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What if DDB Reviewed Another 3 Holy Mountain Beers, OH WAIT LOOK AT THIS

If Sante Adairius is the clear west coast analogue to Hill Farmstead, then Holy Mountain must certainly hold that banner for the PnW.  Some pundits will chime in and rattle my cage yelling about Upright, or if they suffered a recent head injury, Commons.  Upright is phenomenal and I intend on seeking out more of their continually awesome beers, but Holy Mountain is up to something…else.

This consistently awesome farmhouse/wild purveyor leaks out hot lil 300 bottle release gems on the regular, and locals selfishly drink them: WHAT THE HELL IS THAT ALL ABOUT?  Let’s catch up with them to see if things are still clipping along at the same high quality tenor from when we last checked in with them.

hm1

Misere Au Borinage

So this is a wheat grisette, foudre fermented with mixed cultures and then foudre aged.  I will allow your tumescence to subside before I continue.  If you walk into this thinking it is some Clara Chanel knock-off, you can have a seat and wait for the complexity of this gristy gem to set in.  This is at its core a table biere with a lightly lactic tartness, and this creamy brie spread to the coating that is endlessly fulfilling.  There is a jazz apple rind dryness to the light acidity that makes this frustratingly crushable, but the ample carb serves as a roadblock to all out decimation.  If you liked Lucybelle, you will love this.  It takes the accessible character and clean profile of Clara and adds depth and cheesy layers.  A lemongrass lingers on the bitter zones and begs for another sip like when you eat hot Cheetos and the only way to complete the flavor profile is with yet another handful of fiery decadence.

Good lawd.

hm4

Witchfinder

How ironic that a beer named Witchfinder tastes like a jankier version of Dorothy. Perhaps in this beer were aged in a Tin Man it would have more depth or nuance to speak of.  This was a let down in the scope of a brewery with an insane pedigree, that is to say, still above-average.  When you reach the point that you are a let down because the rest of your catalog is so damn good, you can cop that Tesla knowing your legacy is secure.  This is soft, boring, bitter, pilsner malts and some fucking Saaz. I don’t know what you were expecting.  Maybe you came in hoping for the Dry Hopped Dupont Cuvee and left clutching your ticket stub harder than when you saw MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING 2.

It is vegetal and crackery, it is not poorly made nor is it a benchmark of anything that already exists, it just isn’t that good.  You can seek out a Jester King Noble King and do far better without bruising your areolas from hop twisting.

BUT HANG ON:

hm2

Clarette

This right here though, this is some next level.  Rose stones in the bezel lookin like framboises. If last year’s show stopper was Barrel 7, this is the new hotness that essentially no one knew about except those covetous locals who smashed all of these low key and saved Clarette in their phones as a different name.  Side chick status to what should be a dime piece fruitbae.  This is a wild ale with cherries and raspberries done in an way that I have never encountered.  There is this crispness like sparkling mineral water added to Hommage.  It has the acidity and berry profile that is all skins, zero sugars left, depleted in that fantastic Appreciation way, but date I say, even better.  This has a chewisness and frothiness to balance its more acidic endeavors and in that way is akin to Casey Blackberry Cut in that it demonstrates about depth and restaint, like a well endowed berry burster that knows the inner staves of the tank all too well.

It’s almost a de facto punchline to tell you to seek out this marvelous 250 bottle release.  If you live and breathe in the Framboise realm, you will absolutely love this berry juicing, intensely dry Rose romp through the rose petals.  This is one of those must-obtain-for-completionist-sake bottles that you would be wholly negligent to overlook.

Also, have fun landing Clarette after this janky ass post.

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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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Veritas 016 Sprayed like a Frightened Wild Ale Skunk but Does it Bang?

Alright, if you talk to some 2014 class n00b-tier trader they will tell you “v16 ZOMG IT’S FRUITED DDG!!!” but what’s the real deal?

v16

First and foremost, this is far closer to Spontaneous Cheer than DDG in that it lacks the musky Doesjel/dusty/cheesy/earthy/Herfst aspects.  That being said, that doesn’t mean that this doesn’t take headshots and grab fruity dogtags: the kills are confirmed, this is loud AF.

This provides acidity that never becomes too tart or overbearing, a nice lemon zest with a fruity backbone that is more of a fleshy tannic presence on the waft and swallow than an unmetabolized jammy marmalade. Something that would have been amazing in veritas 10 or particularly vertias 12: YOU CAN ACTUALLY DRINK AN ENTIRE BOTTLE YOURSELF.  Assuming you dont lose a third of it after you open it.  The barrel is seamlessly integrated as is the abv and this is a slightly more puckering version of the inimitable Persica b1.

The peaches are a great compliment to the base beer that I already loved.  The golden heritage continues unmolested with a crown jewel, which means that we are in for some stupid 14% abv oud bruin as Veritas 17, EVERY TIME.

This is absolutely worth your time and it is trading at hilariously low levels at the moment.  If you have a hilarious chili Prop to flip, transmogrify it into something amazing before those CA dipshits are the wiser.

 

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Goose Island Rare Bottles are about to be the Subprime Mortgage Crisis of the Beer World

Rare holders right now be like-

sell

If you have had the misfortune to stumble into beer trade forums recently there is a staunchly divided contingency of beer nerds, beset in two camps.  The first consists of the dudes who went to Rare Day and are attempting to loot any and all dinnerware from the sinking Titanic before tens of thousands of bottles hit nationwide distro.  You will be able to spot these dudes a mile away because they will argue things like “well trade value is based on QUALITY AND TASTE” or “even if 60,000 bottles are released, uh, well that’s like, you can’t really say that’s all that many…really…because uhm…demand…” These dudes are riding the crest of a profiteering wave attempting to land Blauw and Armand Seasons before shit crashes in a salty barrel. Take a shot once they reference the quality of the entirely unrelated bottles of 2010 Rare, you’ll be wasted quick enough.

The equally ridiculous demographic on the opposing side consists of pangloss guys who assume that these $60 bottles will show up in their local Walgreens, gathering dust for years to come.  These are the guys who have ever expanding speculative quotes about how many bottles are going to be released.  It should be well in the six figures by the time DDB posts this. You can spot them a mile away offering like HUNA+ or some Trickery-tier ticks, fully prepared for some Sharks vs. Jets scrap.

The best part about all of these RareCiceroNies is that the vast majority of them can’t identify why the barrel treatment matters in any meaningful way.  Sure, explain to me why you prefer 35 year age stated bourbon.  Tell me all the various single cask three decade old bourbons that you have tried, I will wait.  When Pugachev 25 year came out, every one of them was still having sex with lukewarm melons and complaining about HEAT, but wait 35 year barrels? PASS THAT RARE.  I mean, sure, the bourbon was never released to retail but PUTTING BEER IN THOSE BARRELS MUST BE INCREDIBLE BECAUSE MOAR YEARS.

It is hard to know who to root for, since both have wildly skewed perceptions of value and will only degrade the beer culture by waiting in 8 hour lines for things they have no intention of opening.  It’s like when your alcoholic stepdad shows up to fight the racist school bully: can’t both of them just get knocked the fuck out concurrently? I can only hope for a Battle of the Marne result where both sides wear one another down to a nub and there is no winner by decision.

They would need to make significant advances in microspectronomy to detect the fucks I give about the actions of these rapacious hucksters at this point. If anyone needs me I will be opening a Saison Dupont and turning my rare box into a lacquered fleshlight.

 

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Five Georgia Beer Reviews for the Price of None: @Creaturebeer and @orpheusbrewing

Well, in case you were off doing healthy productive things for the past month, Georgia had its first whale release since the legendary 2009 massacre that was TERRAPIN DEPTH CHARGE. However, most gainfully employed adults that were around for that old Georgia peach were not around for this further disturbing release of See the Stars.  I will be dealing with StS in a separate post, but I figured I would check in with some Georgia reviews since my last foray left much to be desired.

I got my cup of lean, a Lil Jon LP on the turntable, fat stacks prepped for Magic City, and my Young Dro t-shirt on: TIME TO MARCH TO THE SEA LEAVING A WAKE OF TORTURED GEORGIAN DESTRUCTION, finna get my Sherman on.

just got a camera installed in the peach in my license plate

just got a camera installed in the peach in my license plate

The Jeezy hustle is strong with this one and it breaks up serious bricks of raw.  The srm looks like shit in contrast to the verve that modern IPAs take but, hey, a little crystal is fine, I guess, in moderation. Except crystal meth, not even once.  Then this beer would be Floridian in execution. This drinks very similar to Kern River Just Outstanding in that “BJCP benchmarked/flawless in 2008” sort of tangent.  This isn’t some guava and 2 row bomb that is stripped down to 1.003 FG.  This is a classic, substantial, piney and aserose, sticky oils, lingering sweetness, cones and conifers, crushed up nugs on a coffee table sort of beer that is exceedingly crushable.

Peace up, a town down

Peace up, a town down

This is rad for failing to fall directly in line with the tired ass “hazy/orange juice/matter in suspension” archetype.  It shows this brewery can follow rules and execute awesome examples of staple plays from long ago.  The HOP AND LADDER play if you will.

SUCH A TPYO ON THE CAN SUCH OVERSIGHTS

SUCH A TPYO ON THE CAN SUCH OVERSIGHTS

Whenever I see a canned saison, the elitist prick in me is always like “here we go, some dialed down farmhouse beer, where’s the sexist marketing to accompany it?”  Oddly, this is executed with class and poise and presents a degree of competence beyond the scope of “ITS A WIT WITH A DUPONT YEAST…IN A CAN.”

“In the heroine Atalanta, we see the traits of what we aim for in all of our beers: piquant, deceptively robust, and a bit wild. A tart plum saison, Atalanta tastes of plums intermingling with spicy yeast, and a refreshing tartness that makes Atalanta as good for pairing with food as by itself.”

DDB is a Str8 ramblin rek like GA tech

DDB is a Str8 rambling rek like GA tech

Alright, so this isn’t some massive fruit bomb like Flora plum or OWA UME shit, but for the price point and packaging, were you expecting some super artisanal riff? It is refreshing, dry, exhibits a nice wheaty grist, creamy cheesiness, light tartness akin to almost a kettle soured berliner that ramps up the drillability.  I can see tossing a few of these back on a daily basis while reading the local Georgia news and laughing my ass off at my state legislatures. So that’s a win.  Tasty stuff for sure, if not earth shattering.

really pressing my patience with this branding tho TBH SMH Notgonnalietho

really pressing my patience with this branding tho TBH SMH Notgonnalietho

I will spare you the threadbare “SESSION IPA” vs “PALE ALE” distinction, I have done it better in other places and the less said about this hackneyed offering, the better.  This is a wholly mediocre riff on the gentle IPA realm.  The hops are forgettable and overly resinous akin to that vegetal note you get from oversaturated cones in dry hopping.  The body of it is sweet and crackery, far too hefty for its designs, and comes across like a worse version of the ho-hum Founders ALL DAY ipa.

I mean, if you see it at a Ruby Tuesday or something, sure why not

I mean, if you see it at a Ruby Tuesday or something, sure why not

This is in or below the realm of the ubiquitous Terrapin offerings and doesn’t really command your palate or wallet in any meaningful way. The MEH exhalation can power the sails of indifference.

A pour that big was a complete mistake.  A pour of any size, a mistake

A pour that big was a complete mistake. A pour of any size, a mistake

Speaking of completely underwhelming beers, prepare for categorical disappointment with Athena.  In a world of kettle soured, lacto forward, ultra tart, low grist “berliners” and “goses” this one is amongst one of the worst offenders I have seen to date.  This is a pretty tough beer to fuck up but, my cans were riddled with problems.  First and foremost, I got clear dimethyl sulfate issues and a sort of putrid baby diaper aspect to my can, so I was like “ah, welp get the other can” but no such luck.  The people who rave about the “FUNK AND AWESOME ACIDITY” must love sampling the off flavor/butyric/diacetyl kit from the BJCP judging program.  The whole affair was back to back drainpours.

I know you will immediately call  out DDB for negligent ratings pandering, hyperbole, or iconoclasm in setting fire to the Athena effigy. Please trust me when I tell you that this is not just disappointing but flawed in a meaningful way that was out of comport with all of the positive press that I previously heard abuzz.

blergh.

blergh. cottage cheese burps.

The whole thing makes absolutely no sense because the FRUITED VERSION was mindblowing, guavas to the wall incredible, without qualifier:

God damn this goes in hard on every track.

God damn this goes in hard on every track.

Let’s be clear: the passionfruit Guava version of Athena is so so good that I can’t even identify it as the same thing as the base beer.  It blows most of the fruited Bu’s out of the water and gives a collarbone chop to other ambitious AWAs who fail to hit their mark.  If you have ever had Miami Madness from J. Wakefield or Imperial Stone Bu, this is in that mind blowing realm of guava puree, jamba juice cunnilingus, pith, frothy juiciness, intense tannins and a lightly brackish finish.

It fucks the game up, 5 mics from the Source, XXL is calling for their number, and the only real complaints are in the inaccessibility of this draft only club hit.

Ok so not beautiful but god damn, who gives a shit, 16s is fire

Ok so not beautiful but god damn, who gives a shit, 16s is fire

I haven’t had See the Stars yet but, if this beer isn’t the best thing coming out of Creature Comforts, I will be shocked. Don’t bother with the adjunct stouts, lock this down faster than a smoking hot Latter Day Saint wife. You will not regret it.

So there we have it, Georgia is up to some noteworthy stuff, some shoulder shruggy EHHHHH’s and everything in between.

See the Stars will be dispatched shortly, never you fuss chil’, now go fetch gam gam the brownie spoon, an doncha be lickin the bole.

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Trinity Brewing, Brett, and Wendy’s Value Menu Items: A MAGICAL EXPLORATION

Do you like beers from Trinity Brewing Company? Do you like items off of the Wendy’s value menu?

If so, then you will love this Trinity/Wendy’s pairing article that DDB wrote for Craft Beer and Brewing Magazine:

http://beerandbrewing.com/VcKJJR8AABwAJqT1/article/cbb-exclusive-dontdrinkbeer-digs-in-to-trinity-brewings-magical-brettanomyces-tour

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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.