SLEEMAN CREAM ALE—What would the Tooth Fairy pay for it?

My Fellow Inebriates,

Once upon a time, when a kid lost a tooth—or in Miss P’s case, yanked a tooth out and trailed blood from the rec room to the bathroom—parents knew the drill. Wait till the kid’s asleep, root under the pillow for it, and leave money. Voilà, the Tooth Fairy has visited.

But inevitably, the millennial Tooth Fairy has stepped things up. Not content to initiate a cascade of parental anxiety—Do we have cash? How much? Do we need to match the neighbors?—today’s Tooth Fairy adds a flourish: just before leaving the kid’s bedroom, she dips her frock into a glass of water, magically imparting color so the kid is surprised not just by hard cash under the pillow, but iridescent supporting evidence of the TF’s visit.

Luckily we learned of the Tooth Fairy’s job-description upgrade before P lost her first tooth. Being the youngest kid in class, she’d already oohed and aahed over countless tales of morning-after fairy water. Fairy of a thousand dresses, the TF had left P’s classmate Bailey yellow water, Paige blue, Colton green. That first time, last year, my mother stained her hand bright red with near-indelible food coloring and spent the next day hoping like hell P wouldn’t see it and divine the trick behind the shimmering pink fairy water on that morning’s nightstand.

A year later, P was so eager to invite the (pronounced incisorlessly) Toof Fairy, that she bloodied most of our house and sent the toof flying down the bathroom drain, requiring Dad to get a pipewrench and rescue it. Fortunately he was sober. I would have had some problems, being half-cut on SLEEMAN CREAM ALE.

I was more surprised at its hoppiness than I was at my mum’s arbitrary valuation of $3 for a central incisor. That’s 1.5 bottles of SLEEMAN CREAM ALE, depressingly or not. Was Mum being cheap or just wisely starting low? (Last year’s bottom incisors went for $2 each.) Like a high-diving judge, Mum might be saving the big numbers for more impressive, rear-mounted teeth in an incisor-canine-molar progression. And while the neighbors’ Tooth Fairies might bestow ten-dollar bills or Wii games, ours is frugal and withholding; she might equate two teeth with three beers, but at least she does the dress thing.

And behold…this morning P awoke to a brilliant aquamarine water glass, mocking (me) with Blue Curacao–likeness. What she thought of the three bucks under her pillow, who knows, but the blue Fairy Water was some serious shit. No one was allowed to throw it out. Indeed, she plans to take it to her first day of Grade Two tomorrow, where some slightly older and much more disingenuous little punk will probably disabuse her embarrassingly of the entire Tooth Fairy myth. (Holy crap, I hope not.)

With these sorts of worries, you need to keep a supply of beer in the house. SLEEMAN CREAM ALE gained entry to LBHQ in the Summer Selections mixer pack for two reasons: (1) it was one of few mixers that didn’t contain anything weird; and (2) one of its three constituents, HONEY BROWN LAGER, is my mum’s unimaginative go-to. While this latter is malty and mild, the CREAM ALE is crisper and more earthy, with light hops on the nose, medium body, and some faint fruitiness, along with a lingering hop-punch on the mid and rear palate. Refreshing and inoffensive, it’s just interesting enough to keep your gustatory centers busy, plus it has some zippy carbonation to make your twist-off effort worthwhile.

And it is worthwhile. A case of SLEEMAN CREAM ALE would be worth at least seven teeth—fewer if you included canines and molars.

In fact, we probably should have left a glass of it…unattended…for the Tooth Fairy. Or would it be a problem returning to the ToothCastle with a beer-stained frock?


BOWMORE 12—The cure for post-traumatic stress

Who on earth would make a handbag out of a bear’s head?

OMG, have you SEEN this? This designer DECAPITATES innocent bears, discards their bodies, removes their grey matter and then brazenly parades around with several bear-head purses at a time, people, with not even a wisp of moral dilemma about it.

Here’s what Toshiko Shek has to say about her creations:

I never knew beheading teddy bears can be so satisfying! Heh. Basically, I behead a teddy bear, take out the stuffing, sew in a lining, re-sew the bear head, put eyelets/rivets in the ears, chain it up and there you have a teddy bear purse! I feel like I need a clever name for them and right now the only thing I can think of is “bear with me”, too cheesy? What do you think?


Holy shit, I think it’s time to get out the BOWMORE 12. It’s hard to absorb, so early in the morning, the sight of so many fuzzy compatriots guillotined in the name of fashion.

You may have been wondering about the BOWMORE 12 review. I just needed a trigger to start drinking scotch in the morning again, and these ghoulish handbags fit the bill.

One of the oldest in Scotland, Bowmore Distillery sits on the Inner Hebridean Isle of Islay, from which all the peatiest whiskies hail. Of all the Islay malts, BOWMORE 12 is reputed to be the most balanced, so I was eager to taste it for myself.

Of course I did get into it last week when our friend Robert brought the bottle over, but by the time it got opened I’d already consumed several beers and a bottle of Spanish red wine, meaning my tastebuds were as compromised as my judgment. All I remember of the BOWMORE 12 is that it was smmmmoooooooth going down. (But not coming back up, and not the next day.)

"I have only made 4 so far because it’s really hard to find decent looking big bears. But today I got lucky and found 3 more and one of them is really big!" – Toshiko Shek

So I thought I could do a more attentive tasting this morning. Still shaking from Toshiko Shek’s bear slaughter, I needed the distraction.

Ahhhhh! BOWMORE 12 is delicate gold with a honey shimmer. The nose is evocative—a cold, damp evening, low-hanging mist, iodine washing in on the nearby tide, and of course peat smoke.

The mouthfeel is heavy and rich, almost creamy and certainly oily. BOWMORE 12 coats the glass as you swirl, then makes a lingering descent down the sides. The sip? Smoooooooooooth. Honey, a vague brininess, a hint of a hint of candied orange peel encased in toffee—but far away behind the peat. As you sip, the flavors commingle, starting sweet then modulating into a deep, smoky finish. Mild tannins bring the honey and fruit into satisfying balance, making BOWMORE 12 an ideal calming drink when the soul is in morbid turmoil.

I don’t know if it’s such a bright idea to lose control drinking BOWMORE 12 when scissors-wielding fashionistas are out bear-hunting.

But I guess I’ll take my chances.