Saturday, April 13, 2013

April 13th, 2013 - Highway To The Damned Ale... My Friends Are Gonna Be There Too!

Here's a pairing for our friend Deborah, who requested some Bon Scott-era AC/DC!  Cheers Deb!!  We are going with a couple favorites of mine: my favorite AC/DC album, 1979's "Highway To Hell" along with the obvious pairing of a Maudite (translation from the French: the Damned) Amber-Red Ales on Lees from a favorite brewery of mine, Unibroue!

Characterized by piss and vinegar vocals, driving guitars, bass, and drums, and sexually charged lyrics, "Highway To Hell" is AC/DC's 6th studio album and arguably their best.  Sadly, it would be the last of vocalist Bon Scott who died in 1980 from alcohol poisoning.  The signature sound of the album comes from the guitars and bass tuned down a 1/4 step (a 1/2 step on  "Night Prowler," "Love Hungry Man," and "Get It Hot.")  But never mind the tuning... this is fist-pumping, head-banging, kick-ass hard rockin' power!  The track list is a blue print of rock and roll heaviness:
  1. "Highway To Hell"
  2. "Girls Got Rhythm"
  3. "Walk All Over You"
  4. "Touch Too Much"
  5. "Beating Around The Bush"
  6. "Shot Down in Flames"
  7. "Get It Hot"
  8. "If You Want Blood (You've Got It)"
  9. "Love Hungry Man"
  10. "Night Prowler"
This is the album every hard rock band aspires to.... heavy, unapologetic, and entertaining as hell!  Angus whips his guitar into submission with every power chord!  And the late, great Scott is at his absolute best!  Malcolm Young keeps a steady and solid pace on rhythm guitar while Cliff Williams (bass) and Phil Rudd (drums) keep a thunderous and driving beat.  Sheer perfection all the way around!

Maudite by Unibroue is a big, spicy, malty, and powerful Belgian-style ale... perfectly suited for the aggression of "Highway To Hell."  In a frosted glass, it pours a deep caramel-red amber with a rocky foam head with great retention and creamy lacing.  The nose is characterized by a perfect balance of ester sweetness and rich spices.  Notes of pear, orange, soft banana, coriander, clove, and nutmeg abound.  The mouthfeel is significantly fuzzy, frothy, and effervescent.  The flavor is complex, wonderfully layered, and rich.  There are notes of toasted cinnamon bread, fig, sweet and slightly smoky toffee.  With an 8.0% ABV rate, the Maudite warms like brimstone and hellfire, but without a boozy aftertaste.

I leave you as the album does... "Shazbot, na-nu na-nu!"

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