Thursday, May 16, 2019

May 16th, 2019 - A High And Mighty Hop Bullet

Good evening!  The Meista here tonight pairing "High And Mighty" by the very mighty (and very underrated) Uriah Heep and a Hop Bullet Double IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Company! 
Album Info:
  • Artist: Uriah Heep
  • Title: "High And Mighty"
  • Recorded: December 1975 through March 1976 at Roundhouse Recording Studios in London, England
  • Release date: June 1976 (9th studio album by Uriah Heep)
  • Record company: Bronze Records / Warner Bros.
  • Album cover art: Shirtsleeve Studios
  • Personnel: Mick Box (lead and acoustic guitars), the late, great David Byron (lead vocals), Ken Hensley (organ, piano, Moog synthesizer, tubular bells, electric piano, guitar, slide guitar, acoustic guitar, electric 12-string guitar, pedal steel guitar, and shared lead vocals on "One Way Or Another"), Lee Kerslake (drums, percussion, and backing vocals), and the late, great John Wetton (bass guitar, mellotron, electric piano, and shared lead vocals on "One Way Or Another")
  • Musical style: Hard rock, power pop (with elements of progressive rock)
  • Sound: "High And Mighty" marked a change in sound for Uriah Heep, which would define their sound for the next few albums.  At the time, it was not well-received by their fans.  The album is more mainstream with shorter songs and without their signature fantasy themes.  It is also a little cleaner, leaning more towards power pop with a more radio-friendly approach, yet there is experimental elements as well.  Although different in tone from previous albums, Box still lays down some heavy riffing along with some rather beautiful and ethereal guitar work.  Like Ian Gillian and Robert Plant, Byron's vocals had completely changed the landscape of hard rock in the 1970s and profoundly influenced (and still influence) thousands of metal vocalists today.  On this album, his vocals are a little more toned down and subdued here, but his prowess is still very evident.  Hensley (the ever-talented multi-instrumentalist) wonderfully creates a rich atmosphere throughout along with a great vocal performance on "One Way Or Another".  Kerslake's monstrous drumming along with Wetton's grooving bass work is a thunderous storm of rhythmic intensity.
  • Major themes: The price of fame, life, love, loss, music, etc.
  • Notes: Sadly, "High And Mighty" would be the last album with David Byron as he was subsequently fired soon after the release due to an increasingly more problematic drinking problem.
  • Tracks:   
  1. "One Way Or Another"
  2. "Weep In Silence"
  3. "Misty Eyes"
  4. "Midnight"
  5. "Can't Keep A Good Band Down"
  6. "Woman Of The World"
  7. "Footprints In The Snow"
  8. "Can't Stop Singing"
  9. "Make A Little Love"
  10. "Confession"

    Brew Info:
  • Brewery: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company (Chico, California)
  • Website:
  • Brew: Hop Bullet
  • Style: Double India Pale Ale (DIPA)
  • Serving: 12 ounce can
  • ABV: 8.0%
  • IBUs: 55
  • Ingredients: Ale yeast, Two-row Pale, Caramelized malts, Acidulated, Oats, and Wheat malts, with Centennial, Cascade, Chinook, Magnum, Crystal, and Idaho 7 hops
  • Pour: The Hop Bullet pours a dark straw color with a rocky, 1+ finger, off-white head with great retention and lots of intricate, layered, soapy lacing.
  • Nose: With lots of citrus, floral, and pine, the nose is characterized by aromas of pine resin, cedar, grapefruit rind, orange, tangerine, melon, lemon zest, herbal tea, hop flowers, summer grass, and more subtle caramel/toffee.
  • Taste: Characterized by citrus, tropical fruit, pine, and light toasted malt flavors, the Hop Bullet is filled with notes of pink grapefruit juice, pineapple, pine, black tea, light toasted bread, and soft caramel.  
  • Mouthfeel: Medium to full-bodied with moderate carbonation, the mouthfeel is crisp, yet thick with some bitterness and a dry, clean finish.

Overall pairing: With all their hard-rockin' intensity, Uriah Heep always requires a brew with punchy and complex qualities.  I definitely think the Hop Bullet fits that bill!  The citrusy and sweet malt flavors work well with the more progressive elements of the album while the more bitter hop flavors work well with darker and heavier elements!  I also thing the imagry of the album cover the beer name work well together.


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