Archive for the 'Big Boss' category
Dear Big Boss,
I’m a bit conflicted. On the one hand, I really enjoy your beers, and I love supporting local breweries. On the other hand, we’ve had some bad experiences lately, and there seems to be a severe lack of both communication and rectification between us. Here’s the deal. From the time I first tried your Hell’s Belle, I knew that there was something between us, and I continued to foster our relationship at your place (the brewpub, Horniblow’s Tavern), at local pub quizzes, and even in my own home. For a while, things were great, and I foresaw years of happiness together.
But, then. Then we started to have some consistency issues. It first started when I opened a bottle of Hell’s Belle from a fresh six-pack, only to find it tasteless and undrinkable. At first, I thought something was wrong with me, so I poured that beer away and waited until the next day to try again. However, one night later, the same thing happend – an undrinkable beer. This ultimately resulted in my having to pour a $9 six-pack of Big Boss beer down the drain as I found each one to be just as bad as the last.
A few days later, a friend of mine was about to enjoy a tasty bottle of Angry Angel, her favorite Big Boss beer. “Eww,” she said, “I don’t think this tastes right – try it!” Of course, I was happy to oblige. This beer offered a different, but altogether displeasing flavor, especially when compared to the usual tasty Kolsch that Big Boss produces. While a couple of the singles from her six-pack were good, the other four were undrinkable.
After these two occurrences, I slowed down a bit – I decided that myself and Big Boss would take a small break. In the meanwhile, I sent a couple of e-mails to Big Boss asking about the problem, and seeing if they knew about any consistency issues with their brewery. I genuinely asked for information as a friend and fan, and I did so with no malevolance or disdain. I received no reply.
About a week ago, I decided it was time to jump back in the saddle, so I ordered an Angry Angel at a bar in Raleigh – this, my first Big Boss brew in weeks. It was terrible, and I couldn’t drink it.
Now, I don’t hold myself to be THE authority on beer. However, I have enjoyed a few brews in my life, and I’ve enjoyed many many Big Boss brews. That being said, I know how good the Big Boss beers are when done correctly, and I definitely know when a Big Boss beer is completely wrong. So, I need to know what’s going on! For the meanwhile, I’m boycotting Big Boss beers – not because I don’t love them, but because I can’t afford to spend $5 each on a beer that I’ll have to pour out, and I can’t justify carrying home $9 6-packs when I may not be able to stomach them. However, I’m anxiously awaiting an opportunity to flex a newfound confidence in Big Boss and give them my continued custom.
So, if anyone out there at Big Boss is reading this, can you comment? Perhaps I’m terribly unlucky and have been the only person to happen upon such a run of bad beers – I know it happens occasionally. But, frankly, I find it hard to believe that noone else is having similar experiences. The fact that this is happening just as Big Boss is seeing large jumps in popularity leads me to believe that maybe there are some growing pains as production ramps up, and so maybe that is leading to these issues of consistency. However, I’d really love to hear some feedback from the folks at Big Boss – it’d greatly put my mind at ease.
Is anybody out there???
I actually had occasion to visit the Big Boss brew pub (also known as Horniblow’s Tavern) in Raleigh over the last weekend. It is a tavern the likes of which I haven’t seen before. It is basically the attic of the brewery, with a bunch of shabbily appointed rooms with old couches and wood paneling, a couple of old arcade games, a run-down pool table, a shabby ping pong table with no balls, and 2 eaten-up dart boards with only a couple of dilapidated darts. In other words, it was awesome. In truth, it was a good time – it’s a very laid back scene with some excellent beers on tap for cheap and a number of various activities to occupy your time. Truthfully, this probably isn’t the place to come for a fancy night out. But, if you want a casual pint and some conversation, it’s a great option.
The Bad Penny pours an exceptionally dark brown for a brown ale, and has a nearly non-existent caramel head. The aroma of this beer is very nutty with a hint of caramel. In the mouth, this beer tastes about like it smells. There is a light bit of caramel at the front of the mouth that is followed by a rooty or nutty bitter flavor. Towards the back of the mouth, a sweetness resurges that seems to be a combination of caramel and horehound candy. The mouthfeel of this is also quite nice. It’s a pretty full brown ale with lots of richness and an aftertaste that sticks around for quite some time. So far, I’ve been nothing but impressed by Big Boss’s brews, and I’ll continue to try anything they’ll put on shelves.
To be honest, it has taken longer than it should for us to review this offering from up-and-coming local brewery, Big Boss. I first had this brew at Milltown, a killer Belgian beer bar in Carrboro, NC. Since then, I’ve been seeking out this offering at all the local brewpubs, as it has heretofore been available only on draft. However, it recently came out in bottled form, and so it’s high time we review it!
This beer pours a lovely dense golden color with a thin white head. The aroma of this gives away the fact that it’s a tripel – there is a candi sugar sweetness and a light citrus hint. There is also a less pleasing sour tint to it that I can do without, but it’s the same scent that finds it’s way into many tripels. In the mouth, the initial sensation of the Hell’s Belle is a decent carbonation burn. After that, a rich candi sweetness rears it’s head and begins to blaze a trail down the tongue. During this trip, the primary sensation is of sweetness, with a citrus bite going hand-in-hand to keep the tastebuds alive and buzzing. The aftertaste of this beer is rich and carries just a hint of a nutty bitterness. Overall, this is a great beer that sticks well to the tripel genre with perhaps just a bit more sweetness than most. In my opinion, this sticks up to the best of American tripels on the market, and I intend to drink it repeatedly. Also, I can’t wait to make a visit to the brewery, and I feel ashamed that I haven’t already. These guys are putting out some seriously good brews that will likely be making their mark on the craft brew market soon, so keep your eyes peeled for them! And, while your eyes are peeled, take note of the excellent album art – strong work, Big Boss!