Friday, December 18, 2015

Ölbeat 001: Mikkeller Black Hole

Brewery: Mikkeller
Country: Denmark (brewed at De Proefbrouwerij, Belgium)
Style: Imperial Stout
Abv: 13,1 % 

Mikkeller Black Hole
Temptation from the Dark Side

Mikkeller, the Denmark-based gypsy brewery, is known for its experimental view on beer. With that perspective you get hits and you get misses. Due to my short experience with quality craftbeer I hadn't yet got a miss from Mikkeller in my pocket. I decided to make Black Hole the first beer in my blog, if it would continue the success story.

What about the beer?
Colour is black (gee, really?) with medium brown head. Aroma is rich with herbs, grass and a small slice of salty liquorice. Taste is sour liquorice, hoppy saltiness and a fine touch of herbs. There’s a base of traditional imperial stout’ish coffee and dark chocolate in the backgorund, but the palette of other vibes takes over in a nice aggressive way. Ending is a mix of sour and salt. Pretty high alcohol level gets drowned under everything else. Very complex and slow-to-drink but excellent stuff. 

Whoa! If this truly tastes like a black hole, I’m buying a ticket and packing my gear as soon they have direct flights. “I’ll be back!” as they say in action movies.


Dodging the obvious choice by the band Muse, I select the other almost as obvious choice for the song to match Mikkeller Black Hole:

Soundgarden: Black Hole Sun (YouTube)
From the 1994 album Superunknown, Black Hole Sun is commercially the most  successful song of Soundgarden. Like the beer, the song is versatile starting with a slow intro and building through Chris Cornell’s screechy vocals and Kim Thayil’s guitar riffs to a panic near the end. Just to come back to the beginning. Lyrics can be interpreted in many different ways. Cornell - the writer himself - has stated, that there is no real idea to get across and despite many interpretations it's a sad song. So, if the song has a meaning to you and if you feel melancholic while listening, you're probably on the right track. Anyway, a timeless grunge/alternative rock masterpiece which easily stands the comparison to Chris’ later band and solo material. And for me, works with the beer Black Hole. 

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