Dogfish Head Burton Baton

December 19, 2008 by Aaron Goldfarb | Filed under Brewer: Dogfish Head, Country: America, Grade: A regular, Style: IPA.

10% ABV bottled

This may or may not become a weekly, monthly, yearly, or whenever-I-feel-like-flaggelating-myself series.

MY WORST HOOK-UPS OF ALL TIME, Presented in Random Order

#2. Jersey City Heights Lows

Oh I used to be so innocent, so fresh-faced, so idealistic, and optimistic. My early twenties. Going out still meant something. It was still exciting to me. I ritualized it to extreme levels. Now? I’ll go out on a moment’s notice. Throw on some filthy jeans with a hole in them, a dirty t-shirt, old sneakers caked in mud. I don’t care. I may not even brush my teeth. But back then, no way. Joe DiMaggio, when asked why he played so hard, famously remarked: “There is always some kid who may be seeing me for the first or last time. I owe him my best.” Well back then, I thought if I didn’t try my best and look my best, ain’t no way I could possibly meet a girl that was seeing me for the first time. Of course, now I realize that’s terrible thinking.

I lived in Hoboken.  My roommate back then was Freddie, a clean-cut kid one year my junior who just looked well-scrubbed, the All-American boy. His hair was flawless, as if it was actually part of his head like a Ken doll, never a strand out of place yet it seemed as if he never needed a hair cut nor used any gels, mousses, or sprays. The hair simply was. Freddie made Richie Cunningham look like Marilyn Manson. He wasn’t necessarily good-looking, but he always looked good.

We’d start prebarring after dinner, always splitting a six-pack, usually of Yuengling. We were so concerned with our later-in-the-night dealings with women that we refused to allow ourselves any more than three beers while at home. We thought that to be the appropriate number of brews to have in one’s system before entering a bar, the correct amount of beer needed to correctly seduce a girl. Cause, man, if you had a fourth beer–a fourth beer?!–before you left the house, fuck, who knows how sloppy and insane you’d be once you got to the watering hole. You’d totally be too sloshed to have any sort of wit or repartee need to slay and lay a lady.

We’d pop beer #1 and begin shining our shoes. Yes, back then we actually wore shoes to the bar that necessitated shining. We actually had instruments. Smallish shine boxes. And every single time we went out we wanted the toes of our shoes to look like fucking mirrors courtesy of Spit Shine Tommy. On the day in question of this story I had just gotten a new pair of Kenneth Cole shoes I was quite proud of. $175 dress kicks that were on sale for only $80.

Beer #2 and one of us would head for the showers, taking our beer in with us, resting it on the sink ledge as we hosed off, reaching outside the plastic curtain for a tug every so often. The other man would watch TV. Then, the reverse would occur. Freshly showered, we’d pop #3 to imbibe as we got dressed. Always in a “nice” button down shirt with brand new collar stays added. In warm weather we’d ever-so-slightly roll our sleeves up in that way on-the-road politicians do to try and look like a “Man of the People” when they’re at an auto parts plants or meeting with a sports team. We all know, though, that if they were real Men of the People, they’d probably be wearing a Jimmie Johnson t-shirt and some Crocs. Likewise, if we had actually been cool back then we wouldn’t have dressed like such fucking tools. But I digress.

We’d finish beer #3, brush and gargle, ogle each other up and down to make sure we be lookin’ good, and head out. To the bar across the street from our apartment. Full of drunks and scumbags in Giants jerseys despite the fact it wasn’t a game day. Despite our naivety, despite our foolishness, we always did quite well with women back then. Freddie more so than me. A fact that always vexed me.

I thought to myself, neither of us is great looking, but we’re both decent looking. And I’m much more the talker than him. Much more the female strategist.  He was fine in talking with the boys, but somewhat shy and bumbling around ladies. I’d do the approaches for us, get us set up with women, and he’d kinda just coast on my coattails. Or so I thought. But the most attractive women always latched onto him, not me. I was perpetually confused.

On this occasion, an absolute knockout 10-out-of-10 with 400 ccs of sexiness proudly displayed on her chest just came over and literally dragged him away from me and our conversation, not a word even said.

After I regained my composure, found my bearings, I realized I’d had enough.  I had to know.  And when Freddie went to the little boys room, I approached the knockout, Katie.

“Let me ask you. Beautiful women like yourself always approach my friend Freddie…”

Histrionic pause.


As Freddie returned from the bathroom she studied him as if he was a model on the catwalk.  She deviously smiled at me.

“He’s just so innocent looking. We all want to defile him.”

If they only knew. He may have been innocent looking but he was just as depraved as me and every other guy our age.

Soon, with little effort on Freddie’s part, Katie was all over him and he was all quid pro quo back at her.  In the brief seconds in which the three of us actually conversed, we learned that Katie had just sold her company and was seemingly now quite loaded, despite being just 28. An age that actually seemed ancient and “MILFy” to us.  I was getting whiplash shaking my head in amazement at the beauty of Freddie’s life.

That was it, I was tired of my jealousy, I had to compete with the Joneses. Luckily, Katie had a friend. Not a knockout, but pretty damn cute. I would take her down.  Back then, I needed to hook up with women to feel good about myself.  I don’t believe that’s true any more but I could be wrong.

Of course, I quickly floundered, and the Silver Medalist rebuffed me with no prejudice, soon leaving to speak with a much taller, muscular, and stupider man.  Thus, I was left talking to Katie’s second friend who I, who Freddie, and even who Katie, had been ignoring the whole night, and who the world had probably been ignoring for her lifetime.  Katrina, a friend visiting from out of town.

Coco Chanel had a famous saying, “There are no ugly women, just lazy ones.”

I used to subscribe to that theory. Any women with a bit of a workout regime, a bit of pride, and a bar of soap in her house, should at least be passable. In fact, I’d always felt that so long as a women is within ten pounds of her BMI she could rate no worse than a 5 out of 10 on my scale.

Good lord was I wrong. This girl didn’t have an ounce of fat on her 5’5″ frame and she was the ugliest non-retarded, non-violently scarred human being I had ever encountered.  I don’t even wish to describe her.  Think of the ugliest female you have ever seen, now put her eyes, nose, and mouth in different places, make her hair even more like a bird’s nest, and her body even more like a Kenyan marathon runner.

And now I was forced to talk to her exclusively as Freddie and Katie had begun gloriously making out and pawing at each other in the corner. I’ll say one thing, Katrina may have been ugly, but at least she had a great personality. Ha. No she didn’t. Her personality was worse than her alopecia.  Worse than the hairy mole on her neck.

It’s commonly thought that less attractive people have better personalities than attractive ones. That’s not exactly true. I get why people think that. They believe that the Brads and Angelinas of the world have no need to develop a good personality since they can coast by on their looks in all facets of their life since day one. Meanwhile, a, say, Tina Fey would have to develop a great personality early on if she ever wanted to succeed at things. True. But at a certain point, an ugly person is so heinous that they don’t have a chance at constructing a good personality because no one wants to be around them. You can’t develop a good personality sitting in your room alone talking to your dolls.

I wanted to go home but Freddie forced me to stay.  Finally, last call came and I was free to go.  Wrong.  Once outside the bar, knowing his situation was potentially precarious–as all hook-ups are–Freddie became like Dr. Octopus, somehow using one arm to flag down a cab, another arm to prevent Katie from leaving without him, and yet another to stop me.

I was all but sprinting home and Freddie got right in my face.  “Katie won’t let me come over unless you come too.  She doesn’t want Katrina to have to be alone on her couch.”  He stared at me with a “Come on motherfucker, help a brother out” look.  I glared over Freddie’s shoulder at Katrina who was picking her nose.  “I’ll owe you.”  “You’re goddamn right you will.”

I have no problem “sitting on a grenade” so that a friend can hook up with an attractive pal.  It’s certainly been done for me, though I never expect it.  But Katrina wasn’t just a grenade, she was a fucking landmine.  We cabbed out of Hoboken, climbing up to Jersey City Heights and arriving at a stunning three-floor town house which Katie had just bought.  A panoramic view of Manhattan from her living room, it was one of the nicer apartments I had ever been in.

Once inside, Katie got through the formalities as fast as possible, not even speaking commas–“There’s the couch there’s the TV remote beer’s in the fridge liquor’s in the cabinet pillows sheets towels in the closet good night”–before ushering Freddie up to her bedroom on the third floor where they loudly began humping, rocking the entire house.

I stared at Katrina.  Shivers went up my spine.  I went to the kitchen and poured myself several fingers of Katie’s expensive Port.  Threw it down my throat with authority.

After all I’ve told you, what I reveal next won’t make much sense but you must remember that back at this point in my life I did not cut my losses.  And if I took the wrong fork in the road I never turned back, I always forced my way on.  I returned to the living room to find Katrina watching “The Parent Trap” on the Disney Channel.  I sat next to her on the sofa.  She didn’t react.  I moved in to kiss this cold, ugly fish.  She immediately responded and began tonguing me down with a ridiculous force, she surely hadn’t kissed a man in ages, perhaps in her life.  The inside of her mouth tasted like a mix of Certs, burnt coffee, and cigarettes.  Yet I hadn’t noticed her smoking once that evening.  It was like making out with the high school janitor.

I retracted my head as far away from her face as possibly as I began to disrobe her.  She must have been drunk or simply didn’t care because when I unclasped her bra, tissues fell out.  She was stuffing like some 12-year-old.  And I soon saw why.  A chest so flat it was concave, topped off by areola as big as hockey pucks.

Yet I surged on.  A “treasure” trail creeping all the way past her outie belly button should have tipped me off, but I was still such a fool.  I’m sure some man has found the end of the rainbow only to see not a bucket of gold but a pile of shit.  I am that man.  Plunging my middle and index finger into something so coarse, so prickly, it was like trying to finger one of those “pin art” things executives had on their desks in the 1980s.  And her legs were so wooly I was getting cuts on my shins.

I had had enough.  But even in this I didn’t get to control my own destiny as she spoke up first.

“I’m sorry, but I don’t have sex on the first date.”

HA!  Who knew this was a date?!

I rolled off the couch like I was a suicidal lemming plunging off a cliff, turned my back on her, and went to sleep fully clothed on the hardwood floor, using my new shoes as a pillow.

A couple of hours later at 6 AM the sun starts coming in through those same glorious panoramic windows, scalding me as I sleep on her floor. I have to get the fuck out of there. I stand, put my shoes on and go outside.

My cell phone is dead, I can’t call a cab, I don’t know how the bus system works, I don’t know where to get a bus even, so I have to walk. The three or so miles from Jersey City Heights back to Hoboken. It’s hot out and my feet must be swelling because my new and unbroken-in shoes are so damn tight, barely even bending with each step. I’m in intense pain.

At noon, I’m laying on the couch, hating life, icing down my bloodied and bruised feet, when I see a candy apple red Porsche pull in front of our apartment. Then, Freddie walks in, grinning ear-to-ear like he’d lost his virginity all over again. I could have killed him.

“Why’d you leave so early? You should have stuck around. Katie made Belgian waffles.  Fresh fruit, whipped cream, they were amazing!”

I could have murdered him.

“Oh, and those fake tits!  WOW!  Best I’ve ever seen.”

I could have defenestrated him.

“You should have seen her bed. California King, pillow top, sexy canopy. Unbelievably comfortable.  She even had a skylight above her bed.  Ha!”

I could have bludgeoned him.

“What’d you do?  Walk?!  It’s like four miles!  Katie would have given you a ride home in her new Porsche.”

I could have pulverized him.

“Oh, hey, you took my shoes by accident, we have the same pair. $80 on sale, right? Of course, you have a size 12 and I got a 9.  Ha, good thing I didn’t have to walk home in these big boats.”

I could have killed, murdered, defenestrated, bludgeoned, and pulverized myself.


I’d been anxious to try this beer for quite awhile now, especially since my friend Dave considers it maybe his favorite brew on the planet.  This is a blend of oak-aged English strong ale and DFH’s 90 Minute I.P.A., one of the most perfect beers around, one I will certainly give an A+ to whenever I get around to officially reviewing it.  Citrus notes from Northwestern hops meld with vanilla notes from the oak.  Very creamy but I felt that the boozy agressiveness of this one muted any hops.  This tastes far more like a strong ale than an IPA.  But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  Quite frankly, while this beer was great, it wasn’t as unique as I expected it to be and wasn’t completely a tour de force.  I prefer the 90 Minute.  Burton Baton is still damn good though.


8 Responses to “Dogfish Head Burton Baton”

  1. Dave says:

    How dare you not give this beer an A+! I’m vetoing this site. =) Glad you liked it though. This is #1 on my list for sure. Whenever this stuff comes in, I’ll be sure to buy a ton. Hold old was your bottle?

  2. BDH says:

    By far the most disturbing part of this story is the thought of you shining your shoes every weekend.

  3. KingOttoIII says:

    You are gross. There is no excuse for what you did.

  4. Dave says:

    Hah and I just read your story. Gotta take one for the team once in a while. What a friend =)

  5. Aaron says:

    Dave: My bottle was bought straight from Whole Foods so I’m assuming it’s the newest batch.

    BDH: If 29 yr old Aaron met 23 yr old Aaron he would punch him in the face.

    KOIII: Agreed.

  6. AjaxBleach says:

    I think its time for a Vice Blog Night of Debauchery one of these nights….

    Just something to get the loyal readership together.

  7. The Vice Blog Convention? Booths, entertainment, dancing girls…I can see it now…

  8. Taco Town Dave says:

    Been reading up on entries I missed over the months tonight. This one is greatness. I appreciate your courage. My college roommates (perhaps you know them) and I also had a similar “prior to going out routine” and we’ve all had to fall on a “landmine” or two.

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