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Yesterday was Tuesday. “Celebration!” I shouted in response.

A number of people I know (full disclosure: I know a number of people) have expressed their unwillingness to single-handedly consume an entire bomber of a beer as heft as a 2011 Surly Darkness. Perhaps these people’s appraisals of their glug power are just supposed to allude to their surface-level avoidance of severe alcoholism. Under the threat of violence, of course, it seems like any adult would be physically capable of swallowing the contents of a large-bottled Russian Imperial Stout, if allowed a comfortable span of time in which to do so in order to save their lives and the lives of their loved ones. Tell them to do it or die, and they’ll do it. Their survival instinct will kick in and they’ll quickly devour that whole bottle all the while remaining terrified that the mind has stopped fucking around with concepts like bitterness and texture. When repressed childhood realizations of eventual death are finally rushing back, tearing down the layers of trivial social expectations and tastes we’ve all set up, they’ll completely ignore the beer and focus simply on the cold knife tingling their throat.

 

OK! So I decided to drink a whole bottle of 2011 Darkness yesterday all by myself because it was Tuesday. It took me two and a half hours. I wanted to be able to fairly evaluate the beer so I didn’t solicit any violence (I did have to use a knife for the wax, though. Huh, funny). Now keep in mind that I don’t have the most consistent temperature control where I store the beer so horrific flavor scarring was likely for something I basically trapped in a closet like an abused child for 442 days.

A gentle whiff detected a well-maintained clean alcohol vapor while a heavy whiff was like inhaling every atom of mustiness that ghost-walked through the bottle walls while it sat dumb and neglected. Dirty raisins were being attacked by a swarm of little brown sugar crystals. Eventually the primary flavor I tasted became cherry and so I dreamt that this was the only form of cough syrup available. Sometimes, when I concentrated too hard on the specific fruit note (and my head exploded), I’d get a nostalgic hint of what those shitty homemade gummy candy kits for kids tasted like and then back off from what was most likely another sign of age-induced oxidation. The transition from the middle to the finish has an entertaining sampler of heartburn (or that could just be my poor health in general) and after finishing each of the three glasses I poured, the empties reeked of soy sauce/green pepper and piss (again, could just be my poor health).

After drinking the whole bottle it turned into if you ate a piece of fudge that decided to live in your mouth and vibrate.

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