Friday, November 30, 2012

Ballast Point Tongue Buckler

type: imperial red ale
origin: San Diego, CA
price: $7.99/22
ABV: 10%
NSP: 8.1

Ballast Point isn't lying on the bottle label when they write "Be forewarned, those with a timid palate, this is not a wee beer!"  No it sure-the-fuck isn't.  As with any truly bitter beer, the aromas wafting from the glass can't possibly tell you what you're in for - you just gotta jump right in.  And this one will make your mouth seize up like an engine that's just lost all of it's oil.  Wow.

Even though the IBU is off the scale, this beer is superbly well made.  The aromas make me think of a blend between a pleasant IPA and a sweet red ale.  The maltiness is heavy but endearing in a way, like I want to play therapist and listen to what it has to say.  It's also 10%, which makes it a mega-beast of an ale and a hell of a "night cap" (which I thought it could be).  And for some reason I don't abhor it like I do their "double" IPA, SeƱor Dorado; that's likely because it's so dang bitter, but who knows really.

I really like this beer, in a strange, masochistic way; but I'm not sure when I would ever want to actually drink the damn thing.  It's challenging, not relaxing.  In a way that's a good thing, because it builds beer-drinking character; then I think about my poor little tastebuds being forcibly ripped off my tongue by a swash-bucklin ale by someone who resembles this (our east coast correspondent):



  1. Man, I had a pretty rough one today, but seeing this photo gave me a nice solid laugh. I love you guys, literally.