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EVIL TWIN PAPPY ROUNDUP: Jesus Takes Even More Biscotti Breaks

Well if you have been peeping the trade boards recently, you may have heard about these “Torst only bottles” of Pappy Barrel Evil Twin offerings.  A few of them escaped to distro and subsequently have been fetching hilarious sums, so let’s see if the BALs are more than the sum of their staves in today’s review:

jesus1

“DDB thank you for putting the hot sauce bottles in focus, follow up question, which mid-day strip club was this taken at?”

Let’s start with a base beer of which I have had consistent “meh” reactions regardless of treatment.  My biggest complaint about this beer, pappy or otherwise, is that it has that Mikkeller/continental European love of black patent malt that runs unchecked so often.  The base beer as a result leans dangerous close in the realm of roast, charcoal briquette, burnt toast, and borderline sharpie.

This barrel treatment however, is phenomenal.  It takes a buttery power sander and smooths all of the nubs and unsightly aspects of the base beer and applies a vanilla and creme brulee lacquer that is outstanding.  The real issue is that it can’t tame what this Eliza Doolittle is at heart: a cockneyed skoal dip cup spitting ruffian.  In sum, it is a very good beer that is a hilarious merger of transatlanticism not unlike Death Cab for Cutie.

So the verdict: accept a pour but don’t get soaked for a Flora Coovie for this one, let your more adventurous trade partners get jumped behind the Arby’s for this BAL treatment.

jesus2

This however, holy fuck: a complete masterpiece. This is not only the best beer that Evil Twin has ever made, but it enters the canon of best ba stouts ever/top DDB beers for 2015.  This takes the already awesome base beer, in conjunction with the mindblowing good BA IBB, and then somehow ekes FURTHER improvement on that model.

While the standard bearer for this experience is usually BA speedway and BCBCS, this goes beyond both of those in several aspects.  First, the coffee is not so dominant as to bruise the barrel character.  You get mocha and the frap, with a clean roasty dryness from the treatment.  The coffee melds seamlessly like spot rivets on the side of this coffee battleship.

This is something absolutely worthy of being put inside of you.  The lengths are immaterial for something of this caliber, and I don’t care whether this is Westbrook or “flavor technician” Jeppemaster Flex, this is undeniably world class.

jesus3

Sure, you could probably open up a Bourbon County Coffee and look out the rain-streaked window and dream of what could have been.  Is that how you want to live your life: settling for the first bean to flick that came along, grinding the same predicable two plate experience ad infinitum?  I didn’t think so.  Buy yourself a hitachi massager and you do you.

I cringe when I see impressionable dumbfucks go apeshit over magic PERPY VERN WERNKLER BERRELS.  It usually means some amorphous Buffalo Trace sourcing, or it could be third use, or the old North Carolina special: aged 7 weeks.  However, in this instance, the treatment is undeniable in the notable improvement.

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DDB Takes You to Blonde Barleywine Hell and Back with Helldorado. At least FW doesnt block DDB…yet.

Helldorado
BLONDE BARLEYWINE BRUH, not BJCP certified

13.2% abv

An Imperial Blonde Ale or Blonde Barley Wine; Helldorado has the lightest color of any of the beers in our barrel program but carries a great deal of interesting barrel character:  vanilla, light char and amazing lavender-honey notes.  Rich boozy honey liqueur character and loads of smooth sweet toasted malt to finish.  The El Dorado hops dance in the background without playing a dominant role in the flavor profile.  This beer gets better and better the longer it is in barrel.

Strawberry blonde. I GOT BARLEY IN MY SCALP BREX.

Strawberry blonde. I GOT BARLEY IN MY SCALP BREX.

Oh blonde barleywines. Hot on the heels of the literally inimitable “central coast quad” comes this novel, unclassifiable gem from them Paso ballers. I remember back when this was a component beer blended into so many FW anniversary beers, I was like “interesting, this would be a daunting bomber to take down solo” and yet here we are.

My anticipation was to get something in the realm of ba Old Numbskull or BA Behemoth, with more wheaty gristy interplay. The result in actuality falls closer to something like Bruery’s White Chocolate or White Oak Sap or god forbid, Surly’s nightmarishly honey coated Syxx.

It isn’t particularly blonde, but it does have a certain beautiful ruddy sandy blonde, Sunkist tanned body to it. This is the lifeguard of barrel aged beers. Flexed, toned, but still massive enough to pull you out of bad situations, strong enough to put you in even worse situations. Drink this by the pool, you might drown, that barleywine life is full of risks, what can I tell you?

The nose is sadly sweeter than I could have demanded. There are waves of Carmelized agave nectar , Bit O Honey, Graham cracker, mallow foam, and an AARP bowl of Werther’s originals sitting on Gamgam’s lap. It doesn’t come across as overly saccharine, but there is a touch of glazed donut from the malts and barrel interplay that an “average” consumer will give the same tired “holy smokes! You can’t even call this beer at this point!!!! LOLOLOL” and you just rest your face in your hands listening to the same trite shit from co-workers and relatives alike.

The taste follows through on the Skor bar, There’s smashed caramello, lingering sappy oak, a light lacquer like shop class and finishes like sweet pencil shavings. It never feels like a stretchmarked beast, but you shouldn’t commit to this one for any prolonged sessions. I split this bomber and the fusel notes started escaping at higher temps like latently racist comments from a drunk republican.

Dat tome squig tho

Dat tome squig tho

This falls squarely in the realm of “well made, but did we actually need this?” Sort of zone that Bruery massive beers can inhabit.  It’s not like HAS SCIENCE GONE TOO FAR but I don’t see the military or long term peaceful applications of this beer. Then again, this is a massive improvement over the completely misguided DDBA so I guess small thanks for tiny blessings. It is unquestionably worth your time and a great service to the beer world at large to put out undeniably awesome, novel, barrel aged beers that continue to shape the palates of grocery store ballers at large. This will age gracefully and integrate phenomenally and a touch of that oxy cardboard in a couple of years will likely give it that awesome depth that perhaps the saccharine and fusel minor complaints are bothering at the outset.

As a corollary, if you are like Blend Raymond, this would be a masterful beer to have on hand at parties if you want to jazz up existing barrel aged beers because it presents itself like a universal Lego board to improve nearly every BA beer out there.  But this sort of accolade is only of utility to the oddest DDB reader, far along down the craft beer rabbit hole.

Now we get to wait until Velvet Merkin drops for the annual tradition of listening to new beer dumbfucks complain that “it isn’t as big as Parabola. Needs more bourbons, more abv TOO THIN THO”  and all that stupid rhetoric.

Every. Single. Year.

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CASEY CUT CAGEMATCH AKA THAT “TRIPLE C”: @caseybrewing Balaton Cut vs. Blackberry Cut. THEY WILL CUT U.

Colorado has a proud heritage of undersung, albeit incredible releases. In a bygone pre-pasteurizing era, New Belgium used to pad out the Whaley ranks with caged and corked one offs. For a period it was radio silence and the state was free to legalize marijuana, drive Subarus and make beers using breakfast cereal without impugnity. Colorado continues to have this absurd model of just delivering top tier beers directly to local consumers without artificially throttling output, using lotteries, or other stupid shit to artificially inflate branding or good will. WHEN WILL THEY LEARN. This concept coupled with the fact that Colorado traders are exceedingly generous kept the Rockies hidden like that colony in Atlas Shrugged where productive people could be free from usurious neckbeards.

Soft fruit. Soft lighting. Soft berry kisses.

Soft fruit. Soft lighting. Soft berry kisses.

Sadly, with mounting demand comes husky REI enthusiasts willing to brave long lines for fruited wild ales. I can’t fault Casey for this, but the typically genial Colorado population is maligning themselves with the rapacious Chicagoan paradigm. That little state is embracing hoarding like a stepmom with dementia. As a result these 1 per person, 120 count Casey Cut releases are the cat shit filled houses, with analogy extension.

For today’s review we are going to do a shootout of the original two Casey cuts to determine if they are worth the degree of balls-tripping that has resulted. Balaton Cut vs Blackberry Cut, two fruits enter, but only one condescending asshole emerges!

Turn slowly for maximum vend

Turn slowly for maximum vend

Casey Cut Blackberry

No corners were cut on the produce budget for this beer and the ridiculous Claire’s hue shows the tannins stacked on tannins, skins on skins. The radiant pour is welcoming but also had this dull fruity matte finish like when Persian dudes paint a 3 series flat magenta to prove its isn’t their dad’s car, he just still lives at home at age 33.

The turbidity is milky and seems to tenaciously grip its farmhouse roots without some clarifying e brake. I love the way these both look.

The nose is at the outset a bit mineral and almost brackish, spritzer with a huge berry roundhouse on the backend. This isn’t jammy tiny diner jellies, this is more akin to post harvest, first crush, warm fruit languishing on the rich silt, fruit skins and puppy musk.  Pour it into a gym sock and huff them fruits.

The look on both of these beers is just ridiculous.

The look on both of these beers is just ridiculous.

The taste of the blackberry is sharper than I expected but never puts a muddy lacto boot In your entryway. It is subtle and gentle, with a sort of award like Troy Casey wanted you to actually be able to drink an entire bottle to yourself. Imagine that, a wild ale that establishes itself without massaging the poles of extremes. The oak is not as pronounced as let’s say VSB or SHBRL, but it is also far more easy going. The Berry profile is like a sidecar on the coolest Vespa you have ever see. It doesn’t try to stunt or overwhelm, you just have a glowing appreciation for the ingenuity and character of it. It is incredibly good and rounds the edges off of the Nocturn Chrysalis model, a creamy soft mouthfeel like 500ct berry sheets.

Cherry poppin daddy

Cherry poppin daddy

Balaton Cut

All of the exceptional praise for the appearance on the blackberry carries over here except the bright KOOL aid aspects make it flow even more ridiculously. If you slit the throat of an otter pop this would be its arterial fluid: beautiful.

The nose is not as original or interesting as the blackberry, which is to say it is still phenomenal, albeit with other comparable existing analogs.  It falls somewhere in between the Fruitiness of Montmorency vs. Balaton and the acidity/cheesiness of Lou Pepe Kriek.  When those are the comparisons you draw, it’s safe to say Casey has it’s shit well in hand at this point.

feeling juiced rite nao

feeling juiced rite nao

The taste is a relaxing romp through the cherry orchard, more blossom than fruit, more languid stroll than ravenous gathering. It has the hallmarks of some of the best krieks, the skins from De Cam but with a distrinctively Sante Adairius sort of pillowy safety to the mouthfeel.  The acidity is kept well in check and it never feels robitussin forward or strays into the elusive Ludens cough drop zone.  While it may not reach the ultimate subllimity of say Cable Car Kriek, it stands head and shoulders over many of the highly lauded recent fruited wild ales.

BUT DDB WHAT IF I HAVE ACTUAL PRIORITIES IN LIFE AND CAN’T TRACK THESE DOWN?

Alright, well maybe you are at the wrong website, but there is limited hope if you find yourself in this situation.  While hardly “easy” to land, you could always try for Lou Pepe Kriek or, in a pinch, go after regular shelf Drie Fonteinen Kriek. I can’t say that the De Garde lineup has anything directly analogous to these beers and honestly the best alternative might be just another Casey beer:

150% THE FRUIT AW LIFE IS A BOWL OF CHERRIES HOMIE

150% THE FRUIT AW LIFE IS A BOWL OF CHERRIES HOMIE

While not as complex or bright, even the “150% FRUIT MONTMORENCY FRUIT STAND” is still a fantastic beer.  You get the refreshing berry character, that same soft mouthfeel, and incredible crushability. Plus, just look at that beer, god damn does it look inviting. The perfect beer to crush after savagely screaming at your son’s little league coach. REFRESHING.

Sometimes being your own biggest competitor is an ideal situation to embrace, and I can’t think of may other breweries executing fruited wild ales with this much balance and tiptoeing as Casey Brewing.  If you want something subtle that you can drink to yourself while you sob and call phone numbers out old yearbooks, CASEY HAS THE PERFECT GEMS FOR YOU.