Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I SHOT A WHALE WITH THIS BEER: edited for mixed gender viewing

if you need me, i'll be at mike's house. upstairs. at the dining table with latonya and sarah. mike is already in bed. he has to open the coffeeshop tomorrow morning. he will need to put the key in the door by 4:54 a.m. so that he can dim the alarm by 4:57 and hit "store open" on the computer by 4:59. that's his job. that's how he gets the dough to run me to the price chopper in liberty, missouri, allowing me to purchase a sixer of sierra nevada torpedo extra pale ale. and then we sip the sixer, talking about bigfoot and werewolves and God and oscar wilde and my own take on politics as evolved since the last time we discussed my take on politics. 

i told mike i voted this past year. he was surprised. rightfully so.

shit. this sierra nevada torpedo extra pale ale (7.2% ABV / 70 IBUs)  is good. really good. sierra nevada has never made a bad beer. seriously, i cut my hopped-up mandibular bilateral tori on sierra nevada pale ale, and i will love this company forever for that fact alone. sierra nevada, unfortunately, makes very few over-the-top beers to write about on websites late at night on vacation. their bigfoot barleywine comes to mind as kingish and kongish, as well as their harvest ale something-something style ale (the latter was hoppy as fruit rind, but i can't remember the full profile), but that's about it for big beers. sierra nevada saddles up next to several good american craft breweries with a consistency of okay beers and the occasional gleam of and excellent beer. 

"Utilizing the 'Hop Torpedo,' our unique method of dry-hopping, we harness precious oils and resins to showcase the complex citrus, pine and herbal flavor and aromas that hops have to offer." - as quoted from the barn-door ends of the Sierra Nevada Torpedo sixer package

did you guys know that i work at the writing center in a local community college? yes'r, i do. and there is an english teacher there that hates the word "utilize." she says, "come off it, and just say 'uses'." honestly, i can see her point. why say, as a fiction writer, "bill said emphatically . . . " when you could just say, "bill said . . . . " and then write better dialogue? it's a good question. one to consider. so it makes one wonder, when a craft brewery uses words like "utilizes," are they trying to compensate for something lacking in the magnitude of their torpedo? 

personally, i do not see that sierra nevada's torpedo lacks anything in girth of flavor. this is a big flavor beer, flushed with gushes rustic pine and citrus rinds. i like the grapefruittiness. i like the bitterness. i like the mouthfeel and the exclamation of outer-fruit cores surrounding the edges of every sip - heavy in the front, loaded in the back.

my dear and beautiful friend, sir jason scott, made my ear sweat with his description of this ale. i liked it from that conversation on. however, we do not get the biz down in bryan-f'bombing, tejas. tonight, finally, i got my taste of sierra nevada torpedo, and it was well worth the wait. i'm sad that mike is passed out for the night, and the ladies are unapplying their days make-up and hair together: this is a beer to share, a book to tote in a small nylon bag, a story to hold out extended to friends and say, "no, really, devour this, as if your life depended on it, even though you have the luxury of it not."  

i would like to sip this beer all night long, even in my sleep, and then, if i were lucky, instead of waking up with dream-dragon-poo on my tongue, like my morning breath usually lays on me, i'd wake up with this beer, solidified and blanketed across my palate, like firmly baked cheese, and i would taste this beer, naturally, in my own mouth, all f'n' day long. such an extravagance would feel like my birthday come early.

i think i will go watch DANCE OF THE DEAD now.


  1. Beautiful. Was there anything left of that sperm whale? I can see landing a sperm whale with a harpoon, but damn a torpedo?
    I love this beer. I remember when it was released earlier this year. Baker supplied the brew.
    I think we posted about the torpedo.
    You know it gets its name from the torpedo shaped something that only THIS beer is brewed in? or something like that. I read about it on beeradvocate - pre-release hype.

  2. i don't have any fun facts about this beer. But, the first time i put this liquid in my mouth, i felt a burst deep inside my brain and was carried off into daydream land with visions of myself gnawing on freshly cut pine shards amidst the behemoth-like redwoods of Eastern-Central California forestry. If you could liquify a pine tree, and i'm not sayin that you can or cain't, the torpedo would be its concentrate.

  3. mmmm...torpedo...i'm trying to utilize few words to show my animalistic excitment for this brewskie.