Monday, December 7, 2015

December 7th, 2015 - Black Swans, Velvet Stouts, And A Womhole Merlin

Good evening!  The Meista here rocking out with Joe Satriani's "Black Swans And Wormhole Wizards" and a Velvet Merlin Winter Seasonal Oatmeal Stout from  Firestone Walker Brewing Company!

Album Info:
  • Artist: Joe Satriani
  • Title: "Black Swans And Wormhole Wizards"
  • Recorded: June through August 2010 at Skywalker Sound in Nicasio and Studio 21 in San Francisco
  • Release date: October 5th, 2010 (13th studio album by Joe Satriani)
  • Record company: Epic Records
  • Production: Joe Satriani and Mike Fraser
  • Album cover art: Rex Ray (design) and LeAnn Mueller (photography)
  • Personnel: Joe Satriani (guitars, keyboard, bass, engineering, and production) with Jeff Campitelli (drums and percussion), Mike Keneally (keyboards), and Allen Whitman (bass)
  • Musical style: Instrumental hard rock, progressive rock/metal, heavy metal with elements of rock, blues, and a hint of country
  • Sound: At times spacey, at times bluesy, at times ethereal and always rockin', on "Black Swans And Wormhole Wizards", Satch lays down his heavy duty monster guitar work like only he can!  And Campitelli, Mike Keneally, and Whitman are no slouches either!  Another great work for one of the greats!
  • Major themes: Instrumental album... so read into the themes as you will
  • Tracks:  
  1. "Premonition"
  2. "Dream Song"
  3. "Pyrrhic Victoria"
  4. "Light Years Away"
  5. "Solitude"
  6. "Littleworth Lane"
  7. "The Golden Room"
  8. "Two Sides Of Every Story"
  9. "Wormhole Wizards"
  10. "Wind In The Trees"
  11. "God Is Crying"
Brew Info:
  • Brewery: Firestone Walker Brewing Company (Paso Robles, California)
  • Website:
  • Brew: Velvet Merlin Winter Seasonal Oatmeal Stout
  • Style: Oatmeal Stout
  • Serving: 12 ounce bottle
  • ABV: 5.5%
  • IBUs: 27 
  • Ingredients: Otter, 2-Row Pale, Roast Barley, English Dark Caramel, Medium Caramel, Carafa Malt, Oats (15%) malts, and 100% US Grown Fuggle Hops
  • Pour: The Velvet Merlin pours a thick and sticky ink black with a thin mocha head that leaves only trace lacing.
  • Nose: The nose is strong, earthy, and malty with chocolaty and creamy undertones.  There are big notes of roasted coffee, rich soil, and caramel malt. 
  • Taste: The flavor is characterized by big, decadent dark chocolate and roasted coffee notes with some real nice vanilla and fresh cream as well.  The finish is dry and chocolaty with just a hint of bitter hops.
  • Mouthfeel: Full-bodied with low carbonation, the mouthfeel is as the name suggests, very velvety, creamy, and smooth with a dry, bittersweet finish.
Overall pairing: Now I normally like to pair thick and chewy stouts with sludgy doom metal, but the chunky and smooth guitar work of Satch seemed to be begging for a big, complex, and chunky brew!  The Velvet Merlin is a wonderful example of the style and great companion to "Black Swans And Wormhole Wizards"... especially if you are in the mood to just kick back on a cold evening, sip some hearty brew, and bob your head to the genius that is Joe Satriani!


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