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@Degardebrewing Currant Gin Bu, 2015 Already Bouncing like Juicy J

I previously chracterized De Garde as an all or nothing power hitter.  If they miss, it is a complete whiff, but god damn when they get a piece of it, they crush them ticks way out into the parking lot.  This is an example of the latter and is truly a benchmark for innovation in the quasi-berliner style, moreover wild ales in general.

GIN. CURRANTS. SOUR NIPS DRIPPING WITH ACID.  Let’s latch on to that teat and get that fruity goodness.

Crooshing wild ales in that cemetery called Los Angeles.

Crooshing wild ales in that cemetery called Los Angeles.

De Garde Brewing, some Oregon Farm

4% abv, Berliner/american wild ale 4 realzdoe.

A:  God damn can you even approach the radiant tweeniness that is this radiant purple.  God tier drops and fatty lootz are distributed pell mell.  The carb clings like fuchsia running alongside the violet train leaving the station.  It looks almost identical to VSB, really and is easily one of the most beautiful beers this side of De Cam oude Kriek.  Just phenomenal to behold, like that Anna Kendrick pic you keep crumpled up under your futon.

feels good to take a break from relentless adjunct stout reviews every once in a while

feels good to take a break from relentless adjunct stout reviews every once in a while

S:  This isn’t the sweet bomb you would expect, nor is it the acidic romp you would begrudge.  It opens a touch brackish with a light salinity, a tannic cherry presence that feels more floral than actual red5 jolly rancher cherry.  Think cherry blossom, not fruit by the foot.  It smells phenomenal and refreshing like that dust from when you used to make your own powdered Gatorade OH JUST ME? OH OK I WAS THE ONLY ONE WHO GREW UP IN ABJECT POVERTY OK FINE.  I will note that the closer is oddly herbal and has a touch of juniper from the gin, it isn’t bad by any means and it actually adds a depth to what is essentially a very thin and simple beer, the oak itself gives that crazy depth only presented by those Sole Comp gin barrel releases.  OREGON JUST LOVES TO FUCK WITH GIN BARRELS, THEY CANNOT BE REASONED WITH.

T:  This again, lacks the overwhelming fruit, and refuses to put forth an intense acid profile and instead hits a balanced middle road of spice, dried currant/black cherry/plum, and floral oakiness like hydrangeas.  If you have ever had craisins in a salad, take those and add a spicy pine/fir tree aspect from the gin barrel that seems like it would never work but it gives an incredible layer upon layer of strata to this deceivingly simple beer.  In sum, it drinks like a baller ass mexican Fanta, grape flavor.

those purple notes bring you to full release so hard

those purple notes bring you to full release so hard

M:  This is very dry and swallows clean with no residual aspects along the mid palate or gumline.  It really FEELS in the spirit of a berliner in this respect and I wouldn’t be shocked if the abv fell lower than 4% because it has such a thin body and obviously no waft or fusel aspects.  It is so clean that you could drink this before meeting with your parole officer and he would be none the wiser, excepting your fucking burgundy teeth.

D:  This is in the intensely crushable range, a 750 disappears faster than singles at Magic City.  Rank it next to Live Oak Hef and Stillwater Classique in those beers that just jump into your liver with aggressive deep swallows.  It takes a large swallow to bring out all of the nuances and to abate the substantial carb and you are left with your loins pumping to pop more of those currants.  Moreover, there simply isnt anything else out there at present that tastes like this, so you owe it to your mom to at least try this.  Otherwise you will just be walking about making statements about shit, value appraisals, when deep down everyone knows you havent had a currant gin barrel aged beer, and basically aren’t about that life.

If you have a pretentious wine prick friend, open this for her and shatter her world.

If you have a pretentious wine prick friend, open this for her and shatter her world.

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Pelican Brewery Mother of All Storms, Would You Kiss Your Mother With a Barleywine Mouth Like That?

Here’s a beer that I have had, oh, let’s call it 6 times and the picture you see below is the most coherent image that I have of this beast. That should tell you something right away. First and foremost, I love this beer, I love this style and it seriously goes head to head with Kuhnhenn, Arctic Devil and…ugh…KING HERNY GRUMBLEGRUMBLE. Anyway, this amazing beer is a treat, so let’s peep it out on today’s review to SEE HOW WIDE THE WINGSPAN IS ON THIS..er..MARK WAHLBERG HAS A STORM COMING. Just read it.

Actually it doesn’t look as bad as I remember, maybe it was my raging headache after merking this beast. Big pours, we do them.

Mother of All Storms, Barleywine, 13.5 abv.
Oregon all up in the mix, Pelican Brewery

A: There is an almost bourbon note to it. A mild agitation evidences a some small bubbles but it is clear that this beer is above you, much in the way that Hemingway never seemed to mind the banalities of a normal life. You rock it back and forth and all you see is a wafty character that coats with a scary liquid refusal.

At first I was hesitant, but I ultimately found the ravaging brashness to be a warmth.

S: There are deep bourbon notes that resound like falling down a mineshaft and hit every peat note on the way down. I don’t want to overstate the wood and bourbon but, wow, this is beer but it feels like a proper gentleman’s drink. This was made in Oregon but its spirit takes its summer vacations in the hateful south. It enjoys conifers in the summer and spraying down protesting hops with fire hoses in the winter. Too far? Ok, let’s stop turning barley wines into social commentary. This has a great heat on it and I don’t even want to age it because I like it for it’s bumbly angry presence. It rounds out this delicious dinner party with a fuck up that you can point out that is incredibly enjoyable.

T: There is a huge panoply of raisins, figs, mild dates and nice waftiness just like envelops like sweet caramel candy. I enjoy this immensely and the retraction from the huge fruits on the finish makes it all the more enjoyable, wait for it-

The sip to shiteating grin ratio with this beer nears 1:1, also, Ginger child murders local dog, film at 11.

M: AS A RESULT THIS IS THE BEST BARLEYWINE THAT I HAVE EVER HAD. I know I know, this dethroned Abacus, no big deal, you hate Barleywines. Wait a second though, I like the following LESS: Hellshire, Old Dipsea 2009, Bigfoot, etc. This is hands down the most balanced and amazing barley wine I have ever had. I just want to sip on this and watch a Ryan Reynol- CLINT EASTWOOD MOVIE.

D: This is not exceptionally drinkable and, you know what? GOOD. This isn’t here for your consumption, this is like a Terrence Malick movie, it is deliberate, slow, deep and amazing. If you drink this alone you are a jerk. Plain and simple. This has such a great resounding spirit to it that begs to be split on a balcony and horrible philosophy discussions will ensure. It is just wafty, boozy, complex and amazing. The thin mouth almost makes me feel like “give me a cigar.” But then I realized that I don’t live in the gilded age, so put out the robusto Grover Cleveland.

Forget shaken baby syndrome, give your kids this beer, watch how amazing they turn out.

Narrative: All of the brackish land lovers said that this take was too ambitious. Sure, there was a school of marlin right off the coast heading for warmer currents, but, for gods sake, did you look at the meterology reports? They didn’t want to end up like the crew of the S.S. Stone Tea, rest in peace, who lost every member in this modern age refusing to deliver tea by protocol. No; no. There was a much more insidious secret that no crew member beyond the first mate could be made aware of. This marlin galleon was commanded by none other than a pelican. To be fair, he was a completely able captain with a curse placed upon him by a Portland witch who converted his form to the omnipresent visage of fertility, well knowing that he was impotent. That, my friends, is a story for another day. Sure there was a cool pressure from one direction and another front with conflicting warm pressures and, wait, who is manning the sextant? Oh that’s right, a pelican. Their cargo of 1200 barrels of bourbon and figs might never make it to port but one thing was certain, with this capta- BGLUB GLUB:::GURBLE::COPYRIGHTGURBLE

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10 Barrel S1nist0r Black Ale, Soop3r L33Tz 4L3z !!11!!!!

SrslY S1nisT0rzzz!!!! guize srsly.

10 Barrel Brewing Co.
Oregon, United States
American Black ale Ale | 5.40% ABV

A: This appears like a regular stout with the mild khaki carbonation, deep brown/blackish hues and nice malty roasted character. But OH WAIT, this old chestnut where we call something a black ale so the consumer has no fucking clue what to expect. Hop bomb? Chocolate sex? Smokey ballsack? Who knows, it’s fucking black ale, that’s like how a sorority girl orders a beer, by color, shit tells me nothing about what is inside. Uinta made this same mistake on an incredible imperial stout and I feel bad that they did, Labyrinth was tits up. Anyway, nice foamy character and comes off like a watery porter.

Mashing so hard on a thin black ale not unlike a baby otter.

S: The nose has a very light smokiness to it with a mild sweetness. A bit watery, nothing to lose your mind over. A solid beer depending on how much you pay for it. I got this as an extra so who knows if this beer goes balls to the wall on price or if it nestles up against Green Flash and Lagunitas in the deals bin.

T: The taste is thin and refreshing with an almond sweetness to it. There’s a very faint bit of milkiness and maple syrup but the palate is so thin you don’t really have time to focus on it. There’s a good balance to it with some mild bittering. The hops present a cocoa dryness that rounds it out nicely.

If a kennel just said “Black dog” for adoption, I would be satisfied for this one.

M: This is very thin but it doesn’t feel like it came up short, it feels intentional, and that somehow makes it ok. The lacing is fantastic, but the coating is relatively minimal, which is a bit anomalous. Again, not disappointing though. I always feel like when someone presents a black ale, it is a genre that is so amorphous it is tough to really determine what you are about to get. Sometimes you get an imperial stout monster like Labyrinth, other times you get this dapper gentleperson. Who can ever tell. Anyway, not even mad tho, it was decent but nothing I would keep a picture of in my military footlocker. You know it would just be getting popped by every other dude in Oregon.

D: This is exceptionally drinkable and the color is the only thing that might be offputting to people. It is a strange hybrid that brings a bit of IPA to the table and a bit of Stout in the mix. Overall, pretty solid beer and I would recommend a bomber or two to any willing participant.

Not sure what their intent was with this one.

Narrative: The hackneyed carriage clipped along steadily over the cobblestone streets and the slick London night was further obfuscated by misty clouds. Sir Grimsly peered at his silver pocket watch and sighed at how long the opera had taken. His finely tailored suit of rich velvet fit precisely and his jet black hair was slicked with a fragrant pomade. “Carlton, please, slow a bit!” He called to the carriage driver. He lifted the lacy ebony curtain and looked out into the dark night and noticed a single cat, staring intently upon the carriage as it slid to a stop. The cat peered knowingly and its obsidian coat shined in the night. It appeared to nod and signal to the magistrate. With a blink it disappeared. Sir Grimsley looked up and noted the mandate from today’s proceedings laying on the adjacent seat, unexecuted. With a forceful sigh, Sir Grimsley signed the stay of execution and set the prisoner free. The night shone with a furious depth, the slick streets ploshed with knowing applause.

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Bourbon Barrel Brrrrbon, Brrr It’s Cold in Hurr, Must be some Chingy in the Atmosphere.

Parchment paper is peeping on Brrbon so hard.

Here’s a beer Oregonians actually freely share. This beer didn’t get the best reviews but I feel that it’s pretty legit, by no means too legit to warrant quitting.

2010 Widmer Brothers (Of Hefeweizen fame) Barrel Aged Brrbon, 9.4% abv, Winter Warmer

A: It has nice shiny, new penny look to it with some spider webs on it like at old man Wilkerson’s house, but it looks inviting with a nice moderate translucence to it. The color actually LOOKS like a nice bourbon, I would go grab a Buffalo Trace shot and show you but, it’s all the way over there and you have the ability to press cntrl+T at any time you lazy ass.

S: This is really muted on the nose and you get a tiny hint of bourbon, like a homeless man was in your underwear drawer but you cant quite be sure. The caramel and brown sugar just lights up and smells amazing. The alcohol doesn’t grind all up on your junk, it just eases up and does a nice lil ABV two step.

The dude in white is bourbon, your palate is getting its shit rocked.

T: This has a nice initial oakiness that would be mistaken for hops if it wasn’t so warm and soothing like a negligent ass Thermaflu or something. It sweetens up with some sweet molasses and brown sugar that washes away instantly. This tastes a lot better than I was expecting and upholds the solid lineage from the recent limited releases: Galaxy Barleywine, Pear Braggot, etc. Drop the $10.99, it’s worth it.

M: It is surprisingly light and feels like a strange ninja barleywine. Or a baby old ale with all the oak going on. It’s pretty enjoyable and reminds me that I live in america, where you can put bourbon in a beer and drink it casually, with lunch, brunch even, heck, before your first day as a bus driver, who knows. Moral of the story is that the light character, deep bourbon and generous oakiness make this an awesome beer. Forget what Jamiroquai said, the future is not made of insanity, virtual or otherwise.

Barrel Aged Beer...Too Delicious...Dont Drink...Be...

D: This is incredibly drinkable and, may possibly be the only way that I will ever win at Words with Friends. You can play some wacky 9.4% abv tricks on them and watch them announce some really obscure things at the upcoming X-mas party. I had no trouble putting it away, and the average joe will say it tastes like “A strong…Newcastle…or whats that expensive…Chimay…yeah like sugar Chimay.”

Narrative: The old distillery, a county institution, just didn’t feel right, what with it being right next door to the local elementary school. Three recesses a month the kids would run in from kickball, gagging from the smell of fermenting sour mash. “Ms. Berkowitz, my eyes feel like Home Depot!” the kids would bemoan. It was many a time when a Nerf Screamer landed square in beds of spent mash, never to be retrieved. The smut that the old grizzly distillers left about was not insubstantial. Somehow, the synergy of the two, what with one destroying people’s lives, providing a solid 7 year old product, and the other being the distillery, seemed to somehow work. Jonah Wilkenstein watched in dismay as his baseball cascaded over the fence and landed in a caustic old barrel. “Now that Babe Ruth ball is gonna smell like Uncle Ira, I dont even wannit.”

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Cherry Adam from the Wood, Up to No Good. Oregon is a Republic of Hoarders

Popping that Ch-, ok nevermind.

Ok, North Carolina week is put on hiatus, since SOME PEOPLE IN OREGON THINK IT IS OK NOT TO SHARE.

Cherry Adam from the Wood, Old Ale, 10% ABV

A: The appearance has a nice deep ruby and dark brown hue that just doesn’t have a single fuck to spare with regards to carbonation. This beer is like that curmudgeonous guy at the party who just chills and talks shit on people, and cant be riled even for a supplicant game of flip cup. No head.

S: This has a deep boozy smell that stings the nostrils like Sex Panther. The cherry comes through in a muted and grenadine sort of way but it is a welcome reprieve from the Old Ale deep sticky maltiness and old timey stories. There’s dark fruit, oak, and vanilla at the end but no one listens to them, just an annoying little cadre of background assholes.

Cherry Adam in the flesh would look something like this, nerdy, into fruit flavors, complex, but ultimately will resort to alcoholism.

T: The taste has a ton going on, vanilla, oak, deep malts, pitted fruits, figs, and guess what? Fucking cherries. Cherries jubilee but coated with bourbon and set on fire. This is like a complex dessert cooked by a FIDM student that burned them and scorched them with alcohol while watching Sex and the City. It is complicated, but that doesn’t make it necessarily good, it just has longer stories to tell about its childhood, just like all the best dates you ever went on.

M: The mouthfeel has a nice warmth to it and would be at home in the old skilodge for drunks too seeped in cherry love to hit the slopes. Nice hot coating and oaky dryness make this beer shine in a world not yet created, one for alcoholic fruit lovers. One can dream.

Cherry Adam off the top ropes

D: This is just too hot and beats you over the head with a barrage of complex flavors that exceeds the scope of my appreciation. MY APPRECIATION SCOPE REMAINS UNCALIBRATED. I was able to finish the whole 12oz bottle but, I wasn’t all sad looking out a rainsoaked window pane wondering when that Fedex truck would bring me another one. Drinking it has cool bragging rights to that extensive circle of no one, so there’s always that. Try it at a club, work it into her story about being “not religious but spiritual” and see how it goes over. “OH SPEAKING OF CHERRY ADAM I HAD THE BOURBON BARREL AGED VERSION ONCE.” You can’t get less than zero girls, you can’t owe people chicks. But you can drink zero Cherry Adam, which is not a Coca-Cola product.

Narrative: “Gunnar! Get your lunch and permission slip, you’re gonna be late!” Cathy called to her second-born as he grasped the paper sack with a savage zeal and peeled out the doorway, still smelling of Taster’s Strudels. “Oh if they only knew,” Cathy thought to herself and watched the bus noisily speed away. She put on her Northface jacket, a fashion staple of hip east-coast mothers, and hurried to her Dodge Stratus to complete her daily ritual. “What would they think if they knew this was how I spent my days?” she tapped her fingers nervously and looked across the parking lot, disappointed. “Shit, they still haven’t set up, WHAT TAKES THOSE CRATES SO DAMN LONG!?” she took a pull of vanilla brandy and watched longingly as the Puerto Rican men unloaded the cases containing her sweet succor. “Felipe! Hola hola, un caja de cereza por favor!” he began to go for a box of beer. “NO FELIPE! CEREZA! CHERRIES FOR GOD’S SAKE!” she ejaculated with tense anticipation. This was the height of her day, getting lit and hitting the Farmer’s Market first thing, to land a sick stash of pitted goodness. She hustled back to the idling car with her case of cherries, rubbing the errant juice along her gumline. The children would come home and find spoons burnt with carmelized cherries, and empty cartons, but never uncover Cathy’s sweet, dark, pitted secret. So pitted.