Last week, our intrepid reporter Dave Ashworth risked life and limb (well, life and liver) to bring you the latest news from the arena of branded band beers, covering Motorhead’s Bastards lager and Snaggletooth cider, Queen’s Bohemia pilsner, Ghost’s Grale ale and Marshalls Triple Craft.
Having decisively slept that one off, he returns this week with Part 2 of our feature. We drink this stuff so you don’t have to!
AC/DC – Rock or Bust blonde lager
Type: Blonde lager
Aroma: light, edge of honey
Soundtrack: AC/DC – Rock Or Bust (2015)
Good old AC/DC. Never ones to skimp on value for money, they have provided one of the very few full pints in our review selection. It’s branding itself as a blonde beer, although if we’re honest this is a lager, but given that it’s a Germany lager, not one to be lightly dismissed. The initial slight citrus edge is similar to your common or garden Kronenbourg, but after that has a bittersweet bite that reminds me of Paulaner.
The can proudly proclaims “German Beer, Australian Hard Rock”, which is a pretty apt pairing really, given both nations’ prowess in their respective fields, and both with a consistency and purity that is not easily matched. I suppose in many ways AC/DC’s “Let There Be Rock” is pretty much the 1516 Bavarian Purity Law of rock n roll, a simple commandment that says these are the basic ingredients – let there be light, drums, guitar, rock! Much like the adulteration of hops, you just don’t mess with that.
I mean the song doesn’t go light, drums, rock, arrogant prick called Axl now, does it?
KISS – Destroyer lager
Colour: dark straw
Soundtrack: KISS – Destroyer (1976)
Well now, you wouldn’t think any merchandise tie-in would be complete without a contribution from Simmons & Co now would you? And dutifully, here it is. A lager brewed in Sweden, one assumes this is made for the European market, as I can’t see why anyone would bottle a lager this bland and ship it all the way across the Atlantic to the band’s native US.
This isn’t a bad drink, I’ll certainly finish the bottle, but it’s definitely a marketing cash-in more than it is a genuine foray into the beverage market. Much like the band, it promises a lot with its garish packaging, but at the end of the day it passes this reviewer by as dumb bland American fun, which lacks any real flavour.
Although that said, after a few of these, Detroit Rock City and Shout It Out Loud are pretty decent party singles…
Motorhead – Imperial Pale Lager
Type: Strong lager
Colour: golden brown
Soundtrack: Motorhead – Aftershock (2013)
Well I must say, Motorhead are pretty well represented on this list, this being their third entry. It’s a testament I guess to the drinking habits of the late great Lemmy Kilmister and to the bands fans that the world can support that many related beverages – even if Lemmy was better known for his jack and cokes. And of those we’ve tried in this feature, I think this Imperial Pale Lager is certainly my favourite.
This brew brings to mind the Caledonian Three Hop, or perhaps Devils Backbone, from the recent crop of heavily hopped, high-flavour lagers. It falls down a bit on the aftertaste, there is something not quite right there, but that seems to go away after a few hearty swigs, so to hell with it I say, pour me another.
2015’s Aftershock is one of the greatest latter day Motorhead albums, combining its maturity with a confident and indomitable power that this 6.2% mature hoppy beast of a drink surely shares. At the end of both, you can’t help but share a wry raspy throated cackle in memoriam of the big man. RIP Ian Lemmy Kilmister, cheers.
Slayer – Red Ale
Type: Red ale
Aroma: bitter fruit
Sountrack: Slayer – Seasons In The Abyss (1990)
Naturally, any drink sanctioned by Slayer would have to be red, and whilst this isn’t quite reign-in-blood red (that honour is reserved for their wine selection), it’s certainly a very good stab at a dark red ale. The initial taste on the tongue is a flood of burnt malts, leading to a stickiness that is backed by but never outshone by the hop. The fruit in the nose isn’t really delivered in the flavour, but it rarely is in beers.
In keeping with Slayer’s heavy and uncompromising style, this is dark, heavy and near-satanic throughout. The only difference comes in speed – one really can’t knock this back at the velocity of Hanneman’s driving guitar, although this beer is dedicated to old Jeff, who was known to be fond of a drink himself.
It is about this time that I become a little peckish, and find that a milk chocolate Aero quite a fitting accompaniment, the cocoa complimenting the malts quite nicely. Also, have you have ever noticed how the end two pieces on the new style Aeros look like boobies? Seriously, take a look, they do. Real tits don’t have “Aero” stamped on them though, naturally, unless your sex life is pretty fucked up, in which case, send pictures. Heavy metal, beer, tit analogies… it’s all going rather well really!
Iron Maiden – Trooper 666
Type: Premium ale
Colour: light chestnut
Aroma: intense hop
Soundtrack: Iron Maiden – Piece Of Mind (1983)
When Maiden released their Trooper ale three years ago, brewed by Robinsons Brewery in Stockport to a recipe developed with singer and part time airline pilot Bruce Dickinson, I don’t think anyone could have predicted at the time how fantastically successful it would be, or that we’d be sitting here three years later talking about 10 million plus in sales (pints not albums). But here we are, and for better or worse the Robinsons offering is very much the benchmark that the market is measured by.
The Trooper 666 was born to celebrate this, and has been brewed as close as it’s possible to get to 6.66%, the ABV Number Of The Beast. It has a dry bitter citrus, but to my palate is most notable for its volatile malts that evaporate on the tongue, due no doubt to the elevated alcohol content and the fact I’ve just been eating chocolate.
The assertion that there were 666 men at the Charge of The Light Brigade (rather than the more usual 600) that the label suggests is perhaps a little fanciful, but I will say that with a few of these inside you, you could quite happily charge those Russian guns. You’d still come back dead though, which I suspect is a fate that might await me tomorrow morning… hic!
And that ladies and gentlemen, was how we found him, fast asleep on his keyboard next morning. Remember guys, when it comes to drinking, know your limits, don’t operate heavy machinery, and on no account drunkenly call your ex at 2am.
Most of the drinks mentioned in this article can be found online at http://www.iconbeverages.co.uk/.
It’s somewhat scary to believe that recording went under way for Motorhead’s debut release, “On Parole” almost 40 years ago, isn’t it? And Lemmy is still going and showing no signs of letting up, along with Phil and Mikkey. The 40th anniversary tour has been announced and they’re making a few stops in the UK in 2016.
Their forthcoming album, ‘Bad Magic’ is set for release on the 28th of August.
You can catch them at the following dates and venues:
23rd January: City Hall, Newcastle, UK
24th January: Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow, UK
26th January: O2 Apollo, Manchester, UK
27th January: Oasis, Swindon, UK
29th January: Eventim Apollo, London, UK
For more information and tickets, please visit imotorhead.com.