Sunday, January 8, 2012

January 8th, 2012 - "Surrender..." To Taste

Today's pairing gives us Cheap Trick's "Heaven Tonight" along with Achel Trappist Blonde. Coming from a fairly new trappist brewery (Achel brewery or Brouwerij der Sint-Benedictusabdij de Achelse Kluis, establsihed 1998, and the smallest of the seven currently approved Trappist breweries), this Belgian Blonde is soft in color and in head.  The color brings images of wheat fields to mind.  But don't let the color and head fool you... there's a bit of a kick to that first sip!  You'll hear that same kick in the title track of the album... initially "soft", but an underlining heaviness.  What I think is most notable about this beer is the high carbonation... almost like a tonic or champagne, which I think goes really well with the hard-rock/punk and pop sensibility of Cheap Trick's opener, "Surrender" all the way through to the closing note of "Oh Claire."  And speaking of notes, Unlike many Belgians, this one does not really have those "banana" notes you usually find.  Instead the Achel Trappist Blonde's wheat and somewhat citrusy notes are subtle and refreshing - much like "On The Radio."   There is a little sharpness to the beer at first, but definitely without any bitterness... a perfect pairing to that classic Cheap Trick sound... sharp, poignant, but fun!  The only oddity I found with the Achel Trappist Blonde is the mouth-feel, which comes from the high carbonation.  The foamy head seems to almost reconstitute itself in your mouth right at the finish.  I know that probably sounds gross, but it really is more interesting than anything.  As with "Heaven Tonight," Achel Trappist Blonde is refreshing, somewhat sharp, and thoroughly enjoyable!  This is a great pairing for a mellow night at home or for a rompous night out.

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