WHAT’S UP, DICKWEEDS? It’s ya boy, Icepikk, comin’ at you with a fact attack of MASSIVE proportions. Listen, listen, listenlistenlisten: I’m drunk. And I don’t apalo-…applo-…I ain’t sorry about that. Why? Because I NEEDED to be drunk. I needed to drunk dude it UP. And I know what’s bouncing around in your little nerd noggins: why could Jon O’Guin, the man, the legend, need to get drunk? And I’ll tell you, Anton Bro-xler, winner of the Golden Party Badge after running a German Worker’s Party for thirteen whole months! : I didn’t just need to get drunk, I needed to get MANLY drunk.
See, I don’t know if you know this, because, straight-shooting, I don’t pay attention to what you’re doing, like, AT ALL, but I’ve been busy doing a LOT of weird shit of late. I was down in Oregon in a MUSICAL for five weeks, and then, right after I got back, I got signed up for a massage and a facial. And when I woke up this morning, boys, I was straight up BUSTED. My eyes hurt, my energy was pppbbbtt, and life just sucked. I felt like crap. Beat-up crap. Crap pounded like the drum kit at the start of Motorhead’s Overkill, broskis. And sure, ‘The Man’ would point out that muscle fatigue the day after a massage is normal, that I’d just gotten back into a house with my bro’s cat, which I am allergic too, and also that you’re supposed to drink a lot of WATER after a massage, not slam back 3 beers and a cocktail.
But if there’s one thing we know about Icepikk Fact Attacks, it’s that they don’t take the easy way out. Nah, all of that shit is surface level. Baby answers. Nah, think about it Brobert E Lee, Leader of the Bro-nfederate Forces. Five weeks of musicals? Massages? Facials? That’s a whole OCEAN of feminine energy being poured into me, dude! So I was I was lost in Yin-city! That’s right, as we all know, I, Icepikk, am a firm believer in the principles of Neidan, Chinese Internal Alchemy, as expounded by the sages of the Wudang Clan.
Ooh-Dang, it’s the Wu-Tang! Who are, legally, a separate group from the Wudang.
A system that knows that some things are Yin (chick stuff) and some things are Yang (Dude stuff), and mixing your Yin-Yang Balance will get you fucked up faster than mixing it up with the Yin-Yang Twins themselves! Since Yin’s the energy of darkness, it’s a no-brainer that I had soaked up so much that I was shadowing myself! A phrase that I definitely didn’t make up just now! And I’ll tell you, Brol Brot, vicious leader of the Khmer Bro-uge, these were some dark days. Well, one dark day. Luckily, I knew exactly how to fix it: GETTING DRUNK.
So me and my peeps pounded the manliest winter drinks we could find: STOUTS. Even the NAME sounds manly. Dark beers, heavy in Alcohol, made outta oatmeal and shit to burn up for energy. Now, I can’t tell you much more about it…’cuz I’m drunk, but I’m gonna let NERD BOY take over again, and he’ll give you the 8-2-2, because he knows TWICE as much as the guys who give you the 4-1-1. KICK IT, NERD FACE!
Well…that was certainly…something. Thank you, “Douchey Bro Jon”. Despite my associate’s cavalier treatment of grammar, facts, and…”underrated monsters of modern history”, I guess, his basic summary isn’t wrong: I’m back in town, I’m a little sick, but my family and I did a Stout Tasting. Please enjoy the following reproduction of our opinions, comments, and ideals as we go BACK IN TIME to earlier this evening.
Nate: Why are we doing this again?
Jon: Because I need to write SOMETHING for tomorrow, and I want to hold off on the history of Gingerbread. Also…do we need a reason?
First to the Top, by Two Beers Brewing
You know what flavor is basically only associated with Christmas? Chocolate Orange.
7.3% ABV, 33 IBU
Jon begins to pour the first sample of beer, accidentally giving it a large head
Nate: Oh, shit, I forgot Jon was pouring these. All of these beers are going to have terrible heads.
Jon’s second pour is overly cautious, with a narrow resulting head
Nate: Great recovery. The next beer’s gonna have NEGATIVE head if you keep it up.
The Last Beer’s head is fine
Nate: I smell a milkiness from this milk stout. (laughs at own joke) Mother, would you care to explain your thoughts?
Nancy: (having decided to take this time to start setting up a new system of land-line phones for the house) Why does this damn thing keep beeping? (takes a drink of beer without looking away from phones)
Nate: No, mom, the beer. You can’t just drink it, you have to explain things. I think you’re missing the point of this exercise. Jon, what beer is this?
Jon: A Chocolate-Orange Milk Stout
Nancy: I don’t taste any orange. (takes another drink) Hmm…Okay, there’s a little bit of citrus in there. I like it, either way.
Nate: Yeah, I don’t really TASTE orange, I get more a ‘feeling’ of oranges.
Jon: It’s very smooth.
Nancy: Very drinkable.
Nate: Yeah, Milk Stouts are typically like, blank canvases. Our brewer back in the day was working on a Mint Chocolate Stout that-
Jon: Should we be like, rating these? I don’t know. We didn’t do it on any of the other posts.
Nate: Yeah, I don’t recall ever giving a grade.
Jon: We could scale it from 0-6 thumbs, because there are three of us.
This suggestion is met with the disdain it deserved, and we moved on. Though now that we were consuming alcohol, the number of electrical components my mother was working with was starting to become worrying.
Alaskan Imperial Oatmeal Stout
IS this a subtle allusion to Polar Express?
9.0% ABV, 45 IBU
First, I want to say: this stuff was SHOCKINGLY dark. It poured out slowly, like the black blood of the earth. It produced NO head when poured, regardless of angle I poured it at.
Nate: This smells like what I picture the Hershey’s factory smelled like in the 1800’s. Redolent* with chocolate and Hay. (laughs) I’m just being pretentious because you’ve got to write it down.
Jon: It’s fine. To make it stronger, I’m going to claim you used the word ‘redolent’.
Nate: I will allow this only if you tell me what it means first.
Jon: It’s the good version of “smelly”.
As opposed to BAD forms of ‘smelly’. AHEM.
Nancy: I don’t smell anything. (takes a drink) Is this one chocolate?
Nancy: I get more chocolate out of this one than the first one. I like this one too.
Jon: Maybe it’s because it’s an Imperial? Doesn’t that mean it’s…barrel aged or something?
Nate: No, “Barrel-aged” means barrel-aged. Imperial means Imperial.
Jon: Then what does THAT mean?
Nate: Well, it’s…fuck, I should know this. …Um…SIRI, What does “imperial beer” mean? No, not Imperial bear…
This beer is a little harsher than the first one. A bit of burn on the sides of the tongue. I reflect on this as Nate googles, and the phones continue their plaintive beeping for power.
Nate: “Imperial Beers used to refer to beers made in England and sold directly to Russia, specifically the Imperial Court in Russia. In modern American craft beer parlance, they simply refer to beers with big, bold flavors, without relating to any specific hops, malts, or other components”.
Nancy (from the other room): I need some help.
Nate: Maybe don’t fucking start random fucking side-projects in the fucking middle of a fucking tasting! (walking into other room to help) I realized I had said “fucking” twice, and decided to just lean into the bit.
While they tinker with the phones, the cat has decided to come hang out and sit on the arm of my chair.
It’s like she knows about my allergy, and wants me to suffer.
Me petting her probably doesn’t help matters.
This reminds me that I’m drinking this alcohol, as well as the glass I had at dinner, on top of two tabs of Benadryl, which I’m pretty sure isn’t a good move.
Quoth the Raven: Drink some more
9.5% ABV, 70 IBU
This beer smells a little like fire.
Nate: (takes first drink) Damn! Is this the spicy one? (No, that’s later.)
Nancy: This tastes like it has Hoppies
Nate: Did you mean hippies? No, wait, that’s Soylent Green. (takes another drink) Hmm. This second drink has less burn. WAIT, I’m being pedantic!
Jon: I thought that was why you were playing violin music.
Nate: Nah, this is just a chick at conventions playing cosplayers’ characters’ themes. Crap, I forgot my own bit. Umm.. ‘There’s a sharpness on the first taste that is…’ Is there a fancy word for “smooth”?
Jon: “A suave character”?
Nancy: Yeah, Jon’s definitely a suave character.
Jon: “Silken”? Something in this definitely hits my nose.
Nancy: (pounds half of her sample) Least Favorite!
Nate: This is definitely Harsher.
Jon: It is 5% more alcohol.
Jon: POINT five. 0.5% more alcohol.
Nate: I was about to say, Jon, 5% more alcohol is something you need to warn me about. Also, this is definitely for my bit. (he has had his phone start playing smooth piano music)
Jon: Is this Jazz?
Nate: “Cocktail Piano”.
At this point, we realize that our mother still has half a glass of sample left, so we’ve been sitting doing nothing for 6 minutes. Nate and I both begin chanting ‘Chug Chug Chug!’ at her, because Nate was in a frat, and I went to WSU, so our alcoholism has metastasized to most of our personality by this point.
I do like that the name is basically “Choco-eer”, translated from Aztec/Spanish.
8.1% ABV, 50 IBU
Jon: (Thinking “This smells like peppers and dark chocolate.”) NATE, Stop watching Vines and smell this!
Nancy: Is it hot? (sniffs) I don’t smell anything.
Nate: I don’t smell anything over the nutmeg. And I only know it’s nutmeg because I read the bottle. (tastes it) Oh, wow. This is the wrong pepper. It’s not BAD, but the flavor of this specific pepper is too strong. It should be a little milder, with a little more heat.
Nancy: Oooo, don’t swish it around your mouth!
Jon immediately swished it around his mouth. It was…not terrible, but not a great experience.
Nancy: I agrees that this is not my favorite, and I also agree that it’s because of the strength of the pepper.
Nate: Holy Molé! (long beat) Excuse me while I go kill myself.
Jon: While nate’s dying, take another drink, and think about this: pretty good float.
Nate: Yeah, a little-
Nancy: Chocolate ice cream.
Nate: Chocolate ice cream, and a pinch of cinnamon on top. Pretty good.
At this point, the coherence of the evening starts to dissolve. My stomach starts hurting. We get a phone call from Washington State University who are looking for another Alumni donation from me after cutting my department TWICE in the last decade. Nate and I note that the robo Caller-ID voice saying “wash state univ” sounds like “absolute unit”, and quote memes at each other for a bit. I say it’s time to “talk turkey”, and we both starting gobbling like the birds, general madness unfolds.
To appease my internal discomfort, I start eating from a tub of mixed nuts. But I’m only eating the good nuts. Pistachios and Pecans, son. FUCK Cashews.
Almonds, you’re okay.
Jon: Should we end this here? I’m getting nods. We were supposed to drink one more stout, but the whole thing is falling apart. Let’s pop some wine stoppers in these, and call it a night. Any final thoughts? Favorite beer? My read of the room is that First to the Top was our winner.
Nate: Yeah, I think my ranking is 1-2-4-3.
Nancy: You didn’t like the pepper one?
Nate: No, the pepper one was 4. I liked it a little better than the third one.
Nancy: Oh, right. Yeah…I like that order.
(Editor’s Note: Only the first beer clearly labeled its IBU content, which, looking it up this morning to add to the write-ups, exactly correlated to my family’s ranking of the beers. Which might have been valuable information to helping us make our judgments, and also serves as a fairly easy “oh, so that’s what they like” indicator.)
Personally, they were all fine, it just depends on what you’re looking for. Number 1 was certainly the easiest to drink, while something like number 4 is more clearly original and distinct. Number 3 FELT the most powerful, so if that’s what you like in a stout, I’d say go for it. And I’d replace the numbers with their names, but I’m tired.
So let’s put a STOP to this topic, eh?
Shit, I’ve still got to write this, don’t I? Drunk Jon, do you want to do it?
Ummm…Emotionally vulnerable Jon?
I’d prefer not to.
Damn, then who are we gonna get to-
BRO. BRO. Truman Ca-bro-te, let me handle it, Big G.
Douchey Frat Jon? Where the hell have you been?
Epic yarn, my bro, see I was-
I’ve just remembered that I don’t care. Alright, you got it.
Sweet, dude, give me the mic.
It’s just a computer.
WHAT’S UP, DICKWEEDS? It’s ya boy, Icepikk, comin’ at you with a fact attack of MASSIVE proportions…
MONDAY: JON MAKES CHICKEN CASSEROLE IN A CUP, BECAUSE ALL HIS EQUIPMENT WAS GONE.
THURSDAY: I’LL GET BACK TO YOU ON MONDAY. I’M WORKING OUT A SCHEDULE FOR THE NEXT FEW WEEKS, AND I’LL BE BETTER EQUIPPED TO LAY IT OUT.