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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.

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PLUM WATCH 2015 CONTINUES: enough of @caseybrewing Grippin on my Plums also, OAK THEORY REVISITED

In the past four months the upstarts over at Casey have experienced seemingly overnight skyrocketing demand, and CO hoarders have been hitting the trade boards harder than Soda Popinkski. In what was previously the typical overly-generous, Subaru-driving bonhomie of the mountain people, Colorado traders are flexing hard on the recent releases. They are getting Cut in more ways than one.  When KBBS went 1:1 with Blackberry Cut last week it was like when Bane pumps that green shit into his skull and you know things are about to get completely out of pocket.

So it goes.

So what is the deal with this plum fruit stand? We all know cherry was legit as fuqqqq but them plums are tough to massage, that tenuous dance between pith, acidity and insoluble fiber, did Troy Casey bruise ur fruit brah? Let’s get pitted and find out

Enjoying a productive afternoon at Beachwood cruising for chicks on Ancestry.com

Enjoying a productive afternoon at Beachwood cruising for chicks on Ancestry.com

Casey Brewing, high altitude north of the wall, CO
Fruited barrel aged saison 5.5% abv

The pour comes out radiant and ruddy, slight glow of turbid tangerine tones and a whipped meringue to the carb that sits in a frothy cap like an orange creamsicle starbucks frap. The sheeting looks like the agitated gallons of juice at the Sunkist factory.

Other entries in the PLUM WATCH canon include:

https://dontdrinkbeer.com/2015/06/05/plum-watch-2015-hillfarmstead-flora-plum-cleaning-up-harmful-free-radicals-with-beer/

and

A review of Out of the Emptiness that I cannot find right now because this site is a pile of disorganized garbage.

Again, some assholes still believe that a plum sour should be purple, but then again I cant expect dudes who wear husky sized elastic waisted jeans from Lands End to know what the inside of a fruit looks like. The nose is far less sharp than Flora plum and has more of a refined acidity leaning towards skins, juicer dregs, Roebeks atmosphere, the late harvest of plums overripe in the sun, closing with a sort of cheesy puppy musk. Them up the nose tangerine tongue kisses.

Chasing this down with an order of cured albacore, typical weekday lunch shit.

Chasing this down with an order of cured albacore, typical weekday lunch shit.

The taste has this tenuous relationship where it wants to go balls out with the fruit but with that comes potentially overbearing acidity. IT IS LIKE UNCLE BEN SAID POWER AND RESPONSIBILITY IN BREWING, PETER. In a decidedly unamerican execution, the beer favors creamy drinkability in lieu of intense ph forward kicks to the taint. It feels a lot like the Tilquin plum ancienne but admittedly I enjoy this more because the mouthfeel isn’t nearly as excoriating. Yes I realize beer nerds rip their tutfy brillow pubes out if you suggest that an American sour is in any way superior to a Belgian iteration so I’ll allow you to go grab some Ben gay and cool the burn.

Overall, this is well worth your time and while not as complex as HF Flora plum, it is a marked improvement over the Almanac plum entries which are simply too sour in execution, by comparison. If you enjoyed the plum emptiness from Tired Hands, this is lock step just as good and incredibly similar, acidic but crushable, worthy of your reflection but doesn’t command your focus like some community college drama asshole who won’t give it a rest.
If you can land this 400 bottle banger for something in the realm of Vanilla Rye, absolutely jump on it. I can’t stop grippin my plums. Things are likely gonna get worse before they get better with regards to landing Casey bottles, might as well lay on this Semtex now and shatter your cellar before the next hot 3bbl brewery opens in the middle of nowhere Idaho and starts doing 130 bottle releases. High tide floats all boats.

OK THE OTHER BOTTLE WAS OFF ALRIGHT SHIT

OK THE OTHER BOTTLE WAS OFF ALRIGHT SHIT

As a corollary, I wanted to revisit my controversial review of Oak Theory. Colorado tickers were seed pissed about my prior impressions that oak theory was too sour so I decided to review another bottle to see if I was being a cranky crab that evening when I initially drank Oak Theory alone.

https://dontdrinkbeer.com/2015/04/06/caseybrewing-oak-theory-psh-not-even-advanced-oak-theory-i-didnt-even-get-any-ap-credits-for-this-review/

Upon another sampling, my initial review of oak theory was wildly different than my second bottle.  The second go round felt more like a gentle, more complex, more lactic version of East Bank.  Listen, I can’t do every iteration and every batch of every bottle and sometimes my shit is misguided based upon a limited sample size of A SINGLE BOTTLE. Nevertheless, if you previously decided NOT to seek out Oak Theory because I said it tasted like Planned Parenthood afterbirth (I didn’t) go get it now, the subsequent bottles are far different.

TASTES SO GOOD TO BE SO WRONG

TASTES SO GOOD TO BE SO WRONG