Sunday, March 4, 2012

March 4th, 2012 - Rockin' The Nation With Smoked Porter

Today's pairing is in celebration of the legendary life, music, and guitar work of Ronnie Montrose, who passed away yesterday at the age of 64 after a long battle with prostate cancer.  So, in his honor, I am pairing "The Very Best of Montrose" (chronicling Ronnie's band's music from 1973-1987) and Epic Brewing's Smoked Porter (part of their limited Exponential Series).

Epic Brewing from Salt Lake City, Utah is known for making bold statements through their daring beers.  The first thing you notice upon cracking open the Epic Brewing Smoked Porter bottle is the smoky aroma - akin to a campfire or smoked bacon!  The Smoked Porter pours a rich, dark-brown color - almost black.  The head is creamy and sustained.  And the flavor is BIG!  Smoky, earthy, rich, and lingering.  There are chocolate, coffee, and herb notes here, but it is that smoky flavor that hits you - and hits you hard!  This isn't your daddy's porter!  This is potent stuff!  The smokiness permeates throughout the nose, the mouth, and the finish - very meaty!  And what better beer to go with the meatiness and "smoking" guitar work of Ronnie Montrose?

After making a name for himself in 1972 playing on Edgar Winter's "They Only Come Out At Night" with the blistering guitar work on "Free Ride" and "Frankenstein," Ronnie formed his own band, Montrose with Denny Carmasi on drums, Bill Church on bass, and then, unknown singer Sammy Hagar.  The self-titled debut in 1973 was as rock writer, Martin Popoff puts it, "essentially the first modern American hard rock album."  And what an album it was... along with the follow up work "Paper Money," (and several personnel changes) on "Warner Bros. Present Montrose!," "Jump On It," and "Mean."  As with the Smoked Porter, Ronnie's style on all of these tracks is rich, permeating, intense, and beautiful.  The first 4 tracks: "Rock The Nation," "Bad Motor Scooter," "Space Station No. 5," and "Rock Candy" are truly genius rock masterpieces in themselves!  Songs that gave the American rock scene their balls back!  The guitar work (especially the solos) on "I Got the Fire," "Spaceage Sacrifice,"Paper Money," Jump On It," and "Ready, Willing, And Able" embody the passion Ronnie had for music. 

The delivery, the passion, the intensity of Ronnie's playing is everything you are looking for in truly American hard rock as the intensity of flavor in the Epic Brewing Smoked Porter is everything you are looking for in a big beer!  This one is for you Mr. Montrose!!  Rest in peace!

Check out Epic Brewing Smoked Porter and all of their fine brews at!

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