Hailstorm Tequila Barrel Aged Crash Test Dummy

Added on by Uncommon Nasa.

So you all remember that one Hailstorm Brewery beer I wrote about awhile ago right? The Tequila barrel aged Russian Imperial Stout named Vlad the Conquistador that had notes of cinnamon, vanilla and a hint of chili pepper? Yeah that one.

Well, right next on the shelf at a couple of Liquor stores out here in Chicago typically lies an interesting little number named Tequila Barrel Aged Crash Test Dummy which happens to be a Belgian Tripel aged in tequila barrels. What barrels???? Tequila barrels fool!!!!


The shit's like a national treasure. It's somewhat of a scarcity really. I've so far only encountered two beers that have graced empty tequila barrels so far and they both were experimented with by Hailstorm. With that said, bravo folks at Hailstorm, bravo.  Y'all are the shit. Straight up.


So let's get into the actual review of this here brew shall we?  First things first I have to say that though I feel a waxed top on a bottle is a true sign of prestige and quality I absolutely loathe having to put the work in to open one of these motherfuckers. Like come on fam.
Moving along once I crack it open there is a brief hiss that literally lasts a second then
Nothing. Straight calmness. No C.O. 2 release signage (though of course it was released since the bottle has been opened),


I may be a little scared. Maybe.


So I pour this thing into my trusty Buckledown Brewing 12oz snifter and take a whiff.  Nose: Tequila and Belgian yeast without a doubt. Wow. This is going to be interesting to say the least. First sip: BOOM tequila right out the gate then a nutty taste takes over until it finishes with more tequila. Damn this is boozy. This is incredibly boozy, like scary. Shouldn't be drinking this solo but my only back up has a baby on her chest so I'll have to hold it down tonight as I'm sure her eyes will be battling over 500 in no time. Mouthfeel: Creamy, understandable smooth shit that murders move with no doubt. Dangerously drinkable despite the tequila kick. It's not spicy at all so it goes down with absolutely no problem. The crazy thing is it's actually quite chewy. It's a thick-bodied brew for sure. Overall: You still get the original Belgian tripel Crash Test Dummy base in there but the tequila really leads the way and covers things on the finish. This is intense but amazing. I'm honestly so impressed that I can't think of any synonyms for this shit right now. Just simply terrific. I love this beer man. I will tell you this now you'll never catch me drinking this alone though ever again. Nope. Not gonna be that guy again. As I'm writing all this right now I can seriously feel the Booze taking over. The bottle reads 10.7% abv but It hits like the 40% from a bottle of tequila. Wow.

Pro Tips:
Never drink this by yourself, you're an idiot if you do
Buy two of these (1 to age and one to share)

5 Drink Tickets

EVENT - Fischman Liquors & Tavern "Almost Tapped Out"

Added on by Uncommon Nasa.

Contributed by Collasoul Structure.

Fischman Liquors and Tavern, the beloved Craft Beer institution here in Chicago will be closing after 8 years of awesomeness and serving the ever-growing beer nerd community in this fine city of mine. To say they will be missed is a tremendous disservice. They will be mourned is more like it. Crazy enough, this is the very first time I have ever stepped foot in this place and it just so happens to be probably the last event that will be held in/at the premises. I suck, don't remind me. It should be noted that all proceeds from this event are going to the The National Kidney Foundation of Illinois. Very honorable.

So, I am here at Fischman Liquors and Tavern for their "Almost Tapped Out" event which is located in the backyard of that very building.

Backyard Tasting Taps at Fischman Liquors & Tavern


The event boasts an extremely impressive list of aged highly sought after brews from the likes of Avery, Lost Abbey, Evil Twin, Founders and more. Some brews are bourbon barrel aged and some aren't but damn sure taste like it. Styles of beer range from Barleywine, to Weiss wine to stout, with Stout dominating the list. Attending this fabulous event with me are my sister Ronda and her boyfriend Dave who are both beer enthusiasts like yours truly. Picked up our tasting glasses and once again it's on!!!!

Here's what I tried:

Goose Island Big John (2012)

Goose Island Big John (2012)- Served more chilled than it should be; HUGE, Roasty, SWEET, viscous uber boozy, tasting almost bourbon barrel aged. Absolutely delicious. A true gem. This is the brother of Night Stalker which happens to be the base beer for Bourbon County Brand Stout.

Avery Pumpkin- sticky, syrupy, aggressively sweet, pretty much a pumpkin pie to the face by (RIP) Kimbo Slice. Would never try it again, Sugar bomb.

Bourbon Barrel Aged Gonzo- getting a lot of barrel from this, Bourbon bourbon bourbon. finishes a little flat.  Still tasty but definitely flat as a board. The base is always great so try that if you can find it.

Stone Smoked Guardian- Not sure if I like my smoke with my barleywine. Doesn't mesh well. Love smoked-everything but I'm not in love with this here. Have to give Stone brewing an A for effort but nah, I like old guardian but this doesn't work for me.

Founders Old Curmudgeon (2013)- simply magnificent. Nutty, Hoppy, full bodied. Honestly this is one of the best beers I've ever had. A bit of sediment at the bottom of the glass that almost resembles boogers. Awesome haha.

Evil Twin Imperial Donut Break- pretty good stout. Roasty, little nutty, solid. Unfortunately no donuts were harmed in the process of brewing this beer.

Two Brothers Weiss Wine Baretree (2013)-Apple, wheat, sugar hahaha. Tasty as fuck. Saw this on the shelve at Kimbark Liquors in Hyde Park awhile ago, now I should've made the purchase. All good.

Lost Abbey Serpent Stout- solid stout. Haven't had any of their stuff before so I didn't know what to expect. Good stout. No complaints.

Darkhorse Plead the Fifth (2014) -I am a huge fan of plead the fifth no matter what year. Plead the Fifth is in the top 5 best Imperial Stouts ever. This version was 6 thumbs up. The age might have calmed it down a tad but it's still quite roasty. Lovely.

**Had another Big John just to satisfy my thirst for it. Sooooooo good. Luuuuv this beer. Excellence. If Goose Island doesn't brew this again they all should be kidnapped and forced to do so at gun point. The views expressed by Collasoul don't reflect Uncommon Brews or the great brewery mentioned**

I recommend every single beer that I tried. Top of the line shit folks. Peace!!

Hailstorm Brewing Vlad the Conquistador

Added on by Uncommon Nasa.

Contributed by Collasoul Structure

This past November I had the astute pleasure of attending The Festival Of Wood And Barrel Aged Beers in Chicago, IL and indulging in the most rare, sought after liquid treasures of this world.  I also had the opportunity to serve them to thousands of eager, supremely knowledgeable (some were completely clueless but enjoy good beers) uber-beer snob enthusiast motherfuckers who were more nerdier than I am.  Some may very well have been certified master cicerones.

My friends I'll tell ya, it was the most glorious experience of my life. I mean I helped deliver my beautiful angel of a daughter 6 months ago, released numerous classic albums (or at least I believe they are!), traveled quite a bit (does a west coast tour count?), scored a McDonalds commercial (they played literally 8 seconds of our song during halftime of the 2013 Super Bowl) and accomplished all sorts of cool shit that I can't quite put into words at the moment because they're so fucking awesome but maaaaaannnn let me tell you..... This day was a special one y'all.

I had so many 4oz's of stout, porter, experimental goodness in a glass that after a certain point my palate completely gave up on me. But before I could meet my sudden death by overdose of bourbon barrel aged stout I managed to get a sample of Hailstorm Brewing Company's Vlad The Conquistador. Now as far as I could remember this had a hint of spice (due to the tango between Cinnamon and chilies) and had a medium body with a sweet cinnamon/vanilla finish. Definitely was a mindfuck of a flavor bomb for sure and at 14.1% ABV, I'm sure it would be like one of the brews that went down like a fuckin warm glass of water before a show (easy as fuck). 

Now fast forward to 2 months and some change later, I managed to wrestle down a bottle of Vlad The Conquistador aged in Tequila barrels. Let's say this again for the slow motherfuckers in the back. TEQUILA BARRELS FAM!!!!! Which means you're going to get some serious bite or the need to want to get freaky with some sexy pretty thang at the bar named [insert name here] (respectfully) with a big Ol' ass and an art degree!!!!!

First of all the bottle is purty and the top is dressed with purple wax which means this is some serious shit right here if the wax is present. My girl felt the need to annoy the shit out of me and insisted on dewaxing the bottle(which took longer than it should have of course but she's my sweetheart) but left the official opening honors to your truly (awwwwww). I popped it open like it was 11:59pm on December 24th and I'm 9 years old.  Not much of a hiss from the opening and definitely a calm before the storm. I put my nose to the bottle and got whiff of cinnamon first which quickly shifted to tequila and a little bit of chilies heat. Carbonated just right. I poured this demon into a 10oz blank bootleg snifter.  It pours out of the bottle almost black as night, reminiscent of Dr. Pepper. No head whatsoever. My kind of brew. Just straight darkness. Lagoon. Blackness.

I take my first sip and I catch heat first, cinnamon, vanilla and BOOM!!!! Tequila. Not overwhelming but it's definitely there to let it's presence be known. Ridiculously drinkable. Smooth as Sade adu's skin and sound.  The elements of this brew marry together so well. No one is fighting for the top spot, just all working in unison. It's unbelievable. Cinnamon. Vanilla. Chocolate. Chilies. Tequila. This may be one of my favorite brews of the year already.  Hailstorm you did great. I'm proud of you.  The state of Illinois is too.

5 Drink Tickets