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2004 Zima XXX Fruit Punch, The Definitive American Kriek

Well look at what we have here, an immaculately cellared malt beverage from the mid 2000’s, that formidable period from before you shaved your pubes. I actually actively sought this out because it is historically relevant for the oft-over looked malt liquor genre. In the late 1990’s Zima was marketed initially as an “unbeer” for that HUGE segment of young men who can’t handle the aggressive profile of adjunct lagers. They later tried marketing it to women sexist manner until finally it seemed that the old HMS Zima had taken on too much water.

This was their incredible solution. They made ZIMA XXX, the hard as fucking nails version with a SKY HIGH 5.9% abv for those edgy motherfuckers who read HP Lovecraft and carry switchblade combs. Initially this was Black Cherry flavor but they did a limited run of this, the hardest variant to find, HARD PUNCH. Ultimately the brand died out shortly thereafter and this is both a precursor to the malted beverages pushed upon the XX chromosomal order. Without these trailblazing alcoholic sodas, those 13 year old kids may have not discovered their alcoholism until undergrad. Dentists and AA counselors alike salute this beer for its contributions to the “pre-consumer” market. That’s what macros like to call baby palates who can’t buy alcohol yet, but still want to fingerbang.

Let’s get to it and figure out how hard this punch is. I hope it is throbbing hard.

God if ever there were a time to dust off a "robeyy tonezzz" reference, it is now.

God if ever there were a time to dust off a “robeyy tonezzz” reference, it is now.

Zima XXX
Malt Beverage, 5.9% abv
MADE WITH NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS

A: Say what you will about this ridiculous vessel of afterbirth, but god damn is it beautiful. The carbonation still held up after a decade and cascades magenta and bright pink foam crackling against the edges like pop rocks. It almost immediately subsides and, apparently gallons or red 5 and jolly ranchers inhibit lacing. You learn something new every day. Like the Lisa Frank binders owned by the people this is marketed to, this has a fuschia radiance that honestly looks like Cable Car Kriek in a big way. Imagine the refill trolling opportunities. JUST IMAGINE THEM.

Pop open a Zima and pray that you can beat Giygas.  Get 6th grade wasted.

Pop open a Zima and pray that you can beat Giygas. Get 6th grade wasted.

S: You know those candy stores in the mall where all the pedophiles hang out? The ones where you take a plastic sack and fill up on a $18 of candy you would never buy separately, like GUMMY GUITARS and sea salt mexican taffy? Well this smells like those. It hits your eyes before your nose and has a waft like a malfunctioning cotton candy machine, just sugar and artificial cherry like Bubblelicious smashed with Melody Pops. The whole thing feels like an imperial Red Shasta more than an alcoholic beverage and children will hoover this up off a plate like so many wanting MyFreeCamsGirls.

Finally ticked the rarest Zima,  now I can get some rest.

Finally ticked the rarest Zima, now I can get some rest.

T: Before you open this, go ahead and schedule a dental cleaning. While you are at it, go ahead and book a colonic as well. This is so intensely sticky sweet that it tastes like if you melted down fruit by the foot and served it as a parfait to unsuspecting guests with insulin as a sidecar. I can’t imagine any self respecting adult could seriously finish one of these. It’s kinda like getting your dick sucked by a clown: a sweet, shameful event that makes for an interesting story, but no one could bring it to full completion unless you are a truly sick individual. The swallow is like the inside of those wax bottles with juice in them and closes with a highly nuanced Skittles coating along the gumline. I can only imagine how many Latter Day Saints ditched seminary to get their mouths coated bright red in clear recalcitrance to Joseph Smith. Str8 rebelz.

M: This is stick sweet and closes with a plastic waft like when you chew gum for too long. There is no alcohol, there is no grain or grist, it is simply melted HiChews in a glass. If you like Now N Laters, like I mean, you fucking love sessioning an entire pack of them, you might be able to take an entire bottle of this down. The subsequent offerings like Mikes Hard Lemonade and Hard Ciders are infintitely better in execution and drinkability. If you gave this to an 8 year old and told them this was what beer was, you can expect a lifetime of tee tolling. Your kid would be at a Frat Party like “what? You guys drink that shit? No I had beer in 3rd grade, it tasted like edible condoms and cherry astroglide, no thanks.”

The grim reaper will prevent you from earning that Zima cash

The grim reaper will prevent you from earning that Zima cash

D: I need to reiterate this: I traded for this. I actively sought it out and I couldn’t finish the whole thing. You have a better chance of finishing a bag of Halloween candy that you found under the radiator in August than taking down 12 ounces of this. If the panache of regular old Robitussin isn’t doing it for you and you find that your liquid codeine needs a more refined companion, this may be your jam. Fill up a double cup of this decade old beverage and start telling people about how you are gonna open a tattoo parlor, once your parole officer gets off your fuckin back. It is a cherry disaster of Squeezit proportions and no amount of puppies could lure me into an Econoline van if I saw one of these bad boys lurkin.

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@tiredhandsbeer Guillermot Prunus, Saison, Bourbon, wild cherries; YOU DO THE MATH

First and foremost, I would like to bitch that the dark saison market is both not highly contested, nor is it well executed in most instances. The problem I feel lies in the mainstream offerings like “The Perfect Crime” having people be all like “oh that? no…I am good…I will just drink…this actually good beer, no thanks.” Most people are shortsighted and unwilling to jump into the shallows and rub their crotches on some sea anemones. Some are very nice. When you get a really good dark saison, you get to merge the best of those dark fruits with the dirty musky and lactic aspects of the saison world. Everyone wins. I used to hold Civil Disobedience 4 as the standard bearer for the genre. 10 days ago I had a CD4 and today I drank Guillermot Prunus, both are exceptional but god damn it if this prunus did not just stomp on my plums.

Dark farmhouse, like a haunted farm, those places that make Kale and listen to Animal Collective.

Dark farmhouse, like a haunted farm, those places that make Kale and listen to Animal Collective.

Tired Hands Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States
Saison / Farmhouse Ale | 8.50% ABV

A: At first this pours like a watery porter with a deep secret, or kinda like an American wild with one of those questionably dark base beers like Otiose where you are like “wait whats going on here, style crossing is taking place.” I wouldn’t expect the BJCP in all of their 3oz plastic cup glory to carry this innovative style very far, but look at it, it is not quite a porter look, lil khaki foam, watery legs supporting a bit of residual char to the substrate but washing away exceedingly clean. I can imagine an evil ass farm owner drinking this while looking over his plum fields cracking his knuckles and figuring how to excise greater tithes from his serfs. That kinda shit.

At first you are like "saison" then you be like "bourbon" then the salesman is like "DARK" and then you are locked in a 36 month lease explaining shit to your wife.

At first you are like “saison” then you be like “bourbon” then the salesman is like “DARK” and then you are locked in a 36 month lease explaining shit to your wife.

S: This, like other well done black saisons is a crazy melange of things taking place at once. The initial blast is a bit of drying roast, then it subsides into a black cherry meets cola sort of finish, you get this lactic underpinning like blackberries and the final waft has a really muted musk to it like pumpernickle bread dipped in cranberry juice. Don’t act like you have never been pregnant and tried it.

T: This sets forth with again that chalky roast and for a split second I have a fleeting feeling of sads like someone soured up an Edmund Fitzgerald, but wait, that was secretly the opening band playing a .5 second set, it goes into a raspberry and black cherry jam sesh, minor and mixolydian scales running this light but musky exection on the backend of the swallow. It isn’t exactly like a porter mixed with a kriek, but, if you had no frame of reference, that would be my best initial description. If you have had Otiose, imagine mixing that with Dark White BBB. In writing we call that concrete DETAILS, contrasting with objective experiences, THIS IS WHY I AM A GOOD WRITER OK.

And suddently, something musky and dark arises on the backend, that is strangely welcome.

And suddently, something musky and dark arises on the backend, that is strangely welcome.

M: This is a bit chalky at the outset because the interplay of the roasty malts and lactic acidity of the cherries work against one another, however, once you swallow it executed in harmony like a cherry cordial and it is very, very good. I could merk an entire bottle of this and still show up for my Parole Hearing, all redfaced talking about Walmart is hiring. The 8.5% abv is nonexistent with all of this madness taking place on the palate. It is like when the size 12 Honduran chick sneaks in with a bunch of Ford Models into a club, you realize it the next morning, but by then it is way too late.

D: this is exceptionally drinkable and presents a bevy of dark fruits, slick finish, light lactic aspects and a tannic meets char finish that somehow works like bacon ice cream. It is tart yet savory at the same time and makes me wonder how many Weight Watchers points this is, for some reason they did not even list it on the bottle. I AM WATCHING MY GIRLISH FARMHOUSE FIGURE.

It is dark, amazing, and you just want more of it.

It is dark, amazing, and you just want more of it.

narrative: “so if you take the square of the two sides of the figure what do you get?” Mr. Cerise asked the lackluster 10th grade geometry class. Each student slumped in turn, smacking cherry bubble gum and texting tart badinage with one another. “So no one knows how to circumscribe this figure? What about the area of the sides at least?” Again the cool silence and hum of the air conditioner rolled over the Tucson suburbs. Each middle-class adolescent shifted in their chairs uncaring. The protractors went unused and the complexity of the Euclidian formulas went unappreciated. Mr. Cerise ground his teeth and looked down his brow at the class. The cherry gum smacking stopped and they sensed something far more sinister and dark was taking place. “What if you, let’s say you date raped a girl at this ARBY’S we can call that point A-” the class leaned forward, listening intently on this solemn invocation. “And say she WAS AT FIRST CONSENTING AND YOU TAKE HER TO A PARK, call that point B-” even the ESL students began to perk up at this point, waiting to witness the chilling conclusion of point C. “SO, you are going to want POINT C to be as far as possible from the other points, call it THE ROCK QUARRY OK, listen, I don’t have all the answers.” Mr. Cerise dropped his dry erase marker and ran his wet fingers through his musky dark hair. These 15 year olds had just been schooled on some dark edification.

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2007 Michelob Cherry Lager, I’ll Take You To The Cherry Shop, Let You Lick the Lager Pop

Well Saints alive, what rare vintage have we been blessed with today? You read the foregoing correctly, a delicious Michelob Cherry Lager, aged for 5 years in a lava lamp. Shit is getting real in an around the field.

Some things age gracefully, like a sweet persian cat whos- ok I can't do it, this ages about as well as a Bolivian coal miner.

Michelob Celebrate Cherry Lager, Fruit Beer, 8.5% abv

A: I think it is ironic that they call this beer Celebrate because usually “Michelob” and “2007 lager” are not the things I would begin whipping up the cake batter for. This thing looks like the type of thing that savvy professional bowlers buy for their harem of harlots. It’s like if Sonic Burger started selling alcoholic drinks and their first foray was in ornate packaging. The bottle itself looks like a depleted uranium shell or a marital aid, depending on how freaky you like your shit. No lacing, no sheeting, mild carbonation: drink a cup of grenadine for the haters.

I just don't trust this beer after seeing the bottle and smelling what it is up to.

S: This smells like cherry lime aide and gives a distinct waft of bubble bath. If you you’ve ever chewed a piece of (yipes stripes) Fruit Stripe gum, you’ll know exactly what is going on here. The amount of hating upon the player that is your olfactory system is staggering. The finish is like if an escort spit a Sucrets into your nose holes and gave you a deep Fruit by the Foot smooch.

T: Alright well, you ever have an awkward hook up that shouldn’t have happened, and you regret it, but at least you get breakfast afterwards? Well this is like that except you don’t get breakfast. This tastes like some old fruit roll-ups left in the sun, or perhaps a blowpop dipped in 4Loko, which by all accounts, is far too many Lokos. It reminds me of those sour ropes in the lingering distaste in my mouth that I usually associate with Jody Foster movies.

Just from its appearance alone, you know your mouth is about to get violated.

M: This was a fleeting experience, but I found myself pointing out on the cherry doll in court where the bad man touched my palate. No matter how much imperial stout I drank afterwards, it still hung around like a vengeful roommate, taking all my Crate and Barrel catelogs. Shit was not bitches. I could see Lil B the Based God loving something like this, sipping it judiciously through his well appointed gem-laden grill. But for the rest of us, I can just snort Mountain Dew Code Red and be done with it.

D: Spoiler Alert: I did not want to drink a lot of this shit. It was juicy juice nightmare and I can’t recommend a return forary into this western theater. The cherries were sickening and the lager base didn’t help matter much with a malt complexity. It just shirked there in the courner shaking awaiting for the cherry domestic violence to stop. I can thank my good friend Eric Hammond for this gem. I gave him Funky Buddha Raspberry Berliner, and this is the fruit treat that I received in return. Equitable exchanges.

This should have been obvious from the start, a 2007 vintage lager from Michelob? Shitstorm from the inception.