Friday, June 6, 2014

June 6th, 2014 - A Velvety Death Penalty... With Oatmeal!

Evenin' friends!  The Meista here with another New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) album paired with a tasty artisan brew... tonight I'm going with Witchfinder General's debut album "Death Penalty" and a Velvet Merlin Oatmeal Stout Seasonal Release from Firestone Walker Brewing Company!

Released in September 1982, "Death Penalty" is the first studio album by doom metal pioneers, the NWOBHM band Witchfinder General.  (The band took their name from the 1968 Vincent Price horror movie of the same name.)  While the majority of the NWOBHM bands in the late '70s and early '80s embraced a faster-paced sound that would evolve into power metal and thrash, Witchfinder General had a penchant for the slower, sludgier approach of Black Sabbath, and proudly mimicked that Sabbath sound.  Personnel on the album include Zeeb Parkes on lead vocals, Phil Cope on guitars and bass (the bass is credited to the fictional Woolfy Trope on the album), and Graham Ditchfield on drums. 

The Velvet Merlin (originally called the Velvet Merkin) Oatmeal Stout Seasonal Release from Firestone Walker Brewing Company is a delectable and rich brew, perfect for the sludgy heaviness of "Death Penalty"!  The Velvet Merlin pours a thick and sticky ink black with a thin mocha head that leaves only trace lacing.  The nose is strong, earthy, and malty with chocolaty and creamy undertones.  There are big notes of roasted coffee, rich soil, and caramel malt.  The mouthfeel is as the name suggests, very velvety and smooth.  The flavor is characterized by big, dry dark chocolate and roasted coffee notes with some real nice vanilla and fresh cream notes as well.  The finish is dry and chocolaty with just a hint of bitter hops.  The Velvet Merlin is a wonderful example of the style and great companion to the doomy heaviness of Witchfinder General's "Death Penalty"!


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