1933 New Deal
Wonderfully bold, the ‘33 New Deal opens up beautifully with enough tinny-voiced acidity to balance the dirt and hobo flavors of the dust-bowl vintage. The ’33 offers an engaging Man-in-Coveralls, Honest-Days-Work feeling, and adds just enough Red Menace tang to give drama to the palette. It’s hard to distinguish them all, but I get a delightful profusion of tools here: pick axes, spades, and maybe a little ball-peen hammer. Underneath it all, given the whole ’33 structure, I definitely detect hints of polio, a cigarette holder and a man with a blanket on his lap and wheelchair.
100 points. Drink before 1944.
2009 Fall Foliage Season, Western MA
Offers pale-straw yellow, Sprite-can green, but much less raspberry in the color than one would hope for. The ‘09 air weaves together wood stove and menthol with just enough winter notes to make you sad. The traffic along Route 2 from Boston brings a busyness to the texture that’s interesting at first, but ultimately unappealing. Doesn’t display nearly enough pumpkin or fake scarecrow to really be called a great vintage. Paired with the right beer, however, the New England character of the ’09 really shines through: apple cider; men in plaid wool; a bit of pilgrim hat.
Below 70 points and sometimes I would say below 60. Drink for the next month.
2009 Division Series Game 1,
Boston Red Sox & Los Angeles Angels
Began slow with a hint of soccer in the score. John Lackey and Jon Lester both brought a beautiful roundness to the center of the game, adding notes of trebuchet and rock throwing. Lackey’s consistent finish slightly overpowered the Red Sox hitting which had some nice swinging gate tones, but lacked the refreshing champagne cork pops of more integrated hitting. Jacoby Ellsbury’s playing in centerfield holds up nicely in the light, offering some surprising Ultimate Frisbee elements. There were some nice grass notes in the outfield.
Hopefully drink well into Oct. 86 points.
2009 Job Interview
A surprising mix of myself and my current boss, this ‘09 interview was clumsy at first, but opened up nicely, reminiscent of going out to coffee with a hint of blind-date tension. My crisp attire was a little out of balance with my Boss’s lively orange and khaki outfit; but the overall effect came together—flowers floating in a water bowl. The questions were a bit flimsy in the mouth; not as much backbone as one hopes for from a job interview of this style and vintage. But what it lacked in structure, it more than made up for in richness. Meaning money.
90 points. Drink through 2011.
A little too young—not much substance showing through the acidity and tannic characters currently present. Shows signs of promise in its bold use of @hodgman and @The_Real_Shaq among others. Hints of instant- and text-messaging, which might befuddle older consumers used to certain fullness in their sentences. Paired with wine, Twitter goes down easier. You might want to cellar this for a couple of years and hope it matures.
140 points. Either drink all of it now for like one whole week exclusively; or wait until at least 2012.
1988 NBA Slam Dunk Contest, Jordan & Wilkins
A gorgeous blend of Jordan and Wilkins makes the ‘88 a crowd-pleaser and a return to form for the Dunk Contest. Call me a traditionalist, but including Spud Webb in the 1986 blend simply threw the whole Contest off-balance—too cloying, too potato. The ’88 holds up beautifully, even opened today. Strong fireworks and trampoline notes at the start. While Jordan and Wilkins can often work against each other, the ’88 brings out the best qualities in each. Wilkins’s natural showiness can sometimes get in the way of a nice quaff, but here that showiness is used to great effect: strong windmill notes, and I even detected some subtle Greg Louganis in the foot extensions. Jordan balances out the 1988 with an earthy airiness. Notes of circus cannon on the finish.
Between 145 and 147 points. Only 6 cases made.