Friday, May 25, 2012

May 25th, 2012 - Scars Rising

Tonight's pairing is dedicated to my long-time friend and brother from another mother, Max Roth.  As requested, this one is for you buddy!!

I'm enjoying the insane hoppiness of Squatter's Hop Rising Double India Pale Ale while grooving to the late, great Irish rocker/blues player, Gary Moore (R.I.P.) and his 2002 album, "Scars."  A good and hoppy craft beer goes so very well with a heavy blues album, doncha think?  There's something about that initial bite and soulful depth of both the beer and the music that is just good for the soul.  And that definitely can be said for this pairing: "Scars" and Hop Rising.

Squatter's Hop Rising Double India Pale Ale is a fierce, soulful, and bitter IPA with a hoppy bite initially, but with a clean and refreshing finish.  Once you pop that top, the aroma hits you right between the eyes... and it should: Squatters brews Hop Rising with 3 varieties of hops and then dry hops each barrel with 2 pounds of addition hops!  Yowzers!  The result: you get a VERY hoppy, floral, and citrusy nose and a VERY big flavor.  3 varieties of malts go into this brew as well resulting in the huge, very robust, well-balanced flavor.  There are notes of grapefruit, pine, subtle fruit, and toffee.  And being a double IPA, this is a big beer with 9% alcohol content and 75-85 IBUs... definitely not for the light of heart!

And speaking of the not for the light of heart, "Scars" is a fierce, soulful, and bitter blues album with a heavy bite initially, but with a smooth finish and moments of amazing beauty throughout.  Gary Moore's power trio brings it all to the table on this one, invoking spirits of the Delta blues men, the Chicago blues men, and the Jimi Hendrix Experience, but with a modern flare.  The first track, "When the Sun Goes Down" opens with a funky, distorted wah-wah that smacks you right in the face, which then leads into the equally powerful and bitter "Rectify."  Listen to that solo on "Rectify"... it will sit you right down!!  Like the Hop Rising's massive flavor, Moore's tone is huge throughout this album and his guitar work is flawless.  "Stand Up," "My Baby (She's So Good To Me)," "World of Confusion," and "Ball and Chain" are brutal, stand-alone blues tracks in their own rights.  Even the slower tracks like "Just Can't Let You Go" and the finale, "Who Knows (What Tomorrow May Bring)" are heavy-hitters with that huge Moore tone and fierce string/fret attack. 

Learn more about Squatters Brewery at  And if you don't own "Scars" (or any Gary Moore albums for that matter), do yourself a HUGE favor and go buy it... right now!!

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