Sunday, March 17, 2013

March 17th, 2013 - Notes From The Black Lager

Since I have a good amount of Irish blood coursing through my veins, I thought I'd jump on the St. Patty's Day bandwagon and post a couple for you from the island known as √Čire.  Today I'm pairing Rory Gallagher's "Notes From San Francisco" and a Guinness Black Lager.  This one is dedicated to my Grandpappy, Jimmy Patterson who passed away some 23 years ago this year.  Rest in peace and cheers Gramps!!

Born in Ballyshannon, County Donegal, and raised in Cork, Gallagher recorded a multitude of solo albums throughout the 1970s and 1980s and formed the band Taste in the 1960s.  Combining American blues and English/Irish rock and hard rock, Gallagher had a rich tone steeped in stylings of Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, and Eric Clapton with hard rocking sensibility like Thin Lizzy, Humble Pie, and Deep Purple.  "Notes From San Francisco" was an unreleased studio album from 1977 that was packaged with a live album from 1979 and recently released as a full album in 2011.  There are some really great rock and roll, bluesy tracks like "Rue The Day," "Persuasion," "Mississippi Sheiks," "Cruise On Out," and "Brute Force & Ignorance." And the live tracks are simply mind-blowing!  Sadly, Gallagher died from severe liver damage as a result of continuous abuse of combinations of prescription medication and alcohol use over the years.  He died in 1995.

Like Gallagher's tone, the Guinness Black Lager is smooth and very drinkable.  It is a cold-brewed dark beer with roasted barley and malts with the refreshing flavor of lighter lager.  It pours almost ink-black with a creamy, mocha head.  The nose is subtle with notes of mild coffee and toffee.  Unlike a stout or a "real" Guinness, this beer is fairly clean and mellow.  It goes down easy like "Wheels Within Wheels."  There are notes of Tootsie Roll, sweet malt, and toasted bread.  And it has a very clean finish.

If you haven't heard Rory Gallagher and you like bluesy rock, do yourself a big favor and pick up "Notes From San Francisco" or any of his other great albums.  His work goes pretty well with the Guinness Black Lager, but I think I would suggest going with something bigger and muddier like a stout or a barleywine or you can just go straight for the whiskey jug!  Cheers and happy St. Patrick's Day!!

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