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Allagash Vagabond, A Beer for All Those Highbrow Jack Kerouac Ne’er-Do-Wells

Not unlike the Allagash Ghoulschip, I had been seeking this beer out for quite some time as well, what with its fancy packaging and paper and whozeits and whatsits galore. This beer is a complex hydra and I will attempt to cut off some heads in today’s review.

Vagabond Ale is right, details inside.

Allagash Vagabond Wild Ale, 10% abv,

A: This beer has really charming deep plum and mahogany, the radiant hue invokes melodies rhapsodical and fair. The carbonation is gentle and lackluster, the lacing phones it in and does not show up for work, even though you know it was partying the night before in the bottle. Figures.

At first I was all jazzed based on the appearance and smell, but then-

S: Holy complexity Batman. I get a caramel, plum, merlot, syrah grape, and a mild hint of wet hay funk on the backend. I have no idea how this will taste with an olfactory offering this complex. It’s like the Pontiac Aztek where you don’t know exactly what to do with it.

T: This really pains me to say this, but the taste is really intolerable. I traded big to land this and I want to power through this but I feel that I may have received an off bottle. The initial taste is a light plum crispness like a farmers market- wait, it is passing over my other zones and wow. It goes to a strange place of old halloween Rolos, then finishes with a huge strange salinity like soy sauce. I dont want it to be the case and I respect Allagash immensely but as I sit here waiting for the beer to warm I am left wondering if it is my fault, did I lead the beer on? Was it what I was wearing? You get a deep tartness initially and a red wine aspect that is incredibly pleasurable and then it just goes Thelma and Louise out of nowhere.

In this beer's defense, it is very intredasting.

M: The mouthfeel is light and crisp like biting into a juicy, albeit very salty fruit. The mouthfeel has a bit of acidity on the backend of the palate, but overridingly the taste of weird phenols or something. Again, if this bottle is off, disregard this review but man, this feels like the Aston Kutcher of the beer world punking the shit out of my palate. It reminds me of this one time when I went to Universal Studios and ate grape soda and chili and go too hyphy on the King Kong ride and ended up throwing up in the backseat of my dad’s Cutlass Supreme. The taste in my mouth after throwing up, that is what this reminds me of. Not even mad tho.

D: Well given the foregoing, take a quick guess as to how gung ho I was to knock off a 12.9 oz bottle of this. As it warmed the stakes became higher with more delicious fruit and currant aspects and even more hateful salty aspects. I came into this thinking it would be akin to Consecration or the ilk, but, this was quite different. Not my favorite beer of all time. “But you don’t have to take my word for it” – Reading Rainbow.

You don't fuck with the Wu, and you don't fuck with Vagabond ale.

Narrative: I do not want to cobble together an offensive narrative for this beer because Allagash deserves better than that. Instead, I will provide you with a Lil B’ video. Allagash Aint Got No Felonies, Brews Like Bill Bellamy.

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Shipyard, Pumpkin Head, 5% abv

Shipyard doing it, mid-range.

All Hail the Pumpkin King

Alright, Autumn week continues with all its autumnal splendor. Give Gramma a kiss for me.

Shipyard Pumpkinhead, Pumpkin Ale, 5% abv

A: Mellow gold with absolute transparency, nice fizzy carbonation that dissipates immediately. It appears like apple juice through and through.

S: The nose is easily the best part of this beer, it is like having your face smashed in a jack o lantern full of cinnamon. There’s a bit of clove and nutmeg and a honey finish. Reminds me of lovingly pushing elderly people into piles of leaves. Oh autumn.

T: The taste is similar to the nose but more watery and muted. It has a nice sweet introduction and a cornbread sweetness with a nice pumpkin pie finish. Nothing to complain about here, it is exactly as represented.

M: This is about as thin as an adjunct lager. However, the mouthfeel doesn’t feel like an adjunct lager, it feels like there was actually some legit pumpkins up in the mix during the mashing. However, the watery finish almost commands a 6 pack serving size. I can barely finish this review and it is already almost gone.

D: See infra. This is crisp, light little adjunct lagery pumpkin ale that has a limited arsenal of parlor tricks. It isn’t bad by any means, it is just limited in scope. I will say, however, that my girlfriend and my dog thoroughly enjoyed it.

Narrative: Not all mutants end up as super heroes. That is a grave misconception that is entertained by lovers of lore and those who deny simple medical facts. “Well this isn’t easy for me to say this to you Skylar, so I will just say it,” Dr. Tabby wiped his glasses on his jacket and hesitated for a moment. “your orbital and suture bones have, well they-” Skylar shifted on the wax paper and leaned forward intently, “GOD DAMNIT! YOUR HEAD IS A PUMPKIN! IT’s just…pumpkin. I am so sorry.” Skyler notted his massive produce cranial reflectively. Deep down he always knew it would come to this, a mild concussion at Le Crosse practice and then the old “your head is actually a pumpkin” speech. “Save your MEDICAL JARGON DOCTOR, just, tell me, am I gonna make it?” Doctor Tabby smiled a wry smile and stated softly “with great power comes great responsibility my boy” and he nodded enticingly. “Yes, but, my skull, a good part of my skull has become a pumpkin, I mean how do I deal with this in my life?” “Ah, I see what you are saying: ‘I have a massive pumpkin head, do I use this for good or evil?’” “No that’s not at all what I was asking, am I in danger, can I die from thi-” Dr. Tabby folded his arms behind his back and looked out the window onto the elementary school, strangely placed next door. “You see those children, there Skylar? Each a normal child with a perfectly normal bone skull. Not a single one of them extraordinary in any way, that is to say, not a pumpkin cranium amongst the lot.” Skylar shed a single pumpkin tear that dripped a viscous orange liquid to his lapel. “I KNOW WHAT I MUST DO!” Skylar declared, jumping up to action, and, the subsequent police report brought many a smile to the local children and horror to the faces of produce farmers alike in the tri-state area.