Saturday, July 12, 2014

July 12th, 2014 - A Long Strange Tripel Obscured By Clouds

Good evening friends!  The Meista here with a rather "trippy" pairing for you tonight... "Obscured By Clouds" by Pink Floyd and a Long Strange Tripel from Boulevard Brewing Company! 

Released on June 2nd, 1972, "Obscured By Clouds" is the 7th studio album by English progressive/psychedelic art rock band Pink Floyd.  The album is based on the music recorded for the original soundtrack for French film La Vallée, by Barbet Schroeder.  Schroeder had also employed Pink Floyd to provide music for his 1969 film More.  Along with predecessor "Meddle", I believe this album is the bridge between the psychedelic-era Floyd and the progressive-era Floyd.  ("Dark Side Of The Moon" was the next release by the band.  Some of the elements of that monumental album can be heard on "Obscured By Clouds".)  Sadly, I think this is a much neglected album by both media and fans.  Although production was somewhat rushed with sporadic recording sessions in France (February 23rd–29th, March 23rd–29th, and April 6th, 1972 at Strawberry Studios, Château d'Hérouville, Hérouville, Île-de-France, France), "Obscured By Clouds" is a cohesive, intriguing, and masterfully constructed album in true Pink Floyd character.  David Gilmour provides ethereal guitars, haunting lead vocals, pedal steel guitar, and VCS3.  Nick Mason provides swinging drums, percussion, and interesting tape effects.  Roger Waters provides thumping bass guitar, wonderful supporting vocals, VCS3, and tape effects.  And the late Richard Wright provides his usual brilliant keyboards, supporting vocals, and VCS3.  The album include many overlooked gems like the title track, "When You're In", "The Gold It's In The...", "Wots... Uh The Deal", "Childhood's End", "Free Four", and "Stay".  (Interestingly enough, this was the last album to include Gilmour penned lyrics until 1987's "A Momentary Lapse Of Reason".  It is also the last album until 1987 where Gilmour had the majority of the lead vocals.)   Anyway, I think this is just a brilliant album... do yourself a favor and pick up a copy... right now!!

And speaking of brilliant... the Long Strange Tripel from Boulevard Brewing Company is a Belgian-style "tripel" ale.  "Tripel", meaning three times the amount of malt used as opposed to that of a standard Trappist "Simple" ale.  The Long Strange Tripel pours a hazy, bright golden peach color in my frosted glass with a big, rocky, and billow head that leaves a light film.  The nose is fairly mild, but sweet and spicy.  There are mellow aromas of banana, pear juice, peach syrup, clove, nutmeg, and coriander.  Exceptionally smooth, the mouthfeel is frothy and creamy, but also dry and crisp.  The flavor is initially sweet with lots of banana, pear, and candi sugar flavor, but gives way to dryer, tarter, and slightly more bitter notes of Chardonnay, white grape juice, white pepper, and Belgian yeast.  The finish is fairly dry, but you get some sweet maltiness at the back of the tongue and a little boozy warming from the 9.2% ABV.  The complexity of the Long Strange Tripel is really quite enjoyable and works perfectly with the wonderfully haunting sounds of "Obscured By Clouds"!


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