Allagash Black

November 10, 2008 by Aaron Goldfarb | Filed under Brewer: Allagash, Country: America, Grade: A regular, Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale.

7.5% ABV from a bomber (BATCH 4)

My Drunken Amateur Haircut

Now I understand why smalltown hicks use crystal meth and are always impregnating each other. When you’re drunk and there’s nothing to do, bad shit happens. Friday was dreary and I wasn’t in the mood for going out. Decided to make it a chill night in with a friend. We were quickly bored. There was nothing to do and Friday night television nowadays is less than stellar. Where have you gone Jaleel White, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

Thus, we began drinking. Steph went with dry Tanqueray martinis which I gladly stirred up*, while I was thrilled to pop the cork on a bottle of Allagash Black my friend Derek had procured for me. One of his all-time favorites. It poured a dark, dark nearly-black purple with the gorgeous smell of a flawless strong ale. I had thought this beer was a stout for the longest time, what with the name and all, and despite the fact that the bottle calls it a “Belgian stout,” most beer sites regard it as a strong dark and that is indeed what it is. In fact, it both smells and tastes a little like America’s most famous strong ale, perhaps, Arrogant Bastard.

I drank the first glass a little too warm, more befitting an imperial stout. It was quite boozy, just like I like ‘em. And you know what, it does actually have a bit of stout characteristics. Slight roasted coffee tastes most prominently. With a little chill added, Black became much superior, and the Belgian yeasts and hops started to shine through. Somewhat of a hybrid, this beer tastes a bit stoutish while being a thinner strong ale on the mouthfeel. I really dug it. It’s quite drinkable. With a few more sweetness characteristics, we might have had a masterpiece on our hands.

As we got drunker and drunker, more and more bored, we tried to find ways to entertain ourselves. Heckling teenage nerds on the Facebook Scramble chat was pretty fun, in a childish way, but that didn’t last long as we grew bored with their abominable grammar and e-speak (lol). We ordered “Love Guru” On Demand and after about ten minutes had to turn it off, it was torture, and I say that as a Mike Myers fan. Were we really going to have to go out that night to find any sort of fun? No, it was just too rainy and we were just too lazy.

As we continued drunkenly brainstorming, I casually remarked that I was tired of my long hair. It was making my head hot and kept falling into my eyes and over my ears.

“I’ll cut it right now,” said Steph.

Really?! An interesting proposition.

“Do you have scissors?”

“Yep, right in that top drawer over there.”

I went to investigate. She had a nice pair, they looked very sharp. Professional.

“Do you know how to give a haircut?”

She gave me a you-must-be-kidding look. “How hard can it be? It’s an industry dominated by junior high dropouts.”

I couldn’t argue with that. She was right. How hard could it be? Actually I knew. I had twice given drunken amateur haircuts myself. Our first year out of college, my roommates and I were underemployed and overly cheap. Why waste a drinking money twenty on a snip when you have a perfectly willing roommate to handle it? And, handle it I did.

My first drunken amateur haircut I gave to Tim, using nothing more than a poorly charged battery-powered beard trimmer. Amazingly, I did a remarkable job. He had never looked so handsome. It was such a good cut that for literally the next ten days, everywhere we went, strangers would comment on how sublime his trim was. I even credit myself with landing him a one-night stand or two.

I was riding high after that one but my second drunken haircut would bring me back down to earth. I did my friend John, this time using slightly better tools. However, that time I was a lot more drunk, doing the trim at 1:00 AM after an evening of vodka tonic drinking. We thought I did a good job, but the next day at his sister’s wedding, the entire family roundly mocked him for the length of the day, calling it one of the worst haircuts in the history of mankind. Oh well. Suffice to say, I was never asked to do any tonsorial work again. My reputation ruined.

But this was different. Somewhat. This was a mature woman, an artistically skilled woman, who had only had a single martini. Surely she could do a stellar job. And if she didn’t, so what? Big deal. I was tired of paying $40 for haircuts at my gay and fancy midtown salon any how. And it’s not like I even care that much what I look like. True, I try to stay thin and in shape but I rarely shave and all I wear are cheap black t-shirts. My goal is simply to look fuckable enough that my quick wit can carry me the rest of the way with a lady.

It was settled then, I would let Steph cut my hair. I went to the bathroom to shampoo up while she googled “how to cut men’s hair,” leading her to a ten minute instructional video she watched carefully.

After my shampooing, I returned to the living room finding newspapers laid down to catch my hair droppings. I sat in a rolling desk chair and handed her the scissors. Later, I would learn that she had neglected to tell me that these were actually poultry scissors. I didn’t even know there was such a thing. She actually cut my hair with fucking poultry scissors! I probably got a case of salmonella through my follicles. Likewise, the next time she serves Cornish game hen it will probably be covered in festering Hebrew head lice.

As she cut my hair I tried not to pay attention, listening to the stereo and continuing to imbibe. I had longish locks for as long as I could recall. This was due to the fact that from an early age I was certain I would be prematurely bald. My father was bald at like age eighteen, a huge hole in the middle of his stylish Jewfro. Every other male in my family, whether mother or father’s side was likewise bald. Thus, I figured I had no chance and from an early age learned to appreciate my tresses, to love, cherish, and honor them. I rarely cut my hair, always wearing it long in case I one day no longer had that ability.

But now, I was nearly thirty, finally old and mature enough to realize that hair doesn’t make the man. That even if I was as bald as Larry David I would be no different of person and would still be able to attract or not attract women just the same. At least that’s what I tell myself. Then again, that’s probably what all men with hair tell themselves, while the baldies of the world know otherwise.

The worst thing about a drunken amateur haircut is that it takes forever. Usually, my beautiful Ukrainian hairdresser Nelli takes fifteen to twenty minutes tops to service me, but Steph’s drunken amateur haircut took over an hour. When she was finished, I anxiously sprinted to the mirror. It looked…pretty good. I was impressed. She’d cut a ton off, but that’s what I had wanted. I even used a two-mirror system to check the back, sides, and crown. Everything seemed to be in order and it was refreshing and nice to no longer be so shaggy. I thanked her accordingly.

The next day I arose and zombied it to the bathroom for a morning beer piss. Afterward, leaving to go back to bed I casually glanced in the mirror. Did I have bedhead or was I staring at the worst fucking haircut in the history of the world?! You can never tell with a dry head so I quickly hopped in the shower, shampooed, came out, dried, and tried to style my hair into a nice, sexy do. But I couldn’t because it was so lopsided, so mangled, so fucking ridiculous looking, that I was screwed.

I wore a hat the rest of the weekend and today marched down to my gay and fancy midtown salon. I explained my situation to Nelli who, though she only typically seems to understand 10% of what I say to her, this time understood every single word. She laughed uproariously and soon the entire staff–the big fat gay shampoo boy who gives scalp massages that make me question my sexuality, the Dominican desk girl who always screws up my debit card billing, the fellow Latvian, Vietnamese, and Jersey hair stylists–were laughing at me, recounting the story to each new customer that entered the salon.

It wasn’t that difficult of fix for Nelli and within minutes I had a normal haircut again. The shortest I’ve had it in over a decade, but it looked normal, professionally done, sheared with something other than poultry scissors. I didn’t like its length, but I made my bed and would have to sleep in it for a few weeks until it grew back out.

Afterward, still embarrassed, I reached for my wallet to pay Nelli. She refused.

“Thissa one is a free. So-a long as you promise to only let professionals cut your hair in the future.”



*I never understood why Bond wanted his martinis shaken. Only an asshole who doesn’t understand mixology would ask for that. Shaking bruises the gin and allows too many ice particles to water down the cocktail. But I won’t insult 007.

THE FOUR STAGES OF A BAD HAIRCUT (Shock, Grief, Anguish, Acceptance):

8 Responses to “Allagash Black”

  1. Dave says:

    Goddam son you have more balls than I do. I have a huge noggin. I like to hide as much of it as I can.

  2. Dirtyspeed says:

    I always find that any haircut I get sucks no matter who does it. But in a month my hair will be awesome and in 4 months shaggy and unkept.

  3. Yeah, I never like my haircuts either. Perhaps that’s why I never get my hair cut.

  4. Taco Town Dave says:

    You look……..respectable. I hate it. I want my Viceblogger to be World-of-Warcraft-player-ish.

  5. Taco Town Dave says:

    Point made. The new do is a bit jarring, but attractive. Somewhere Pat Riley is shedding a tear over a lost minion. If you’re ever needing of a craft beer correspondent on Bible belt states, I’m your man. I’m in effing beer hell right now.

  6. Hey, even icons got to ditch their iconic look every once in awhile. Reinvent themselves. You know how it goes. Carmelo lost the cornrows, and I lost my legendary coif too.

    Find me some weird stuff in the Bible Belt and I’m more than willing to hear some correspondence.

  7. Taco Town Dave says:

    Will do. Bible Belt correspondent out!

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