Alpine GREAT Barleywine, For Those Times When Good Barleywine Just Wont Cut It

Mad props to DJ Butters for this one, a long time wanter, first time drinker. I had this the night I got engaged, I was feeling GREAT. This beer calls back to fonder days of Alpine Brewing’s barrel aging program when it wasn’t managed by the Stone BA IRS oversight committee, too soon? Anyway, let’s start feeling hella GREAT so we can keep on dancing.

This beer is GREAT. The coffee in the background was just good.

Alpine Beer Company
California, United States
American Barleywine | 14.00% ABV

A: This is a turbid but milky little beast that lazily pours out of the bottle with low carbonation and zero fucks to be given. The hazy brown stares back at you and makes a nice little constellation of bubbles that foretell your impending doom. The lacing has a tough time sticking to edges because of the nice sheeting of clear alcohol on the edges pushing the malt crabs back down to the bucket.

This may originally be an English style, but ‘Merica be doing it more better.

S: This has a great smell to it, despite the age and the nose bump set spikes vanilla, caramel malts, oak, macaroom, light coconut and a hint of booziness that has been running the yard inside the bottle for years making people hold its malty pocket.

T: This beer is an automatic DUI machine. The taste has a slight hint of booze but imparts a generous amount of caramello, plum, dark fruits, and bourbon like a massive quad with a sweet entourage. I can see things getting dangerous real quickly with this beer, ex-girlfriends will be texted, the entry way will be soaking wet, these are all side effects of drinking Great.

This is a panacea for all that ales you.

M: Think of all the 14% beers that you have enjoyed over the years AND SHATTER THOSE CONCEPTIONS OF REALITY. This beer is exceedingly still and tepid but the dryness from the oak and malts balances out the sweetness amiably. It isn’t overly sticky, nor is it astringently drying, it comes off like a hug that lasts a little too long from a co-worker, but you’re ok with it because it smells like Rolos.

D: This is exceptionally drinkable and will wrap that Nissan Sentra around a telephone pole for you. Life upgrades thanks to Great. This bottle is small and so is your tolerance, even if you don’t think it is. Kuhnhenn BBBW could chill with this dude all day and they could tell mercenary tales about the core ass 14%+ antics they’ve gotten into. Again, this beer is a bitch to land so “drinkability” is relative to your Scrooge McDuck vault. Then again, if you still have several of these laying around, maybe you aren’t a Great person.

People may judge you for drinking an entire bottle of 14% beer to yourself, but hey, that’s your thing, you can be into it in the privacy of your home and it’s nobody’s GOSH DARNED BZNSS.

Narrative: Ian Ziering never thought that it would come to this. Just two decades ago he was riding high on life, starring in Beverly Hills 90210, loving the jocular stardom and all the pitfalls that Hollywood could bring. “Direct me to the excavation site Mrs. Gower-“ he commanded as a strode through the track home and into the lush backyard. A Labrador sat tied to a tree visibly curious about what had been uncovered. “Sweet Jesus” Ian Ziering gasped and fell to his knees “this is a seriously rare specimen, Yuban coffee can case, aging looks from the late 80’s potentially the golden Nickelodeon era.” Ian had become obsessed with unearthing time capsules. At first blush, it did not make any sense, and his small business model had several holes that warranted fiscal explanation. “You have quite the find here, notebook paper contracts from 11 year olds with what appears to be an agreement to always be best friends, Vanilla Ice cassette tape, Dino Riders toys. . .yes ma’am this is quite the gem.” Mrs. Gower was entirely unsure about what was so Great about unearthing these old gems, but standing in the presence of Steve Sanders in his aged glory held a special resonance.


Alpine Brewing Company, Pure Hoppiness, For When Hoppy Birthday isn’t enough, but Exponential Hoppiness is Too Much

More plugs for Alpine brewing this week and another amazing DIPA that is frustratingly hard to find these days. Used to be you could walk into a Whole Foods, give Fabio a high five and pick up a couple bottles of this. Now people on the east coast have a thirst for unbalanced hops and OUR HOP ECONOMY IS IN SHAMBLES.

Double that IPA, get that PUR h0p1n3$$ shyt g0i1n

Alpine Brewing, Pure Hoppiness, 8% abv, double IPA

A: Nice deep gold tones, great cabonation, spider webbing from the lacing with no middle carbonation. Looks like discontent apple juice. Apples that be all pissed and frothy.

The purity of the hops will reincarnate your soul.

S: Huge bouquet from a mile away, great citrus but pine and forest predominates. I love that Alpine is almost always, well Alpine. The smell is a fantastic balance between the juiciness of most DIPAs and the herbal notes from malty Imperial IPAs. IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN TO START WANTING IT, NOW IS A GOOD TIME.

T: Awesome hybrid of initial notes, there’s a tinge of herbal mixed with citrus. The citrus ends up riding out the party and the drying forest finish is present in the swallow. All around a great melange of the two styles. It feels like if Pliny and Maharaja had a love child. This would be the result and unsurprisingly, it is delicious. But that would never happen, most historical pundits believe Pliny the Elders homose- alas I digress.

Get all carried away with that hop blast and you forget about the 8% abv and you be all lookin like dis.

M: The mouthfeel is light with creamy coating. Great carbonation boosts the hops into the nostrils creating a create hop profile. Great maltiness that is not overdone. It’s a hot tub of hop oils all up in my bubbling mouthhole and THE BOTTOMS ARE COMING OFF.

D: This beer is really high on this note. The expansive character spread hop stickiness like a virus and your mouth is the better for it. The abv is hidden well and you could drink this in plenty of circumstances from grooming your dog, spot welding, watching past episodes of Burn Notice. The choices are endless.

You know it is the middle child, but you respect it nonetheless, interesting and good at science or whatever middle children are good at, not the baby, not the one who gets pregnant first. I am ok with that.

Narrative: The year was 2145, but that seems like just yesterday, well since they harnessed the photon retractor, everything seems like the yesterday of tomorrow. Let me explain. Corporal William Herboreal had been working as the ships botanist on an experimental mission to Titan, one of the outer moons of, well that’s not important. Upon discovering a new strain of humulus lupus, an advanced strain of hops, the oil was potent enough to power the ship, too powerful even. We cascade through time and sheered the space barrier in a way that even Immanuel Kant couldn’t’ have predicted. THE HOPS WERE TOO INTEGRATED. He kept feeding hops to the engine, its juniper rancor filling the cabin. But now we have crossed the line, fallen through time, living in the land of the hops. Yes we are living in the land of the hops.


Alpine Nelson, India Pale Ale, Your neck, your back, your hop cones and your

Ah Alpine Brewing Company, the hop masters whose bottles are constantly in demand. I get trade requests for these elusive assholes all the time and I only live like 150 miles from where it is brewed.

Something delicious coming out of East San Diego that isn't crystal cut meth.

Alpine Nelson, IPA, 7% abv

A: Bright orange hues with mild cloudiness, Great foamy head that escapes pretty quickly leaving minimal lacing. This beer looks all radiant like radioactive orange juice.

Hoppy denial, not should occur.

S: There is a vibrant bouquet of oranges, grapefruits, apricots, and lemon zest. Very citrusy and smells like liquid sunshine all up in my dome piece.

This beer will turn your head, and keep your attention. But not in a weird way.

T: Sadly, it doesn’t retain all of the bright juicy notes that it promised. I don’t feel misled, just misinformed. There’s a bit of tartness and cirtusy dryness but overall it comes off like a slightly more acidic version of Alpine Ale. It is still good, but not as drinkable as Hoppy Birthday, and not quite as powerful as Pure Hoppiness, still a beautiful middle child with flaxen locks.

M: This has a great coating and breadiness to it that is very refreshing. The light citrus notes makes me almost want to go outside for a change, look at the sparrows and, no, there’s nothing for me out there. I will resign myself to staying inside and living vicariously through my IPAs. The mouthfeel is pretty legit though, nice biscuity coating with that lemon zest you just cant beat.

Smelled the hops and my face be all like-

D: This beer again shows Alpine’s poise and power in the drink ability field. You really cannot deny their ability to present beers that you can drink any place any time. In the lobby of a Planned Parenthood? Pop open some Nelson. Roll with it.

Narrative: Brayden pressed his face to the glass of his generic track home. He could see Final Fantasy XVII, just sitting there, imploring his input. His mind dizzied at the thought of his characters unleveled, cast in shoddy garb to remain in obscurity. Instead his mother put him outside in this hateful sun. The trees with their shade imparting goodness, natural pillars of breeze facilitation. “I HATE PLAYING OUTSIDEEEE!!!” he cried as he struck an aluminum baseball bat against the metal street sign. The elementary physics lesson was enough to put a pallor on the entire afternoon. Once the vibrating in Jayden’s hands stopped, he noticed something, a neighbor’s yard. But not just any yard, to be sure. His neighbor had a grapefruit tree in full yield with NO ONE TO ATTEND TO IT. “No. way.” he ruminated casuistically to himself. Of course, an 11 year-old boy has no interest in fresh citrus. He does however love destroying things, particularly fresh produce. The line of fruits across the thoroughfare was complete and impenetrable and the oncoming rush of a Nissan Maxima ensured results. Jayden wiped the acidic juice from his brow and nodded approvingly. +21 char, +3 Vitaility.


Barrel Aged Token Porter, Infected, but still an amazing zombie life.

The beer nerd rumor mill grinds away on poor Alpine and their barrel aged offerings. I liked this beer but some people said it was a bit infected. I SAY THEY CAN DIACETYL THIS DI-

Infected Shminchmecked. This beer is still a solid delicious drinker.

Alpine Bourbon Barrel Aged Token, Porter, 9.5% Abv

A: The appearance is a bit watery with a deep mahogany that provides a little bit of sheen like a Head and Shoulder commercial. The bubbles are frothy and tiny. They provide little in the way of lacing but the middle carbonation bubbles throughout. Not even mad tho, haters gonna hate.

IMPLYING that a little infection is always a bad thing.

S: There’s some vanilla, coffee, burnt chocolate, and some oakiness to it. There isn’t a big bourbon waft to it. The nose isn’t too overwhelming but not distracting either. Its like Judy Winslow, she’s chill but an enjoyable support character.

T: There is a nice vanilla warmth to it on the initial taste the fades into a dark chocolate slickness. The hops are muted on the back end with a chalky oakiness that is incredibly refreshing. The lingering sweetness stays on the gumline and is delicious.

99% of other beers are not infected, but many of them are worthless and annoying.

M: The mouthfeel has absolutely no alcohol waft to it, but it also lacks a serious barrel presence. It is crisp and washes away incredibly quickly with a bit of coffee and vanilla lingering. This seems like a sneaky ninja porter that secretly imparts the flavor and leaves the user confused as to where all the ninja stars in his palate came from.

D: This is the most drinkable porter that I have ever tasted. The thin body and intense flavor make it wash away clean without a serious malty interference. It has a watery middle body that, at first blush, was a bit disappointing, but ultimately became a huge merit in the drink ability section. The old Peter Porter robbing to pay Paul Porter. Ultimately, this is a great porter and one of my favorites, but it isn’t the greatest porter of all time.

you know there's something inherently wrong with it, but, you just cant stop.

Narrative: People told him that he was infected, but he didn’t believe them. He pressed on with his research. The mild coughing and sores spread gently and steadily but Jarvis Diacete would not be stopped. With careful atomic reduction, he could make the most powerful bourbon ever created. A writing deep brown sludge screeched in a beaker entreatingly gripping the glass. “Oh soon Barrelor, you shall embrace the sweet ague of the South.” The press condemned his amplification of barrel technology and noted that he would destroy humanity. Ah, infected Jarvis was, but on his way to a sour greatness indeed.


Math Nerds Get Stoked: Exponential Hoppiness, Puns Abound.

Flipping the Hoppy Factorial Script. Reducing Polynomials All Up in your Dome Piece.

As if there weren’t enough nerds already into beer, Pythagoream theorum barleywine.

Alpine Exponential Hoppiness, 11.314% abv, Triple IPA

A: nice apple juice color with a bit more darkness, lacing looks like Indian tapestry, nice cumulus head to it. Sick Sierpinski triangle triangle sort of head.

S: Amazing juiciness to the nose with cantaloupe, orange rind, grapefruit, freshly cut grass. A great hybrid between citrus and herbal dryness. It’s like you splashed Andre all over a whole foods. Sick cuvee bro.

Oh wait, a triple IPA with a huge hoppy character, hold on let me call science.

T: There is a faint tart note at the outset, a huge pinecone middle to it, and a mellow orange taste at the end. It looks like a parabola of taste values, graphed over a 3 second interval. AND YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENS TO THE INVERSE!

M: The mouthfeel is incredibly light and clean. This is definitely not a malt bomb and it is incredibly accomplished as a result. It makes me rap the keys on this keyboard balefully at the frustrating “brewery only” distribution of this beer. This ranks in the top 5 IPAs that I have ever had. It gently rubs shoulders with Ephraim and Dreadnaught with the utmost respect.

I want more of this but it comes out once a year. Halp.

D: If the other sections didn’t clench the “A” review, this certainly nails it on all fronts. This is more drinkable than any lager or “refreshing” wheat beer that I have ever had and it just performs on every level. The alcohol is a lurking ninja that strikes steadily removing your faculties one by one in artful ways. Bottle limits and unavailability are the natural predators of this base level of the beer food chain. That metaphor really didn’t put the applesauce on the pork chops so let me directly state that this is amazing and the average person is lucky that this treacherous beer remains elusive.

This beer is amazing. Darkwing Duck Amazing. Not Launchpad McQuack amazing.

Narrative: “Well well well, Mr. Jensen what do we have here in the bed of this raggedy old Toyota Tacoma? Let’s see, 1000w bulb, 32 temperature controlled pots, nitric fixated soil blends, and a series of 4 multiage fans. Quite the project we have here hm?” Spencer Jensen felt a single bead of sweat percolate on his brow. “It’s just. . .not what it looks like?” “Oh I am sure, looks like someone is about to become a botany major hm? A little science fair experiment?” Spencer blocked the door to his cellar and stammered out a series of incomprehensible excuses. “You see, my mom she enjoys gardening, but no, I mean well we all are starting a fruit garden but the soil, it isn’t quite ri-” Officer Worthington pushed past Spencer and proceeded down the cellar steps. “Oh yeah, great place for a fruit garden down here in this insulated ro-” The flashlight dragged across the floor to a massive lupus hop cone that appeared be aspirating. “WHAT THE-” A single centennial hop vine lashed across the room and entwined Officer Worthington, overpowering him. “NO EXPO! NO! LET HIM GO!” Sticky hop oils filled the room and dripped all over the officer’s clothing, making him smell like a 7th grade TOOL fan. “BURGGHHHHERHRH” Expo pulled the body into the center of the cone, grinding him into a sticky herbaceous pulp. Spencer Jensen had quite the secret to keep indeed.