I just poured a Rayon Vert, a Belgian-style Pale Ale conditioned with Brettanomyces by Green Flash. The head on this beer is out of control. The four inches of fluffy white between my mouth and the beer is telling me that I have about ten minutes to kill. Would you like to hear a story?
Let me tell you about the time I ate from the dish labeled “alternative” brownies at a friend's picnic, thinking that “alternative” meant gluten-free.
Now, I'm not a gluten-free guy. I am all about gluten. I'm also all about sweets in certain situations and this appeared to be my only option. And I am adventurous. Just so we're clear, the brownies were not gluten-free. I had three of them. They were good – earthy, but good. “So that's what gluten-free tastes like,” I thought.
The brownies took hold of me as I stood in a backyard and watched several rounds of high stakes, cash money Lock Toss. As time melted away, the game became completely engrossing and insanely entertaining – and what I mean is I was so extremely entertained by Lock Toss, which is simply just people sliding a lock on a greased cable in an effort to get it, the lock, as close to the pole as possible (WITHOUT TOUCHING!), that I felt like I might actually lose my mind. I considered contacting an ambulance service to have them take me to a hospital to be committed. I contemplated how that phone call might go and came to the conclusion that the conversation would get gradually circular and eventually entirely one-sided once I started to explain the entertaining nuances of Lock Toss to the operator. It was at this point I began to realize something was amiss.
I'll admit it – there was a mild panic. But I'm a man! I can handle this. I need to get out of here but I can handle this. I'm a man that can handle this that needs to get out of here!
Walking home, I felt like a spider.
Once home, Wife greeted me wearing a sweater made of flapping butterfly wings. She said, “You didn't eat anything, did you?”
Grossly misinterpreting the inflection of her voice, I assumed she knew about the brownies. I calmly replied that I had, in fact, not eaten anything. She assumed I was drunk and I puffed out my chest as a sign of victory. She told me I looked like a peacock. I felt beautiful.
In an attempt to get my thoughts together, I went into the upstairs bathroom and closed the door. When I turned on the lights I realized I was carrying a paper plate with a piece of ice cream cake on it. At first, I didn't trust it. I had a vague recollection of Wife cutting and handing me a piece of ice cream cake, but I couldn't be sure if that experience was from just a few moments ago or from a re-occurring dream that I wish I had been having for the past eight years. When I saw the cake's reflection in the mirror, I felt satisfied that it was real and turned off the lights and ate it over the sink.
Standing there in the dark bathroom, minutes deep into a self-abusive mirror stare, I reflected back on how well I had eaten that ice cream cake in the dark. I also noted that my pecs looked good in the dim lighting. I wondered what else I might be successful at in the dark.
I brushed my teeth and it went okay.
It was a little strange right after the ice cream cake and I couldn't find the cap to my toothbrush once I had finished. The cap was a clear plastic and very difficult to see in the dark bathroom. Then I thought about my fear of skunks and how they are also difficult to see in the dark. I immediately left the bathroom.
I laid down and entered a nearly catatonic state. I heard sirens in the distance and found it odd how they seemed to take forever to get closer. Either my sense of hearing was heightened, or diminished, or my sense of space-time was completely perverse. As an eternity passed and the sirens grew closer, I shot up with a terrible fear of burning to death. Perhaps the entire town was on fire.
I went to the bathroom where I found the toilet floating at a convenient height and vomited into it extensively. I washed my faced and felt much better. I looked at the clock. It was six pm.
The next morning I woke up with an extreme thirst. On my nightstand was a half full glass of water. I wondered if that was the same glass of water I had gotten for myself after my barfing episode. Was that water my barf water? If it was, how many miniscule barf particles were actually in there? It looked fine. I was really thirsty.
I drank it. I didn't taste bad. It didn't taste good, either. It was warm and tasted like I was standing too close to the trunk of a fragrant tree and breathing in, deeply. It may have day old, watered down gin. Either way, my reality was much improved.
Six years later and the head on my Rayon Vert has finally diminished to the point where I can drink it. I would like to have this beer on tap somewhere so that the bartender could handle this obnoxious head issue for me.
The smell is candy sugar, pepper, yeast and hints of fruit and funk. You taste the yeast and the belgian of it all, with notes of apple and lemon. It finishes with a quick, mild, hop bite and then the wet straw funk of the brettanomyces lingers like a fog – in a good way. The beer has a nice balance between dry and sweet.
I took a few sips from the bottle while I waited for the head to settle and it was extremely carbonated. In hindsight, I kind of wish I would have just drank it from the bottle because the extra carbonation really added something unique. After all the head dissipated, the carbonation in the glass was lacking and it could have really used it to make the different flavors, especially the funk, dance around my mouth a bit more and help with the dry finish.
Overall, while it was delicious, this beer made me feel like I did something wrong – as if I made a mistake in the pouring process. I tried several times, each with the same result.
Was this my fault?
Am I in an abusive relationship with this beer?
“Tell me about a time you failed miserably at pouring yourself a beer,” groaned Dr. Raymond Vert, clearly bored. Clearly disgusted.
Why is my therapist being so condescending?
“Now tell me about the time you ate a doughnut and it took you forever, because, as you said, 'it's was a circle'”
Wow, those brownies messed me up.
Rayon Vert, by Green Flash Brewing Company 3.805/5
appearance = 3.3/5
smell = 3.5/5
taste = 4.2/5
mouthfeel = 3/5
overall = 3.75/5