Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bottomshelf Beer Reviews: St. Ides High Gravity Malt Liquor


“Beware the Ides of March” is about as sound advice as I’ve ever heard, but it’s that bullshit kind of advice that no one in mythology or Shakespearean plays ever heeds.  Should one also “beware the St. Ides of High Gravity Malt Liquor?”  That’s the question I’m going to attempt to answer, but based on conversations I’ve had with people that read my previous beer reviews (e.g. Big Flats 1901) the advice will go unheeded.   In fact it seems like the more I rip on a beer, the more people “just have to try it” for themselves.  Look, these reviews aren’t gospel or anything, but I drink a lot of this stuff so you don’t have to.  Do yourself a favor.

Heavy metal and Catholicism together at last
Speaking of gospel, I’m a practicing Catholic and I don’t remember very much about St. Ides.  I did a little research and I was literally shocked to discover that St. Ides was a real Saint from around 570 AD and not just made up by some ad execs.  St. Ides is credited with several miracles including the gift of prophecy and her feast day is the 15th of January.  The Ides of January!  Actually the Ides of January falls on the 13th, but still I think the prophecy angle and “Ides of January” thing ties in pretty well with the themes I established before I even looked at wikipedia.  What I still can’t figure out is what St. Ides has to do with High Gravity Malt Liquor or the big angry Rottweiler on the can.

Notice the infinity
The dog looks pretty angry.  Mad even.  I wonder if Pabst Brewery was trying to cash in on the Mad Dog 20/20 craze.  I don’t know if it’s a craze exactly, but when I went to a gas station in East St. Louis they had every flavor of Mad Dog a man could want (except for BLT flavor goddamnit!)  The Rottweiler has a can of St. Ides in his mouth, which unfortunately features the old St. Ides’ artwork.  I think it would have been pretty cool if the can in the dog’s mouth had a picture of a dog with a can in his mouth that had a picture of a dog with a can in his mouth and so on and so on to infinity.  The can also says “Hold It Down!” in big red letters with an exclamation point, which has to be one of the stupider catchphrases ascribed to a malt liquor, and that’s saying something.

Ice Cube would never sell out!
If you go to the St. Ides official webpage you won’t find a damn thing.  Either massive internet traffic overloaded the servers, or Pabst didn’t feel like spending the $20 a year in hosting fees.  Although, they have spent money promoting St. Ides in the past.  Over the years St. Ides has been endorsed by a number of famous rappers, including Ice Cube, 2Pac, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg, the Wu-Tang Clan, the Notorious B.I.G., Eric B & Rakim, Cypress Hill, Method Man, Redman, and many more.   If they could get Ice Cube to give up Olde English for St. Ides this stuff must be really good, or maybe they just paid him a lot of money. 
In the movie Troy Rose Byrne played Briseis, cousin of Paris and Hector.  The next reference ties in with the classic Greek epic and not that terrible movie.

Beware of rappers bearing strange gifts.  St. Ides has kind of gross fruity smell.  One whiff and I immediately regretted buying a whole 4-pack of tall boys.  It tasted similar to Coqui 900 with a stronger fruit flavor, and a slighltly weaker greasy fried chicken aftertaste.  It tasted kind of gross even cold, but as it warmed up it got to be gag inducing.  Overall I think it tasted slightly better than Coqui 900, it certainly sat better.  I didn’t feel like I was going to puke when I got done.  It might not be that much better than Coqui, but at 8.2% ABV you don’t have to drink as much to get drunk.  It’s certainly head and shoulders above Steel Reserve and if I was a homeless wino St. Ides would definitely be my “high gravity” malt liquor of choice; however as a landowner I will never touch this shit again and I’m not looking forward to finishing what I have.
Now you know what happens when you google "sexy hobo"

As Nostradamus said, “the great one will cause it to be dragged in iron cage, when the German child will observe nothing.”  This is clearly a warning that Obama is the anti-Christ* and that you should also avoid the St. Ides of High Gravity Malt Liquor.  You probably won’t get stabbed by a bunch of dudes in togas, but after drinking St. Ides you might wish that you did.  Heed the words of the soothsayer (me) or you might get a really bad headache.
This image might not give you a headache but it's certainly kind of unsettling

*I’d like to welcome all the members of the John Birch Society that stumbled on my blog googling “Obama anti-Christ.”  Rest assured I hate commies too, and witches.  

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