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Oh great. @Hillfarmstead Art, A Beer I Have Not Been Looking Forward to Reviewing At All.

First and foremost huge thanks to the Vicster for donating the bottLOL yeah right, can you imagine that dude doing something selfless not designed to maximize some self-aggrandizing desire, LOL YARITE.

So after many trials and tribulations trapezing around the current state of farmhouse affairs, we have returned to the touchstone of American Saisons: Hill Farmstead.

I want to state at the outset: I don’t generally enjoy reviewing Hill Farmstead beers. Allow me to clarify before your urethra starts spewing out liquid Velveeta. I love DRINKING these Vermont gems. I LIKE making fun of the attendant shitty, capitalistic HF traders. But in practice REVIEWING Hill Farmstead beers isn’t especially fun from the DDB pulpit.

Drank this in a hot tub on a 102 degree day in Portland. What am I even doing with my life.

Drank this in a hot tub on a 102 degree day in Portland. What am I even doing with my life.

The function of reviewing is to leverage and evaluate the shortcomings and merits of a given work. If the verve of DDB is to present these impressions with any modicum of levity, then it’s gonna be a fair amount of hyperbole and understatement to suck the marrow out of the bone.  Hill Farmstead derails all possible jokes. Generally people love the excoriating rhetoric or seeing a car fire of a beer getting eviscerated, Malty Romans ripped to shreds by yeasty lions.

Yeasty lions is the name of my new protopunk group.

The problem with most Hill Farmstead beers is that they generally are either setting the bar to some degree or competing against their own product, so how in the fuck is DDB expected to make a 900 word  handjob entertaining for the nondeviants to witness? It is just a parade of praise with some jRPG and hip hop references, then we call it a day.

This would be the greatest issue that I have with Art: it is too fucking good to extract a legitimate degree of humor. I would much rather just rip on one of the “shittier” Hill Farmstead beers like a sour pumpkin ale or the Jim line, but alas, I guess I finally have to review this masterpiece.  Lamentably.

Here is the wind up to the pitch:

“Art is the wine barrel fermented and aged version of Arthur (1922-2005), our grandfather’s youngest brother as well as the name of our rustic farmstead ale. In honor of Arthur, we mindfully blend his namesake beer from French oak wine barrels that have been aged and conditioned for between 1 and 3 years. This is the standard that reflects, redefines and guides the progressive vision for Hill Farmstead.”

Every word I type further distances myself from trying this beer again.  I am an active antagonist against my own desires, self-preclusion becoming idealized.

Every word I type further distances myself from trying this beer again. I am an active antagonist against my own desires, self-preclusion becoming self-fulfilling.

Just look at this shit. How am I supposed to do my job and maintain the tart ph salinity of my vagina, when it looks flawless. I guess I could bitch that a more diverse grist bill with spelt would combat the acidity and improve the sheeting and lacing. But does anyone think that’s a legitimate complaint? Fuck no, it’s just some domineering korean housewife nagging.

The smell? I don’t have a whole lot to deconstruct on this front either. It makes for a shitty boring review, inverse to the quality of the beer itself. In fact, the smell is the only thing that Ann does better than Art. The average shitwaffle strokes it to pinups of that lottery masterpiece, fully ignoring the fact that Art is better in several aspects if not as a whole.  The nose has waves of cut clementines, nectarines, honeydew, ritz cracker, and ricotta cheese.  It is unendingly refreshing like having cyber sex with a water sprite.

I first opened this beer at Beer Revolution in Oakland in 2012, when American Saisons were still enjoying this nascent blissful anonymity before covetous assholes ruined everything. The comments were like “oh so it’s a sour then? No? Is it like a Russian River then? Hmm. Weird.”  People couldn’t wrap their heads around this because there weren’t many barrel aged saisons, let alone executed in this fashion.  Now everything is in ruins.

The smell has a much imitated balance of tropical fruity zest with acidity that strays far from the edge of tolerability.  It is incredible and a beer that uproots itself due to how good it is.  The consumption is an event and in itself is destruction.  The experience is a discrete event that actually makes your net life experience worse having had something this well done.  For that reason it is hard to recommend seeking this out with a clear conscience.  You can’t go back to watching Tyler Perry movies after you have seen Michael Haneke’s best films.

I guess the most we can hope for is either increased HF production on this level or some janky readily available shasta version in the future.

I guess the most we can hope for is either increased HF production on this level or some janky readily available shasta version in the future.

The taste is dry, not nearly as dry as E. but not nearly as honey sweet as Ann.  The Aristotelian mean that is better than both of those beers simply due to this swiss army knife profile that delives depth, cleanliness, complexity, and refreshment.  Usually the acidity would work against drinkability, or the dryness of the barrel treatment would be oppositional to any malty sweetness.  Somehow all divergent horses and reigned in by Helios on this golden farmhouse chariot. There’s lemon zest and wheatgrass, gruyere and croissant, with a lighly herbal fernet branca grassiness to the closer.  What am I seriously supposed to say about this shit?

As a caveat to undermine all of the foregoing: regular ass Arthur is like 85% as good and about 2000% easier to obtain.  Unless you are a completionist asshole who needs 100% trophies in the beer game, or some Minnesota Dentist who wants to buy a palace on top of HUGE PRICK MOUNTAIN, there’s no reason for you to seek out this beer.  Arthur is already so damn good and the improvements on this are akin to those absurd R TYPE models of already fast enough cars where they gut the AC and roll cage it and supercharge it to absurd heights.

Drink Arthur, or seek this out after you finally patent that dual sided Hitachi/Fleshlight marriage saving apparatus you have been working on.

Narrative:

Scanning the channels of a HAM radio was a tedious task usually relegated to the loneliest of shut-ins.  RF frequencies rarely led to any juicy pearls of wisdom and further served to alienate the participants frittering away their lives in leaky garages around the nation.  Nathan Spaulding sipped on a cup of assiduously prepared Earl Grey and listened to the white noise cascading through time and space.  Each clipped frequency was an extension for contact, a passing analog glance from a stranger. In a world replete with bodies, Nathan sipped his herbal embrace and never felt more alone. “PPSSHSHS- can anyone, please, PLEASE!” the radio hissed, echoing against the wall of the garage door. Nathan frantically gripped the receiver “Yes, this is Phantom Tangelo!” the UHF/VHF transmitter shaking in his palm. “I don’t have time to explain PSSHSHHH I am Warren Dupont, I am a produce shipping magnate who was overseeing a tangerine GMO operation to increase- JESUS JUST LISTEN, the strain is…its…are you there?” “”YES!” Nathan stammered sipping his tea, “PHANTOM TANGELO here, please continue!”

That evening Warren gave the coordinates of the most potent strain of farm grown tangerines ever designed, dizzying in yields and fruit latency. It would take weeks of scouring, but Nathan would ultimately find the ultimate treasure, the pinnacle of farm-based desires.  Months later, hunched over the Platonic ideal of citrus, gripping the flawless rind delicately, he would contemplate whether science had gone too far.

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Seven Ales Only Lagers Will Understand! NUMBER THREE IS SO TRUE

If you have ever tried to figure out some ales, THEY SEEM IMPOSSIBLE, it’s like what really is the DEAL?  Fortunately some lagers will totally understand.  Today we have compiled a super nostalgic list of ales that only true lagers will understand:

1) Hill Farmstead/Blaugies – Le Sarrasin

https://dontdrinkbeer.com/2014/06/06/hillfarmstead-an-incredible-blaugies-job-by-way-of-vermont-sarrasin-slays/

WHO HASNT BEEN THERE

At first blush, you might not really GET what this ale is all about. Unless you are a monocelled bottom fermenting culture, you probably won’t be able to wrap your head around this ale.

2) 2007 Drie Fonteinen Hommage

https://dontdrinkbeer.com/2012/04/26/drie-fonteinen-hommage-paying-hommage-to-all-my-broken-bottles-lost-in-shipment-rip/

EVERY TIME

Many people will give up because they cant wrap their heads around this one.  That’s largely due to the fact that they are humans and not a cultural strain of Saccharomyces pastorianus. It’s hard to hold it against someone for not being a lager yeast, you wouldn’t understand.

3) Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Plead the Fifth

https://dontdrinkbeer.com/2012/04/08/dark-horse-brewing-company-bourbon-barrel-plead-the-5th-i-choose-not-to-exercise-that-right-in-light-of-tasting-this-beer/

I STILL DONT GET IT

Most people will look at this ale and see a stout made with an ale strain then aged in bourbon barrels: they couldn’t be more wrong.  If you are a lager you will see this ale for what it truly is, simply by virtue of being isolated and described in 1904 by the Danish mycologist Emil Christian Hansen. Everyone else just wont understand.

4) Logsdon Peche N Brett

https://dontdrinkbeer.com/2013/01/14/logsdon-farmhouse-ales-peche-n-brett-get-ready-to-get-your-peaches-gripped/

I STILL DONT UNDERSTAND BUT ITS NOT MY FAULT

Sure you might be like “this isn’t a lager” and you would be right, but that doesn’t mean you come within a country mile of seeing this beer the way a true lager would.  You can rattle off some facts but you wont get it unless you spend your life as a diploid organism. Fake “non-allotetraploid”:haters need not apply.

5) 1996 Alexander Rodenbach

https://dontdrinkbeer.com/2013/08/24/1996-rodenbach-alexander-keeping-teenagers-in-the-cellar-and-exploiting-them-years-later/

I CAME CLOSE TO GETTING THIS BUT NOPE IM NOT A LAGER

Listen. I am a human being. I dont have four copies of my genome, I cant be expected to know anything about this beer from 19 years ago. I tried my hardest but I just can’t lager, like not even that much at all.

6) Troegs Splinter Gold

https://dontdrinkbeer.com/2013/08/20/troegs-splinter-gold-nugget-nectar-aged-on-real-gold-psyche-just-a-rare-wild-ale/

I GAVE UP TRYING TO UNDERSTAND THIS ONE BC NOT A LAGER

If you are close to being a lager, you might be like oh Splinter Gold is Scratch #3-2007 with a slow rest in oak wine barrels dosed with brettanomyces. During a two-year aging period the horsey flavors of the brett combined with the Westmalle yeast used during primary fermentation. AND YOU WOULD BE TOTALLY WRONG.  A real lager will understand this ale with a depth and complexity that human faculties can only imagine, separating the time-oak aging space continuum.  Despite years of research by Jack’s Abby, we still know more about the ocean floor than we do about the true nature of the lager.

7) De Struise Five Squared

https://dontdrinkbeer.com/2012/08/21/de-struise-five-squared-130-euro-bottle-25-abv-gucci-mane/

I DONT KNOW WHAT I CANT EVEN LAGER

I tried, I really did but I think it’s pretty clear I am no lager.  I can’t be expected to fully get this beer.

WHOA TALK ABOUT A SERIOUS LAGER BLAST! We can only hope to use our limited faculties to really try to grasp the foregoing ales.

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The Ultimate Farmhouse Voltron @Hillfarmstead Civil Disobedience 11, The Saison Megazord

Alright, keeping things on track with arguably the whaliest beer that HF has ever made outside of Ann, is this staggering amalgamate of the best the saison world has to offer.  At ~300 bottles, 1 per person, this caused a massive rift in the trading community and the butthurt was palpable, salty alligator tears rolling down Dorito dusted beards. So what is the deal with this FINAL BOSS GOD TIER FARMHOUSE LOOT? This is like post-game optional quest level shit here:

“Composed of Anna aged in barrels that previously held Mimosa, E., and Juicy, blended with Anna that was aged in barrels that previously held Civil Disobedience 3 and 5. Delicate, elegant, complex, and effervescent.”

Does it seriously get any better than that? Those are like nocturnal emissions mixed with microflora. Let’s get down to this rustic ratchet in today’s review.

Got musky emo tears, beer looking like a bowl of oranges

Got musky emo tears, beer looking like a bowl of oranges

Hill Farmstead, Vermont (you know this already)

Blended BA saison, abv? Let’s call it 7.69%

This beer also gushed like an obese kid who lost a full dress size at fat camp. It spilled all over my tiny hovel making my shoddy granite work redolent of Vermontean esters.  The carb notwithstanding, this pours intensely orange and the whole pour feels like a PS1 cut scene where for a moment things are far less shitty, and you know it simply wont last.  It has fantastic cling and sheets rings the entire way down as though it had a modicum of spelt boosting those unfermentable solids.  Svelte, radiant, oddly beautiful like Emma Stone in BIrdman.

Look at me.  Look at me. I am the saison captain now.  I am the farmhouse captain.

Look at me. Look at me. I am the saison captain now. I am the farmhouse captain.

The nose continues the pageantry in a way that is unparalleled by even Shaun Hill standards.  In the struggle for their own dominance over their own product this grip the tail of Ann and the throat of Art and co-dominance is established like some acidic alleles contributing this master race phenotype.  I hope you didn’t fail high school biology, otherwise Ctrl+T that shit. There is intense orange, grand marnier meets cut construction paper, wet Jansport backpacks, bikes in the rain covered in Donald Duck orange juice, crushes leaves, bittering conifer aspects on the closer and this sweetly acidic finish like a Jamba Juice peach dream.  It is frustratingly enticing to a fault.

Hit that bottle spread eagle, label cocked open like that Jordan logo

Hit that bottle spread eagle, label cocked open like that Jordan logo

The taste is creamy orange julius from the mall with brett C funk contributing an aged cheddar cheesiness to the gumline, the most refined acidity this side of BA Cellarman, crisp anjou pear dryness on the swallow that lingers with a clementine pithy bitterness.  It is orange and cuties through and through with massive cascading waves of bitterness, acidity and funk like LED lights at a TRAP show contributing to full immersion.  There is a touch of imperfect honey sweetness that is perceptible that has a sweet meets mineral character, but this is literally the only fault I can detect after assiduously prying apart this entire 750ml solo.

Liquefy this photo in its purest platonic form and imbibe it

Liquefy this photo in its purest platonic form and imbibe it

In sum this is the pinnacle of the HF catalog and only Ann and Art can stand as coherent rivals to this crown.  It easily stands in the top 10 best saisons I have ever had in my life and I can’t imagine someone walking the razors edge of funk, musk, acidity, and drinkability.  It takes the best aspects of all prior saisons and unites them in defiance of a composition fallacy that I had ready to toss like critical shurikens.  One guy wanted Fou + Hommage for this bottle 2:1 and, while this will rock the Belgian lambic-curator dipshits to their core, it is hands down worth it,  It exists as a pinnacle of the most nuanced of genres and flat out runs at even clip with the best lambics I have ever had.

Past and present progressive  rusticity

Past and present progressive rusticity

Writing favorable reviews is shitty, but I have to doff my coal dusted Dickensian cap when shit operates on this tier.

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@propolisbrewing Grewit, Listen I know everyone is doing barrel aged gruit reviews but I need these clickbucks

Oh Pacific Northwest, home of perpetual rainfall, grunge music, generous traders, and artisan everything, where would the beer world be without you? This brewery, Propolis Brewing, might be the most PnW thing to ever happen to the alegame. Don’t believe me? Go take a look at their fucking webpage:

http://propolisbrewing.com/ale.html

It is like everyone else in the brewing world has been working with stone tools and these homies rolled back from the Mojoverse with all kinds of bizarro fermentation technology from their dystopian herb-based future.  My body is ready for the timelines to merge. Anyway, since no one else is going hard in that gruit game without making Guardians of the Galaxy references, DDB might as well cover this breaking news.  Roll up the herbs for today’s review, ales about to get blunted

A barrel aged, herbal gruit, made in the PnW? This is like Phish concert levels of hippidom

A barrel aged, herbal gruit, made in the PnW? This is like Phish concert levels of hippidom

Barrel aged gruit, 7.5% abv

Washington, Unshaven Armpitsburg

Before I go on, I have to mention, these guys have a reserve society.  I am not shitting you up the dick.  If you want to go on an LSD tier communion with a conical fermenter on a monthly basis, peep this out:
http://propolisbrewing.com/ale-club.html

Read those descriptions, it is like someone weaponized a Bed Bath and Beyond.  Alright let’s get to this shit already

A:  You get deep mahogany and full burnt amber tones, ample carbonation, spotty lacing that clings and lingers with the tiniest of bubbles.  Instead of that solid Seahawk run game, this opts for slant passes on the carb and gets laced up with nucleation on the glass.  It is a questionable call, but I embrace it lovingly.

Go ahead and pop this with your derelict high school homies, let them savor in the herbal succor. Watch the arrests become expunged.

Go ahead and pop this with your derelict high school homies, let them savor in the herbal succor. Watch the arrests become expunged.

S:  The nose smells like the room of someone who listens to Tori Amos and owns several decks of tarot cards.  It is herbacious, incense, clove, myrhh, sage, and a hint of mint.  The petrulli oil notes come through like this beer was made for burning man and I feel like less of a man for not wearing abalone jewelry while drinking this.

Maybe popping some obscure new barrel aged styles is just the intervention your sad life at Chik Fil A requires.

Maybe popping some obscure new barrel aged styles is just the intervention your sad life at Chik Fil A requires.

T: The taste has a touch of burnt honey sweetness at the outset that gives weigh to a woodruff syrup and anise aspect that is altogether unlike anything else you may have tried, ever.  Unless you are some serious gruit master, this is completely novel all around and presents a sort of rye bread, pumpernickel, a tartness like red grape that lingers like the sustain of a Mars Volta SG. You might not be able to fully appreciate this beer unless you do home composting and own multiple hackeysacks.  You are just a part of their top fermenting system man, I wouldn’t expect you to get it.

M:  This is dry and herbal through and through, it finishes with a sort of pine aspect that is not hops and falls closer to the spruce tips realm.  Again, the tartness really brings this together and despite it being really difficult to classify I was easily able to take down the entire 750ml and their contributions are not only valuable but easily worth their price point.  Even if you don’t attend weekly drum circle meetings or own a dreamcatcher, you will still enjoy this complex and nuanced beer.  The carb is silky and crackles with life, fully masking the abv perfectly.  It is a true gem and easily the best in style that I have ever had. We are talking like the best of the 9 gruits I have ever tried.  THINK ABOUT THAT.

Girls be going crazy bout a shark dress gruit

Girls be going crazy bout a shark dressed gruit

D:  This is highly drinkable yet at the same time worthy of reflection.  It is kinda like how you can put on Buffalo Springfield in seclusion and no one judges you but if you try to put it on with anyone else around, suddenly you are a scrotum gargling indulgent asshole.  You can enjoy this secretly, but if you take this to a share with 2k13 tickers who love slamming adjunct stout variants, zero fucks will be given about this exceptional, balanced gem.  It will be our dirty herbal secret.

It would be easy as two smiling labias to write a narrative about this, but I shot my hippie load and used all the imagery above.  Sorry.  I still luv u bae.

Review dedicated to [REDACTED PHISH FAN], 1984 – 2016 RIP

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@fremontbrewing Coffee Cinnamon Barrel Aged Abominable aka that C.C.B.Bomb.

In what can only be described as an ISO:FT miracle, Fremont brewing has not been forced into a cattle car aboard the hype train.  Despite consistently knocking out big beers, having a solid barrel aging program and constantly rolling out delicious top notch hoppy beers, their fanbase refuses to be total shitheads.  If this brewery were located in say, Indiana, forget about it, you would see people attempting to trade Bbomb for one off cantillon, selling them on secondary sites, just really pricking up the place.  I liken these Washington tickers as a strain of the magnanimous Colorado breed: they just produce awesome beer and shut the fuck up about it.  Haven’t heard of Black Raven or Casey Brewing? Well it’s not their job to keep you informed, they will gladly drink up their world class offerings under the fall of torrential rain or snow, respectively.

So what do we have here, anyway? You might recall I previously already praised regular B-Bomb top to bottom as a leaner more nimble version of Kuhnhenn’s BB4d.  This is especially true of their recent offerings, solara style blending of a variety of different ages of barrels.  So that’s already what we are dealing with, THEN, they go and add cinnamon and coffee up in the mix.  I was skeptical, and I was fucking wrong.

ANOTHER ROUND OF BARREL AGED ALES AND THEN PLAY FREEBIRD

ANOTHER ROUND OF BARREL AGED ALES AND THEN PLAY FREEBIRD

Fremont Brewing, Seattle area, 11% abv

Strong Ale? It’s essentially an old ale/barleywine.  Let’s get to it.

A:  This just looks phenomenal out of the bottle, rolling with a great slick to it, deep mahogany hues and carb that actually delivers and doesn’t just lay placid like we have come to expect from big stouts and barleywines.  The cling is awesome and leaves sheets of mocha foam rimming the glass like a toothy prison blowjob. OH JUST ME? OK SURE.

When they announced this beer, instead of being a skeptical asshole, I should have jumped on it

When they announced this beer, instead of being a skeptical asshole, I should have jumped on it

S:  The nose works in waves of cascading roasted coffee, churros, cinnabon, milk chocolate, nougat, whoppers and closing with a sweet roasty aspect.  It delivers in equal measure what it promises and never lets one aspect upstage the others, like a finely tuned Brady Bunch performance, every child receives a moment to shine before KEEPIN ON KEEPIN ON KEEPIN ON back in the chorus line.  The real star here is the balance, god damn it all.  If BA Abraxas is the paradigm for excessive cinnamon sweetness, this demonstrates how to take two aggressive adjuncts and make them work in tandem to buttress the main goal: a fantastic beer.

T:  This flips the shit switch and the amount of balls tripped is not insubstantial.  You get all of the foregoing barista and horchata cinnamon goodness, but a whole other layer of butterscotch and vanilla and mallowfoam.  It never is excessively roasty, nor is it cloyingly sweet, and it complely avoids the mexican barrio panaderia route.  Again I must underscore just how well balanced this beer is, I can’t even pander any trite dick jokes because there is no succor to be beaten from this libation, it is unquestionably one of the top beers of 2014, hands down.

Sometimes you encounter a beer that is so good, you dont even know what to complain about

Sometimes you encounter a beer that is so good, you dont even know what to complain about

M:  This is yet another aspect where this beer outdoes itself and sets the bar for not only BA old ales/BABW but also a benchmark for adjunct laden beers in general.  It is so refreshing and nimble, so thin on the mouthfeel that you can appreciate the variety of flavors without a cacophony of sweetness, residual malt, flabby underattenuated sugars, or any other chocolately sub plots that detract from the main thread.  It begs to be consumed and I killed this bomber in the same amount of time it took me to drink De Garde Hose.  That is fucking dangerous and it is almost irresponsible from a products liability standpoint for Fremont to even produce beers of this nature.

D:  See above, I don’t need to retread this same well tilled ground: it is intensely enjoyable and highly drinkable.  If it had a major fault, I suppose it would be that it is TOO easy to take down, perhaps the guilt of indulging that hard, that fast is the real lingering residue on my burlap colored teeth.  If you miss this one, particularly with how criminally low it is trading right now, you might as well stick to BCBCS nonsense and become base filler in the trade game.  Not tasting this beer renders you a place holding zero on the trade boards as far as 2014 is concerned.  In fact, please don’t seek this out, let it turd up the shelves in PNW so I can hope to again savor this ambrosial delight.

CBBOMB is on that dual monocle tip

CBBOMB is on that dual monocle tip

1

@TGbrews Toppling Goliath Kentucky Brunch Brand Stout, The World’s Highest Rated Imperial Stout Comes to DDB

What manner of cetacean sorcery do we have on our hands here, folks? This is that barrel aged coffee THOT you usually only see .5oz pours of that is usually with some attendant braggadocio shit on Untappd. Well I figured since there was a shit storm of controversy surrounding this coveted gem, might as well pop mine and get them authentic counterfeit feels.

Lamentably, mine was an actual bottle.  I didn’t get the privilege of receiving one of the ultra rare refill solara blended second use vessels from EdwardFortyHands, but I am sure those .rar Iowa Uli blends command a much higher premium than this boring old 400 bottle release.  Say what you want about them Iowa hucksters, those bootleg waxing jobs were MWAH, tre magnifique!

Enough about neckbeard politics, let’s hit the AOL chat rooms and start cybering with Kibbibbis hard before my parents walk in.

51% shareholder pours, slightly larger than boss pours. Most of the time you see mail room pours, nothing wrong with that.  The world runs on mail room pours.

51% shareholder pours, slightly larger than boss pours.
Most of the time you see mail room pours, nothing wrong with that. The world runs on mail room pours.

Imperial Stout, Decorah Iowa, 13% abv

300 bottles first release, 400 bottles second release.  Who gives a shit.

A:  Well tap my swamplands and call me David Lynch, this is dark as fuqqqq.  It has an impressive viscosity to the look and slurps out like that shit from the Pirates of Dark Water.  The carb is spot on, not excessive, leaving sheeting and clear legs but also lacing behind in fanciful archipelagos of spotty mocha, islands each a John Donne paradise of coffee merriment and pitch black seclusion.

20

Dont try to tell me that you don’t remember these assholes.

S:  Usually I would tighten up my butthole and issue some blanket complaints about the roast, single origin coffee, eastern shade grown soil contents, v60 vs Chemex applications, and Williamsburg mustache implications: BUT I SIMPLY CANNOT.  The nose is roasty with a warm Peet’s meets 49th Parallel for you west coast bean flickers.  I continue to flick this bean savagely and without respite. This gives way to molten chocolate fondue, christmas fudge, Ihop cunnilingus, maple syrup, Baskin Robbins make out sessions, and closes with a fantastic almond rocha aspect.  It’s like how Boyz II Men has 4 layers of depth and that one dude who just talks during the bridge to unify things.  Outrageously good on both accounts within the parallel.

T:  This parlays the prior nose hole gangbang into real decadent facetouch bliss.  You know how when China was divided up into spheres of influence shit just WORKED SO WELL? It’s like Toppling Goliath divided up the palate wheel into gerrymandered sections of discrete pleasure and doled out a district for brownie batter and vanilla to reside, supported by a proletariat class of bourbon/toffee underlings, all managed by a plutocratic coffee roast that employed maple scab workers to fill in the gaps in employment.  The entire operation is overseen by a partiarchal figurehead that is King Pancakington IV, a stern but fair ruler imparting sweetness and stickiness upon the masses; yet stern in a wafty alcoholism to which he is disposed to imbibe.  It just works harder than a Korean grocer and puts numbers on the board in ever singly category.  It is lamentably tasty, jaw grindingly well done and WHERE IS THE LOLZ IN THAT HUH? Pass me some Half Acre, then we can make some yukyuks.

Sometimes in the darkest trades, I see myself, a disgusting beast of indefatigable want, the malts unceasingly ground in my maw

Sometimes in the darkest trades, I see myself, a disgusting beast of indefatigable want, the malts unceasingly ground in my maw

M:  This is syrupy and expands with a touch of fusel waft that is ratcheted back by a lingering sweetness along the gumline and a magnificent low body carb that sizzles like chocolate pop rocks.  I need to move on, can’t keep doling out praise, next section, maybe I can rip on this beer there-

D:  Drinkability? ah god damnit.  I mean, sure your 12 ounce, impossible to find, $300 on secondary markets coffee stout is drinkable in the manner that Charlize Theron is entirely wifeable.  Who would dispute this? The real discussion, as usual, comes down to diminishing returns.  This beer, while a paradigm of stout greatness does not extend an accessibility beyond existing as the figurehead of a toppling revolution.  The goliath being toppled is the exchange market itself as an implosion of rapacious highway bandits seeking these items out.  This is amazing, but for a fraction of the entry fee you could trade for BA Speedway, or better yet, BA Vietnamese speedway and be marginally less well off.  I am talking like “oh it didn’t have the Lambourghini logo embroidered on the seats” level of distress.  This beer exists more as a benchmark for people who need these types of highs.  It is the $4,000 call girl of the stout world, fun for a simple romp but you inevitably are left worse off.  Sure, someone fucked you while wearing a Bart Simpson mask while you had Thundercats on, YOU PAID $4000, but that just makes every other stout at the bar seem somehow less impressive by contrast and there is a steep delcine in pleasure to worth it units at this level.

Pop this at a beer festival and all them startupkit tickers come flocking, popping shots like TMZ

Pop this at a beer festival and all them startupkit tickers come flocking, popping shots like TMZ

Narrative:   Pierre Goliat moved gracefully amongst the attendees at the debutante ball, supple mahogany calfskin shoes gliding across the italian marble floor of the foyer. “WHY AS I LIVE AND BREATHE IF THAT IS NOT MR. GOLIAT!” Madame Cremetu exclaimed jubilantly.  Pierre nodded knowingly and dipped a marshmallow into the gawdy chocolate fountain large enough to succor a village of Dickensian youth.  He surveyed the crowd of elite magnates, administrative officials, and heiresses free from burden or duty.  With a calm sip of single barrel aged 17 year cask strength bourbon he thought upon the precarious nature of his position.  A meteoric rise to aristocracy as a result of a new coffee roasting procedure had placed him in ranks with these vile examples of emotionally bankrupt phillistines.  The logical conclusion for any system is the crema to sit in wispy dots among the downtrodden supporting darkness below.  Pierre returned a wave of a fan from a countess across the room and shook his head balefully.  The smell of his own coffee filled the ballroom with a knowing stench of absurd profiteering, upon the backs of the humble are the mightiest trades built.  A goliath he must now embrace, for the chocolate fountain remains ever-flowing.

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@firestonewalker Velvet Merkin, For The Discriminating Gentleman with a Regal Pubic Wig

Well, once again I went to the brewery to get this 3000 case “shelf” release, since California 1) never gets Firestone bottles until 2 months after release and 2) assholes buy them up and complain about Sucaba afterwards. So basically, fuck California. So I traveled to beautiful Paso Robles to snag some of these oaty drops. The population of migrant workers harvesting grapes for overpriced wineries was SURPRISINGLY UNCARING about the release of this barrel aged oatmeal stout. It is almost like being paid crippling poverty wages for the production of luxury goods DOESNT MAKE THEM APPRECIATE A GOOD BARREL AGED STOUT IN THE 101 DEGREE SUN. Weird. Anyway, let’s review this shelf turd and pick out the finest pubic replacement fur.

You guys, look at the subtle triangle on the box, you get it? Oh man.  You don't even get it.

You guys, look at the subtle triangle on the box, you get it? Oh man. You don’t even get it.

Brewed by Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Style: Stout
Paso Robles, California USA
8.5% abv

Label nonsense:
This is our Velvet Merlin Oatmeal Stout aged in Bourbon Barrels and it just won the 2010 and 2011 Gold medal at the GABF for barrel aged beers!!! This beer goes into the barrels as a roasty dark chocolate, coffee accented mild mannered stout and comes out transformed as a milk chocolate, smooth dark cherry, vanilla and coconut infused masterpiece. We are incredibly proud of this beer and it seems as though it was always meant to be a barrel aged brew. 100% Oak Barrel Aged

A: This is a splishy splashy watery stout affair that links arms with gentle BA stouts like BASC and Event Horizon. In fact, basically any stout from the Carolinas will know this feel. Low abv, slick washy blackness that is a deep brown at the edges, straight entry level stout game for the babypalate haters who can’t dome BCBS and then pick the kids up from school. The cling is awesome and them oats just grip the edges like that 3 year old who wont leave the grocery store because he wants Skittles or some shit. Nice carb and great retention, but it is an oatmeal stout, what were you expecting?

Go to the store and stock up on bottles

Go to the store and stock up on bottles

S: At large, the whole affair from top to bottom feels like “Parabola Lite” in execution. That is far from a bad thing. Don’t interpret that as disparaging in any way, it is just different. Sometimes a 13% Parabola right before a Parole Hearing is a bit much, we have all been there. This is like instead of going for the 911 turbo, you opt for the stripped down Cayman R. Both have a certain appeal, neither is deficient. You get a muted bakers chocolate, cacoa, light roast coffee, mocha frap meets bourbon but the bourbon is as soft as a feather duvet just lowering its head and letting the roasted malts do all the talking. Again the whole thing is like a gentle handjob that is pleasant, but will bring you nowhere near completion.

T: This again is like Parabola dialed back, a support class mage, low DPS, healer stout that provides support instead of going tank steeze. You get the toasty refreshing malts, I know that’s a weird dichotomy. There is a bit of vanilla and baby doses of char, in the background you can make out some oaky presence but none of those elements are really in the game in a serious way. Sometimes cornerbacks can make amazing plays, but they usually aren’t putting up crazy fantasy numbers. Then again I know shit about beer and sports, so caveat emptor.

It is all fun and games until that ABV bite kicks in, secretly.

It is all fun and games until that ABV bite kicks in, secretly.

M: This is the most fantastic part of this beer and the only part that excels in light of the masterful big brother, Parabeezus. The silky oats give this satin sheen for the mouthfeelings. It just coats and leaves a nice sheet of creaminess that isn’t quite like nitro steeze but still amazing and whipped up like yayo in that baking bowl.

D: This is also more drinkable that Parabola due to the lower abv, cleaner finish, and silky mouthfeel. However, that is kinda like saying that a Mercedes SL is more driveable than a Murcielago. Some things are worth the inconvenience. This is just a different tool for a different job. If you have clitoral friends who complain that parabola is too “boozy, hot, thick, sweet” or some other ignorant shit: show them this. This is incredible in its own right and perfectly executed in so many ways, but it just isn’t that big beast that I have come to love being manhandled by. You know like when the stout grips your wrists and you secretly love the dominance OH OK I AM THE ONLY ONE ATTRACTED TO MALT POWER FINE I GET IT.

Some things are amazing even if they don't accomplish exactly what was intended

Some things are amazing even if they don’t accomplish exactly what was intended

Narrative: “PLEASE STACY, that is my grandmother’s Faberge egg collection you just NO! NO!” Anthony could only watch in horror as his girlfriend gorged herself on whiskey and oatmeal, destroying their possessions with careless abandon. “OK NO, now you are taking things too far, do not push my Body By Jake off of the balcon- NO!” Things weren’t going so well for the couple, she drank more, ate more chocolate, drank more bourbon, and broke his things as a byproduct. What was Anthony to do? The sex was amazing and she was his special Persephone, delving each night to savor the succor of sour mash and destruction. As bad as things were, she was still gentle compared to her older sister, who would ravage his bent genitals on a nightly basis. “Please, I have all of my FINAL FANTASY SAVE GAMES ON THOSE! HOURS OF! NO!” Somehow, it all evened out, she was sweet while sober and a complete monster when unleashed, but he liked it that way, secretly. “EARTHBOUND IN THE ORIGINAL BOX! NOOOOO!”