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PLUM WATCH 2015: @hillfarmstead Flora Plum, Cleaning Up Harmful Free Radicals with Beer

Been getting that Vermont trim on the reg lately, keeping the farmhouse flows going. I recently dropped that Flora B/B review and I think people were needlessly harsh on what was a pretty legit, if not earth shattering, offering in the pristine Flora lineup.  Then, Flora cherry dropped this week and the things VT traders are demanding has me posted in the LOLNOPE cut with unflinching repose. But what about this rarity, Flora with them juicy plums? Let’s prune the fuck out in today’s review

Get Ticks or Dyin Tryin

Get Ticks or Dyin Tryin

Hill Farmstead, ArizonaLOLPSYCHE Vermont
Barrel aged saison with plum, 6.5% abv

If you went into this shit with expectations of seeing some frothy violet extravaganza, I urge you to actually look at what color a plum is after you bite into it. I get this same stupid fucking complaint from those cicerone assholes who judge how much fruit was used based on the srm. “You can tell kiwi herman was barely fruited BC it wasn’t even green like at all.”  This looks almost identical to regular Flora with a slightly darker orange hue to the center and a more refined carbonation. They used a weird Duchessic style flange on the underside of the cap that felt like a .38 special round popping that bad bitch open in the club.

Picture me writing lines knowing Draft Magazine will quote it, when I die they gone read DDB an say a genius wrote it

Picture me writing lines knowing Draft Magazine will quote it, when I die they gone read DDB an say a genius wrote it

The nose is far more acidic and tart than I was expecting and the pendulum swings away from gentle approachable Flora and more into the Fou/Emptiness series from Tired Hands. You get lemon, lime, wheatgrass, cut nectarines, pluot and kumquat. Oddly it finishes with this pithy Glade smell that reminds me of the persimmon beers we have all had. It is very pleasant and feels like a liquid sun-drenched hammock in intensity.

The taste delivers on the acidic threats to the point that is almost unnatural for those HF boys, but somehow pulls it off. In the mutton busting world of wrangling lacto strains, it is easy for shit to get out of pocket but this is more creamy and tart like lemon meringue and pineapple juice. It has a wheat grist to the mouthfeel that allows the acidity room to breath and contributed a frothy aspect that embraces the plum tannins lovingly. If you have ever ate a shitload of Rainier cherries you will know that sweet dryness that the skins will impart. It is intensely crushable but jockeys for your reflection, you’re getting mixed messages because Flora is wearing a low cut shirt and telling you not to focus on them plums but they are like right there come on now.

You go to the bottleshop but you never cop nothing, all your untappd reviews are shared ticks and you need to stop frontin

You go to the bottleshop but you never cop nothing, all your untappd reviews are shared ticks and you need to stop frontin

The Emptiness series from Tired Hands comes to mind when approaching this beer in the distinctively AWA character, fruity juicy interplay and all around intensely drinkable character.  While I enjoyed Satsuma Flora more due to its stripped down simplicity and fresh squeezed pith, I can see most people who love ramped up acidity to say that this is the best fruited beer that Shaun has produced to date. At a certain point it becomes a Mountain Dew Baja Blast versus Code Red preference debate. Both are exceptional at 6th grade slumber parties.

such beer knowledge, wow, comparisons, many tastes

such beer knowledge, wow, comparisons, many tastes

All available analogues will be equally hellish to acquire, 500-800 bottle count 1-2 per person nightmare trades so, have fun on those boards and do your anal kegel exercises.  Be prepared for the Vicster to officiously show up and tell you that you need to add a Zomer or some shit.

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@Degardebrewing Currant Gin Bu, 2015 Already Bouncing like Juicy J

I previously chracterized De Garde as an all or nothing power hitter.  If they miss, it is a complete whiff, but god damn when they get a piece of it, they crush them ticks way out into the parking lot.  This is an example of the latter and is truly a benchmark for innovation in the quasi-berliner style, moreover wild ales in general.

GIN. CURRANTS. SOUR NIPS DRIPPING WITH ACID.  Let’s latch on to that teat and get that fruity goodness.

Crooshing wild ales in that cemetery called Los Angeles.

Crooshing wild ales in that cemetery called Los Angeles.

De Garde Brewing, some Oregon Farm

4% abv, Berliner/american wild ale 4 realzdoe.

A:  God damn can you even approach the radiant tweeniness that is this radiant purple.  God tier drops and fatty lootz are distributed pell mell.  The carb clings like fuchsia running alongside the violet train leaving the station.  It looks almost identical to VSB, really and is easily one of the most beautiful beers this side of De Cam oude Kriek.  Just phenomenal to behold, like that Anna Kendrick pic you keep crumpled up under your futon.

feels good to take a break from relentless adjunct stout reviews every once in a while

feels good to take a break from relentless adjunct stout reviews every once in a while

S:  This isn’t the sweet bomb you would expect, nor is it the acidic romp you would begrudge.  It opens a touch brackish with a light salinity, a tannic cherry presence that feels more floral than actual red5 jolly rancher cherry.  Think cherry blossom, not fruit by the foot.  It smells phenomenal and refreshing like that dust from when you used to make your own powdered Gatorade OH JUST ME? OH OK I WAS THE ONLY ONE WHO GREW UP IN ABJECT POVERTY OK FINE.  I will note that the closer is oddly herbal and has a touch of juniper from the gin, it isn’t bad by any means and it actually adds a depth to what is essentially a very thin and simple beer, the oak itself gives that crazy depth only presented by those Sole Comp gin barrel releases.  OREGON JUST LOVES TO FUCK WITH GIN BARRELS, THEY CANNOT BE REASONED WITH.

T:  This again, lacks the overwhelming fruit, and refuses to put forth an intense acid profile and instead hits a balanced middle road of spice, dried currant/black cherry/plum, and floral oakiness like hydrangeas.  If you have ever had craisins in a salad, take those and add a spicy pine/fir tree aspect from the gin barrel that seems like it would never work but it gives an incredible layer upon layer of strata to this deceivingly simple beer.  In sum, it drinks like a baller ass mexican Fanta, grape flavor.

those purple notes bring you to full release so hard

those purple notes bring you to full release so hard

M:  This is very dry and swallows clean with no residual aspects along the mid palate or gumline.  It really FEELS in the spirit of a berliner in this respect and I wouldn’t be shocked if the abv fell lower than 4% because it has such a thin body and obviously no waft or fusel aspects.  It is so clean that you could drink this before meeting with your parole officer and he would be none the wiser, excepting your fucking burgundy teeth.

D:  This is in the intensely crushable range, a 750 disappears faster than singles at Magic City.  Rank it next to Live Oak Hef and Stillwater Classique in those beers that just jump into your liver with aggressive deep swallows.  It takes a large swallow to bring out all of the nuances and to abate the substantial carb and you are left with your loins pumping to pop more of those currants.  Moreover, there simply isnt anything else out there at present that tastes like this, so you owe it to your mom to at least try this.  Otherwise you will just be walking about making statements about shit, value appraisals, when deep down everyone knows you havent had a currant gin barrel aged beer, and basically aren’t about that life.

If you have a pretentious wine prick friend, open this for her and shatter her world.

If you have a pretentious wine prick friend, open this for her and shatter her world.