Friday, March 7, 2014

March 7th, 2014 - How Far To Hop Henge?

Good afternoon!  The Meista here with an epic pairing for you today...  Hop Henge Experimental IPA from Deschutes Brewery with Faroese folk/power metal band Týr and their debut album, "How Far To Asgaard"!  This pairing goes out to my nephew Michael, my buddy Jeff, and my online metal sista Erika!  And I dedicate this pairing to the band Týr as well, who have quickly become one of my all-time favorite bands!!  Cheers you metal monsters!!

"How Far To Asgaard" is the first full-length studio album by Týr and was released in January of 2002 through Tutl Records.  The lineup on the album includes Pól Arni Holm on vocals, Heri Joensen on rhythm and lead electric/acoustic guitars, Jón Joensen (Heri's brother) on rhythm electric/acoustic guitars, Gunnar H. Thomsen on bass guitar, and Kári Streymoy on drums/percussion.  All five band members also provided choir/backing vocals.  Both Holm and Jón Joensen would leave the band shortly after the release of "How Far To Asgaard".  (Heri Joensen has been the lead singer since Holm's departure.)  As their name implies (Týr is the Norse god of law and heroic glory), Týr's lyrics mostly revolve around ancient Scandinavian themes of Norse mythology and Viking lore and history.  Lyrics are sung in English and Faroese.  Musically, the album explores doom metal, power metal, and folk metal styles.  Holm's vocal delivery reminds me a bit of Barry Hay, vocalist for the Dutch band Golden Earring... very heartfelt and emotional.  Although maybe not as intense as their sound now, Heri Joensen and Gunnar H. Thomsen deliver wonderfully solid, rich, and powerful guitar and bass work!  And Streymoy's drumming is a driving force in itself!  I adore each and every song on this album... from opening track "Hail To The Hammer" to "Excavation" to "Ten Wild Dogs" to "God Of War" to "Ormurinn Langi" to the finale "How Far To Asgaard".  I just saw these bad-asses 2 nights ago...  and WOW... and I mean fucking WOW!!  What an amazingly great band!!  Týr is currently touring with Death Angel and Children of Bodom.  If you have a chance to check them out, DO IT!!  As with "How Far To Asgaard", all of Týr's music is both complex and rockin'!

And speaking of complex, but rockin', let's talk ale!  Part of Deschutes Bond Street Series, the Hop Henge Experimental IPA, a Double IPA (sometimes called an Imperial IPA) is an outstanding presentation of the style!   The Hop Henge is made with Pale and Munich malts and a wonderful blend of Cascade hops, Centennial hops, and Chinook hops, as well as a new, "mysterious" and experimental variety of hops.  This 1 pint, 6 ounce bomber pours a hazy, golden orange with lots of upward bubble movement and a frothy and rocky, big 2-finger head that displays great retention and Cumulus cloud-like lacing.  (I think this beer has the most profound, thick, and complex lacing I have ever witnessed!)  The nose is lovely blend of citrus, malt, and bready grain.  There are notes of orange peel, lemon zest, and grapefruit rind along with sourdough bread and a hint of toffee sweetness.  The mouthfeel is far smoother and "soapier" than I expected from such a big IPA.  It is crisp and dry, but also has a creamier feel than most IPAs.  The Deschutes website ( reports that the Hope Henge IBUs come in at 99, but it    The flavor is characterized by breadiness, maltiness, sweetness, and sharp bitter notes.  Flavors on the pallet include: light caramel, biscuit, mango, peach syrup, tangerine, orange juice, white pepper, pine, hop resin, bitter grapefruit, white grape, and freshly baked sourdough bread.  There is soooo much flavor in this brew!!  Coming in at 8.8% ABV, the Hop Henge Experimental IPA has a nice and mellow boozy warming presence that can sneak up on you if you aren't careful... it did me!  (I think Loki may have been involved.)  The Hop Henge finishes clean with an interesting sweet and juicy note... rather odd for an IPA, but very refreshing and novel... and oh so very good!

Skál... hail to the hammer, and hail to the ale!!

No comments:

Post a Comment