An Enquiry Concerning PastryStout Understanding volume II: Vanilla BA Cataclysm, Wakefile Bake Kujira, IWAAD, Dragon Traxx Night Fury, Bottle Logic Ground State and Label Us Notorious


With any low hanging stylistic fruit, there will be innumerable bites at the apple from competing foragers.  At the outset, I must say that this is easily one of, if not the best beers from North Carolina.  Let’s treat Fonta Flora and barleywines as a subset for that last sentence.  This is a quality beer and the attention to detail is without reproach, however, there are some sharp edges to this boxcar that warrant sanding.

First and foremost, it is almost too big for its own britches and the lack of a syrupy underattenuation, while usually welcome, swings the bean pendulum in the other way and produces a sharpness and heat to the body that only ramps up at higher temps.  The nose is exceptional and provides mild fusel with wafflecone and madelines dipped in bakers chocolate.  The sheeting burns off due to ZZ Topesque legs and I don’t know how to use them.  Finish is dry with a touch of astringency mixing with the sweet lipid profile that is like watching your uncle open mouth kiss the mailman, inherently confusion.

The 14% abv is present and accounted for and this falls closer to the top of the pack than mediocre and I would assume that tastings outside of the south atlantic would report same.  The biascup overrunneth from local reviews but I can honestly say that this is very well done and absolutely tasty, albeit not those fatty purple post game gear drops your mind drifts toward in this ever-crowded confectionary genre.

J. Wakefield Bake Kujira


Unfortunately for Cataclysm, I drank it immediately after not only one of the top 5 stouts I have ever had, but perhaps one of the best beers I have ever had.  Listen at DDB I butter my bread looking down on excess, leaning on adjuncts, people who chase hype, and Ivory Tower the fuck out of readers with a condescending panache of “you can always buy this instead.” It’s a tired refrain, I know it better than anyone.  This beer is a kick to the coconutsack because it goes rogue and operates in its own realm.  Not many beers really come close in a meaningful way.

Let’s try to grist out pithy complaints to galvanize this fucking coffee tub job.  First of all, prepare for pours to look pretty fucking disgusting:


I don’t think I have seen a brewery leverage sea monkeys yet, but here we are on full brine shrimp blast.  I am sure Dade County papa riders will toss floral crowns at the prospect of not using “synthetic” or whatever processes they imagine in the brewing process.  The coconut changes the entire mouthfeel as well and chunks of saturated Hawaiian tropic will cling to your lip like Pitbull’s dandruff.


Here’s where the depressing news kicks in: the closest analogs are also absolutely stunning and nearly equally apeshit to acquire.  The closed echochamber of stout economy creates this hilarious Dogecoin market that is both manipulated, then justified but unsuspecting salivamouthed dumbfucks.  Label us notorious is with 20% striking range of “as good” so you’re getting the 5 bedroom home but there’s no wood outdoor sauna by the infinity pool, so what’s even the point.

You get waves of medium roast coffee with an awesome extraction, like a cup of V60 ethiopian [yes I realize he used Kopi Luwak, calm down Florida, also calm down Creature Comforts reading comprehension masters.] The maple is less pronounced than the likes of hs10

And I prefer it as a result.  For a label with more adjectives than a Barista paying her way through a linguistics degree, it feels focused somehow.  It was all a dream, in a vacuum is also dizzyingly excellent but Bake is that one asshole in class who skews the bell curve so high that everyone else is getting their stout asses spanked stop sign red for “bad” grades as a result.

The coconut melds with the coffee acidity and blends into this madeline dipped in espresso, and YEAH I AM NOT MAKING A MARCEL PROUST REFERENCE HERE.  You can go to TheFullPint if you want low hanging Proust jokes ok.

The barrel is seamlessly woven into the malt profile and it never feels flabby, or too oily, or underattenuated and it actually feels “relatively” nimble for its 17% heft.  It’s like when you see a strong safety who is all meat backpedal at staggering speeds. Ginger Rogers matching Fred Astair with equal grace, but backwards as they say.  Fuck this beer because it destabilizes both the levity that I had prepared and also undermines a good deal of the “diminishing returns” rhetoric that I butter my bread with.


Drinking Bake actually made me worse off, if we are being honest.  Any time there is a recalibration of what the top end of something can be, other entries have to suffer by contrast. All of these beers are very good, but then Ford drops the fuckin Raptor practically with a big old PUSSY MAGNET IN THE UNDERCARRIAGE AND NOW HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO CARRY THIS ERASER DICK HEMI AROUND WITH ANY SEMBLANCE OF SELF ESTEEM.

Fuck now I am depressed, let’s cleanse the palate with something positive:


Night Fury was a massive Michigan hypejob that got the shit pounded out of it, seemingly unfairly for all subsequent iterations.  And that’s sad. However, the most recent batch is actually really fucking tasty, original, over the top and dumb, but delicious. The good news is that the public distaste for the whole TraxxGate scandal now has this tasty peanut butter s’more delight at completely reasonable costs of entry.  If you were previously hesitant to give this a go, throw together IDK like 2.5 Treehouse cans and revisit these guys.  Unlike stupid ass Bake, this is an accessible, oily, delectable banger that has no clear analogue in today’s marketplace.  Peanut butter cups from the alcoholic at the end of the block who is always yelling at Sheila, the girl who lives in his garage and constantly accuses him of stealing.  Mmmm whiskey nutty butters.

In conclusion, this beer was also pretty tasty and doesn’t trade for anus prolapsing prices either:


It feels like a completely Shasta, off-brand bag-cereal version of the absolute pinnacle but your mouth wont mind drinking ALMOST god tier bottles every now and again.  Ground State was pretty okay but reaction state oddly tempers the GS sweetness by the inclusion of…maple? That’s like “we saved our marriage by having a threesome with a Thai Ladyboy, the therapist was right.”  The coffee and maple blend together in a donut house meet IHOP handjob sort of affair that just feels right.  See, there are ways to get along in this world.  It’s gonna be ok.

Ah, a ray of positivity, I feel better now. This concludes our inquiry. Now go buy the shirt you khaki mouthed ingrates


An Enquiry Concerning PastryStout Understanding volume I: Chris Klien Interracial Love Child and Side Project Double Barrel Derivation

With waves of freshly-printed currency dipshits rolling off the Untappd presses, the tides of human stout understanding has markedly changed in recent years.  With previous iterations of beer nerd scholasticism, there would be a rubric of shit like trying Celebrator, Fantome, dabbling in Struise, laying a foundation of crystal malt IPAs, and a counterpoint for mixed culture wilds.  Now, the quality of beer is rising and the disposition to lock in a learn shit has gone by the wayside.  In lieu of homebrewer turned enthusiast, we are increasingly seeing the model of disphit undergrad with plugs/Supreme hoodie jumping directly from Rogue to StoutRazzle secondary expert.  The empirical implications are a lack of residency or field training attendant to bullshit Untappd metrics. It’s this uncanny valley of dudes interacting with god tier specimens, in 1oz forays, with hard opinions on matters while lacking any grounding beyond four or five tired predictable adjectives set on a randomizer “SUN TAN LOTION” “PHENOLIC” “LIQUID ALMOND JOY” “BROWNIE BATTER” ad infinitum.

So today let’s take a grounds walk through some of the recent hypestouts to gain some perspective about scaled values, through DDB’s worthless subjective aesthetic:

Interracial Love Child, Klien Residence Basement Brewing Co, Michigan


This particular entry weighs in on a completely different thread and exists as an eogistic hot house lamp that can’t really exist in any meaningful way outside of many five trade boards.  If you already read my previous Chris Klien breakdown I wish him no ill will but his self aggrandizing marketing strategies are suspect at best.  The usual gestalt proceeds as follows: 1) CK benchmarks some coveted stout 2) hazards an approximation at home 3) racks it to his 5-6th use 5gal barrels 4) proclaims it better than whatever he was doppleganging and 5) demands [coveted commercial offering]+ for his homebrew.

It is a charming model, and provides endless entertainment as a dramatic heel of sorts, but the operative question is: Does the beer itself justify the hype/hate? This is a difficult question to address because he bottlenecks accesibility ostensibly since accepting anything for his homebrew is a self-proclaimed “trade down” in every instance.  I can already hear his bemoaning that a bottle off the keg nullifies all impressions or something equally cringeworthy.

ILC is, at its core, fine.  It isn’t riddled with hilariously noteworthy flaws, nor does it come anywhere in the electron orbit of the god tier beers it is unilaterally compared to by its progenator.  The carbonation was delicate and silky, connoting a degree of oat massaging to the velvety mouthfeel, albeit with a twinge of ethanol burn that ratchets it back instantly.  It lacks balance but, so does Pugachev Royale.  The nose has some vanilla but it is integrated and muted in a sort of whoppers/kit kat wafer type of entry.  Ironically, such a small batch beer feels like when an uninspired macro giant weighs in and makes a scaled up bullshit version of something everyone is interested in, see also shit that Avery gets into.

There is a degree of roast and toasted pumpernickel, the chocolate malt has a light bitterness and the oak profile is almost nonexistent.  It is, fine. There’s no top tier yukyuks to be gleaned from something that is a touch above mediocre and if this was a commercial draft offering at your local forgettable brewpub you would be glad to drink it.  The whole enterprise feels like that dude who spits Skoal all day and wrenches on his piece of shit 5.0 Mustang and swears it puts up a 9 second quarter mile but never lets anyone DYNO it.  It’s probably pretty fast but, to wax philosophical and states that it is in the realm of a vanilla Pagani Zonda is painful to witness.

Side Project Double Barrel Derivation, a review based not upon a 1oz pour tasted at 95 degree festival


Technically this shouldn’t be in the ambit of Pastrystout discourse since this is all motor no adjuncts, two BALs to the wall. However, since it is a collapsed star of hype magnitude, it is worth discussing by contrast.  Since this is aged for two years in a Willet barrel, you can confidently assume that the as-ever-massive body of this giant didnt suffer from dryness or oversaturation.  You can also assume that the “North Carolina Tier aging” of 3 months in a port barrel didn’t make it stemmy, pruny, or acrid either.  The “second barrel” feels more like an afterthought, like how they “finish” whiskey and upcharge consumers for things that are usually shittier than the normal treatment cf. the innumerable Jefferson’s shitters.

The price of entry is somewhere between “favor” “impossible” and “pending domestic dispute.” So it’s hardly fair to scale the returns on those pedigrees. It isn’t “worth it” simply because nothing at this level ever is.  Go buy a bottle of Tornado Warehouse C for $1200 and try to convince everyone that was a solid life decision while you live in a condo.  However, that being said this beer is excellent.  The already incredible canon of the 2015 Maman’s of the world are given “more dimensions” to coin pithy trite mead terms.  The beer has sheeting like Bed Bath and Beyond and the chocolately threadcount is well above 700.  It is elegant and lies almost deceptively still, like a runoff canal filled with jagged malty dangers below the surface.

There is a heat that is ratcheted by the Clank of a graceful cabernet, red grape, and oaky tannic structure to the bakers chocolate.  The best part of this is the intense barrel presence that makes Rare15 seem comical in execution. The drag is endless like a 1040 audit and gives and takes in equal measure.

Reading the Untappd reviews of boastful dudes in muddy, unintelligible festival glasses, Urkeling their way though this layered beer it almost feels bad.  It’s like if you wanted to show someone what Micheal Haneke was all about and you let them watch 9 minutes from the middle of The White Ribbon. I mean, I guess?

The beer exists against a backdrop of forced coconut PSI, cocoa nib underpulleys, and predictable coffee intercoolers.  It is absolutely exceptional and it comes without surprise that myopic dumbfucks will sabre rattle over tiny pours and prefer the more apprehendable D[x] candy bar variants.  Look at how many books R.L. Stine has sold. Depth and complexity has no place in 41 degree Indiana backyards. 100 word limit reached, review over.

This concludes volume I, this discourse will follow shortly. Go buy the new DDB shirt, these reviews left me penniless and are well below my pay grade of $0.00



I don’t pretend to know everything about Wolf’s Ridge brewing, but I can say that Columbus has a beer scene that is busier than a lube salesman at a Real Doll convention

Between the change in legislation and sheer number of Ohio breweries opening alone, the quality of beer in general in that state has seen marked jumps in recent years. The Columbus area seems to be reaping a lions share of these increases and I am stoked to see what these pups is all about.

Although a ba version of that doppelbock would have made my socks go up and down, I will try to keep an open mind.


Dont Drink Beer 2017 Shirts are Live, Five Different Colors. What a Time to Be Alive.

You and your friends can dress up like drunken power rangers who make terrible life decisions. B4 is hot out the textile brite tank and it’s more culturally ambiguous than ever.  I hope you enjoy explaining who K Dot is, what DONT mean, or why you have a walrus on your chest. Mix tape is flooding the streets and you need to let people know that you support nuking your BMI with candy water on a regular basis.