|My coworker Jay-Dawg tried to replicate one of|
the Great Lakes Brewery's Swamp Juice mixes
at home. I forget which number it was (19?) but
it mixed both the Thrust and Lake Effects IPAs
with their Canuck Pale Ale and was outstanding
So if you asked me to mix you a martini, for instance, I would likely fill the glass with gin, look at the vermouth, say, "Yeah, so what you are, anyway? Are you booze? Are you mix? I don't know," add a wee shot of that because it's apparently part of the deal and throw in, like, eight olives because I saw that somewhere, probably a 1980s movie like Cocktail starring some toothy Scientologist. And for the record, yes, I had to Google "martini recipe" because I had no idea.
You see I'm a beer drinker. The only thing I mix is a tasty craft beer with a clean glass. It's remarkably simple. All I have to do is clean the glass. I leave the heavy lifting, the "making the beer" part of this to the brewers. Oh, I guess I'm also responsible for getting the cap off which is not much of a challenge unless it's corked and caged or waxed. Then I'm a complete spaz using vice-grips to pry out a cork or worse, a crazed lunatic, hacking away at wax with a knife. I don't remember that scene in Cocktail. All I really remember is Elizabeth Shue because she's, well, Elizabeth Shue.
But sometimes, beer drinkers become mixologists, either intentionally or by fluke. You see, my coworker Jay-Dawg and I were big fans of one of the Great Lake Brewing's Swamp Juice concoctions recently at Rib Eye Jack's Ale House here in Burlington.
|Robert, better known as YouTube beer|
reviewer Drunk Polkaroo, recently had
Collective Arts blend their Ransack the
Universe IPA and Collective Project
Black IPA into one growler. How did that
work out for him? Well, pretty darn good
However, I have recently begun to talk to another fellow, Hamilton beer reviewer Robert, who on YouTube and online goes by the name Drunk Polkaroo. I caught one of his beer reviews when I was watching another local video beer reviewer, The Albino Rhino, do his thing and I saw Drunk Polkaroo on the sidebar. For the record, the Albino Rhino is Albino but he is not a rhino. Just a solid beer reviewer. As for Drunk Polkaroo, he is neither drunk nor Polkaroo, a beloved Canadian children's TV character that's, I dunno, like a full-sized puppet or something. But again, he has a very engaging TV presence and I have come to really enjoy his beer review videos.
|When Drunk Polkaroo had to get that|
Ransack the Universe/Collective Project
Black IPA combo growler home, he took
no chances. Buckle up for safety, kids!!
But for whatever reason, perhaps new-found maturity (okay, maybe him, probably not me), we found craft beer and our eyes opened wide, our throats said "thank you" and a new journey had begun for both of us. But as usual, I am Tokyo-drifting off the point like driver Jeff Gordon negotiating a hair-pin turn at the Nascar whatever. Back to the mixology.
So how was it? Well, I'll let Polkaroo take it from here. "An off-white head that laces and hangs around (the glass) all the way down. Smells roasty and dank. Sharp bitter pine and resin bull their way to the front. Grapefruit and mango hint at something under it all. It has some of the roasty notes but they are balanced with the dry, crispy citrus flavours, Piney and sticky on the ends with some bittersweet dark chocolate just lurking on its edges. It's not as juicy as Ransack nor as hard as a Black IPA. For me, it's a real treat to see how the flavours mesh, like a black-and-tan that's just a whole lot of IPA."
Okay, right off the bat, we can see he goes far more detail than I do. It's not my fault. My descriptions of beer are about as long as my attention span. So they're short. Probably because of my attention span. As the song goes, ♫ Blame it on my A-D-D...♫
|Ahh yes, the old-school Nickel Brook labels. I will admit|
that the new Headstock label is far better but the Naughty
Neighbour label you see here? Man, THAT was a classic!
It was slightly different than straight-up Headstock but still pretty damn good. Due to the similarity in styles, the pair blended perfectly. To be honest, until Polkaroo's recent Collective Arts excursion, I had forgotten all about it. But now, I can't stop thinking about it.
You see, yesterday I scooted over to Collective Arts and picked up two 1.9 litre (64 ounces) growlers of Collective Project Black IPA, as well as a one-litre (34 ounces) howler filled with the same. The growlers were earmarked. One for my personal consumption and another for Jay-Dawg, who really hasn't found a Black IPA to his liking. I strongly suspected he would enjoy this as it has the most IPA-ish taste of all the Black IPAs I have tried. Last night, he and his girlfriend were splitting it and I got the following text review: "We are loving the Black IPA! (It's) definitely got an IPA taste (rather than) a stout." Eggscellent, Smithers...
But that little one-litre howler (or squealer as everyone except me refers to it) is for Mixology purposes. You see, I happen to have some Ransack the Universe IPA in my fridge as we speak and I think I should see if I can replicate the Polkaroo Special Ransacked IPA.
Labatt Blue: You better not deny me, you, you Judas!
Me: I think Judas was the betrayer. Apostle Peter was the denier.
Labatt Blue: Are you sure?
*Flashback to over 2,000 years ago*
Judas: Okay, the one I kiss is Jesus.
Roman Guard: You know, you can just point him out.
Judas: *putting on lip balm* Look, I don't tell you how to do your job!
*Fast-forward to present*
Me: Yeah, I'm pretty sure. I've seen Jesus Christ Superstar a bunch of times.
Okay, well, I was supposed to review two Bellwoods Brewery beers gifted to me from Jay-Dawg, three American brews bestowed upon me from Rib Eye Jack Ale House's Cask Night regular Stevie-D, as well as two IPA offerings from Rib Eye Jack's GM Steve. As you can see, none of that happened. That said, I get derailed more easily than Amtrak. So next time. But guys and dolls, that's it, that's all and I am outta here! Until next time, I remain...