After trying The Bearded Bastard's Barbershop Mustache Wax, I immediately knew that I would need to add more of their products to my collection. As luck would have it, around the time I was testing out their wax, I recieved a promotional email detailing a limited offering that they were quite proud of. I'll admit that I was intreagued...if the quality of this limited edition balm inspired by prohibition-era distillers and Caribberan ports was on par with their amazing wax, I knew I'd be pleased. The Bearded Bastard seems to put originality at the forefront, from their laser engraved wooden labels, to their selection of distinctive scents, there is no denying that these guys like to innovate. Now it's all well and good to judge a product by the packaging, but at the end of the day, some of the coolest packages contain some disappointing products, so let's give this stuff a try and see it the quality matches that of other products I've tried from this company.
There is a whole lot going on here. I was expecting maybe some sort of amped-up bay rum (don't ask me why, that's just the image I drew up in my imagination), but this is a completely different beast all together. A sturdy cornerstone of baking spices ride gracefully along a soft, warm vanilla tradewind, round and calming it definitely has a sweeter, almost nutty quality (something reminiscent of a fine aged rum). This melts gracefully into an insanely rugged, masculine midnote of dry, salty driftwood; tons of great cedar and amber rock gracefully back and forth on the surface of a subtle wave of leather and cigars. The high note contains a great flinty/pencil lead quality that adds an old-school ruggedness that for whatever reason reminds me of a well-worn writing desk in a luxuriously appointed parlor somewhere, or maybe a comfortable club chair tucked away in the darkest corner of an exclusive rum-bar. All in-all an extremely distinctive, scent that perfectly balances rugged masculinity with a sort of old-school flair. Strength is on the medium-plus side, it's there, and it's noticable, but never ovverpowering, just right. Staying power is awesome, evolving and developing throughout the day. This is a fantastic balm to pair with your favorite coffee or citrus scented oil.
How Does it Work?
Initially stiff and waxy, this balm takes a moment to warm up, but when it does, it penetrates my beard deeply and evenly, combing through with ease. I'm taken aback by how "smooth" (for lack of a better term) this balm is, it feels almost like applying another coat of beard oil to my beard, no "drag" or sticky, greasy feel (that is unfortunately common amohng many balms) as I run it through my beard. It tames fly-aways brilliantly, and offers a defcent amount of control (stronger than "medium" but I'd stop just short of saying that if offers strong hold), at the expense of being just slightly "heavier" than your average balm...I'm assuming that this is probably due to a good amount of beeswax and lanolin. It seems to offer a great finished look on top of whatever oil I shoose to use before it, just the right amount of luster and shine. My only complaint is that it does seem to leave just the slightest bit of residue, which does seem to last most of the day.
The bottom line
This is a fantastic smelling balm that works great. The first time I used it, I thought I'd be reaching for it all the time (and it does get regular rotation), but after using it a few times, I cant help but wish that it were a bit lighter...don't get me wrong, I love the amount of hold and control that this product offers, but it does seem to feel a bit "heavier" than what I'm used to from my balms, and the residue it leaves behind, while not enough to make me dislike this product, does keep me from being as enamored with it as I thought I would be. The Bearded Bastard doesn't make a beard butter, but I can only imagine how awesome this scent would be in butter form. Ether way, this stuff worth checking out, value minded customers may get a bit of sticker shock (this is the highest priced balm that The Beard Bastard offers), but if cost isn't a huge factor in your beardcare purchases, then by all means, dont hesitate to pick some up, especially considering that due to its limited nature, this stuff may not be around for too much longer.
Ingredients: Beeswax, Safflower Oil (high oleic), Fractionated Coconut Oil (MCT), Corn Oil, Essential Oils (fragrance), Rice Bran Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Lanolin, Castor Oil, Broccoli Seed Oil, Argan Oil, and Jojoba Oil.
$26 at thebeardedbastard.com