5 biggest whale let downs

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by cfh64, Jan 17, 2016.

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  1. jsrose16

    jsrose16 Initiate (0) Nov 5, 2014 Illinois

    Morning Delight - Didn't live up to the ridiculous amount of hype it gets.
    Heady - good but not out of this world.
    Dark Lord - Soy sauce
  2. bennetj17

    bennetj17 Initiate (0) Oct 30, 2005 Arizona

    Black Tuesday/Mocha Wed/Chocolate Rain
    Founder CBS
    BBA Speedway
  3. TonyLema1

    TonyLema1 Initiate (0) Nov 19, 2008 South Carolina

    Bomb! (Whale to me at the time)
    Mex Cake
  4. kevanb

    kevanb Pooh-Bah (2,427) Apr 4, 2011 Illinois
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    50N4E was probably the biggest let down for me in terms of whales
  5. ac24

    ac24 Initiate (0) Nov 17, 2014 California

    DB Huna
    cd 11 (cd 10 is leaps and bounds better than cd 11)
  6. thuey

    thuey Pooh-Bah (1,609) Nov 13, 2015 California

    Bourbon County Brand Stout
    Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout
    Bourbon County Brand Regal Rye Stout
    Bourbon County Brand Barleywine

    Bomb!, Backwoods Bastard and Higher Math were also pretty terrible
    floridadrift and Raime like this.
  7. Kurmaraja

    Kurmaraja Initiate (0) May 21, 2013 California

    The merger of the two ideas would, IMHO, be informative. When people say they were let down I'm always curious about context.

    - What whales have you had that you felt delivered?
    - What styles do you like / dislike?
    - What were expectations going in?
    - What did it take you to acquire said whales?

    Yeah, that's too much to ask of everyone, but at least the first - which whales didn't disappoint - would be an interesting contrast.

    Skimming this thread I see a lot of people saying something didn't deliver because A) they don't like X style or are inexperienced with it (kind of a weak criticism, IMHO); B) the paid a lot and it's not worth it (also weak to me because this is the ultimate game of caveat emptor; you're buying into the experience and talking "value" becomes a secondary level - was the beer actually really good or not should come FIRST, value discussions second since we know whales aren't bargains); C) people read a ton of reviews and built up some fantasy idea of what the beer was going to be ... so they were reviewing it not as it is, but immediately evaluating it against some mental chimera of orgasmic excellence. Reality is always going to fall short of unchecked fantasy.

    Anyway, I'll toss in a few:

    - SR-71: good beer, but one dimensional; brownie batter. Tough for me to drink more than a few ounces.
    - Morning Delight B2: good body, a bit of a metallic penny flavor when cold. Also quite good but I can easily think of imperial coffee stouts I would prefer that are easy / easier to acquire.
    - Blaeber: very authentic blueberry flavor, which is an accomplishment, but it's not a profound flavor. The beer lacked depth. Would love to kill a bottle on a nice spring day, but it doesn't really invite contemplation.
    - Last Snow: Fun but does have a fairly artificial flavor. There are a ton of great adjunct porters / stouts out there so it mystifies me that some become so sought after while others don't. Caldera's Toasted Coconut Chocolate Porter, for example, is as tasty, though more subtle, and more natural tasting.
    - VSB: Great beer but I can name a dozen fruited sours (not necessarily all blackberry) that I would just as soon have ... from Allagash Coolship Red to any number of De Garde (I drink a lot of De Garde, accuse me of homerism - but Beaucoup Violet, The Purple, Biere Maroon), etc.

    Lived up to expectations:
    - Fundamental Observation: more my style than BC Vanilla Rye. A bit more drinkable, lighter, not the overpowering booze or viscosity.
    - Dinner: Doesn't get quite the same fervor as Treehouse / Trillium ... or even Other Half. But it's transcendent when fresh.
    - Bourbon Abominable - Cinnamon & Coffee: As an old Seattle resident, I probably can't consider this a whale since I was able to but it at the brewery and Whole Foods, but to me this (though not a stout) easily competes with (and outdistances) the renowned adjunct beers from Illinois / Florida / etc. Depth, richness, body, but not syrupy / cloying / artificial. Still tastes like beer as opposed to a dessert.
    - Broken Truck: As good as any American gueuze and better than many Belgian's. Has its own distinct terroir which is what you're looking for in the style.
    - Orviamo: A collaboration that truly seems live up to the sum of the parts, to embody the character of both breweries.
  8. SteelersX

    SteelersX Savant (1,094) Jan 30, 2011 New York

    DB Huna
    BA Café Americano
    BA Marshal Z
    Good Gourd.
  9. mig100

    mig100 Pooh-Bah (2,571) Aug 3, 2014 Texas
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    I think that most of the time anything that's been hyped a bunch or that you've been hunting/desiring for a while is going to be a letdown. If you have something randomly without inferences, you'll likely just end up enjoying it for what it is.

    Having said that, the most blatant for me are...

    Mexican Cake
    Marshal Zukov
  10. TheStoutHound

    TheStoutHound Savant (1,172) Mar 3, 2012 Wisconsin

    3 letdowns; none of which were bad, but didn't provide the expected wow factor
    Rare (2010): had it with 4 years on and while it wasn't bad, it did stand out much ahead of regular Bourbon County
    SR-71: A solid BA stout but pretty 1 dimensional. I really like Assassin more and find it interesting that SR-71 is rated higher
    DB Huna: Had this after aged for 1 year and felt like most of the barrel character fell off.

    3 that met or exceeded expectations:
    Kentucky Brunch - chewy maple syrup bourbon deliciousness; if only the supply increased
    Pappy Black Magick - probably the most complex beer I've had, just a ton of great flavor going on and very viscous
    Black Gold 2015 - Central Waters raised their game with this one. One of my favorite non-adjunct BA stouts

    3 maybe not whales but worth checking out
    Jackie O's Champion Ground - better than Bourbon County Coffee on a good year
    BA Big Sound - favorite BA scotch ale
    Cigar City Cafe Americano
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  11. Chitex78

    Chitex78 Initiate (0) Dec 4, 2013 Illinois

    Cherry Rye
    KBS (if you're hunting around for it and paying $10/bottle at least)
    Big Hugs (because of the actual effort required for a very average beer)
  12. Tdizzle

    Tdizzle Initiate (0) Dec 19, 2006 California

    I can't list 5 examples, because I haven't had 5, but I can list 2 that I've managed to procure recently:
    • Prairie BOMB! - It was excellent, but I was much more impressed by the aroma than the flavor. Still, a great beer.
    • Heady Topper - I was gifted what I was told was a fresh can by my local liquor store beer buyer. It was tasty, but there are so many other IPAs that I would put ahead of HT, in terms of rating.

    THANAT0PSIS Pooh-Bah (2,189) Aug 3, 2010 Wisconsin

    Blabaer sorta disappointed me as well. Fou '14 was a bit of a letdown as well, but I wouldn't really consider that a whale, and I've had some great vintages of Fou. It's the nature of the game. For me, no one does fruited lambic better than Cantillon, so they are worth the chase/money/time/effort.
  14. teraflx

    teraflx Initiate (0) Feb 4, 2013 Arizona

    I thought Rover Truck and Dorthy's were just mediocre as well as the 1492, I have loved every other one though.
    SinjaminBentek likes this.
  15. Scott17Taylor

    Scott17Taylor Initiate (0) Oct 28, 2013 Iowa

    I would agree with Dorothy's, but it's not really a hyped beer and even when it was just bombers the stuff stayed on the shelves. Haven't gotten around to rover truck yet so I can't comment on that one.
    SinjaminBentek and teraflx like this.
  16. phroztbyt3

    phroztbyt3 Initiate (0) Dec 10, 2015 Colorado

    A few things to keep in mind for those that are questioning this thread:
    1. One man's whale is another man's trout
    2. We all have different palettes; granted there are some that transcend it for all, but not very many that are easy to come by
    3. A good review (much like a movie review) doesn't constitute an amazing beer, it just constitutes the demand for said beer
    4. As long as people explain the reasons for disliking said whales, it becomes fairly obvious from these comments that a few things happened... below:

    a. Certain beers like Dogfish 120 probably wasn't aged for at least a year, making it a boozy sweet mess.
    b. There will ALWAYS be something better. So overhyping everything in your own mind before trying it is kinda pointless
    c. Enjoy the thrill of collecting and tasting vs the thrill of finding something better than the last.
    jaydoc, HorseheadsHophead and jssf like this.
  17. CJNAPS

    CJNAPS Initiate (0) Nov 3, 2013 California

    I thought that Blushing monk was horrible as well.
  18. RogelioRodriguez

    RogelioRodriguez Initiate (0) Nov 7, 2015 California

    Pliny The Younger, not so special, just another hoppy alcoholic beer to market. Woopy, unimpressed. 100 points of mediocrity...not my cup of tea. I mean to I can say it's a fine beer, but comparable beer exists, really it does, the world of hoppy beer is so immense. It's if to say the big bang happened with Russian River, but really the universe of hoppy beers is just sooo much older. End tirade (thanks folks)

    Brew Dog Tokyo...the most awfully expense 8 ounce beer I have bought on tap. Lot's of alcohol, but no complexity to back it up...and I paid dearly for it knowing the tap room is very good about clean lines.

    Sadly these days we can often have quality in beer, but our palates might differ across the board. For some a little extra hint of something might mean perfect, to others, no big deal.
  19. mayxday

    mayxday Initiate (0) Feb 10, 2014 Kentucky

    KBS, Dark Lord, Abyss, Black Tuesday, reg Huna, reg Abraxas, etc. are not whales. christ
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  20. MOVERTON1284

    MOVERTON1284 Initiate (0) Jul 23, 2014 Alabama

    DB Huna as a total let down. It was too sweet to drink. The Apple Brandy Huna was actually much better.
  21. nick0417

    nick0417 Initiate (0) Jun 13, 2014 Illinois

    I've been lucky enough to have very few 'whale' letdowns, and while I wouldn't call this a letdown, I was a little underwhelmed with Pliney when I had it in San Francisco earlier this year. Sure, it's a really, really good double IPA, no question, but it just didn't live up to the hype, especially when the Midwest has a number of equally as good double IPAs, at least for me - Pipeworks Ninja v. Unicorn and Three Floyd's Dreadnaught, specifically.
  22. cmgage

    cmgage Initiate (0) Jun 23, 2014 California

    Not that I disliked any of them, but not as incredible as expected
    1. Heady
    2. Pliny the Younger
    3. Fou' Foune
    4. Vietnamese Speedway
    5. Most Hair of the Dog
  23. Morey

    Morey Pooh-Bah (1,780) Dec 30, 2007 Pennsylvania
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    HF Damon: Drank a bottle that had almost no aroma what so ever, and the taste wasn't much of an upgrade. Only bad HF beer that I've ever had.
  24. Zh78888

    Zh78888 Initiate (0) Nov 2, 2014 North Carolina

    if we're talking port damon, i agree. it was one of my biggest letdowns of last year. also:

    advanced oak theory : just not much funk or complexity on the bottle we opened
    westbrook ba 4th : not a whale, but definitely hyped
    ddg : really, really good, but not up to lpg or allagash coolship (for my tastes) and those bottles don't take nearly as much to acquire
  25. loafinaround

    loafinaround Initiate (0) Jul 16, 2011 New York

    vanilla rye. It wasn't awesome. The beer I drank after it was evil twin even more chili jesus.... and was 10X better!
    NYC-IPAnAPA likes this.
  26. ManBearPat

    ManBearPat Pooh-Bah (1,751) Dec 2, 2014 Colorado

    Surprised I haven't seen Sam Adam's Utopias mentioned yet!
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  27. Morey

    Morey Pooh-Bah (1,780) Dec 30, 2007 Pennsylvania
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    Actually, I was referring to Bourbon Damon believe it or not. Our Port was much better, although still not fantastic IMO.
  28. ShanePB

    ShanePB Initiate (0) Sep 6, 2010 Pennsylvania

    Not sure if I can recall five, but certainly my biggest "whale" letdown of last year was Assassin.
  29. cfh64

    cfh64 Pooh-Bah (1,934) Aug 16, 2005 Texas

    First of all, I'll start off by saying I should have titled the thread differently. I realize everyone's version of a "whale" is different. BVDL may be someone elses Don Quijote. It would have been more appropriate to say something like "highly rated, small batch beers" or something like that. I didn't mean to cause a minor shit storm, it was just for fun.

    As far as specific Side Project beers I think many vary from ok to very good but I don't think they're worth what a lot of people ask for them in the trading forums. Certain breweries (ie Side Project, Hill Farmstead, maybe Jester King) have a pedigree or history of making some very good beers but just because it's more limited doesn't make it better IMO. I think a lot of people get too caught up in that. In my humble opinion, there are a lot of good hyped up beers from small breweries that wouldn't get near the attention or ratings if they were produced on a larger scale and were available off the shelf so to speak.

    So, to me, many Side Project beers fall into that category. Again, ok to very good, and I don't mean any disrespect it's just my opinion. To finally answer your question...Black and Wild, Pulling Nails 1, 2, and 3, and Thicket all come to mind.
    PerHops and ONovoMexicano like this.
  30. BltByKrmn

    BltByKrmn Initiate (0) Jan 16, 2013 New York

    BCBS Cherry Rye
  31. rhartogsq

    rhartogsq Initiate (0) Jun 18, 2010 Virginia

    The first two are probably not whales, maybe on the fringes if anything, but the way people in my area go nuts over the stuff, I'll count it.

    Port Damon (my bottle was infected a couple years ago)
  32. jojo2112

    jojo2112 Initiate (0) Sep 24, 2014 Pennsylvania

    Probably not a whale to some, but where I live it is - Pliny the Elder. Nice DIPA, but so many better options.
  33. JamesStreet

    JamesStreet Pooh-Bah (1,963) May 9, 2013 Louisiana

    Pliny the Elder
    Mexican Cake
  34. Harrison8

    Harrison8 Grand Pooh-Bah (5,509) Dec 6, 2015 Missouri
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    I'm hesitant to age anything with a coffee flavor. I've heard coffee flavors tend to disappear quickly during the aging process, and I'm not about that. Coffee in a coffee beer is important to me!
    tylerstravis likes this.
  35. RpZhivago

    RpZhivago Initiate (0) Jan 25, 2015 Illinois

    BA Abraxas - (I love Abraxas and really enjoyed BA Abraxas and would drink it all the time if it were available. But, listing it because I don't think it's worth giving up nearly what it takes to get a bottle.)
  36. Littlelotte88

    Littlelotte88 Initiate (0) Mar 6, 2014 Connecticut

    Dark Lord - very soy saucy and sickly sweet, my boyfriend loves it though.
    Black and Blue Flora
    Grey Monday
  37. WI-Beer-Man

    WI-Beer-Man Initiate (0) May 29, 2014 Wisconsin

    Double Barrel Hunahpu - Had it this summer. Was very underwhelming. Barely any barrel. Had it right after Hunahpu and couldn't taste much difference at all.

    Good Morning - bitter coffee on the nose and flavor. Lacked maple in comparison to Mornin Delight. I would trade triple the amount to land another MD that I would even consider offering for GM.

    Non-whales that people trade too much for:
    Maple Bacon Coffee Porter - awful beer. Way too much smoke. Had a tough time finishing (as did the 2 guys I shared with)

    Fuzzy Baby Ducks - decent, but doesn't compare to Trillium or Hill Farmstead IPAs
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  38. JoshVelez

    JoshVelez Initiate (0) Mar 23, 2015 New York

    to me KBS is so boozy that it almost just reminds me of straight up bourbon
    slade likes this.
  39. chrismann65

    chrismann65 Initiate (0) Jan 25, 2015 Texas

    Higher Math DFH. 20th.... This needs to cellar for many Years...! A hotttt.. ! (sour) - cherry mess now ! Wow....
    StevenSpringer likes this.
  40. Dismembered_MC

    Dismembered_MC Initiate (0) Aug 20, 2014 California

    See the Stars
    Duck Duck Gueuze
    Cable Car
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