Home     About Me    Most Beer Blogs SUCK     Top 10 Most Wanted     Very Best of the Vice Blog    

Archive for the ‘Style: Stout’ Category

The Abbey Brewing Company

April 11th, 2011 by Aaron Goldfarb | No Comments | Filed in Brewer: The Abbey Brewing Co., Country: America, Grade: A regular, Grade: A-, Style: IPA, Style: Stout

South Beach is the land of skinny people drinking Coronas, skinny people drinking margaritas, and skinny people (or Nicole Polizzi) drinking margaritas with Coronas dumped into them (for real).  Now, any one with tastebuds should rightfully detest Coronas and while I can occasionally enjoy a tropical beverage on a hot day, I’m not sure why one would want to water down a fruity boozebath with 4% skunk beer.  As for me, even in the land of skinny people, when there doesn’t seem to be a decent craft beer in sight, I like to find the large bearded guys.  They usually know where the good brews are.  Even in craft beer wastelands, you can usually find an oasis or two.  I found one such spot on a recent trip to Miami:  The Abbey Brewing Company.

A tad off the beaten path–if the “beaten path” is Ocean Drive*–I located The Abbey Brewing Company.  Minuscule in size, it’s been standing proud on 16th and Lenox since 1995.  Dark and cool inside, brewmaster/owner/former New Yorker Raymond Rigazio is a seasoned pro, having homebrewed (and home-wined) since well before you drank anything halfway decent.

On my quick jaunt there last Friday, Raymond had two of his house beers on tap, both of which were sublime.

Immaculate IPA

The same recipe since ABC opened, it’s good enough that there’s no reason to change it!  Settling in at a solid 6.2% ABV, this brew uses three different kinds of hops but is balanced quite nicely, and flawlessly refreshing.  I could have slugged these all day.

A-

Father Theodore’s Stout

Now the last thing I wanted at 3 PM on a sweltering Friday, mere hours before I had to appear respectable (and standing) at my sister’s wedding, was a big bodied stout.  But, surprisingly, this 9.5% monster is light.  I don’t mean light in mouthfeel or body, it’s a full-figured gal packed with complex flavors of chocolate and licorice, I mean light in that typical boozy taste that plagues many imperial stouts.  I was stunned at its ABV, double-checking with Raymond just to make sure.  Dangerous.

A

The Abbey also has a dubbel and quad (which I hear is amazing), but neither was on during my visit.  Raymond makes small batches and only brews a few times a year so enjoy what you can get!  He also has several other taps from great breweries across America, an impressive bottle list, and solid booze and wine selections.  I would set up a permanent camp in this joint if I lived in Miami Beach, and hope to be back sometime soon!

*In the oddest comparison you’ve surely ever heard, Ocean Drive reminds me of Mulberry Street in NY’s Little Italy.  What with the cookie cutter menus, the aggressive maitre d’s, and the outdoor dining and waddling tourists getting in your way and making movement a struggle.  Then again, you rarely see the bottom ass curvature of modelesque women on Mulberry Street.

COOP AleWorks

December 22nd, 2010 by Aaron Goldfarb | 5 Comments | Filed in Brewer: COOP AleWorks, Country: America, Grade: A plus, Grade: A regular, Grade: A-, Grade: A-/B+, Grade: B plus, Grade: B regular, Grade: B-, Style: Amber Ale, Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale, Style: IPA, Style: Stout, Style: Wheat (Hefeweizen), Style: Wild Ale

Back when I lived in Oklahoma, back in the 90s, there really wasn’t any decent craft beer.  (Of course, I was a teenager.)  I kinda felt like it would always be that way.  This is a state where you can’t buy cold beer over 3.2% anywhere.  Then, I started hearing some rumblings that a brewery called COOP AleWorks was really cranking out some legit shit.  So, when I made my triumphant return to town over the weekend for a “How to Fail” book tour signing, I knew I would have to seek it out.  On both Thursday night and Saturday, I met up with COOP partner/bon vivant J.D. Merryweather (above) for some serious tippling, pretty much drinking anything in the brewery he would let me.  I was like a kid in a candy shop.  Or, to be less trite, like a drunk in a brewery.  And, wow, was it all good.

Horny-Toad Cerveza

One of two canned COOP offerings (along with Native Amber; the rest are currently tap only), this 5.3% ABV American Blonde Ale would seem to be the “lamest” offering from COOP, the one meant to convert the Bud Light drinkers…and it is.  But that doesn’t mean it’s lame.  No sir, this is a 5.3% beer with some serious flavor.  The Noble hops, the malt body, the carbonation, made me think this was more along the lines of a pilsner, but whatever it is, it’s damn good.

A-/B+

Zeppelin German Wheat

Yeah, no craft beer drinker likes American wheat beers, right?  If more places were making great efforts like Zeppelin, that might not be the case.  5.6% and packed with tastes of wheat and rye with just a little hops coming through, this is a solid drinker, better than most on the market.

B+

Native Amber

Red ales are always a crap shoot for me as they are a delicate balance between hops and malt that if you fuck up, they are just gross.  But COOP nails this one.  Caramelly and biscuity with a nice hoppy finish, this is the beer Fat Tire wishes it could be.

A-

Gran-Sport Porter

Porters are another beer that breweries never seem to completely nail.  Often too bitter and acrid, COOP has made one of the best I’ve had recently.  Chocolately and nutty, this had such a smooth, fluffy finish I was certain it had to have been served on a nitro tap.  Nope.  I really enjoyed this one.

A-

F-5 IPA

I highly doubt there’s an IPA this good made within 500 miles of COOP.  The classic West Coast bitter grapefruit and pine IPA, a little hefty at 7%, this is the beer that will turn a ton of Oklahomans into hop heads.

A

DNR Belgian Style Golden Ale

What an insanely intriguing beer.  An over-the-top complex mix of Noble hops, European malts, and Belgian candi giving this tastes of vanilla, cinnamon, and dark fruits.  And, at 10% this is one of the most deceptively alcoholic beers I’ve ever had.  You’ll want to keep sucking them down.  But don’t.  Or do.  I don’t really care about your health.

A

Territorial Reserve Oak-Aged Imperial Stout

By now every brewery is trying bourbon-barreled stouts and they should excite me as much as another boxing movie being released.  But just like “The Fighter” stunned me and found new ways to tell the pugilist’s tale, COOP has made a real corker of a barrel-aged stout.  Aged on Bulleit bourbon barrels, this might seriously be the smoothest, most perfectly melded bourbon-barreled stout I’ve ever had.  It’s not lacking in boozy taste, no way, but it’s not something that brings you to your knees either.  Rich, chocolately, and a “mere” 9.0%, it’s quite dangerous when you’ve become friends with a guy with the ability to over-serve you this.  I probably had five full pints and never got sick of it.  Wow.

A+

Red Zeppelin

This final beer is one that isn’t even available yet, one whose recipe isn’t fully created yet, and one that I’m not even sure I’m allowed to publicly discuss (I’ll wait for a cease and desist from J.D.), but it was my favorite beer I had from COOP so I want to scream to the hills about it.  Red Zeppelin is Zeppelin German Wheat aged in barrels on wild bing cherries.  This is a recipe they’re still working on and, admittedly, by now the souring had given the beer a slightly vinegary nose which some more amateur beer drinkers found unappealing, but I fucking loved it.  Just the perfect tart, sour, yet still slightly fruity taste I love.  It actually reminded me of Cantillon Kriek if I can be so bold.  I will be.  I hope they release and bottle this one day–it’ll sweep the beer nation.

A+

COOP is only available in Oklahoma so for now you’ll have to hope your company sends you there for work if you want to get some (or maybe write a book and go on tour there???) and I’ll have to hope J.D. is kind enough to build a pipeline to my house so I can always have some around to enjoy.  COOP is gonna be a big player in the beer world soon.

Pick up a last minute copy of my book, HOW TO FAIL!!!

Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout - Laird’s Apple Brandy Barrel

August 8th, 2010 by Aaron Goldfarb | No Comments | Filed in Brewer: Cigar City, Country: America, Grade: A plus, Style: Stout

11.5% from a growler

The Vice Blog just keeps racking up the awards. (Or getting spam emails.) To wit:

Dear The Vice Blog,

Congratulations! Madison here, and your blog, The Vice Blog, was determined to be one of the blogs to learn about your topic, and has received our 2010 Top 30 Alcohol Blogs award!

You can see your name amongst our winners here at: [redacted]

Winners were chosen through a scoring system led by internet nominations, which came from your reader base!

You can let your readers know you won by embedding the badge code to one of the different awards graphics found at: [redacted]

If you choose to accept or decline the award, please let me know.

Please do not hesitate to call or email if you have any questions. Many questions can be answered at [redacted].

Again, Congratulations, and I hope to see your badge soon!

Cheers,
Madison Evans
2065529587
www.onlineschools.org

Thank you, Madison.* I am honored. So fucking honored to be a recognized leader in my “topic.” And I have chosen to…take my talents to South Beach. I mean, I have chosen to…

ACCEPT the award.

To wit some mo’:

Dear The Vice Blog,

Congratulations! Madison here, and your blog, The Vice Blog, was determined to be one of the best blogs to learn about your topic, and has received our 2010 Top 50 Clubbing Blogs award! [...]

Whoa, Madison, I’ll accept that sucker too. And to think I thought no one had been noticing all the great topical clubbing content on The Vice Blog!

And check out these sweet “badges” I have been awarded to trick out my site. Score!

[redacted]

Get a load of this beaut. I may make that into an actual badge to stitch onto my Ed Hardy shirt and wear out when I’m doing all this award-winning clubbin’.

[redacted]

Now that I’m an award winner–TWO TIME AWARD WINNER–I will have to carry myself differently. Classier and what not. In the manner befitting a two time award winner of a spam email contest. I’ll start that by now sloppily putting up posts, ones with photos that aren’t even correctly turned.**

I’ll also continue to drink incredibly rare and delicious beer, only rarely deigning to tell you about it. The Cigar City Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout aged in Laird’s Apple Brandy Barrels is one I just had to brag about trying though. Only coming in at 89 total lottery-issued bottles, I was lucky enough to score a taste from one of a mere (reported!) twelve 64 oz growlers that the brilliant new Hawthorne’s Cafe filled a few months ago. They have one of those special growler fill stations so a thick and boozy stout can keep almost indefinitely and indeed our growler opened with a nice pffffft!

Now the first ever Cigar City beer I drunk and reviewed, their flagship Jai Alai IPA, I didn’t particularly love and said as much on this here AWARD WINNING blog. Joey Redner, Cigar City founder, was nice enough to write me and chew me a new asshole but eventually we came to a nice understanding and even became somewhat of online buddies and he even said he’d send me some more beers for review (they never arrived. Sad face emoticon.)

But every since that Jai Alai, literally every single Cigar City beer I’ve had has been good and most have been great, highlighted by the epic 30plus Cigar City beer event Rattle ‘n’ Hum put on this February which I still think is the best overall beer event Manhattan has ever seen.

At that event, in which my besotted grade-inflating ways awarded eleven beers an A- or higher, my two biggest winners for the day were the much ballyhooed “normal” Hunahpu’s, a most unique imperial stout aged on pasillo and ancho peppers as well as vanilla, cinnamon, and cocoa nibs and–totally unexpected to me–Cigar City’s Warmer Winter Winter Warmer Old Ale aged on Laird’s Apple Brandy. I previously knew nothing of this beer and simply ordered it to fill out a foursome flight, but it was far and away my favorite beer of the evening and currently in the running for my #1 overall beer of 2010. A true masterpiece I will never forget. So as you can imagine, I was most excited for that masterpiece of Hunahpu’s aged on that very same Laird’s Apple Brandy. And the shit didn’t disappoint one bit.

Amazingly, the spiciness of the base Hunahpu’s still comes through quite nicely but is somewhat neutralized by the delicious and slightly sweet apple brandy which adds an insane complexity. The thick and chewy mouthfeel reminded me of Goose Island’s Bourbon County Brand Stout–I’d love to see a Brandy County Brand Stout!–and it was so amazingly luscious. There’s really nothing else on the planet like this beer–all the more reason we need some other brewers to try apple brandy barreling. The beer improves greatly as it warms and I relaxingly indulged in a good 1/3rd of the growler on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. I still like the Laird’s aged Warmer Winter a tad better, but this beer will most likely make my top 10 beers for 2010 as well.

I’d encourage you to go find it, but like most of Cigar City’s experimental beers, you probably won’t be seeing this anywhere. Then again, neither will I again.

A+

*Fun fact: The classic 80s comedy “Splash” actually popularized if not created the name Madison. Daryl Hannah’s (spoiler alert!) mermaid character takes her name from Madison Avenue after walking past the street sign. In the years since the film was released, the name’s popularity has skyrocketed by the kinds of parents who name their children after a mermaid slut from a Ron Howard movie.

**In all honesty, blame the iphone’s fucked up new OS for that quirk. Any one else having problems with this shit? I’m going to be really pissed if I have to dig my digital camera out of some drawer.

Black Betty Imperial Stout Reserve Series Aged In Whiskey Barrels (2009)*

July 19th, 2010 by Aaron Goldfarb | 10 Comments | Filed in Brewer: Nebraska, Country: America, Grade: A-, Style: Stout

9.3% ABV from a 1 pint, 9.4 FL oz

You’d be surprised how often I get solicited.  No, not solicited for paid sexual services.  That rarely happens any more.  Rather, solicited to talk about a product here on my blog.  Usually one that’s vice related, no surprise.  I’ll get an e-mail along the lines of something like…

Hello The Vice Blog!

I am a huge fan of The Vice Blog, keep up the great work! I am writing to you about a fun new campaign that would be of great interest to The Vice Blog readers: LAME BREWERY’s “Salute to Summer’s Web Jam,” an initiative launched by CORPORATE BEER USA in association with MyspaceTM. In honor of the program, celebrity chef Tyler Florence and celebrity celebrity Maria Menounos have created an exquisite new menu of fun summer treats and grilled dishes that pair perfectly with the delicious flavor of LAME BREWERY’s new line of 55 calorie products.

Below, we have included a press release and high-res images which would make for a GREAT The Vice Blog post your readers would surely love.  Can you blog it?

Also, please URGE your The Vice Blog readers to become a Facebook fan of LAME BREWERY and “Salute to Summer Web Jam” at http://www.facebook.com/#!/lamebrewerysalutetosummerwebjam

Regards,

Stacy Dumbass
Social Media/PR
Lame Brewery

Lazy, impersonal, artificial, and worst of all boring.  Wait, no, even worst of all–insulting.  Ten minutes ago I didn’t even know about your product, now I fucking hate it.  And once I sober up I’m going to write something bashing you and your product. Do these companies think I’m so hard up for material and so entranced by transparent consumerism to be suckered into doing their online bidding for them?!

Can you imagine if I tried to treat these companies the way they treat me?

Dear Lame Rum Company!

We here at The Vice Blog know you like your alcohol, so how about naming a future rum bottling after us?!  We’d suggest calling it Vicey Pure Cane, but feel free to come up with any idea you see fit.  Below we’ve even offered a prospective recipe as well as some classy label art we designed.

Thanks for the time and don’t forget to tell all your friends about the Vice Blog as well as becoming a Fan of us on Facebook…

What morons at these beer and booze (and other) companies think these are effective means of getting their product name out there?

Yet I get several of these e-mails per week.  Perhaps they’ve noticed my blogging has tapered off to a few measly posts per month and they think, “Man, I really used to love Aaron’s site but now he’s clearly starved for content.  Let’s help the guy out!!!”  But, no, I really doubt that’s it.  They’re just lazy and feel superior to a meager blogger and assume surely he’d love to be an e-whore and help the big guys out.

Here’s my favorite recent, unsolicited e-mail.  I’m still not sure whether it’s a sly joke or from the pen of a crazy person.  Whatever the case, they got me to talk about them and offer a hyperlink so I suppose they won.

I just ran into your site and wanted to say hey! I’m Matt - I’m a college student and I run a little site on the side.I just wrote a post about necktie cakes for Father’s Day that I’d like to offer you to use (I know how hard it is to come up with blog posts). But if anything - it may give you inspiration for your own Father’s Day themed post :)

Here is the link to the post - http://www.tiepedia.com/tie-blog/49-crafts/155-tie-cake

My site is pretty new and would definitely benefit by getting linked to from you. Let me know if you have any questions or if you need anything!

-Matt

At least tie guy is incredibly honest:  “My site…would definitely benefit by getting linked to from you.”

Isn’t that exactly the same thing these other unsolicited e-mails want from me?

Our beer would definitely benefit by getting linked by you.

Our booze would definitely benefit by getting linked by you.

Our book would definitely benefit by getting linked by you.

Fair enough…but how the fuck do I benefit?  How the fuck do my readers benefit?  This shit has to be quid pro quo friend-o (ask your corporate lawyer way down the hall what that fancy Latin term means.)  And it’s not just enough of a quid pro quo that you’re giving me a little corporate-speak content.  Howzabout giving me something I might like?  Like, oh, I don’t know?, some free fucking beer?  Or booze?  Then you might get me to write about you.

Admittedly, most of these terrible solicitations come from corporate giants.  Faceless beer and booze makers, behemoth book publishing companies, and the like.  Almost never from craft beer makers and artisanal booze crafters.

Here’s a hint, morons, actually develop relationships with your customers or would-be customers.  It ain’t that hard.  Take Nebraska Brewing Co. for example.

I’d heard about this new brewery from Nebraska who had just brought their beers to the New York market and who were getting some decent buzz.  Nebraska?  “Could there really be great beers coming out of Nebraska?!” thought this east coast elitist and former Tom Osbourne hater.  I had to find out.  I got a growler of their Hop God.  Wrote a semi-positive review of it.  Tweeted it.  Paul Kavulak and Tyson Arp from NBC began following me.  Began to respond to my tweets.  When out of my own pocket I paid, what I assumed to be, a fairly steep $30 for Hop God Chardonnay I tweeted how awesome it was and Tyson responded with a “Toldja!”  They even posted my review in their brewpub.  One day a few weeks later, I got a DM from Paul.  “What’s your address Aaron?”  Soon, I received bottles of Black Betty and their Fathead barley wine.  Later some Melange a Trois, a chardonney-barreled Belgian blonde.  Now, a few months later, I consider myself friends of Nebraska Brewing Co.  Friends of Paul and Tyson and even his wife Angela.  I HAVE NEVER MET THESE PEOPLE.  I am some 1200 miles from where they live.  Fuck, I have never even spoken to them in more than 140 character bursts.  Yet I consider them some sort of friends.  And, you better believe, I love evangelizing to my “real” friends about the greatness of my Nebraska friends’ beer.  They have won me over for sure.  And it doesn’t hurt that they are making some DAMN fine product (which when it comes down to it is more important than the most savvy advertising/marketing/networking in the world.)

Black Betty[...] poured thinner than I’ve come to expect from the myriad of syrupy and sticky barreled aged imperial stouts that have deluged my life in the past few years.  But that’s fine as the oak and bourbon come through even better and aren’t overpowered by any sort of hotness.  The taste is ridiculously smooth, I kept checking the ABV to make sure it wasn’t 5% or something as it goes down like a lower ABV dry stout.  But the taste is pure Russian Imperial.  Boozy but not scorching, more creamy than dark chocolaty, like a mix of vanilla and fudge.  Mild roastiness and espresso-like qualities.  Nice carbonation and splendid mouthfeel.  A really delicious effort I was sad to see go.  Nebraska has quickly gone from off the radar to the hottest new brewery of the year, one I demand you check out if at all possible.

If the crux of this post looks to be like I’m giving a little lesson to bloggers on how to score some free shit, I’m not.  My lesson is for these corporations that don’t understand social media and networking.  The ones that claim to read The Vice Blog and enjoy The Vice Blog and think The Vice Blog and it’s readers would love to hear about X, Y, and Z (and who love to use form letters and e-mails as well.)  Guys, don’t worry about me and my content.  My content is just fine.  I don’t need some 300 word “corporate speak” press release to get my post totals up.  If I like your fucking product, if I LOVE your fucking product, I’ll have no problem cranking out a 1500 word love song to it like I just did here.  Now beat that.

A-

*I think we have a new longest beer title record, breaking Nebraska’s previous effort Hop God Reserve Series Aged in French Oak Chardonnay Barrels.

The Stone Event at Blind Tiger

March 25th, 2010 by Aaron Goldfarb | 4 Comments | Filed in Brewer: Green Flash, Brewer: Stone, Country: America, Style: Chile beer, Style: IPA, Style: Smoked Porter, Style: Stout, Style: Strong Ale

Note:  any characters with similarities to persons living or dead (cirrosis?) is purely not a coincidence.

You go to enough beer geek events and you start wondering what “Piano Man” might have sounded like had Billy Joel hung around some of these creepy events stocked with some truly depressing lifeforms.  The events never start as late as nine o’clock on a Saturday, usually more like two in the afternoon on a Wednesday when the regular crowd shuffles in:

No man is ever making love to his tonic and gin (a spirit?!), but I always see this obese man with a minuscule Beetlejuice head atop his body stick his schnoz all the way into his tulip for a good minute before imbibing.  The mulleted Irishman at the bar may be named John, but he’s no friend of mine, in fact, his only friends seem to be a coterie of mental ward patients only allowed off Shutter Island for special craft beer events.  He’s never quick with a joke, and I doubt he smokes (would F up his palate), but he sure will bitch about the over-maltiness of a Double IPA.  Davy’s not in the navy but it looks like he eats gravy for every meal (what pairs well with that?) and he brags about being the first in line at every Captain Lawrence release (”I know Scott”).  The fat fat fat Italian lady doesn’t discuss politics but she sure will bitch at you if you get a bar seat before her (perhaps she’s…eternally pregnant?) and after five pints will start ranting in Italian.  Most of the guys aren’t real estate novelists–most likely in computers, or unemployed–and though few women would have them they have no time for a wife because there’s fucking wild ales to drink!  The tiny scraggly Asian quickly gets stoned on samplers of bourbon-barreled stout and never makes eye contact with any one, instead preferring to keep his nose in sci-fi pulp.  Then there’s the guy who looks like Jerry Garcia and wears shorts no matter the weather and the skinny ginger dweeb always passing out business cards for his crappy beer blog and the (male) Indian slob with bigger tits than Dolly Parton.

And the bar looks like a carnival (of side-show freaks) and the smelly British bloke is surely homeless yet he likes to brag about having surpassed 2000 reviews on Rate Beer…all these folks are sharing a drink called loneliness, well I guess it’s better than being a Trekkie queer.

I said Bill I believe these dorks are killing me, as the smile runs away from my face, well I’m sure I’d be full of more cheer, if I wasn’t into such fancy beer.*

Honestly, I always expect the worst and trod carefully when I go to beer geek events but the Stone one at Blind Tiger last night was stupendous–perhaps because I got a coveted bar seat in the mob scene, perhaps because I actually had an attractive girl with me (a site rarer than a bottle of Midnight Sun M amongst this crowd), perhaps because I quickly got loaded and entered my Stoic state–and I had some great offerings. Like most beer connoisseurs Stone was one of my first “idols” but, sadly, you get to a point where you don’t think they can impress you any more, you almost forget to drink them even.  I was wrong to ever be so blasphemous.

Chipotle Smoked Porter and Smoked Porter with Vanilla Bean (cask)

Stone’s 5.9% ABV smoked porter is one of the best in the biz and I was curious to see what these additions would do to an already great beer.  A lover of spicy foods, the chipotles added a terrific zing to the brew which tickled my uvula and tingled the area behind my sternum as it went down.  Just liked Cigar City’s mindblowing Hunahpu’s Mayan Imperial Stout which is aged on pasillo and ancho peppers, I just love how these rich, maltier beers taste with a little chili heat.  (A-)  As for the Vanilla Bean, it had one of the best aromas I’ve ever encountered, just a luxurious and creamy vanilla smell, but unfortunately the taste didn’t quite stack up and was surprisingly mild in flavor.  (B)

Double Dry Hopped Double Bastard (2009)

Now I’m not exactly sure what double dry hopping means, but I do know that Stone’s highly limited, tap only Double Dry Hopped standard IPA has surged into the Beer Advocate Top 100, so I was intrigued to try this effort and it totally delivered.  A gorgeous ruby red grapefruit color but an incredible floral smell.  Kinda skirts the ground in between DIPA and barleywine, like a slightly aged Dogfish Head 90 Minute.  Whatever the case, an amazing beer.  (A)

Ruination w/ Simcoe and Amarillo (cask)

This DIPA was straight danky and just like pure liquid hops.  As I was drinking this, coincidentally, a vagrant passed by the open bar window smoking a spliff.  I gotta say, the joint paired well.  (A)

Old Guardian (2007)

Old Guardian was my first ever “favorite” beer and the beer that made barleywine my first ever “favorite” beer style.  Lately though I found each yearly release of Old Guardian to be a little “hot” (could you calm down on the scare quotes, Goldfarb?) and hoppy.  Thus, I was psyched to try a three-year aged version, probably the oldest version I’ve ever had.  This old friend had matured wonderfully into a silky, malty, cordial-like drink.  Lovely.  (A+)

Arrogant Bastard Aged in Bourbon Barrels

Gotta say, did not see this one coming.  How could such a glorious beer aged in bourbon barrels not be startling?  It was startling, just startling in the wrong way–this was easily my least favorite beer of the night.  The bourbony flavors simple did not meld well at all with the legendary strong ale.  (B)

Imperial Russian Stout (2007) and Imperial Russian Stout aged in Bourbon Barrels (2008)

Despite all the amazing beers I had last night, comparing an already monumental imperial stout now aged and/or bourbon barreled (!) to everything else I had was just not fair.  Not much else to say.  Both were as good as you could imagine, probably better.  (A+ and A+)

So I batted 16 for 16 last night and tried every single Stone offering, not to mention the swell Green Flash tote Le Freak (a very spicy, yeasty saison) (A-/B+) and Pallet (sic?) Wrecker (a tap only rarity that is one of the best DIPAs I’ve had in a while) (A).  I stumbled home and may or may not have watched three straight hours of “Life” on my DVR pretending I was on a drunken safari (”Look out, ostrich!”)

*I’m not exactly Al Yankovic but I’d love if someone musically talented out there could write this song.

Tokyo*

March 4th, 2010 by Aaron Goldfarb | 4 Comments | Filed in Brewer: BrewDog, Country: Scotland, Grade: A plus, Grade: B plus, Style: Stout

18.2% ABV on tap

I’d pretty much avoided BrewDog ever since their inception, assuming they were just some gimmicky Scottish brewery more obsessed with constantly holding claim to the “most alcoholic beer in the worldtitle above actually crafting great stuff.  Plus, their few bottles were prohibitively expensive around me and they didn’t really get that great of reviews on Beer Advocate.  I couldn’t help noticing that my beloved Stone seemed to have a little international crush on BrewDog though, and the two collaborations they’d done together–Juxtaposition black pilsner and Bashah–had been quite good on tap, I just never cultivated any real interest for BrewDog offerings.

That all changed on a recent trip to DC where I made my first visit to Churchkey, one of the east coast’s finest new beer bars.  The manly 18.2% imperial stout stuck out like a sore thumb on the menu and, with Churchkey selling beers in as small as four ounce pours, I figured, “What the fuck?”

I was blown away.

Tokyo* (the asterisk is important) is flat-out one of the best, most unique stouts I’ve ever had.  This bad boy is not for sissies.  It makes Bourbon County Stout seem as mild as keg beer at a frat party.  Brewed with jasmine and cranberries added in the kettle, dry-hopped after fermentation, and aged for a few weeks on toasted vanilla oak chips, this beer is shockingly complex, flavorful, and sweet.  It’s remarkable that all the flavors I mentioned above actually come through, mixing flawlessly together.  It’s boozy sure, but not the kind of booziness that overwhelms that flavor into one hot mess.

Then again, four ounces was more than enough for me.  For one night.  Confused by lackluster ratings on Beer Advocate, a bit curious whether the few strong ales I’d had at the hotel before tippling Tokyo* had given me a screwy palate, I returned to Churchkey the next night for another four ounces.  Marvelous yet again.  Maybe even more so.  I have no fucking clue what these other online reviewers are thinking.  I really want to get a bottle of this, shit, I now really really want to try Tactical Nuclear Penguin and Sink the Bismarck.  I no longer think these Scottish boys are gimmickmeisters, I’m absolutely certain they are true beer artisans.

A+

Also at Churchkey, I was able to sample BrewDog’s Paradox Isle of Arran (Batch 016).  A 10% stout aged for six months in Single Malt barrels, this one sounded promising–there are so few beers aged in Scotch barrels as opposed to bourbon, at least that make it to the States–but this one didn’t quite stack up for me.  It was flavorful, smokey and roasted, a little earthy and boozy, but ultimately too thin for my liking.  Then again, maple syrup would taste thin after having some glorious Tokyo*.

B+

As a new BrewDog enthusiast, what are their must-try brews I need to seek out?

Founders Nemesis 2009

March 3rd, 2010 by Aaron Goldfarb | 10 Comments | Filed in Brewer: Founders, Country: America, Grade: A regular, Grade: A-, Grade: B plus, Style: Porter, Style: Stout, Style: Wheatwine

12% ABV bottled

You know, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I used to think that Founders Brewing Co. was, gasp…overrated.  The first two Founders brews I ever got my grubby little mitts on, oddly enough, happened to be their two most famous brews, Breakfast Stout and Kentucky Breakfast Stout, long-time Beer Advocate top 20 beers in the world*.  I was psyched to acquire these rare-to-me grown up sodas, so eager to suck ‘em down in all their glory, that when I tried them and didn’t spontaneously combust into knickers, I thought, “Ah, I see, another overrated brewery.”  Don’t get me wrong, I gave both those beers A’s at the time, I simply wasn’t OMFG floored.

So, whereas I tried my first two Founders beers with overly lofty expectations, I’ve tried my last dozen or more Founders efforts expecting nothing special.  But, damn, if those Grands Rapids boys haven’t won me over, and then some.  It started with their wet-hopped Harvest Ale, one of the most eye-opening drinking experience I’ve had in the last 365 days and a beer I’d put near #1 in the uber-hopped beer category.  I already can’t wait for the next release of it.

Every since that Harvest Ale, damn if every Founders beers hasn’t tasted absolutely glorious to me.  From their double and “triple” IPAs, Double Trouble (mind-blowing fresh on tap) and Devil Dancer, to their old ale Curmudgeon**, to countless more of some of the most disparate styles around.  They don’t knock everything out of the park–who does?–but they surely have a better slugging percentage than even a juiced-up Barry Bonds.

I’ve probably tried more different and new-to-me beer from Founders recently than from any other brewery and, now, my expectation levels are appropriate.  I now expect a good to great beer and I always get a good to great beer.  And since they seem to have a never-ending stream of releases, there’s always another Founders beer to try that I haven’t yet.  The only problem being that they don’t distribute in NYC at the moment.  Good thing I got good friends in Virginia, Minnesota, and other places who can hook me up.

My most exciting Founders acquisition of recent was their limited Nemesis release, the first in a new series.  I’d never had a wheatwine before, but as a barleywine nut, I was certain to like this effort.  And I did.  Probably not the most “normal” example of the style, Nemesis 2009 is maple bourbon barrel-aged using bourbon barrels which were once used to age local maple syrup.  The beer poured lighter for me than expected, much lighter than a copper barley wine, more the color of a golden ale of some sort.  The smell is straight boozy, just like I like it, with the flavor a combination of boozy bourbon, vanilla, oak, sweet syrup, and of course wheat.  Surprisingly more drinkable and less syrupy than I expected, this is a truly interesting creation.  I only wish I had another bottle!

A-

Founders Imperial Stout

10.5% ABV bottled

It’s heartening to try a delicious imperial stout that can actually be bought on store shelves!  That isn’t a limited release!  And more things to add exclamation points to!!!  This effort from Founders stacks up with the best of the style, limited release or not.  Amazingly complex and rich, with a mild roasted bitterness and a nice chocolaty booziness on the back end.  This beer is just so silky, I loved to let it dance on my tongue and gargle in the back of my throat.  Arguably the best on-the-shelves, non-barreled stout in the market today.  Though, unfortunately, not my market.  Come on, let’s get Founders in NYC!

A

Founders Porter

6.5% ABV bottled

As I’ve mentioned a lot recently, the porter has become one of my favorite styles, even though I’m still not quite sure what differentiates them from stouts.  Kinda like how I can’t tell a real blond from a bottle blond.  I don’t ask and just enjoy them both.  This is a great effort with another great label–besides making great brews, Founders is in the running for best labels in the biz too and I love their squat little bottles for even more plaudits!  Rich and tingly, a strong-roasted flavor with next-to-no sweetness, smokey and earthy.  Full-bodied yet drinkable, quite enjoyable.  This is a no-frills beer, but there’s nothing wrong with that sometimes.

B+

Now that I’ve fallen in love with Founders, now that it’s become one of my favorite brewers in America, in my mind one of the best in America, I’ve even gone back and tried those two famous beers, Breakfast Stout and Kentucky Breakfast Stout, with my now acceptable level of Founders expectations, and realized those two are truly glorious beers, some of the best of their styles.

In a world of such scrutiny nowadays, things aren’t overrated or underrated.  They are, for the most part, rated correctly.  It’s you, or me, that simply hasn’t encountered enough of the sample size to know that.  I know that now.  All hail Founders.

*Son of a bitch, why can I still not get a taste of Canadian Breakfast Stout?!?!?!?

**Or another old ale, Black Biscuit, for that matter?!?

Cigar City at Rattle ‘n’ Hum

February 23rd, 2010 by Aaron Goldfarb | 12 Comments | Filed in Brewer: Cigar City, Country: America, Style: Brown Ale, Style: Cream Ale, Style: IPA, Style: Old Ale, Style: Stout

“I would like to take this opportunity to formally apologize for the events of the night of the 23rd.  I’m not accustomed to drinking alcohol.”  –Max Fischer, “Rushmore”

I woke up near noon, still completely dressed in what I’d worn the previous evening.  Jacket, shoes, jeans with wallet, cell phone, keys still in it, everything.  My head pulsated in pain.  Not surprising considered I’d celebrated my birthday the previous night at Rattle ‘n’ Hum, chasing pints of 13% Bourbon County Stout with shots of Irish whiskey in a perpetual Mobius strip of aggressive drinking.  But even worse than the pain in my head, was the pain in my gut.  What exactly had happened twelve hours previous?  Had I scarfed down too many orders of fried calamari and Buffalo wings?  Yeah, probably, but that wouldn’t cause this kind of pain.  A pain so intense it hurt for me to sit upright and killed when I tried to piss.

Oh right, I’d entered myself in an impromptu gut-punching contest Friday night.

Seems that after drinking steadily from happy hour til midnight, after all the women and responsible men had left my party and the bar, leaving only a quintet of degenerates remaining, someone, probably me, had gotten the wise idea to start a quasi-Fight Club in our little corner and we began exchanging a series of gut punches with each other.  I’d never done something like this before, never even had such a desire to do something like this before, but I’ve never been accused of not having strokes of genius when too lit up to remember them the next day.  And, this gut-punching stroke, did I only barely recall engaging in.

I have a long history of alienating friends, ruining relationships, losing my dignity, and flat out humiliating myself on my birthday.  It’s an annual tradition.  But in this case it seemed like none of the above had occurred.  I spent the day writhing in pain, staying supine, and texting with my friends to recount the night.

How many gut punches had we exchanged I wondered?  About fifteen, recalled Tony.

How hard were we hitting each other?  About 75% our maximum punching power, thought Graig.

And why the fuck weren’t we getting tossed out of the bar for such childish shenanigans?  Because Rattle ‘n’ Hum is the most awesome bar in the world, thought I.  Though, honestly, because my friends were probably racking up a combined grand in drinking tab.  Never let any one tell you that money can’t buy you happiness.  Or the ability to have an impromptu gut-punching contest in a heretofore civilized establishment.

But apparently the night wasn’t completely peaches ‘n’ cream at Rattle ‘n’ Hum.  Sal chipped in that eventually, after about a half hour of gut-punching, some guy, en route to smoke a butt outside, had told us to cut it out.  And apparently, I had told said guy where to stick it.

Oh God!  Who was this man?  A bartender?  A manager?  Hopefully not…the owner!

Typically, I wouldn’t care.  Wealthy Charles Foster Kane wasn’t worried that his beloved newspaper was losing him one million dollars a year because, as he noted, “at the rate of a million dollars a year, I’ll have to close this place…in 60 years.”  And I’ve long realized that I can get 86ed from a New York bar this week, and one next week, and one the week after that, and at the rate of fifty-two 86ings per year, I’d have to move to a new drinking town…in 60 years.  But the circumstances were different here because Rattle ‘n’ Hum is my favorite bar in the world.

Now normally I’d just lay low for awhile til my statute of drunken limitations had expired.  But, in this case, that simply wouldn’t work.  You see, just three days later, Rattle ‘n’ Hum was having one of the greatest beer-drinking events in recent memory as the esteemed Tampa brewery Cigar City was coming to town to unleash more than their full lineup of beers.  There’s no fucking way I was going to miss this event.

I consulted with my friends.  Who exactly had I mouthed off to and exactly how mouthy had I gotten?  Was I truly 86ed?  Would I be recognized if and when I returned to the bar?

“You’re not exactly the kind of guy that people forget, Aaron,” noted Graig.  I don’t think that was a compliment.

After fretting all day, I had no choice.  I would have to attend the Cigar City event incognito.

In preparation, I shaved an uneven goatee into my scruff, wore some particularly shabby clothing (which is saying something for me, I normally dress like a hobo), put on a Syracuse cap pulled low as possible over my eyes and sharp eyebrows (my most prominent and memorable features), and even wore my nerdy reading glasses that never leave the house, just to have another thing blocking my face.  Of course, I had to fly solo, I couldn’t risk returning to the scene of the crime with any accomplices.

I felt nervous when I entered the fairly empty bar, especially when I saw the afternoon’s bartender was the very same kind Irish lass we’d had at my birthday.  I couldn’t recall if I’d been offensive to her as well.  I walked with an intentionally unconfident slouch, my head meekly drooping to hide myself further.  I looked down at the bar, never making eye contact, feigning intense nervousness as the bartender approached and slid a menu in front of me.

“What can I getcha, hon?”

My ruse had seemed to work.  She didn’t recognize me from Adam.  (If Adam was the name of one of the countless beer nerds that would be infestating the bar soon enough.  Damn, perhaps I should have stuffed a pillow under my shirt to create a faux-beer gut.  I didn’t need my flat belly giving me away.)

I decided to open my drinking with probably the manliest, not to mention priciest, flight of beers ever assembled, pictured above.  A straight boozy stout quartet of Marshall Zhukov’s Imperial Stout, Hunahpu’s imperial Stout, and their bourbon-barreled counterparts.

Marshall Zhukov’s Imperial Stout

This 11% ABV brew is bursting with distinct flavors of coffee, chocolate, toffee, and molasses.  A rich syrupy mouthfeel and great carbonation, this is an awesome effort.  (A)

Bourbon Barrel Aged Marshall Zhukov’s

I can’t believe I’m saying this, and I’m not sure I’ve ever said this in my entire life as I’ve long stood by the reasoning that awesome beer + bourbon barrel aging = awesomer beer but in this case I thought the incredible booziness here overwhelmed the subtler flavors.  Or maybe I’m just becoming a little pussy in my old age.  I’d love to try this one with a little age on it but even hot and young it’s quite good.  (A-)

Hunahpu’s Mayan Chocolate Imperial Stout

Currently resting at #38 on Beer Advocate’s Top 100 beers on earth after an amazingly meteoric rise, this 11% beer takes a base of Marshall Zhukov’s and ages it on pasillo and ancho peppers as well as vanilla, cinnamon, and cocoa nibs, giving it a nice little spiciness with a surprisingly sweet finish, and making it taste truly like no other imperial stout around.  As a huge fan of Latin spices, I absolutely adored this effort, and, for me, it was my clear stout winner of the day.  (A)

Bourbon Barrel Aged Hunahpu’s

Just like the bourbon-barrel Marshall Zhukov’s I think the intense bourbonness of this effort blocks out the awesome spices and makes it a less complex and enjoyable beer.  Having said that, it’s still quite good.  (A-)

After my first flight, I thought, let’s see, twenty-four total Cigar City beers available, if I keep flighting in out, I could knocked off the full lineup in only six total plate appearances.  Flight #2 coming up!

Creamsicle IPA

This sounded like an intriguing premise, an IPA that tastes just like a Creamsicle, but I doubted the execution was possible.  I was so wrong.  This straight out tastes like a bitter IPA backed by the orange creamy goodness of a popsicle.  Amazingly drinkable and quaffable.  (A-)

Flora IPA

This standard IPA with cedar and lavender added smells like a sack of weed and tastes like a flower garden.  And that’s a compliment.  Absolutely delicious and unique.  (A)

Humider Series Juniper IPA

I’d been floored by Cigar City’s Jai Alai IPA aged on cedar so I was excited to try yet another IPA from their exciting Humidor Series, and this was just as good.  Like drinking a box of wood.  (A)

Brandy Barrel Winter Warmer

I honestly ordered this one just to fill out the foursome, but it absolutely floored me.  The normal Warmer Winter Winter Warmer–an old ale I still hadn’t had at this point so I can’t compare–aged on Laird’s apple brandy, this would end up being my favorite beer of the evening and one of the best beers I’ve had year to date.  Silky, syrupy, and sweet but not cloying, this reminded me of J.W. Lee’s delicious Harvest Ale Calvados, but even boozier and more delicious.  A huge winner.  (A+)

At this point I was getting pretty drunk and began fretting I would soon break into Leonard-Duran gut-punching numero dos.  I really had to focus and say “No mas” as there is surely some demon inside of me that now likes me to get punched in the gut.  I had brought a paperback and had planned to quickly drink my beers with my head ducked into the book, but, ironically, I kept finding myself talking to people over the two hours I was there and even made two new friends.

I now realized that having all six flights was probably out, but I figured I could squeeze in two more.  Unfortunately, their pricey cask selections, of which they had several, were not available in flight form so I had to go with full pours.  The remaining beers I slugged:

Double Cream (cask)

When I prepared my drinking order the night before I’d flagged this 9% strong cream ale as one I was particularly excited to try, but its corn and honey sweetness simply didn’t fully deliver for me and it would go down as the worst (relative term) beer I had for the day.  (B+)

Mango IPA (cask)

This IPA loaded with dry hops, mango acai tea, and a hint of lavender was my third favorite effort of the day.  As it warms the intense mango flavors come through nicely.  Flawless mouthfeel and drinkability.  Amazing.  One of my favorite IPAs of the year.  (A)

Maduro Oatmeal Raisin Cookie

After the mild failure of Brooklyn’s far more ballyhooed attempt at making a straight-up cookie tasting beer I didn’t expect any one could execute in that regard.  I was wrong.  This brown ale does taste just like an oatmeal cookie as the tart raisiness comes through nicely.  (A-/B+)

Cuban Espresso Maduro

Wow, just like the previous beer, this 5.5% brown ale aged on Naviera Coffee Mills #3 Espresso blend with chicory tastes like a flat out iced coffee.  Intense and smoky, simply delicious if you’re a coffee nut.  (A-)

At this point, the major-league beer nerds starting filing in, wielding their note-taking pens like rapiers and setting up their cameras on tripods (tripods!) to take pictures and videos of the scene…and I knew I had to make my exit, stage left, before I caught anything.

I had twelve of the beers, coupled with three others I’d had in the past, meaning I’d tried fifteen of the twenty-four available.  A 0.625 batting average.  Not bad and I hope to some how, some day, try the ones I missed, especially their Peach and Papaya IPAs which just sound phenomenal as well as the standard Warmer Winter.

Oh, and I’m putting myself on a self-imposed one month ban from Rattle ‘n’ Hum.

Terrapin Hopsecutioner and Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout

January 23rd, 2010 by Aaron Goldfarb | No Comments | Filed in Brewer: Terrapin, Country: America, Grade: B plus, Style: IPA, Style: Stout

Drunk Promises

Nothing’s worse than waking up after a night of hard core drinking with that awful, awful feeling.  No, not the feeling of being hungover.  No, this feeling is even worse.  The feeling of recalling a drunken promise you made.

Now, sometimes drunken promises can be between a guy and girl, but usually these promises are made between two or more guys.  Late at night, more like early in the morning, 3 AM or so, when the bar has cleared out, there’s just you and a friend or two, and you guys are shit-faced.

It starts with someone bringing up an innocuous point.

“Yeah, these mojitos are pretty good, but you know where the best mojitos are?  This little Cuban restaurant on Miami Beach.”

“Oh, I’ve always wanted to go to Miami.”

“You’ve NEVER been to Miami?!”

“No, but I’ve always wanted to go.”

“That’s it!  We’re all going tomorrow!”

“Yeah!”

“We can borrow my brother’s car.”

“I’ll call in sick for work!”

“Let’s leave by noon.”

“I’m in!”

“I’m in!”

“I’m in!”

You wake up the next morning, hungover, and with a certain existential dread.  Fuck!  Did I really agree to road trip to Miami today?!  I can’t road trip to Miami today.  I don’t want to road trip to Miami today.  I got plans, shit to do.

You spend the whole morning fretting, praying your other drunken promise friends don’t call.  “Hey, Aaron, I’ve picked up the car and I’ll be by in an hour to grab you.”  Because we’re guys, and even when we make drunken promises, promises we’d never make sober, we refuse to break them.  We would have to go to Miami.

But that doesn’t mean that we don’t pray that one of our friends breaks the drunken promise to get us off the hook.

However, after years of regretful drunken promises, I’ve finally learned a secret:  no one wants to uphold them.  So I no longer regret drunken promises.  I no longer spend the entire morning after a drunken promise fretting that I may have to do something I don’t want to do.  Drunken promises aren’t really promises.  They are just manly bluster.

Hopsecutioner

7.2% ABV bottled

There’s so many beers I want to try but it’s getting harder and harder to find them.  It’s likewise getting harder and harder to find “noted” breweries I have yet to try.  In a recent trade with The Drunken Polack, he luckily sent me my first beers from a brewery I’d been looking to explore:  Terrapin Beer Co. from Athens, Georgia.  I just love their labels, funny little scenes of terrapins doing stuff best befitting the beer name.  Hopsecutioner is their newly released single IPA–their first ever single IPA, coming on the heels of a successful DIPA release.  Unfortunately, Hopsecutioner is just so-so.  Mild in taste, with only a slight bitterness, I would have sworn this was just a normal pale ale.  Average body, average carbonation, average flavor.  There’s nothing bad about Hopsecutioner, but no there’s no wow factor either.  And in today’s exciting craft beer climate that’s just not quite good enough.

B+

Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout

8.1% ABV bottled

I’d unfortunately missed Terrapin’s much-ballyhooed Depth Charge Espresso stout so I was excited to try this “cousin” of a beer.  And it was pretty good.  Roasted, bitter, very coffee-infused but a little thin.  A well hidden ABV makes this a terrific light stout, though, again, no real wow factor.

So I wasn’t floored by my first two Terrapin beers, but I feel like they got enough “there” to make me curious to try more of their offerings.

B+

Central Water Brewhouse Coffee Stout

January 11th, 2010 by Aaron Goldfarb | 7 Comments | Filed in Brewer: Central Waters, Country: America, Grade: A-, Style: Stout

AVB unknown, bottled

I Need to Get Paid Now

I’m always looking for easy ways to make money and by “easy” I mean:  getting paid to write shit.  Thus, I was pretty excited when a company called I Need a Paper Now hired me to write term papers and essays for high school and college kids too dumb and lazy to do the work themselves.  Though I personally never cheated in academics–too many dummies around me, who in the heck would I possibly cheat off of?!?–I have no compunction with facilitating other people’s cheating and in fact gladly signed off on a contract they made me peruse which had lines in it such as this:

You must first understand that what we do is the actual homework for college students. Some people think that what we do is dishonest and unethical and with that said, if you too feel this way then we thank you for your interest and we wish you all the best in your writing endeavours (sic). If you think like we think, everyone needs help at some point in time, then please feel free to move one.

Unfortunately, I Need a Paper Now did not make me sign any non-disclosure agreement about how shitty of company they are, and thus, I will now tell you (hoping you got to this entry after Googling something like, “i need paper now legit or moronic shysters???”)

Firstly, I probably should have been leery after seeing INAPN’s shoddily designed website.  And let me tell you, what you’re seeing in the previous sentence’s link is a redesigned and better website.  The website they had when I was hired a few months ago looked like some 1999 Geocities-hosted monstrosity.

I should have also probably been leery considering the guy (or gal?) who e-hired me never used a name of any kind, wrote e-mails like a 14-year-old texts, and frequently misspelled words.

Alas, the pay was good, the workload minimal, the illicitness enticing, and I had no easier way to earn a buck at the time.  Then I got my first assignment, reprinted in full below:

The Final Exam shall be an applied research project. Learners are provided a case, current topic, or actual archived data to diagnose the T & D problem and present a training & development solution. Learners are to use new knowledge gained from this course to prepare a comprehensive training protocol spanning needa particular occupation of the student’s (learner’s) own choosing. Creativity and application of sound training and development principles shall be drawn upon to draft up to 5-single spaced pages professional training and development schematic. Should be done in APA format.

That’s all the info I was provided.  I reread it about fifteen times.  It made no sense to me and I have a very wide breadth of knowledge.  I figured I’d be given assignments like, “What I did during my Martin Luther King Day vacation (500 words)” or “What was the one moment in your life that best exhibits your decision-making abilities? (5 pages, double-spaced)” or “Discuss why Daisy Buchanan was such a fickle cunt in ‘The Great Gatsby (7 pages).”  But this assignment actually seemed kinda hard.  Kinda above my knowledge and pay grade.

I wrote my nameless boss, asking for some further clarification on the assignment so that I might possibly be able to attempt it.  He/she responded, again, reprinted in full below:

Good question!  Here you are:

EMPLOYEE TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT
STRATEGIC TRAINING
NEEDS ASSESSMENT
THEORIES AND PROGRAM DESIGN
TRANSFER OF TRAINING
TRAINING EVALUATION
TRADITIONAL TRAINING METHODS
E-learning and Use of Technology in Training

I didn’t quite understand how that had further elucidated what my assignment actually was, but that didn’t matter any more for I was now able to attempt the assignment.  You see, I now knew I was dealing with a fucking retard.  It’s always exciting when you realize you’re dealing with a fucking retard in any aspect of life because that means that your work performance can not only be at the level of fucking retard, but should be at the level of fucking retard lest you confuse said fucking retard with too much erudition.

I recall having one of those flighty, dykey, pothead English professors back in college who never said anything that made a goddamn lick of sense.  Who always cited Derrida and post-modernism and “the male gaze.”  Who made us deconstruct shit and write poems about Duchamp and often taught the class outside on the quad as we all sat Indian-style (though she would probably have called it Aboriginal-Americans-Disgustingly-Slaughtered-By-Rich-White-Imperialists-style).  I struggled in that English class for the first few weeks until one day I realized, “Oh my god, Professor Miller is a fucking retard!” and “Sitting Indian-style on dirty grass is far less comfortable than sitting in a chair!”

From that point on, any time I got a class assignment, I would simply pour myself a tall cocktail–I drank 7 and 7s at the time because I admired Martin Scorsese and was a poor hick–and then write my papers for her as quick as humanly possible.  Upon finishing, I wouldn’t even go back to reread the assignment or correct any errors.  I didn’t want to make the paper any more lucid than possible.  Not surprisingly, I got all As employing that strategy and became such a superstar in the class that the prof often made me read my weekly essays aloud as my fellow classmates rolled their eyes.

Thus, to attempt my first assignment for the yutzes at I Need a Paper Now, I employed the same strategy.  I excitedly poured myself a snifter of Central Waters Brewhouse Coffee Stout, generously sent to me by The Captain.  A BA top 100 beer from Wisconsin, I never thought I’d get to try and am so glad I did.  Chocolaty and coffee-infused but not too roasted.  A little sweet and silky with kinda a thin mouth.  This is a great beer, but probably not a complete  world-beater.  I’d still seek it out though, and I hope to try some more Central Waters stuff soon.

I drank and drank until that ridiculous assignment actually made sense to me and then I began writing.  I was expected to produce a five page paper and about 45 minutes after I put my fingers to my keyboard I had produced such a paper, chock full of ambiguities and nonsensicals and stupid buzz words.  It was probably the worst thing I had ever written in my life.

Of course, since I was dealing with a fucking retard, not an hour later I received an e-mail from my nameless boss, he simply writing:

“Perfect!”

I was pretty jacked at how easily I had made $95.  You couldn’t quite say I’d made $95 for 45 minutes of work since I’d spent about 15-20 minutes fretting over the stupidity of the question and sending clarification e-mails to my fucking retard boss and had spent another 45 minutes drinking a coffee stout, but still, I’d made a lot of money for the most minor sitting-around-in-my-underwear, TV-still-on, pounding-beers of an effort.  I thought I might like to start writing essays for lazy rich kids full time.

I was told future assignments–depending on length and research necessitated–would pay anywhere from $100 to $1000.  Of course, I decided not to attempt paper #2 until I had been paid for paper #1 and, a month later, I still sit here having not been paid.  I was supposed to be Paypal’ed the money after every assignment I completed, but that $95 never entered my account and the nameless guy or gal boss who had been pulling the strings on me quit responding to my e-mails.  I’m not mad about the minimal effort I put in nor the minimal amount of money I was stiffed, and I’m downright amused at the thought of some poor schnook having turned in the piece of shit essay he paid for and I wrote, but that still doesn’t mean I didn’t feel like wasting another 45 minutes of my time drunkenly punching out another essay, which I again won’t go back to reread and edit, to tell you about a fucking retarded company called I Need a Paper Now, hoping that this very essay will now appear on the first page when any future lazy writers Google search them.

Now…what legitimate company or person wants to pay me some dolla dolla bills to write some shit for them?!

A-