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The Tilt taste test

July 3, 2011

A few weeks ago I tried the… interesting Malt Beverage known as Tilt, which you can read here.

But what’s my opinion, anyway?  After all, the only way to know if Tilt is the real stuff for pinballers is to have some real pinball players give it a test try, or swerve as we young people like to say.

Jason and Denise, two EBPL regulars, decided to put on a good old birthday bash for Jason at their place in Fairfield, which proved an ideal test market.  7-layer dips, hot dogs, burgers, ping pong, punk and ska music ruled the evening, and plenty of pins throughout.  It was mostly a good old fashioned American barbecue, in many respects, till the cops showed up and then it… well, no need to dwell on that.  The heat was crazy and we were all sweating buckets, but a great vibe nonetheless.  Jason and his band put on a show and rocked several songs.

But I had work to do.  Serious, scientific work.  Work that would inevitably improve the global community of pinballers.  I had to find out if Tilt really is the Malt Beverage of pinball.

Here’s yours truly giving Tilt Watermelon a shot.  Watermelon is slightly more tolerable than Punch. But it still made my hair stand on end.  Apparently the guys who designed Jolly Ranchers are now working on the Tilt team, was my thought, as Tilt Watermelon starts off super sweet like a Jolly Rancher before it concludes with its inevitable cough-syrup finish.

On the other hand, this unfortunate woman looked like a victim of domestic abuse after a sip of  the syrupy-sweet swill.

Keith loved it.  “This has alcohol, right?  Cool.”

Jim, who scientists have determined has been smiling non-stop since 1984, almost stopped smiling.

Between getting our Tilt on, we got out our tilt on, to Jason’s dozen pinball games.  Here’s a Black Hole and Tales from the Crypt.

Jason has a nice set.  It was a case study in the typical, “use every room possible to jam in more pins” kind of collector addiction.  Four in the living room, four in the anteroom, four in the dining room, and a nice mix across all eras.  Especially nice was the Pinbot, Bride of Pinbot and Jackbot room, rounded out with a Wizard equipped with powerball.

Jason, the birthday boy, was mostly diplomatic, but leaning positive on Tilt.

Denise, Jason’s girl, gave Tilt Watermelon an enthusiastic “thumbs up”, and was one of the many who said it tasted like a Jolly Rancher of old.

Then I asked Denise if she ever took candy from an old man to go into the old, abandoned William’s house up the street when she was a kid, and she got really quiet.

Okay, just kidding.  But score three for this dubious drink.


Roone stopped liking pinball altogether after one sip.  I felt bad.  I’d taken away something from Roone that I knew would never be replaced.

“Mmmm….mmmm….mmmm….blaaaaaah.”  Tilt induced a Rudy impression from Molly.

“If I concentrate I won’t throw up.  If I concentrate I won’t throw up…”

“This is great stuff, f*ckin’ A, yo. The queen’s a wanker.”

Caryn, who enjoys fine wines, had an involuntary eye twitch in response to Tilt.  She more or less refused to talk to me the rest of the night.

Mitch: “This has alcohol in it, right?  Yeah, I knew it.”  Mitch was indifferent about the Tilt experience.  But just in a very subtle way indicated I had really upset him, had offended him deeply.

In the living room Jason’s got Pirates of the Caribbean, Twilight Zone, Getaway and Doctor Who, all in fantastic shape.  The smiling man had not tried Tilt.  Which is why he is still smiling.

This gentlemen said, “It’s a bit bolshy.  It extends it’s welcome, like an old friend.  The nose is a bit over-pronounced and the watermelon accents are a bit rindy, yet the overall effect is of reading old classics in a Victorian study by candle.  The finish leaves with a sense of longing, a feeling for my childhood – foie grass at noon table, idle games of bagatelle with mum, court duties, and croquet with the Nobles just as the sun is dipping.”

Stephen: “I should smack you.”

  1. sorry Blast drinker permalink
    July 6, 2011 12:43 pm

    Which is worse? Tilt or Blast?

  2. July 4, 2011 12:18 am

    Pretty damn funny, pinball fans and party goers hating Tilt. No fucking wonder, you are not to play and tilt man, the operator’s always around the corner ready to fuck ya over. You my friend are the operator with the beverage in hand sampling it to good people.

  3. Anonymous permalink
    July 3, 2011 9:29 pm

    Love Doctor Who :)

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