Three Floyds Dark Lord Roundup 2019: RRARI, Reptilefund, Lounge Against the Macromachine

It is Dark Lord variant season again, as ceaseless as the ever-lapping tides, the rapacious demands crash upon the shores of Munster. This year pure trade fatigue and a beer culture that brazenly embraces cash-is-king to recoup costs resulted in making trading for these gems a laughable endeavor.

Either traveling to Indiana is far more exotic than I thought, or perhaps these umamibois shouldn’t be going on elaborate beer trips that they outright can’t afford. To trade for RRARI alone it required something like 30+ messages and nearly every person was HOLDING OUT FOR A CASH OFFER BRO LMK. We get the beer scene we deserve.

On the other end of the spectrum we had Reptilefund: Dark Lord aged in mezcal barrels. This was universally lauded as predictably nightmarish, not on tap, and its 200 bottlecount ensured that no one would open it. The result was this Schroedingers Soy where no one would open one for fear of lost profits and no one would accept less than $250 because “RAREST VERIENT BRO.” Turtledogg 2.0, essentially. GOTTA HAVE IT TO COMPLETE YOUR 1oz POURIZONTAL FOR THE GRAM.

Finally we have Lounge Against the Macromachine, a rebrew of the bizarre tangerine, cinnamon, and chili endeavor from last year. So obviously that one needed an encore performance. Except this time with bourbon barrels involved. So I got three variants, hey I did my best in this culture.

The base beer Dark Lord from 2019 is less of the classic Kikoman jokes you’re used to and actually goes towards a caramel maillard aspect. When you couple this with the underlying salinity and brackish acidity, you get straight up Jack Links jerky. All of the Floyds continue to mess with the ‘Squatch.

First and foremost, RRARI Crochet is an absolute masterpiece. This beer is a testament to just how impressive and expressive Dark Lord can be when uniting cask and heavy adjuncting. The strawberry is amazing on the olfactory and has a sort of fruit by the foot and Berry Special K/red 5 that i legitimately love. The heft and sheeting provides a massive basis for the oily coconut aspects with cocoa nibs that thankfully play more of an auxiliary role in the swallow. For something that pangs of imbalance on the label, it sews the patchwork so tightly that it feels like a unified Neapolitan ice cream sandwich. This is the pinnacle of what can be done with Dark Lord as a canvas. It is the sticky Pygmalion that is a Munster Eliza Doolittle, and you can barley reconcile how this shares the same lineage as other deviants.

Reptilefund, however, leaves much to be desired. There is a sharpie meets skoal aspect that seems to tread far from the agave fermentables. I do enjoy the interplay of the sweet smokiness, acidity, and brownie batter. It’s like a Paloma milkshake, so insane that you might just order it for the gram. We exist in a realm where “I traded confirmed two god tier bottles away and I received something not even that terrible” is a nonironic statement. I mean, I landed this explicitly on a palate defining adventure and it delivered across the board. It’s crazy but not nearly in the nightmare tier like Trump and Pump, or the end game boss of dryer sheets: Earl of Biggleswade. So in not being shittier, it failed me.

Lounge Against the Macromachine was just fine. Crazy additives aside you end up with a lightly spicy chocolate Christmas orange. It’s like when you put on a Gaspar Noé film and just expect ridiculous and it delivers but still feels pretty satisfying if not overwrought. It’s fine. We are fine.

Thanks to everyone who came out to the Malt Couture live show at KiloKilo Brewing and drank Dark Lord pipettes with us. If the dark lord consumer is going to de facto set up a secondary market exclusively incentivizing NOT opening bottles, then I give zero fucks about rationing out 10ml pours. Nothing about high end craft beer is about actual consumption, it’s the fleeting sense of value in manipulating something someone else created. Be it by online validation posting pics, pure profits from resale, negging the product to implicitly be “above” the beer, or by gleaning praise sharing .5oz pours with as many gladhanding strangers as possible: the end goal is never drinking beer. After 9 years of attention seeking bullshit, now the brewers create the parody and the customers quite literally Don’t Drink Beer.


Batch 48 of Malt Couture is absolutely overfilling the podcast mash tun

Batch 48 of @maltcoutureddb is dripping with @creaturecomfortsbeer rarities and @brewdogofficial IP theft allegations. We play a dark lord variant guessing game! there is a very special guest appearance by @angrychairbrewing with NO ADJUNCTS. Finally, To bring balance to the new money force i make @paulmichaelgabriel drink @hillfarmstead Ephraim and get his impressions of an old school hoppy stunner.



We cant wait to see you at this!

Here u go



Hill Farmstead leaves of grass 12/6/17, undercutting their own stellar offerings

At a certain point it’s like “why even bother reviewing @hillfarmstead we get it, almost all of them are exceptional.” The leaves of grass series warrants particular comment because it is their own sub “off brand” for the ultra luxury heritage series. Sometimes these tiny underwing bottles will be the bag cereal versions of Arts and Samuels at a fraction of the cost of entry. It’s akin to buying a random Knob Creek single barrel that smashes you out almost as hard as Booker’s. This beer has incredible sustain like a vintage telecaster, frothy meringue whip, aromatics redolent of hyacinth, lemon verbena, a bevy of bath and body works citrus. Taste is that @jesterkingbrewery 1.0000000 FG dryness, underwear at a Joe Rogan show. The herbaceous aspects mix lovingly with a base beer that remains sacchro forward and doesn’t swerve into probiotic land. Who cares? They’re all good. We get it. Arthur’s teacher is gay, this is the world of enduring character I want to live in. Six of these couldn’t land the worst new Dark Lord variant.


Jackie O’s Apple Brandy Brick Kiln is Pretty Okay and that’s more than fine

Alright truth be told @jackieosbrewery Apple Brandy Brick Kiln is the “worst” of the BK lineup, but that’s like how the Ford Ecoboost Mustang is the “slowest” but it’s still pretty appealing. This is the softest iteration and the mouthfeel is some Marvin’s Room duvet. It is less sweet but oddly presents more spice and hard candy. If you’ve ever had those geriatric Strawberry candies with the jelly middle, drop that into a Manhattan for an approximation. The sheer depth and complexity of Prodigality makes up for any less than stellar entries and this is still very legit.

I applaud their ability to wrangle what can become a caramel apple carnival disaster with those AB casks, to massage nuance from them shows gentle fingering of the stavey clutch. The swallow is intensely long and the best part of this beer, loaded with allspice, almost a dry nutmeg. If you can’t get the labia shattering Prodigality, you are in good hands with this or Rodeo Time. #bil #barleywine #barrelaged #brandy #oak #ohio #craftbeer

Or like go to Dark Lord Day who cares


The Living Solipsistic Dichotomy That Is Forager Brewing

I love how diametrically opposed the contents of this box from @foragerbrewery is. On one hand we have subtle, delicate green glass saisons, with intent and mindfulness to the sourcing of the produce. Then we have apeshit confectionary frosting water that is the glucose equivalent of a Dodge Hellcat on your pancreas. Most breweries have to make boring beers so they can make a barrel aged stout or have lagers sit on draft forever. With Forager, it’s like there are no boring beers so Austin Jevne has to brew Hayabusa bean batter so huskyboiz will leave him be when he wants to

release gentle European inspired farmhouse ales. They aren’t about to be dabbling in genomorphic generational mixed ferms, what even is a free rise. That’s why I love these guys, they have to deal with the exact same people I do and the dichotomy is lovingly tolerant, like when a libertarian meets a social worker.


Hill Farmstead Ephraim: Revisited

It has been a spicy minute since I have put the initimable @hillfarmstead Ephraim inside of me. This borderline triple IPA harkens from a simpler time of hop culture. In 2011 all we knew was Liquid Sunshine, and Horny Tubers, and Coast Boy King and Kern Citra. You see you didn’t designate a “west coast” IPA everything was just an IPA, even god awful crystal bombs out of the Midwest, Bells Devil Dancer tasting like an imperial amber. We didn’t have haze as we now know it, there was a light Coastal fog of Conan yeast. Now we have haze ~ pulp ~ egg drop soup ~ hollandaise all the way to PuréePA. Ephraim was on the Ba top 100 and remains one of my favorite DIPAs of all time. It has a massive sticky resinous structure to it that unites sativa with tangelo, clementine pith and grapefruit JUUL. On the swallow is an impossible long conifer aspect that streaks with a caramel structure amongst the oily drag. They didn’t even add cardamom or star anise to it. Almost all of the classic West Coast iterations are dying and the rise of the Jamba Cadre is largely thanks to IG hazefluencers posting endless iterations of the same beer, and vapid 40 word reviews complete with cross tags, links to their custom beer tee link, and the first comment littered with algorithm optimized hashtags. What a time to be drinking 2 row and simcoe like a total idiot. Ephraim doesn’t require a ring light or an impossibly doctored selfie, I guess a janky toaster will have to do to honor the old monarchs of rhizome lore. DONT FORGET TO BUY UR TICKETS TO THE DDB LIVE SHOW 5/31


National Bohemian: the beer that lubricates Baltimore

People in Baltimore will not stfu about this Natty Bo. Before I came here I figured it was some Coors variant I had never encountered, Natural Light Bohemian aged in an Anthropologie store on vision boards. This beer goes back to post-Prohibition which means it’s an adjunct lager riding a colossal wave of nostalgia feels like the Ready Player One of bottom fermenters. No one could explain to me why the mascot only has one eye but given the rowdy Baltimore population I feel like self harm is attendant to natty BO sessions. The taste is firmly within experiences you have had many times before the nose and swallow is almost part and parcel identical to Miller Lite but the taste itself and mildly ritz meets change jar execution screams PBR. This makes sense as all of these Bo’s are made by Pabst in Milwaukee a thousand miles away, but 85% of these Nat King Bo’s is consumed in Baltimore. It is forced economics in a crazy way. Plus Pabst re-upped their contentious contract with Miller in 2014 so all the pieces slide together. This is a contextual experience that has buttressed many teenage pregnancies and Orioles public urination charges, and that’s fun. It’s an ambient beer to fill the crushing silence of Baltimore’s rain and the constant barrage of The Wire references. Growing up in Fresno, I know about a 650k city with no public transportation, unpleasant weather, crime, geographic self loathing, and being at odds with other more salacious cities, so Baltimore speaks to me on a fundamental level. Natty Bo is for my populace. The type who make their own fun like “Drinking Mario Party” and let the beer take a back seat. At least it isn’t @duclawbrewingco so thank god for that.