Sunday, February 8, 2015

February 8th, 2015 - India Ale, Snakes, & Arrows

Good afternoon/evenin'!  Your pal the Meista here with another rockin' pairing for you today!  I'm spinning the wonderful "Snakes & Arrows" by Rush and enjoying an India Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)!

Album Info:
  • Artist: Rush
  • Title: "Snakes & Arrows"
  • Recorded: November through December 2006 at Allaire Studios in Shokan, New York
  • Release date: May 1st, 2007 (19th studio album by the band)
  • Record company: Anthem Records/Atlantic
  • Personnel: Geddy Lee (vocals, bass, mellotron, and bass pedals), Alex Lifeson (electric guitars, acoustic guitars, twelve-string guitars, mandolin, and bouzouki), and Neil Peart (drums and percussion)
  • Musical style: Progressive rock/metal, hard rock
  • Sound: Wonderfully textured, "Snakes & Arrows" is probably one of the most organic and warmer Rush albums musically speaking in recent years.  While the lyrics are somewhat dark and sad, musically, the album is more uplifting, which makes for a nice foil/juxtaposition.  Each player provides power, precision, sonic complexity, and brilliance!
  • Major themes: Trying to find hope in an ugly world, being true to one's self, self-reliance, humanism ideals, personal reflections on faith and superstition, emotional healing, travel, etc.
  • Tracks:
  1. "Far Cry"
  2. "Armor & Sword"
  3. "Workin' Them Angels"
  4. "The Larger Bowl (A Pantoum)"
  5. "Spindrift"
  6. "The Main Monkey Business"
  7. "The Way The Wind Blows"
  8. "Hope"
  9. "Faithless"
  10. "Bravest Face"
  11. "Good News First"
  12. "Malignant Narcissism"
  13. "We Hold On"
  Brew Info:
  • Brewery: Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
  • Website:
  • Brew: India Ale
  • Style: English India Pale Ale (IPA)
  • Serving: 12 ounce bottle
  • ABV: 5%
  • Ingredients: Well water, malted barley,  yeast, and English aroma hops.
  • Pour: Characterized by a deep amber color, it pours a bright white, 1-finger, frothy head with subtle and light lacing.
  • Nose: The nose is fruity, malty, and aromatic.  There are aromas of tropical and citrus fruits, light biscuit, caramel/toffee, honey, and subtle vanilla.
  • Taste: Samuel Smith's India Ale has a rich, abundantly malty flavor with a strong and "fruity hop character."  Not as hoppy and bitter as the Northwestern American IPAs, this still has a bite.  There are notes of light caramel/toffee, sweet bread, biscuit, tropical fruits (orange, mango, melon, pineapple), and mild, floral/herbal hoppiness.
  • Mouthfeel: Full-bodied with moderate carbonation, the India Ale is very smooth with a sweet, yet dry finish.
  • Note: "The label on the bottle is based on Samuel Smith’s Victorian letterhead when the brewery was a contractor to Her Majesty Queen Victoria’s forces."
Overall pairing: Like Rush's music on "Snakes & Arrows", the Samuel Smith's India Ale is both complex and accessible.  Both the album and the ale have a depth of character and beauty that you don't find often enough in this day and age... hails to Rush and Samuel Smith for being true artists and holding to the highest standards of integrity and honesty!!


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