Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Ölbeat 348: Mallassepät Sysi a.k.a The Resurrection

Brewery: Mallassepät (only in Finnish)
Country: Finland
Style: Imperial Stout
Abv: 9,5 %

What about the beer?
Colour is dark thick black with a finger-thick latte brown head. Aroma has roasted malts with notable coffee and liquorice and little less notable chocolate notes. Taste begins with very thick roast and smoothly strong bitterness. Intense, bitter roast meets its favored sidekicks: dark chocolate and salty liquorice - the duo is always warmly welcomed to this kind of party. The strength of the brew rises its ugly but friendly head with some boozy notes in the end. After the malty flavours are rinsed down the throat, we are left with lasting bitter liquorice.

I remember having this beer for the first time in the end of 2018 from tap at Konttori in Tampere. Since then, there have been four or five Sysi sessions, and the first impression of a clean, simple, strong and delicious brew hasn't faded at all. For me, it has in a short time become a beer that fits perfectly in a moment when I need to calm down, drown in the one clear thought in my mind and otherwise enjoy the silence. 


Probably ruined the surprise already in the end of the previous paragraph. Well, that happens: Pleasures remain / So does the pain / Words are meaningless / And forgettable. Thirty years after hearing the song for the first time, it still has the same calming effect it had then.

Depeche Mode: Enjoy the Silence (YouTube)

From the 1990 album Violator, the song was written by Martin Gore.

* * *

"What was that you promised somewhat a year and a half ago? No waking up from the dead, wasn't it? Quote: 'But the cold truth is that the blog stays dead after the burial - this is the final post of this blog. My and Ölmönger the Blogger's paths are separated for good.' What's going on, boy?"

Well, another line from the song above goes: Vows are spoken / To be broken. Politicians, priests and policemen - among everyone else - live accordingly. Why couldn't and shouldn't a beer blogger?

To put it very short, there were actual reasons to kill the blog. Now, those reasons are mostly gone and forgotten, so it seemed too easy to open up the grave and mold something live-like from the rotten remains. And there was actually a reason to connect the jump leads to the monster and let the electricity do its magic: the Ölmönger's business seemed somewhat unfinished. You can read about one piece of evidence from this posts Ölbeat.

Coming back from the hiatus brings some changes to the idea of the blog. There will be shorter and longer silent periods, for sure: not every beer, however great it is, deserves a post. Actually, none of the beers that I supposedly taste only once or for the first time gets an independent post. I keep the best once-in-a-lifetime experiences for myself.

There will be less single beer posts - and probably more posts for bar visits, beer & whisky mixing, rebel yells agains the beer culture and other born dead ideas. There will be no time nor space for Skitbits anymore: there's enough shitty beer in the world and Finland alone to spend a couple of dimes on without me posting about them.

"The King was dead. Long live the King!" Right?

The another one goes to life:
Black Sabbath: Killing Yourself to Live (YouTube)
From the 1973 album Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, the song was written by Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Ölbeat 347: Amager / Barrier The Mortician a.k.a Ölmönger's Burial

Brewery: Amager Bryghus (Barrier Brewing Company)
Country: Denmark (United States)
Style: Imperial Stout
Abv: 10,5 %
What about the beer?
Colour is black with a finger-thick beige head. Aroma has dark chocolate, sweet roast and coffee. Taste begins with heavily bitter chocolate-flavoured roast. Dark chocolate, sweet coffee and bitter charcoal roast take over with spicy alcohol. Towards the end bitter dark chocolate with sweet spicy mocha tones come out strongest. Aftertaste has strong bitter roast with dark chocolate, liquorice and pine followed by lasting spicy malty dryness.

Powerfully bitter and roasty Imperial Stout. Strong bitter flavours of roast, dark chocolate and coffee supported by spicy, boozy and malty side tones. Simply beautiful, complex and delicious. Amager never lets me down with dark and heavy stuff.

* * *

My mama said that you should finish what you've started. Well said. There are many beer blogs that have died without any last words like bad TV series that get cancelled after the pilot season without the series' final episode. Where all the good and the bad guys get killed, if the series was worth watching even in the beginning. Like there are TV series born dead that just keep on living, there are beer blogs born dead, but that's a completely different story. Or is it actually?

Anyway, the blog's been dead for over four months now. There have been some things like this and some thing like that on the way of writing blog posts. More interesting things like watching the grass grow and catching up the missed/all episodes of Lost. But the cold truth is that the blog stays dead after the burial - this is the final post of this blog. My and Ölmönger the Blogger's paths are separated for good.

Possibly, even though unprobably, there are some people who would like to know why this blog is finished now. Some others might be wondering, why it took me so long to shoot this bastard against the brick wall. Both are people who are looking for reasons for things. Well, let them be looking. Over and out. Bagged and tagged.

Why are you still there looking at this? Live, enjoy and celebrate, sucker!


The author's last wish. May this one be granted?

Ramones: Pet Sematary (YouTube)

From the 1989 album Brain Drain, the song was written by Dee Dee Ramone and Daniel Rey.

And one for the audience.

Faith No More: A Small Victory (YouTube)

From the 1992 album Angel Dust, the song was written by Mike Bordin, Roddy Bottum, Billy Gould and Mike Patton.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Ölbeat 346: Beer Hunter's Mufloni Hermansson Barley Wine

Brewery: Beer Hunter's (in Finnish)
Country: Finland
Style: Barley Wine
Abv: 11 %
What about the beer?
Colour is dark brown with a thin natural white lace. Aroma has nutty chocolate, caramel malts and dark fruits. Taste starts with bittersweet fruity caramel. Malty caramel and sweet fruits take over with spicy bitterness and hints of chocolate. Towards the end sweet caramel malts, spicy pine and bitter boozy citrus fruits come out strongest. Aftertaste has biting fruity-piny bitterness, boozy spiciness and caramel malty dryness.

Malty and sharp-flavoured Barley Wine. Caramel malts, sweet and bitter fruits, spicy pine and boozy kick dominate. Part of me desires for a little more roundness, another one is very pleased with the rough edges. Rather enjoyable, still probably on its way to excellence?

This beer was part of Alko's Finnish artisanal beer selection in spring 2018.


I explain the song choice with the place, the situation and the mood, where I enjoyed the bottle with my parents. The song is about the singer being enchanted by a ghost, while I'm enchanted by the old school my parents live in. Visiting there seems to somehow take me to completely other reality, other time and other place. With this kind of classic style beverage, the trip became even more distancing.

Kings of Leon: Find Me (YouTube)

From the 2016 album WALLS, the song was written by Caleb Followill, Nathan Followill, Jared Followill and Matthew Followill.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Sessio #6 (Mar 2018): Bands and beer brands

This post is a part of Sessio, Finnish beer bloggers' monthly posts on the same topic. The topic is selected by a monthly changing host. This topic was selected by Loppasuut, who will wrap up the Sessio posts in their blog. I will take part in Sessio whenever the subject feels nice and I have time to write a post.

The topic of the month is "Bands and brands". The host gave us some ideas, e.g. to wonder, if a culture or sport brand - an artist/a band or a club, even a movie? - affects the beer's taste, or to write about the rockstar of the beer world, whoever that may be. Thanks for the ideas - I'll follow none of them, because digging deep into the background of the motives behind, say, rock band -labeled beers is far from what I call fun, interesting or meaningful. Most of the band branded beers are made so that the brewers can be laughing on their way to the bank. Examples of those beers can be seen on the photo collage of the assignment post. And that's my five cents on that part of the subject.

Almost. One case seems to have some credibility against almost all others' none. In California, San Diego -based Belching Beaver Brewery and Sacramento-based alternative metal band Deftones have "collaborated" with two India Pale Ales. First one, Phantom Bride, was published in August 2016 and it has become part of the brewery's core range. Second one, Swerve City, saw the light of the day in June 2017 and according to the brewery's pages comes out seasonally. Since the beers haven't been actually available for me, haven't had a chance to taste either one. But they're not just lame lagers or British bollock ales like the usual band-related stuff, are they?  

But what if I could plan a beer for one of my favorite artists? Or even a complete line of beers that actually pays homage to the band? Of course, in that case the branded brews would be top notch hipster sipper stuff, not something you would forget in five minutes. Of course, the band's songs couldn't be stuff that you want to forget immediately if it ever catches your attention. You've probably dropped Maku Brewing as a brewery and Amorphis as an artist from the carriage, haven't you? If not, you didn't understand the two sentences starting with words "Of course".

This blog's most frequent artist choice is Black Sabbath with a total of 12 Ölbeats - 13 songs, because of the two songs with Hel & Verdoemenis - so far. No Skitbits on the list, because I respect their music from both the original lineup (with 12 songs on the blog) and the Dio period (one song on the blog) so much, that I forgive their sometimes complete misses of other singers and lineups. With two exceptions all the beers paired with Sabbath songs are dark, and with two exceptions all beers are "double" or "imperial" level heavy, i.e. higher than 8 % of abv. Mostly dark and heavy with Black Sabbath - call that the element of surprise a lá Ölmönger.

From up left clockwise: Osborne, Iommi, Butler and Ward.
So I select Black Sabbath as the band of my beer brand. The timing is perfect, since the band has officially and permanently disbanded in February 2017. Three questions arise:
  1. What are the means for selecting a beer or a line or series of beers - and the name(s)?
  2. What kind of beer(s) should be brewed?
  3. Which brewery in the world would I select for the job?    
And the three short answers are:
  1. The core series would consist of four beers named after the original members of the band: singer Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward. The beers' names would include the band members first name or the nickname, and a reference to one song by the band.
  2. Stupid question. Dark and heavy, of course.
  3. Since this Danish brewery has already branded something strongly associated to the music of the selected artist - that something being The Seven Deadly Sins as The Sinner Series - and since with their brews the brewery has proven to actually pay respect to the people they've worked with (like this one), my first choice would clearly be Amager Bryghus. They also usually brew great tasting big beers in big bottles and belong to my top-something-less-than-seven list of breweries, so I believe I wouldn't be unhappy with the outcome.
If there would be time for occasional experiments later, it would be great to get something connected to the albums or the songs, like Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, an Imperial Red IPA brewed with blood oranges and passion fruits, or Master of Reality, a Wee Heavy aged partly in Hendrick's gin barrels and partly in Aberlour whisky barrels. Sounds strangely attractive, doesn't it? But first, let's introduce the ideas and get the development of the core beer recipes started in the Copenhagen-based brewery.

Bill The Supernaut
(drummer Bill Ward & song Supernaut)

Imperial Cascadian Dark Ale (> 8 % abv) with gentle roast and sparkling citrus fruit presence 

Bill Ward was known as an unorthodox drummer with strong jazz influence, which showed out as not just giving a beat for guitar riffs but rather dancing around them and adding power to the gloomy musical landscape.

Got no religion, don't need no friends
Got all I want and I don't need to pretend
Don't try to reach me, 'cause I'd tear up your mind
I've seen the future and I've left it behind

Geezer The Architecht
(bassist Geezer Butler & song Spiral Architect)

Imperial Brown Ale (> 8 %) brewed with coffee and cocoa beans

Geezer Butler was, in addition to a versatile and skillful bass player, the main lyricist during the 1970's - the genius behind legendary lyrics of songs like Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, Into the Void and Black Sabbath, among many others.

Of all the things I value most in life
I see my memories and feel their warmth
And know that they are good
You know that I should 

Tony the Lord
(guitarist Tony Iommi & song Lord of This World)

Imperial Stout (>11 %) with strong flavours, sharp edges and a high potential for aging

Tony Iommi was the only original member of Sabbath throughout the band's history, the primary composer of the band and, according to Ronnie James Dio, the ultimate riff master. Probably the most influential guitar player in the history of heavy metal.

Your world was made for you by someone above
But you choose evil ways instead of love.
You made me master of the world where you exist
The soul I took from you was not even missed, yeah

Ozzy the Warpig
(vocalist Ozzy Osbourne & song War Pigs)

Rye Wine (>10 % abv) aged in Jameson whisky barrels

Ozzy Osbourne was the band's voice of agony and desperation, a singer with a very unique and distinctive voice and ability to hit painfully high notes among soulful and credible interpretation. 

Day of judgement, God is calling
On their knees, the war pigs crawling
Begging mercy for their sins
Satan, laughing, spreads his wings


So, two of the citated songs (Spiral Architect and War Pigs) have already been paired with beers and other two (Supernaut and Lord of This World) will be left for waiting their turn with something excellent. I selected the song, that I'll hear in the background if any of these ideas will ever turn out as actual brews even close to the description. "Yeah, fairies wear boots and you gotta believe me / I saw it, I saw it with my own two eyes!" And my shrink will tell me: "Son, son, you've gone too far. / 'Cause smokin' and trippin' is all that you do."

Black Sabbath: Fairies Wear Boots (YouTube)

From the 1970 album Paranoid, the song was written by Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne and Bill Ward.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Ölbeat 345: Orava Orwellian Nightmare 2018

Brewery: Orava Brewing (brewed at Cool Head Brew)
Country: Finland
Style: Imperial Stout
Abv: 10 %
What about the beer?
Colour is black with quickly vanishing head. Aroma has roast, espresso and dark chocolate. Taste begins with strong and bitter spicy roast. Bitter heavy roasted espresso and vanilla-spiced dark chocolate take over. Towards the end espresso, chocolate and spicy flavours are joined by dry oaky booze. Aftertaste has bitter dark chocolate and warm oaky-roasty dryness.

Spicy and bitter roasty Imperial Stout. Espresso and dark chocolate come deliciously out with roast, spices, booze and oak. Rich and very tasty, the squirrels (Orava means a squirrel) get the job done.

This beer was part of Alko's Finnish artisanal beer selection in spring 2018.


Propaganda, surveillance, misinformation, denial of truth, and manipulation of the past? Yep, that's Orwellian enough. A case for System Of A Down.

System Of A Down: Hypnotize (YouTube)

From the 2005 album Hypnotize, the song was written by Daron Malakian and Serj Tankian.