Saturday, February 7, 2015

February 7th, 2015 - The Final Barn Owl Experiment

Hallo friends!  Your pal the Meista here today with an epic pairing...  "The Final Experiment" (2005 Special Edition) by Ayreon and Barn Owl Imperial Brown Ale from Alameda Brewhouse!

Album Info:
  • Artist: Ayreon
  • Title: "The Final Experiment"
  • Recorded: March through July 1995, Studio "RS 29" Waalwijk, Netherlands
  • Release date: October 27th, 1995
  • Record company: Transmission/InsideOut Music/SPV
  • Personnel: Arjen Anthony Lucassen - vocals (tracks 7, 10, 11, and 15), guitar, bass, keyboards, synthesizer, drums, percussion, timpani, audio mixing, sleeve design, photography
    • Vocalists: Rodney Blaze, Marcela Bovio, John Cuijpers, Peter Daltrey, Jan-Chris de Koeijer, Leon Goewie, Barry Hay, Lucy Hillen, Ruud Houweling, Irene Jansen, Esther Ladiges, Ian Parry, Edward Reekers, Debby Schreuder, Robert Soeterboek, Astrid van der Veen, Mirjam van Doorn, Jay van Feggelen, and Lenny Wolf
    • Additional musicians: Jan Bijlsma (bass), Cleem Determeijer (keyboards), Dewi Kerstens (cello), Rene Merkelbach (keyboards), Davy Mickers (drums), Ernst van Ee (drums), Marieke van der Heyden (cello), Jolanda Verduijn (bass), and Peter Vink (bass)
  • Album cover art: Ruud Houweling
  • Musical style: Progressive rock/metal, folk metal, symphonic metal
  • Sound: Bombastic, intricate, and richly textured rock/metal/folk with elements of '70s prog bands like Genesis, Gentle Giant, and Yes.
  • Major themes: "The Final Experiment" is the brilliant sci-fi/fantasy concept album about Ayreon, a blind minstrel living in 6th century Britain who receives telepathic messages from scientist living in 2084 on a dying earth.  Underlying themes include environmental pollution and destrucion, the dangers of the overreliance on technology, and man's innate propensity for violence and war.
  • Tracks:
  1. "Prologue"
  2. "The Awareness"
  3. "Eyes Of Time"
  4. "The Banishment"
  5. "Ye Courtyard Minstrel Boy"
  6. "Sail Away To Avalon"
  7. "Nature's Dance"
  8. "Computer - Reign (Game Over)"
  9. "Waracle"
  10. "Listen To The Waves"
  11. "Magic Ride"
  12. "Merlin's Will"
  13. "Charm Of The Seer"
  14. "Swan Song"
  15. "Ayreon's Fate"
  16. "Dreamtime" (Bonus Track - 2005 Special Edition release only)
  17. "Eyes Of Time" (Alternate Version - 2005 Special Edition release only)
  18. "The Accusation" (Bonus Track - 2005 Special Edition release only)
  19. "Ye Courtyard Minstrel Boy" (Alternate Version - 2005 Special Edition release only)
  20. "Sail Away To Avalon" (Alternate Version - 2005 Special Edition release only)
  21. "Nature's Dance" (Alternate Version - 2005 Special Edition release only)
  22. "Waracle" (Alternate Version - 2005 Special Edition release only)
  23. "Merlin's Will" (Alternate Version - 2005 Special Edition release only)
  24. "The Charm Of The Seer" (Alternate Version - 2005 Special Edition release only)
  Brew Info:
  • Brewery: Alameda Brewhouse (Portland, Oregon)
  • Website:
  • Brew: Barn Owl Imperial Brown Ale
  • Style: Imperial Southern English Brown Ale
  • Serving: 22 ounce bottle
  • ABV: 7.9%
  • IBUs: 90 
  • Ending gravity: 1.022 Plato
  • Ingredients: Specialty malts and hops
  • Pour: Dark, opaque nut brown color with a thick, mash potato head with great retention that leaves sticky and layered lacing.
  • Nose: I really nice mix of nuttiness, bready and sweet malts, chocolate, caramel, and earthy hops.  There are aromas of almonds and hazelnuts, freshly baked multi-grain bread, cocoa, burnt toffee, and rich soil.  The nuttier flavors become more prevalent as the beer warms.
  • Taste: Layered notes of chocolate, caramel, and hearty biscuit abound in the Barn Owl Imperial Brown Ale.  There are semi-sweet chocolate, caramel, nut, and roasted malt flavors.
  • Mouthfeel: Smooth, velvety, and slightly creamy with low carbonation and a clean, dry finish.
Overall pairing: With something as bold and bombastic as "The Final Experiment" you need a bold and flavorful ale that you can sit back and slowly enjoy... thus the Barn Owl Imperial Brown Ale!  With its layered, well-balanced, and inviting complexity, the Barn Owl Imperial Brown Ale makes for a great accompanying brew for the brilliance that is Ayreon!!

Gezondheid... proost!!!

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