I’m not in law school just yet, so I don’t know a lot about copyright law, but one thing I do have under my belt is a damned good sense of practical application of the law in real life. So when I see a soda bottle not even remotely trying to be subtle about tossing around references to butterscotch beer, the Flying Cauldron brewery, and Hogsbreath, England, it gives me a little pause to ponder the implications of screwing over my good friend Sui Generis. Case in point, Reed’s Butterscotch Beer, which whips out its caramel-colored goo and screams, “DEAL WITH IT” on the shelf. Just looking at it makes me feel like an accessory to a white-collar crime.
Where, oh where to begin with this one? Is it the vaguely Celtic-inspired font emblazoned across the bottle, as unique and special as a “mo chuisle” tramp stamp tattoo, or possibly the near-references to Harry Pot- er, Herman Trotter book places and themes? I could also bring up the flavor, the clip-art influenced flying cauldron, or as we eye-bearers call it, “pus-leaking beetle on a flaming H.O. scale rocket launcher.” Yikes. Without being too crass, it looks like a less-than-skilled child designed this after eating a ton of paste in art class. This is the worst violation of intellectual property laws since not-Pixar’s “What’s Up: Balloon to the Rescue.”
But I’m not here to debate the aesthetic merits of the bottle or the many potential legal ramifications of this flagrant asshattery. One cannot be an exceptional student, lover, and secretly embody Simon Schama and Billy Flynn simultaneously. Such are the limitations of men. The real question is, how does this taste? Reed’s markets it for “wizards and unrealized wizards alike.” Way to alienate the entire Muggle population. Suck my Patronus, Reed’s. And America’s, too. Well, through one way or another, this contraband has made it into the hands of a non-wizard FTW. And it tastes absolutely terrible.
Apparently, Slim Reedy just don’t give a fuck. This is what young Squibs get when their wizarding parents hate them. This is what real kids get when they drag their parents to the midnight book premieres. One positive aspect is that this does look a little like beer before you read the non-alcoholic part, so congratulations, you now look as cool as the guy drinking an O’Doul’s next to you at the bar. Also, nice wand. The flavor is sickly and sticks going down and it smells like butter, melted butter, and the candy dishes of old ladies everywhere. I feel like I’m playing an adult version of Candy Land where, when I land on the Sugar Booger Mountains, I have to take a shot of molasses and touch my nose with my foot. It’s barely drinkable. Each burp tastes like I’ve just downed a handful of kettle corn and before I could say Abra Kaglucopyranose, I found myself parched and hopped up on sugar at the same time. As much as I hate to say it, it sounds like a pretty good simulation of going to Universal Studios for a mere George Washington. I still hate this. Why? Because Reed’s is an awesome company. I hold them to a higher standard of performance and this isn’t cutting it.