SLEEMAN FINE PORTER—Don’t forget to sip and enjoy (unless you’re an alcoholic)…ARE you an alcoholic?

My Fellow Inebriates,

I found an old blog I started months ago and forgot about because I was drunk at the time.

It was a Blogger blog. I’d filled out my profile information and some preferences, uploaded a background and selected some fonts, then abandoned the thing, presumably because we’d bought some gin or something.

If I hadn’t accidentally visited Dan Lacey’s Blogger blog, I’d never have remembered.

It worried me how completely the memory of starting a Blogger blog had vanished. Easy to forget, too—its stats showed one visitor in the past three months, two in its entire lifetime.

Now, you’re probably thinking this is a sign of advanced alcoholism, and you may be right. But OMG, what if it’s another kind of dementia? How would I know the difference?

Turns out it’s pretty hard to tell the difference. Common symptoms of both:

    • Memory loss
    • Difficulty performing familiar tasks
    • Impaired judgment
    • Language problems
    • Personality changes

I totally have memory problems. For instance, I almost forgot to mention the SLEEMAN FINE PORTER I tried over the holidays. SLEEMAN is a bit of a go-to at our house; during summer we buy the HONEY LAGER quite often because it has more body than a typical lager while still being crisp and refreshing. Safe to say: SLEEMAN would have some know-how about producing a porter.

Pouring it into a glass was difficult despite the familiarity of the task. These little paws of mine are no match for even twist-off convenience, lacking as they do any muscular or skeletal construction. Intelligent design, my furry ass! I should have been constructed with an opener built into my paw, but then I’d be such a robotic mutant that I’d freak myself out. Luckily my dad finally opened a bottle.

In the glass SLEEMAN FINE PORTER is a beautiful dark mahogany with a pillowy-soft layer of inviting foam. The smell is faintly nutty with detectable chocolate and caramel—not aggressively aromatic and in my judgment—the same judgment that prompted me to release my own porn video—just right.

Moderate carbonation makes this porter unlike the British cousins it’s partially aspiring to imitate; the crispness is a savvy move on the part of SLEEMAN and their best bet in terms of capturing mainstream market popularity. This brew will probably turn off ardent purists, but they probably don’t drive the SLEEMAN market anyway. I like the way the fizz balances against the bread-and-chocolate background flavors, mitigating the expected heavy creaminess, highlighting the hops, and settling down into a satisfying, long finish with just the right hint of bitterness.

After consuming an abundance of SLEEMAN FINE PORTER I certainly struggled with language problems, so I’ll borrow my dad’s pronouncement: “probably the best beer SLEEMAN makes.” But then his personality changed (OMG!) and he denied me another bottle. And then my personality changed, and I called him a dick.

It all feels a bit demented—but in an elderly way, a neurologically-impaired sort of way, or an alcoholic way?

There’s plenty of overlap between diagnoses, but luckily medical experts are on the job. In fact, recent studies show that brain impairment differs among alcoholics from that exhibited by Alzheimer’s patients.

One recent study compared 39 elderly detoxified alcoholics with 9 Alzheimer’s patients and 15 control subjects. I’d have liked to have been a fly on that wall, or even played bartender, but apparently it was all business. The subjects with alcohol-related dementia showed different types of impairment from the other groups, the former group specifically challenged by fine motor control, initial letter fluency and free recall. As you can imagine, these skill deficits make it awfully hard to write a coherent booze review, so my apologies.

Curious whether you’re an alcoholic? If you suspect you are, there are plenty of tests to help you confirm it. Go on, find out! In fact, here’s the Johns Hopkins University Test for Alcoholism. Add up your answers! And send me your comments 😉

Please answer yes or no to each question.

  1. Do you lose time from work due to drinking?     Y     N
  2. Is drinking making your home life unhappy?     Y     N
  3. Do you drink because you are shy with other people?     Y     N
  4. Is drinking affecting your reputation?     Y     N
  5. Have you ever felt remorse after drinking?     Y     N
  6. Have you gotten into financial difficulties as a result of your drinking?     Y     N
  7. Do you turn to lower companions and an inferior environment when drinking?     Y     N
  8. Does your drinking make you careless of your family’s welfare?     Y     N
  9. Has your ambition decreased since drinking?     Y     N
  10. Do you crave a drink at a definite time daily?     Y     N
  11. Do you want a drink the next morning?     Y     N
  12. Does your drinking cause you to have difficulties in sleeping?     Y     N
  13. Has your efficiency decreased since drinking?     Y     N
  14. Is your drinking jeopardizing your job or business?     Y     N
  15. Do you drink to escape from worries or troubles?     Y     N
  16. Do you drink alone?     Y     N
  17. Have you ever had a complete loss of memory?     Y     N
  18. Has your physician ever treated you for drinking?     Y     N
  19. Do you drink to build your self-confidence?     Y     N
  20. Have you ever been in a hospital or institution on account of drinking?     Y     N


YES answers:

3—indicates a probable drinking problem.

4-7—indicates early-stage alcoholism.

7-10—indicates middle-stage alcoholism.

10+—indicates end-stage alcoholism.


How did you score? I got a 5! That means there’s plenty of fun left 😉

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