Saturday, August 15, 2015

August 15th, 2015 - The Grand Tripel Karmeliet Experiment

Good afternoon!!  Your drinking buddy the Meista here today pairing the brilliant neo-prog rock album "The Grand Experiment" by The Neal Morse Band and an equally brilliant Tripel Karmeliet from Belgian brewer Brouwerij Bosteels!
Album Info:
  • Artist: The Neal Morse Band
  • Title: "The Grand Experiment"
  • Recorded: late 2014
  • Release date: February 10th, 2015 (8th solo album by Neal Morse)
  • Record company: InsideOut Records/Radiant Records
  • Production: The Neal Morse Band
  • Album cover art: Thomas Ewerhard
  • Personnel: Neal Morse (vocals, keyboards, and guitars) with Randy George (bass and backing vocals), Eric Gillette (guitars and lead and backing vocals), Bill Hubauer (keyboards and lead and backing vocals), and Mike Portnoy (drums and backing vocals)
  • Additional musicians: Chris Carmichael (strings), Jim Hoke (saxophone), and David F. McKee (industrial loop on "Agenda")
  • Musical style: Progressive rock
  • Sound: Experimental and very progressive, the sound on "The Grand Experiment" is full of wonderful melodies, harmonies, and hooks with influence from early Genesis, the Beatles, and '70s rock.
  • Major themes: Self-actualization, human emotion, dreams, spirituality, life and death, etc.
  • Notes: The album was entirely written in the studio.  The band entered the studio with absolutely nothing prepared.  Of this process, Morse stated, "I wanted to see what it would be like to create freely in the room with no preconceived notions. It was quite a risk!  I made a lot of room for the other guys to create and express themselves and the result is outstanding! We wanted to experiment, do something a bit different, and see what everyone is capable of...we found SPADES!"
  • Tracks: 
  1. "The Call"
  2. "The Grand Experiment"
  3. "Waterfall"
  4. "Agenda"
  5. "Alive Again"

    Brew Info:
  • Brewery: Brouwerij Bosteels (Buggenhout, Belgium)
  • Website:
  • Brew: Tripel Karmeliet
  • Style: Tripel
  • Serving: 12 ounce bottle 
  • ABV: 8.4%
  • Ingredients: 3 grains (barley, oats, and wheat), Belgian house yeast, and Styrian hops
  • Pour: Hazy golden yellow with a 1-2 finger frothy white head that dissipates quickly.
  • Nose: The nose is a wonderfully complex blend of spice, fruit ester, and grains with a hint of booze.  There are aromas of ripe banana, lemon, pear, coriander, nutmeg, clove, vanilla, apricot and peach along with hearty grains.
  • Taste: Like the nose, the Tripel Karmeliet displays an almost dangerously complex and sweet flavors.  There are lots of Belgian yeast and Belgian candy sugar flavors upfront along with an explosive of banana and spices (cloves, nutmeg, and pepper).  There are also notes of pink bubble gum, pear syrup, grapes, peach, and alcohol.
  • Mouthfeel: Well-carbonated, bubbly, and medium bodied, the mouthfeel is slightly sticky and creamy, crisp, and refreshing with a dry, slightly boozy finish.
Overall pairing: The compelling, experimental, and progressive sound of "The Grand Experiment" blends wonderfully well with the complex fruit esters, spices, and Belgian yeast flavors of the Tripel Karmeliet!  It is as if the Tripel Karmeliet had been a part of those experimental writing/recording sessions!


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