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As seen on and the Mutineer Magazine Blog, Monster Beverage Co., the makers of Monster Energy Drink, are going after Rock Art Brewery, a small Vermont brewer for naming one of their beers "Vermonster." Is this really what a giant corporation should be doing? Watch the video and feel disgusted, folks.

On June 22nd, President Obama signed into law the Family Smoking Prevention and Control Act, a very nanny-state sort of assault on smokers.  One of the strangest elements of the act is the banning of flavored cigarettes, including cloves and fruity things, but excluding menthol.  This can't come as much of a surprise, as apparently Philip-Morris was one of the big corporate backers of the new law.  It's a big law, and there's a lot to sort through, but the odd paragraph in question is Section 907.a.1.A, which reads:

Beginning 3 months after the date of enactment of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, a cigarette or any of its component parts (including the tobacco, filter, or paper) shall not contain, as a constituent (including a smoke constituent) or additive, an artificial or natural flavor (other than tobacco or menthol) or an herb or spice, including strawberry, grape, orange, clove, cinnamon, pineapple, vanilla, coconut, licorice, cocoa, chocolate, cherry, or coffee, that is a characterizing flavor of the tobacco product or tobacco smoke.

Oddly, the law says nothing about cigars, pipe tobacco, snuff, that funny new Camel dissolving tobacco stuff, or chew.  Just cigarettes.  Why wouldn't menthol be included?  That's surely a more popular flavor among underage smokers than any other fruit flavors.  Well, if you're a clove smoker, now's the time to rush out and stock up, because September 22nd is approaching, and after that date it'll be illegal for shops to sell the things.
elephant_obama.pngI have a perverse fascination with Carlsberg Elephant, a slightly sweet, golden beverage with malty notes, lackluster hops, and a 7.2% ABV that rumbles warmly yet ominously below the surface with just enough heat to remind you that it's there.  "Imported," states the can, importantly.  "Malt Liquor."  No shit?  The idea of an elephant lost and trampling through the streets of Copenhagen becomes more and more entertaining after a few of these dull cans of beer.

Do not misunderstand me:  this is not a horrible beer.  It's no Coors Light or Heineken, but at best it's still just average.  There is too much sweetness and the alcohol is too poorly balanced with the rest of its flavor, leaving the impression that this beer has but one purpose, and that is to get Danes drunk.  I bet it would be a great chaser for aquavit, so remind me to try that this Christmas.
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