EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ—The subtle interplay of the three varietal hops in MacTadcaster's Nut Brown Stout went tragically unappreciated Saturday when a group of high-school students got shitfaced on a case of the award-winning microbrew.
According to reports, Jared Rosenthal, Andrew Gobbola and Tracey Sheehan, 17-year-old seniors at East Brunswick High, obtained the beer from Rosenthal's refrigerator while his parents—bona-fide beer-lovers capable of fully relishing the subtle, hand-crafted taste of a MacTadcaster's—were away for the weekend.
Though none of the teens were able to comment on the Nut Brown Stout's chocolatey aroma or its surprisingly smoky almond finish, Rosenthal did say that it had "fucked him up majorly" and that he was "seriously payin' the price."
Added Gobbola: "Dude, I was ripped to the tits."
Despite consuming enormous quantities of the beer, the teens failed to detect the all-wheat malt that MacTadcaster's has developed over the years to give its beer "bottom." Further, none of them commented on the beer's uniquely dry, smoky hopping or the pleasant coffee highlights so often discussed among MacTadcaster's Nut Brown Stout cognoscenti.
Only the rich, robust texture of the beer drew any comment from the teens, with Sheehan overheard telling Rosenthal, "That beer is some thick shit."
MacTadcaster's Nut Brown Stout has won the Gold Medal for Best Small Batch Stout for three consecutive years at the Great American Beer Festival. John Winbourne, Chief Brewmaster at MacTadcaster's, said he was "shocked and disappointed" that the high-quality beer had wound up in the hands of unsophisticated, high school-age drinkers.
"Nobody the age of 17 can reasonably be expected to have the connoisseurship to detect even a fraction of the subtle complexities of our carefully aged stout," Winbourne said. "If they had guzzled our Honey Hefeweizen, a much simpler beer known for its plain, rumpled friendliness, the horror may have been muted somewhat."
"It's a tragedy, a real tragedy," said Steve Brauner, editor of Beer Aficionado magazine. "We're not talking about Bud Ice or Coors Light, or some mass-produced swill of a lager intended for crass high-school kids to get a cheap buzz off of. This is a complex, mature stout, whose creamy head alone is enough to overwhelm even the most experienced beer drinker."
"I can only hope those kids didn't drink it chilled," Brauner added. "Stouts are best enjoyed at room temperature."
According to sources within East Brunswick High School, the trio has previously been seen at night near the school's football field, drinking inexpensive domestic beers. "While such experimentation with alcohol is strongly discouraged," school principal Eileen Fleischer said, "at least these previous incidents only involved the three students getting wasted, as opposed to this senseless wasting of hand-crafted, award-winning beer."
Helmut Schildkraut is the experienced Bavarian farmer who harvested the hops in the MacTadcaster's twelve-pack at the peak of their mellow ripeness, then aged them in a oaken sherry cask for three months to maximally enhance their dignified flavor. Contacted at his home in the tiny German village of Gütbourg, he said: "Zis makes me very sad. Nein, der MacTadcaster's ist not fur der kinder. Ist fur der discriminating bier drinker only."