Thursday, November 19, 2015

November 19th, 2015 - Sacrificing A Narwhal For The Masters

Good evening evil-doers!  The Meista here tonight getting dark and a little evil with a couple long-time favorites of mine... a Narwhal Imperial Stout (2015 release) from Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and Black Sabbath's "Master Of Reality"!  Oh, hell yeah!!

Album Info:
  • Artist: Black Sabbath
  • Title: "Master Of Reality"
  • Recorded: February through April 1971 at Island Studios in London, England
    Release date: July 21st, 1971 (3rd studio album by Black Sabbath)
  • Record company: Vertigo Records
  • Production: Rodger Bain
  • Album cover art: Mike Stanfod
  • Personnel: Geezer Butler (bass guitar), Tony Iommi (guitar, synthesizer on "After Forever", and flute and piano on "Solitude"), Ozzy Osbourne (lead vocals), and  Bill Ward (drums and percussion)
  • Musical style: Heavy metal, hard rock, doom metal, stoner rock
  • Sound: Heavy, haunting, brilliant... Black Sabbath's 3rd album is maybe the all-time definitive doom metal/stoner rock album!  Drummer Bill Ward called it "an exploratory album".  And that it is!  Revolutionary in approach, the down-tuned guitars and bass created an "heaving-lung sound" that had never been heard before.  Good lord, that guitar work of Iommi is both brutal and beautiful!!
  • Major themes: Marijuana, happiness, sadness, death, darkness, evil, impending doom, solitude, etc.
  • Notes: Of the album, Ozzy once stated, "apart from the fact that Tony detuned his guitar to make it easier to play, Geezer wrote 'Sweet Leaf' about all the dope we'd been smoking, and 'Children Of The Grave' was the most kick-ass song we'd ever recorded."
  • Tracks:  
  1. "Sweet Leaf"
  2. "After Forever"
  3. "Embryo"
  4. "Children Of The Grave"
  5. "Orchid"
  6. "Lord Of This World"
  7. "Solitude"
  8. "Into The Void"
Brew Info:
  • Brewery: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company (Chico, California and Mills River, North Carolina)
  • Website:
  • Brew: Narwhal Imperial Stout
  • Style: Double / Russian Imperial Stout
  • Serving: 12 ounce bottle
  • ABV: 10.2%
  • Pour: The Narwhal pours a deep, opaque black chocolate with a 1 to 2-finger, well-sustained and frothy, mocha-colored head.
  • Nose: The nose is rich and complex.  There are notes of cocoa bean, rich soil, and espresso.
  • Taste: The flavors are big, bold, complex, richly layered, and encompassing.  The taste is multi-layered as well with deep roasted malt flavors and velvety chocolate.  There are flavors of dark roasted Colombian coffee mixed with baker's bitter-sweet dark cocoa, subtle and well-blended bourbon notes, subtle marshmallow, vanilla bean, and hints of black licorice.
  • Mouthfeel: Full-bodied with very low carbonation, the mouthfeel of the Narwhal is velvety, creamy, and smooth with some dark chocolate bitterness, and like "Master Of Reality," the finish is mellow and satisfying... an excellent example of how an Imperial Stout should taste!  As my dad would say, "you've got to drink that one with a fork and knife!"
  • Notes: This brew was inspired by the illusive and mysterious horned whale that "dwells in the deepest Arctic seas" and the black nights of the Russian winters... or so I'm told.
Overall pairing: Trying to describe the complexity and brilliance of Black Sabbath's "Master Of Reality" and how it pairs so very well to Narwhal Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Company is like trying to describe the color red to a blind man.  You just have to listen, you just have to taste. 


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