Monday, September 2, 2013

September 2nd, 2013 - An Oktoberfest Scarecrow

Good afternoon and happy Labor day!  Although it is still summer, fall is in the air... I've noticed leaves starting to change color in the mountains above my home.  With that in mind, I thought I would give you a pairing in the autumn vein... with a nod to our friends in Germany as well.  Today I'm pairing the most excellent album "The Scarecrow" from Tobias Sammet's Avantasia with a Full Sail Oktoberfest Lager, Number 07 in their Full Sail LTD Lager Series!

Available for only 47 days from September through October, the Full Sail Oktoberfest Lager is a three-time gold medal winner.  This smooth and malty lager is brewed in the Bavarian Style, using Two-row Pale, Vienna, Caramel, and imported roasted Munich malts.  It is hopped with imported Czech Saaz and Yakima Sterling hops, giving it some well-balanced and subtle bitterness. The Oktoberfest Lager pours a transparent, deep copper-red color with a thin, off-white head that dissipates quickly.  The nose is mellow and malty.  There are soft notes of fresh bread and grassy hops.  The flavor is malty, nutty, and mildly sweet.  There are notes of honey-wheat bread, hazelnuts, almond, and semi-sweet toffee.  The Oktoberfest Lager comes in at 5.7% ABV and 26 IBU.  The mouthfeel is somewhat silky, yet crisp and refreshing.  Incredibly drinkable, the Oktoberfest Lager goes down easy and finishes clean... GREAT for the amazing musicianship of Avantasia!!

Avantasia, essentially a power metal rock opera project is the brain child of Tobias Sammet, vocalist and founding member of the German heavy metal band Edguy.  "The Scarecrow" is the third full-length album coming from his Avantasia project.  It was released on January 25th, 2008 and is a concept album about the "tragic story of a lonesome creature, emotionally isolated from his environment and suffering from a distorted sensory perception."  (The sad story of the Scarecrow continues on the next two albums by Avantasia.)  The kick-ass super group on "The Scarecrow" is made up of Sammet on lead vocals, bass guitar, and additional keyboards; master session musician Sascha Paeth (Edguy, Angra, Shaaman, Rhapsody of Fire, Kamelot, After Forever, and Epica) on lead and rhythm guitars; producer/musician Miro (Angra, Shaaman, Luca Turilli, Rhapsody of Fire, Kamelot and Heavens Gate) on keyboards and orchestration; and Eric Singer (KISS/Alice Cooper) on drums.  Guest vocalists include the amazing talents of Jørn Lande (ex-Ark, ex-Masterplan, Jorn) (tracks 2, 6, 8); Michael Kiske (ex-Helloween, Place Vendome, Unisonic) (tracks 2, 3, 5); Bob Catley (Magnum) (tracks 3, 9); Amanda Somerville (Aina) (tracks 5, 11); Alice Cooper (track 7); Roy Khan (ex-Kamelot, ex-Conception) (track 1); and Oliver Hartmann (ex-At Vance) (track 10).  Characterized by machine-gun fire drumming, thunderous bass, soaring guitars, and explosive vocal performances, "The Scarecrow" is a power metal head's wet dream!  It is energetic, powerful, fast-paced, aggressive, and a joy to listen to again and again and again!!


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