Velvet Rooster 8.5% ABV
Tall Grass Brewing Co.
With glee I cracked open the first pint can of the 4 pack. I pressed my lips to the can and took a swig. The horrid taste caused me to wince immediately. I took another swig which produced full body convulsions. My entire body was revolting with my taste-buds. I chugged down the rest of the contents of the can, as I’m not one to pour out a beer. This was the worst beer drinking experience I have had since the Big Eddy Wee Heavy Scotch Ale. I was shocked. Granted a Belgian Style Tripel isn’t my favorite style, but this was a beer from Tall Grass. I’ve been thoroughly impressed with all their products up to this point. What the hell was going on? I decided not to be too hasty and to refrain from passing full judgment until I tried out another can.
Tall Grass boasts about the Velvet Rooster: “The first Belgian-style tripel in a can in the world.” I strongly discourage anyone from drinking this beer straight from the can. It is evident after my experience doing so, why no other brewery makes this style in a can. I poured the 2nd of the 4 pack into a Tulip glass as recommend on the Tall Grass website. I was hesitant and slowly brought the glass to my mouth. Taking a small tentative sip, I was pleasantly surprised. This beer was actually pretty good. It is quite amazing what a difference a container can make on the taste of a beverage. This brew is not nearly as good as the Chimay Tripel, but you can grab a 4 pack of pint cans, for the same price as an 11.2 oz bottle of the Chimay.
This Tall Grass can is most colorful and now sits as my favorite label artwork. It makes me think of a weather vane, sitting atop a Kansas barn as it starts to flit and twirl in the wind that has just picked up, predicating an oncoming storm, a tornado perhaps. I can not help but think of the Wizard of Oz and the switch from drab black and white to dazzling Technicolor. This beer enlivens my imagination as it caresses my taste-buds with its light effervescent carbonation. I long for a more adept palate, so as to offer some portrait with words of the subtle notes and hints of citrus and sweetness this beverage offers. But I sit in the simple pleasure the beer affords me at the moment. I allow my mind to wander. I picture a wooden rocking chair, on a wrap around porch. A small table situated to the right, the perfect place to set down my glass from time to time. I gently creak back and forth; listening to the birds and watching the squirrels dig up their pre-winter buried nuts. Spring has finally come, after a much too harsh and far too long winter. The colors of the reanimated world begin to bud: the green, pink, yellow and blue of vegetation, the cardinal red and oriole brown and orange of our avian friends. It has been so long since these brilliant colors have been in view. The long wait making these precious days that much more appreciated. Thus life goes, through seasons that change and pass. A mere background to our lives that move onward unflinchingly, as time keeps propelling us along. We have only to grasp at these moments and let them go, to bask in them and enjoy their fleeting presence. For as always the time comes too late when we truly appreciate it all. So when a bird darts across your vision, a dog noses your leg, a friend taps your shoulder or a lover hugs you deeply, live it. These are moments of connection with that which is outside of our minds, our being, outside our selves. Lose not these moments in meta-thought of selfish gain, selfish end or selfish endeavor. Strive to reach out for the other, strive to be better, for yourself but also for all those others.
Thus my review ends with the best possible praise, my desire to buy another 4 pack of Tall Grass Velvet Rooster. Buy some, pour one in a glass and drink in what the world has to offer. It may not be mediation but a good beer can bring grand insights on occasion.