A funny thing happened to me a few weeks ago. I was on my way home after a long night of auditioning chimpanzees for the title role in my new street play, “Puddin and the Primate’s Revenge: Episode One of the Organ Grinder of Darkness Saga” and realized I needed a beer to cap off the night. You know, something to savor while I decided between Mr. Jinkees and Manny the Monkey. Unfortunately, it was late. So late that all of my usual craft bottle shops had long since closed for the day.
Luckily, a few days before, I’d just happened to be listening to the Puddinette—which is something rare enough in itself—when she mentioned to me that she noticed they were now stocking craft beer at my local Quik Mart-o-Stop.
Well, if that wasn’t serendipity, I’m not sure what you’d call it. Well, actually, I’m not really sure what “serendipity” means, anyway, but that’s neither here nor there.
So I pulled into the place and made way to the beer cooler at the rear of the store. As I said, though, it was late, so I really didn’t feel like dropping the money on a six pack I knew would be overkill. Instead, I slid over the singles stack, hoping to find a nice bomber. Maybe a Stone IPA or something interesting from Rogue.
No luck there, I’m afraid, but I found something else quite intriguing. Apparently, the newest thing in craft brewing is something called “Malt Liquor”, which comes in both 22 oz and even 40 oz bottles. You know, for those nights. Admittedly, I wasn’t exactly sure what I was in for, but with interesting names like “Olde English 800”, “St. Ides”, and “Colt 45”, I was totally expecting a style steeped in tradition but with an aggressive, innovative approach.
I took home a 40 of Colt 45 that night, hoping that I wouldn’t be disappointed.
Three days later, when I finally woke up, I was partially blind in one eye, my mouth tasted like a combination of ashtrays and Scope, and couldn’t remember anything of my first malt liquor experience. To my credit, I found I’d taken copious notes about the experience. Admittedly, the notes looked to have been written by a child, but you know, who writes anymore, anyway?
With further adieu, then, here’s the first post in what I expect to be a new weekly Hoperatives feature, Malt Liquor Monday.
Appearance: Pours a pale, winter sunrise yellow. A finger or two of soft, fizzy, perfectly white head disappears faster than deviled eggs at a family reunion.
Smell: Extremely light odors of straw, grass clippings, Cheerios, creamed corned, and rubbing alcohol. Reminiscent of being at Uncle Earl’s farm in August, when he starts up the still.
Taste: Grain. Then more grain. Then something bitter, but not good bitter. Like sucking on a dirty penny. Plus a slight hint of something astringent, like Stridex pads. Oh, yeah, and a big smoking hot wallop of alcohol…BAM!
Mouthfeel: Smooth, yet burns with the fire of shame and a thousand stars going supernova, but not in a completely unpleasant way.
Overall: I guess I drank the whole thing? I’m not sure. According to my hastily scratched scribbles, it wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever put in my mouth. Although I do have to wonder why the land lord has been giving me the evil eye since that night. Oh, and the local police department has left me several messages in the past 18 hours, too. Surely, that’s not related? Anyway, I guess I’d drink Colt 45 again.
Availability: I haven’t seen it at my local craft bottle shop, yet, but I guess maybe the Quick Mart-o-Stop got a scoop with the local distributor. Anyway, if you can’t find any at your favorite place, give your Quick Mart-O-Stop a try.
So that’s my first toe-dip into the waters of craft brewing’s newest fad, malt liquor. Next up on Malt Liquor Monday: Olde English 800. Possibly your traditional bitter with a twist?
I, for one, can’t wait to find out!