Monday, October 29, 2012

Zombie Apocalypse and Dogfish Head's Nobel Rot

 So I’m trapped in Yorktown, Virginia for a week long class I’m taking.  So in addition to catching up on some school work, I’m also catching up on some zombie movie watching.  I’m giving this particular movie its second chance.  I watched fifteen minutes of it on Netflix but the quality was lacking and I just couldn’t muscle through it.  But this time I can.  This time I have a secret weapon.  I have Dogfish Head’s Nobel Rot!!!  This is supposed to be a wild blend of beer and wine.  Now while I am fairly well read with beer art and science but I am a simpleton in the world of wine.  So I am going to limit my description of the beer to what the Dogfish Head website says and what my taste buds tell me.
The film is much better on DVD than on Netflix.  The black colors are blacker and everything is sharper.  Maybe it’s just my computer.  I have no idea.  Another reason for watching the DVD instead of streaming is the intro comic inside the DVD case.  I found it after I watched the movie and while unnecessary, it’s helpful in really understanding the movie.  There’s a certain raw badassness that reminds me of Ninjas vs. Zombies or Dead Moon Rising with better picture and audio quality.  It’s not Shawn of the Dead….but few things are.  The movie centers around an ex US Special Agent Dwight Miller (some sort of super dude position) who falls in love and marries a government scientist that is developing the ultimate biological weapon…ZOMBIES!!!!  His understudy, a powerful and quick agent codenamed “Net” turned the couple in for their prohibited relationship.  She was moved and he was on the run…until….Net lets the zombies out to kill Miller.  Miller escapes but so do the zombies.  What happens next is the end of the world.
I pull out the giant 750ml bottle and uncap it.  I have my special Belgian tulip glass just for beers like this. says that the beer is a Saison base with viognier grape must added.  The must (unfermented juice) has been infected with a fungus called botrytis.  This is supposed to reduce water content and magnify sweetness and complexity (as well as alcohol potential…POW!!!).  As if that’s not enough pinot gris grapes are added.  And not any pinot gris grapes these are special dropped fruit grapes.  As an expert (I watched the movie and read the book “A Good Year”) I can tell you that some of the grapes are clipped so that more juice and nutrients can get to the remaining grapes.  The result is a 9%abv 18IBU beer that just aches to be drunk.  Once again Dogfish Head does something creative and inspiring.  But, how does it taste?
It pours a effervescent crystal clear deep gold.  It reminds me of Duvell without that signature marshmallow mouse head.  Immediately I can smell the grapes.  There’s a tart and musty aroma with earthy and wine like finish.  I actually think I’m smelling a wine.  I can sense a bit of that Belgian yeast character but I actually wish there was a little more.  I am a little worried because I see a similar body and color to the Festina Peche, one of my least favorite beers ever.  If this has as much tart as that beer it will be a big and expensive drain pour.  First sip…..AWESOME!  It’s got a big white wine punch up front and it fades to a tart twist of grapes and tannic bitterness.  Its light bodied and pretty highly carbonated.  It dances on your tongue and leaves you with a smack.  You could feed this beer to your snobby wine friends that look down there nose at you and look them right in the eye as they shake in fear and nod with respect.  You will know you’ve won.  And life is all about winning.
Back to the movie.  Acting seemed to take a vacation for parts of this film.  To say that some of the acting was forced is like saying that Glen Beck isn’t particularly fond of liberals.  But actually works.  There is some cool camera work (think the getting ready for work montage in Shawn of the Dead).  And the resident badass, Miller, has a better tough guy voice then Christian Bale and Rorschach.  Some of the special effects were pretty terrible, like the several times where machetes are obviously being pinned between the zombie’s stomach and arm.  Or punches that are thrown way in front of people and zombies.  But despite some bad special effects and some spotty acting there are still several compelling parts of the movie and in the end it’s just plain fun.  The movie is part of this “kick ass and have fun” era of budget zombie movies that is still churning out new and interesting films every year.  Do you need to see this movie…NO.  Should you see this movie…..yea I guess….if you want…..shit I don’t care.   Was it good?  Yea?  I think so?  I think I’ll have to leave this post with more question marks????????

The Beer:
Aroma – 11/12
Appearance – 3/3
Taste – 18/20
Palate – 4/5 
   Overall – 9/10
Total = 45/50

The Movie:
Production – 3/5
Plot – 3/5
Gore –3/5
 Zombies – 3/5
  Overall – 3/5


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