Category: 2014 Pumpkin Beers

The Portland Project part 3: Review: Allagash Brewing Company | Ghoulschip (American Wild Ale)

Phot cred: Beerpulse.com

Phot cred: Beerpulse.com

At this point in the afternoon
I was less
Than
To be desired
The taproom was occupied
Shoes swarmed the linoleum as cockroaches do
Not crowded
But certainly busy
The wait
Staff
Were courteous
But
When
Beer
Is
Free
Everyone seems courteous
The flights
Gratis,
I descended
Into
A
Melange
Of gratification and straight up
Indignation
Upon my fourth flight, my bartender and I discussed the Ghoulschip.
Arguably,
It was a
M isstake
And
She
Knew it
“So they put the house yeast in the batch, but it
Was unexpectedly
Exposed
To the wild
Yeast in the
Air”

 

 

Spooooooooooooooookkkkkky

 

We put our noses upon our respective glasses (seriously, who talks like this?)

“Aromas reminiscent of green apples, sharp cheese, slight caramel, wet leaves, kohlrabi, tartness somewhere between a lemon and a lime.” She’s leading me on

Rolling my eyes

Take a sip; upfront—lemony citrus stings upon the tip of the tongue, then comes a sour funk marrying a Danish blue cheese and Camembert or brie. It’s salty. A toasty sweetness follows. (This is probably the toasted pumpkin seeds and the pumpkin, itself—I thought to myself) “Oak-i-ness” pokes through towards the back end, and then dryness emerges. Vanilla flavors develop with tart cherries as the flavor begins to dissipate.

Blueberry aftertaste.

More like Boo Berry

Christ…
Honestly

“So technically,
It’s a fuck-up
Right?”

Dismissively
And
Inquisitively

She looked at me, to the bar, to the patrons, and walked away.

Yeah,

Total fuck up.

 

 

 

Happy Halloween.

 

Don’t die or whatever.

*9.0 out of 10*

Review: Rock Art Brewery | Vermont Spruce Stout

Photo Cred: vtbeer.org

Photo Cred: vtbeer.org

 

T here is a McDonald’s off the main drag that is within walking distance from my apartment. It’s the piec e of shit sprayed over with glitter and given a fancy bow and WIFI. The tables there still stand as tall as I did when I bashed my skull against that one in the corner by the window covered in pigeon shit a nd hot picante sauce that could never quite be scraped off after the breakfast burrito incident. I’m f amily there. The otherwise despondent night manager slips a McNugget in my fries, every time. Strang ely, she never returns my calls. I spend my leisurely evenings confused, drenched in sweat, bitter, po ssessed by an atavistic sense of primal ennui—call it bloodlust, call it drunkenness—standing in line at 1 am behind that family.

“I want that McDouble with heavy, heavy, heavy, heavy, heavy, heavy, heavy, heavy, heavy, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, (I begin to contemplate my life’s meaning, here) HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, (nearly uncontrollable) HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, (slowly dying, inconsolable) HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY onions

McDonalds
However, every time, I leave satisfied, detached from the human race, blissfully careening into the black of the night, into the emptiness of mind, emptiness of soul. The cold consumes me and I am enveloped in a thick, numbing paste of nihilistic bliss.

I’m back in my kitchen, covered in ketchup. I’m scared and alone

Where is my promised land?

I ate a box of Crayola for this?

That’s Morrisville, Vermont’s Rock Art Brewery for you.
A reward for the trip there.
Cheap, obliging, friendly, folksy, accommodating.
Mildly unsatisfying, but it’ll get the job done.
Trying so hard to make two and two make three. Their late fall/early winter/who gives a fuck release, Vermont Spruce Stout, is an imperial stout… brewed with Spruce… in Vermont.

God, who cares?

Look, it’s a dark beer brewed with pumpkins, spruce tips, and it comes out once a year.
It’s a weird fucking beer.

It pairs well with Filet O’Fish with a heaping pile of shame and a large fry, personal resentment, feelings of inferiority, white, liberal guilt, and sharp cheddar cheese.

No one cares what the beer tastes like.

I’m covered in grease, sprawled naked on the couch, sobbing.
Somehow, I got tartar sauce on my back
MY BACK

 

MY GODDAMNED BACK

The beauty of fall is fading,
Death ensues for every living creature
I ate that one

fry

off

the floor

Pitch

black
A creamy, khaki colored, receding head,
A slight hint of mint, sweet caramelized sugar, roasted malt, and dark fruit
A strange flavor akin to grape pop rocks—I blame it on the spruce. It barely brushes the tongue before fading into the taste of pine and Christmas.
Full bodied from the pumpkin, I’m sure.
Heavy chocolate flavor
Yet dry
I dig it.

I dig it like a night of defeat coupled with a Quarter Pounder, no cheese, medium fry, sweet and sour on the side.

Thank God I’m not into Sudoku.

That’s my one solace.

*7.8 out of 10*

Review: Southern Tier Brewing Co. | Pumking

a2007 FINAL hoppe 22oz bottle

I sat on the floor, contemplating punch lines and wisecracks about prematurity. Each one was more dastardly and shameful than the last. In reality, I was crippled by writers’ block. Think about it: to try to stay fresh and innovating writing beer reviews is, frankly, stupid. The torpid heat of the so-called dog days of summer was wearing upon me. The cheap paneling on the walls bled together in the humidity. I was becoming bitter, constipated, somewhere between a Danny Devito and a half-eaten chicken salad sandwich left out on the curb of a sidewalk in the sun. I so longed for the browning of the leaves, the crispness of the air. The company of overly-friendly hirsute men and women celebrating a banner year for the harvest, a bumper-crop of apples and disturbingly contorted gourds were all I craved. The beginning of an end, a cleansing decline, a trip into the pit of decrepitude, what you expect after a meal at Chipotle, a poop joke that goes over well; I received Autumn’s RSVP when I found Southern Tier Brewing’s Pumking in stock the other week.

I’m a sucker for things autumnal. Leaf peeping, apple-picking, potlucks, burying things while the dirt is cool enough, soon enough—where the cold of winter will soon obscure the earth and its takings— pumpkin pie, and of course, pumpkin beer. The monstrosity I had in my hands was no exception. Pumking is the New York brewery’s fall release—though it comes out quite early, which proves itself a bit of a tease. It’s an Imperial pumpkin ale by style, and Southern Tier (out of Lakewood, NY) has been brewing it now for seven years. It’s hard to argue whether this beer—this recipe—is hitting its stride now, or not. Year after year, it proves itself an outstanding beer, but not in the normal sense of “outstanding.” It’s a bizarre, bewitching brew. It’s arguably the pumpkin beer to be reckoned with—or at least, the loudest.
It was some gross satanic alchemy in a bottle. It poured out very orange. Like a light tungsten, beers do not get much more orange than this. I mean, It looked like orange soda. A half inch of a fizzy, white head came and went quickly. Even after some agitation, there produced little to no carbonation. It tended to resemble a more viscous off-colored cider —

…or orange soda.

That, however, is not the perverted part of this brew. No, it begins with the smell.
It smells like pumpkin pie, almost exactly. It has a buttery, otherwise diacetyl (ie. a chemical compound that arises during the fermentation process that gives an off-flavor akin to artificial butter flavoring for movie theater popcorn– they’re pretty much one in the same) nature to it that one would normally consider a sign of infection, but is spot on. You can smell a butter-saturated graham cracker crust, then nutmeg, allspice, and clove. It recalls the banishment to the kids table at Thanksgiving.

…But I’m 57 on the inside, mom.

…24 on the outside….

Mild caramel and toffee perked up, followed by faint toasted malt, and then a hint of earthy, herbal hops. It’s so faint, that I might actually have been imagining it.

Oh yeah,
it also kinda smelled like Vanilla Coke.

While it’s cold, you get more of the spice and the hops. The spices, again, were unmistakably clove, allspice and nutmeg. There was quite a bit of vanilla upfront, then the earthy hops shone through for a moment reminiscent of tarragon, thyme, and yarrow. Then suddenly, the taste in my mouth faded back into pumpkin spice. It proved itself quite an interesting transformation as it coasted down the alimentary canal.
The brew was strangely creamy. I’m not sure if it was the effect of the “natural flavors,” but if it was, they’re working. A boost of alcohol helped add a clean, dry finish. It’s very drinkable for a higher ABV beer.

As it warms to room temperature, the buttery notes come out. I noticed it became a little boozy—
as much as I became;
the 8.6% ABV seemed just a little bit more noticeable. There, me hearty,
biscuity malts
and graham-crackery crusts that came forth,
like cream soda and a
rapscallion peeing
off the plank,
waiting to meet his fate in Davy Jones’ locker.

Oh… speaking of soda, it kinda tasted
like Vanilla Coke.

I felt myself feeling very cartoonish, drinking this. I felt myself
So basically, through their devilish black magic, exchanging of souls, ritualistic sacrifices, and yada yada, Southern Tier reinvented a multi-cultural soft drink icon?

Ipso facto,
Quid pro quo,
Southern Tier’s Pumking is the pretty much Zooey Deschanel of beers.

It’s blasphemy bottled and conditioned.

It’s that episode of New Girl where they all play True American , and everyone is on chairs and shit.

Wait, where am I?

 

*9.2 out of 10*