A pint of Full Sail Big Daddy J’s Malt Liquor next to a bottle of the same.

Full Sail Big Daddy J’s Malt Liquor

Full Sail Big Daddy J’s Malt Liquor

Enjoyable

  • Malty, touch of citrus
  • Mildly bitter malt, lemony citrus
  • Clean for a malty beer

Part of Full Sail’s Brewer’s Share series, where a portion of the sale goes to a charity. Bottled in 2012.

I’m easy to shop for, as long as the person shopping for me understands my love of irony. I don’t smoke, but I own and use tobacco pipes, just for the ascetic (or is it affectation?). I sing Britney Spears songs at karaoke, even though I’ve never listened to any of her songs on purpose. I’m not the class clown, but I am a joker. So when I saw a malt liquor at my favorite craft beer distributor, I had to buy it.

One problem: How can I judge it versus other malt liquors? In high school, my friends would, mostly ironically, buy 40-ounce bottles of Olde English ‘800’ or Colt 45, which I wouldn’t go near. The sour smell alone kept me away from any malt beverage, including beer, for years. The most I knew of malt liquor was through my friends who were just drinking anything that could get them drunk. To this day, decades later—dear God!—the sour mash of a malt liquor had never passed my lips.

A pint of Full Sail Big Daddy J’s Malt Liquor next to a bottle of the same.

Full Sail Malt Liquor is not your Friday night 40oz.

So how does Full Sail Big Daddy J’s Malt Liquor compare to other malt liquors? I don’t know. I have to compare it to the beers that I’m familiar with. It has a bit of a sour malt and citrus smell, just slightly off from an IPA, but nothing I wouldn’t be eager to try. The flavor was malty with a hint of lemon rind, close to a Marzen, the popular German-style that is often sold in America as Oktoberfest-style beer. Some sour notes in the beer I assume are indicative of malt liquors, but there was nothing to distinguish it from a decent beer. That’s good, but, again, I don’t know if craft malt liquor drinkers (are there any?) would find this disappointing or awesome. As a craft beer, it is perfectly acceptable if not very distinctive.

I’ve had Full Sail Chris’s Summer Delight Berliner Weiss, another in the Brewers’ Share series, and it was fantastic. But Big Daddy J’s Malt Liquor is just good. That’s weird to say, maybe kind of ironic, but I was expecting something either mind-blowing or kind of disgusting. Instead it is an easy drink, and if it weren’t for the fact that it calls itself a malt liquor I might not even remember drinking it.