Sunday, May 4, 2014

May 4th, 2012 - A Dancing Undercover Investigation

What the hell... one more for you tonight kiddies from your craft drinking buddy, the Meista!  How about an Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company outta Petaluma, California and "Dancing Undercover" from Ratt?!  I know, right?   Kick-ass!!  This pairing is dedicated to the late Robbin Cosby and to Warren DeMartini's guitar tone!

"Dancing Undercover" is the 3rd album by L.A. heavy metal act Ratt and was released August 9th, 1986.  The album was not popular with music critics at the time (who the hell cares), but I found it to be a much more straight-ahead, raunchier, bluesy, rock and roll sound for the band with (almost) hints of thrash metal.  The album does not contain one single power ballad characterized by the majority of Sunset Strip bands at the time... YAY!  I will be the first to admit that lyrically, this album is pure silliness, but musically, ah musically, this is brilliant!  That intro guitar work on both "Dance" and "Body Talk" alone is simply magical!  And how 'bout that riff on "Looking For Love"?  Fierce!!  DeMartini is obviously an amazingly talented guitar player, especially coupled with the rhythm work of Cosby!  I've always been a fan of Stephen Pearcy's vocals... reminds me a little bit of Steve Marriott.  And as always, Juan Croucier 's bass work and Bobby Blotzer's drum work is solid, Solid, SOLID!!  Just like Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale!!

For the in-your-face sound of Ratt, you need a beer of equal merit...  Coming in at 9.7% ABV, 66.6 IBU, and 1.085 O.G., the Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company is an American Strong Ale with great intensity and flavor.  Poured into a Lagunitas Mason jar glass, the Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale is a beautifully hazy, deep copper/clover-honey amber with a 1-finger off-white head that leaves moderate, cloudy stratocumulus stratiformis cumulogenitus lacing.  The nose is earthy and hoppy... the hop character dominates, but it is fairly light (especially for Lagunitas... hop heads that they are!).  Medium to full bodied, the mouthfeel is slightly sticky, a little creamy, but very dry.  Flavor-wise, the Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale is a monster in the vein of "Slip Of The Lip"... boozy, earthy, herbal, and hoppy, this brew has BIG flavor!  There are notes of sweet grains and malts, soft caramel, spruce and pine, and black tea.  It is a wonderfully balanced hoppy brew in the California tradition... must try!

Raise 'em my friends... raise 'em high and "dance, dance, dance"!!

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