Thursday, April 14, 2011

Dead Snow and Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout (First Post)

Welcome to my blog.  If you’re here you share the same passion about these hobbies that I do.  I do take requests for reviews of beer and movies.  I hope you all get inspired and have your own drunken zombie movie nights.  First a little about myself.

The night I turned 21 I set out on a journey or sorts.  I stood at the bar looking over a spread of taps all offering beverages I’ve never heard of except by their general term, “beer”.  There were so many options and possibilities it was hard to choose.  So I did what any new beer drinker would do…I chose based on the name.  The Rusty Griswold was to be my first legal drink.  It was ironically named after the son from the National Lampoon’s film who when sharing his first beer with his father drinks the entire thing.  I hope I didn’t ruin the movie for anyone.  The beer may have been a fizzy pilsner but it wasn’t a bad one by the style’s standards.  It just didn’t make sense to me to drink one mass produced beer when there were so many thousands beers in dozens of styles.  Within a year I decided to brew my own beer.  The hobby soon became an addiction.  At home I found the that I could blend science and art to create something unique and wonderful.

That was around the same I discovered my love for zombie movies.  I had heard of zombies before.  Zombies were a goofy Halloween joke.  Zack Snyder in 2004 changed all that.  The remake of Dawn of the Dead was the first movie to truly scare me.  It was the movie that left me sleepless as an adult and had me question my plans for the future.  If zombies were real then what was the point of saving money or going on a diet.  They symbolized the end.  I began to amass a collection of every zombie movie I could find.  The result was a melding of melding of hobbies that borders on obsession.  I need to drink every beer brewed and watch every zombie movie filmed.  Here is where I share those things with you.

Night one of my blog begins with a plan.  Four friends are going to sit down and watch Dead Snow with a couple 22 oz bombers of some fine Imperial Stout.  Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout weighs in at a hefty 9,2% abv (don't believe the above lable).  And with snow still on the ground here in Alaska it’s still a welcome warmer.  The movie is blue ray and boasted as the finest Norwegian zombie film of all time (pun intended).  I crack open the first bottle and pour it into my Great Divide tulip glass (a souvenir from last year’s Telluride Blues and Brews festival).  It’s dark but not opaque and thick but not too viscous.  It foamed in the glass with a grey brown fizzle that shook me with excitement.  I had been almost 18 months since I saw my last bottle of this beautiful beverage.  The wait has made this moment even more exciting.

The playful banter of med school students on a skiing spring break vacation at some secluded cabin draws me in.  The all too familiar foreshadowing of no cell phone signal, and creepy World War 2 horror stories starts this movie in the common teeny horror movie fashion.  The movie progresses at the speed of smell with the only eye lifting moment being the outhouse sex scene.  That was a first.  I take my first sip of the sweet black liquid.  It’s more carbonated than I expected for a high alcohol stout.  The coffee flavor is strong but not overly astringent like some coffee stouts are.  It’s much more drinkable than I expected from this big of a beer.  There is a definite roasted character, deep and chocolaty with loads of malt.  It’s a big stout that doesn’t fill like an imperial stout.  I think that’s good.  It makes it easy to put away 2 bombers before half of the characters are killed off.

These Nazi Zombies are not my type of zombies.  They are fast and calculated instead of my preferred slow and thoughtless ones.  The zombies don’t eat flesh and at one point the leader actually calls other zombies to rise from the earth.  The frustration I felt at the director for breaking the zombie mold was held at bay by the extreme gore and surprisingly good special effects.   In this movie a girl is pulled into an outhouse but manages to climb out covered in poop.  There were a lot of firsts in this film.

There were numerous nods to zombie movies of the past.  The Brain Dead t shirt being the most obvious, the Evil Dead cut your own hand off with a chainsaw reference being my favorite.  In the end if you’re looking for Dawn of the Dead you will be disappointed but if you’re in the mood for a movie in the style of Black Sheep (not the Chris Farley one), well then you might like this one. 

The Beer:
Aroma – 7/10
Appearance – 4/5
Taste – 8/10
Palate – 3/5
Overall – 15/20
Total = 37/50 gives it a score of 96 overall and 95 in style.  After this tasting I give it a 90.  This is a great beer and for $4 a bomber I’ll fill my fridge guilt free.  But it’s not in my desert island cooler.

The Movie:
Production – 4/5
Plot – 3.5/5
Gore – 4.5/5
Zombies – 3/5
Overall – 4/5 gave this movie a 67 on the tomatometer but I would put it at an 85.  Respectable.

Best Scene:  My favorite scene was when the one fat colege kid gets too close to a window (rookie mistake).  He is grabbed by the head, a few seconds of struggling....BOOM....head ripped apart.  The scene was complete with brains falling out onto the floor.

Worste Scene:  One guy who had set off by himself to find his missing girlfriend found himself having to perform first aid on himself for wounds inflicted by zombies.  Watching him do self stiching with a fish hook while blood squirts out everywhere is turning my stomach just typing it.

It was a great night and i would recommend both the beer and the movie to you!


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