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GABF Gold Medal Winning Church Brew Works Heini’s Hooch, Draft Only Gold Review, for the Haters.

Alright so I have seen this listed in a variety of ways but I am going to straight up call this what it is: an old ale. Beer sites be all confused but having had it, it steps directly in line with Cuir and 2010 BA Decadence in that proud lineage. I saw this win the Gold at the GABF in a style that I feel is wildly underrated. Most people love stouts and will have a soft spot for BA English Barleywines and foolishly overlook the Old Ale genre, you need to get on this grizzy.

This is that straight up clear growler magic. Malts telling the world that they dare light to try and skunk them. Posting up so hard.

Church Brew Works
Pennsylvania, United States
American Strong Ale | 10.50% ABV

A: Well it is safe to say that this beer will not be winning any beauty contests, but come on, if you were made in a lab with a ton of dark caramel malts, boiled into a sticky medium, then put in a barrel for months, would you be so fucking handsome? I didn’t think so. It had moderate lacing and low carbonation but part of that is Fedex’s fault for leaking this all over the place. Negligent ass handlers. In fact, I had to drive all the way into East LA and go to the facility and tell them that this was a Balsamic Reduction because they were tragically going to throw this away. Jeez louise. The murky brown notes are dirty but inviting like a 1989 Ford Probe.

It is always unacceptable to taunt your friends for drinking Old Ales. Dortmunders yes, but never old ales.

S: Holy sweet decadence, this beer goes ham on the olfactory front and leads with a pinch of light char, some caramel, toastiness woodiness, a deep bourbon character similar to Eagle Rare or 4 Roses, if you are into that shit. There is also a light mallow foam and a vanilla on the backend, ya feel me?

T: This has a nice oaky opening that gives way to some sweet and sticky notes, light caramel wrapped in a sort of almond nuttiness. The finish lingers for a long time with a deep fig and booziness that is a bit hot on the palate but not overly ethanol up in this bitch. Maybe it is the carb lacking, but it seems like such a gentle beast like Pete’s Dragon, roasting apples for you and shit, boozy and yet tame.

Sipping on that high ave smoky oak gets you straight baked.

M: This is sticky but gives way to a lingering dryness from the booze and the oak so it gives with one hand and takes with the other, like a skilled escort, badumtish. The dryness from the oak imparts this desire to take another sip right away so this 2 Liter was merked pretty quickly NOT JUST BY ME THIS TIME THOUGH. I enjoy the sticky sweetness that is kept in check by a domineering ass patriarch figure that is the wood, euphemisms all over the place.

D: This is strangely drinkable with a big caveat, FOR THE STYLE. I mean if you pop this open at a cookout and expect a bunch of backslapping and people chugging it in a bounce house, you are in for disappointment. And diarrhea. This is a nice sipper but you can sip A LOT OF IT. I technically COULD finish this entire growler, which is something not to be attempted with most Old Ales. It is like how I technically can eat an entire P’zone, but god damn does my body make me pay for it. Never before has dialysis been so classy and affordable.

When you pop open 2 liters of draft only Old Ale, your face be like.

Narrative: “Ok well when you step in, watch out for the drawbridge,” Mrs. Olson noted as she led the social worker into the expansive parlor. The entire framework from floorboard to crown molding was covered in complex K’Nex contraptions and devices. “Honey…the lady from Adult Protective Services is here to see you sweetie…” Mrs. Olson noted to her father and he looked up from a multicolored carousel and frowned upon being disturbed from his work. “Hello Mortimer, my name is Janice and I am here to check up on you since none of your other friends or relatives have heard from you” she trailed off as she saw a complicated network pulleys and buckets, carrying the possession of the old man from room to room. It was ingenious and colorful, pleasant and relaxing at the same time. The majestic pieces clicked in uniformity and brought Mortimer a plate of Vanilla Wafers and remained in silence, frowning at the County employee. “Mr. Olson, do you…do you want to come with me? This seems like no way for a man of your years to live.” Mortimer Olson was capricious, easy going, but more than all of that, he was complex to the core. You could enjoy a roller coaster demonstration with him while eating a Werther’s Original, or you could fuck right off.

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Amon Amarth Ragnarok Porter, One of the Only Reasons to Move Out of Indiana

AAAmon, I worka 3 jobs mon, Oh, I'm sorry? In Living Color references not welcome here? Fine.

Amon Amarth Ragnarok, Porter 8.2% Abv

A: This has a deep watery coffee appearance to it with deep brown hues and a nice cool whip head with stained glass lacing. That shit cray.

S: It has an incredible hop presence which is basically to be expected from 3 Floyd’s they put hops in their children’s baby bottles. I dont get anything else, it’s pretty limited and not chocolatey or coffee as the appearance would suggest. Ho hum.

Looks like one thing, turns out to be another.

T: This tastes like a black ipa with a little bit of coffee to it. I call shenanigans, this isn’t a porter at all. Here I was, innocently hoodwinked into drinking what I thought would be an amazing chocolate funland, and I end up in the grass mowing down herbal goodness. It isn’t exactly bad, but I can’t help but feel like orphan dreams smashed on the rocks around December 25th.

M: The mouthfeel is thin and herbal with a lingering dryness (read: Just like a fucking IPA.) It doesn’t coat that well, which I guess is good since I dont feel like wiping pine cones off of my teeth, at least not when I was expecting on holding Gene Wilder’s hand into a magnificent candy paradise. This isn’t bad but it is just unexpected. I went to see Drive expecting a rom-com and, well, just go see that shit and you’ll understand.

Some things, despite their packaging, have underlying truths.

D: For a double IPA, this has a great drinkability and, even with the huge abv, this is plenty sessionable. However, I just feel so badly misled that I cant with an honest conscience tell you that I would seek this out and buy it again. These excuses from the Porter only go so far, it needs to come out of the hop closet and declare that it truly is. Embrace the cones.

Narrative: Chase Franci applied make up to his face assiduously and prepared for his big speech. “I can’t keep this up forever, come on Chance, just tell Mr. Walters the truth!” Just as he was uttering these thoughts to himself, Mr. Walters’s assistant burst in and announced “Mr. Walters will see you in 5 minutes, good luck.” The company internal minority promotion initiative seemed like a smart enough idea: promote diversity, engender a core nucleus of new ideas and add altering viewpoints to the corporate board. This would be all well and good but Chase was as white as the convergence of the UV spectrum. He pushed his make up materials into his briefcase and exited the corporate bathroom with a cool, calm poise as he strode down past the cubicles. Chase’s co-workers stared agape at the patently offensive racist makeup that he had just applied. Chase flicked a dab of shoepolish off of his lapel and smiled big, the look of an alter ego that was shooting up the corporate ladder. Chase strode into Mr. Walters’s office and declared “wazzzzupppppp!” Mr. Walters just sat there for a moment wondering, “what in the name of God did Chase think that he was doing? Surely he couldn’t have actually believed that blackening his face like a silent movie character would suffice to earn him a spot on the- actually, that is a pretty bold move.” Mr. Walters took out a corporate checkbook and immediately wrote him out a bonus before Chase could utter another cliched phrase. Mr. Walters smiled and handed chase a check, payment for being a complete fraud, “OH SNAP! THAT IS SOME SERIOUS CHEDDAR!” Chase exclaimed as his now-subordinates shook their heads in disbelief.