Victory Vital IPA: That PA Supergiant is Checking the Vital Signs of the Hopgame

Oh Victory, what a tremulant history we have shared.  They are that entry level brewery that engages your interest, then you outgrow, but then you embrace again when you are done moralizing and giving a fuck.  Victory Brewing is kinda like that uncle who did sleight of hand magic and always invited you over to his studio apartment, but then later you found out it was because your uncle was on house arrest for petty theft.  Eventually you come full circle and realize your uncle is pretty kick ass, despite his larcenous trappings.

So Victory is hazarding a branding reboot of sorts, embracing their first canned offering, and bridging the gap to a more accessible consumer base from what I can gather.  I mean look at this shit:

Embedded adjectives like a TGI Fridays menu and shit.

Embedded adjectives like a TGI Fridays menu and shit.

I think we can agree that the marketing is dumber than a Rice Krispee Treat dildo.  But remember, this is appealing to the type of dude who says “WHEN WE GONNA GET YOU OUT ON THE BOAT” non-ironically. The official press statement boldly asks “WHAT IF WE LIVED IN A WORLD WITH ONLY ONE IPA CHOICE” so I am guessing this is some Fallout 4 dystopian future simulator IPA.

One thing you cant deny is a pretty fucking legit IPA 6 pack for $9.99.  That was the reason I loved DIRT WOLF but price alone cannot be Victory’s savior because Hop Ranch was a bag of pulverized chive and garlic nutsacks. So where does this one stack up between those two polar opposites? Eh, somewhere in between, falling closer to the Dirtwolf awesomeness.

The press release is fucking hilarious and makes me wish I wrote copy for this No Fear t-shirt designer turned beer mogul: “WHETHER YOU ARE LOOKING TO RELIEVE A STRESSFUL DAY, TOAST TO ONE OF LIFE’S MANY VICTORIES…REACH FOR THAT WHICH IS VITAL TO ALL FIVE SENSES IN EVERY SENSE OF THE WORD.” Go ice your boner down and continue reading.

So how does this taste? It appears to have subacriomial bursitis and a rotator cuff tear from patting itself on the back at release.  The look is admittedly awesome, that radiant hue with a touch of hay and light orange like when a Filipino dude decides that he would look good with bleached hair.

The nose follows suit and doesn’t go strict IBU overload and instead offers a pretty fulfilling with a sort of shallot and carmelized onion meets mango puree.  The waft is thin and has a touch of lemon hand soap to it that is forgivable because it ultimately comes across as refreshing rather than substantial in scope.

The taste is better than the nose and offers up a safe interplay between coniferous cones, yard trimmings, and grapefruit pith.  It has a clean fast finish that anomalously would work well in hot weather, and not as a late-Fall release but, I guess that’s fine? It doesn’t have any of the usual malty sweetness problems attendant to, let’s call it, PA’s bordering states. There is a lightly danky oiliness to the swallow that peaces out faster than when the professor says “attendance will not affect your grade.”


These labels. FFS.

So overall, this is welcome offering in a bar that probably is serving like SHIFT or some other shit, but I don’t see you reaching for this over your [insert smaller local superstar brewery.] It will raise the nationwide Grocery Store caliber of beers and act as a cool counterpoint to the likes of Lagunitas and Green Flash in that segment, but people who are drinking Societe or Columbus or Trillium will not be bothered by the spread of this ambitious upstart.

Buy a six pack, crush it, start accusing your children of things that they couldn’t possibly have been responsible for.


DDB Blind BA BW Tasting Lineup, dat DDBBBABBW bullpen

People have been asking what kind of absurd shit is going down on March 21st at my house.  We will be doing a Blind Barrel Aged Barleywine tasting with the following lineup:

Arctic Devil
Kuhnhenn BBBW
Straight Jacket
Rye BA Old Numb
Twisted Trace
Blighs b1
2000 BA Leviathan
Dude’s Bane
BA Hifi b1
BA fireside chat
2013 BA behemoth
big sky old bluehair
King Henry
Pipeworks BA Murderous
BA Roosevelt
BA Redrum
Old Nuptial
Wooden Hell
Black Raven Old Birdbrain
Deal with the Devil
BA John Barleycorn
BA Old and in the way
Old Abominable




2005 East End Gratitude, The Crow That Started It All, I Put a Bird On It

Can a crow be a whale and a bird concurrently? Today’s inquiry delves deep into the nature of identity and anomalous monism. Psyche, we draining blubber, obvi. This is third in line to the lineage of most sought out barleywine after M and Wooden Hell. If you don’t believe me, go ask resident B dub expert Chadquest and he will show you on a ruler how hard this malty rarity gets him attenuated. So this one is the first Gratitude, the OG of the bird crew, 600 bottles from back in the day. I wanted this one to lay another White Whale to rest in a legit manner. Every other pic I had seen to date (1) had been some Juggalo 1oz pours and shit. You deserve better than that. I knew shit was real when I got 3 messages asking for the fucking empty bottle.

Anyway, let’s put a bird on this bitch and ruffle some feathers. One crow short of a murder.

I used to say "no crow no care" well, now it's time to fucking care.

I used to say “no crow no care” well, now it’s time to fucking care.

Brewed by East End Brewing Company
Style: Barley Wine
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA
11.5% abv

A: This is that same deep mahogany brown with a slight muddiness after over 8 years of captivity. The sheeting is notable and it has some nice legs that zambonies what minimal carb still exists. The edges have a sort of khaki dirtiness to it, but its like the hot ratchet chick at Coachella all covered in mud that you still wanna get up in them ugly waist high shorts so she has a story to tell her dorm mates when she gets back to Arizona. That kinda shit.

Pictured above: Beer Advocate user finds out that barleywines were made back in 2005

Pictured above: Beer Advocate user finds out that barleywines were made back in 2005

S: This still somehow smells fucking phenomenal. I was expecting some kinda oxy fest, white kids rubbing norco on their gums and listening to Macklemore and shit. No oxy fest to be found. It’s like East End aged this to perfection, abusing the 8 year old on the cellar gradually over time. If you have had this beer fresh this is a completely different experience. The hops have been acid washed out like some Jordache jeans and you are left with this Gloria Vanderbilt refined poise, the alpha acids almost come across as a wood profile, there’s a crisp oaky finish to the nose that compliments the sweet sticky fig/plum/caramelized raisin that reminds me of those Sugar Baby candies, or a Sugar Daddy I guess, if you love the D. This is still distinctively American Barleywine and if you are gonna go this hard, balls deep in the cellar, the English bitches cant stand the test of time, need them cones to snuggle up to on those cold nights, pulling the malty blanket up, peering through that cardboard wondering when its day will come, trying to silently masturbate in them yeasty sheets and not wake up the headmaster. Man that shit went off the rails pretty quickly.

T: This has a traditional sticky toffee, bitter underpinning, some port sherry and milk chocolate aspects to it, but again, the hops give this deceptive ass wood treatment to it because they have mellow to the point of interjecting some resinous complexity to the finish. If you are like me and bitch nonstop about the lack of barrel treatment (to the point of making YOUR OWN VERSION WHAT THE FUCK IS MY PROBLEM) this is the variant for you. I used to say that the 2010 is the perfect balance between hoppy profile and that sticky decadent profile but this is hands down the best vintage, or really any bottle that has this much time on it I guess. The faux american toasted oak from the hops unites the sweet malty malts and gives a platform to keep oxidation at bay.

you may never try the elusive crow, but you probably dont want to be that type of person in the first place.

you may never try the elusive crow, but you probably dont want to be that type of person in the first place.

M: As I noted before, this is a sticky muddy sweet lil minx, but it also has this residual dryness that keeps the bad bitch in check. I won’t say this has some sort of brandy or bourbon treatment to it, but it seems that the FG is far lower, the highs higher, pupils dilated running your face against the gentle crow. The abv is laughably integrated to the point of being a date rape bird, you can’t give consent after schooling this bitch. Triple double no assist, mix that crow and Malibu, call it Malibooya.

D: Exceptionally drinkable, for 11.5% this puts the pussy on the chainwax. 2013 tickers take fat loads on their face to land King Henrys and grat sits on the boards, there is no justice in this world. You can and should merk an entire bottle of Grat to yourself, and you wont feel like some fat shithead on State Disability while you do it. With this, I have tried every variant of Grat, laying birds to rest. The fresh variants are less drinkable, but this in particular goes down easier than a college sophomore with body image issues. Highly recommended, lube your butthole if you are gonna swing at the crow, feathers will be ruffled, jimmes: rustled.

The only wood that this beer was treated on is the furious tiny boners when people see what u about to make tickers eat crow.

The only wood that this beer was treated on is the furious tiny boners when people see what u about to make tickers eat crow.

Narrative: No one ever said that being a high school senior was easy, particularly not for an archmage living in the confines of Omaha’s suburbs. Bramblestitch Crowly earned a proud lineage in his own world and was unexcelled in alchemy, until a tragic accident sent him to our cruel reality. “HEY BRAMBLEBITCH, nice cloak, is there a NEEDLEDICK RAVE AFTER SCHOOL?!” the young men cajoled at his expense, his talismans clinking in metronomic pace as he walked slowly while thumbing through a calfskin tome with fragile parchment pages. “MR. CROWLY I SUPPOSE YOU FEEL THAT GEOMETRY IS GOING TO WAIT FOR YOU?” Mr. Billingsly boomed as Bramblestitch lowered his head and took his seat in a tiny desk in the back of the oppressive classroom. It was becoming clear that he may never return to his own time, a relic from the past, years beyond his time. Bramblestitch rolled a fresh quartz crystal in his palm, suffering the slings of adolescence, reflecting as to how a Nebraska school system would permit a fucking wizard to be enrolled completely without question.

Since someone asked, Kiwi Pediobear is coming along nicely, stay tuned tickbitches.

Since someone asked, Kiwi Pediobear is coming along nicely, stay tuned tickbitches.


Voodoo Brewing Company, The K13: Suitable for Tickers grades K through 13

What is the 13th grade? Well it is technically that grade where you are taking City College classes part time but also working on your Ciceron certification. That way when you recommend Hop Devil, the people at Yard House will respect your opinion before they order Chelada. That grade.

First and foremost, huge thanks to Tom aka TRXXPAXXS for trxxpxxxing all over my porch with this rare gem. LYMI.

Well what do we have here? Another baller ass barleywine, business as fucking usual on DDB I guess. But wait, what if I told you it was 258 bottles, 1 per person. What if I said that there’s a string of butthurt analbeads from tickers who couldn’t land it: WHAT THEN? If that isn’t enough, IT WAS AGED IN PAPPY BARRELS = automatic instant wale. Ask Barrel Aged People’s Porter. Just kidding this is way better than that shit. So is this a King Henry destroyer? This didn’t get Rare’s sloppy seconds with pappy and it appears to go in hard. Let’s see if this is any better than those 452 KH gots, slowing fading in closets next to XXXL Northface jackets.

Such SRM, deep tones, many malts to make tastings (bourbon feels)

Such SRM, deep tones, many malts to make tastings (bourbon feels)

Voodoo Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States
American Barleywine | 13.00% ABV

A: I will be honest and say that this isn’t the prettiest Barleywine on the block. This is straight up American barleywine with those deep muddy mahoganies, Old Ale looking color swaps, and none of those garnet/toffee/dark amber that I like to see but, if Jack Black’s Oscar winning performance in Shallow Hal has taught me anything: go for the bigger ones, they always deliver. Carb is pretty DEEZ, nothing too insane and the whole thing is lock step with BA Behemoth and Arctic Devil. Legit company to keep, for sheeze.

There are plenty of times to skull a 13% Pappy BW solo.  While dressed like Tinky Winky is not one of those times.

There are plenty of times to skull a 13% Pappy BW solo. While dressed like Tinky Winky is not one of those times.

S: This might be one of the finest BA American barleywines I have ever had. It doesn’t go all sweet fisted with candies, but instead provides more depth from the faded ass hops with malty roast, baked/burned bread, creme brulee torched caramel, baked apples, jammy figs and of. fucking. course. Pappy. The pappy is one of the few barrels that even a weak ass Certified Beer Server could pick out of a 6 pack lineup. You get that mallow foam on your titties, edible vanilla underwear, and oaky KY lube just getting that Pavlovian palate ready and wet.

T: This is barrel forward more than Donkey Kong Country. You get toasted oak drying at the outset, faded hops in the realm of Warrior adding a base for complexity, the same toasted Werther’s original I mentioned above but the entire thing is underscore by a fantastic warmth and barrel presence from them Pappies. Sometimes tits look better in the old brassierre and when you open it up expecting magic, that Pappy bra can’t hold it together. These malty tits are fantastic and present a great interplay of booziness supported by malt and complexity from the base beer’s old hoppy resin. It isn’t exactly a barrel bomb like something in the way of Kuhnhenn BBBW or Alpine Great, but it is its own lil reeeemix that shines, poppin Molly at a barrel aged dubstep show, spilling bourbon all over underaged chicks. The uze.

Whenever I see 1oz pours of a rare barleywine it's like WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING

Whenever I see 1oz pours of a rare barleywine it’s like WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING

M: This is admittedly hot, but in that toasty “dont be a vulva” sort of way that is compelled by Arctic Devil and the like. If the base beer didn’t have the complexity in the malt and hop profile, this might fall into a “just pretty awesome” realm like Sucaba and others. However, at higher temps this beast shines and stands out like that annoying ass drama student from a broken home. It craves your attention and seeks your approval. The finish is drying from the oak, but again, on the heels of everything else happening in this beer the dryness is a fantastic closer to the bourbon set. You want encores and shit.

D: This is not exceptionally drinkable in the sense of “hey let’s play Ni No Kuni, where did my pants go, fuck I am late for work.” This will get you swerved and it is more cerebral than some of the other offerings in this realm simply because you have at least 4 elements at play asking for your attention. The average taster will cop out and say EHHH ESS TOOO HAWWTTTT and then continue watching Storage Wars or some other bullshit. But for the rest of us, people with conviction and purpose, it is fucking amazing. I highly recommend this and it is well worth that DDG/BA Huna realm that it is trading within. Srs.

This beer will solve all kinds of problems.

This beer will solve all kinds of problems.

Narrative: The sleek aluminum doors opened with a cascade of spinning red lights and exhaust steam from the pneumatic mechanism. Deep within the doors of the misslebay the alarm resounded its wailing call to the acamedic officials waiting below: the time for K13 had arrived. “Professor, the Angel’s Share ignition chamber has been primed, we are ready for primary,” called one lab technician while looking at a spread of blinking monitors. Professor Blanton looked through the plate glass observation window at his passion, his bete noir for almost a decade. “Blanton, they said that bourbon could not be weaponized. They said that carpet assaults of fermented spirits was a violation of the Geneva Convention. I don’t hear any of them now!” he thought to himself as the mechanized countdown began. The city of Glendale for too long knew nothing of bourbon. Its residents basked in deviant repose, enjoying clear alcohols and neglecting Kentucky exports. “TODAY THEY SHALL FEEL THE STING OF PURE BOURBON RAINING FROM ABOVE! ARM THE k13!” Blanton called to the support staff. A sheet of pure distilled energy cascaded in a vibrant amber wave over the Galleria mall.

Drink .rar Barleywines, Stunt hard.

Drink .rar Barleywines, Stunt hard.


De Dolle Stille Nacht Riserva 2010, Sippin them Off-Vintage White Whales Tryna Flex

Alright, everyone knows that the 2000 vintage is the testicle drainer that everyone loses their shit over. But what about the equally alluring NEW vintage? There were all kinds of rumors about how many bottles actually made it stateside, I heard anywhere from 380 to 1100. Shelton be flipping bricks of that raw uncut so it wouldn’t surprise me on either front. This aint even stepped on, 25 months in a barrel making North Carolina breweries shake their heads in disdain.

Twisting my nips and turning co2 knobs.  Wait wut

Twisting my nips and turning co2 knobs. Wait wut

Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers visit their website
Belgian Strong Pale Ale | 12.00% ABV

A: People complained like little Delta Gammas when they pour this out about the lack of carb but to be fair, it was in a barrel for 2+ years and it is 12% abv, I wasnt expecting some crazy bubbly gusher out of this decadent bitch. This is penny amber and deep copper notes at the center with a nice radiance to it. No lacing, no sticky bubbles, just a lil prejizz wisps on the collar. This isn’t your first time.

SNR10 ahwww shyttt mad trill sonnn, lemmie get my shitty Artful Dodger hoodie and sip a 1oz pour CIRCERONE BEER PROFESSIONAL WERKIN back up BJCP MAD TRILL

SNR10 ahwww shyttt mad trill sonnn, lemmie get my shitty Artful Dodger hoodie and sip a 1oz pour CIRCERONE BEER PROFESSIONAL WERKIN back up BJCP MAD TRILL

S: If you walked into this shit expecting a belgian strong, guess again motherfucker. This is deep cherry, oak, vines, merlot, red grape, tannins, fruit by the foot, and some sherry wafts on the backend giving some sweet dryness. Your aunt has been sipping on that cherry cordial liqueur and wants an open mouth kiss, for old times sake. Those 2 years in the barrel made this asshole a heartless sour wrapped in vines and you know deep down that barleywine-esque maltiness is there, but too much time in the hole made this Virgil a product of Bordeaux hell.

T: This follows the nose pretty congruently and lends some tannins to the malty base but at higher temps you get a sort of english barleywine aspect to it with some toffee and caramel in the finish. However, the cherry ring pop and red wine continues to run the yard, shanking malty inmates with pieces of sharpened oak. Dont fuck around with this beer, hold its outturned pocket and know your role.

That feel when you pop crazy bottles and have nothing to talk about in the elevator on Mondays.

That feel when you pop crazy bottles and have nothing to talk about in the elevator on Mondays.

M: This is initially sweet and sticky from the cherry and malty base beer but then the tannins and oak cause a mouthriot and people start throwing dry mattresses over the railing drying shit out pretty quickly. Riot control washes it away clean but you know that dryness is coming back after the cherry aspects leave. The ABV is pretty well integrated but it is there polishing a fat Cabernet nightstick ready to pound the fuck out of any bitter zones that get out of line.

D: This is drinkable but a whole bottle for lunch on a Tuesday was a bit cloying after it warms a bit. Hey here is a crazy idea, maybe you should fucking share this bottle instead of being a greedy fuck? Yeah, I know. I would get down on this again but maybe spread the love around a bit next time. I liked it but didn’t fall in love with it and the complexity took a backseat to cherries and port near the end. No regrets/10, would bang again raw dog double lover no rubber on that reservoir tip.

BEER REVIEWS? Psh I have been doing those sence lyke 2011!!1!!

BEER REVIEWS? Psh I have been doing those sence lyke 2011!!1!!

Narrative: “Well hey hey hey fellas!” Chip Merken piped out loudly while deftly handling his pitchfork. “Ah can it Chip, we can’t take it on harvest day.” Harvest day was hard and long, with an oppressive sun. Chip was always a crisp jolly individual who could somehow out-harvest the others, and outsow his colleagues at planting time. He popped a cherry into his mouth and thought up another upbeat tune and began to rap on a piece of oak. “Toot doot dee do da dee dee daaa” he whistled some antiquated tune to himself, smiling in between breaths. “COME ON, DAMNIT CHIP!” One co-worker threw his rake down in anger. “Here we are trying to harvest some damn wheat and instead we have you all up in our heads with your old show tunes and knock knock jokes, don’t none of that make this any sooner!” Chip’s smile slowly faded and he looked down at his glistening pitchfork, “don’t let them get sore at you old Chip, don’t let what happened before ever happen again,” the darkness in his heart burned. “Well sure fellas! I will go get the reaper, I GUESS!” The reaper indeed young Chip, the reaper indeed.


Midnight Sun 3000, Consecration+Abacus = Snow Mexican Barleywine

I think it is pretty well-established that Arctic Devil is an amazing beer. Berserker continues to impress, and Barfly is a distant reminder to some of the beta n00bs, but even the 2012ers know about it. On the face of things, Midnight Sun shouldn’t be dropping balls, barleywine or otherwise, on limited releases. This beer is a clear exception. This beer dropped more balls than an evangelical 8th grade choir. So what went wrong? This beer was essentially the last 10 minutes of Into the Wild in beer form, someone tried to do something adventurous in Alaska and ended up dying from poison.

Just how I like my barleywines, with a 3 finger head, wait wut-

Just how I like my barleywines, with a 3 finger head, wait wut-

Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
Alaska, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine | 13.20% ABV

Before I pound this O-ring like a dried persimmon, let’s hear the company description so the lulz can resound throughout your shitty studio apartment:

“In this ridiculously wonderful world we’ve created, we make beer- one batch at a time. As the scientist in us demands, we number said batches. And while every batch of our beer is special for us – providing a fresh start on a new day, establishing an experimental opportunity, bringing together our minds and spirits, projecting our company forward – each batch also scores time.

To celebrate our 3000th batch, we present a Belgian-style Barley Wine, simply called 3,000. Luscious layers of flavor begin with barley, wheat and rye malts followed by triple-hoppping with a single varietal. Fermentation, using three distinct yeast strains, achieves complexity in character and, of course, alcohol. This special batch was transferred into red wine oak barrels for eight months to age gregariously yet gracefully. After bottle-conditioning, this exclusive beer is ready for immediate enjoyment although it can be lovingly cellared for future festivities.”

A: Ok first order of business, look at this barleywine and tell me if you think that attenuation is appropriate for the style. Does it look like a barleywine? Does it look good? The look of this beer reminds me of an all extract shitty brown ale homebrew that your buddy makes you try. The head is excessive and almost makes me scratch my chin and accuse infection but we will allay those concerns for the time being. Does this beer look like other world class barleywines?

Oh wait, it is a BELGIAN barleywine, so my critique gets to dodge a bullet. I remember when some people were calling this the second coming of M, just like BA Hifi batch 2 is the second coming of Wooden Hell, except BA Hifi is still pretty awesome and this is Merlot and taint esters.

Mixing a barleywine with shitty cabernet ISN'T NORMAL.  Not even one more hybrid like this. Not one.

Mixing a barleywine with shitty cabernet ISN’T NORMAL. Not even one more hybrid like this. Not one.

S: Speaking of taint, the smell of this thing is offputting not only for the style, but in general. No one makes roe ice cream for a reason, some tastes don’t merge well. I am going to list some smells descriptors and you check yes if you want them in a barrel aged barleywine: merlot, cranberry, lemon rind, tangelo, blackberry, wet leather, post-menopausal tears, toddler laundry (non-soiled), pennies. If you said yes to any of those, you must be Cicerone level 5: contrarian belt. There is very little barleywine going on here and its like someone took a perfectly good bike and retrograded it to be a really inefficient baby carriage. I don’t want a bouquet of out of place fruits atop my pile of belgian esters, get that shit out of here, you don’t see successful breweries alike Stone taking malty beers and putting them in shitty red wine bar-…oh. OH.

T: This takes all of that tannic afterbirth and adds this coinstar machine maltiness whose jankiness can only be represented in scientific notation. There is a copper, burnt malt, scorched boil water (if you have done this, you know the hell and sticky disgust it creates) baked beans, Kendall Jackson Merlot, some interloping fucking leather tastes, and finally closes with a shitty Bartells and James red grape sort of taste. Now go dig through those used needles and find me the barleywine in this trainwreck. Just drink a cup of grape juice, lick a Jansport and save yourself some time.

I don't know what kinda crazy shit goes on up in Alaska, but this beer might be a glimpse into the world north of the wall.

I don’t know what kinda crazy shit goes on up in Alaska, but this beer might be a glimpse into the world north of the wall.

M: This is the gassiest barleywine ever and is needlessly bubbly on the palate. Then it imparts those horrible tannins and its like a mister spraying Yellow Tail weak ass wine all over your gums. You end up dry but violated with this fucked up stickiness all over you like fountain water from a two star casino.

D: Not very, the biggest impetus pushing me along was the fact that this was a bitch to trade for. Even still I drainpoured most of this. You know you have a quality barleywine when you start contemplating the calories and wondering if eating glass would somehow be better for your body. I love Arctic Devil, Moscow was solid, but this is some Gitmo experiment barleywine water boarding. Ruined a malty treat for all of us with bruised red grapes no one asked for. However, in Alaska the men to woman ratio is extremely skewed, so maybe this is the female Pinot Noir up there, when they get off from their logging duties or shift at the beef jerky company they sit down and laugh in a glottal fashion while sipping this and watching Cougartown or some shit.

You CAN make a hybrid of some mishmash shit, but that doesn't mean that it will turn out good.

You CAN make a hybrid of some mishmash shit, but that doesn’t mean that it will turn out good.

Narrative: Rampage Jackson clutched the fountain pen with uncertainty and listened to the lawyers go through the terms of the negotiation. “Ok, so clauses 2 and 7 stipulate that Rampage is still “Bad Ass” and “universally feared” but Viacom New Media will acquire him as a cooking host for a variety of tasks and spots.” Rampage wiped the sweat from his massive ebony brow, reading the various clauses on oso bucco and balsamic reductions. “Wait tho, so I am not fightin nobody? I just be like cooking?” he asked puzzled and a man with Tom Ford glasses and offensively large bicuspids laughed to the floor to ceiling glass windows of the conference room. “HA! Yes Mr. Jackson, you will be an incidental novelty talent to a series of unscripted life shows, and doing semi-fictionalizations of “Kitchen Disasters” all the while still remaining Rampage Jackson, I hope that is clear?” the slick talent agent rattled off. “But wait, I am good at fighting, and combat, why I gotta be making pastries and shit? Why try and make me into something completely different?” There was a certain lucidity to his voice and the men leaned forward with curious expectancy. “I mean like, why take something huge and awesome and emasculate that down to something totally irrelevant and worse? I mean you are just ruining what I am all about, turning it into something else simply for the sake of being irrelevant. Shouldn’t the point be to be entertaining and not just shocking, seems to Rampage that if you ain’t pleasing the public then-” the men gathered up the signed forms and there was much glad handing. Bravo was about to turn out another hybrid reality show that was intellectually debasing and horrible to all involved. Just another day’s work for those cultured gents at Bravo.


Dark Horse Three Guys Off the Scale SOUR VERSION, Apparently if you ruin beer, you can just call it SOUR VERSION

Let’s clear the air right away: I love bourbon barrel plead the 5th. It is one of my favorite BB stouts out there, without qualification. That being said, there have been a series of questionable ass releases from those metal brewers up in depressing ass Norway Michigan. First, Fore Stout was a weird thin smokey mess. Then Borubon Barrel Mosnter 29 was somehow thinner, boozier, yet with a lower ABV than regular Monster 29 and was totally imbalanced. After I opened this actual monster, I figured I would work Dark Horse over with a bicycle chain for a bit in today’s review



Dark Horse Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine | 15.00% ABV (? I guess)
The bottle didn’t say, so I just assumed that the infected mess was similar in attenuation/bugs/vermin levels.

A: Beauty contest winrar alert: a beer this is. Look at that sloppy merlot mess. Are you drinking a 1500 bottle waxed release because the dead flat pour looks like you are enjoying some Kendal Jackson Merlot at an Applebees. No bubbles at all, it’s like a pour straight from a carboy, as lackluster as that dumbass new Jason Bateman movie, and equally predictable. The sheeting is clear and intense, with no residual sugars to balance out this imbalaced ass scale. And look at that janky ass label, was this approved? It looks like some homebrewer printed that shit off a HP Bubblejet printer, I had it in my fridge for like 4 days and the condensation already had that ink running like mascara on a fat girl’s face after prom.

If this is a sign of sours and old ales to come, I am out.

If this is a sign of sours and old ales to come, I am out.

S: Well I hope you like red apple vinegar, now mix in with your Melange 3. That is exactly what is going on here, there is this fusel cherry jolly rancher with a splash of a musky cabernet. It honestly reminds me of “accidentally” soured home brews where it straddles both genres so hard that it barely qualifies as either a wild or an old ale. Leave a fruit by the foot in a locker for a week, then enjoy it, you have just had Three Guys off the Scale, you won the beer game.

T: The rabbit hole goes deeper, take that classic caramel and nice roast from Hair of the Dog Adam, now go ahead and dump some acrimonious vinegar into it, but don’t even blend it to taste, just Bobby Flay that shit from shoulder height. The finish is intensely dry and I don’t know if it is oak or if it just busted open HSV sores in my mouth that I didn’t even know were there. It finishes with a taste I can only describe as “currency.” One time when I was a kid I clutched a bunch of dimes and went to the store and bought some candy, so sweaty ass coins and Skittles, that is basically what is going on here. Not exactly a panty dropper, even by Michigan standards, where a size 10 is literally a dime, that is top of the line.

Give your kids this beer early on, it will Uncle Donald their asses into hating beer.

Give your kids this beer early on, it will Uncle Donald their asses into hating beer.

M: This is dry, cracking, yet sickeningly fusel at the same time. The completely tepid nature doesn’t do it any favors, it just lays there and gets pounded like Ben Kingsley in Gandhi trying to get his vote on. I don’t want to pound this point home further but, there is no way this was intentionally sour, nor could it have passed the QC panel. I tasted “One” and it is a legitimate oatmeal stout, this, this is like if they left the brewing doors open and they let a bunch of disadvantaged Detroit youth try their hand at real world working times as a brewer. Then sold it.

D: On a scale from one to “call an oral surgeon” this is a Bluelady. If you don’t know what that means, you are lucky, this was incredibly difficult to finish and I even let it warm up and well, that was a mistake, this beer went HAM and was like “THIS ISN’T EVEN MY FINAL FORM!!!” and turned into a huge infected hydra, like most people’s ex-wives. I could barely get this down while watching The Room, I was like OH HAI DOGGY.

This beer is off the scale

This beer is off the scale

Narrative: Liz Wilkerson thumbed the elastic waistband of her Lane Bryant stretch pants and looked out over the desolate Michigan winter. She looked over the gazing starlets in US! Weekly and longed to be like Zooey Deschanel, wearing clothes that did not come from Fashion Bug or Tuesday Morning. She ran the tips of her fingers over the smooth fissures of her stretch marks, reminders of where she had been, and where she could not return. Life working at Michigan’s most esteemed winery was fine, for the 4 months of the year that the vines got sun, but the rest of the time she looked out upon the cold dead poplars and wondered what those tropical ass people in Kansas were up to, much less Floridians. She tried her best, but no one wanted her, at least not in her current state, she was on and off the scale, constantly mulling over her appearance, bemoaning other more beautiful girls, girls whose incisors actually made contact. She was big, sour, ungainly, and unwanted, and everyone in Flint knew it.


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.