Archive for July, 2012

Revisiting DuClaw: Soul Jacker

Posted in Spirit Guide with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 19, 2012 by Colin Walker

 Spirit Guide

After yesterday’s post, you would think that a rational man would steer clear of the dog that just bit him. You would come to the conclusion that a level-headed, reasonable gentleman, would show good sense and avoid getting into the same cage with the tiger that had just mauled him. You’d be right. A reasonable man would do that.

But this is a picture of me.

So, while a forward thinking fellow would take a wide berth of that tiger cage, you can rest assured that the Codpiece would be back the next day he was able to walk, smirking and calling that tiger names.

 Why? Because that son of a bitch thinks he’s better than me, that’s why.

DuClaw bit me on the ass. I’ve come back to see if they can do it again. Also, and more importantly, it’s already been paid for and is sitting in my fridge. I refuse to be afraid of anything in my own refrigerator.

 Except for that. I didn’t even fucking see that, so it’s not my responsibility. I’m not touching it.

DuClaw? DuClaw.

 DuClaw’s Soul Jacker

Another fancy label, anther cool name, another high alcohol content. So far, DuClaw hasn’t deviated from the formula that whipped my ass so soundly last time. Swell.

Soul Jacker is so named because it is actually a mix of two of the breweries other offerings. The ‘Soul’ bit comes from Devil’s Milk, which is an American barleywine. The ‘Jacker’ part comes from Black Jack, DuClaw’s imperial stout. Well, I’m actually not fond of barleywines, but I do love a good imperial stout. So, what happens when they throw one of them on top of the other?

It pours a dark, translucent, reddish-brown. Not a whole lot of head, but with this alcohol volume (and not being bottle fermented) this is to be expected. To the lips and…

It’s not bad, actually. The imperial stout stomps pretty soundly on that barleywine taste that I don’t like, while leaving some of its pleasant qualities behind. Unlike Nemesis, you can hardly taste the alcohol here at all, even though this is only %1.5 ABV lower. Chocolate and malt up front, with a little vanilla peeking through in the middle to a trace of hops at the end. All in all, I was expecting something a little more robust. this was actually quite mellow and soothing. By the end of the bottle, i was nodding my head in appreciation.

Food pairings? Asiago cheese and some hot salami.

 Double entendre, I was talking about my junk.

TASTE:  Balanced and pleasant.

DRINKABILITY: Really easy, leaves the barleywine far behind.

A.B.V.: %9.5

 COST: $10/1pt.9oz.

HANGOVER RATING: Not too bad, but as with anything, it would be easy to over do it.

Beer Week Almost Derailed By Nemesis

Posted in Spirit Guide with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 18, 2012 by Colin Walker

Spirit Guide

“The first and greatest commandment is, don’t let them scare you.”- Elmer Davis

“Fortune favors the brave”-Publius Terence

“I swear these motherfuckers at DuClaw are trying to kill me.”-Codpiece

We were rolling strong until about two days ago, my fine readers. (I drink the beers and the review goes up two days later–I don’t write these as I’m drinking.) I was floating along the river Hops, in my flat-bottom barley boat, whistling to myself as I drifted past the fruit trees. I had laid back with an easy drinking porter, chilled out with my new Viking main-man, and even hosted a rowdy tempest that was more peat than malt. All in all, good times. A few harsh words were uttered, but nothing completely untoward. Looked like smooth sailing.

Then, Hop river sped up, took a sharp turn around a blind bend and dumped me into the wide end of a bottleneck. The water’s will was steady, but in my way, preventing me from continuing on to the estuary and the sea beyond was a evil-looking bomber. DuClaw’s Pax Nemesis.


It turns out, the name was appropriate.

Enough with the maritime metaphors. This beer kicked my ass and nearly capsized my boat (sorry…not really.)

 “And ye almost shoved yer own misen mast trough the poop-deck. ARRR.”

DuClaw is from Abbington, MD. That’s about 100 miles from where I sit, but since they’re in MD, that technically makes them ‘local’. I wanna love the local boys, it’s always good to root for the home team. Plus, DuClaw has some seriously kick-ass labels, and anyone who tells you that they’ve never bought a beer solely because of the label is a bald-faced liar.

That’s right I called you back from yesterday’s post to call you a fucking liar. Smooth malts my ass. Don’t point that thing at me!

So, swayed by the cool labels and the cool names, I picked up three bombers from DuClaw at The Wooden Keg.  This is the first. It’s a jacked-up altbeir. An altbeir (old beer) is brewed with a top fermenting yeast at low temperature. It starts out muddy, becoming clearer and lighter in color as time goes on. Mostly, altbeirs don’t reach %11. This one, does. I don’t know what they did to it, but I wish they hadn’t.

The taste of this beer is almost completely artificial. It’s strange, almost as if they formulated a trippel and a bock in a lab, then slammed them into each other under a grain alcohol shower. It’s kind of thick, cloyingly sweet, and somewhat oily. And the alcoholic aftertaste? Dear lord. I’m not a weak man when it comes to spirits, and I’ve had brews well above %11, but none has ever given me  the problems this one did. Have you ever poured vodka into soda and forgotten to stir it, just chugging it back right after you pour it, then regretting it as that taste of pure, unexpected alcohol made you burp and your saliva glands go into overdrive? This is just like that, except the soda sucks.

I was honestly stuck here, should I sip lightly, avoiding the feeling of nausea, putting up with the taste of this stuff? Or, should I chug bravely, throwing cation to the wind in an attempt to move onto a better beer and leave this foul experience behind me?

I think that, if you know me, you know which path I chose.

This was almost me.

Man, by the end of it, I was sure I was going to lose it. My stomach was in pure revolt. Never again with this. I’ve got two more, but different DuClaws in the fridge. Let’s hope they’re better.

Taste:  If you love yourself…

Drinkability:  stay the hell away from this.

A.B.V: %11

Cost: $10

Hangover rating: I’m sure that if you drank two of these, you’d need Gorilla tape to get your head back together.

Codpiece VS. The Scots: BrewDog Storm And SKULLSPLITTER

Posted in Spirit Guide with tags , , , , , , on July 17, 2012 by Colin Walker

Spirit Guide

Two days in a row around here is like getting a hurricane after a drought. But, as a drought is a dry state, that doesn’t fit the climate in my house right now. No, after the Happy Birthday spending spree at The Wooden Keg, my area (and my brain) are quite wet. It be rainin’ beers, is what I’m saying! Also, I drink. Um…what? Whatever. Stop hassling me.

 Motherfuckers don’t understand how big I am in Germany.

So, in my unfaltering pursuit to bring you all the beer reviews and culinary abortions  possible, I’ll be reviewing all of them. I’ll probably take a break in the middle of it and post about something else, so the whole front page of the site isn’t swamped with nothing but beer reviews. But, who knows? I might not show up again for a couple months, and anyone who doesn’t like it can gobble taint.

 This was in the top ten results for ‘Gobble Taint’ on Google Image Search, and is therefore a relevant picture.

Today we’re being invaded by Scots. Both Brewdog’s Storm and Orkney’s SKULLSPLITTER (caps are mine, but c’mon, look at that fucking name. you have to cap that.) hail from the land of kilts and William Wallace.

 Mel Gibson is as Scottish as…

I’ve tried some Scottish beers before, and for the most part was unimpressed, but that’s like someone from Ireland claiming they don’t like American beers when all they’ve ever tried is Budweiser and Coors. So, let’s give them a shot, shall we? And remember, they can take our beers, but…No. No, they can’t take our beers.

 No, you seriously can’t fucking have them.

Brewdog Storm

  Brewdog is fucking crazy. Let’s just get that out of the way up front.  If you don’t remember the name, let me remind you of this:

 That is seriously some David Lynch shit right there.

Yep, they’re responsible for that. That’s End Of The World, a %55 ABV more-than-beer that comes wrapped in taxidermied, optionally dressed animals. A six pack of that will run you about $700. I’ve been eyeballing bottles of their Tactical Nuclear Penguin and Sink The Bismark ($80 and $100, respectively), and have not yet been able to justify he purchase. So, when I saw a bottle of this for $6, I saw it as a good opportunity to try a Brewdog beer.

Storm is an IPA that is made with New Zealand hops and aged in a  Scottish islet whiskey cask. Say what? Yeah, that’s how Brewdog does shit. They’re like your fucked up uncle that was always trying to get that old decommissioned jet engine running so he could duct tape it o the top of his Olds and blast down Main on a Sunday wearing no pants. Nuts, but you gotta respect him, he’s kind of dangerous.

 Pictured: The apex of automotive excellence.

Storm pours out with zero carbonation or head. That is to say, this beer comes flat right out of the bottle. I went online and checked to see if this was a fluke and I didn’t have a bad beer, but no, that’s how it’s supposed to be. So, I drank it, and…

Do you like Scotch? I do. Scotch is good. But, do you know what I’m not expecting when I drink a beer, even a beer that’s been aged in a scotch cask? Not scotch. This beer tasted like watered down Scotch. All woodsmoke and peat, right up front, dominating everything. No hint of the IPA was left.

Now, don’t get me wrong, once over the initial shock, I was fine. I finished the whole bottle. But, I was drinking beer to drink beer. When I want a Scotch, I’ll have that. So, ultimately, I’ll have to call this one a failure, despite how excited I was at the outset. Oh well, maybe they get better as you head up their product line. We’ll see.

Taste:  I’m pretty sure this would be impossible to drink if you didn’t like Scotch.

Drinkablity:  It’s weird that there’s no bubbles. Also, see above.

A.B.V. %8

Cost:  $6 a 12oz. bottle. That means it would cost me $30 to get drunk off of this.

Hangover rating:  Just drank the one, so I can’t call it.

Orkney Brewery’s SKULLSPLITTER

Oh shit, son. When a beer has a name like that, it’s either a case of  Names To Run Away From Really Fast, or Deathbringer The Adorable. We’ll see.

Oh, quick history lesson for you, if you were wondering what a Viking is doing on a bottle of Scottish beer, it’s because that’s  Thorfinn Turf-Einersson, Earl Of Orkney. His nickname was SKULLSPLITTER. No shit. The Vikings ran shit in northern Scotland until the mid 12th century, and the SKULLSPLITTER was a Jarl up there. You know, like in Skyrim.

The beer pours reddish brown and smells quite pleasant. Dark, but fruity. The taste is phenomenal. I was expecting an overly malty mess, but this is a balanced blend of plums and smoke and toffee. Drinking this is like smoking a cigar while draped over the ass of a plus-size model. Fuck what it looks like, man, it feels good.

Buy this beer. Because, it didn’t wind up being a case of either naming trope being true. SKULLSPLITTER isn’t an empty threat or a complete berserker. He’s your Viking homeboy. And if you get a four pack, we’ll all go and ride unicorns. TOGETHER.

 Oh my god fuck yes.

Taste:  A wonderful surprise. Very complex and enjoyable.

Drinkability:  Easy. despite how dark this is, there’s no trouble whatsoever.

A.B.V. %8.5

Cost: $10 for four

Hangover Rating: I have to buy more of these to know, I’ll update this later.

Firestone Brewing Company, Walker’s Reserve

Posted in Spirit Guide on July 16, 2012 by Colin Walker

Spirit Guide

Codpiece back up in this motherfucker! I know you all missed me. It’s pretty messed up, actually, how you guys are so emotionally invested in me that when I’m away for long periods you start collecting cats, and animal themed slippers, and empty condiment bottles. I mean, that’s fucking strange. Why do you do that? I called up your phone and went to leave a voice mail, but the message was just one long, wailing, sob that trailed off into what I think was a sewing machine falling down a set of stairs. Freaked me out, so I didn’t leave a message. I still love you though, baby. Trust.

 “I’m sayin’, guuurl, you ain’t gotta wear them tinfoil draws when I’m away, neither.”

So, bought a house, and got married. Been kind of a busy year so far. Hopefully it will slow down and I’ll be able to spend more time with you wonderful folks, before you show at my house, holding a pitchfork that has a doll head tied to it, wearing nothing but a tattered prom dress. (I’m not going to say any names, Melvin.)

It was my birthday last weekend! Yay me! I’m not going to tell you how old I am now, just rest assured that this here is a meat that you let age, you know what I’m saying? This kind of sexy doesn’t come with a shelf life.


The good thing about birthdays when you’re a beer-o-phile, you will almost certainly receive bottled barley goodness. This year was no exception. I got at least nine new, weird, beers to go through, and I’m going to try no to do it too fast, so I’ll actually have some hope of actually remembering the experience the next day.

 “Pulled her dress up and her meat was like…at least dis big. I wuz liike Shit! but den, whooz gunna know, ya hear me?”

Off to the races.

  Firestone Brewing Company, Walker’s Reserve 

Now, you know I had to get this dark, foamy, tramp. Shit has my surname right there on the bottle. I’m willing to bet it’s actually someone else, but hell, who knows, right? Could have been I reserved this shit and then straight forgot about it until I came stumbling upon it later. Wouldn’t be the first time something like that happened.

Although the label on the bottle implies an old English heritage, Firestone Brewing Co. has only been around since 1996. Located outside of Santa Barbara, CA, They are a four-time World Beer Cup Champion. Pretty decent for a sixteen year old. When I was sixteen the only thing I was a champion at was smoking bad weed and clumsy sex with girls with really bad judgment.

 “Yeah, I know what you mean! Clothes are like…so restrictive, you know? It would be better if…Hey! You haven’t seen my lighter, have you? Naw, naw, naw, not that one. It’s the Nine Inch Nails one. No? Shit. What was I talking about? Tits? No! Shit! Clothes!”

So, the black goddess threatens to be good, at least by reputation. So I poured it in my Sam Adams glass. (Yes, I know, fuck you. Beer tastes different out of that glass. It’s one of the few things Sam Adams has done right.)

Black. This shit is completely black. Like The Nothing from The NeverEnding Story black. Shawty got a head on her, too. Thick and shot through with caramel threads. Whoo-whee, it looks good.

Looks aren’t the only thing this beer has going for it. My namesake is tasty, just like me. Although while Walker’s Reserve Porter is smooth and surprisingly light, with chocolate and roasted caramel overtones and a slight bitter back bite, Walker Classic mostly tastes like salty bacon sweat and disappointment.

 My Viking sweat is so toxin-filled I actually repel mosquitoes.

Walker’s Reserve would go fantastically with some really pungent cheese, or some prime rib. Although, I think pretty much anything is good with a prime rib.

 Except a mime. Fuck a mime.

Taste:  Heavenly. This is a very classy porter.

Drinkability:  Surprisingly light. Not nearly as thick as I would have expected.

A.B.V.:  %5.8

Cost: %6 for 1 pint, 9 oz.

Hangover Rating: I only had one, but I can’t imagine this being too bad.