Arbor Ales with Sarandon

paired with

Under the sea…

When chilled, Down Deeper by Arbor Ales pours a soft sludgy brown – like melted Werther’s Originals – with just a smattering of bubbles. The brewer has spoken about the conditioning problems so there’s no real pointing getting hung-up about the appearance. Besides, I think it looks sexy in an off-kilter kind of way… strangely attractive I believe is the term that is often used. If your fridge is on the blink then your Down Deeper will pour with a crisper clarity, much like most other IPAs you encounter while idling at the bar: good-looking but nothing that makes you think you’re in line for a naughtier than usual weekend.

The nose is a kissable blend of watermelon, grapefruit and toffee apple. There’s also the throbbing scent of a freshly plucked bass guitar E string.

The taste is earth shatteringly bitter: reminiscent of the last kiss from a lover who has just left you for the next-door neighbour who’d previously told you that he wasn’t interested in women. But it’s not a cheek-sucking super-dry bitterness that subsequently sucks all moisture from your existence… it’s a crazily delicious bitterness that leaves your mouth pleasingly awash with little creeks of joy. The flavour that jumps to the head of the queue is a pick n mix of kids sweeties (Refresher chews, Wham bars, Zegazoid bars, Black Jacks and Cola Bottles) expertly mixed up with a liberal dash of gloopy marijuana oil topped-off with a dusting of whizzy-machined alpine rock garden greenery. Yum followed by more Yum! True, it isn’t really the DIPA that the brewer planned but with a little more time on the shelf it may turn out to be the Barley Wine of 2012.

Inch for inch and pound for pound, Arbor Ales’ Down Deeper is deliciously full-on drinking experience. If you like your beer bitingly bitter and dangerously close to insanity then seek some out it before it’s extinct.

A Boozer’s Dozen

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Sarandon’s Age of Reason

Sarandon’s Age of Reason (released March 2011) is the latest offering from twee-pop slayers Sarandon. Each song is linked together by a spoken word piece narrated by the world-weary but pointlessly optimistic Big Trev – I man who I believe I would very much like to sink a few bottles of Down Deeper with. Yes, the narration effectively turns Age of Reason into a concept album but don’t panic because it ain’t the type of concept album was churned out by Prog Rockers back in the 1970s… this is a concept album full of cutting and jagged and angular guitar thrusts that are all underpinned by a great pop sensibility – pop as it was meant to be and not the horrible euphoric trash that masquerades as pop these days. Crayola’s guitar work is deep and warm and inviting and has a style that I’d describe as lead-ryhthm: it’s not rhythm in the conventional sense but there are no self-indulgent solos that make you feel that the guitarist would rather be at home masturbating to picture of himself instead we’re treated to guitar work that is always purposeful and to the point but also boasts stylish flourishes that make you nod your head approvingly and raise your arms in spontaneous joy. One of the main problems I have with trios is that they tend to overwork the bass guitar but thankfully there is no chance of that happening in this band. The bass guitar is controlled by Alan Brown (of bIG fLAME fame) who, despite some very stiff competition from the aforementioned Crayola and the excellent Tom Greenhalgh on drums , is the standout musician on this album – his bass lines are big and thundering and super chunky meaty but oh so subtle and delicate… stunning sounds. I won’t delve into a song by song account as I fear my meagre words won’t do  justice to the sonic majesties contained within but suffice to say if you’re looking for a collection of songs that’ll brighten up your life and make your dance around the kitchen like you’re a retarded giraffe who thinks you’re busting the greatest moves in the history of humanity then this is the album for you. Sadly, modern trends and consumer-consumption culture means that this style of art is fast slipping from the musical spectrum… let it into your life so it doesn’t become extinct.

33 rpm

follow @arborales on Twitter

follow @CAMRGB on Twitter

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… all photography by landells except Sarandon’s Age of Reason …


~ by landells on May 26, 2012.

4 Responses to “Arbor Ales with Sarandon”

  1. Nice. Looking forward to downing deeper tonight!

    • If you can get beyond the clarity (which is fine if it isn’t too chilled) and the lack of fizz – there’s no real reason why you shouldn’t – I’m sure you’ll find it suitably tasty.

  2. […] A special thanks to Mark for drinking his #Down Deeper at about 10:30am and writing a review about it, thus proving he is the unopposed Head of the CAMRGB paramilitary […]

    • Pssst… don’t tell anyone but I actually opened my first bottle before 9am but it’s okay because I wasn’t merely drinking, I was reviewing ;o)

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