Saturday, December 8, 2012

December 8th, 2012 - Break On Through With A Cockeyed Cooper!



Jim Morrison would have been 69 years old today.  In honor of this great American vocalist/poet, I am pairing the Doors debut, self-titled album and Uinta Brewing Company's Cockeyed Cooper Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine Ale.  And yes boys and girls.... that is a cassette tape, one of the first Doors tapes I ever purchased back in junior high!

A LOT has been written about Jim Morrison, the Doors, and their albums so I'm not going to go into a lot of detail here.  I decided to go with the first album by the Doors because I feel it is their best in terms of being a cohesive and complete album.  The final album, "L.A. Woman" is another great, cohesive album as well (probably my favorite truthfully), but I think the first really is the eye-opening, ground-breaking work that sealed the band as one of the great Amercian rock bands.  Their follow up albums were all good too with some really amazing songs as well, but they also had some "filler" elements to them. But the first album... AMAZING from start to finish!  Recorded in August of 1966 and released in January of '67, lyrically and sonically "The Doors" was something completely and profoundly new.  Engaging, cerebral, haunting, intense, and rocking... all terms that encompass this album.  Every song is a gem, every note perfection.  From the opening note of "Break On Through (To The Other Side)," the album takes hold of you and transports you to another world.  You can literally hear the bridge between early sixties pop and the more cerebral and dark sound of the late sixties... just listen to the transition from "I Looked At You" to "End Of The Night" to "Take It As It Comes" to the Oedipal finale of the album, "The End."  Brilliant!!

I decided to go with  Uinta Brewing Company's Cockeyed Cooper Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine Ale for two reasons: 1) I think it goes really well with the deeply complex layers of the Doors' music and 2) old Jim was crazy about his bourbon!  The Cockeyed Cooper is a wonderfully complex, well-balanced, solid barleywine.  It pours a rich, dark (almost black) amber with a soft, mocha, foamy head showing strong and sustained lacing throughout.  The nose has notes of fig, raisin, caramel, brown sugar, vanilla, oak, and of course, bourbon.  The flavor is as full-bodied, big, and bold as Jim Morrison's personality: totally engaging, expressive, captivating, and with a touch of wickedness.  You can really taste the aged oaky, bourbon notes coupled with a smooth, malty, chocolate.  There are also subtle notes of dried fruit, vanilla bean, and it has a mellow, hoppy sting on the front end.  With aging in bourbon barrels and added bourbon, you might think the Cockeyed Cooper will be heavily boozy, but there are only hints, which makes it deceptively smooth.  It comes in at 11.1% ABV so this is definitely a sipper... a wonderful sipper perfect for kicking back and enjoying a cold evening with Jim and the boys rocking out!

"Show me the way to the next whisky bar."  Happy birthday Jim!  Rest in peace!  Cheers!

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