Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Dead Crow Bourbon Flavoured Beer

“Take a letter, Ms Friel.”

Just under two weeks ago your correspondent took a spill in the bathroom and bust his right AC joint up bigstyle. As I dictate this introductory paragraph to my special lady, who is kindly acting as my secretary and helping me live out all kinds of misogynstic fantasies, my shoulder is still dislocated and hurting a whole bunch, making typing almost impossible. Luckily I had this piece drafted from a few months back, when I “celebrated” 500 page views with this beer. As I’ve now passed 1,000 (and thank you all so much, by the way) here’s my review of Dead Crow Bourbon Flavoured- and I quote- “Beer”.

Yours Sincerely

Ruari O’Toole

Dictated but not signed


Dead Crow Bourbon Flavoured Beer


SHS Drinks

Dead Crow looks mean as hell. You know you’re in for an experience when the label has a dead animal on it, for a start. The label is also in the shape of saloon doors, or maybe a tombstone, which is all very Old West, as is the typeface used on the label. The not-so-subtle change in font for the word “flavoured” (and the term “flavour” is really, really being stretched here) may serve to trick a few people into thinking the label reads simply “bourbon beer” with a fancy, filligreed underline between the words.

Someone in a graphic design office received a brief reading “this is a one-shot beer that people will buy and hate, so make sure you trick enough rubes into buying it”. They did a good job, because last summer I bought a four-pack, thinking it looked like a cool and interesting thing to try.

It wasn’t. but I’ve revisited it to punish myself for the sin of pride at getting a load of page views. And because bad reviews are fun to read.

The cap isn’t even fully off the bottle before the stench seeps out. Dead Crow coughs up an initial nose of sugary decay before the bottle opener’s job isn’t even finished. It is not a good omen.

Dead Crow pours the colour of a dehydrated urine sample, with a paltry head that quickly dissipates out of sheer embarassment. The smell is that of a cheap supermarket beer that has been left to stand overnight at a houseparty, jazzed up with a dollop of sugar syrup for no discernible reason. There’s a hint of rotten strawberries in there, but the overwhelming smell is that of vomit.

Yes, dear reader. Dead Crow Bourbon Flavour Beer smells of sick. It smells of GCSE results-day binge-boak. It smells of day-old juvenile ambergris that a teenager has horked up in their friend’s dad’s shed because there was no space to puke up in the bathroom.

The taste is a tsunami of sugary awfulness. As I took my first mouthful I felt sure that right at that moment, in a leafy suburb, my dentist just felt really angry and didn’t know why.

There really isn’t much of a beery taste in there. It’s as if scientists of mass destruction have finally (under the leadership perhaps of a terribly inept Bond villain) somehow and for some reason come up with a beer-flavoured alcopop. Further mouthfuls just heap sugar on top of sugar, with a lip-curling bitterness rising very quickly.

This is an easier beer to drink from the bottle, as drinking it from a glass puts the drinker nose-to-nose with the vomit stench bubbling up from the surface. I wish I had remembered that as I poured it, but then again I torture all five of my senses so you don’t have to. It’s my service to mankind and you’re fucking welcome.

Not even half way down the glass and the stench is insufferable, with the taste evolving like a lethal bacterium into the smack of rotten apples, matured in a trough urinal. Not once has it even begun to taste anything like bourbon.

This drink is worse than MD 20/20. It is worse than Thunderbird.

It is worse, dear reader, than Scotsmac.

Sobriety tastes better than Dead Crow.

There’s barely even any carbonation, and I expected this drink to have a ton of it, which would have at least given the mouthfeel a bit more depth than “flat plain of saccharine unease”. It’s as if the beer isn’t even trying.

The last couple of fingers of beer taste even worse, as if somehow the worst of the awfulness has descended to the bottom of the glass. With only a tiny nip of beer left the air within the glass already tastes stale and damaged, poisoned by the remaining slurry. The final slug of this horrific beer is an acidic, sugary spit-hock down the drinker’s throat.

The glass is left reeking of decay.

Dead Crow. Not even once.