Beer Review: Buddy Shots (Cycle Brewing Company)

Beer Review: Buddy Shots (Cycle Brewing Company)

Buddy Shots by Cycle Brewing Company

A time of friends getting together, working, hustling, doing a project, calls for something special, calls for something to be shared, enjoyed together as a group… and thats just what we did with Buddy Shots.

We were all together discussing time travel and doing our time travel podcast for So a Mexican and a Scott Walk Into a Bar… – D. Scott, Esteban, Skot Shneck, and myself. This was also going to be our first filmed one and was going to be put up on YouTube as well, but unfortunately (or fortunately? – depending on your view of my handsome and roguish good looks) there were camera issues, so this stayed as just a podcast. You can find the time travel podcast here: WTF Did I Just Watch – Time Travel Flicks.

And having been looking for an opportunity to crack this open and enjoy, I figured what better way, what better time, what better place than during the podcast as a group to enjoy it. So, of course, thats just what I did. Because I’m an adult and I get to do things when I want – because thats what adults do gosh darn it.

I had gotten this a while back as part of a beer mail trade alongside the bottle of Thursday (2016) from Cycle Brewing Company. You can check the review out here at the link.

My beer mail package from Florida

I enjoy doing local for local trades, as it gets me an opportunity to try beers I don’t normally get from smaller breweries in areas I don’t travel to, while also supporting my local breweries (by buying their beers to ship to these places) and gets them some word of mouth as well. I was a little bit disappointed with this trade, that I only got two beer bottles, from a relatively well known brewery – Cycle Brewing Company – in exchange for the 8 or 9 beers I had sent from Tattered Flag, Troegs Brewing, Boneshire Brew Works, and Ever Grain Brewing. But it is what it is, both of these beers were delicious, and were expensive bottles, so it wasn’t the worst trade in the world (glares at some of the trades the Phillies have made in the past….). Ok…. so lets get moving on and review this beer!

Buddy Shots by Cycle Brewing Company

Shots! Shots! Shot shot shots! ….sorry for getting that horrible song stuck in your head now, but I just had to do it.

Beer: Buddy Shots
Brewery: Cycle Brewing Company
Style: Strong Ale – American
ABV: 11%
Untappd Description: Strong Ale brewed with 6 different malts with a little chocolate then aged in Jameson Whiskey barrels.

This certainly fits the descriptors, so if you like a strong ale, if you like a high alcohol tasting beer, and if you like Whiskey – particularly Jameson – than you are bound to like this. So luckily for myself, this all hit home and found the mark.

This is a solid dark black, ocher like. Razor Ramon jet black hair black. Not a tremendous amount of things to say about its appearance really, its dark black, it has a thin layer of head to it when poured out in the tasters for each of us, as well as the finishing of the bottle into a glass for myself. There is carbonation but not an extreme amount, and the foamy head is extremely thin but is there. Its an off-brown / off-white creamy looking thin head with nice bubbles.

Aroma has that strong kick of alcohol. You get an immediate nose of hard whiskey, Jameson whiskey, just punches through this. This smells like the barrel aged – in particular whiskey barrel aged – beers that you are probably familiar with, ones from Weyerbacher or the Goose Island stouts, etc. You know that nose as soon as you crack the bottle on these types of beers, just a straight heavy alcohol nose to it. The six varieties of malts do get blended in and provide a punch, and there is the faintest hint, like a wisp of it on the wind of baker’s chocolate.

Taste is a fair bit more complex than both its aroma and its appearance, thankfully. Not saying that its nose or appearance is bad or anything, its just in comparison to the taste, their nondescript and pretty much by the book, whereas the taste is complex, flavorful, strong, and downright delicious. There is certainly a complexity to this, mainly because of the six different malts used. I’ve tried looking up the malts (Google searched and checked Untappd) but haven’t found which malts they used exactly. (So if anyone does know, be sure to leave a comment telling me what malts they used.) There is definitely a richness and complexity of flavors to this. But, mostly it has that very high alcohol and barrel aged tasting to it. You get very heavy notes of Jameson Whiskey on this, and it is incredibly strong. This is similar to a lot of barrel aged beers I’ve had, like with Weyerbacher and others where it has that wooden, whiskey infused, heavy alcohol taste that is so rich and delicious, but with this, there is the different notes of malts used, so it adds a lot of differing notes to this, so its not straight strong alcohol. I got notes of roasted caramel, notes of baker’s chocolate, notes of a deep dark roast, slightly coffee, but not heavy, and a bit of an earthyness to it all. There is a slight sweetness to it, but its balanced by some bittering from the coffee and baker’s chocolate. It teeters on a blade’s edge between the two, never becoming too dominant one way or the other. This all creates a nice blend, more apparent in the full glass than in the tasters, as all the different malts, all the different complexities, different notes, all converge together and combine with the Jameson barrel aging, gives it a very deep heavy, sweet and bitter, and downright delicious tasty flavor. This is a well rounded, blended, beer that incorporates a lot of different notes and malts and is perfect to do ‘shots’ of with buddies, a bomber split up amongst four friends at 11% is plenty to have a good night (or to do a good podcast).

My Untappd Rating: ****
Global Untappd Rating: 4.33 (as of 8.12.20)

Be sure to check out the time travel podcast, it was a lot of fun doing it, and I think it turned out really well. We covered Terminator, Futurama, Back to the Future, LOST, and many others. So be sure to give it a listen!

Cheers everyone!

-B. Kline

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