Westbrook Brewing Cap’n Skoons Ballistic Stout

(NOTE: This was posted last week, but for some reason WordPress unpublished it.)

Next up, Cap’n Skoons Ballistic Stout from the Charleston-area’s Westbrook Brewing Co.:

skoonsI couldn’t find anything about this Captain Skoon fella, but from the label he looks pretty piratey. If he was a pirate, though, he wasn’t very successful. He’s not even on the Forbes Top-Earning Pirates list. Although, there are some other familiar pirates on the list connected to the Charleston-area: Edward “Blackbeard” Teach, Charles Vane, and maybe the most ridiculous pirate ever, Stede Bonnet.

Granted, Stede Bonnet is a pretty awesome pirate name, but his credentials end there. Stede had zero sailing experience (typically a pre-requisite to commanding a vessel on the high seas). See, Stede was a comfortable landowner, and he grew so tired of his wife’s nagging that one day he just up and decided to become a pirate captain. To his credit, though, this is no half-assed, go-out-and-buy-a-Harley mid-life crisis. This is like Bob from accounting quitting and starting a blood-thirsty motorcycle gang.

To compensate for his lack of experience, I’m sure he selected a totally badass flag, the hoisting of which would make even the most hardened sailor weep with fear. Wrong:

pirate flag

And it doesn’t end there. Stede, clearly not familiar with the importance of incentive-based compensation packages in the pirate industry, chose to put his crew on salary.

The Shwashbucklers Local 456 collective bargaining agreement clearly states we can't be asked to board a hostile vessel after 4:45pm.

“Sorry, the Swashbucklers Local 456’s collective bargaining agreement clearly states we can’t be asked to board a hostile vessel after 4:45pm.”

Well, Stede only lasted one year up in the pirate game. He was captured and hung after trying to escape the authorities in the Cape Fear River…not surprisingly, his boat ran aground.

This beast is actually a Baltic-style stout, which was brewed for Westbrook’s second anniversary. It pours like motor oil, and it has about the darkest head I have ever seen….all like frothed dark chocolate milk with a tinge of red. It smells huge: Roast, coffee, and cream, and plums. Did I mention coffee? The first taste is like biting into a dark-ass roasted coffee bean, but not one of those fair trade ones. It’s more like one that harbors the bitterness and anger of an underpaid, third world laborer. Some 99.99% cacao chocolate jumps in, along with some cream, singed molasses, a little smoke and licorice, and a hint of fruitiness (like the plums from the nose). This thing is a monster, but the good level of carbonation and the bitterness from the roast and hops keep it from getting anywhere near cloying.

It’s worth noting that Westbrook used German lager yeast. I don’t know if this contributed to the fruitiness, or what. A better blog would have figured that out for you.

The Haybag: Before I checked Wikipedia I thought you made that flag in Pixelmator. This beer is excellent. Please stop talking like a pirate.