Kuhnhenn Olde Village Stock Ale, Holy God This is a Complete Trainwreck That Smashed Square into the 4th Dementia Building

Brewers should be encouraged to experiment.  You wanna put Jicama in a Dortmunder? Fucking go for it.  Peanut butter and Sriacha cask? By all means, you do you.  The one thing brewers should not do is pass off horrible beer as either 1) intentionally sour 2) CUTTING EDGE or 3) a mystified ancient style that they are doing you a favor by unearthing.  This somehow covers a bit of ground in each category.  A SOUR OLD ALE: the style no one has ever asked for, returns to us in today’s review and holy balls is it horrible.

Two years ago, another Michigan brewery tried to pass this shit off on us when Dark Horse dropped their own SOUR OLD ALE> https://dontdrinkbeer.com/2013/02/08/dark-horse-three-guys-off-the-scale-sour-version-apparently-if-you-ruin-beer-you-can-just-call-it-sour-version/

So maybe people who live in bleak perpetual winter most of the year actually like this style, who knows. Let’s fall down the sour staircase and get some internal old ale bleeding in today’s painful review.

Midwest taster glass in full effect, and even that pour was too much.

Midwest taster glass in full effect, and even that pour was too much.

Kuhnhenn Old Village Stock Ale

Sour Old ale (?) 14.2% abv

A:  This looks fine I suppose, you might even squint and trick yourself into believing that this is a regular BB4d, those muddy lakewater notes on full puddle swerve.   The carb is legit for the abv and massive nature of the beer, appearances cant set forth the palate terror to which your facehole will be subject.

Popping this solo before nestling in for a marathon of Franklin and Bash.

Popping this solo before nestling in for a marathon of Franklin and Bash.

S:  At first smell, there is a twinge of hope, caramel, molasses, and OH FUCK IS THAT ROTTING CITRUS? What is going on with my old al- oh god its red wine vinegar, followed by an acetic filthy grapefruit in tow.  The closer is the sweet peanut brittle, albeit dipped in solvent.  You know shit isn’t going to go well from here.

DDB will continue to scour the planet to review shitty beers for your amusement

DDB will continue to scour the planet to review shitty beers for your amusement

T:  Like the reversed call against the poor Cowboys, this shit is a pathetic travesty of a once proud heritage.  How do you pull BB4d down a peg?  This is a fantastic demonstration at how tenuous the life of a beer can be, snuffed out with bacteria and off flavors like an orderly pressing a sour pillow over a struggling patient.  If you loved the creme brulee and toffee aspects of BB4d, wait until you add stomach bile and orange juice burp into the mix.  If you get through half a bottle of this, you should get a text from Guy Fieri for self flaggelation by way of the mouth zone.  Nothing works and you feel like a French soldier shivering in a trench at the battle of the Marne, wondering where the BB4d went, dreaming of times past, thinking about simpler days before everything was ruined.

M:  This is bone dry, crisp and only serves to highlight all of the awful things attendant to the actual flavor.  If a loud venue can make a blind date less creepy, this is a blind date in absolute silence, in a police interrogation room, for your palate.  There is no escape and you are gonna do some hard time.

MFW someone offers me a 14% abv SOUR old ale.

MFW someone offers me a 14% abv SOUR old ale.

D:  I cant really quantify exactly how shitty this is with the adjectives and words at my disposal and I can only LOL that this is classified as a “GOOD” beer on BA.  In fact it has an 84, just one point below The Bros review of Fou Foune.  I am clearly not cicerone enough to appreciate this heap of lukewarm gastritis discharge.


Dark Horse Monster29, Two Liters of 20% Abv Double Barleywine to the Dome Piece

I know what you are thinking, “a DOUBLE barleywine? What manner of chicanery is this?” Fear not, I have this one under control. This beer is a brewery only, growler only release from Dark Horse. Why this brewery chose to growler a 20% abv beer in two liter format is beyond me but, here we are. I am told something to the tune of 30 growlers of this were filled and it was $50 a fill, so this was quite an undertaking. This is not an iced beer, just straight up doubled down barleywine, so let’s get to it.

No need to worry, this is just another monster.

Dark Horse Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
American Barleywine | 20% (?) 17.50% ABV (?) There are conflicting reports and I am unaware if this was lab tested. Either way, God damn.

A: Just look at that tepid inky blackness. The growler leaked en route from Michigan and getting even a drop of this mahogany darkness on your skin is like tattoo ink or that black stuff from Pirates of Dark Water. There is little carbonation to speak of but just look at that sheeting. The clear alcohol on the glass takes everything like 16th century prelates. There is no lacing, no embroidery, no quilting to tell old Gam Gam about. This beer has zero fucks to spare.

Spread that sticky double barleywine all over the place.

S: The bouquet is outrageously sweet, with notes of caramel, oak, bourbon, vanilla, toffee, and Heath bars. I must reiterate: this beer is NOT ice distilled. Furthermore, it is not even barrel aged, but I am told that Dark Horse has sinister plans of actually barrel aging this beast and unleashing it upon the Michigan public to determine the extent that their livers can withstand. Detroit is basically the nation’s haunted house, so I am confident that this beer will not shake things up in that region.

T: This has an initial huge sweetness that is similar to charred brown sugar, maple syrup, mocha caramel, and some sticky light pine at the backend. This is a complete monster through and through. I shared this at the Bruery with the staff that had just finished the 19.x% batch of Black Tuesday from this year and everyone in attendance was mystified at this beer. This drinks in a manner leaning towards liqueur in the intense booziness and sticky residual sugar profile. I spread this around the attendants of the tasting room like a DUI Fairy, blessing each participant with court sanctions classes and bus rides.

Take this to a club. Share with size 00 women. Post results.

M: This is incredibly sticky and lingers for a long time after the finish. I drank about 12oz of this and that was an incredible feat given the complexity, sweetness, and downright booziness. This is not exceptionally difficult to drink, but it will put you directly to bed. You don’t get the alcoholic burn that you would be expecting from a Manticore of this proportion, but it will still light up your chest like E.T.

D: This is a highly nuanced beer that can be enjoyed completely flat and at room temperature, that being said, this is not exceptionally drinkable. I can only imagine the marketing meeting at Dark Horse where they decided that 64oz growlers were the appropriate serving size for this Chimera. I am glad to have tried it but it was on the upper end of what I can tolerate. I have to remind you, this is reviewing it in light of TNP, Five Squared, Double Black, and the other “ultra-beers” that I have tried. This warrants an entirely new style classification. In sum, a great beer that should be shared without hesitation.

If you open up a 2 liter growler of this, the time for fucking around has long since elapsed.

Narrative: Clarence Cimmerian was born in Madison County, Illinois to humble beginnings. The water birth was a success and he shed the successive husks of his nascent shell in accordance with the waning of the lunar cycles, as was tradition with the broodlings in his bloodline. His foster parents weren’t sure exactly how to treat him, what with his 7 clicking sticky mandibles and front hooves oozing acrimonious gel. Sure, he was a “monster” in the loosest sense, but what is a monster but that which has not been classified? The Cimmerians patted his smooth carapace and handed the sack lunch to one of his writhing metatarsus and motioned for him to board the bus. His compound lenses scanned his classmates and excreted a putrid larvae onto the classroom floor, for first grade was even more taxing for the dark grub harvester, Prince of a thousand reliquaries.


Dark Horse Brewing One Oatmeal Stout, One Stout to Bind Them

Ok so you drank One, but what is it called? And other such “who’s on first jokes.” I always enjoy the mouthfeel of this style but hearing that it was done by the kings of HUGE BEERS, Dark Horse, I knew a shitstorm was a brewing. Let’s check the drizzle in today’s review.

If you are drinking this for breakfast, you probably work at the Post Office or some other government job with zero accountability.

Dark Horse Brewery, Oatmeal Stout Ale, 8% abv

A: I was expecting a bit of welcoming breakfast time fun here but it was just a petulant hatred of deep blacks and mild browns within the murky middle carbonation. The khaki head has that great lacing and tiny bubbles that I used to lay awake in my bunk and dream about in summer camp. Nice tiny bubbles and a coffee appearance make this clear that this is for big people and tattered livers.

This beer is just out of control, I don’t know what to do with it Maury.

S: This has a great coffee and chocolate profile with a mild cameo from everyone’s favorite trickster duo, toffee and caramel. Their appearance is fleeting and you wonder if they got IMDB credit in this project.

T: This is more bitter and acidic than the pleasing Founders Breakfast Stout, however, the bitterness isn’t cloying and the sweet chocolate notes balance this out pretty well. It’s like finding weed in your 7th grader son’s comic book binder: you aren’t mad, just disappointed. The experience doesn’t linger and keeps this to more of an everyday sort of stout instead of those 4 a.m. in Iowa City bender stouts where you walk around with khaki colored teeth. We have all been there.

This is clearly not the work of amateur brewers.

M: This is an oatmeal stout so I expected it to crush it out of the park in this category but, eh, it doesn’t have that silkiness and creamy pseudo-nitro tap feel to it that usually slam dunks this category. It seems almost like a black IPA were the coffee notes not so all up in the mix. It is decent but for an oatmeal stout, the mouthfeel should be too legit, even to quit.

D: This is moderately drinkable, and very pairable, for the old obvious reasons. I can’t say that this is a bad stout but it certainly doesn’t knock it out of the park and feels more like a baby Imperial Russian Stout instead of an Oatmeal Stout. It needs to practice its major chords and let go of its rock star arpeggio shredding dreams.

This is a great stout, without Koalifiers.

Narrative: “MICHAEL? God I swear sometimes you just don’t listen, go get some Gladwrap and DO NOT GET SARAN WRAP, you did that last time and ruined the bake sale for everyone, so if you want Kaitlyn to cry, go get Saran, you’re good at that, ok so can you handle just getting GLAD. WRAP? OK?” Michael stared off and ruminated to himself about the dreams that he entertained at age 16, gripping the steering wheel of a broken down Plymouth Neon Espresso. Now he gripped the plastic bar of a supermarket shopping cart and was the regular recipient of admonishing and chastising for minor purchase deviations. “Yeah, the Sara- GLAD. Ok, Glad.” He nodded and thought back to the raw energy of those first bluegrass shows that he attended. The raw oats crushed into the ground and the sticky sweet twang of the steel guitar. Now he felt so mildly bitter and artificial. “They, well, the Glad was more expensive so I got the other-” “GOD DAMNIT MIKE, is it really that hard not to be a complete failure at everything?” During his wife’s diatribe he heard the sweet dulcet tones of Loretta Lynn and drifted away to a time bereft of cellophane wrapping.