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:
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.
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.
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?
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.