I assumed I was going to have a quiet night in and watch something on Netflix, but after getting into a scuffle on the Twitter-verse, and opening up a bottle of Perrin’s No Rules, tonight was bound to be a little out of the ordinary.
Now, I came into No Rules a little skeptical. I’m always so nervous that I’m going to up-rate the beer I get in a beer trade, just because I need to justify it, so sometimes I overcompensate and actively try to pick out flaws. To boot, I had Perrin’s Lil’ Griz the other week, and while it was good, it didn’t really work FOR ME. I could absolutely see people liking it, and I don’t think they’re wrong, it’s just not a beer that I’d personally return to. If you get the chance, pick it up and give it a try – it might hit that perfect spot for you.
What makes No Rules so good is that its a mind-f*** right off the bat. Clocking in at a YUGGGEEE 15% ABV, you’re going to have opinions about this beer no matter what – and you’re probably going to slur those opinions to a helpless stranger and then break down into heaping mass of tears. In 22oz format, Perrin’s basically attempting to murder you. And it’s a sweet, delicious, beautiful death.
Off the pour, this beer doesn’t trudge. This seems like a beer that would trudge out of the bottle and into your glass. But it pours rather silkily and (counter-intuitively) gracefully.
Ok. This beer is a coconut. A huge, incredibly concentrated, chocolatey coconut. Sometimes you open up a coconut-sprinkled chocolate bar and you think ‘oh, that’s a pleasant amount of coconut’ but this basically wallops you in the face and hijacks your tastebuds like that guy in the movie Captain Phillips. I gave a sip to my non-beer drinking mother, and she said “It has too much flavour”.
Now, you probably think emotional assault by coconut doesn’t actually sound all that appealing but what Perrin does nicely is throw in a couple kilos of Turbinado sugar to speed you on your way to diabetes. This thing is really sweet, and it doesn’t include any coffee or tobacco or licorice notes to reel it in. There are maybe some nutmeg or hint of cinnamon notes, but I think it’s the sweetness creating the illusion of flavour, rather than hinting at actual add-ins. There’s nothing in here other than the sugar and coconut.
Besides the bourbon barrel treatment.
Holy boats. I’d like to try an un-treated version just to see where the base beer begins and the bourbon barrels begin. Everything works together so smoothly, and it’s a really fluid composition. Bourbon barrels are such a marketing move, and they’re used even in beers that they won’t compliment. In this beer, it’s present, but it’s not the focus. It’s aged on first-use barrels that are unnamed, but have a Pappy-esque characteristic that my vocabulary isn’t strong enough to describe*. I know this beer has No Rules, and the people over at Perrin really pushed the borders, but they still created something that moves harmoniously.
(Harmonious and graceful are two words I did not expect myself to use to describe this beer.)
I’m going to be straight up – this beer isn’t for everyone. Some people are going to be immediately put off by the strong use of coconut, like my aforementioned mother. And as good as I thought this was, it was TOUGH to finish. This beer kicks your ass. It doesn’t apologize for it’s sweetness. And that’s ok for a beer featuring a screaming Walter Sobchak on the label.
(Please submit any issues with typos/grammatical errors in this piece to the people over Perrin. It’s their fault entirely.)
*I don’t think it’s Pappy exactly – based on my very limited experience, and the fact that anything that has Pappy would STRONGLY be marketed as such.