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Olde Hickory Eiraphriotes Imperial Pilsner, Reality Czeck meets Temptation

Every single time that I get one of these Olde Hickory bottles I know that it is going to be herculean effort to get them open. Even their normal beers like the imperial stout uses no fewer than 12 coats of wax to seal the bottles. Who are these fervent North Carolina collectors that require this level of sealing? In today’s outing we have foil, a gold seal, and a Pontiff certificate of Authenticity that I had to deal with before I could give this beer the business. Imperial Pilsners are srs bzness.

How did I celebrate IPA day? With a chardonnay barrel aged imperial pilsner, of course.

Olde Hickory Brewery
North Carolina, United States
American Double / Imperial Pilsner | 7.50% ABV

A: The appearance is dull tangerine orange with nice lacing and foamy carbonation. I had some cling but that was due to the fact that I used as dirty a tulip as possible. This is required by my Carolina contingency, so I can only abide. It looks more like a DIPA than a pilsner but, I don’t miss the yellow hues. I think we are better off without one another, like your iPhone and the Grinder app.

This beer is so extreme, even the chardonnay is imperial pilsner

S: Wait, this is a pils- oh ok, CHARDONNAY barrel aged imperial pilsner. Things are making sense now. This is a pilsner in the same way that a Mitsubishi Evo X is a 4 door compact car. Like people who drink chardonnay, this smell dominates the entire conversation and the muted honey and conbread aspects take a backseat while you listen to a dry narrative about how HARD it is to raise kids as a working parent. It isn’t off putting but, your mind wanders.

T: The dryness from the Chardonnay is like a Jehova’s Witness visit to the OBGYN. There’s a nice oakiness and a tart white grape aspect that is draped lovingly over the tableau of light hops, biscuit malt, Bisquik chalkiness, and a a sweet roll finish. It is a strange hybrid but, innovation comes at the stress upon the trapezius of experience.

White wine and powered up pilsners? My face be all like-

M: This is not as dry in the overall aspect as my earlier simile would connote. It is dry, but it is also hoppy and sweet at the same time. This tug of war match is like Wild N’ Krazy Kids, where the adults are seldom triumphant. The winner is the sweet notes as it warms and the consumer is edified as a result.

D: Despite the abv, and dryness, and crazy chimera that is presented, is exceptionally drinkable. I don’t know if the 750ml fancy schmancy bottle lends itself to drinakbility, but I ball hard so it is sessionable for me, the average poor ass consumer without alcohol problems might not agree but to them I say, how did you end up on this site? Did you Google Channing Tatum sex tape? Well here we are.

This beer is a big refreshing blast to the face.

Narrative: the premise is that Dionysus has an evil twin, that doesn’t drink. The two switch roles on a blind date, or something. My liver hurts too much to flesh this one out today, do your own work.

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Olde Hickory Imperial Stout, NOW MADE WITH 50% MORE HICKORY!

So no secret here, Event Horizon was amazing. Olde Rabbits Foot was also sublime. BUT, what about this beer? Is this the base beer for Event Horizon? No. Does it carry the proud barrel aged lineage? No. Does it still have the ridiculous wax that is impossible to remove? Yes. Ok, let’s get it.

Removing that wax burned about 431 calories, so I should break almost even on this beast.

Olde Hickory Imperial Stout, 10.2% abv

A: This is a strangely thin imperial stout that has some amber and deep mahogany tones at the edges. I am not disappointed, I just expected more given the ornate wax and Victorian seal. Which, by the way, makes these bottles a coronation ceremony, or a bris. Depending on how adept you are. It has almost no lacing and is underwhelming on the carbonation.

This is how I envision North Carolina breweries spend their used mash. Then wrangle chickens around the lauter tun.

S: There is a ton of sweet notes and a cloying walnut that lingers around like a Boo in Super Mario 3. You try to confront the smell discretely and it covers itself in shame with coffee and chocolate notes.

T: For all the pageantry and wax bottles, this is a solid, normal imperial stout. It isn’t bad by any means but the outset is very sweet and nutty. The light boozy notes don’t resound, they hang out, admiring the architecture and solid construction of my palate, not really bothering anyone. A coffee dryness finally bounces them out, but elects to remain on the clock until the next sip. It is a cascading enterprise of people milking the clock, in this case, my mouth hole.

Time for maximum IMPERIAL STOUT OVERDRIVE.

M: It is pretty thin and splashy splashy for the high abv. I guess I don’t really need this walnut and peanut puree taste setting up shop but I was able to power through this like a diligent Alabama common law husband. You know what I am talking about. Part of the problem is I received this beer and Event Horizon at the same time. It’s like being asked to Sadies just a day prior by a slovenly hook toothed scallywag, when you are dreaming of sweet chocolate that could have been. This turned racial and dental very quickly.

D: This is very drinkable, in the respect that I am looking longingly to find another beer because these tastes aren’t a weekend friend taste, they are more of a coffee date taste. I appreciate this in small pours and wish that I brought this to a tasting but, alas, took this all to my dome piece. I wouldn’t discourage anyone from picking this up but, at the same time, they could presumably save time and money by pursuing other avenues.

Drink imperial stouts for a living? OUTSTANDING IDEA CHAP!

Narrative: “The quarterly file reviews? You KNOW I was on those, hey, go Rams!” Chance Masterson wryly smiled after darting around the corner of a cubicle. He pressed his back against the cool repose of a Fanta vending machine. “How long can I do this before they realize that I got kicked out of high school sophmore year for stowing weed in a Tool CD case?” “HEY CHANCE! You’re killing the office pool, you’re the GOLDEN BOY, can’t wait to see your powerpoint presentation next Tuesday, KILLING IT!” Tyler Derpings commented in passing. His time had faded, and now the ultimate charlatan had taken his place. “It’s not my fault really, my perfectly aligned bicuspids, my attention to minutia, natural effervescense. They practically wanted to hire a fraud.” He began to sweat along the collar of his counterfeit Ben Sherman suit. The forthcoming power point presentation was a quarterly analysis of all debentures and IRAs within the cost/benefit matrix. Perhaps lying about being both a CFA and MBA was not the best idea on his resume but, “hey, in a recession, you gotta shoot for the moon and if you hang out with the stars, then, people are still gonna hate on you” Chance approximated while he listened to the tick of an AC compressor begin to cool off some authentic Fanta.

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Olde Hickory Seven Devils, For those times when Six Devils Just Isn’t Cutting it.

My buddy Steve Kim came through and was repping his set real hard, to the extent that he dropped a North Carolina bomb on my doorstep. Even Petey Pablo wiped a tear away when he saw just how hard the block was repped. Well, here’s a style that I don’t enjoy, done by a brewery that I do enjoy. So let’s see what the net result is.

This is how people in North Carolina stay warm during coal rationing.


Bourbon Barrel Seven Devils, Scotch Ale, 8% abv

Brewed in honor of the poor souls who live in a part of the Blue Ridge Mountains said to be “as cold as seven devils”.

“Seven Devils is a Scottish-Style Ale aged in bourbon barrels to create an liberation to delight the soul. Rich, smooth malt blended with the complex flavors associated with bourbon. Perfect for the winter months.”

Can’t argue with that I guess.

A: Deep murky mahogany hues interplay with an impermeable chocolate visage. The carbonation is tough to rankle its jimmies, the Snorolax lacing just dances on the surfaces and chills like a 7th grader during a slow song.

"Our band is totally gonna play Coachella main stage, we just played Zinger's Pool Hall in Burlington. Crazy dissonance."

S: The smell is fantastic with a huge waft of bourbon, vanilla bean, nougat, and chocolate Charleston Chew. It reminds me of a more relaxed old ale but it still smells fantastic. The bourbon works well with this malt like Protoss and Pylons.

T: The taste doesn’t have the huge bourbon or sticky sweet notes that I was looking for and it goes a more oaky, drying route. The malt is relaxed and lights up my chest a bit not with an overpowering alcohol waft, but a kind of hoppy dryness that reminds me of a charred jack and coke.

This beer is only 8% but it feels like something that would incapacitate me much more.

M: The mouthfeel walks a fine line between the overpowering maltiness and a gentle wateriness that makes it hit just the right divide between the two. In the interest of full disclosure, I don’t usually like this style, but I feel that the barrel added that lil zip that pushed it into the “recommended” zone.

D: This is not an exceptionally drinkable beer but, I dont think that Olde Hickory was looking for that in this go round. While it may not have the lasting appeal of a juicy DIPA or tart character of a well-done lambic, this has its own little sense of pizzazz that makes me come back for a second pour, but not a second bottle. It is kinda like Minkus on Boy Meets World, you don’t want an entire episode about him, but when he’s gone, you miss him. Oh Seven Devils, shall I compare you to a winter’s day?

Bourbon. Oak. Malt. I can't believe this shiiii-

Narrative: The sheeting rain fell with demonstrative force upon Daniel’s Mitsubishi Mirage. The blue tint and tanabe exhaust seemed excessive in the scope of this impending flood. He rushed from the soaked awning and jumped into the hard interior, shaking from punishing dampness. “Suckitinsuckitincomeagainifyourimpolin-” Daniel hated Blues Traveler and this twist of fate only made his situation worse. “The HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOK brings you downnnn-” he flipped off the radio angrily and looked at his text messages from the night before. A night of whiskey, bourbon, and scotch were only 3 of the seven devils that he had encountered the night before. The other 3 were alcoholic, the final boss was his now ex-girlfriend, Daedra. Sometimes, the seventh devil hurts the worst. His new LCD tv has a noticeable slash across it, and the Cutco warranty remained intact. The tires of the economy car splashed water over the curb and he hydroplaned for a moment and burped, still tasting that oaky heat in his chest. “MAYB IF YOU WERENT BITCH THEN SEX WOULD BE HAPEN.” He looked at last night’s text in horror and swore he wouldn’t drink Maker’s Mark for at least 5 days.

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Olde Hickory Event Horizon Imperial Stout, EVENTFUL THINGS ABOUT THIS HOLIDAY SEASON.

My Horizon has some sick events on it. Lawrence Fishburn will probably be there.

Olde Hickory, Event Horizon 2010, 8.5% Barrel Aged Imperial Stout

A: This has a deep hateful color to it that cascades in a murky mess out of the bottle. A hard pour seems to make it angrier and a huge tan head subsides into pencil shavings color. It leaves spotty lacing that looks like those plants in Ursula’s cavern. The beer itself is darker than Goofy’s taint. Disney references abound.

S: Huge sticky maple syrupy sweetness subsides into a burnt bakers chocolate and coffee dryness. The mild heat smell is welcoming, like a warm blanket fresh from the dryer. So far so good, this beer impresses on all levels.

Look at this beer. This beer is bad ass.

T: It has a great prickly bourbon tingle to the front taste that establishes a nice booziness that isn’t exactly hot, just sweet and smoothe. Then like a dapper southern gentleman, the chair is pulled back and chocolate enters with a bouquet of toffee and coffee, much to the entertainment of your palate. Very balanced in execution and feels like a halfway home between Goose Island Rare and Canadian Breakfast Stout.

M: The mouthfeel is a bit lighter than I was expecting but still a solid medium coating which does not disappoint. The coffee doesn’t overpower and the bourbon and sweetness lingers. The honey notes come through more as a maple syrup I would assume due to the barrel but who knows, it just works.

I can't even be critical of this old gem.

D: With each refreshing sip I look sadly to my glass and wish that this beer wasn’t so hard to come by. It is certainly worthy of the hype and should be far higher on the Top 100 list in my opinion. This is a world class beer that is not only delicious but incredibly session able. I cant see this getting any better over time because it is already mellow, boozy, and delicious. The relatively lower ABV makes it a more relaxed, incredibly drinkable imperial stout and it is all the better as a result.

Narrative: This confidence scheme wasn’t going as planned. Dirk “Oilcan” Murkerson had the whole thing planned to a “T” but things started to unravel bit by bit. His dolt of a partner, Sitcky Bittles, was supposed to walk into the jewelry store and say that he has lost his obsidian diamond, and offer a huge standing reward for it. Oilcan walks in with a fake black diamond and pawns it for thousands, they both get away clean in the old struggle buggy. Simple. The darkness in both of their hearts mirrored in the balanced and smooth plan down to the execution, if not for that bumbling sweet confidence man, Bittles. “Eh old Oilcan, how was I sapposed to know that the diamond was a legit diamond from the boy’s stash? Cahmannn Oilcan!” Bittles pleaded entreatingly chewing the stub of his gnarled cigar nervously. “I shall tell you what you shall do, consult the provisions of your offer, offer your own indemnity to obtain the reward yourself, while hedging the item you pawned within the structure of the ombundsman’s gambit.” BY GUMMIT, Old Oilcan had done it again and gotten the boys out of a sticky fix! You can say what you want about his dark velvet suit, but his dapper demeanor won even the coldest hearts over.

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Olde Rabbit’s Foot, North Carolina Changes the Game, Kinda I GUESS.

No Rabbits Were Harmed in the Making of this Shitty Joke.

NORTH CAROLINA WEEK IS UPON US. For no particular reason, those old Tarheels dont get the cred they deserve so, here goes nothing.

Olde Rabbits Foot, Imperial Stout, 10.13% abv

This beer is a blend between Duck Rabbit, Foothill, and Olde Hickory, the portmanteau is the name OH SHIT JUST USED PORTMANTEAU IN A LEGITIMATE WAY.

A: The beer pours with a slick deep black inky cola look to it. Epigrams and entendres aside, the head is my favorite part. The thick whipped mocha head looks like a barista was all up in this bitch. Nice lacing with dotted Polynesian islands on the glass. Samoan people will love this beer if they ever discover North Carolina. Doubtful.

S: There’s an intense milk chocolate and frosting sweetness with almost no bitter from roasted malts. This isn’t a dessert beer, but it could be served at Red Robin with a Cookie Bramblecake or whateverthefuck.

At first when I thought about drinking all NC brews, I was all like dis. then I was it was pretty chill. super chill, even.

T: The taste maintains the sweetness and adds a bit of anise (that’s GED+ talk for licorice) and finishes with a coffee flavor that would make sense since people from North Carolina, bus drivers, truckers alike could drink this with their 3400 calorie breakfasts.

M: The mouthfeel has a nice prickly heat from the bourbon but it doesn’t get all up in your business and tell you how to do your job. It lets you wear the amount of flair that you desire, nice maltiness that isn’t too expansive and is respectful throughout the proceedings. The coffee doesn’t dry out the gumline too much and the result is a sweet booziness that you can doff your cap to in the street while pitching pennies. that sorta shit.

In North Carolina, even the turtles are wasted for a majority of their lives.

D: This is a swift nimble North Carolina aboriginal stout, poised and refined from a land of latent racism and excellent college basketball. Too bad most of the population is probably merking Natty Ice they could- well actually I think the bottle run on this was like 2500 or something so, I dont care if they missed out on it.