I’ll admit, the life of a gentleman scientist/adventurer isn’t as easy or as glamorous as it might look from the outside. After months of testing everything from breakfast wine to canned martinis to the chemical-tinged trashwater that is Mad Dragon, there were simply no new horizons. Your old friend Drankenstein had reached that distant coast, and there retired in comfort atop a truckload of simple, predictable Vella boxwine. Both fans of this column sorely lamented its passing, but there was nothing to be done for it. I’d hunted the world of bumwines and questionable malt liquors to extinction. A few days ago however, something new came to my attention, something that immediately re-lit the old fires within. Clutching a fistful of dollar bills and with a reckless gleam in my eye, I scoured the bodegas of Cleveland (okay, I checked about three), but my quarry was nowhere to be found. Just when all hope seemed lost, a new challenger appeared. This isn’t what I was looking for–not even close–but it is a neon green bumwine with a dancing habanero pepper on the label. And that suits old Drankenstein just fine.
Have I really not written an article since April? My hidden volcano DrankLab is all dusty, and my science coat smells like mothballs. I assure you that this hiatus wasn’t due to lack of interest, I put down so much Thunderbird that Cleveland’s hobos have stopped asking for money and now just try to attack me and drink my blood. They can smell it in my veins. The reality of the situation is simply that the industry cannot keep up with me. I drank everything out there in the name of science, then retreated to my lonely tower where I silently scanned the horizon line for innovations that were too few and far between. So what finally brought the good Doctor back from unwilling retirement? To paraphrase the immortal words of AC/DC, “Some balls are held for for charity and some for fancy dress, but when they’re filled with drinks they’re the balls that I like best”.
I’ll just be honest here, normally I wouldn’t bother dusting off my lab coat for a Joose review. Not that it’s necessarily bad or anything, it’s just that the flavors tend to get released in lockstep with their main competitor Four Loko, so there’s just no reason to bother. Except for Dragon Joose I guess, but I got that mostly because I’m a sucker for things about dragons-even drinks, apparently. And even that just ended up being grape. Nothing to write the Internet about. Now Sweet Peach Iced Tea and Mango, that’s super exciting right? How about if I drink both? Yeah, now we’re talking!
After spending two solid months only writing about things that don’t make my liver shriek audibly, I felt it was high time to dust off the old Drankenstein Diaries for another thrilling entry. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s getting harder to find new drinks, much less anything I can crank 600 words out of. So when I first saw a rack full of these bad boys about a month ago, I got pretty excited. It looked like we might have a new experiment on our hands. And week after week, when not one bottle moved from that rack, I knew for certain. This was a job for Dr. Drankenstein.
I’ve been doing these columns for a while now, and it’s becoming clear that the malt liquor industry is having a tough time keeping up with me. It’s getting really difficult to find new drinks on the shelf, especially when nearly every brand shares so many flavors. Even with my discerning hobo palate, my review for Watermelon Joose is going to look a lot like one for Watermelon Four Loko. And even if there were new flavors, the fact that every can in these coolers looks like the lovechild of the Archbishop Don “Magic” Juan and an MMA merchandiser isn’t helping. It all blends together after a while, you know? So imagine my surprise when a weekly stop at my favorite corner store, The Rooster (on Detroit in Lakewood a few blocks from the Cleveland border), produced this little beauty. TauBu Midnite Berry: the can is pretty artfully designed, I’ve never heard of the brand, and the flavor holds at least some small promise of a surprise. It’s a perfect trifecta. So with that said, let’s get down to bidness.
Longtime readers might remember me referencing Melonball A:M ten chapters ago in my review of its Black Raspberry counterpart. That can of Melonball in no way survived to be reviewed. In fact, I’m pretty sure it was gone less than 24 hours later. As luck would have it though, I’m finally starting to see this stuff pop up around here, giving Melonball a second chance at the spotlight. This spotlight serves primarily to showcase the fact that this can is harder to photograph than Bigfoot.
This may be as high-end as I ever go under the guise of Drankenstein, so enjoy it while it lasts. I can already feel this column jumping the shark with each delicious, name-brand sip. My painstakingly earned street cred slipping away faster than that of early Gin & Juice spokesrapper Snoop Dogg. You try finding something new and hilarious to drink every week though, it’s not as easy as it looks. I’ll be mounting a multi-store hunt for new material soon, but some Friday nights I just wanna get my Taco Bell home and watch some Dollhouse on Netflix. So for now, I present to you Seagram’s Green Dragon flavor Gin & Juice. I should have grouped this up with my article from two weeks ago and went for a whole dragon themed month. Oh well, live and learn.
I know, I know…only twelve weeks in and I’m already looping back to brands I’ve previously covered. I still have plenty of new stuff in mind, I assure you. I saw these for the first time a couple weeks ago though, and they’ve been distracting me! Poco Loko: two thirds the size and alcohol content of a standard issue Four Loko, at 16oz and 8% respectively. Normally I wouldn’t even care about something smaller and weaker than the flagship product, but this was a four pack for $4, so it’s still getting more for cheaper. Plus it’s mango!
The Bumwine Chronicles have come and gone, and now it is time for Dr. Drankenstein to return to his carbonated, sugar-engorged roots. And what better way to make a stylish return to form than with a drink marketed towards dragons (or at least dragon enthusiasts)? This drink is definitely unique for its category, in that it’s not directly named for the flavor it is, nor does it contain any information on the can about what flavor it might in fact be. I’m going to go out on a limb though, and guess that Dragon Joose is probably grape.
Welcome to another chapter in the Secret Diaries of Dr. Victor Drankenstein, beamed directly into your compubox from our top secret lab nestled in an undisclosed Cleveland underpass. We’ve had a crack team of Hobologists working around the clock these past few weeks in order to present you with the very best vintages the drifter lifestyle has to offer. The third entry in our award-winning Bumwine Chronicles likely needs no introduction, Wild Irish Rose is a bumwine of some esteem. You could consider it the Pepsi to Thunderbird‘s Coca-Cola. But did you know, gentle reader, that in addition to the standard white and red varieties, there is also “Wild Fruit with Ginseng”? No, no you didn’t! Who would know about something like this? Drankenstein, that’s who.