. I wouldn’t say it is as memorable as Parabola, but it is in the same vein and execution.

T: This follows the nose pretty well and imparts cocoa, vanilla, chocolate, and light char. Char so cutty. Again, that port character rears its head for a moment and seems like a Kate the Great sort of throwback, but it is more muted in this beer than in KtG. Everyone gets what they wanted.

Take amazing stout, make it harder to find and more delcious…and thinner. Wat.

M: This is incredibly light and thin on the palate, so much so that it almost distracts from the experience. I could have used a little more heft in the coating, but, complainers gonna complain. I feel like this went the Sexual Chocolate route and got thinner with time aging on oak, strange twists of chemistry.

D: The same reasons that I complained above push this section to alluring new heights. This is an incredibly drinkable beer and the thin nature imparts a slick drinakbility with a huge lingering presence, making you want to drain your wallet and an entire 4 pack. I recommend this, but given my problems landing this earlier, I would say that you could stick to Parabola and/or Abyss and not be slighted in the least.

This beer upgrades regular old Double Stout with sick new nanotech.

Narrative: Narrative: Robert Chalmers wasn’t a jock exactly, he played water polo but didn’t make his life about it. Sure, he was on academic decathelon but he was far from the best on that team either. Ultimately he was a place filling integer, just a cog within the social framework. Ultimately he would meet a normal girl with middle of the road asprirations and purchase a track home. It was his destiny, but he always felt that lingering itch for something beyond formica tile and a kitchen hutch. Alas, ten years have passed and here Robert is, plating rhododendron bulbs and wondering what could have been. He longed for those days on the vineyard soil, running through the loose soil, drinking strong cups of coffee and enjoying deep dark chocolate. Sadly, he could not return and this life of mild obscurity was his remaining fate.


Goose Island Bourbon County Vanilla Brand Stout: PART 3 – Revenge of the Midwest Shelfwales

Ah those old 13,000 bottle release shelfwales, they have entered our fair community with panache and aplomb that would make even Balzac blush. This has been a noticeable oversight for quite some time and beer nerds have often asked me why this beer of all the variants was so scornfully cast out of the house like a coffee drinking Latter Day Saint. The simple answer is: this is the worst of the BCBS variants. Now it is still BCBS at heart so that is like saying that the Gallardo is the shittiest lambo; it will still get you some lackluster handjobs. Let’s look at what kinda beans this beer is grinding in today’s review:

Oh shit, the elusive non-standard toaster shot. This is like the BCBVS rookie card up in this mix.

Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States
American Double / Imperial Stout | 13.00% ABV

A: Get ready for some serious Hitchcock twist to this review: IT LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE BCBS. There are no raw pieces of vanilla or flecks of artisnal beans up in this medium. It is just deep dark murky blackness with minimal lacing, light sheeting and carbonation that phones it in harder than the Miami Dolphins. Not a particularly beautiful beer but, whatever, I AM JUST LOOKING TO LAND A BOOS WITH THIS ALRIGHT.

I feel bad for anyone who drops crazy bottles on this in a trade, you know that feel.

S: This is overridingly sweet, not in that Bruery White Chocolate fashion where you give it a playful shove, like so sweet that you ask it to pull over so you can get out. This has the roast and charming marshmallow meets oak profile with coy little chocolate peeking downstairs at mama bourbon wrapping presents, then holy fuck, Papa Vanilla comes home and starts making declarative statements about how he pays that bills and no one respects him. This is just sweet sticky vanilla extract overload that ends up coming across less like an Oreo/Coffee/Chocolate treat, and more like the lipsmackers lip balm from all those chicks you weren’t making out with in 9th grade.

T: This starts out pretty awesome as BCBS is wont to do, then vanilla jumps with its sweet cloying claws like the T1000 getting dragged behind what would have been a pleasant stout journey to Skynet. There’s a chocolate and coffee presence and vanilla adds this Torani syrup quality like drinks from Starbucks that prevents everyone from getting laid, just beanblocking. This beer seriously makes me just want a regular old BCBS and to leave this sticky sweet interloper out of things, a boy can dream.

This beer tries too hard and ends up coming out as a lesser product as a result. JUST BE YOURSELF BCBS, WE LIKE YOU FOR YOU.

M: This has a generous coating and leaves a deep lingering roast, char, sweet milk chocolate and guess who is riding shotgunning, fucking Vanilla, messing with the radio controls making you listen to Static X and other shit you don’t need or want. I am not saying this is worlds worse than even ::gasp:: BRAMBLE, but what I am saying is that, it would have been better if what makes it so desired was left out. No one is pining after megan Fox because she has toe thumbs, its just something you put up with for the rest of the package.

D: This is less drinkable than every other variant and as it warmed I wish I shared this with someone. Again, this is not a bad beer, it is still BCBS at heart, but you just wish it would cool it with the Baskin Robbins sticky sweet overload. The vanilla is distracting and the types of things that this beer is commanding at this point is downright confusing to me, but then again, toottoot shelfwalez only get more rarerer and not less rare, no walez on the train, mixed metaphor leaving the station. vrroooooom.

Disagree with the midwest cadre about one of their crown jewels? Fuck the police.

Narrative: “Ok here he comes, he’s walking up the drivewa- oh no, his cousin Nigel Beansington is with him, everyone get down get ready to yell surprise!” All of Mark’s friends hid in his small one bedroom apartment and could smell Nigel’s sickeningly sweet DKNY APPLE cologne as he entered the room. “AND SO I TOLD THEM IT WOULD BE OBVIOUS TO YOU THAT THEY WERE PLANNING A SURPRISE PART-” “SURPRISE!” the crowd groaned in unison. Nigel had ruined things again. He was sweet enough and it was hard to fault his blissful ignorance but he just always ended up in places that he did not belong. “Ya see? Told ya, surprise party, obvious right?” Nigel quipped and pushed a finger into the uncut birthday cake and ate a dab of frosting. “EWW BUTTERSCOTCH frosting, what is this a COSTCO, oh KIRKLAND, ya KIRKLAND means Costco cake.” The party universally exhaled and reflected how this overpowering asshole ruined what would have been an incredible affair.


Firestone Walker Parabola Imperial Stout, This Beer is Turning My Directrix into a Conic Section

Well what better beer to close out Imperial Stout week than none other than good old Parabola, the top 100 Wunderkind that makes trading for almost every other barrel aged stout completely pointless. Trust me, I love Rare and I am obsessed with Rare DOS and Bourbon Barrel Plead the 5th, but when it comes to taste, price point, and accessibility, this is the best Imperial Stout out there. I know, it comes in a gauche cardboard box that touts all its merits and accolades, but even hot girls sometimes listen to the Murder City Devils. Stop being so judgmental. Let’s open this box and bust open some vertexes in today’s review:

I have had this beer once on dr-

Another time I had this beer out of the bot-

Another time I enjoyed this in front of my toaste-


Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States
Russian Imperial Stout | 12.50% ABV

A: This is such a beautiful beer and, despite 5 straight days of describing imperial stouts, I think I can must up some original content for this one. This has a nice slick inky aspect to it but it is overridingly dark mahogany. It isn’t strictly a flat black like those lame primered out whips that Persian trustees love to embrace. This is a dark mocha that has ample but light lacing. There’s plenty of decadent cake but the cocoa fondant is not insubstantial.

I just wanna get me mouth on this and nurse it gently every single night.

S: The bouquet makes me want to go into my cellar and and open another right now. Just double fist them to overdose on amazingness. TWO TWO PARA BOLAS AT THE SAME DAMN TIME. You get a nice bourbon aspect but a completely inviting chocolate truffle aspect and a clean lingering candied fig dark fruit aspect. You don’t like going to stupid farmers markets? Well they sell chocolate at those at an outrageous markup. This is the farmer’s market without the children and without the markup.

T: This is exception and wraps you with one of those hugs after a long hard chocolate cry, binging bourbon and vanilla beans. He wasn’t the right one for you anyway, Parabola will always be there for you, Parabola will wipe away those tears and carve pumpkins with you when no one else will. It is the everyday stout that is as incredible as the best of the best, but gives killer licorice back massages.

Whenever people tell me that Parabola isn’t that good, my jimmies remain in adamantium unrustle.

M: This is thick but not overpowering like Abyss, it is not overly thin either. The malt profile stays in your room just long enough to lovingly watch you fall into a bourbon nap and then turns the night light off. What a sweet and gentle stout that sweetly tucks 12.5% abv alcohol directly into your brain. You aren’t walking around smelling negligent, it is more of a light finish with a huge robust initial coating. This is the imperial stout that has admirable torque, but incredible cornering: the Carrera of the barrel aged world.

D: This is exceptionally drinkable, especially all up in your Porsche doing sick burnouts, socking nerds, asking girls to show their hooters. Except, it is more refined, with great power comes an incredible chocolate poise. They don’t just toss bombers into special cardboard boxes for no reason except Barrel Aged Double Barrel. This is an amazing beer and can serve as a gateway drug for your friends to absolutely ruin their lives with heavier exploits later on. I wouldn’t have my friends live their lives any other way.

This beer is fulfilling and exciting as the same time. Straight up decadence on a roller coaster.

Narrative: I drank imperial barrel aged stouts non-stop. I cannot write a narrative today. hit the archives or enjoy one of the other 397 beer reviews from last year you ingrates.


Stone 2008 Barrel Aged Imperial Russian Stout, Finally Ticked this Elusive Draft Only Beast (Don’t mention 2010)

Ok so let’s list a few of my failed exploits with this rare draft=only, no growler stout. I once drove all the way down to SD after Winterstorm because a hostess told me that it was still on tap. I showed up and Dr. Bill remonstratively informed me that it had kicked. Never trust a hostess. Another time I drove all the way down to SD to pick up some 2010 bottles of this and they were horribly infected, It was like drinking chocolate Consecration. Another time I bought $45 tickets to Blue Palms anniversary and went alone on a 95 degree day, stood in line and was one of the first people to go in. I go in and BOOM the Stone rep told me that they unilaterally decided to “replace” Stone IRS with 15th anniversary on Espresso Beans. To the uninformed, that is like showing up to the Nissan dealership for your GT-R and they give you a 370z with a really nice spoiler. Enough complaining, I finally ticked this top 100 asshole, let’s get it:

It took me so long to finally land this, my liver stocked up so much that it would never crave it again. This tactic failed.

Stone Brewing Co.
California, United States
Russian Imperial Stout | 11.50% ABV

A: This looks almost identical to normal IRS with the exception that it has a bit more clear sheeting and a bit less carbonation. What did you seriously expect, some bourbon ghost or magical bourbon sparkles to enhance your experience? There’s some nice mocha frothiness like trying to take a swim at Long Beach.

They don’t want you sipping rare BA stouts, ticking top 100 beers, they tryna catch you riding cleanly.

S: The smell is absolutely fantastic. It is reminiscent of a gentler Bourbon Barrel Plead the 5th, with more of a coconut vanilla thing going on, and less roast. You get a blast of dark chocolate, baker’s cocoa, some Nestle cocoa, marshmellow and some melted caramel. This spent 2 years in a barrel and it learned a thing or two during its hard time, like how to fashion a bourbon shiv out of oak and how to convert malts to Islam.

T: This is an incredible stout and takes all of the simply delicious chocolate and roast nuances of the original and adds this complex sweet profile that is entirely fulfilling. There’s an initial bourbon sweetness that almost comes across similar to a brandy treatment, but fades into this macaroon dipped in milk chocolate with a side of coffee, the tepid mouthfeel just lets the malts pop lock and drop it. This beer is official like a referee whistle. While I love the 08 and 09 vintages of IRS, this is an entirely different endeavor and straight up leap frogs over the likes of Parabola and Abyss for the simplicity and deliciousness of its execution. This isn’t the most complex stout in the world but it just maxes out the balance, like a skewed Aristotelian mean.

Barrel aged stouts kill more beer nerds each year than baby hippos. Think of the dying beer nerds.

M: This is a bit dry from the oak but provides a nice light chocolatey coating from the residual malts and sugars. This is exceptionally drinkable simply for the fact that it imparts a huge profile without being too filling or cloying on any specific element. Some beers are too thick (Abyss) others are too hot (Black Tooz) others still present strange aplomb that is off putting (Dark Lord); this avoids that terrain and just sneaks in past the bouncer with a bourbon 9mm tucked in its jeans.

D: See above, this is really drinkable and it is frustrating how unavailable this is. I wonder if Greg Koch ever calls Kyle from Kern River brew co and they just bust out kegs of Class X and BA IRS and share them and no one else gets none. Just an amazing stout sesh that no one else gets to drink. I will order this any time that I see it, I don’t care if I am at my own parole hearing, I mean, why is it on tap there in the first place? Seems kinda negligent of the warden.

I see you have Barrel Aged IRS. I like barrel aged things.

Narrative: Chris Martin kept an orderly office: pictures of his wife and two children on his desk, Kiwani’s plaques on the wall, an ironic Billy Bass as a talkign point for clients. If you were in the market for a used Trailblazer or Arcadia, he was your man. What most single mothers or recent divorcees buying used american cars were unaware of was Chris’s dark secret. Chris was completely intoxicated during every single transaction. He kept a series of vintage bourbons in his right hand drawer, awaiting his consumption. The chocolate candies and Werther’s Originals were on the rich mahogany desk to distract from his bloodshot eyes and the dizzying loan payment figures. Much as the finches of Darwinian exploits had adapted their beaks for efficiency, Chris’s liver had adapted to embrace the trappings of his ultimately depressing profession. No one wants to grow up to be a middle manager at a used car lot in Pensacola. No one ever tells that story. Chris penned his final deal of the month and staggered over to the bell and rang it. His co-workers clapped and nodded in cool reverence of his haughty swagger. No one had ever sold a Neon Expresso before. They said that car was unsalable. But then again they didn’t drink Buffalo Trace at 8:30 in the morning now did they?


Cigar City Apple Brandy Barrel Aged Hunahpu’s, Because Reviewing the Regular and Bourbon Was Not Enough

Well, just short of doing the rum and whiskey variants, I think this should round out the old Huna triumvirate pretty nicely. I am going to save everyone from the shock of their lifetimes: this beer was amazing. I don’t say that because it sits proudly in the top 100 insouciantly uncaring of your petty desires, I say that because it melds all of my favorite aspects of the prior two versions and fills in what minor flaws there were. I opened a growler of this at my house with a bunch of people and even stout haters were enamored with this black beauty. Enough pre-reviewing, let’s get deep up in that review

I have had both the screwtop and swingtop variants, I prefer the janky old medicinal look of the screwtop but the swingtop is more official.

Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States
American Double / Imperial Stout | 11.50% ABV

A: Keep true to the meciless Huna form, this beer just coats and strangles the light from every aspect of this beer. The malts are obsidian and darker than Jodie Sweetin’s heart. The mocha lacing is less substantial than the bottled and regular versions, but still clings with a very pretty sort of dirty aspect to it. The glass is literally ruined after you pour this into it, the entire thing just paints it this off khaki color that takes quite a bit to clean, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The south has created another deity worthy of reverence.

S: This has less chili presence than the regular Huna but still has a slight crackle of Cuban zest deep down. What is more present is this deep overiding sweetness and caramel presence that as first comes on like vanilla and marshmellow and goes to a naughty Werther’s Original sort of toffee place. The brandy is unmistakably present like Nana’s breath after a huge bridge tournament win.

T: This is a deliciously decadent Dove chocolate note to usher in the cadre of supporting caste comprised of brown sugar, light chili presence, a slight cinnamon crackle like holiday cookies that transitions into a sweet oak meets booziness that is totally fulfilling, like winning a Spelling Bee against ESL students. Fuck that, they entered the contest, don’t feel bad.

This beer is strange, but welcoming and oddly familiar, in a fantastic way.

M: This might be the most insane aspect of this beer, this seriously is the most viscously aggressive beer that I have ever come across. This stains the shit out of your glass like when Ivan the Terrible murdered 1500 unorthodox Tatar priests to access the Baltic shipping routes. That dark. Just drink this in a plastic cup and throw that shit away unless you want all subsequent beers to be haunted by the ghosts of huna’s past. I seriously don’t know how they did it. It isn’t just residual malts, if you want that trainwreck try Cigar City’s sugar disaster, Warmer Winter Winter Warmer. This is amazing on a whole different level of accolades. Respect.

D: This is strangely drinkable due to the medley of flavors going on. When I go to Denny’s and feel like having a 100% chance of diarrhea, I order the sampler. It has sweet, salty, savory, and such is the case with this beer. You getting bored with that chocolate? Oh here’s some fucking cinnamon, here’s some brandy, here you go, ancho chilis. You are welcome. It is like a god damn RX Bandit’s album up in your mouth hole.

When you focus on the purest elements, the truth is revealed.

Narrative: The cars whizzed by turn 4 with deafening precision and a constant din of squealing rubber and exhaust. The cadre within the ranks of the audience seemed to have one dental insurance plan per square 10, but that didn’t hamper their enjoyment of watching the Go-Karts tear the asphalt relentlessly, lap after lap. “Look at Brayden! SHOW THEM WHAT TIME IT IS BRAY BRAY!” Tonya screamed to her son whose age gap was of questionable legitimacy. The darkness in each participant’s heart fused together in a iniquitous ritual, evil to the core. It was a sport predicated on an abhorrence of all things progressive, repugnant to the environment. The checkered flag waved and the constant swirling of the high octane racers completed the rite of passage, Puzuzu, noted enemy of the dark magistrate, Hunahpu, rose from the center track. This abomination of sickening sweetness, chili dogs, diabetic pontification, and sticky sweet bourbon rose without a single ounce of trepidation. “MYYY MINIONNSSS YOU MUSTTTT, GO SEE EXPENDABLES PART TWOOOO” all present nodded in silent recognition and looked longingly on their Boost Mobile phones. If only they could purchase tickets with them, the will of the cantankerous deity could be done. Alas, the poverty stricken are the last to embrace the seraphic embrace of the iPhone 5. Such is their original sin and perpetual plight.


Midnight Sun Brewing Berserker, For Those Times When You Go Berkskerk

Midnight Sun beers are so damn good, so damn far away, so expensive, and not the easiest beers to lock down. Let’s be honest. We haven’t harassed our Alaskan neighbors since that barfly review. Well this is an analog to that beer in many ways, while not as .rar, I actually enjoy this coffee beast more. This is bourbon, coffee, maple, red wine and everything fine all rolled into one. Let’s start drilling for imperial oil in today’s review.

So many words up on that label, so many flavors all up in my face.

Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
Alaska, United States
American Double / Imperial Stout | 12.70% ABV

The label rages on:

“Vicious and viscous, this menacing brew pours opaque black with a creamy maduro-colored head. Its aroma offers seductive whiskey, chewy red wine, dark fruit and lavish tobacco. Berserker Imperial Stout invades your taste buds with in-your-face flavor. Weighing in at almost 13% alcohol by volume, Berserker is completely out-of-control. Give it a good fight. Berserker Imperial Stout was aged in both red wine and whiskey barrels.”

A: This is to the numbers an imperial stout through and though. Just look at that, it looks like press pot coffee mixed with triple brownie batter ice cream. The mocha head lets you know that the malts went through some serious dark ended shit in that 120 minute boil. The lacing is tremendous and the carbonation rises to the top despite thick sticky adversaries holding it back like a bunch of bubble haters.

This comes across like a progressive spin on something that you feel like you’ve experienced before. The result is a refreshing new experience.

S: This imparts a deep coffee, merlot, leather, oak, sweet milk chocolate, there is some char and roastiness but at least this beer has the decency to hide it and doesn’t just wave it around like Barfly sees it fit to do. The whole affair is welcoming but incredibly complex. This is an amazing beer and all I am doing it snorting rails of carbonation.

T: This goes overboard in every area like on Diddy Kong Racing when you unlock Drumstick. You get deep caramel and vanilla from the bourbon, then milk chocolate starts slapping titties, tobacco puts a cigar out in your vodka soda and red wine strides in looking like Prince in mink coat. The whole entourage is menacing but welcome, like those Thing 1 and 2’s that break all your shit, but rhyme the entire time.

uniting bourbon, red wine, and coffee is like discovering the triforce of imperial stouts.

M: This is incredibly viscous and shoulders the ranks of Abyss and Huna with that deep oily murkiness that only the most hardened BP workers can be cajoled into talking about. You take a sip of this, might as well just call in sick to work, you will look like a boozy asshole. Why are you drinking this in the morning anyway? After a full bomber of this, you can just listen to Purity Ring and stare at some shitty Z Gallerie artwork because nothing else is going to seem relevant after what your mind and palate just went through.

D: This is exceptionally drinkable, without qualifier. I know it is huge, boozy, chocolatey, chewy, and almost 13%. You can finger your own dick hole if you disagree, this stout just goes HAM and doesn’t care who knows it. I would advise seeking out a ton of this, but the trading curve has already taken off sky high, so good luck with that one.

This beer is huge, brash, but endlessly entertaining.

Narrative: The bubbles danced menacingly in front of your face as you watched the others propel themselves effortlessly through the water. Your cephalopoda eyes glow red with rage at the sight of their white, thin streamlined bodies. you were born this way, to harbor the maddening palour of a quadruple sized ink pouch. It is your scarlet, jet black A in your inner bladder. The most irksome, blackest squid in the sea, reviled by your contemporaries you lazily chug through the molasses emitting from your pores. Your beak grits haughtily in their wake, knowing their fortune, a grim death in indonesian nets. Alaskan squid are the most relentless indeed. Your wring your tentacles, obsidian in pigment, thinking of their light flesh reflecting the rays of angled sunlight from above. You could follow them in their trivial, fleeting existence, but you weren’t suited for that life. you were suited for the depths, the cold darkness, colder than your metabolic slowdown, colder than the oppressive atmospheric pressure. In a blast of thick enveloping ink you become one with the darkness and embrace your pure nature, a creature of the depths, all 8 legs propelling towards your destiny.