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Is Revolution Brewing VSOJ b2 on par with Batch 1? We Shall See.

I deleted the tack sharp version I don’t wanna hear about it

There’s a heraclitean aspect to beer. You’re always trying to step back into the same malty stream that is ever changing. Both from a subjective palate level, and beer as a living product, subject to neckbeard entropy. So much of beer enjoyment hinges on freshness, setting, and contextual aspects. Unlike bourbon or wine, who enjoy the immutable fetishism of people who just love to possess, beer is actively dying every second. We are beer and we don’t get a b2.

So is VSOJ B2 better than B1? It’s like trying to change the staves on a barrel that is rolling out into Milwaukee avenue. Some dudes obsess over what order to show their kids the Star Wars movies, as though their appraisal of the past has any bearing on current quality. VSOJ B2 is extremely well done, but it is different than B1.

With terrible/paid editorial beer reviews, you’ll get evasive language, platitudes, and lengthy description of PLACE. I will outright say I enjoy B2 less than I enjoyed B1, but it is currently drinking better than batch 1. Let’s lean instead upon contrasts, like the guy who tosses his keys to the valet for his Grand Cherokee and says KEEP IT CLOSE.

Batch 2 is steeped in barrel to a staggering degree, it is pure heat and long intense cask that is masterfully done. If you pay a premium for ultra aging and then complain about the spirit profile, you’re the exact consumer who needs to switch to one of the “possession” based hobbies. Your wardrobe is from Kohl’s and like 6 pairs of shoes in plastic boxes you never wear. Yes, technically you care about clothes.

The initial sip is less sweet malt and a tighter, burnt marshmallow, almond brittle, the rye crackle of Four roses, sugar babies, melanoidins like brown sugar Cream of Wheat, and a finish longer than the film Magnolia. This will age better than b1 and is far more complex, albeit thinner.

If you take boomerangs of aperol spritzes, maybe skip this one. It is for a different breed of fire livered buyer. This extravagant malty gem is to be savored low and slowly like when your friend offhanded mumbles that their parents paid for the down but THEY PAY THE MORTGAGE. The complexities of generational blending.

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Blue Run 14 Year Bourbon: Let Someone Else do all the work, Take all the credit

The heavier the bottle the more expensive it is

We have reached a new pinnacle in hype churning. Leave it to the bourbon world, the kings of “zero value added” transactions to take us here. So a bunch of rich dudes from Nike and Facebook decided that they wanted to be master distillers. They did what anyone would do, hire Jim Rutledge from four roses to do all the work, then hire a hype sneaker designer to design a bottle, charge $170.00 retail.

The final piece of this puzzle is shiftless liquor store magnates who have never opened a bottle flip them for $400 immediately, as is tradition. But is Blue Run 14 year good?

Well yeah, it’s fantastic, largely because 14 year old Four Roses is amazing. It’s contract sourced, contract bottled, marked up, flipped, and then tucked on a West Elm bookcase next to the Portrait of Cornian Grey. Ageless.

The best is the press release “Blue Run features the brand’s signature gold butterfly medallion which symbolizes the metamorphosis of the bourbon industry as it reaches a broader audience which appreciates fine bourbon through Blue Run.” Jim Rutledge picking out the teenage casks is like “thanks, guy who invented Facebook Marketplace, for giving me this boarder audience of people who will never open this, taste it, or know about my involvement.”

The nose isn’t the usual rye punch 4R is known for and instead leans towards a refined crème brulee peanut brittle aspect, allspice and Chick-o-stick. The taste shows its age and maturity allowing ample oak, bandsaw, lacquer, bananas fosters, and an experience akin to a proofed up Eagle Rare 17. The 113 proof is that flawless strike zone of warmth like your lil tumtum is a caramel ramekin being pulled out of the oven.

The finish really embraces the lumberyard and state fair churro aspect, that Red Hots profile found in Bookers Oven Buster, long dry closer makes me wonder if it is even older than 14 years, but resale is high enough as is.

After being thoroughly ripped off by Peyton Manning and his 13 year Tennessee juice, this is refreshing. Here’s where I amp up the relatability and go “JUST BUY KNOB CREEK 9 YEAR” and we engage in class warfare so everyone gets to feel special and alive. WE GOTTA GET YOU OUT ON THAT LAKE

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Mortalis Pear Brandy Leto is a Masterpiece, That’s Bad For Everyone.

I

Follow me for iPhone portrait mode tips that involve using a Sony a7III 70mm

When I saw a stout reselling for $1000, it had all the shitlord hallmarks: never sold to the public, 70 bottles in existence, something made to commemorate something special hyped to interstellar proportion. My hype beast alert went off when I saw it had a 4.96 on untapped and not a single person had a negative thing to say about Pear Brandy Barrel Leto. Not one. Isn’t there like at least one dude with a NoTW sticker on his Tacoma that finds almond cookies sinful?

Then I tasted it and it crumbled my pretenses like Pecan Sandies in warm tea. It is almost annoying to validate the quality of something that has been denatured. On one hand, this will likely end up in the DDB top 10 for the year. it is a world class fermentation achievement, a stylistic bon mot. On the other hand, the shitlords hoover this up like eels on benthic silt. Praising it makes me part of the problem, while affirming a brewery’s good work. Moral Malty Paradoxes, so let’s talk about taste.

This shines in reconciling a lithe body dripping in macaroon, pistachio ice cream, spumoni, Almond Roca and currants. It does this while maintaining the framework somewhere between BCBS and Parabola. For the style, it is floor length Shein dress modesty in chocolate malt form.

The barrel has an overseeing warm sweetness like pralines and spooning. Ultimately it just drips almond cookies in a way that exaggerates the idea of them. Like an alien civilization elevated a single confectionary item, thinking it was humanity’s sole cookie deity.

The effect of a review like this is nothing but deleterious. It makes old ivory tower DDB unrelatable. People resent reading reviews of homebrew scale double digit never released bottles. It fuels demand for an already bad situation. It sleights the brewery’s masterpiece by clouding it in this toxic need from entitled dudes who want to get their cookies dipped. But to NOT highlight what a fantastic achievement is equally damning, because then the palate terrorists win.

So go bother Mama Lor’s Café in Webster New York. Show up asking for a growler of batter. Then at least we would see a line of stretchmarked dudes waiting for literal pastries.

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The Eighth State Ember Just Rekindled The S’Mores Flame for the Ashen Ones

Then reach out and touch my strength

When designing EMBER, Eighth State loaded up a kiddie ball pit with hype orbs and pulled these out:

1. Peruvian Cocoa Nibs

2. Vanilla Beans

3. Graham Crackers (Honeymade?)

4. Old Forester Single Barrel

5. Boneflower

6. Michigan Star Thistle Honey

7. Charity (?)

8. aged 2+ years

9. less than 180 bottles

10. small format

And the collective wheezing of South Carolina beer bros was sufficient to divert a Myrtle Beach tropical storm. This is toxic behavior to make a beer like this.

So what is the ontological “goal” with all of that as the framework? I guess from the jump it is going to be nocturnal emissions and syrupy jowels a-salivating. But what’s the aesthetic goal? Near as I can tell: make s’mores. If they set out to make $250 campfire treats, then mission accomplished.

This is a glorious Zero bar melted over a slice of lowcountry buttermilk pie. Hell, even Pecan Sandies get in the mix. I feel terrible drinking it. First, it’s like an hour of cardio to offset these 12 ounces. Second, the gatekeeping and exclusionary wheelie of this type of review is inherent. You can declare anything if only 300 other people will hear it and nod approvingly.

The problem of beer consumption, unlike other arts that it is finite, discrete, and fleeting. Imagine one of the most decadent, sumptuously chocolatey fondue films was released and only 271 arthouse critics got to see it. The films ignite after the reel is spun. In those conditions did this sticky SnoBall confectionary delight really help anyone? Yes. It all boils down to context.

Let’s say you later get a peasant 8th State tick, a massive 1200 bottle run. You are diving into that collective August Gloomp chocolate fountain. The fact that the R8 exists reinforces the quality of the A4. The real takeaway is that no one NEEDS an R8. It is a loss leader.


No one needs this beer, but damn is it good. Unless you’re one of those “Bowties, suspenders, mason jars and Converse wedding” type of dudes with no identity, you can get by without this. The backhanded boasts “I DID A THING” “SO THIS HAPPENED” “JUST GONNA LEAVE THIS HERE” is the twinge of craving validation. This beer is valid on its own.

Burger King pairings.

Back to the chocolate ballpit

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Sante Adairius Effects of Change Redefines the Fruited Saison Paradigm

Shoulda used the ceramic Chope

I struggle to think who handles fruit additions better than @rusticales . At every iteration, the acidity on fruited saison and wilds is impeccably handled.

The instances where it is aggressive, like Appreciation, are done so in an intentional way where you see the scope of what they set out to do. The result is like a delicate hand painted balayage, wisps of summer highlights, stonefruit abandon of a toddler dropping pits on the ground.

Also, this beer is not just taste but it is oral and tactile. The carbonation has structure and surface tension to it. It isn’t the wispy latte art, it’s massive chunky mid 2000s foam party. Malfunctioning farmhouse dishwasher.

You bite through the meringue and the cap coalesces with the home run pie below. It reminds of the high-spelt offerings from Blaugies where you are carving through froth like some erotic tide pool anemone fetishist.

Finally, the tangerines: their supporting role is their strength. They don’t dominate and almost provide the citrus oil on the rim the enhance without distracting. A flawless old fashion will have a carmelized bunny ear peel, but it’s subtle. You can and will drink this entire bottle.

As a result, your life is worse off having tried it because you no longer just clunk through life expecting fruit to make Saisons intensely low in the ph realm. A realm of zest and skin and pith is opened. You can exist in calm repose of saisons changing around, you like a Yasujirō Ozu vase. You’re going to date women who stole their personality from Aubrey Plaza, but you won’t let the bracing acidity impart a lasting impression.

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Phase Three Brewing Arabesque is Their Fourth Album Masterpiece

Lithe

“Arabesque” is a ballet posture where you stand on one leg and extend the other one horizontally backwards. It is extremely common in Lake Zurich to see dudes in New Balances and Carhartt gear limbering up before DMV style line releases. It is graceful and poised.

But not this time. The helicopters for this barleywine must remain grounded as this is an online lottery. The days of leveraging customer desire to get the news vans out may be a thing of the past. Shaun Berns and the crew are evolving.

In a way, Arabesque is perfect representation of the next sub-phase within the Phase Three canon. Like flowing lines and interwoven patterns on the design that shares the namesake, Arabesque is extremely detailed and expansive.

Think of your favorite “fourth album” from an artist and how hard it hits. This is P3’s fourth album. A refinement, the narrative shifting into maturity. If the sophomore jinx was cured with mallow and maple and peanut butter, this is a softer, moodier malt. It is Transatlanticism in a cask. Kid A on bourbon. This is probably the best beer that I have ever had from Shaun Berns, a malty coming of age screenplay in a glass.

The beer manages residual sugar in such a deft way, it is hard to align it with the Shaun that was at More just a few years ago. The degree of currant, prune, fig newton is outright responsible. It is decadent in the way that a $$$$ restaurant on Yelp will entirely avoid Tiramisu and Lava Cake as wholly pedestrian. The mouthfeel is spicy with the 18 month cask rest, but ties together a Syrah meets Graham Cracker swallow. Carb retention hangs on like you, in your Notes app, writing down all the people you’ve had sex with, but using strange abbreviations because you never know.

Closer of this beer lingers long and runs a double helix of Cracker Jacks and grape Hi Chews. The entire thing does what you do not expect, especially not from Phase Three. It’s like when she asks you on a first date “what time were you born” and you know it’s gonna be rough sailing ahead. But you stick it out.

Bourbon make out sessions to the fourth album just hits different.

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Voodoo Brewing Empty Calories, A Beer for the Forgotten Moments

Calorically, You can have this or a Truly. None of this matters.

At first I didn’t understand the gestalt of this @voodoobrewery offering. It’s like an ultra clarified helles base to reduce the calories down to nothing. Then I started playing Nier and just chain crushing these.

Like products from Yum foods, this beer is vaporous, you can drill an entire bag of Munchies and you don’t feel great about it but you certainly aren’t full. It’s a way to occupy the passing moments in discrete ounces. The carb has zero retention because the beer should just be gone instantly. No single sip is definining but it’s the crisp dry unassuming series of legos that draws focus to the final product.

Cans littered everywhere, risky texts sent, a save file hours from where you last remembered. Also you agreed to go hiking the next morning for some reason. It’s not the most compelling beer of the year, but it’s the mod podge gloss for your decoupage that sets the passing moments of your life. A quick sip of corn chips and lemongrass before tossing a half empty can into the bushes in front of your AirBnb.

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Old Nation Brewing Pret: Wit Is Happening

Wrevity is the soul of Brett

If you’re in any form of beer media you always get the Hackiest question ever, every year, until forever: what’s the next big beer style?

We see two sharp seemingly divergent trends, low abv bottom fermented crushers and gristy funky juice. But what if. Now hold onto your fukn orange slices, we merged them. What if we tread in the top fermenting desert for 40 years of SKUs and nothing came of the conflict. No theological fermentation insights, just blistered feet returning to the first GW administration beleaguered and spent.

Maybe witbiers are back. Ah yes that shocktoppy grist, the original hazy slurry. This style is the ultimate whipping boy. Everyone points and laughs and it’s the punchline equivalent of people who dunk on imagine dragons, truly the lowest of effort. But witbier itself deserves cold contemplation as the ska/guy fieri/ICP fall guy of all beer.

With @radiantbeerco and @oldnationbrewing both putting stellar versions of this style into the market I want you to examine what pushed you away from witbier. Maybe your heel turn had less to do with the style and your own sense of development pivoting from the past in that delusion of ontology, like someone who folds their arms to System of a Down like the music was the problem and not your own latent insecurities.

This beer is so tasty. Valencia zest, burrata water, graham cracker, fancy jasmine water at an overpriced barre gym. Relatable. The frothy sustain is all the things people fetishize about London ale III but not $22 a four pack, and no experimental hops.

Leave your Hoegaarden notions in the past and return to twin pines mall Marty, we have clovey Libyans to fight.

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Angry Chair Brewing Double Barrel Dave Adds Refinement to Excess

Hair of the Dog Dave? UH TRY DOUBLE DAVE BRO

Angry Chair has long held the dripping pastry crown, mallow fondue streaming into the furrowed brow of its Tampa consumers. In an odd change of events, there is now poise and grace to the excess. Like someone with microbangs and a septum piercing who secretly shops at Kooples, it’s a soft indulgence.

Barrel aged Dave’s barleywine was too much for me. It was in congruence with everything Angry Chair does and that “dipping skoal while riding a Yamaha YZ250X dirtbike on the highway helmetless with your underaged girlfriend on the back” sort of Floridian panache. It’s bold but unapologetic.

The double barrel Dave’s is something more empathetic. It has this haunting cask depth that shies away from a residual glucose and leans in to topgrain leather, currant, date, and roasted sweet potato.

If regular Dave’s barleywine is a guy with a SALT LIFE sticker on his 4Runner, then double barrel Dave’s is that person who has a LetterBoxd account whose favorite podcast is Cumtown. It can be elegant or a red flag depending on your level of appreciation.

The carb is flawless and silky with sustain. The mouthfeel provides a casky dryness and mild heat that feels thinner for the better compared to the single Dave. The swallow is long and provides this sneaky link Snickerdoodle that you don’t keep in the house but that cinnamon cookie goodness is there for your moments of liver loneliness.

And yet, there is a sort of darkness to this beer. It has a sort of unsettling evil that not even post-modernism can explain away. If Angry Chair can ratchet things back, if Vodnik can exist, then why is their oeuvre always catering to dudes who bash on MLMs and constantly post about their minor crypto gains? Because platos sell baby.

The same guy who asks to have his bagels “scooped” will toil flipping BAIGCCS and damage everyone else. Furtively, the gems like this and Fionn go under the radar. Then a strange meritocracy of taste is established, a shibboleth for those who know.

Let the awful HGTV House Flipping Sect destroy both the housing and building materials economy. You can sip casky barleywine and watch it burn.

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Anchorage Brewing Triple Oak A Deal With the Devil is the Anti-Cheug

Faustian

There is a new pejorative term, “cheugy” that is used to describe wonky Millennials. It’s a descriptive neg that needles basic millennial girlboss grindculture energy. Some beers are good enough to exist beyond the scope of Generational disputes. Triple Oak is so fantastic, it supercedes GenZ criticism.

In a world devoid of inherent meaning, some people define themselves by what they are not. I might have LED lights in my ceiling, FILAs, and terrible thrifted clothing but I am not a craft beer cheugy. If something is inherently delicious, it is invulernable to these barbs. A barleywine aged in three different casks, sold in Alaska, with almost perfect oaky depth, intense prune and date heat, with an elegant Skor bar swallow doesn’t care when you were born.

Given the price, bottle count, small format, style, and all the factors surrounding TO, people are right to suspect it to be cheugy. When you have beer this good, with waves of Riesin, pumpernickel bread, and Sazerac crackle, it makes you question if you yourself are outdated.

Unlike the girl who boasts that she does coke “but has never bought it” and the dude who wears Allbirds and brags about his $41 crypto gains, Triple Oak is a radiant example of a stylistic pinnacle. It is likely in the DDB top 10 beers of 2021 if only because making fun of it is like playing ping pong against someone who went to summer camp every year as a kid. I can’t get out from under it. Each neg turns itself into a virtue.

The beer is overwhelming, but that’s where the malty coating and heat comes from. You may roll your eyes when they do a flashmob dance at a wedding, but Triple Oak is a throbbing radiant evening destroyer. There are no trends or fads than can contain it.

The 12oz experience is both concentrated and elongated, like people painted by El Greco. It’s scary but you keep returning to hit those Raisinettes.

To a generation obsessed with Van Life, a 12oz beer that sells for over $400 is peak cheugy. But intensity without compromise is the furthest thing from décor bought at Home Goods. Triple Oak seeks to destroy all generations equally, the anti-Cheug.