Saturday, August 28, 2010

Richard's Wild Irish Rose (Red)

Welp, back to the grindstone. No more weird Eastern-European stuff, no more light, vaguely alcoholic stuff. It is time for the last, unvanquished Bumwine, one of the legendaries. I've worked my way through six other classic hobowines (and the sub-standard Orange Driver, whatever the hell it counted as), now I've got a big (full-liter) bottle of Wild Irish Rose staring me down before I can say I've cleared all of 'em out.
Orange Driver is Mimmy. Also this metaphor works because Margaret is brutal to get through.
 Oh, oh. And I just finished watching Season 4 of Dexter (which is a barrel of laughs, let me tell you), so I am in an extra bottle-drainy mood. So come Wild Irish Rose--number one, here I come.

Not that bad, actually. It's second to MD 20/20  as the most wine-y looking of the Rogue's gallery of bumwine. Mostly red-colored, vaguely purple, and a little too light to be actual wine, but if it was in a bottle it could pass for port or sherry maybe. It does look just a little sugary, though. That said, MD red was honestly the second-hardest to drink after Thunderbird, so that doesn't tell us much.

When I was talking to my dad once--a former Wyoming bartender, so you know he's seen some shit--about this kind of stuff, his response was "you've actually had Thunderbird? Tastes kind of like diesel, doesn't it?" It was kind of a sweet father-son moment.
Dammit Jasper! You drink by The Code!
Ah, WIR, you betray yourself. Much like the Irish, your facade of acceptability fades upon closer examination-- or upon smelling.You might pass for civilized in dim light, but as soon as that bottle opens I know you for the filth you really are.
"Good very sweet, my brother."
"Aye. Good wine is very sweet. But you're not me brother."

There's actually not that much aroma to it, but what there is is pretty much pure vinegar and floor polish. There's a little bit of that red-candy sugary smell that marks the really low-grade stuff, but this follows just behind Thunderbird in terms of unpalatable smell. (Out of the bumwines, at least-- bad liquor has a bad smell all its own). (I really didn't like Thunderbird. Can you tell?)
I hate Thunderbird as much as I hate this image.   


At its most basic, like fruit, grape, sugar, and poison. If I didn't know that this was going to taste awful and instead expected something actually natural-flavored I'd be fucking worried.
Making me more competent than Gotham PD.
Oh, do I need to be more specific? Do your journalistic standards demand it? I can't pull a W.R. Hearst and just insinuate and fabricate and smash our foreheads together to get the information into your skull faster?  I have to do actual journalism? (Wait? Do I? I'm too deep to know what's real and what's the joke anymore).
Citizen Who OR "FAB-RI-CATE! FAB-RI-CATE!"OR "I hate Wild Irish Rose. Wild Irish Rose isn't cool."
(I want you to know I was just going to do an Inception joke there but I took the time to MS Paint William Hearst as a Timelord, because I am dedicated to my craft.)

Okay, well look, have you seen the Season 4 Dexter finale? I just watched it, like two and a half hours ago. And logically I should be drinking more because when I watched it the first time I had to sit there for a while to catch my breath and rewatch parts of it and then go upstairs and have myself a bit of a cry. And I'm still barely into this bottle at all.

Okay. Okay. Give me a minute. Maybe take that minute to, I dunno, look at pictures of kittens or something nice.

Whatever the opposite of this is.
Okay, all that said this is probably the most chuggable of all the bumwine I've had, so at least it accomplishes its mission. But that's like how at the end of Metal Slug you still accomplish your mission, because you leave behind an army of corpses, get earth invaded by Martians, puke blood for a while and some guy gets eaten by a killer whale.

Not really a fair comparison because Metal Slug is fucking awesome though, and this isn't. So maybe it's like how, at the end of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Jack Nicholson actually does end up adjusting to the mental institution.
Pictured: rad.
Pictured: not rad at all.
 There's a really strong grape juice/cranberry candy flavor at the beginning (because W.I.R. is "100% grape with citrus spirits"), and then that bitterness and vaguely ill backwash. It tastes a lot--a lot--like bile, or maybe that's just, I don't know, my bile. It goes down easy enough, but after a big gulp you don't really want to drink more of it. (GAY JOKE HERE). There's also this very faint aftertaste, after everything else goes away, of blood and spit, although that might just be-- well, I guess what I'm saying is that the wine itself tastes like candy, but the aftertaste tastes like the aftertaste of swallowing glass.
And I don't know if they grade glass, but if they do...coarse.

Honestly though, it might still be the most drinkable hobo wine I've tasted yet. The only hard part of the drinking is the swallowing, which does hurt and gives you a grimace that's the exact opposite feeling of whisky shivers. This is not at all to say that it's good, but, like Night Train (which I've got soft feelings for, as I drank half a bottle with friends, made pineapple nachos, and watched Van Damme's magnificently tardo Cyborg), it'll do the job if you don't mind the slimy aftertaste and the bootleg flavor.

I had an elaborate masturbation joke there originally, but I'm gonna be classy and just leave it to your imagination.

It's a relatively nice buzz, too. The kind of buzz where I listen to cabaret music and google screenshots from Secretary, not the Thunderbird kind where I wander down to the grill on the corner at 1 am and my friends talk about their exes (see: T-bird).

So yeah, this isn't good, but it's a nice high standard for bumwine. Kind of like how John Merrick was hella deformed but still a classy guy. (Yes, that's the second Elephant Man joke I've made. As a side note, the Lynch film is a really underrrated classic-- it's not weird and hallucinatory, but it's still clearly his work and Hurt is absolutely incredible in it). So I'm not gonna recommend it-- if you have the five bucks a liter bottle costs you just get actual cheap wine for that price or a couple little sampler bottles of liquor--but if, like me, you consider yourself a travel guide to the tourism of the land of misery,  you could do worse. You could do Thunderbird.

Like I said, I'm in a cabaret kind of mood. So here's Jack Terricloth, both because Addicted to Bad Ideas is tied with Tallahassee as the official Gutrottin' album and because I think he'd really like the second-to-most-recent sentence.
Wow, this review sorta ballooned. Like a tumor. Or a balloon. It is sort of my farewell to bumwine-- I don't doubt that I'll return (I think I may even round up my roommate and my girlfriend to revisit Thunderbird), but I've now tried all the major brands. I haven't done the white Wild Irish Rose yet, so that may be in the future. The distant, awful, future. But I gotta say, this is better than Mad Dog. It's in the Night Train category of "shit I wouldn't ever be in the mood for but might drink again to save money." Although, seriously, a five-dollar bottle of Riesling is still pretty decent. There's really no excuse besides abject poverty.

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