Thursday, March 8, 2012

REC and Great Divide's Espresso Oak Aged Yeti!!!

This is the Blair Witch of zombie movies.  The real one.  The best one.  I had heard rumblings about this Spanish film that was lighting fires in horror movie and indie film festivals.  I had to wait an incredibly long time before I could find a Region 1 format dvd.  In fact it took me so long to find it that I had already seen Quarantine in the theater before I found it!  So I was kind of working backwards so to speak.  I’m pairing this awesome movie with an equally awesome beer…Great Divide’s Espresso Oak Aged Yeti!!!!  This is the beer that keeps me up at night.  I worry that I’ll miss its seasonal release or that maybe Great Divide will be overwhelmed by high demands and won’t be able to get any!!  It’s terrifying… the movie!  Okay not like the movie but it’s still pretty scary.  Just to be sure I would get my fair share I bought every bottle my local beer store had.  No joke.  I made it rain.
It’s hard for me to talk about this movie without talking about Quarantine.  It’s hard not to compare the two films and all of their uniqueness or un-uniqueness.  But I will try.  You’ll have to wait for the Quarantine review for their subsequent comparison.  After searching through my own blog I’ve discovered that I have yet to review any of the Great Divide beers!!!  This is something I sincerely apologize about.  Espresso Oak Aged Yeti is one of five Yeti beers.  There’s Yeti the original Russian Imperial Stout, Belgian Style Yeti, Oak Aged Yeti, Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti, and then the mother of them all Espresso Oak Aged Yeti.  Not quite as expansive as the Southern Tier Russian Imperial Stout selection but I think Yeti is of even higher quality.  Great Divide prides itself of full flavored ales such as;

Fresh Hop Pale Ale
Scotch Ale
Farmhouse Ale
Belgian Golden
Double IPA
Baltic Porter
Wood Aged Double IPA
Oaked IPA
English Old Ale
And a wonderful Rye Lager

That’s a pretty wide selection of styles.  It’s something I really appreciate in a brewery.  It’s substantially more expensive for breweries to use different yeasts instead of recycling the same strain over and over on all its different beers.  I appreciate them going the extra mile.  Before I even get the DVD into the player I’ve got my glass ready and I’m pouring the beer.  It’s hard for me to express how beautiful it is.  It’s one of the blackest beers I’ve ever seen (second only to Black Albert).  It’s thick, opaque, and viscous with a dark mud brown head.  The head itself is darker than some stouts I’ve seen.  It’s full of dark roasted malt, French roast coffee, and bitter chocolate.  The aroma is delightful.  I can say delightful and still be “Jack Bauer” manly with this beer in my hand.  You can pretty much do anything while drinking this beer and still be lumberjack manly.  The flavor matches the aroma.  It’s thick and deep with so much malt that I’m a little overwhelmed.  Tons of bitter coffee mix with the high alcohol heat to give the perfect blend of flavors.  The oak mutes it all and brings it all together with the slightest hints of vanilla.  It has low carbonation and a sweet finish that lingers.  This beer is meant to be sipped and savored.  If you see it then buy all you can find.  It’s worth it.
The movie is frightening.  The idea is that a news crew is following their local fire department out on a routine call to an apartment when all hell breaks loose!  Soon they find themselves trapped with feral possessed people as the building is quarantined.  The first person camera work makes this movie feel real without making you sick like Blair Witch.  Because it’s a news team also means that there is a professional camera so there’s no cutting corners with special effects.  The characters are instantly believable and relatable.  Even though you’re reading subtitles!  It’s one of those movies that after the first couple of minutes you forget your reading.
It’s such an original spin on an old genre.  Everywhere the characters turn there is danger.  The movie keeps your heart pounding the entire time.  I’m going to go ahead and give some spoilers so if you haven’t seen this movie you should shield your eyes.  If you’re like me and was watching this movie with the sound way up then when the firefighter got thrown down the stairs you screamed like an eight year old girl.  That shit made me jump!  The coordination to make all of these effects work without cutting from scene to scene and using multiple cameras must have been incredible.  My favorite scene in the movie was only a quick flash when the firefighter used his sledgehammer to explode a demon’s (possessed person’s) face.  He slammed down and blood exploded all over the wall.  AWESOME!
I know I said I wouldn’t do this but a few comparisons have to be made with Quarantine.  First off, REC is way better.  The acting is more believable (there’s considerably less screaming from the lead actress).  And REC is more gory than the toned down Quarantine.  It’s not Dead Alive gory but it’s a classy gory like Pontypool.  Just watch this movie.  It’s a 5dead hand award winner.  This is one for the collection.

The Beer:
Aroma – 12/12
Appearance – 3/3
Taste – 20/20
Palate – 5/5 
   Overall – 10/10
Total = 50/50

The Movie:
Production – 5/5
Plot – 5/5
Gore – 5/5
 Zombies – 5/5
  Overall – 5/5


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