Friday, June 21, 2013

June 21st, 2013 - Oh "So" Black Butte!

Good evening my friends!!  A bit of a departure tonight musically for the Meista.  And this one goes out to my Thea (Greek for aunt) Kat!!  Cheers and happy birthday to you Thea Kat!!  I'm pairing Peter Gabriel's quintessential 1986 album, "So" and a Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery out of Bend, Oregon.

"So" is the 5th studio album by British prog/pop/rock musician Peter Gabriel.  Although a well-established musician by this point in his career, "So" is the album that launched Gabriel into super-stardom and became his biggest selling album to this day.  As you all know from reading this blog, I am unequivocally a metal head, however, I absolutely adore this album.  I hadn't listened to "So" in some time to be honest and had almost forgotten how completely wonderful it really is... lyrically and musically, this album is flawless.  Each and every song is a breathtaking musical journey in itself.  Along with Gabriel on vocals, piano, synthesizer, and percussion work, he is joined by Tony Levin on bass and drumstick bass, David Rhodes on guitar, Jerry Marotta on drums and drumstick bass, and Manu Katché on drums and percussion along with an amazing cast of other guest musicians and vocalists (Jim Kerr of Simple Minds, Kate Bush, and Laurie Anderson to name a few.)  A stream of hits were produced from this album: "Red Rain," "Sledgehammer," "In Your Eyes," "Mercy Street," and "Big Time."  The album ends with a favorite of mine, the somewhat odd "This Is The Picture (Excellent Birds)," which was recorded with Laurie Anderson.  An alternate version of the song was release on Anderson's album as well.  Of the album, the always straightforward Gabriel once said, "I'd had my fill of instrumental experimenting for a while, and I wanted to write proper pop songs, albeit on my own terms."  And that he did! 

Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery is almost more of a stout than it is a porter.  I chose this specific brew to pair with "So" due to its complex and rich flavor as well as the fact that is a slower drinking "sipper"... perfect for the depth of character found on "So."  As the name denotes, the Black Butte Porter pours an ink black, black as the pain in Gabriel's voice on "Don't Give Up."  The mocha head is creamy, big ("Big Time" big!), and thick!  With strong sustain ("We Do What We're Told"), the lacing is an inctricate cloud bank of richness and depth.  The nose is pure earth and cocoa... aromas of rich soil and bittersweet dark chocolate abound with a slight smoky tickle.   Full-bodied ("That Voice Again") and creamy, the mouthfeel is like suicide cake... big, bold, and rich.  As my pop would say, "you gotta drink this beer with a knife and fork!"  The flavors follow the same lines as the nose and mouthfeel.  Complex layers of flavor abound... notes of rich coffee, fresh cream, hearty baked bread, and that chocolate finish... mmm!!  This is how a porter is meant to be brewed and how it should taste!  Hats off to you Deschutes!!

Check out all the great beers from Deshutes at

To your health my friends!!  Cheers!!

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