Monday, February 6, 2012

February 6th, 2012 - Blackest Taddy

Good evening!  Tonight I thought I would go dark and I mean dark... dark in brew and dark in music.  I'm pairing Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Tadcaster (fast becoming my favorite brewery) and their Famous Taddy Porter with Porcupine Tree's 2002 album "In Absentia" (one of my all-time favorite albums), a concept album of sorts about a child growing up to become a serial killer.

The interplay between the porter and the album work beautifully.  Both are rich in flavor, intensity, and feel.  The Taddy Porter pours very dark, almost black, with a creamy 1-finger head and a strong, earthy nose with notes of bourbon, coffee, and maple.  "In Absentia" opens with the powerful "Blackest Eyes," with full force - driving guitars and drums, but quickly mellows in tone with "Trains", juxtaposed by disturbingly beautiful lyrics foreshadowing the killer inside the child. 

This is a heavy, full-bodied porter, rich and intense in flavor with a "dry, tangy character" with malted barley, roasted malts, and a bitter dark chocolate notes that demands attention... not a beer that you throw back, but one that you sit and enjoy.  Likewise, neo-prog phenomen, Porcupine Tree brings it all to the table with this album.  It is an album that demands that you sit and listen.  No background music here!  Songs like "Gravity Eyelids," "Wedding Nails," "Prodigal," and the finale, "Collapse the Light into Earth" convey haunting and lingering beauty, melody, harmony coupled by disturbing themes and motifs of despair and insanity.  From the first time I heard "In Absentia" (10 years ago now) I was blown away.  With every listen I still find something new and intriguing.  The Famous Taddy Porter brings me the same joy.  Each sip is full of flavor that lingers in an almost haunting manner... like the kiss of a lover.

If you are a fan of Opeth, Pink Floyd, or King Crimson, buy "In Absentia."  If you love rich, dark beers with intense flavor, buy Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Tadcaster Famous Taddy Porter.  You won't be sorry!


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