Sunday, March 24, 2013

March 24th, 2013 - Welcome To My Rochefort 8

Welcome to my blog-mare!  Welcome to today's pairing!  Welcome to a kick-ass album and a kick-ass ale!  Welcome to a pairing of the rather underrated 1975 album from Alice Cooper, "Welcome To My Nightmare" with a Trappistes Rochefort 8 from Brasserie de Rochefort!  This pairing today goes out to my friends Justin Meads and Laura McAnany... and to the amazing Kevin Kirk, proprietor of the Heavy Metal Shop... cheers!!

"Welcome To My Nightmare" was the first album Vincent Damon Furnier (a.k.a. Alice Cooper) released without the original band and the eighth under the name Alice Cooper.  A concept album, "Welcome To My Nightmare" tells the rather horrific tale of a boy named Stephen and his haunting nightmares.  Musical personnel included the incredible Bob Ezrin (producer/keyboards/guitars), Dick Wagner (guitars), Steve Hunter (guitars), Tony Levin (bass,) Pentti “Whitey” Glan (drums), and the amazing narration talents of horror genre god, Vincent Price on "The Black Widow."  Opening and title track "Welcome To My Nightmare" is pure magic... it simply grooves.  And those opening acoustic guitar notes slay me with every listen.  The Coop's voice is at its best: honest, creepy, and almost spiritual.  My favorite two tracks of the album (which blend into one another), "Devil's Food/The Black Widow" are rocking genius!  "Some Folks" is reminiscent of "Schools Out" while "Department Of Youth" is just good old-fashioned, rocking fun.  "Only Women Bleed" explores spousal abuse with brutal honesty and integrity.  The album ends with "Years Ago/Steven/The Awakening/Escape," concluding the nightmare with succinct insanity, beauty, and depth. 

The Trappistes Rochefort 8 from Brasserie de Rochefort is a Belgian Strong Dark Ale.  It pours a lovely, deep toffee/date colored amber with a creamy, 1-2 finger, mocha head with good sustainability, yet little lacing.  The nose is dominated by notes of fresh pair and Belgian yeast and baked bread along with some softer notes of dark fruit ester.  The mouthfeel is perfection... full-bodied, initially sharp carbonation that softens on the back of the tongue, and ultimately refreshing.  The flavors are very well-balanced and very complex.  It is all at once malty, sweet, tangy, dry, fruity, and boozy, but perfectly blended.  There are notes of oak, slight bourbon, autumn apples, fig, date, prune, and raisin along with spicy clove, nutmeg, and a hint of cinnamon.  And the finish is nice and sweet... like a kiss from "Cold Ethyl." :)

Pick up a sixer of Trappistes Rochefort 8 from your local beer store and if you don't own a copy of
"Welcome To My Nightmare", get your ass over to right now!!

Cheers and sweet dreams!!

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