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What if DDB Reviewed Another 3 Holy Mountain Beers, OH WAIT LOOK AT THIS

If Sante Adairius is the clear west coast analogue to Hill Farmstead, then Holy Mountain must certainly hold that banner for the PnW.  Some pundits will chime in and rattle my cage yelling about Upright, or if they suffered a recent head injury, Commons.  Upright is phenomenal and I intend on seeking out more of their continually awesome beers, but Holy Mountain is up to something…else.

This consistently awesome farmhouse/wild purveyor leaks out hot lil 300 bottle release gems on the regular, and locals selfishly drink them: WHAT THE HELL IS THAT ALL ABOUT?  Let’s catch up with them to see if things are still clipping along at the same high quality tenor from when we last checked in with them.

hm1

Misere Au Borinage

So this is a wheat grisette, foudre fermented with mixed cultures and then foudre aged.  I will allow your tumescence to subside before I continue.  If you walk into this thinking it is some Clara Chanel knock-off, you can have a seat and wait for the complexity of this gristy gem to set in.  This is at its core a table biere with a lightly lactic tartness, and this creamy brie spread to the coating that is endlessly fulfilling.  There is a jazz apple rind dryness to the light acidity that makes this frustratingly crushable, but the ample carb serves as a roadblock to all out decimation.  If you liked Lucybelle, you will love this.  It takes the accessible character and clean profile of Clara and adds depth and cheesy layers.  A lemongrass lingers on the bitter zones and begs for another sip like when you eat hot Cheetos and the only way to complete the flavor profile is with yet another handful of fiery decadence.

Good lawd.

hm4

Witchfinder

How ironic that a beer named Witchfinder tastes like a jankier version of Dorothy. Perhaps in this beer were aged in a Tin Man it would have more depth or nuance to speak of.  This was a let down in the scope of a brewery with an insane pedigree, that is to say, still above-average.  When you reach the point that you are a let down because the rest of your catalog is so damn good, you can cop that Tesla knowing your legacy is secure.  This is soft, boring, bitter, pilsner malts and some fucking Saaz. I don’t know what you were expecting.  Maybe you came in hoping for the Dry Hopped Dupont Cuvee and left clutching your ticket stub harder than when you saw MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING 2.

It is vegetal and crackery, it is not poorly made nor is it a benchmark of anything that already exists, it just isn’t that good.  You can seek out a Jester King Noble King and do far better without bruising your areolas from hop twisting.

BUT HANG ON:

hm2

Clarette

This right here though, this is some next level.  Rose stones in the bezel lookin like framboises. If last year’s show stopper was Barrel 7, this is the new hotness that essentially no one knew about except those covetous locals who smashed all of these low key and saved Clarette in their phones as a different name.  Side chick status to what should be a dime piece fruitbae.  This is a wild ale with cherries and raspberries done in an way that I have never encountered.  There is this crispness like sparkling mineral water added to Hommage.  It has the acidity and berry profile that is all skins, zero sugars left, depleted in that fantastic Appreciation way, but date I say, even better.  This has a chewisness and frothiness to balance its more acidic endeavors and in that way is akin to Casey Blackberry Cut in that it demonstrates about depth and restaint, like a well endowed berry burster that knows the inner staves of the tank all too well.

It’s almost a de facto punchline to tell you to seek out this marvelous 250 bottle release.  If you live and breathe in the Framboise realm, you will absolutely love this berry juicing, intensely dry Rose romp through the rose petals.  This is one of those must-obtain-for-completionist-sake bottles that you would be wholly negligent to overlook.

Also, have fun landing Clarette after this janky ass post.

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These Brewers Gonna Make Me Unleash the Dragon: Passionate Dragon. Happy Barrel Aged Beer Day.

First thing’s first, happy Barrel Aged Beer Day, bump this in your lonely cubicle:

So after the shockwaves of Fundamental Observation continue to reverberate. the sweatjoweled world continues to await the sophomore release from these young OC upstarts. You might remember when I went to the Bruery anniversary and called Passionate Dragon the best beer of the entire festival, even better than Fundamental Observation.  So I went into this already knowing what type of dragon fist lay in store. Does this hold up in bottled format? Is there logic attendant to the bottle? From zero to R. Kelly, how much passion are we talking about in International Passion Units (IPUs)?

ALL QUESTIONS WILL BE ANSWERED.

So much embarrassment to take low fstop photos like this outside of the home.  Such shame.

So much embarrassment to take low fstop photos like this outside of the home. Such shame.

“Passion and dragon fruit saison aged in wine barrels. In collaboration with Arizone Wilderness Brewing, this saison is brewed with passion fruit, dragon fruit, Centennial kumquats, Rosemary, fresh bay leaves, and White Sonora Wheat. It’s a mouthful, we know, but this beer showcases our shared passion to push craft beer forward.”

Alright at the outset you may be thinking:
“DDB you give other breweries a raft full of shit for using adjuncts in a saison, suddenly your homer instincts kick in and these guys get a fukn pass?”

Well, allow me to temper those objections by stating: this beer is fucking amazing.  If you want to add pink peppercorns each lovingly rubbed on the urethral tip of a BJCP master, then go for it, so long as the beer is amazing. I read the description and was like “oh god damn it” but then knew the incredible pedigree of Arizona Wilderness and the calm set in.  Those comforting chest pets to relieve anxiety.

First and foremost, the bottled version of this wasn’t as trubby and jammy in its tannic turbidity as the draft version.  It turns out, the bottled version is way fucking better.  If you wanted a slurry fruit mess, call Pizza Boy. The brewers elected to blend and allow the final version to ferment longer, giving it more of a nuanced barrel characater, less smuckers, more tannins, more structure, and this inimitable lingering bay leaf menthol added to the fruit that lasts and lasts underscoring the oak saturation.  For this reason, you don’t get the cliche MAGENTA OMFG that newmoney kids lose their shit over, tasting with their eyes pell mell.

These labels are still admittedly busy and obnoxious. Raygun nostalgia with like 9 diagrams, 500 words of text: too fucking much going on.

These labels are still admittedly busy and obnoxious. Raygun nostalgia with like 9 diagrams, 500 words of text: too fucking much going on.

Another note is that this beer is a full 1%  abv over the draft version and much much drier as a result.  The alcohol is seamlessly integrated into the fruit and barrel presence in a scary way.  Usually this dryness is accompanied with some sausage fingered acetic aeration, intense tartness.  That is not the case here, this beer bangs like Rockford Fosgate subs in a bandpass box but never gets too intense or acidic.  It is without comparison of recent memory, a single foot planted hard in the saison realm without letting monoculture emphasis denature the experience.

The taste never jumps completely to rely upon fruits like a crutch, nor does it expect the spices to bail them outta county either.  As a result you have a hardened saison criminal, who is a bit fruity from the time in captivity but in that hard way that you just have to respect.  In terms of analogues, this is less a saison and more of a Biere de Garde.  The whole affair drinks like a fruited, less acidic, cleaner Biere de Norma. Yes, I realize the implications of stating that something with this many ingredients is better than a Hill Farmstead beer, I stand by it.  The shit is like 2 tabs of Demerol that starts out normal enough and suddenly your face is being attacked by the sidewalk.  You be gripping parking meters tripping not an insubstantial number of balls, tryna make it out of this fruited farmhouse alive.

The beer itself is inversely good to the quality of this shitty pic.

The beer itself is inversely good to the quality of this shitty pic.

If you went to the Stone Anniversary/Sourfest and had the immeasurably shittier “YOUNG DRAGON” rest assured, this is a completely different beer that stomps out that squad until they turn the lights on.  The nose is a phrenetic Hungry Hungry Hippos match wherein kumquat and tropical fruits compete with oak and lingering saison esters to gobble up your white BALs with their wanting maws.

The mouthfeel initially has a Welch’s Passionfruit juice that serves as an opening band to warm things up for the main event when the dry tannic skins spit hot bars over a kumquat instrumental. Bay leaf is in the back providing bitter structure with sick beatboxing.

This sold out immediately online and there was some degree of chaos from a unilaterally reschedule sale, switched to a Sunday morning.  I can foresee the degree of butthurt being noteworthy once the reviews for the bottled version start pouring in.  The sweet punishment of success, an ambrosial delight endemic to the beer industry.

All said, I enjoyed this more than Fundamental Observation and this beer brings something I seldom encounter in items with this much taking place concurrently: pirouettes of vinous balance. If this isn’t in the DDB top 10 of 2015 I would be surprised, you would be remiss to skip this one as I can’t identify a clear analogue in recent memory.

Electric currant: currant saison.  These guys continue to load shells into that bullpup ambidextrous cellar

Electric currant: currant saison. These guys continue to load shells into that bullpup ambidextrous cellar, stoked to see if these guys can sustain success beyond these first two homeruns.

We shall see.

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PEACH PIT SHOOTOUT: Bruery vs. August Schell Peach Berliner Cagematch, Hottenroth vs. Starkeller FIGHT TO THE DEATH

The dog days of summer are upon us. Between oppressive temperatures and people steaming mad over DDB writing for other sites, neckbeard taints are getting braised like osso bucco this August. Let’s bring things down to a more temperate climate and review some fruited Berliners. Relax, have a capri sun, talk shit anonymously on old DDB and savor some sweet fruit juices. Let’s avoid inclement nutsack heat and embrace ice cold refreshing peach scrotums for a change.

KelleRoth Cuvee, MANDATORY

KelleRoth Cuvee, MANDATORY

Today we have a new upstart from Minnesota that I have high hopes for, and a Dickensian underdog from Placentia that I expect to be a sulfuric mess. Let’s squeeze them peaches until the juice runs down your leg.

August Schell Starkeller Peach

7.2% abv, fruited “berliner”

“Starkbier Berliner Weisse aged on Peaches. This strong Berliner Weisse was brewed with an extensive decoction mash schedule and fermented with an authentic mixed culture then aged it for nearly a year in our original 1936 cypress wood lagering tanks before 5,500 pounds of peaches were added for a four month, tertiary fermentation.

The Bruery Hottenroth with Peaches

3.7 % abv

mmmm such turbid clarity

mmmm such turbid clarity

The look of the Starkeller is a complete trub cake mess. It is almost like they tossed the top 85% and racked only the bottom yeast slurry, replete with peach tannins. When people first were ISO this beer I was like “here we go another Pizza Boy trainwreck” and held my breath for that Jamba Juice fruit fingering.

The Peach Hotty surprisingly has its shit completely together this time around and is nothing like the Mango hoarders only treat from last year. After the mango mess and the warning emails I prepared for the worst and then Bruery trolled the fuck out of me by making a beautiful beer with ample carb. OC breweries always pulling DDBs pants down and slapping them peaches. WHEN WILL I LEARN.

The nose on the starkeller is overwhelming peach purée, waves upon waves of not only peach blossom but the pithy fruit almost going to this autolyzed over-fruited/over-saturated level. It feels like the platonic form of Peach, upper case “P.” Emerging from the dogmatic berliner cave attempting to apprehend this stone fruit blast is too much truth to apprehend.

inb4 "nice groutwork u poor fuk"

inb4 “nice groutwork u poor fuk”

The hottenroth is nimble and presents a fantastic degree of peach but never overshadows the base beer, which is both awesome and atypical of Bruery to exhibit balance and poise in fruited wild ales. There is the lemon and brackish salinity of the base Hotty and then a Haribo peach ring and Orange jolly rancher blast acting in tandem and not screaming over one another like some Ann Coulter peach debate.

The mouthfeel of the Starkeller is creamy and frothy with a heft that coats layers upon layers of sticky sherwin williams peachy discharge. It is magnificent and almost too much at the same time, taking down a whole bottle of this is like binge watching Kurosawa films where the pure unbridled focus becomes draining in longer sessions. I wonder if the massive grist and pith of the fruit will metabolize down over time, but when enjoyed fresh it almost feels like Peach Bu with a 12 hour boil. It is berliner concentrate. It is a Denny’s soup at 3 am, fruit soup DISTILLED to a powerful new form.

The Hottenroth is less impressive in the mouthfeel and feels watery and insubstantial by contrast. Then again, it has HALF THE FUCKING ALCOHOL CONTENT.  Some might argue “hey, how about a 7.2% abv beer isn’t a berliner at all? How about that shit?”  Then Southampton would step in with their UBERLINER and the discussion would go off the rails.

#basicberliners

#basicberliners

Both seem to be coextensive poles of peach extremities. If you mixed the two you would have the flawless Fruit Megazord but both leave something wanting by themselves. The peach in the taste profile is present but the Hottenroth seems to embrace a berliner first while wearing a Peach carnation in its lapel so you can recognize it on the railway platform.
So what is the verdict between these two stoners? I think overall peach hottenroth is unquestionably the better beer overall and exhibits better balance and crushability. The starkeller is more “memorable” and extreme so if you have those palate widening inclinations, It will take you into its peach room of pain. They both trade at completely reasonable sub de Garde levels and are well worth your time, and knowing CA traders, they will probably fuqqqn extra away this delicious society only beer and MN traders give an equally low amount of fucks. Deals abound.

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This that Orviamo, the OVO, that SZN, this that new Tillamook Toronto @Sideprojectbrew @degardebrewing

Side Project and DeGarde both are underground germinating rhizomes from a distant alien being, spore technology sent back through the time continuum to alter the double helix of american wild ales as we know them.  Today they spacedock in careless abandon with ORVIAMO.

I remember safe houses down in Tillamook

I remember safe houses down in Tillamook

Both breweries arose around the same time and took palates by storm with small runs of fruited acidic beers that continue to captivate faceholes. A collaboration was a no brainer, the only question was where they would go after the De Say collabo that was, admittedly, really amazing.

Both breweries have their fair share of intensely acidic beers and when I heard about the specs on this one I knew it would go one of two ways : 1) intensely acetic red wine vinegar blowout or 2) some phrnomenal fruit hybrid akin to Hommage/Caracterie Rouge.

Thank god it was the latter and my gumline remained intact, no GERD was transmitted. Thanks Obamacare.

10 bottles, 20 bottles, man fuck it brewer, let's just not even discuss it

10 bottles, 20 bottles, man fuck it brewer, let’s just not even discuss it

The beer pours a beautiful slice of crimson sunset, staves of blood red ruby igniting within the confines of the glass. There is a certain muddiness and burnt sienna to the center like clay courts that rich assholes play tennis upon.

The nose leads with a smattering of the acetic character I initially feared, but thankfully it subsides into a fragrant fruit blossom profile and sublimates into a perfumey fruity bloom like Flowerbomb. Lol referencing perfume on this site is pointless for all these forever alone readers. While there’s a degree of jamminess to the raspberry, black cherry, and blackberry, it is a far cry from straight up fruit beers like New Glarus. The compromise works well to keep what could have been paint removing acidity in check.

It is 20% better than this beer, which was also very tasty, but still less tasty on the tasteyscale metric

It is 20% better than this beer, which was also very tasty, but still less tasty on the tasteyscale metric

The taste is incredibly dry and loaded with fruit tannins, farmers market bites into fruit tarts, currant, cherry, craisins (these go in salads, a salad is- nevermind) cranberry and even a touch of sour plum. YES EVEN SOUR PLUM HAS SCIENCE GONE TOO FAR? The sky high 10% Abv is well integrated and this beer drinks like one of those innumerable 6% fruited bus from them Tillamook boys.

The finish is long and dry like a John Cleese stand up set. The oak maintains a sort of light earthiness that underscores the vibrant fruit. The whole affair is pretty enjoyable, but tough to really justify given the  straight vertical plane of entry.

Orviamo is not better than this beer, TASTYSCALE NUMBERS DONT LIE

Orviamo is not better than this beer, TASTYSCALE NUMBERS DONT LIE

Should breweries get beat up in reviews for having inaccessible products and covetous assholes for consumers? How much of that is crafted by their own marketing macchinstions? Is it just human nature to defile and hoard limited items until the world is steeped in the rancor of inequality? That is probably a topic best served on another day.  I don’t feel like dealing with armchair economist dipshits.

In sum, this is a really tasty beer that would be inimitable if Rodenbach didn’t have world class Caracterie rouge just turding it up on BevMo shelves. This beer is an improvement but how much are you willing to tip up for this back room treatment? You want your cherry fully pitted? Then bring your fuckin checkbook, Cory and Trevor are going in dry.

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CASEY CUT CAGEMATCH AKA THAT “TRIPLE C”: @caseybrewing Balaton Cut vs. Blackberry Cut. THEY WILL CUT U.

Colorado has a proud heritage of undersung, albeit incredible releases. In a bygone pre-pasteurizing era, New Belgium used to pad out the Whaley ranks with caged and corked one offs. For a period it was radio silence and the state was free to legalize marijuana, drive Subarus and make beers using breakfast cereal without impugnity. Colorado continues to have this absurd model of just delivering top tier beers directly to local consumers without artificially throttling output, using lotteries, or other stupid shit to artificially inflate branding or good will. WHEN WILL THEY LEARN. This concept coupled with the fact that Colorado traders are exceedingly generous kept the Rockies hidden like that colony in Atlas Shrugged where productive people could be free from usurious neckbeards.

Soft fruit. Soft lighting. Soft berry kisses.

Soft fruit. Soft lighting. Soft berry kisses.

Sadly, with mounting demand comes husky REI enthusiasts willing to brave long lines for fruited wild ales. I can’t fault Casey for this, but the typically genial Colorado population is maligning themselves with the rapacious Chicagoan paradigm. That little state is embracing hoarding like a stepmom with dementia. As a result these 1 per person, 120 count Casey Cut releases are the cat shit filled houses, with analogy extension.

For today’s review we are going to do a shootout of the original two Casey cuts to determine if they are worth the degree of balls-tripping that has resulted. Balaton Cut vs Blackberry Cut, two fruits enter, but only one condescending asshole emerges!

Turn slowly for maximum vend

Turn slowly for maximum vend

Casey Cut Blackberry

No corners were cut on the produce budget for this beer and the ridiculous Claire’s hue shows the tannins stacked on tannins, skins on skins. The radiant pour is welcoming but also had this dull fruity matte finish like when Persian dudes paint a 3 series flat magenta to prove its isn’t their dad’s car, he just still lives at home at age 33.

The turbidity is milky and seems to tenaciously grip its farmhouse roots without some clarifying e brake. I love the way these both look.

The nose is at the outset a bit mineral and almost brackish, spritzer with a huge berry roundhouse on the backend. This isn’t jammy tiny diner jellies, this is more akin to post harvest, first crush, warm fruit languishing on the rich silt, fruit skins and puppy musk.  Pour it into a gym sock and huff them fruits.

The look on both of these beers is just ridiculous.

The look on both of these beers is just ridiculous.

The taste of the blackberry is sharper than I expected but never puts a muddy lacto boot In your entryway. It is subtle and gentle, with a sort of award like Troy Casey wanted you to actually be able to drink an entire bottle to yourself. Imagine that, a wild ale that establishes itself without massaging the poles of extremes. The oak is not as pronounced as let’s say VSB or SHBRL, but it is also far more easy going. The Berry profile is like a sidecar on the coolest Vespa you have ever see. It doesn’t try to stunt or overwhelm, you just have a glowing appreciation for the ingenuity and character of it. It is incredibly good and rounds the edges off of the Nocturn Chrysalis model, a creamy soft mouthfeel like 500ct berry sheets.

Cherry poppin daddy

Cherry poppin daddy

Balaton Cut

All of the exceptional praise for the appearance on the blackberry carries over here except the bright KOOL aid aspects make it flow even more ridiculously. If you slit the throat of an otter pop this would be its arterial fluid: beautiful.

The nose is not as original or interesting as the blackberry, which is to say it is still phenomenal, albeit with other comparable existing analogs.  It falls somewhere in between the Fruitiness of Montmorency vs. Balaton and the acidity/cheesiness of Lou Pepe Kriek.  When those are the comparisons you draw, it’s safe to say Casey has it’s shit well in hand at this point.

feeling juiced rite nao

feeling juiced rite nao

The taste is a relaxing romp through the cherry orchard, more blossom than fruit, more languid stroll than ravenous gathering. It has the hallmarks of some of the best krieks, the skins from De Cam but with a distrinctively Sante Adairius sort of pillowy safety to the mouthfeel.  The acidity is kept well in check and it never feels robitussin forward or strays into the elusive Ludens cough drop zone.  While it may not reach the ultimate subllimity of say Cable Car Kriek, it stands head and shoulders over many of the highly lauded recent fruited wild ales.

BUT DDB WHAT IF I HAVE ACTUAL PRIORITIES IN LIFE AND CAN’T TRACK THESE DOWN?

Alright, well maybe you are at the wrong website, but there is limited hope if you find yourself in this situation.  While hardly “easy” to land, you could always try for Lou Pepe Kriek or, in a pinch, go after regular shelf Drie Fonteinen Kriek. I can’t say that the De Garde lineup has anything directly analogous to these beers and honestly the best alternative might be just another Casey beer:

150% THE FRUIT AW LIFE IS A BOWL OF CHERRIES HOMIE

150% THE FRUIT AW LIFE IS A BOWL OF CHERRIES HOMIE

While not as complex or bright, even the “150% FRUIT MONTMORENCY FRUIT STAND” is still a fantastic beer.  You get the refreshing berry character, that same soft mouthfeel, and incredible crushability. Plus, just look at that beer, god damn does it look inviting. The perfect beer to crush after savagely screaming at your son’s little league coach. REFRESHING.

Sometimes being your own biggest competitor is an ideal situation to embrace, and I can’t think of may other breweries executing fruited wild ales with this much balance and tiptoeing as Casey Brewing.  If you want something subtle that you can drink to yourself while you sob and call phone numbers out old yearbooks, CASEY HAS THE PERFECT GEMS FOR YOU.

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@penrosebrewing Wild V, come to Chicago and get your V card swiped, It will be so wild.

Alright, no more pussyfooting around with Penrose’s normal offerings, let’s get to something special: Penrose’s first wild ale.  What is this charming, unassuming golden ale on brett? Is this the wild ale to heal Chicago tickers’ PTSD from Blue Lady? Will this be the reawakening of Small Animal Big Machine in resplendent glory? Or will people drown themselves in Lake Michigan like Chopin/Woolfe/literary wheelies.

Let’s put on those northface jackets and hit the loop for some IP action in today’s review. MEAT PACKING COMMENCE.

Oh man, backordering Wild I-IV right now just to see what I MISSED.

Oh man, backordering Wild I-IV right now just to see what I MISSED.

Penrose, Chicago IL

Wild V 5.x% abv

Wild Ale, Golden on Brett

Holy hell was this one a bitch to open, I tried pulling with my mouth, stroking the neck to warm it up, using my rabbit opener to leverage the shaft, until finally I had to force matters with a screw.  OH SHIT GUIZE I AM ALL INTO EUPHEMISMS NOW GET IT.

A:  Right out of the gates things are going smoothly with a radiant orange and brassy tarnished tangerine that presents substantial attenuation that cascades in massive clouds like Migos’s dressing room. Versaceversaceversace PENROSE GOT BAKING SODA BAKING SODA.  It is just beautiful and the cling is the type that a gypsy ale-seer could read your future with, endless cling and spotty embellishments upon the glass with each sip.  Phenomenal.

S:  Ok honestly, when a brewery releases their first SOUR I wait with casual distrust but those sideways glances were completely unwarranted: This is fucking awesome.  If you ever wanted Temptation to caress Block 15’s Golden Canary: this is your smut.  The nose is vibrant pineapple, fuji apple, floral notes like a glade plug ins, tart clementines, a mild musk like autumn carpet and a closer that reminds me of twine or rope.  You know the acidity is there but the tropical fruits are radiant, it hurts to look at, CAREBEAR STARE LEVEL SHIT.

dropping hot Care-y ropes on your chin.

dropping hot Care-y ropes on your chin.

T:  This is admittedly more sour than I was expecting and puckers in a sort of venomous Chardonnay with light french oak leading the charge onto the bicuspids.  It transitions into sour patch kids, a faint sweetness like cornbread, ripe clementine, and a grapefruit closer.  It never goes overboard or is painful of which to take large swallows. It follows through with the tartness but gives a light earthiness akin to Armand Herfst, like leaves on the back palate.  This is admittedly, very good stuff.  I don’t say that with the type DDB qualifier or some backhanded circumlocution: you will drill your entire bottle and not want to share.

This beer is a throwback to the days of drinkable AWAs before it was all about enamel stripping and Rhone barrel sourcing

This beer is a throwback to the days of drinkable AWAs before it was all about enamel stripping and Rhone barrel sourcing

M:  This is drying on the sides of your tongue but never hits oppressive levels of gumline recession, which was my main complaint with Chandelle.  It never becomes too tart, and as it warms gives you a cheese rind waxiness and perhaps a faint diacetyl in the form of apple sucker but it’s more in the exhale and when you lick along your incisors than the actual taste.  I am really hitting hardpan trying to come up with ways to knock this shit, it’s frustrating when a brewery doesn’t fuck something up because, then what am I supposed to complain about, label art and shit?

D:  This is exceedingly drinkable in the same vein as Brute and the dryness with a tartness that lends for deep sips, your 375 is not a shareable vessel.  In fact, that’s one of my main gripes about this: the format is complete bullshit.  They know that no one will have a 12 ounce of this and fold their arms content.  The musk hits you hard from the back like Sherman, no interception. The white grape aspect alone as it warms is enough to make me want to chain combo these like Kratos, air to ground juggling until the sun comes up and then I have to start working on those job applications like I promised my P.O.

For all the dipshits who attend tomorrow’s Nuthululaulu release, it will be a perfect summary of the current beer scene if this beer does not sell out immediately.  Chicago is on its way to crafting a Shasta Beatification that delivers on so many levels.

Meanwhile at the Clybourn release, thongs are already soaking in 34 degree weather.

Meanwhile at the Clybourn release, thongs are already soaking in 34 degree weather.

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@sideprojectbrew Pulling Nails, I Finally Get My Mouth on Cory King’s Goodies

Some people readily assume that because I wasn’t a huge fan of regular/BA abaraxas and didn’t think the world of BA Sump that I somehow have a chip on my shoulder against Perennial. This is certainly not the case, and I hope today’s review communicates that effectively. I enjoyed Perennial’s light offerings, smashed that peach berliner and would bang it again repeatedly.

Since I am usually obliques deep in that farmhouse swagg, I clearly needed to get these decadent treats from Side Project in and around my mouth. Today I get to dabble in their wild program to see what the business is. Initially I was confused because people were calling this a saison, but this is straight wild, like that kid with divorced parents who doesn’t give a shit about learning long division. Buckwild on that farmhouse tip.

Don't listen to other people's classifications, follow you heart.  LISTEN TO YOUR HEART LIKE ROXETTE

Don’t listen to other people’s classifications, follow you heart. LISTEN TO YOUR HEART LIKE ROXETTE

Side Project Brewing
Missouri, United States
Style | ABV
American Wild Ale | 6.00% ABV

I can dance around the stylistic nuances all day long, or you can read the commercial description and decide for yourself:

“Side Project Brewing is excited to announce the release of our first blended beer, an American Wild Ale named Pulling Nails. Pulling Nails will be a series of blended beers that explore the art of blending to create beers with extraordinary depth, complexity and balance. This will be labeled as Blend #1 and it is the blend of 4 unique beers, each of which add their own characteristics to the final beer.

These 4 beers are:

Spontaneous Wild (Lambic-style, native microflora from my family’s farm) – aged 25 months in French Oak White Wine (bright citric acid, mushroomy, musty)
Flanders Red – aged 18 months in American Oak Chambourcin Barrels (tart candy, robust oak, big acid, very light acetic)
Saison du Fermier – aged 9 months in American Oak Chardonnay Barrels (citrus and orchard fruit, billowy, delicate)
Saison de Rouge – aged 6 months in American Oak Chambourcin Barrels (Amarillo hopped, pear notes, 100% house Brett)”

So in this saison, we have lambic style microflora, french oak barrels, a Flanders red component, chardonnay barrel treatment, and Chambourcin treatment with brett all up in the cut like what. Wild as Jesse and the Rippers, leather jackets and motorcycles in the hallway.

A: This looks somewhere in between a straight up Flanders red and a Supplication stand in with those amber and light garnet tones shimmering up in that tomestem. The carb is spot on and crackly with that acrid anger that hisses in tiny bubbles, kicking and revolting on their way to timeout. The lacing is insubstantial and the way the beer settles in just APPEARS sour, if such a thing is possible. There’s no hefty residuals to calm the nerves, this shit looks sleek, svelte, bone dry, and wielding an acidic katana sword.

This is a fascinating amalgamation of different elements, but the end result is phenomenal.

This is a fascinating amalgamation of different elements, but the end result is phenomenal.

S: The nose is intensely tart and opens with a cherry, currant, ripe peach, them strawberries the size of your fist you see by the roadside, and sliced Granny smith. It is clearly intensely lactic on the nose, and the brett aspects are either entirely dominated at this point, or they need time to gather themselves. The oak is restrained and this is clearly a berry show, not the white wine matinee you paid to see. However, the berry profile isn’t some jammy adjunct fest, it’s like a crisp farmers market spritzer that captures the tannins of the fruits, rather than their explicit juices. Again, the cherry and subtle raspberry dominance reminds me of a cuvee of Supplication and Crooked Stave Batch 1, and this is a very good platform to work upon.

T: At colder temps, this beast is intensely sour. The depth of all those fun fruits and berries take a backseat for a moment to deep punishing tannins that beg for some malty discipline or complexity to even out their keel. Once it warms up a bit, the show really starts and a fantastic bouquet of Jamba Juice citrus, those acidic notes meld seamlessly into peach and fresh cut grass. This doesn’t present a huge brett profile at any juncture, however, there is a certain joie de vivre of earthiness like a rye presence in the closer that keeps all of the fruits and acids in check. That slightly bitter mushroom closer gives a faint oaky and metallic presence to provide a more rounded approach from the single note Cascade and Upland offerings that sometimes kick your jaw inside our and give you no solace.

It is important to enjoy a nice wild farmhouse romp every once and again

It is important to enjoy a nice wild farmhouse romp every once and again

M: This is very dry and after your first pour you will feel your gums grumbling about mistreatment, asking to see HR. This strips the valleys of your mouth of that mossy coating you maintain and leaves a raw tender shell of a face, bursting with berry goodness. There is a give and take, for each sip imparts an impartial love but cuts deeper, like when you eat Flaming Hot Cheetos and simply cannot stop the mouth abuse, chaining your own demise. It is punitive but thoroughly enjoyable.

D: The formula for this could succincly be stated (Smell + Taste) / Mouthfeel, the greater the sum of S+T, the larger integer presented for the ultimate drinkability payoff. If you can’t handle intensely acidic sours, this might not be your 160 bpm club smasher. However, for those of a more solid constitution, maybe you push yourself to that realm, skull an entire bottle and let your orthodontist figure it out. This could go either way, but drinking this beer is an absolute pleasure and a phenomenal take on arguably one of the most contested styles. Nothing DDB could offer could diminish what this beer has already accomplished, a tip of the acidic bowler to Mr. King.

Now I need to reach out and get more of these inaccessible, low bottle count shredders.  lick.

Now I need to reach out and get more of these inaccessible, low bottle count shredders. lick.

Narrative: The Jennings farm had seen better days, economically and agriculturally. The simple plot of 50 acres was home to the best cherries in the tri-state area for 3 generations, that is until Impact Confections moved into the adjoining parcel. Most of the simple folks in Shamsville, Missouri had never even heard of Atomic Warhead candies before they moved into town, now you could scarcely visit the general store without hearing about some new sour-based upset. “SO NOW TREVIN’S DENTIST BILLS ARE SKY HIGH. The nerve of this candy joint!” one local resident boomed, fuming while she purchased her sundries. Dirk Jennings shook his head and lamented, “boy she ain’t got the half of it, turns out their acidic stores have tapped into my underground well, now all my cherries are plum puckerin’ like a bovine b-hole at milking time.” His statement was not entirely hyperbole. The fruits from the farm had absorbed copious amounts of citric acid, changing his old farm into something wildly different. “I mean, I try to pick ’em, but my gloves get all itchy and I come in smelling like lemon zest and sour peaches, that ain’t no cherry pickin’ way,” Mr. Jennings bemoaned. The times were changing, simple farmhouses needed to adapt to the tart reality of modern consumerism. If someone isn’t exceedingly sour or demonstrably wild, the average customer might just drive right on past the simple old farms dotted along that Missouri interstate. You can ask the old Hennepin’s up in north county if you don’t believe me. The world done passed them by.