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