Unibroue Terrible And Samuel Smith Organic Apricot: A Hazy, Sweet, Mahogany Smack Down
Well, I sure went off the rails with my posting schedule, didn’t I? Yeah, well, that happens. There was only one perfect person born on this earth, ever, and his name was Arnold Paupington, of Spelthorne, Surrey. No one really knows much about him though, as perfect people have a tendency to be woefully fucking boring.
To err is human, and to throw your posting schedule out the window is how The Codpiece gets down. So, let’s break back into it, shall we? Starting off with a big, dark, Canuk that just don’t give a damn.
I’ve never trusted the Canadians. You want it out there? Fine, it’s out there. I know that all of you have been wondering about my position regarding my northern neighbors for a while now, so BAM, there it is. Some who know me will say, ‘But Coddy, your paternal grandfather was French Canadian.’ I will then call you a freaky-ass stalker, because I hardly tell anybody that. You need to get the hell out of my family tree–seriously. And I’ve never even met my paternal grandfather, so there. Not to try and start in on a sob story, but there dude ran out on my grandmother before my father had even drawn breath into his partially territoriality handicapped lungs. There’s also the fact that the Canadians in general are just too damn quiet. I know what that means. I used to be that guy when I was a teenager. I used to stay up in my room for hours, and they’d never hear a peep out of me. You know what I was up to?
Almost satanic levels of mischief, that’s what.
So when I heard about Unibroue, a Quebec-based brewery that opened in 1990 with the intention of becoming the first brewery in North America no faithfully mimic the Belgian style of brewing beer, I was more than skeptical. I got down right scared. And then I got armed.
I bought a bottle of their ‘Terrible’ offering from The Wooden Keg as part of my birthday ‘Here, honey, please drink yourself to death’ present. I mean, I had to buy it, right? Look at that bottle. There’s really nothing on it save for a silver strip with the word ‘Terrible’ cut out of it. Intriguing, to say the least. I poured it and took that picture up there. There was some serious head right off the bat, even with a careful down the glass slow pour. That, indeed, is a characteristic of a Belgian Trappist-style beer. I raised my eyebrow, then the glass.
And my distrust of Canadians was instantly reinforced. “See!” I shouted, much to the distress of my wife and our teenage daughter. “You see that!? You can’t trust a goddamn one of them! This isn’t terrible at all! This is fantastic!”
This beer is straight-up great. It’s almost as good as SKULLSPLITTER , and it shares a lot of the same traits. It appears to be black coming out of the bottle, but when held up to the light, it has a definite mahogany hue. There is a rich malty-ness with distinct fruit overtones and a barely there smoky finish. It really gets on your tongue and does a dance. And it’s not some kind of low-rent boiler room jig, either. This smooth maple leaf motherfucker waltzes, gliding across your tongue like some kind of be-pinstriped ballroom dancer.
Any kind of strongly flavored grilled meat would complement this brew tremendously, although food is by no means necessary to enjoy this beer. One could simply lean back in a favored chair, resting their feet on the naked minority of their choosing, smoking a fine cigar, and a good night would be guaranteed.
So, there you have it. I’ve been won over by a Canadian. That’s one out of thirty four and a half million. And I’ve got my fucking eye on the rest of them.
TASTE: Elegant, complex, and powerful. Like the space shuttle in a dress.
DRINKABILITY: This is a fantastic sipping beer, but you could always be a heathen and chug it. Try not to throw up on the Dave Matthews poster you still have hanging in the man cave in your basement, though.
HANGOVER RATING: I wouldn’t go past three bombers of this.
Samuel Smith’s Organic Apricot Ale
I’ll let you all in on a little secret. I’m not really all that fond of Samuel Smith beers. The browns and porters fall flat, in my opinion, being kind of mundane and unremarkable. It’s why I don’t do reviews on them, or reviews on beers that I’m just kind of uninspired by all together. Because opening up an article and seeing the word ‘Meh’, followed by this picture:
Is a waste of both of our times.
But hey, you know what Samuel Smith can do right? Fruit beer! Damn right, Coddy’s preferred summertime libation jackpunched by an old English brew house. I’ve had all of them, but on the same night I tried ‘Terrible’, I got to try what I believe to be the best one for the first time.
Samuel Smith’s Organic Apricot is everything a fruit beer should be, and then some. First off, if you don’t like apricot, stay the hell away, because they sure didn’t go easy on it. The apricot here is far more prevalent then in the offerings from Pyrimid, Sea Dog, or Dogfishead. These apricots kick in your door, sit on your sofa, and demand chips.
There is a thickness to this beer that is actually quite pleasant. I can’t stand that sort of thing in a berry beer, but here it just sort of works. Perhaps it’s because apricots (unless fresh or dehydrated) are usually served with some kind of syrup, and my mouth has no trouble at all with the associated viscosity.
This is absolutely wonderful, and if you were to put it in your face hole with something, I would suggest plain high quality cheesecake.
TASTE: FUCKING APRICOTS
DRINKABILITY: Too damn easy. You could put yourself in the hole pretty quick with this, and have fun doing it.
HANGOVER RATING: Gotta be careful with something this sweet. ‘Wine Crushing Headfuck’ isn’t just a great band name, you know.
Samuel’s Sunsetter: The Apricot At The Threshold
Now, those of you that read this blog regularly know that I like to do this retarded thing with food where I smash two things or more together and try and see if I can survive/enjoy it.
It was only a matter of time before I did this with beer, and you damn well knew it. So what happens when you have roughly equal amounts of these two beers sitting in your fridge? Do you do the responsible, acceptable thing and pour a small glass of one, then the other? Not if you’re me, you wouldn’t. Hell, this glass holds sixteen ounces. I’m not wasting them.
It would be really easy to sit there on the other end of the internet and say: “Coddy, I coulda told, ya, man, that’s gonna be a bad idea. Brew Masters worked for countless hours on the formulation and manufacture of those two beers, and you just can’t go playing god and splicing their delicious beer genes together like that, bro.”
Well, then you’d be a smug asshole with no sense of adventure. You would also be woefully wrong.
Because this combination is awesome. Smoked peaches? A complex symphony of taste over a simple beat of sweetness? A thick, yet refreshing body?
In related news, I am now a minor beer deity. Go forth, child, go forth and conquer!