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.


King Cobra Premium Malt Liquor, Things Get Real When You Put the Python on Them

Ah, we have come full circle from a world class geuze to a world class American Malt Liquor beverage. This is what Freshman year of college tastes like for most of my readers, or 7th grade for my more degenerate participants. If you drink a 40 of this you are 52% more likely to engage in fingerbanging, fall asleep behind a Whole Foods, or both. I know that using glassware is a malt liquor fail but, we tryna eat on these streets.

The underground is mine, I treat it like home. I am the reason brewers saying my name like Mike Jones.

Anheuser-Busch, Inc.
Missouri, United States
American Malt Liquor | 6.00% ABV

A: You know that feeling you got when you were at rock bottom and pawned all of Nana’s brass figurines? This is what they look like after they have been melted down. The lacing is minimal and you tear up when you pour it out of the regal clear glass 40 oz bottle. The stemware is totally ancillary to the experience. There’s a clear brassiness to this with a glowing orange aspect to the center, like a radioactive pail of rainwater: YOU MIGHT GET SUPER POWERS. I get the super power to buy multiple 7-11 Tuna Sandwiches and pass out in the entryway. WILL I USE IT FOR GOOD OR EVIL?

People that lift don’t drink this. Carleton Yoder can’t hang with the Cobra.

S: This smells like a blend of a light lager and a yeasty saison, like a yeast infection. This goes cream corn to the Monistat level real quickly. I actually enjoy the mild spice and vegetal aspect because if I imagine that this is a bretty beer and not just made with discarded canned produce, it is moderately pleasant. Considering the competitors in this field, this is one of the better offerings. I know, it’s like the old watch a marathon of MASH or Touched By an Angel dilemma where no one ends up a winner.

T: This continues the sweetness of the nose, kicks in some boiled carrot aspect, there’s a light wheat aspect and rounds everything out as though you filtered the beer through a Coinstar machine. I should pad out this section with more imagery but, I seriously don’t have much else to say about a movie that is 12 minutes long. Bane climbs out of the pit. There you go.

Oh sorry, I was calling for Cobra.

M: This is incredibly thin but do you really want a more substantial cling to this vegetal roll of nickels? If this was in a small format and left some more residual sugars, girls would drink this on the lake. Understand the analog to that is boys, who will drink this while contemplating which cold air intake will fit best on their Mitsubishi Eclipse. Then you jump a huge gap, and there’s shitwaffles like myself who open it to flame it and we all high five at how far we have come. I can’t go that route though because this hits the market segment dead on, provides a refreshing wildlife funkiness to it, provides a level of meta-irony that invites conversation, and ultimately won’t really get you that hammered. There are plenty of offerings from “craft” breweries like, let’s say White Birch, Mikkeller, and Cigar City. Go drop $15.99 on a Vuja De and tell me it is superior to this beer. I fucking dare you.

D: This is exceptionally drinkable and I can put away a solid 40 of this before my parole hearing and not even feel bad about it. The serving size is perfect, the taste is flawed, the history is immaculate, and the image is indefatigable. Revisit this gem with an open mind and an empty wallet.

I will drink malt liquor in stemware and drainpour M: rustling jimmies is my bizness.

Narrative: The tri-state paper conference started out all wrong. Jace Rawlings knew he should have printed his handouts on eggshell, or at least opted for some embossed text. Now who looked like a fool in the company of triple bond champions. “Hey…JACE…Jace was it? Lemmie see that business card again!” Jace meekly handed his main competitor, Chaz Merkel, his freshly minted card. “I see you uh, you went big here on the single poly blend low acidity, did you happen to print this off of a HP Smarttech 2200?!” The crowd burst into laughter. References to the notorious HP Smarttech 2200 were particularly in vogue after a notorious feed error warranted a wholesale return to the factory. The other paper executives laughed and laughed at his expense. Jace lowered his head and accepted defeat. As he exited, he left a single origami crane folded out of visualizing paper, three hole punched, a rare 2003 vintage.