Ultimate 6er – Boardwalk Empire
I originally wanted to do an ultimate 6er based around the show The Newsroom, but considering the first season ended awhile ago, I decided to go with the next best thing: Boardwalk Empire. I warn you, this 6er is not for the lightweight. Believe me, I know. I have apparently reverted back to freshman year of college when, according to my good friend Stew, I got sloshed on acorn shots. I had to split this 6er between two nights, and I was barely able to take notes at the end of both, so enjoy!
For Enoch “Nucky” Thompson I chose Listermann Brewing Company’s Cincinnatus Stout Aged in Bourbon Barrels from 2011. Yes, that’s right, a vintage beer. Cincinnatus was the model of Roman virtue, and while Nucky, the corrupt treasurer of Atlantic County, is anything but virtuous, I thought a liquor-laced beer only appropriate, seeing as he makes money on the side by bootlegging during Prohibition. The beer is bottle conditioned, and sealed with wax, making it very hard to get into. However, once I got the cap off, I was greeted with that sweet smell of bourbon. Cincinnatus is dark, like many a stout, and heavy, with an ABV of 9.5-10.5%. It’s got an oaky vanilla flavor, and at $7+ per bottle, I think it’s a beer someone of Nucky’s social standing would be proud to drink.
The character Arnold Rothstein is based on a real man of the same name. Rothstein was, among other things, the kingpin of the Jewish mafia in New York. He saw Prohibition as a business opportunity, and on the show enters into business with Nucky. He’s portrayed as wealthy, classy, slick, and extremely powerful. As such, I picked Brooklyn Brewery’s Monster Ale for him. It’s brewed in New York, it’s got a 10.1% ABV, and it’s kosher! Monster Ale is a barley wine style beer and pours a rich amber color. It’s aromatic, most notably I smelled fruit, but it tastes of hops. According to Brooklyn Brewery, it pairs well with a good cigar, something Arnold Rothstein would certainly approve of.
As far as I can tell, Gyp Rosetti is completely fictional, and thank goodness for that. He is a scary, scary man. Charming, yes, but scary. While watching the show, I’m constantly afraid he’s about to kill somebody, because you never know what’s going to set him off. Therefore, Rogue’s Dead Guy Ale was a no-brainer. It’s a honey-colored Maibock, with a sweet, malty aroma, and a sugary yet slightly hoppy flavor. It only has a 6.5% ABV, so while the beer itself may not scream Rosetti, the name certainly does.
Albert “Chalky” White is Nucky’s counterpart in Atlantic City’s black community. While a black man named Chalky White may make you giggle, he’s certainly nothing to laugh at, and so for him I chose Sam Adams Imperial White. This beer pours an orange color, and it smells and tastes orangey too. But don’t let that sweetness fool you. At 10.3% ABV, it packs a punch. I mean, due to legal restrictions, Imperial White can’t be sold in at least three states.
Now we all know who Al Capone is, or at least we should. He’s a Prohibition-era, Italian-American, Chicago gangster, and he’s also another character on Boardwalk Empire. In addition to his dark side, which is what most are familiar with, we’ve also been exposed to a sort of sweetness, such as his interaction with his partially deaf son. That made Goose Island’s Pepe Nero the perfect choice. It smells absolutely delicious, with a scent of roasted chestnuts, and pours a deep mahogany color. While you get the smokiness of the peppercorn with which it’s made, you also get some of that sweet banana bread flavor you get with many Belgian saisons. It has a 6.1% ABV, so not extremely potent, but the bottle does contain live yeast, so the beer can develop in the bottle for up to five years. To top it off, “Pepe Nero” means “black pepper” in Italian, and it’s brewed in Chicago, two things that make it a great match for Capone.
Finally, we have Gillian Darmody. Come on, I had to throw a girl in here somewhere. Gillian is an old friend of Nucky’s, and a showgirl turned madam of a brothel. She comes off so sweet and innocent, but really she’s a heinous bitch. She poisoned her baby daddy, inducing a stroke, then blamed it on the maid; she had sex with her own son on at least one occasion; and she’s trying to trick her grandson into thinking she’s his mother since his real mother is dead. So, for her I chose a bottle of Luna Kombucha in Strawberry. Kombucha is a fermented tea beverage, and most brewers kill the yeast bacteria to keep alcohol levels below .5 percent, but Luna does not. They have a brewers permit, and you have to be 21 to buy it. Kombucha is carbonated like champagne, and this one in particular looked a bit like grapefruit juice in terms of color. However, the strawberry flavor was very subtle. It does have some health benefits, but it can also kick your ass, making it a win-win for Ms. Darmody.