Julian, Please: South Carolina Triple Scissor Session from a State Where Scissoring is Probably Illegal

There are plenty of new upstarts in the South Carolina scene these days and JulianB was ever so obliging in sending me these releases from places I didn’t even know I should desire. Today’s reviews are a triple scissor session, three reviews that fully comply with the stringent BeerAdvocate standards of being at least 150 characters.  It was daunting reviewing a beer and writing more than even a single tweet, but somehow, I DID IT.

Pull down old glory and nestle into your Skoal dip cup for today’s South Carolina reviews:

Oh shit the C&D from Planters is forthcoming

Oh shit the C&D from Planters is forthcoming

This Porter pours clean and has a great slickness to it, shiny black like wet vinyl on a dominatrix right before you pass out from asphyxiation. The carb is generous but never grabs your crab legs or disturbs you. So far so good: this is an archetypical Porter aesthetic.

The Nose reminds me of Edmund Fitzgerald in the way it imparts roast and watery dark chocolate in parity, cascading and twisting into a double Helix of Porter genetic information. There’s a bit of a mineral waft to it hard like alkaline but it might just be stone cold Appalachian water from them Carolinas. The nose has a bit of latent racism in it, undeniably terroir from the hamlet this Porter originates.

The taste is almost identical to Firestone’s walker reserve Porter and is just classic toe to tip. The problem with this, if you perceive it to be so, is that it become unremarkable in the clinical sense: I don’t have a shitload to remark about this. There are a million analogs of this in every market and it demonstrates Seminar’s ability to operate within the BJCP style guidelines beautifully. Beyond that I would be reaching to differentiate this touchstone Porter.  Through all of this you might be like “THEY PUT FUCKING PEANUT BUTTER IN IT” but that’s my point, it doesn’t make a meaningful difference besides some oiliness in the mouthfeel.  It’s a standard porter, open up a Motherless tab if you want some deviant peanut butter content.

The IPA, however, is much shittier. I have plenty to say about that one.

such radiant IPA tones, lightning in a bottle

such radiant IPA tones, lightning in a bottle

First and foremost: this ipa looks like total shit. “Thanks for the pour of this American barleywine” you quip, but oh no my friend THAT IS A SINGLE IPA. It is clear and isn’t murky or turbid but for fucks sake look at that SRM. It is darker than most amber ales and doesn’t seem to give a shit about appearing refreshing or helpful. This is the Targrt customer service desk of IPAs.

The nose is smashed leaves, pine cones, Rosemary, a hint of lemon and a long honey sticky sweetness as though this beer was made with 100% Crystal. It feels like a session american barleywine, were such a thing to exist.

The taste doesn’t move far from the expectations set forth in the nose, a forest frolic where you get poison ivy on your tongue. All that sticky resin and tree bark drives it decidedly far away from those Citra juicy juice dreams you may have been anticipating.

the lack of quality in this photo was the medium replicating the subject

the lack of quality in this photo was the medium replicating the subject

It is anomalous to see a brewery with offerings this bipolar in execution. Two pillars of standard execution, one completely classic and crushable, the other, some huge armed Umbrella corp Tyrant hop monster. I was almost a Jill sandwich.

But what about some crazy diabetus kraken from the depths of the deep south?

oh shit you guys notice the foreboding shadow connoting impending doom, low angle implying dominance oh shit u guize

oh shit you guys notice the foreboding shadow connoting impending doom, low angle implying dominance oh shit u guize

Finally let’s review some megastout that Julian figured I needed to try: THE FINISHER from CONQUEST BREWING in INSUBORDINATION, South Carolina. At a certain point we are going to run out of metal and Cardinal names for stouts and they will be like “Walter the almost vanquished accountant: imperial stout aged in xml spreadsheets”

Anyway, this is a 17.5% abv stout brewed with honey. I like to imagine a bunch of husky dudes In black patent malt stained work shirts like:

“Alright brew bros, it clocked in at 17% abv and 1.041 FG, what now”
” we’ll add honey, oh and uh BROWN SUGAR. fucking obviously.”

The pour looks more nimble than I expected and is actually pretty legit. It sheets with clear legs but never goes full DME mess. It has a sweeeeet nose of nestle quik, fudge, mallow foam, honeycomb and cream of wheat.  Go ahead and dip your graham cracker into this one, it is a tasty campfire treat. 800 calories right before bed to give you those stress dreams you so badly crave; YOUR TEETH FALLING OUR PHYSICALLY AND PSYCHOLOGICALLY.

This was actually pretty delicious and shockingly never ventured into the intensely sweet and soy sauce realm that is Derk Lerd.  Despite not being barrel aged it had many components that would lead some to think this was a cognac or rum treatment, largely the brown sugar and tobacco roastiness I would assume.  Essentially this is a beer half complete as is practically begs for barrel aging.

Make it happen, Conquest.  Stop signing out of AIM while we are mid-cyber, leaving me with these BAL’s unreleased.


@Willoughbybrew Peanut Butter Cup Coffee Porter, For When You Need both Coffee AND Peanut Butter in Your AM Beverage

This beer is like those clandestine moments in the shower, where you spread your asscheeks and let the warm water run between: you aren’t proud of enjoying it, but there is something refreshing about it you can’t deny. Usually if I saw the word “porter” with that many adjectives bolted on like a late 90’s Integra, I would LOL and keep on getting farmhoused. In this instance, I heard legitimately great things about this LOW ABV, CLEAN, NOT NEEDLESSLY SWEET offering. My c1 fractured under the attempts to reconcile the name with these appraisals. It’s like meeting an interesting, insightful communications major. You cannot comprehend how such a reconciliation is possible.

There’s no wrong way to eat a Reese’s, unless it is out of your cousin’s anus. Let’s review this shit.

Trap all day, sip all night, this is the life of a goticka

Trap all day, sip all night, this is the life of a goticka

Willoughby Brewing
Ohio, United States
Style | ABV
American Porter | 5.50% ABV

Commercial Hand Job:
A consistent award winner and truly unique taste experience brought you only by Willoughby Brewing Company. We start by brewing a robust porter and infusing it with locally roasted coffee and a special peanut butter and chocolate flavor. The result is a beer like no other you’ve had before. Some people say they taste more coffee than peanut butter, others say the opposite. Which is it you taste?

You will get in the damndest scenarios drinking this crushable beer

You will get in the damndest scenarios drinking this crushable beer

A: Alright, this is distinctly a porter through and through and presents beautiful mocha foam like those darkwood cabinets you covet at Home Depot but then you realize you rent a shitty studio apartment. The deep black has a nimble BP oiliness to it that doesn’t coat especially well and washes clean like the filthy banks of the Gulf of Mexico, except you cant help but take a dip.

S: This presents an awesome roastiness in line with Edmund Fitzgerald, a comparison this Ohio brewery is probably sick to fucking death of hearing. Notwithstanding, being put in the ranks of the best is tolerable at worst and this adds a coffee profile and is less acidic roast, more of a South American/civet toastiness like burned rye bread that works well with the baker’s cocoa sweetness from the nose. It doesn’t seem excessively adjunct forward and neither aspect really steals the show or makes the porter sit in the back of the Econoline van with promises of candy and puppies. Everyone gets their turn on the porter bang bus. As far as peanuts go, I have no fucking clue. There is a light almondy presence and a sort of light nuttiness you would get from a malty brown ale, but not like PETER PAN NUTS IN YOUR NOSE status.

I could crush more of this, but Ohio seems so far away

I could crush more of this, but Ohio seems so far away

T: The coffee puts the first foot forward and, while not the most exceptional coffee blend or roast, it works well with the malt profile to provide a depth and bittering basis for all of the sweet madness that is predicated upon it. You need a solid foundation, always invite a 300 lbs man to your gangbangs, it will become clear why. The middle of the swallow has the peanut I was searching for earlier, and the nut is a brackish salty affair that would be strange on its own, but I can swallow heavy loads if it is sweet enough. The sweetness is the chocolate aspect which isn’t exactly like Tootsie Roll, it is more like those greenpeace $4.00 TCHO chocolate bars you usually see lesbians buying at Whole Foods. It’s a classy sustainable chocolate to enjoy in your Subaru.

M: This beer is as thin as Natalie Portman double donging Rachel Zoe. it drinks like a 4% export stout offering and is limitlessly crushable. You ever play Alpha Centauri and look up and 9 hours have passed and you forgot to pick your kids up from swim practice? That’s how this beer is, you drill an entire growler on accident and then suddenly it’s “officer the cuffs are too tight.” The clean swallow with the robust roast is a great combo that can lead to some serious mischief. Do yourself a favor and kennel your pets before you get all up in this mix, that 2L serving size will serve you just find, provided you dont have access to your ex’s numbers. LOL you dont even have an ex, let’s be real here.

This beer is straight decadence

This beer is straight decadence

D: See above, this is staggeringly croosh and even croosh progeny will salute the manner in which it is disposed. Take a crazy crooshable beer like Lagunitas DayTime IPA, then make it a porter, with insane flavors across the board. It is in that realm of drinkability where, after 64 ounce, you start thinking you can do things, like, say you have never fenced in your life, you would suddenly look at the Epee like you know some shit. It’s that kinda beer.

Narrative: Peter Legumee had the worst route out of all of the ice cream trucks in western Ohio. He drove by the DOW industrial chemical refinery, in the section 8 housing suburbs, then closed his run down near the quarry. Nobody was trying to eat a Pink Panther when the air smelled like curry and burning pubes. Then one day, Peter got into his shoddily modifier confectionary-mobile and had a realization: coffee and peanut brittle. He decided that lactose heavy frozen treats weren’t what these leatherneck Ohioans wanted, they needed roast and salt to fuel their lives dancing just above the poverty line. He would roll right up the Dawn Soap manufacturing plant with his pentatonic jingle playing and the men would stream out in their coveralls, dunking barklike shards of peanut brittle into scalding hot V60 cups of Intelligensia coffee. It was a winning combo for the rockbreakers at the quarry too, they even gave him a complimentary fragment of basalt in gratitude. Yes sir, it was a bright day in Western Ohio that day, such that no one even noticed when the river caught on fire, the coffee was just THAT GOOD.


Blue Lobster Ragged Neck Rye, Fedex Getting My Porter Straight Shaken Ragged

Alright we handled that Treehouse shit earlier, we hit up HF gems on the reg, but what about neglected ass New Hampshire? Don’t they get any love in the beer spectrum? Well this is kinda a hyrbid of sorts since one of the Blue Lobster brewers, David Salkolosowklsky, used to work at Hill Farmstead. The entire region is just whipping up game and pushing cream in the trap. Some people’s jimmies are still steel traps for regular, non-BA porters. WELL THEY NEED TO GET PUT UP ON GAME. Let’s see if this is some Funky Buddha porter steeze or a weak ass Shipyard offering in today’s review.

Cross-country journey and it was still excited to see me.  Beer you my only fren.

Cross-country journey and it was still excited to see me. Beer you my only fren.

Blue Lobster Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States
American Porter | 7.40% ABV

A: This looks phenomenal and keeps the carbonation just flowing and billowing like chocolate mousse from the jump. The cling and lacing is nice, residual malts just streaking the glass like chocolate milk tatties in the shower room. You tip up for that splishy splashy light body that breaks out cola thin, shooting that bubble up from below like a darker Miley Cyrus, but far cleaner in execution.

This porter is a different kind of uplifting, but I like it.

This porter is a different kind of uplifting, but I like it.

S: This has a fantastic almond tannic presence that lends a distinct rye crackliness that almost reminds me of cracked black pepper mixed with a baker’s chocolate hand you can hold while skipping through the gentle single porter world full of robust choices. Very little if any smoke to this, more like scorched coffee grounds for those of you that weigh their water before brewing LIKE LITTLE BITCHES. The dark bready aspect is a crackly lil gem that reminds me quite a bit of a thinner, more angry version of Everett. Everyone’s porter recipe seems to be jacked from somewhere.

T: This extends the olfactory and again is a compeltely dry affair with a roasty first foot that steps in a puddle of 85% cocoa that balances shit out and boosts that drinkability hardcore like a Terran Stimpack. The Abv is laughable and lies in wait with the shiv under your liver’s bunk ready to put in work. This isn’t the most complex beer in its rye forward, dark bread, thin execution; but that’s ok. It could use a bit more chocolate malts to boost a sweetness to balance out the woody aspects of this beer but some people would tell me to suck on my own tits because that is how they like their porters. Agree to suck on one’s own tits, respectively.

Whenever I try a really good porter I WANT TO GIVE IT TO EVERYONE.

Whenever I try a really good porter I WANT TO GIVE IT TO EVERYONE.

M: This is thin and the light dryness from the rye doesn’t make this a cloying affair like say, Smoking Wood from the Bruery. It reminds me of the bad seed twin brother of Everett. It is more menacing, drier, less sweet, and just doesn’t seem to give a fuck about you. This is the Everett twin that does sick burnouts, fingerbangs chicks in 9th grade, has slicked back hair, takes dixpix and is all around just a more pissed off porter. Some tickers like that kinda role model, who am I to intervene?

D: This is exceptionally drinkable and, even more so than Everett in some respects. The sweetness is absent and so you get roast and rye to push you along this khaki foamy log ride. If you don’t like that, then you will drink faster, if you do, you will swallow harder for those dry bready pumpernickel notes. Either way the growler is gonna be drained and you will have to drive your kids to school drunk. Good job, parent of the year.

Some porters are on a whole different level of badassness.

Some porters are on a whole different level of badassness.

Narrative: Solvang was a Danish City known for its sunny fields. Well to be more accurate, Solvang was a central California city, founded by Danish people, currently populated by Mexicans. The little city of 5,000 was famed for its rye harvests year in and year out, travelers would come from miles around to sample the scratchy dry wheat and enjoy the dark loaves of bread sold by the street vendors. The teeming masses from San Luis Obispo would watch the migrant workers toil to reap the crop annually, never thinking to contribute to their efforts in a meaningful way, or contemplate their crippling wages. It was easier just to buy some Danish chocolate and some plastic Viking costume for the misbehaving children. One of the gems of Solvang that none of the tourist seemed to appreciate was Mission Santa Ynes, which sat right next to the fake Danish village. The stoic congregation would pray and eat rye Eucharist, looking solemnly on the obese masses enjoying funnel cakes. Many would overlook the real splendor of the town, its agrarian roots, deep rye beds, incredible chocolate; they would listen to 2 Chainz CDs and buy Danish wares made in China. Some people just don’t want to actually travel; don’t actually want nice things.


Jack’s Abby BA Framinghammer Triple Fucking Shootout: BA, Vanilla and Coffee. Pepper that Angus for the Lager Lovin.

Since I have been neglecting the fuck out of this trashheap of a website, I figure that some Jack’s Abby loving is in order, in the form of a tawdry threeway. Barrel aged Framinghammer is a slick little treat from those lager masters up in the frigid northeast. Just when I thought my beer boner was on full swole, they bust out two fleshlight treatments: vanilla and coffee. Cialis levels attained. To clarify, these were not aged in fleshlights, though. One can dream.

Here is the regular ass Framinghammer.  Just a world class beer, nothing to see here.

Here is the regular ass BA Framinghammer. Just a world class beer, nothing to see here.

Jack’s Abby Brewing
Massachusetts, United States
Baltic Porter | 10.00% ABV

The 2013 bottles were aged in Old Weller 107 bourbon barrels.

The beer is inversely better than my shitty picture, so it's really good. Vanilla balling.

The beer is inversely better than my shitty picture, so it’s really good. Vanilla balling.

Baltic Porter | 10.00% ABV
– Aged on vanilla beans, no fucking shit.

I love that HF stemware but I can't help but feeling like a premenopausal single mom clutching it.  Watching Nurse Jackie and Damages and shit.

I love that HF stemware but I can’t help but feeling like a premenopausal single mom clutching it. Watching Nurse Jackie and Damages and shit.

Baltic Porter | 10.00% ABV
Big, bold, black and barrel aged. A length conditioning period in bourbon barrels creates a silky smooth chocolatey mouth feel enhanced by the use of oats and brown sugar. Noticeable sweetness gets balanced by roasted malt and hop bitterness. Additional flavors include bourbon, vanilla, and oak. This one is aged on Barismo coffee strictly for the pre-teens and the roast haterzz.

A: I say this with the utmost sincerity: they look exactly the fucking same. Some would argue that the carb levels might be a bit different or the lacing has some mild variation but that guy probably reads Pitchfork media and fingers his pisshole when he gets home from his job at Lowe’s so fuck that guy. It is slick and nimble in its blackness, straight scared squid action with an inkiness that imparts a degree of wateriness in the splishy splashing. The carb is a single finger of mocha foam that subsides and gives way to some bottom fermenting beauty. This porter is distinctly porter with none of this “IS BBXXIV A STOUT” sort of bullshit thread creating nonsense. Porters por vida.

This isn't like the porters that you buy, mine have adjuncts and were inaccessible and aged in barrels so it's ok for me to have stretch marks.

This isn’t like the porters that you buy, mine have adjuncts and were inaccessible and aged in barrels so it’s ok for me to have stretch marks.


Barrel aged:
This beer has a fantastic waft to it with oak, caramel, milk chocolate, a silky Dove bar dipped in E&J, and a mallow foam stroking it in the corner. It is a 1970’s mashup of discoteque madness with porters doing cocoa rails off of unshaven bush. Very legit all around, but then the variants stepped in-

This goes apeshit and gives you more vanilla than you are bargaining for. The effect is so pronounced that it almost comes across like vanilla frozen yogurt or some Coldstone Creamery madness. The regular had pronounced vanilla and this takes the bullhorn and starts pumping sticky sweet AWOL Nation shit up your nose that’s a bit too produced to be loved. Too sweet, too methodical.

Unlike the vanilla, this takes the base beer and massages the palm lightly, pressing a cup of joe in its hand and leaving some lipstick on the glass. This feels decadent and classy with a sharp roastiness that leans closer to the acidity profile found in the Black Cat series if you are one of those dudes who smells cups of coffee while buying your shitty Armani cologne. But for realtalk, this is the best smelling variant and doesn’t forgo the other aspects, the coffee works hand in hand with the baker’s chocolate, sticky brownie batter, and maintains that clean lager waft to it without any meddling esters in the mix.

Winrar: Coffee, easy game next question.

Give this to your trifling friends, watch their faces when you tell them it is a lager, post your stupid findings in a forum condescending on them in a passive aggressive way you pussy.

Give this to your trifling friends, watch their faces when you tell them it is a lager, post your stupid findings in a forum condescending on them in a passive aggressive way you pussy.


Barrel Aged Sweetits:
This has an amazing clean crispness that belies the expectations of some stouty mess running along your jawline. It opens with a cocoa aspect, some 85% cacao you impulse buy at Trader Joes, nice 4 Roses sort of sweetness in the finish that screams mallow and werther’s original with a light pat of coconut on the ass. Just fantastic.

Vanilla Facial:
This again just pushes all of the other aspects out of the spotlight and the base beer could not even beer barrel aged since the sticky cake batter just drops hot loads on everyone’s chest. It is just too much, too sweet, almost reminds me of a sticky oiliness in execution. Let me say all this with the qualifier that it is STILL BETTER than almost every BA porter that I have had, but these three just wreck buttholes in tandem so it’s hard to be forgiving.

Coffee Groping:
This has some of the same issues as vanilla, what with it pushing the espresso harder than a 7th grade weed dealer, pumping a hipster agenda. But god damn, you willingly comply because the product it is moving is so good. The beans and coffee merge with the seamless chocolate fondant wateriness of the base beer and it is a perfect fusion of RomCom and softcore coffee porn. You know the type.

WinRar: Gotta give it to Barrel Aged on this one.

Sometimes it doesn't matter which variant you pick, someone is getting fucking destroyed.

Sometimes it doesn’t matter which variant you pick, someone is getting fucking destroyed.


Again, all of these have the similar base of a swift brown water rafting trip (i.e. in Jalisco.) The toasted malts don’t hang around too long and the chocolate, almond, whipped mocha aspects all embrace the barrel lovingly. The coffee is a bit drier than the other two, but it makes you thirstier for something that is already exceptionally drinkable. The vanilla is a bit more sticky and if you shop at Lane Bryant, you could probably drink this while everyone else is at prom/getting hand jobs and you can smile in the mirror with your sweet khaki stained teeth and tell yourself that you have a good personality. But ultimately, the sticky sheeting and cling to the vanilla gets old fast, like that pesky 10th grader who wont stop texting you after you said you loved her. Fucking clingy.

Winrar: Coffee.


It is tough to break these buys apart in this aspect because I could crush these like homeless people crush cans at a recycling center: all day and while covered in filth. The variants are a bit less drinkable overall because of stylistic hurdles, but they are still damn near session beers and drink like Edmund Fitzgerald that leads to DUI-city at 10% abv. Even the most closed vagina would embrace that clamshell hug for how drinkable these old chestnuts are.

Winrar: Barrel Aged version.

Overall winner, bossing your palate the fuck around, telling you what’s what:

The Coffee version pounded size 1 hipster men in their skinny livers, have them all redfaced talking about some shitty half finished memoire that they are finishing, the great american coming of age lager that most people with defined lats will trashcan and enjoy.

The coffee is amazing, so it wins.


If you think I am typing a narrative for you ungrateful loftdwellers after laying down a solid 1200 words, you can push your testicles into your butthole.

I bet it does.

I bet it does.


Revolution Brewing Mean Gene Flicking that Mean Bean on the Clean Scene

I give the midwest traders dress downs on the regular for shittyh trade offers and some people get butthurt at the perceived bias. In the future I will try to clown on Florida and the Pacific Northwest to make some amends. In the interim, how about a completely fucking favorable beer review of something amazing straight out of the 312? Can we still be friends? I have had latent curiosity about Revolution ever since I tried Mad Cow, and every offering that I have subsequently enjoyed has been amazing. This brewery is spitting crazy ether and dropping hot 16s on cyphers just making other midwest breweries, excepting maybe Haymarket, getting copped up and clapped quick. So enough massaging the sack, let’s get at these beans.

I was gonna make an erection/wood play here but, at this point it is like a single entendre

I was gonna make an erection/wood play here but, at this point it is like a single entendre

Revolution Brewing Company – Brewpub
Illinois, United States
American Porter | 8.50% ABV

A: This beer is full of fucking life for a deep malignant looking brew. It froths out crackly and excited, lacing the glass and looking like a Honduran waterpark all dark and full of vigor. The lacing looks great and it maintains that clearly porter aspect to it with some nice legs but no crazy char staining the glass like the petulant beast Huna, just ruining carpets and doling out paternity tests.

It is tough to argue with porters that are this good.

It is tough to argue with porters that are this good.

S: This has an incredible interplay between the coffee, roast, light oak, vanilla and the barrel cloystered way in the back like an approving parent. This doesn’t go apeshit in any one aspect and the coffee has this acidity that gently scissors the barrel aspects, straight grinding them beans. I could quaff this all day but don’t think I am some quaffer, ain’t nobody got time for that.

T: This reminds me of “Baby BA Kopi” in many ways. The coffee doesn’t go as hard, the barrel has this coconut/oak/roasty aspect and a gentle vanilla that is not the relief pitcher it is the closer. This just has an incredible balance that remains distinctly porter and doesn’t go down this quasi-stout road. I could drink this all day, hit parked cars, holler at pregnant women and get lackluster hugs from drunk sorority chicks. It is that kinda beer.

cant land limited barrel aged porters? Don't cry, drink an Edmund Fitzgerald and think about things that coudl have been.

cant land limited barrel aged porters? Don’t cry, drink an Edmund Fitzgerald and think about things that coudl have been.

M: This washes clean and just serves to dice shit up quickly with little residual sugars but a great barrel character that is restrained enough that you don’t need to plan ahead or split this. Fuck your friends, they didn’t show up to your Slam Poetry competition, drink this alone. The watery aspects would usually be a knock, but in this instance it just delivers shit up flawless. These other breweries wanted beef until Revolution started serving up slabs. This is on the same level as Batch 2 Birth of Tragedy and gives a sly nod to Jack’s Abby BA Framinghammer, being in the mix with the late great porters.

D: Taken as a whole, this beer is incredibly drinkable and masks that abv with great depth but at colder temps a sort of incredible simplicity. At higher temps the beers opens up and shows its more complex sides, a lil something for everyone. It’s like putting on a Crazy Town album, just incredible depth and clarity for all, magnum opus of- just kidding I can’t even type this, Crazy Town is worse than stapling your labias together.

Bourbon, char, roast, chocolate just getting up in the mix for a sick cuddle sesh

Bourbon, char, roast, chocolate just getting up in the mix for a sick cuddle sesh

Narrative: Gepetto’s woodworking shop was not performing as expected. Perhaps it was his fault, opening a fanciful woodshop in 17th century Vienna. People just did not have the need for trifles and dolls in a post-reformation world. Gepetto would get so lonely, looking out the shop windows, observing the bustling populace going to and fro. It was never in his constitution to be a butcher or a baker, he was born for the baroque and ornate woodworking was the only thing he knew. Sometimes patrons would frequent his store and he would be seen speakingly lovingly to an inanimate doll or laughing and patting a wooden bear on the head. Despite his beneficent intentions, people were creeped out. He was a master with the wood, but his execution was not for the general populace. It would take generations to realize that his creations required no strings, none at all. His brilliance laid in his ability to take the simple and raise it to a level of grandeur unparalleled in wood grinding until Seventh Veil opened on Sunset, many years in the future.


Midnight Sun Oak Aged TREAT, Take You to the Oak Aged Shop, Let you Lick the Pumpkin Pop

For the uninformed, this might look like a rather pedestrian gem for this site, that is until you see those magic words on that bottle OAK AGED. That’s right, we skipped right over the old traditional version and went directly for the .rar jugular. I have heard that they release 400 bottles of this each year, but maybe a Midnight Sun rep can clear that up for me. Either way, this is one of those 400+ wants < 15 gots sort of beers that brings all the boys to the yard. Let's get our pumpkins smashed in today's review:

Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
Alaska, United States
American Porter | 7.80% ABV

A: This has a slick blackness to it that doesn’t come across as a hefty boy, it is nimble and imparts some light sheeting on the walls but the mocha skeeting is kept to a refined minimum. The carbonation runs freely and serves up tiny effervescence like a hungover barista.

Out of the pumpkin mire, the oak aged chocolate monster cometh.

S: This has a much more robust nose than the regular version and deals out pumpkin, nutmeg, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, smashed M&Ms, light lactose aspects, and some pepper. There is a strange bit of clove and sweetness from a Djarum Black, the whole affair is classy but sticky at the same time, like 5th grade Halloween sleepovers in an opulent den of rich mahogany.

T: This carries the chocolate and pumpkin to the maximum, 7th gear engaged to the fullest. The spices are present throughout but are not overpowering, they are more like a tasty garnish to the main event. The chocolate and pumpkin don’t have that horrible synthetic feel that some other holiday offerings posit, I am looking at you Shipyard brewing and all of your Smashed Imperial offerings. It’s the kind of chocolatey boss that doesn’t give you your tens, but lets you leave early. Pretty solid.

Try this pumpkin beer that said. Only 7% abv they said.

M: This has a nice slick porter wateriness to it that imparts the flavor and gets out of there as though a new episode of Breaking Bad is on or something. You could put this back all day long, or you could open it with some people that will never have the chance to try it, either way beer curmudgeon. Spread the love around.

D: This is exceptionally drinkable and hides the abv well. The pumpkin and complexity of the chocolate aspects balance each other out and everyone is left with beige ass teeth smiling happily. The oak is not too pronounced but it is still empowers the other elements to do their thang, impart some vanilla and spice notes and then the bottle is gone.

This beer hits your flavor zones hard and leaves you stable, like a pumpkin BAWS.

Narrative: Bill Nye, the guy of science looked through the fusion reactor blast shield and scrawled some obtuse findings into a yellow notebook. The particle accelerator had successfully extracted carbon chains from both chocolate strains and disassembled complex amino acid chains from a gourd. Now the faint hue of the orange light spun rapidly as the proto-pumpkin quarks attempted to integrate themselves into the chocomatrix. “Those years of admonishing the reasoning faculties of children have postured me, BILL NYE, to usurp the throne of the king of Halloween.” The flow charts on the wall demonstrated the complex plan to become the figurehead of pagan rituals and how to rekindle the love of his followers through the use of science. “OH MY GO-” a flash of Ferrero Rocher gold erupted and Bill stared into the wispy whirring chocolate cloud. “MR. NYE! YOU CAN’T GO IN THERE, IT IS NOT FINISHED!” The Science Guy would see the instability of the product breaking down. He grabbed his oak clip board and entered the reactor and was imbued with chocolateyoakypumpkin free radicals, infusing him with the deep painful essence of Halloween. BUT WOULD HE USE THESE NEW FOUND HALLOPOWERS FOR GOOD OR EVIL?


Deschutes Black Butte XXIII, Porters Don’t Get Much More Imperial Than This

I never really know how to straddle these imperial porters. Regular porters are often so far away in scope and execution, but imperial stouts are completely different beasts altogether. Suffice it to say, I enjoy this style a ton when they are executed well, but if it’s too big, it eats shit like a Korean gymnast. Lucky for us, this one sticks the landing, sticks it so hard.

Droppin twanky tres on em.

Deschutes xxiii Black Butte Imperial Porter 10.5% abv

A: This has a slippery BP black with mild wateriness and deep amber hues, great carbonation and a fantastic presentation. The legs do not show through that well and if this is an imperial porter, it’s a pretty fucking powerful empire because the maltiness toes the line into a stout-tranny, er, you know what I mean.

I won’t say I am afraid of this beer, but it is capable of some dangerous shit.

S: There is an orange rind smell with licorice light and smokiness. It smells amazing. This is one of the most aromatic porters that I have ever encountered and I still get jazzed every time someone busts one of these out. You get some nice vanilla, oak, and light waft of alcohol.

T; There is a great slickness with a little juniper herbal finish to it. The front is similar to dark chocolate notes but the mouthfeel is distinctly porter not stout. It has a finishing dryness with a lingering sweetness. Just fantastic all around on the tastey sesh. I really enjoy the interesting venn diagram that it creates between stouts and porters in that it is still distinctly huge and mildly watery, relative to an imperial stout, but still maintains its character very well. It’s the difference between a chocolate milkshake and some gourmet Yoohoo. Feel me?

There’s a bit of gentle lightness in this deep darkness that delivers the sweetness to your facehole.

M: The coating is huge, probably the thickest porter that I have encountered. This easily gives Victory at Sea a run for its money. I want more and alas, I cannot obtain it that easily after the run is done. I would stack this right next to Birth of Tragedy, albeit below it as a fine example of a beastly porter that delivers harder than a Ramen courier.

D: This is a split ticket decision. On one hand you have a big foamy, filling, high abv porter that imparts considerable dryness. On the other hand, it is so well balanced and delicious, you could drink this into a stupor. Ultimately I will side with the party that supports consuming delicious things at length. If you have soft little hands and a light stride, sure, have an 8oz taster and move on. The rest of us will engage in a bacchanalian festival of porters and rejoicing.

This is deep and dark but menacing at the same time.

Narrative: Mocha stared knowingly at the horizon, sensing a storm was coming. Her penguin bretheren were too busy diving for squid in the shallows to pay attention. However, deep in Mocha’s soul she felt that insightful knowledge, that looming storm. They would chastise her, call her serious and forlorn and continue with their gallivanting. Day by day the temperatures were steadily rising and no one seemed to care. Sage old Mocha wiped her brow and pecked at the shallow pools. No one believed her when she predicated the great migration, no one trusted her when she foresaw the epic enclosure and flock partition, but now, here they were, in the Cleveland Zoo, and things were getting worse. Some Browns fans had showed up to the habitat and were throwing pork rinds into the water. Their jowls shook violently as they guffawed at the penguins splashing playfully. Mocha lowered her gaze at these overweight humans and noted, “mom’s gonna fix it all soon, mom’s gonna drown us set back to the way it oughta be.”


BONUS REVIEW: New Glarus Smoke on the Porter, the beer is much harder to make than the guitar riff is to play.

I love New Glarus and I don’t care who knows it. We all know my civil objection to Red and Tart, but quite literally every other beer is amazing without qualifier.

Now we come to this crossroad. I hate smoked beers, I dislike smoke, and even a flint and dry kindling makes me nervous. So here we go, don’t let me down Wisconsin.

So sticky, so rauchey.

Unplugged Smoke on the Porter
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States
American Porter | 6.10% ABV

Let me start by saying that every. single. beer. In this unplugged series has been amazing. Seriously. I will also qualify that with the fact that this beer IS AMAZING, but I absolutely did not enjoy it. How is this possible? Well, did you ever see Tree of Life, and you know something incredible is going on but you just refuse to embrace the artistry and amazing deliberate moves set forth. Enough sophistry, is it good? Yes, but not to me. This is not to say that people are “wrong” if they enjoy this. I just cannot stand smoke in my beers unless it they buttress the balustrade with some elaborate railings. So the base beer is amazing, if you can breathe through the smoke and inhale into blankets like that movie The Negotiator, you’ll survive.

I guess I just don’t like my amazing porter tasting like beer jerky [sic] anymore than I would cure a delicious cut of meat with a porter. “I WOULD!” the masses resoundingly announce. Well, intersubjectivity rules again. Some people dress in Furry suits and dome one another up, I am not saying it is wrong, my intercourse is just less elaborate.

The Verdict: This is a great base beer, amazing taste, very drinkable, clean, on to style, great chocolate and slight mocha wash, if you can somehow ignore the HUGE smoke presence, another win for New Glarus.

There are some bad ass elements going on in this beer, but you aren't sure if they should be combined.


Arcadia Bourbon Barrel Aged Shipwreck Porter, For When Your Life is a Total Shipwreck

So you take a porter, completely rape the style and boost it to a staggering 12% abv and then put it in a bourbon barrel and the beer nerd kids get all half chub, then you add some wax to it and the beerection is so hard that a kitten’s claws couldn’t scratch it.

When this thing breaches your hull, you're going down.

Man, this beer was a huge pain in the ass to open. They went for the 6 coats of wax option and I sure worked up a hunger for 360 calories of beer after going through that shit. IRREGARDLESS, notwithstamping the formgoing, the beer-

Arcadia BA Shipwreck Porter, 12% abv, Baltic Porter

A: Ah imperial porters, always a hazy venn diagram for beer nerds to debate about Imperial Stouts and other very pressing style classification issues. This has a nice water inkiness that produces a night frothy mocha head, but I’ve definitely heard this one before, more specifically it is a porter through and through in body and spirit. It is candid in a “did the neighbors see us through the window” sort of fashion. Straight up porter blood, no B’s and C’s.

For some people, barrel aged porters complete them, these people need an ottervention.

S: The nose of this beer has a nice toffee and brown sugar note to it that reminds me of a honey ham glaze with a nice oaky finish. The chocolate dallies in like a fat kid in PE class, but eventually makes it there. Very nice smell to it and I sure wish I landed more than just one of these but, then again, I have enough to take down as is.

T: This has a fantastic initial sweetness like a butterscotch kiss from See’s Candy, a nice boozy heat to the middle, and then a gentle chocolate coffee finish as a nightcap to the sip. I am liking this style more and more ever since Hill Farmstead went and fucked my world up with Birth of Tragedy, but this is an amiable substitute. As a side note, I paired this with a tuna melt and the two parties could not be reconciled, it tasted like shit all the way through on both sides like a Family Law case. So, dont pair this with fish, is what I am saying, or maybe don’t get divorced, I GUESS.

Sometimes just a little barrel aging is all it takes to turn that liverfrown upside down.

M: The thing I love about Imperial Porters is that you know exactly what you are getting: a ton of flavor and very mild filling and coating on the interior surfaces. That’s a Home Depot joke for all the painting contractors. Moreover, this beer washes clean and after just 12oz you start feeling it and watching iCarly seems like an acceptable thing to do.

D: For the huge bourbon presence and sweetness, this beer still gets a high marking in drinkability for its versatility, small format, and sheer deliciousness index. I would recommend giving this to a sorority girl and shaking your head ruefully when her palate rejects it forthright. This is a gentleman’s drink, to be consumed on boat decks with passing ironic references to the title. Again, BA imperial porters aren’t all over the place so this is a great one to spread around.

Some people think imperial porters are a weak substitute for the real ultra kush imperial stouts. I see them as something altogether different.

Narrative: Devin Worthington threw his back out at work. Well, to be more specific, he was reaching for a Payday in the vending machine and torqued his C-2 vertebrae, but that’s splitting hairs. After the first two days of watching endless daytime dramas and Court TV he began on a new venture: shipbuilding, in bottles. At first glance, the old impossible bottle schtick seemed like something you’d see in a glass case next to a wooden wolf carving or perhaps a beanie baby collection in a finely appointed trailer. However, his new passion called for a tiny nautical lifestyle and he put a pot of Progresso clam chowder on the stove to celebrate this ambitious undertaking. The manuals set forth the traditional mast raising technique from inside the bottle, but fuck that, Devin wasn’t some land loving labia, he wanted the real deal: mini-long handed tools. The epoxy got all over the inside of the bottle and his expensive tools proved as useless as his disability checks. When he sobbed over breaking a tiny balsawood mast, he knew his life was the real shipwreck.


Hill Farmstead The Birth of Tragedy, Apollonian vs Dionysian and Everyone getting Twisted

Thus Spoke Aleathurstra

Ok so what’s the deal with this asshole? Well it’s the imperial version of an already badass porter, Twilight of the Idols. It is named after a Nietzsche work, it has bourbon, coffee, and a nice alcoholic heat to it. It’s like they read my diary.

Hill Farmstead Birth of Tragedy, 11% abv, Imperial Porter aged in bourbon barrels

A: The appearance has that classic imperial porter sheen to it, like the coat of an alcoholic panda bear. Black and slick in all the right places, it beckons to slippery asphalt and car crashes that New Englanders no doubt survived in obtaining this succulent potation. As a side note, my bottle had hardly any cabronation, wah wah, here comes the wahhhmbulance ready to pick some nits.

Ok ok, bourbon barrel aged porter, let's settle down.

S: This has a crazy powerful bouquet that smells like melted chocolate, toffee, boozy vanilla extract, and a mild hint of bourbon heat. There is a sweetness that is perfectly balanced by mild alcoholic heat, just like your old bus driver.

T: This is an incredible porter and I know that I ride this brewery’s jock like its jock will soon be discontinued, but it’s really that good. Top 5 porter and guess what, one of the other spots is held by, that’s right Barrel Aged Everett. I can’t get over this brewery, like the haughty 14 year old girl, who just wont accept that her 22 year old boyfriend wasn’t really in love with her. Ok so, it has a nice sweetness that enters and has a set allowing the alcohol waft to permeate and suddenly you forget that you are at a drive in, then a mild coffee pick me up before the bourbon mellows it all out. Just ridiculously pleasant, koala foot massage pleasant.

Just. Want. More Sick Porters.

M: It is thin, like a porter should be, no fat ass imperial stouts up in this mix. It is just light and coats just enough to be rewarding but then hammers its point home. The alcohol is like a stage director in all black watching every movement, making sure that the pilgrim chocolate kids dont miss their entry cues. Holy mixed metaphors.

D: This is incredibly drinkable, I am trying to tame myself from powering through the entire 500ml bottle with little success. It is thin, hot, and sweet, oh wait here’s a patently obvious female entendre. Nope, keeping it classy here. It is totally drinkable and I wish it came in sick sixers or at least tall boys to take up to the lake. PSYCHE. This beer is meant for hearths and post skiing discussions, luge comparisons and other highbrow Vermontean prose.

Do want more.

Narrative: “Existing within the framework entitles you to undeserved, awkward sexual interactions. That is the nature of a collegiate degree” the professor boomed to the teeming auditorium. His teaching methods were unorthodox but shattered the line between biology, psychology, and will to power. “You see, this is the only time that your biological willing will be in comport with the acquiescence with your biological counterpart.” Several students shifted in their chairs and looked left and right, largely Asians and Latter Day Saints. “The supple and demean curve hits its apex at precisely 20 years of age. It is at that age that alcohol enters a golden period of divine inspiration of inhibition where each person may assert the fulfillment of the Dionysian condition while still feeling confident in the missteps guided by the Apollonian age. You will have sex, it will be terrible, but it will be compulsory.” A scandinavian girl had seen enough and left promptly. “You see, all of dark willing is urging, and that is controlled ultimately by a tempering of the passions, and 20 years old is the exact age when both sides meet in a murky confrontation of rationalized bad decisions. It is in this moment that you will be the most alive, the most willing, and consequently the most powerful. You will never receive as much affection, as easily, as everlastingly as this year of your life my college juniors.” The student body began to look left and right with much trepidation and embarrassment. As much as his homework made little sense, the handjobs were rough and undeserved, the kisses pounding and syncopated. It would take the purchase of a Dodge Challenger and countless dates to recapture the ethos that was ejaculated into the air of that auditorium that day. “Only then, will you all become ubermensch. Now, go make out.” Class dismissed.