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Three Floyds/Struise/Mikkeller/Surly Baller Stout, This Stout is Blended too Hard to be Ballin on a Budget

Oh shit, the Voltron of baller ass beers,l a blend of: Black Albert, Darkness, Dark Lord, and Beer Geek Brunch. I will let you ruminate on the potential for a moment. Alright. Let’s get this show on the road.

This beer -BALs so hard, but first barrels gotta find me.

Three Floyds Baller Stout, Russian Imperial Stout, 13.8% abv

A: It has a bit of a wateriness to the pour that doesn’t really blow me away given the all start lineup of dark potations blended. The Darklord alone should be enough to consume the world, but it isn’t necessarily bad as a result. For the composition of those 4 beasts to create something with the coating of gentle Czar Jack, the result is anomalous. The carbonation is fantastic and clings to the glass with Ellis Island desperation. The color of the foam is dead on Dockers’ khakis, my favorite Mervyn’s foam selection.

WAIT. Darkness. Dark Lord, Black Albert. Beer Geek Brunch? I see what you did thar.

S: The smell has a nice coffee roast with a bit of an oakiness popping in here and there, however, the wheelies are popped by the chocolate and sweetness. I can only assume that Darklord and Darkness teamed up to whip the other two rapscallions into shape. The brownie batter smell lingers until a nice espresso element sutures the wound and the smell is done. Pretty impressive really, don’t know what haters hate.

T: The sweetness has a great interplay with the coffee element and the result is a bitter upfront port character that is not altogether chocolate, but not just roasted malts either. It is funny how each beer contributed a different element to the final product, there’s the obvious sweetness from the Darklord that is faint, a nice coffee from Beer Geek Brunch, some roasted malts from Darkness, and a nice charred oakiness from Black Albert. No falacy by composition here, just a solid stout, BALLER EVEN.

Combining these beers has showed me something that I knew about myself all along. Just like Uncel Dolan.

M: The mouthfeel is surprisingly light given the composition of the 4 knuckleheads involved. Notwithstanding, I feel that it is a more original product as a result. I don’t enjoy this more than any one of the parts involved, but it’s kinda like a janky ass Voltron. It might even be Go-Bot status. But even the sorriest Transformer like Nightscream or Cosmos is still a Transformer, that’s pretty bad ass.

D: The individual beers involved, Black Albert excepted, aren’t exceptionally drinkable, but strangely, this beer is splishy splashy and drinkable. The coating isn’t intense and as a result the synthetic oil burns cooler. I don’t know who was submarining the efforts to make this thinner and easier to drink but, I would say that this is the greatest aspect of the synergy between the elements. I don’t know that I will put this in my water bottle before I get into some sick ass MMA, but it’s pretty breezy and enjoyable for a gigantic stout. This beer has me feeling all like a Newport Slims advertisement up in this mix.

RISE MY BARREL AGED ARMY.

Narrative: Metroplex was a shitty Transformer and he knew it. Sure, Transformed he was a bad ass robot that would make Gundam quiver. But he “disguised” himself as an entire city block. The rest of the Decepticons just kinda sighed robot sighs and shrugged their massive robotic shoulders when Metroplex would dissassemble himself into a Jiffylube, Chick-Fil-A, Planned Parenthood, and Ju Jitsu Studio. “Starscream, please can you just, tell him it is painfully obvious, no one is fooled, literally not even the blind Transformer Brailzor is fooled by his transformation.” Deep down Metroplex had feelings too. He knew that the disguise was shitty and inoperable. The Planned Parenthood was always closed and the Ju Jitsu studio just had a guy who watched a ton of Affliction tapes but, deep down he had spirit. The elements that composted his false city were bad ass in their own right, even if assembled it was an underwhelming display of power. “So then Megatron was all like Metroplex? More like METROSEX! Oh, oh, didn’t see you standing there Metro, uh, we were just-” Metroplex ran to the lower chambers of the elaborate robot facility and buried his face in his iridium pillow. “THEY DON’T GET YOU! NO ONE GETS YOU!” he cried his autotuned sobs into his comforter while his My Chemical Robomance poster looked on ruefully.

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Three Floyd’s Behemoth Barleywine, She Works Hard at Eating Well, That’s Why I Love Her

This is a fav. amongst the midwest kids who like their barleywines big, boozy, and slutty. Finally a barleywine more epickz than the Soulja Boy v. Ice T conflict.

Behemoth is one of my least favorite Final Fantasy monsters. Such an asshole.

Here, enjoy some Zozo Behemoth music while you read this:

Three Floyds Behemoth Barleywine, 10.5% abv

A: The appearance looks like a malty double ipa with a faint gold but notes of deep honey. There’s some wispy lacing and hydrophilic foaminess, and, like a Lewis Black set, it burns itself out pretty quickly and mellows.

Deer god this has a lot of hops for a barleywine, as true today as when it was written.

S: The smell is that of a malty east coast IPA, oh how they love those balanced profiles. This seems like a quintessential American Barleywine, which is basically to say that it smells like a “triple” IPA. I know that category is still in vogue but that is basically what is going on here. There’s a huge sweetness and honey backing to the nose with a really mild vanilla but seriously, it’s citrus hops through and through, C-word hops: Chinook, Cascade, Cetc.

T: The taste has a sweet malty beginning like an unglazed cinnamon roll that quickly turns bitter and rolls into conifer Christmas tree sale extravaganza. The label promised “caramel malt notes” which admittedly are accounted for, but that’s like saying that a car has a powerful v8 engine and fail to mention that it is connected to a motorhome. I am not saying this is a bad beer, but it just has too much emotional baggage to be worth dealing with its massive malty rack. You weigh your options.

Not sure if above image is relevant.

M: The mouthfeel is sticky and sweet that maintains that same clinginess analogy from the last section, but this time it imparts a lasting sticky pine sap taste along the gumline that reminds me of when I would taste my hands after climbing trees. Whatever, you had a childhood once too, stop looking at me like I’m some deviant tree taster.

D: I guess this could range from “yeah fucking right” to “wow, that’s 10.5% abv? I will have another.” I guess it all comes down to how little you care for your liver or seeing the sun rise. If you want to see those majestic ruby pillars caress the sky and coax a new day of illumination, then stick to lagers, this will drill you like a BP exec. Except this beer won’t apologize. Overall I would say it is unbalanced, hoppy, aggressive and might get better with age, just like BUCKY O’ HARE (first Bucky O’ Hare site reference.)

This beer is ambitious but just a bit off the mark.

Narrative: Behe Mot was just an archaic monster trying to adapt to a changing world of sin. He rented a modest condo in Ithaca to embrace his bulging grotesque frame, and draped himself in clothes from Charlotte Rousse so no one would think twice. The truth was that terrorizing the vices out of people was a whole different game since the Book of Job. It was the pulpit of irony that Behe Mot was originally created as a scourge for questioning God because, as he stood in line for the Cinnabon, he himself questioned the existence of a God. The extra dollar for nuts and frosting seems hateful and punitive in a way the Hebrews never envisioned. For the mountains bear food for him, and all the beasts of the field play there, but no one is down to fuck old Behe Mot. At least leviathan would land some of that sweet sea tang, poor Mr. Mot had a life of fatal obscurity, for only God could release him from the hell that was an upstate New York food court.

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Three Floyd’s Dreadnaught, Double IPA, Maybe She Wont, but then Again Maybe She Wiiiiilllllllll-

She dreads me. She Dreadsmenaught. But then again maybe she wiiiillll....

Dreadnaught IPA, Three Floyds, 9.5% abv

A: It has a bright cloudy tangerine and orange haziness to it, lots of foam with huge carbonation. The lacing is thin but the whole presentation is great. It is a top 100 gem and I want to to be not as good as it is, but damnit, it’s another non-California DIPA that just owns.

Three Floyd's. I li....I liii-....ILIKEYOUALUT.

S: It reeks of huge grapefruit and tangelo notes, some mild orange rind dryness, and almost zero herbal aspects to it. I have given this to sceptical west coast friends and after their facial reconstructions from hop assault, they were into it. Albeit horribly scarred.

T: The taste almost directly mirrors the smell, which is surprisingly rare in IPAs this big and complex. It has that great juiciness of Sculpin, orange notes, a strange tartness similar to grapefruit or unripe tangerines. This is incredibly refreshing and the abv sneaks in like a Trojan horse. THAT’S NOT THE ONLY TROJAN THAT SNEAKS IN IN THE MIDWES- just kidding they don’t use birth control, you’ve seen their kids right? Ok cool.

You think its just gonna be a standard balanced IPA affair, then it rolls all hard on your bitchass.

M: The mouthfeel is a bit bigger than the standard DIPA but it doesn’t toe into that disappointing maharaja range with excessive coating and chewing. This beer has an exceptional balance, but then beats your ass with hop cones. A strange note that needs commenting upon is how good the bubbles feel. They somehow hit an exceptional attenuation/carbonation level. Three Floyds consistently delivers exceptional products and this one delivers. Not trying to sound all tough, FINE I LIKE THE BUBBLES OK.

D: This is clearly exceptionally drinkable but the lack of availability, price point, and high-ish abv seems to draw away from the universal applicability of this beer. It is a world class but it as far as the epic DIPA class goes it is certainly not best in show. Overall, a great beer and the Midwest has a viable answer to the west coast giants.

Another DIPA that doesn't make distribution to California, what a tease.

Narratives: Shire Grassmuggins was not an exceptional piece of feudalism. It got exceptional amounts of rain and had incredible turnip yields, given the time and labor constrictions. Serfdom never exactly produced the most diligent workers, but, as far as 13th century economies went, Grassmuggins was a solid performer in a bull market. The workers were diligent and took religious holidays often, but the field was almost conscious of its need for crop rotation. The crude tools yielded amazing produce but the soil called out for minor improvements. The wind through the reeds seemed to scream to the peasants for basic nitrates through fertilization. Alas, this shire must let its latent glory remain unknown to other regio

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Three Floyd’s Pride and Joy, Not sure if false advertising.

It's not exactly prideful, but it can lead to mild joy.

This beer is incredibly tame and sessionable, like how I can watch like 51 episodes of Millionaire Matchmaker in a row and feel all shitty about myself and need to make up something that I did over the weekend on Monday. It has a nice hoppy pine presence that is balanced with the light cracker taste from the malt. They should sell these in 3L bottles, my single bottle was gone almost immediately, no complaints though, BREWS GONNA GET DRILLED, that’s how it goes in the wasteland. The little peppery citrus notes and great for sipping in a paper bag near your local YMCA.

This is a good beer. Picture unrelated.

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Three Floyd’s Bourbon Barrel Vanilla Bean Aged Dark Lord, The Hnngs are substantial

Even while sweet and vanilla, this is still the darkest of lords.

Three Floyd’s Vanilla Aged Dark Lord, 15% abv Imperial Stout

A: The appearance is a deep murky dark brown with wispy light carbonation, but again, I didn’t obtain this in the most legitimate manner, so that likely has something to do with it. The booziness it huge and coats in clear angry strands.

S: There is an incredible vanilla sweetness like a fresh macaroon or vanilla frap. Amazing chocolate and coffee notes support the back end, there’s a waft of huge heat to this that stings the nostrils with a deep heat.

This picture is the complete opposite of Vanilla Dark Lord: smooth, hot, sweet, interesting.

T: The initial taste is incredibly sweet with intense vanilla. The vanilla integrates seamlessly and the sweetness isn’t cloying like the normal Darklord. It is a complete improvement on the old formula. Why in the world that they don’t bottle this is beyond me. There is an amazing coffee and burnt chocolate taste to this beer that just lingers on and on. It like a kiss from an eskimo, who somehow has coffee and chocolate with him.

M: The mouthfeel is like the old school Darklord with an intense heat to it, sticky coating, and lasting sweetness that inherits your mouth in fee simple. It isn’t going anywhere any time soon. This is a good thing since the bold mouthfeel is incredible and welcome just nestled in my molars. My dentist doesn’t approve but HE IS NOT THE BOSS OF ME.

You just wish every beer could be like this beer.

D: Oddly, for a crazy 15% abv stout, this is somehow drinkable. I wish that I had a huge serving of this amazing rare beer, but I dont have the means to perpetually land this crazy beast. I love the sweet heat of this and can only look at Vanilla Darklord as he speeds away with his hand pressed against the back window of the stationwagon as it speeds away, away from my tiny heart.

Narrative: I can’t even write a narrative because my maltboner is at full attenuation. This is insanely good and top 10 stout for sures.

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Zombie Dust, 3 Floyd’s, It’s like 7th grade, only drunker

Oh shit Pale Ales just got real

Umbrella Corp's Finest Brew, from Raccoon City Brew Co.

3 Floyd’s Zombie Dust, 6.2% Pale Ale

A: There’s not a lot of pale in this pale ale, its more a mellow deep gold, the type you buy from Target, let’s call it a locket for a 6th grade amorous affair. Wait, got a little Corneille on you there, but for cereal, it is radiant and at the same time dull. A precise but bent blade with a nice fluffy head for dicing through mixed metaphors. It disappears and you wonder where it went like that show My Brother and Me. Seriously.

S: If this is a pale ale, then I don’t know what I will do when the zombies actually come because apparently shit is about to get hoppy very quickly. The bouquet is redolent of trillium and ivy, deep grassy notes, citrus candles from bath and body works, and grammies’ bathroom. There’s a ton of citra and galaxy hops going on, which makes me wonder if this can follow through with a taste haymaker. Sure that UFC fighter at the bar can make pretty eyes with his sweet cauliflower ears but, what will he do with his jagged dental-insurance-free smile?

T: Well the citrus is still there and the grapefruit is still very pleasant, but in a more Savage Garden listening level. I don’t get an intense alcoholic waft or a drying hoppy censure but wow, it just tastes incredibly and has such a refreshing waft to it. The juiciness just sits and stews for a moment on the palate and makes this beer seem far bigger than the britches index would dictate. I have to exercise active restraint not to swallow this entire glass with my fraternity number being called overhead like a resplendent debasing glottal fricative. SHOUTING AND LOUD NOISES.

M: It is strange because this allegedly isn’t an IPA, ok fine, I will grant you that, it is light and fun, like times with Husky Scampers in the woodshed, but it feels like it knows something that I do not. There’s just way, way too much flavor taking place for the simplicity of the canvas presented. It is minimalist like a 1960’s Carrera 911, but performs so well. It is fitting that the serving size is a 6 pack because I could see myself powering through this like an undead army.

D: If this is what we are supposed to drink when the zombie apocalypse comes, then humanity is basically in the palm of Raccoon City and Umbrella Corp. To say that this is drinkable is a wild understatement. This beer exists as a thin, wispy flavor delivery apparatus of German engineering. Not a single part of this hop buffalo is wasted and these zombie native americans also are enamored with shiny things, namely the sweet succor of perfectly executed hops. The question everyone will be asking: Does this take the crown from Hoppy Birthday, the best Pale Ale ever made? Not quite, now now, quiet down. It is good, fantastic even, but there is a mild Gose saltiness in the finish and it just doesn’t have the brightness that a Hoppy Birthday growler has. I will allow you all to file out to confront your Midwestern pals with this grave news. AND THE PUNS KEEP ON COMIN-

Narrative: The shells kept slipping out of Avery’s hands while she crouched in the desolate remains of what used to be the West Side Pavilions shopping center. “God has it only been 23 days?” she wondered to herself as she taped two bullpup clips together and deftly loaded them into her P2000. “It seems like just yesterday I was a mild mannered Korean girl studying for some irrelevant AP tests and now, here I am, killing the undead and fighting off the hopocalypse.” Some would later opine that the Bud-Miller-Coors triumvirate caused the mass hysteria and outbreak but, truthfully, it was the hop growers. Avery stared out of the slats of what used to be an Orange Julius, “shit, the vines, they’re moving like kudzu towards the northwest parking lot,” and spun a .45 magnum round in classic fashion. Those scientists who had sought to save the world with their ivory tower of alpha acids had now created hops so potent, people were completely unaware that they were becoming drunk, undead even. They roamed the earth, ravaging Taco Bells and Del Tacos, mostly. When those were depleted, even loud Linkin Park music could not stop their ravenous hunger. The hops had caused this, and the hops would end this. “AVERY!” her stringent father called from the balcony of the food court in some apparent type of boiled-down reconciliation. After 90 minutes of interaction, her harsh abrasive botanist father became a rounded character, realized that she needed her own space, and together, through their differences, music and botany or some shit, realized how to poison the hop plant and save everyone. But she still had to practice violin and go to UC Irvine. Or some shit.

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Three Floyd’s Gumball Head, Belgian Pale Ale, The Midwest Starts Big Leaguing

Getting some GumballHead, get get getting some-

3 floyds Gumball head Belgian Pale Ale, Indiana Starts Socking Fools.

A: super thin lager clarity, bright yellow gold, nice foamy carbonation, no lacing. It isn’t anything to write home about, but neither was that ornate horse that toppled the walls so lovingly crafted by Poseidon. Both involve epic things.

S: It smells of pine and orange, some lemon zest, but not in a huge hoppy DIPA/IPA way, more understated. It feels like someone who knows a good deal about hops but references then so expertly that the underlying experience is presented clearly.

T: very mellow citrus notes, quick hop finish, super refreshing, very well done. There is a light hoppy presence that is almost a garnish to the sweet refreshing notes at the outside of the taste. The final amazing closer is the cucumber crispness finish, this beer just screams summertime. Which is strange because I usually imagine summertime in Indiana as being muggy, boring, and not delicious. Paradoxes abound.

M: Just fantastic, especially for a cross-over style. They seemed to take a big risk by compromising the smallest elements, resulting in a huge payoff. In reality, they need to only sell these in growlers because that is the reasonably demanded service size of this refreshing beer.

D: This makes me hate the Midwest even further. It is strictly unfair that a place without a beach, without any coastal weather would make something with this level of refreshment. I don’t sit around reading Sherpa books, I don’t go rotating city crops in urban los angeles, because I KNOW MY PLACE. It just is not fair that Indiana makes a beer like this and then withholds it from the west coast. It is akin to the aesthetics of Mormons. Patent base denial.

Narrative: Parents were a little skeptical of Gumbalicitus, a shiny new fangled prescription drug for unruly Midwestern children. Settlers used to call it wind sickness, but they soon learned that it was an irascible desire to leave locations of concentrated boredom. That is, until this new drug arrived, served in 12oz doses, the highly enjoyable cocktail drug apparently makes even the flattest, most agricultural areas completely tolerable. Iowa parents noted that their students even volunteered to stay in-state upon being prescribed this barbituate calming drug. Side-effects include narcolepsy, contentment, desires to attend comicons, Xbox live subscriptions, and consumption of Hot Pockets. Gumbalicitus is only to be provided to those in need. Anyone living within 90 miles of the Pacific Ocean should not take this drug as it may result in an endorphine overload, burning out the neural cortex. SHIPPING IS STRICTLY DISALLOWED TO CALIFORNIA.