Saturday, October 20, 2012

October 20th, 2012 - Brewletting (The Vampire Ale)

Good evening... I bid you velcome (in my best Bela Lugosi voice)! Count Meista here with another pairing for you... with Halloween only 11 days away, this evening finds me listening to Concrete Blonde's seminal 1990 album, "Bloodletting" and drinking a Vampire Pale Ale ("Premium Old World Pale Ale") from Brouwerij Van Steenberge from Belgium.

Higher in alcohol than most regular ales, the Vampire Pale Ale is not as profound as many Belgians, coming in at 7.0% ABV, which makes if very drinkable. However, as with all vampires, this does have some bite. It pours a wonderful, pale apricot-amber with a thick, chiseled, 2-finger head with very pronouced and sustained lacing that lasts until the very last drop. The nose is hoppy with fruity esters. The flavor, like the nose is hoppy and fruity. There are very strong banana notes along with sharp and crisp hops. The mouthfeel is very smooth and silky especially interesting for a Belgian, which are very crisp from the high carbonation. The finish is clean and smooth with a nice, sublte and slightly bitter aftertaste. The Vampire Pale Ale is a wonderfully drinkable and flavorful beer that has a nice pop to it... a great lead in for us to our album.

Growing out of the L.A. post-punk club circuit, Concrete Blonde's third album, "Bloodletting" found the band shifting more toward gothic rock with themes of vampires, dying love, and darkness. The album opens with the slower, gothic anthem, "Bloodletting (The Vampire Song)" where Concrete Blonde explores the lives of the bloodthirsty undead. The album is a great balance of heaviness, slow ballads of love and regret, and darker themes. Songs like "Caroline," "The Beast," "I Don't Need A Hero," "Lullabye," and "Tomorrow, Wendy" are amazing, timeless classics. And probably my favorite on the album, "Sky Is A Poisonous Garden" is a fast paced, post-punk gem. Like the beer, Concrete Blonde's Johnette Napolitano's voice is smooth and silky with a sultry bite juxtaposed by the bands rocking pop sensibilty... perfect for glass or two of Vampire Pale Ale!

So put on your cape, slick back your hair, pop open a 750 ml bottle of Vampire Pale Ale, and spin some "Bloodletting" for evening of gothic rock fun!

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