Friday, August 2, 2013

August 2nd, 2013 - Zig, Zag, Slam!

Good evening rock and rollers and brew lovers!  In honor of Joe Lynn Turner's (JLT) 62nd birthday, I'm pairing his 2001 album, "Slam" (my signed copy... thanks JLT!!) with a Portland Brewing Company Zig Zag River Lager!

Released in 2001, "Slam" is JLT's 7th solo studio album, and what an album it is!  This is pure adrenaline rock and roll!  There's an element of 1970s/1980s hard rock, but with a very modern feel.  JLT's vocals are top-notch - powerful, rich, and honest!  Joined by JLT's amazing vocal prowess is Akira Kajiyama on guitars, Eric Czar on bass, Kenny Kramme on drums, and Paul Morris on keyboards.  Kajiyama's guitar work is brilliant... at times grinding and chunky, at times ethereal and soaring... and reminiscent of Blackmore!  The rhythm section of Czar and Kramme is classic hard rockin' goodness!  And Morris ads a great sonic blast with his Jon Lord-like Hammond work!  Songs like "Bloodsucker," "Deliver Me," "Slam," "Dark Days," "Possession," "Cover Up," "Evil," and "Always Tomorrow" are timeless rock monsters that could have easily been released 30 years ago or tomorrow! 

For a classic, solid rockin' album like "Slam," I needed a solid, easy-drinking brew... thus the Portland Brewing Company Zig Zag River Lager!  Zig Zag River is a crisp, clean, refreshing lager.  It pours a hazy, golden amber with a thin white head with minimal lacing (due to the low hops use).  The nose is mellow with notes of toasted malt and grains and kiss of lemon.  Incredibly drinkable, the flavor is well-balanced malts and hop.  There are notes of toasted bread, buttery toffee, and slightly bitter finishing hops.  There's some nice sharpness with this lager as well that goes well with JLT's powerful vocal delivery.  The Zig Zag River finishes clean with just a hint of barley on the back of the tongue.  All in all, a very good, very refreshing lager that goes great with the hard rockin' intensity of JLT on a hot, summer's night!


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