Archive for DuClaw

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.

 Fuck.

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.