Friday, June 7, 2013

A Freudian Slip

The year was 1901 and pen was put to paper.  The writer was recording and analyzing a substantial number of what seemed to be trivial, bizarre, or nonsensical errors and slips.  An intended word spoken.  A thought substituted with a completely different one.  The writer was puzzled by the origin of those mistakes and made it his goal to analyze how those errors occurred.  The result was Sigmund Freund's The Psychopathy of Everyday Life.  It is also the origin of what would be come known as "Freudian slips."

A "Freudian slip" is described as an error in speech, memory or conduct that occurs because of some unconscious, subdued wish, conflict, or train of thought guided by the super-ego and the rules of correct behavior.  More than a century later, it is also the description of a barleywine produced by Evil Twin Brewing.  And, the mind behind Evil Twin is Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø, who is the brother of Mikkel Borg Bergsø, the brewer of Mikkeller fame.

Like his brother, Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø is what is commonly referred to as a "gypsy brewer."  He does not have his own brick and mortar brewery.   Instead, he travels from brewery to brewery, utilizing their equipment to produce his beers. 

For the Freudian Slip, Bjergsø found himself at Westbrook Brewing, in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.  The Freudian Slip is a barleywine and, according to what I could find, it is often classified as an American barleywine.  The American style tends to place greater emphasis on hops in both the aroma and flavor of the beer.  By contrast, an English barleywine is much more malt-centric, relying upon bready or biscuity elements of different malts to enhance the aroma and flavor.

For me, the Freudian Slip seemed to swing back and forth between the English style than the American style.   Before I explain why, I should note that the Freudian Slip poured like both barleywines, a dark amber color with a nice, thick, off-white foam.  The aroma of the beer does suggest hops, which swings the pendulum toward the American style, but there is also a traditional, malty aroma as well, which swings back toward the English style.  A nice caramel, sugar aromatic element wraps both hop and malt aromas together.  As for the taste, this beer definitely has a boozy element front and center.  (After all, it has an ABV of 10.3%.)  There are also dark caramel and toffee elements in the flavor of the beer, which are joined by some dark fruits, like raisins or prunes.  As for hops and malts, the barleywine provides an even balance between the two in the taste of the beer.  With some sips, I could sense the hops used to produce the beer, while in other sips, the bready flavors of the malts shone through. 

I have tried many American and English barleywines, and, in my mind, this is one of a few that is able to bridge between the two styles.  It is available in large twenty-two ounce bottles.  It sells for about $14.99 a bottle.  


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