Friday, March 4, 2011

Difficult Peche

Have you ever been talking to someone about books and they say their favorite book was Moby Dick or Finnegan's Wake or something by Faulkner, Kant or Sartre?  Those people are lying, while those books are indeed great, you burn a lot of brain calories trying to read them. It's just not enjoyable, I'd much rather have a Steinbeck, Hemingway or Phillip Roth novel. They're easy to read and just as good, the verbosity of the others take away from their greatness.

Odell Avant Peche reminded me of this as I was drinking it last night. I had been looking forward to the Avant Peche since I first heard about it and I was lucky enough to snag a bottle at Royal this week. It wasn't quite what I expected, it was much more Sound and the Fury than East of Eden. The not quite ripe peach flavor brought a sourness that made me grind my teeth all through drinking the bottle. The peach flavor seemed off just a bit but blended well with the roastiness of the porter. It took me a full glass of it to realize that I actually liked it.

My problem with it, though, was I burning taste calories drinking it. I almost had to tune everything else out to drink it, just like you have to do with a difficult book. It felt more like studying than enjoying a beer. I even had to take a study break in the middle and drink a Schlafly Kolsch before I could finish the bottle. I feel safe in saying that Avant Peche is a masterwork but not one I'm probably going to reread. And I'm not going to be the kind of jerk that calls Avant Peche my favorite beer. I'll take American Pastoral over Moby Dick any day of the week.


  1. There was an Odell guy at Old Chicago last week, and he recommended letting the bottle age a bit for the flavors to come through.

    As you say, it's a good beer but not what I was hoping it would be. I'll probably sit on my second bottle for a couple months hoping something develops.

  2. I hate everything about this analogy.

  3. May I ask what you don't like about it? Would you like me to call it the JD Drew of beers, undoubtedly a good player, but not one you want to see play everyday?