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New Glarus R&D Very Sour Blackberry, V.S.B. PO PPA, no info for the D.E.A.

If you give the midwest a brewery only release, prepare for some hyperventilating from a cadre of ex-bandos. Whenever this happens, neckbeards jump in their Chevy Aveos and drive hours across bleak terrain that looks like it is north of the wall, all to secure some bottles. This happened with Fuzzy, this happened with Cahutlow, this happened with BA Abraxas, this happened with KBBS, and god help us if the bottle count is in that ultra rare 2000 or less range.

Enter VSB, an american wild ale with a story to tell, berries to flex, and a proud lineage rolling deep like an MC Hammer entourage. At a staggering $8 a bottle and 3 per person staggered over 3 days, you would figure this should trade for what, Double Huna? Flora? GUESS AGAIN AND GIVE ME YOUR CCK MOTHERFUCKER. The trade threads for this went to hell in a handbasket real quickly and honestly, if Secretpizza didn’t send this ratchet bitch to me for free, I don’t think I would have bothered throwing my hat in the ring. Whenever you see an Illinois dipshit posting things like “I only have 3 left but, I don’t think I would ever trade it, it is that good, unless something really good came along” you know shit just got real.

So thanks to Secretpizza for keeping my butthole intact and allowing me to get my berries juiced in today’s review.

Pour this bottle and it looks like the inside of a Claire's or a Wet Seal.

Pour this bottle and it looks like the inside of a Claire’s or a Wet Seal.

New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale | 5.00% ABV

Notes/Commercial Description:
Fourth in our series of spontaneous sour ales. Fermented and aged in oak barrels – on yeast lees – with Oregon blackberries. Refermented in this bottle. Open with care – This is a funky wild sour beer! There is also a bunch of illegible shit on the label I welcome you to try and read.

A: Just look at this fuchsia madness taking place above, it looks like a tween’s bedroom and only needs some chartreuse inflatable furniture to hit full on third grade sleepover status. The carb ranges from hilarious to excessive and doesn’t even burn off as exceedingly quickly as you would anticipate. The hue looks like St. Lam’s viscous cousin, deep thick grape Otterpop, that velvet violet merging with purpiest of purps. It is admittedly a very pretty beer and looks great sprayed on the hood of a Bugatti. Ball the fuck out already.

VSB for 50n? Wait hold on-

VSB for 50n? Wait hold on-

S: This presents more of a jammy countenance that the previous R&D endeavors would have led me to believe. There is a smuckers grape jelly, blackberry tannins, no cloying artifical sweetness and you get the crushed fields and farmer’s market kisses at the outset. Another interesting thing is, for all this VERY SOUR CUP YOUR BALLS talk on the label, it doesn’t smell intensely sour. It exhibits an incredible balance in form an execution, terroir from the berries, but a substantial complexity from the sharp shocktart back end. Can’t even front, it smells phenomenal.

T: This leads with a sharp acidity that immediately is pushed aside to convey a deep berry character, purple gushers, blackberry preserves, razzleberry pie, and this light dryness on the finish. This beer isn’t overly sour, it isn’t overly sweet, it isn’t intensely acidic, and it doesn’t go for an artificial heavy handed approach with adjuncts: IT JUST DOES EVERYTHING RIGHT. This is essentially a deep purple M3, a product that is so well balanced and highly revered that the biggest dipshits in the world covet them and it ruins the experience for you. I am fairly confident that this beer is not yet a staple in Persian bottle service culture, but soon.

If you decide to trade for this, be cautious: this pretty little beer can be a total asshole

If you decide to trade for this, be cautious: this pretty little beer can be a total asshole

M: This is not your daddy’s intensely drying Upland Lambic, it isn’t your momma’s one dimensional lactic Cascade, it lacks the sticky sweetness of the other cloying New Glarus fruit beers: it goes in hard. It provides tartness with a sticky resonance that steps in graceful time in a berry 3/4 scherzo. Usually I would toss my hater hat in the ring and pipe up with some shit like “BUT YOU CAN JUST GET St. LAMVINUS FOR LESS” but I don’t even know if that is accurate. This is distinctively American and seems to supercede the fruited lambic offerings that would be analogous. American Wild Ales are a genre born on derivative inspiration and this is the clearest example, second to Cable Car Kriek, of an AWA that is a genre defining beer. Place this next to batch 1 Persica 750ml and a short list of exceptional American sours. This that shit you need to learn though, that VSB, shit that makes your cellar burn slow.

D: This is intensely drinkable and the impossibility of obtaining one of these makes this entire appraisal laughable. I could drink several of these linked together like a chain wallet on some purple JNCO jeans. You could serve this to anyone, your lady friend who uses “supes” and “gorg” nonironically, or a confused young minor seeking your help. Everyone will get their mouth on this purple throbber. Wipe the juice from your chin and seek this out if you feel like it, but realistically, just drink Almanac Blackberry sour, it is verrrrry close, but not quite as good. Think like 09 BCBS Bomber to Rare levels of comparability. All in all, an otherworldly beer of staggering quality in almost every way.

Midwest coveting, ruining things for the rest of McDonaldland

Midwest coveting, ruining things for the rest of McDonaldland

Narrative: Grimace was misunderstood in Mcdonaldland from his very origin. He first appeared and swung his berry endomorphic frame, gripping the milkshakes of others, being a covetous monster. It was not his blackberry breath or his radiant violet hues, it was his offputting nature and unendingly sweet nature. It wasn’t his fault that he was overweight, he spawned that way in a land that no one wished for. A landlocked zone of purple obesity and hate could hardly beget the nicest of creatures, but Grimace rose above. Grimace had an unnamed mom, an unnamed dad, a grandma named “Winky”, a great-great grandma named Jenny Grimace, and might have had a brother named “King John Bailey”, who was the king of all Grimaces: BUT NO ONE GAVE A SINGLE FUCK. In the muck and mire of mediocrity and imitation, Grimace transcended the monster genre and became something sweet and sour at the same time. He was a gentle creature capable of deep destruction, but checked his privilege at the door and bumbled around lovingly. “YOU KNOCKED OVER MY ARCH DELUXE YOU FAT FUCK-” one patron would exclaim, but deep in this sticky sour heart, Grimace knew that he was worth more than those that surrounded him.

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New Glarus Raspberry Tart, Get your Epipens, This is Going to Be a Sweet One

People love this beer. Girls have 100% enjoyed this beer, every single time. Let’s clarify, not in a sexist generalization treating women as a homogenous group, I mean every girl that I have ever poured this for has really enjoyed it. I do not like this beer. When I am drinking beer, it is to forget about the puppy that urinates on everything in my life. When I am eating fruit, it is due to the guilt of drinking too much. Put simply, I don’t need these two worlds to collide in equal parity. New Glarus is the shit, but this beer is anything but. Anyway, step on these berries, let’s get it:

I lost my old pic of this beer, I took it with a Blackberry anyway, so you know that shit would have been in monochrome or something.

New Glarus Raspberry Tart 4.0% fruit beer

A: There is a deep ruby he that almost appears like a muted amber, huge deep red foamy carbonation that leaves very little lacing. There is miminal sheeting and this seriously just looks like a glass of juice or something you give to your toddler in a sippy cup. Hell, in Wisconsin, anything is possible. This beer is on some top 100 lists so apparently someone loves this beer. Some people liked the ending of Vanilla Sky too, fucked if I know.

I don’t know what needs more refinement, my palate or the gallons of fruit sugars in this beer. It’s perfect for the Wisconsin clubs, bottles in the basket pills in the plastic.

S: The bouquet smells overwhelmingly like raspberries, fruit preserves, sweet flowers, and a slight wine/cabernet finish. This is just already far too sweet, I can go buy a bag of Skittles, this just takes things to excessive levels.

T: The sweetness from the raspberries is present and accounted for, almost overwhelmingly. The sweetness has a cider character to it and subsides into an intense dryness with an incredible crisp finish like biting into a granny smith apple, only, raspberry.

I feel like I am too old for this beer or maybe it is reserved for people who read Marie Claire. The correlation is astounding.

M: The mouthfeel has zero coating, zero stickiness, and washes away crisp and clean. There isn’t a whole lot to comment on here since this beer barely toes inside the beer framework. I know there is a cadre of dedicated NG kids who love this beer, I am an adult, I don’t need to drink a cup of Torani syrup to enjoy a beer. Grow up, get high octane, or go the lambic route. This beer just wasn’t my jam, but I will preserve the record for others to PRODUCE.

D: If not for the sugary-juice overload, this would be a incredibly drinkable beer. It presents great utility to those “black sheep” or the XX chromosomal order who “don’t like beer” or “beer makes them feel bloated.” This is an undercover beer that emotes like a crisp cider and presents the ambrosial delight of a champagne. Strictly speaking, I wouldn’t buy this again or seek it out, but that’s largely due to the style. If I was on a boat with some dour faced sad girls, I would provide it like a benevolent Spuds Mckenzie.

This beer ganks your sweet zones with a robble robbel swag.

Narrative: ::TOOOOOT!!!:: the olde timey steam whistled hissed signaling the end of another shift. The stern overseer, Rose Juiceworthington, kept a watchful eye over the employees of the Smuckers’ canning line and made sure that her will was enacted to the T. “Williams! My office, NOW!” the loudspeaker boomed. Williams, soaked in mashed raspberries had a sweet winsome disposition, but a sordid past. “I have seen you down there, slowing on the mashing. . .what’s so funny?” Williams raised raised her glanced slowly, then swiftly smashed a can of raspberry preserves over Ms. Juiceworthington’s head, sending her cascading backwards into a molten pit of bubbling preserves. The gasps for breath made sweet gurgles and Williams nodded a sticky sweet approving nod, not to be confronted again.

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Central Waters Fourteen Fourteen 1414 $14.14 Four teens for teams.

Well, what else can I say about Central Waters? They make amazing stouts and an even more amazing Bourbon Barrel Barleywine, but wait, what happens when they make something even MORE SPECIALER? They took baller ass Winter Solstice and then aged it in (rumored) Buffalo Trace barrels, spoiler alert, this stout is amazing.

A lil 14 on 14 action, NSFW.

Central Waters Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States
American Double / Imperial Stout | 11.00% ABV

A: This has a nice mild cola splashiness to it that is totally at home in Central Waters’s lineup of other thin stouts. The lacing and carbonation are pretty mild and take a hands off approach to molesting your palate. You remember a week ago when I reviewed winter solstice from Central Waters? Well this shit is like when Bane turns the pump on and gets super jacked immediately. It is deeper, darker, but still slick and light at the same time. Park your boat at a PAIRADOCKS.

Cuddle up for some chocolatey bourbon snugs.

S: This straight up smells like a glass of decadent Nestle Quik with bourbon poured into it. There’s elements of that vanilla and oak that bourbon imparts but comes across as sweetness. There’s a mild coffee but it’s less espresso and more like a watery Yuban aspect, that sounds like a diss but it somehow works.

T: The taste has a nice initial sweetness like a hershey kiss but it takes you to Kentucky real quick. Shit turns into Bourbon central and uncle Jasper wants some sloppytime kisses. I get a s’mores aspect to this sans graham cracker, mod, plus nice heat. However, the heat from the bourbon integrates nicely into the home depot tire aisle earthiness, again, sounds like a diss but just try it, it is bomb.edu.

Seems legit.

M: Hot on the tails of imperial porters, this almost feels like one of THOSE, but the slickness doesn’t really throw me. I have tamed the BB Stout, gotten Peruvian Morning wood, and handled Winter Solstice, and all in all, the wateriness is a part of the magic that Central Waters imparts with a chocolate waterpark hug. I feel like Augustus Gloomp stuck in that chocolate water tube, loving every second of it.

D: The faults from the foregoing become epic wins here, as is often the case. You want to fuck around with some 11% puddle fight? Here you go, but be warned, shit will get real pretty quickly. I don’t know how drinkable a 1000 bottle release can really be but, gotta tip my hat to old SEE DUBs, they know how to push the Wisconsin game even further. I would love to put Wisconsin, Oregon, Colorado, and Michigan in a cagematch, winner fights Vermont.

Hide your stouts, hide your porters, this beer is awesome.

Narrative: “Well maybe if YOU ACTUALLY CARED, you would try to UNDERSTAND ME!” Crystaline Grimnoir (Born Christie Steinbaum) was a troubled 14 year old adolescent. She slammed the door and trudged out to face the 45th gloomy day in a row, to her infinite relief. First, her parents moved her from bustling Milwaukee to Amherst, to languidly waste away amongst tragically boring schoolmates. Next, she had to suffer through music class when all she longed to do was go home and create post-modern beats on a Casio keyboard on the harpsichord setting. She walked up to her clan of fellow miscreants, “You guys listen to the new Godspeed! You Black Emperor album? Fucking sucks, anyone want a pull of that Buffalo Trace?” she gripped the strangely expensive bourbon and looked out on the quad. “So uh, Crys, are we gonna go to formal like, you know, ironically, to see it, not because I want to be there-” her compatriot stammered. Crys took a large bite of a Toblerone and grinned menacingly “yes, we have dark business to attend to.” Her thin frame cackled with an awkward laughter.

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Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Barleywine, OH WAIT, STOP THE PRESSES ANOTHER AMAZING BARLEYWINE-

But in all seriousness, I have wanted to tap that Wisconsin mana pool so hard. I am assuming they play Red/White deck for plains and mountains, but, hell maybe there are Islands and Swamps there, the fuck would I know. I love English barleywines, especially when aged in American Bourbon. However, this is that disagreeable hoppy variant, the old AMERICAN BARLEYWINE. Which I don’t dislike but, you just want the toffee and not the grapefruit, myeh, let’s begrudgingly review an amazing beer. So here we go, two of my vices coupled together in sweet harmony. Kisses all around. Also, thanks to Tmoney for this bottle, real talk.

Usually when I am looking for BB BW, I go to craigslist, not Wisconsin, but, same difference.

Central Waters Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

American Barleywine | 11.50% ABV

A: This has a beautiful ruby hue to it and minimal lacing, it’s like a Fast and Furious prop car that you know will tear your shit up but looks awesome at the same time. The wispy head leaves and attends to other business, but you don’t miss it after staring into that gemstone center that has a cut not unlike a 14 year old living in Wisconsin. Self mutilation jokes, we’re going there now.

Even this dude would feel like Ryan Gosling after drinking a couple of these BBW's.

S: God. Damnit. Well I guess, that needs a glaring asterix. This is, in fact, a dead on BB AMERICAN barleywine, but I am a fan of the more pale varietal with horrible dentistry. Notwithstanding, there’s a nice juniper and herbal aspect to this beer that sits on top of the bourbon waft like a platelet on top of a CELL THAT ACTUALLY CONTAINS DNA. I don’t get pissed about the hops but it’s more like, YOUR MOM SERIOUSLY HAS TO VISIT RIGHT NOW? SERIOUSLY?

T: Despite my bitchy impressions, the taste is awesome in the way that 3J is way more awesome than Richie. It is tart initially with a raisin front, nice pitted dates going on, almost a quad aspect, and you know how cutty quads get. The hops ease their way in like a barbershop quartet, but as Murder by Death opines, it is sweet Kentucky Bourbon for me. I ride out the foregoing until the bourbon shows up, wasted like Haymitch and the games are not at all hungry. I love the resonant interplay between the hops and the sticky barleywine prisoner left hostage to the hoppy abuse.

M: This has a significant amount of coating and drying at the same time that I would be a hater and knock it for but, wait a second, the mediator, delicious bourbon and butterscotch showed up as the mortar to this strange relationship. The bourbon acts as a MFT to this rocky relationship and smoothes out the jetty currents. It washes away clean and you wonder what all the fuss was about, then you realize, oh shit 11.5% and wait what, who left a Pizza Pocket in the microwave and why is the hallway all wet?

D: Alright you have a tug of war going on here between the drying hoppy aspects and the delivish bourbon that tells you to do bad things. I don’t know what ethical theory that you embrace, notwithstanding, you end up 1) drinking more than you should and 2) the small format makes you feel not even bad at all for selling your child’s Legos to obtain more Central Waters products. I am not saying an escort would accept this beer as payment but, with some artful presentation, bartering could be accomplished. It is that good and god damnit if you don’t convert some of the masses.

After a few of these bad boys, even the most outspoken Communication majors will be all up in Pan's Labyrinth.

Narrative:

I am leaving this narrative up for grabs if someone has 1) tried this beer and 2) is funnier than Kevin James. If you feel like writing a 250 word piece, go for it, see if I care, you can’t get less zero bitches, you cant owe people bitches. Spin the black circle.