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Where Spotted: Market Variety Store-Deli, 1618 8th St. NW

Price: $2.99/2-pack

Cold Comfort: It was nighttime, bitterly cold, and windier than North Dakota in a blizzard. Rather than traverse six blocks of sheet ice to the good beer shop, I figured I’d grab some Sam Adams at the corner store and revisit an old classic. Alas, they were sold out. If I was forced to buy crap beer, I was going to go whole-hog with Steel Reserve, the most repugnant of the get-’er-done, utility malt liquors.

Spot the Lie Here: I’m not here to categorically deride malt liquors. Our run-ins are infrequent, historically at cheap-o college hangouts and the occasional ironic party, but I’ll drink Schlitz Malt Liquor or Olde English without much protest (especially with a splash of O.J.). The 211, however, smells like a grease trap and tastes like getting punched in the throat. I’d sooner give up drinking than touch this castor oil again.