Triathlon-A-Thon 2016 Golf Champion, and devoted Biscuiteer Andrew Scercy recently blessed my household with a bottle of Wicked Weed’s “Malice”. It’s a complex and mature beer for fans of sours based on blood oranges, lime zest, tamarind, and ancho chiles – I feel classy already.
The bottle has art and verbiage that conjurs Mayan lore, with statements like “The underworld holds secrets beyond words…”. Instead of being whisked away on a journey of the mind filled with mystery and suspense, I am taken to my first and only (to date) trip to Mexico with the Mrs. We were staying at an indulgent “all you can anything, all the time” type place an hour or so south of Cancun but still North of Tulum. It was fun, we ate a lot, drank a lot, hung on the beach a lot, and time passed too quickly. Having never been to a place like this, on day three or so, I foolishly concocted a conspiracy theory that they were watering down the hooch, so to test this I asked the bartender to give me some shots of tequila…at 10:30 in the morning. After washing those down with some beers I soon realized that they do not in fact water down the booze (at least at this one), and I needed a nap by lunch. Another key bit of information regarding the all-inclusive resort experience that took a day or so to sink in was that the buffet did not in fact have a wide variety of cheeses, but instead, the same kind of cream cheese shaped and rolled in different spices and seeds. High-grade stuff, really.
At this point I’m in Mexico, having a good time, but the resort bubble is starting to feel constrictive. We decided to hire a guide, venture out past the armed guards, and go on a real adventure. Our guy drove us waaaaay into the jungle like an hour further southwest from the resort to a little village that accepted tourist guests. We hung out, got a tour, ate some lunch that the village ladies prepared, and went to check out a nearby cenote (underground water filled cave). So we go on a long hike to get to this place with a dude we were told was the village Shaman. When we get close to the hole in the ground, he burns some herbs and crystalized amber, before saying some stuff and blowing the smoke on us. Our guide says it’s because ancient traditions dictate that the cenote was viewed as a portal to the underworld, and the blessing is to protect us from harmful spirits. Very mystical, and cool from a cultural learning perspective, but I ain’t afraid of no ghost. So we got our blessing, and were lowered like 50 feet down on a rope by some villagers into this dark cave. We swam around a bit and climbed the scariest 50 foot rope ladder back out. It was a great day, and easily a highlight of the trip.
Fast forward a few weeks and I’m perusing National Geographic and there’s a thing about THE EXACT SAME CENOTE/VILLAGE. At this point I’m like “awesome!”, until I get to the part where they laid out how the villagers don’t tell tourists that make the trek out that the cenote was believed to be a portal to the underworld BECAUSE ITS WHERE THE BODIES OF THE DEAD WERE LOWERED TO REST. So I swam around in a dark pit of bones and death. 75% baller, 25% off-putting. I share all of this to say that the Mayan lore on the bottle scares me not, because that prior experience gets me at least few notches closer to Indiana Jones levels of awesome.
So I opened it up, and poured it out, and its got the color of crystalized amber! Whoa. Maybe this is getting spooky?
It’s got a sour nose, but that’s kind of what Wicked Weed does, so it’s expected. First impression is tart – WHOA, really tart! Like biting a lime, but then it mellows into sweeter citrus. It’s made with chiles and they’re definitely present on the backend, warming your throat and belly a bit. But wait…whats that aftertaste? It’s familiar – yet foggy, like a forgotten citrus treasure….the aftertaste is similar to 5-ALIVE! I LOVED 5-Alive! My grandmother always had it in her fridge, and I hadn’t thought of it since who knows when. I’m going to try and find it again now, that and Donald Duck Orange Juice with the little cartoon on the side of the carton are the pinnacle of citrus, and this beer has brought them both flooding back into my consciousness. The beer doesn’t taste like 5-Alive mind you, the aftertaste just reminded me of it, so don’t thinking this isn’t an overly solid beer, it is.
Boom. Done. This is a must do-again beer for me.
See you real soon biscuiteers!
Wicked Weed Brewing