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I’m not well-versed with this brewery’s output. I’ve had a pale of theirs which didn’t really grab me, and this is in the same category. It’s an English-style bitter which quite faithfully replicates the style - hop driven but not overbearing, fairly middling head, English malts on the back of the tongue, and no obvious faults. As you can tell, though, it didn’t set my world on fire. I must admit I’m more partial to special bitters where everything is just a bit more…elevated. Maybe it’s my inner unacknowledged hipster, I don’t know. I do know that this wasn’t my cup of tea - all the while I was drinking it I was thinking “I’d rather be in a shitty pub somewhere in England drinking the local bitter at room temperature”. It wasn’t bad at all, just not particularly interesting.
Once again, I didn’t do so well in matching the beer to the album. This album, a reissue of the 1985 original, is from one of Italy’s most mysterious doom bands, Black Hole. Weird, obscure and a little difficult to get into at first, it’s one of those albums that takes a few spins to really comprehend. As with most Italian doom bands, they had a handle on the camp horror aesthetic but in a much more melodic and proggy way - rambling, atmospheric pieces with strange ethereal vocals and a subdued tone that at first seems a bit pedestrian but, like subliminal messaging, eventually gets stuck menacingly in your head for eternity. And like a lot of great 80s bands, they vanished into obscurity after this album (and I’m not counting the “album” that was recorded three years later but not released until 2000. There’s a good reason why certain releases should not see the light of day).