Portsmouth Brewing Wheat Wine, When You Can Make Wine This Good With Wheat, I Ain’t Even Trifling With Grapes

I wish I had a crazy anecdote to tell you about this one but, it was a sheer stroke of luck that this was sent to me. Mad props to Ryan S. for pulling this elusive beast into my cellar not unlike so many neighborhood children before it- I digress. So this is the famed Portsmouth brewery that rolls out the Greatest Kate that I am aware of (Mary-Kates dont count) and this is their beastly Wheat Wine. Let’s get it.

If all those mid-30s divorcees would drink wheat wines, maybe we would have something to discuss beyond Lane Bryant and Better than Ezra albums.

Portsmouth Wheat Wine, 11% abv

A: The appearance looks like a rubierer barleywhine with an almost deep orange at the edges. The carbonation was light and wispy with no lacing to speak of. The sheeting on the glass leaves this nice pallor of clear armor that you know protects the rageful abv deep inside. The microbubbles look inviting and you just want to split splash around in that co-ed foaminess. Braces kisses for all.

This beer was mesmerizing and complex.

S: I get a huge initial sweetness that reminds me of a candy coated date or a sticky caramel plum. The wheat is subdued and you could trick the shit out of someone and just tell them that it’s a barleywine with a ton of Maris Otter malts and THAT ASSHOLE WOULD PROBABLY BELIEVE YOU.

T: The taste has no wheat aspect to speak of and pulls the mask off and the big real is the barleywine sweetness and brandy character. The sweetness goes to work on your palate’s gentials while the sticky malt base restrains the ball gag. Secretly, you enjoy the abuse, but your palate has too much dignity to admit it. There’s some incredible sour notes in the middle that reminds me a bit of apricot and again, honeycomb, it finally finishes with a juicy clementine juiciness and the assault is over.

Once I found out that this was a barleywine in disguise, I was like-

M: The outside is candy but it aint sweet, the AR-15 is on the passenger seat. The coating isn’t intense and really the hops are the only notes who overstay their welcome when the party is clearly over. The lingering citrus notes almost make you forget the panoply of tastes you just took head on. Godspeed you Black Palate.

D: This is sticky, abusive, hoppy, and then gone. It is a bit too cacophonous to be a long term girlfriend as the fights just become too frequent and the periods of rest are just interludes wherein this beer will ask you what you REALLY meant concerning previous statements. As it warms, the beer gets more and more abrasive and complex, like each head of a hydra awakening, you, let’s just say your tongue is gonna need some fucking argonauts because this beer is not for the weak willed. Me and this beer are homies, but I def. put it on limited profile on Facebook.

They gave me a wheatwine, I TOOK THEIR FUCKING MINTS.

Narrative: “Hey, it’s me Devin, thought I felt a vibrate and, no? Ok, Metro PCS is weird, just call me back, it’s like a…15 to ZERO ratio haha so YOU’RE IT! BEEEEEP” God, just his voice harrows the core of your soul. Ever since you met Devin, he wouldn’t leave you alone. You were dropping your cousin off at a children’s martial arts tournament and of course, Devin approached you and wanted to show you the appropriate defense from someone with a scimitar. In between your bout, he stumbled into traffic and you saved his awkward gangly frame from being crushed by a street sweeper. Now this persistent asshole thinks you guys are best chums. But hell, he’s an eclectic guy, purple belts in several disciplines, extensive geode collection, a competent fencer, and lauded tobacconist. Sure he has told you all about himself but, you can’t shake that feeling that you secretly wish Devin would get run over by a Fiat, or drown in a swarm of beers. Something hilarious that would bookend his existence, but not make you too sad. You start to feel bad because really deep down he’s a-“HEY! It’s Devin again, YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT THIS LOSER ON CRUTCHES AT THE ICE RINK HE THI-” No. You’ve had enough of Devin.


Westvleteren 12, Quad, The Best Beer Ev, hey guys look out a snip-

The #1 Beer in the World, Ever.  Apparently.

The #1 Beer in the World. Now FDA Approved for Children, if they're super chill.

Oh wait, a little midweek bonus? The best beer
in the world? I guess I will close cuteoverload.com to check this out.

Westvleteren 12, Quad, 10.2% abv

A: Deep dark mahogany, one of the darkest quads that I have ever seen with incredibly tiny bubbles and very minimal lacing. When held to the light it has a type of a deep ruby glow to it. Like the blushing of that polynesian girl you used to flatter with such coquetry. Her deep wheezing indicating laughter for their kind.

S: Caramel, plums, candied walnuts, and raisins are on the nose of this beer with a bit of a waft of booziness. The fruits have a bit of dry waft to them, like a dark chardonnay. It smells like a KB Home after a serious bender/Nurse Jackie marathon with some 30 somethings. Merlot and dates are def present up in the mix.

T: The taste imparts itself quickly and doesn’t linger for long, it is similar to the nose and has a swift fig, date, raisin taste to it that washes with a mild hop swallow to it. There is almost zero alcohol presence to this beer and the sweet brown sugar lingering notes are fantastic. It is amazing, it makes me feel like I had a peg leg, but I was deft and capable with it, collecting coins in my Expos hat.

M: This has an incredibly light and almost strikingly simple mouthfeel to it. It didn’t have a big breadiness or huge malty backbone but, given all the flavor present, it is not lacking as a result. It’s like one of those really pleasant old friends you see in the grocery store, enjoy the interaction for a bit, and then go on your way. Except you probably wont see them again for a long time. it is deceptively simple, and you end up leaving the test knowing that “testicles” was not the correct answer on the multiple question test. Just relax, the answer is always testicles.

D: This is the most drinkable quad I had ever tasted and it is almost a travesty to only have a single 33cl bottle because you finish it and are prepared for another. This beer is a paradox because it is very complex on the flavor profile but swift and simple at the same time. Like those old Craiglists grifters who impart a deep fruit taste but empty my bank account.

Narrative: The Latvian police fired a single 22mm shot from a pathetic ruger at the fleeing Econoline van. “Wesley! They’re gonna open fire on us! What are we supposed to do now!” Sverdyakov shouted while tensely staring in his rear view mirror. Wesley Westvleteren the 12th took a drag from his hand rolled Belgian cigarillo and exhaled coolly, making the outline of a Portugese Man-o-war effortlessly. “I shall tell you what shall be done” he noted while spying the pricelessly rare Pez cargo “we shall make a swift right on the upcoming Ave 12×4 on the gps, then make a hard right for the abandoned canal, on Tuesdays the water gates are left bereft of any moisture for cleaning. “ The slack jawed Russian thugs nodded astonished and proceeded to follow his instructions to the letter. A Latvian police office smashed into a water pump and the tiny Peugeot exploded in a cloud of cheap eastern European diesel fuel. “A concordant of worms indeed” he quipped as he pulled a raisin fig pez candy from one of the clear sacks and popped it into his mouth, “the rarest deepest fruits, certainly worth the struggle.” The van made a sharp turn across the border and two police cars smashed into one another in a comically archetypical fashion. Westy the 12th was a man of many things, but “fucking around” was not on his resume.


Abacus, Firestone Walker, 13% abv Barleywine


Abacus Schmabacus

Abacus, Firestone Walker, 13% Barley Wine

A:  Amazing deep amber hues with some yellowing at the edges.  Great carbonation out of the 
bottle and the lacing looks like a Gallagher show, just mess everywhere, in a good way. Ladies
be mad peeping when you have a bottle of this in the club, mostly like "where did he even get 
that?" but mad peeping nonetheless.  Things are peeped upon.

S:  There are sweet hot notes with cinnamon and dark fruits.  It’s tough to take in with 
nutmeg and some sort of hot currant smells going on.  I usually hate barley wines but 
this smells nothing short of amazing. It's like that first time you popped that Snow cassette in
and sang to Informer.

T:  Just wow, this is the best barley wine that I have ever had.  There is an amazing
 great hot finish with sweet licorice and figs.  The heat rolls through and finishes a 
juicy plum note. Plum juice all up in this mix like a Michael Bay joint.

M:  The mouthfeel isn’t too heavy and really impressed me.  Again, I really dislike 
this style in all its iteration and if this is this good now, I shudder to think what 
a couple years would do to a 2011.  The coating has a great finish with deep dark 
turbinado sugar and nutmeg.  In short, it is very complex, just like a Wayan's brothers

D:  This is scary drinkable for 13% abv.  I shared this with some friends and they all 
demurred and preferred their Pliny, which, for good reason I can understand.  But for a 
beer this huge, its tough to argue with.  The interplay of all of the elements at once feels
 like a Mars Volta record where you aren’t sure how they did it, but you are satisfied to
 be left in the dark as long as it tastes amazing.  This is exceptional and well worthy of 
the hype.

Narrative:  Tyler Folsom was a nice person.  Sure he was a 4 sport athlete, donated time 
on weekends to explicitly blind orphans, adopted 5 shelter cats, ran makeshift sickle 
cell anemia cure test centers in his garage, and had a laundry list of acceptance letters
 to a litany of schools, but, he was a nice guy.  Some would say that he had too much on 
his plate.  He never knew what was going on with Pretty Little Liars, his record collection
 was woefully wanting for a 17 year old guy, but somehow, his rough translations from Aramaic
 to Latin to hexidecimal for a new kernel that he was debugging made it all worth it. 
 “Oh sure, we could run scripts under English syntax, if you want spaghetti loops in 
your DLLs!” He exclaimed in a rare moment of tension while nursing a Koala deftly.  
“But ultimately, if the kids don’t eat, I don’t eat.”  He meant this literally.  
He had adopted Peter Singer’s theory of ethics and regularly starved himself for days 
on end, still outperforming all other student athletes.  “It’s basically just about being 
a NICE GUY.”  He noted as he put the finishing touches on his double fermented 4Loko batch 
that was 0 calorie and 0 carb, a gift for his friends for an upcoming soiree 
against teen inebriation.