Sunday, March 4, 2012

March 4th, 2012 - Bar-room Blitz or Nut Brown Ale On The Run

This afternoon I am pairing beloved English beer, Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale and 1973 glam rock album  "Desolation Boulevard" by beloved English band, the Sweet.

Brewed at the Old Brewery Tadcaster in North Yorks, England, Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale is the embodiment of the classic, English Brown.  A speciality of northern England, this Nut Brown Ale is characterized by rich, amber-brown/gold colour and a somewhat sweet and nutty nose with notes of maple, bourbon, and raisin.  Samuel Smith's employs the use of of an ancient well (1750s) for their water as well as dark barley malts, roasted barley, aged yeast, and aromatic hops for this exquisite brew. This Nut Brown Ale is "relatively dry" with a rich, nutty flavor and a lingering sweetness that you won't find in most American nut browns - a wonderfully complex and drinkable ale!

"Desolation Boulevard" is the quintessential Sweet album and (along with the entire T. Rex catalog) quite possibly the quintessential early '70s glam rock album.  With such monster hits like "Ballroom Blitz," "AC/DC," "Sweet F.A.," and "Fox On The Run," the Sweet created a rich and complex album, miles ahead of their time.  Countless bands have been influenced by the Sweet and specifically this album from metal, to punk, to glam, to pop.  "Desolation Boulevard" can be seen as both the bridge and the departure from the psychedelic rock of the late 1960s to the hard rock/metal sound of the early 1970s.  The opening and the bridge of "Sweet F.A." is just about as early metal as you can get!  The interesting thing about this album (somewhat like the beer) is the dark, underlying aggressiveness.  Although there is the pop-glam element (i.e. "Fox On The Run") to "Desolation Boulevard," there is also an intensity and anger that is not often associated with glam rock.  Just listen to "The Six Teens," "No You Don't," and "Set Me Free" - aggressive, angry, and even forlorn.

Well, I cannot think of a better way to spend this Sunday afternoon than listening to "Desolation Boulevard" and sipping on a Nut Brown Ale!  Cheers!!

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