We’re so confident about the result of this week’s match-up in South Bend that we’ve decided that this week will be the return of the AoG King Can taste test. I assigned the AoG writing staff with a simple task: poison yourself, and report the results. Writers were told to go to the worst gas stations, dives, and ratholes in their towns to find the most vile alcohol they can find. The requirements:
- Must be...you know, a king can. Also you must drink the whole thing.
- Must be high ABV
- Soft spending limit $2, hard cap $3.50
Let’s take a look at the results!
The Drink: Steel Reserve “Alloy Series”: BLK BERRY
What it Did to Me: Not since I was a child has a drink immediately sent the message to my brain “this was a mistake”. Sure, there’s been plenty of times where you have an alcoholic drink that’s too strong or terrible, but this thing made me regret my decision to imbibe this crap immediately. It is awful. You know that fake grape flavor in those ice pops? That’s what it tastes like. A carbonated version of that.
But it goes beyond just taste. My body itself objected to the presence of the vile fluid. I could literally feel my esophagus convulse with objection as I commanded it to do its peristalsis duty. My stomach lurched at every drink. My intestines rumbled with a manner that I would describe as a threat to do horrible things to me all week in revenge.
That all said, this got me buzzed pretty damned quick, which is more than I can say for the Huntsville craft beers of similar ABV. Those things cost a pretty penny and while Campus805 in Huntsville combines throwing axes with drinking high grav beers, it’s a lto more expensive than this. There’s something to be said about that. Just as there’s something to be said for buying a $1.99 grape flavored king can Sunday afternoon at an Alabama gas station.
They had a blue raspberry flavor at the gas station too, but given my experience with the 4loko blue last time, I decided to forego it. With that memory in mind, it gets an extra “star”.
Ideal For: Those times you want to get blitzed because you hate yourself and think that you deserve every bit of suffering you endure.
Rating: 2 of 10 hilarious losses to Navy
(insert picture of drink here)
The Drink: Natty Rush Blue Frostbite
What it Did to Me: I do not drink beer. Ever. I keep taste testing to see if there is one I can tolerate. To this point, it’s just been overly sweet drinks like Mike’s hard that make me want to puke after two or three because they’re so sugary. So, I went with the cheap, shitty version of what I can best tolerate…and was pleasantly surprised. My expectation was malt-liquor nastiness with a hint of something you’d have to be 4 cans deep to think is blue rasbery [Ed. note: I refuse to correct this toddler’s spelling of raspberry, for my own amusement]. Instead, it was an overpowering sugary, syrupy flavored nastiness with a hint of malt liquor.
After the first few sips, it started to taste like the tears of Detroit. Maybe that’s because I was watching the Lions implode as only they and the Browns can during the first Monday Night Football game. (Yes, I toasted Jen and her correct stance on college football being far superior to the NFL.) While it was amusing to watch the Jets actually dominate someone, the Blue Frostbite kept yanking me back to reality even as a weird, jittery buzz came over me.
Of course, I was almost tempted into taking advantage of an amazing 2/$2 special on Icehouse Edge 24 oz cans. As someone who does not like beer as Is, I decided that 48 oz of the cheapest 8% ABV I have ever seen was going to be like watching Alabama vs Vanderbilt on repeat for the rest of my life. That option would have been less damaging to my perception of “blue” flavors (shout out to Cool Blue Gatorade, which powered many childhood days on sports fields!), but I probably would have been very angry while writing this instead of just experiencing mild discomfort.
Ideal For: Questioning what is wrong with yourself when you would still rather have this disturbing concoction of beer and…whatever “blue frostbite” is supposed to be than regular beer. Oh, and whenever you need 1000% of your daily suggested value of “certified colors.” No idea what that means, but that phrase was on the can!
Rating: 4 of 10 hilarious losses to Navy
The Drink: Steel Reserve: Alloy Series, Spiked Watermelon
What it Did to Me: I went to Billy’s Corner (a gas station, car repair, beer stop that also sells BBQ sandwiches combo) on Murphy Road. They had ALL THE BEERS. Nashville beers, Alabama beers, even Cigar City (the best of all the beers). But they did not have anything that met the requirements despite selling food and changing oil all in the same place.
I stopped by the taproom and explained my scenario. A young man with waxed peach fuzz mustache and a paunch informed me it wasn’t the kind of place people “come to get fucked up.” Shocking.
Then I went to the jiffy store on Murphy and West End, and ta-da! we had a winner. I really wanted the spiked Arnold Palmer. It was 24 fl ozs of goodness that I like to call a John Daily. But, the ABV was too low. At the top of the shelf they had Mike’s Hard Lemonades but no Zimas! I settled on the Steel Reserve because after 7-10 minutes of weighing options and trying to determine ABV on Mexican imports, I figured the result was a losing proposition anyway.
At the counter, Chrissi said, “ooooo, spiked watermelon. Does that sound any good??” Ding, ding, ding. We have a winner. I knew I was screwed.
Before dinner, I explained to my wife the scenario and she crossed herself, said a Hail Mary (in honor of the ND), and then held up some garlic. Upon opening, I nearly vomited. It tasted like a turned watermelon jolly rancher. I think you may thought I said a “turned” as fermented. No I mean as in “I slaughtered this horse last Tuesday, I think it may have turned.” It’s highly carbonated and fizzy to the tongue. It is a bad version of a melted summer time popsicle. I’m not sure this isn’t pure chemicals.
I’m buzzed and sick to my stomach. May walk to the Taproom for redemption.
Ideal For: Hanging with Chrissi.
Rating: 4 of 10 hilarious losses to Navy
The Drink: Winking Owl’s California Moscato
What it Did to Me: Look. I don’t know the first thing about beer. Just like I don’t know the first thing about Vandy football. Or just sports in general, obviously. I’m a girl. All I know about is wine, right?! RIght guys??? So when I tell you this wine is basically like drinking grape juice from a chilled glass bottle, I’m telling you... it’s like drinking grape juice from a chilled glass bottle. This is like today’s Arbor Mist sans the high fructose corn syrup. I’m just kidding. There’s probably a ton of that in there and way more other bad fake stuff. My point is, this is the wine that high school teenage girls (so... all of us here at Anchor of Gold) would buy illegally to drink and pretend they’re cool adults who get drunk. Except at 8% ABV per BOTTLE it literally gets you no where.
Even though it’s basically nothing at all, it still tastes somewhat decent if you like sugary beverages anyway. Personally, I’m not a big soda drinker, but mainly for the carbonation. This taste is [very] sweet and nice, I don’t cringe when I drink it. If I’m looking for something to drink, to have in my hand and participate but not get drunk, this is a good cheap option.
Ideal For: Bitching about the Bachelor with your bestie right after you’ve both been fired from your $8/hr part time jobs
Rating: 5 of 10 hilarious losses to Navy
Christian D’Andrea’s Review
The Drink: ALSO Natty Rush Frostbite
Cost: $1.49. 50 cents cheaper than DOTP’s can. God bless you, Wisconsin.
ABV: 8.0% — for now.
What it Did to Me: First, let’s talk about this can. Specifically this part:
Hahahah, what? This can wants — no, NEEDS — you to know you’re getting 25 ounces for the 24 ounce price. A 4 percent bonus. The good folks at Natty understand your frustration with sales tax, and they’re here for you, the discerning alcoholic.
Secondly, this pours like Smurf blood and has an honest-to-god grey head. It reeks. I am currently sitting six feet away from it and its making my eyes water. It’s like some drunk horticulturalist cross bred an onion and a bag of sour patch kids, and then sliced up the godless result when he sobered up and saw what he’d done.
But it tastes...fine? I’m a veteran of this game, and in terms of king cans, it’s probably in the top 60 percent. It’s blended up Jolly Ranchers and Natty Light. It sips like the wine you’d drink at a prison bachelorette party. 25 ounces of this is way too much, but at eight percent alcohol it’s more about beverage efficiency and Trojan Horsing four light beers worth of booze into your body before your pancreas realizes the entire bag of Sour Patch Kids it’s been bracing for is never coming.
It’s never coming, guy.
I’m 20 minutes into this thing and have finished my bonus ounce and almost nothing else. Am I growing up?
Am I...am I dying?
I have an idea.
A terrible idea.
Somehow, adding a shot of scotch — in this case, delicious single malt Bunnahabhain — kinda made this better. The peat cut through a lot of the artificial sweetness like a cleansing fire. It was like drinking a Smirnoff Ice back at a high school bonfire. It’s not good, but it’s ...nostalgic? And now it’s basically a full six-pack of Miller Genuine Draft in a convenient, 27-ounce beverage.
It just needs a name. An exploding boiler? A smoked Twizzler? Sad Patch Kid?
Ideal For: Did I already use that penal colony bachelorette party line? Otherwise, if you drank this fast enough you could probably puke up a pretty passable Jackson Pollack fake.
Rating: (Begins to type, remembers father-in-law is an Academy grad) There is no such thing as a hilarious loss to Navy. Go Midshipmen. Beat Army.
Tom Stephenson’s review
hahahahahahahahha jk SB Nations doesn’t pay me enough to do this shit
Andrew VU 04’s Review
The Drink: Four Loko Fruit Punch
ABV: 12.0% — I cringed while typing that. This can is damn near a 6 pack. Except it is 24 ounces of caffeinated renal failure.
What it Did to Me: I don’t know yet, as I just bought it, and am planning on giving it 30 minutes in the freezer (not so much to make it more palatable, but because Oklahoma won’t let you sell these things in the fridge, and I’ll be damned if I’m drinking warm caffeinated unicorn piss).
While we wait...: A quick story. Yesterday, I fully planned to buy said poison after work, but I was at work from 7am until I literally got a speeding ticket trying to get to the gas station before it stops selling booze at 9pm. Seriously. 8:57pm… speeding ticket. Oh Oklahoma. I hate you.
Fun Fact: I just now (Friday, 7:30pm CT) got back from my journey to purchase my punishment, and it turns out that gas stations in Oklahoma aren’t allowed to sell this shit at all (even warm). I had to drive to the store where the bearded guys know me. I felt like the craft beer drinking version of Hester Prynne when I, after searching, had to ask, “Where do you keep your king cans? Ideally not Four Loko.” Bearded man one said, “Red or Blue?” I offered nothing but confusion, so he doubled down: “You want the one that tastes like Red or the one that tastes like Blue?” I accepted my scarlet horse poison—no bag, no receipt.
The Strategy: Pour it into a Moscow mule copper mug to trick my taste buds into thinking I’m just drinking something slightly less gross/humiliating. Moscow mules are about as gross/humiliating as barely beating Ball State.
8pm—First Sip: I can now say I know what it feels like when the color red hate fucks your mouth. It fizzed on the tongue, and tastes basically like fruit punch Jolly Ranchers who hate their parents. Other that that, not bad. Not good, but not bad. Perfectly cromulent horse poison. The aftertaste reminds you of you own mortality, though.
Second Sip: Dear God. I’m relatively sure my innards are oxidizing. No lie, this legitimately gets worse the more you drink it.
Third Sip: Tried a pinched nose big chug and I instantly regret it. My tongue now cuts itself and listens to Depeche Mode. I don’t know if I can finish this. Seriously. Stay tuned.
Fourth Chug: I hate everything about this. I had to pause to make a sandwich (lest I die), and answer a phone call. The lady friend could tell something was wrong with me. After hanging up, I tried talking aloud and listening to myself. She was right. Something was wrong. I now sound like late period Lou Holtz attempting to speak on ESPN. There are words, yes, but no meaning. Life has no meaning.
Ideal For: Rendering the mind numb enough to engage in a back-alley hobo orgy.
Rating: 1 out of 10 hilarious losses to Navy. Basically, this is the last scene in the movie Pi.