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Bootlegger’s Rustic Rye IPA & Hook

Hey there drinkers,

Off the fantastic suggestion from my brother (accompanied by an appropriately amusing reddit thread), tonight’s film is the childhood throwback Hook. And while tonight’s Bootlegger beer was initially going to be paired with another pirate-themed movie, Hook just seemed like too good of an opportunity to pass up. So let’s fly into tonight’s combo, shall we?

RUFIO! RUFIO! RUFIO! RU-FI-OOOOOOOO. Do I really need to review the rest of this movie?

Okay, fine let’s talk. I think everyone has a few formative movies from their childhood. For me, that list includes movies like Back to the Future, Hot Shots Part Deux (I know, right?!) and the 1991 Steven Spielberg Peter Pan re-imagining Hook. Not to be on-the-nose about these things (though the film is), there is something magical about Hook. It is so full of fun and imagination that it is hard to not fall in love. The make-believe feast scene is still arguably one of my favorite cinematic moments ever. You have Robin Williams (in one of his more bizarre roles) trading absurd insults with a 10 year old boy with a remarkable hairdo, followed by the flying of brightly colored mush food. It’s awesome. But seriously, there’s a lot to love about this film. Most obviously, at least as an adult, is the realization that Dustin Hoffman plays Captain Hook. Doesn’t that blow your mind? And really he’s the best part of this film. Hook is evil, funny, truthful, deceptive, paranoid, insecure and hawkish. Not to mention he desperately wants to start a war with a bunch of kids whose biggest crime is that they splatter the occasional pirate with eggs or with the aforementioned brightly colored mush food. And his sidekick Smee (Bob Hoskins) is also incredibly amusing and adds another layer of depth to Hook’s egomania.

Rain Man

And as much as I love this film, I feel like I should share a few of my complaints. For one, it’s really really long. Coming in at about 2:15 hours, the film trudges along at times. It doesn’t take long for us to realize that Robin William’s character Peter Banning is a terrible father, but it takes forever for the film to move beyond that. Also, the film takes forever to build up Banning’s transformation into Pan but the actual moment of change is shockingly fast. And no sooner does Banning become Pan than we’re suddenly at the climax of the film. As a result, it can get easy to tune out in the middle of the film as you wait for the more awesome scenes to come around. And finally, as I kind of mentioned earlier, the film is painfully on-the-nose with the Peter Pan references. While most kids probably don’t get the wordplay, the film’s dialogue is about 35% obvious foreshadowing (“Gotta fly!”), with another 10% revolving around the famous Pan line “to die would be an awfully big adventure.” As it turns out, life turns out to be a grander adventure but you get the idea. To the sophisticated (re: awake) viewer, all of the obvious referencing starts to grate on your nerves and can pull you out of the otherwise fantastic experience. But overall, these are minor gripes when you stack them against a film this is, for all intents and purposes, pure entertainment that really never gets old.

I should also mention this cast:
Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman, Bob Hoskins, Julia Roberts & Maggie Smith
And cameos by Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Carrie Fischer, Glenn Close & a very young Gwyneth Paltrow

One of the most beloved side-characters of all time. And he barely speaks!

And our Bootlegger beer? Well this Rustic Rye IPA was actually pretty tasty. I was a bit full from dinner, so drinking an entire bomber by myself proved more difficult than anticipated but I don’t blame the beer, I blame my beer-gluttony. Anyway, for those who have never tried a rye beer, I suggest you give them a shot. Just like how wheat beers are brewed with a higher percentage of wheat to barley, rye beers are brewed with a significant amount of rye. The primary result of this added ingredient is unexpected smoothness while still upholding the original, intended flavors of the beer. Since this beer was technically an IPA, the final result is a very well-balanced beer that still retains that classic IPA hoppiness. Now obviously it can’t be as hoppy as other “truer” IPA’s, but you still get the effect, which makes it a good intro to the IPA genre. As an added incentive, this Rustic Rye IPA sits comfortably at 6.5% ABV, making it easy and socially responsible to drink…more or less.

So there you have it folks, an evening with everyone’s favorite bootlegging pirate, Captain Hook and his favorite bootlegged liquor: beer. Actually, I think pirates are more into rum but just work with me here, okay? Anyway, the movie is still a classic and is tons of fun even when you’re all grown up. And since you’re a grown up, why not reminisce about your childhood with a solid, smooth rye IPA? I can’t think of a good reason why not, so better get to it. Time is running out. Tick tock tick tock.

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
Bootlegger’s Rustic Rye IPA:
-Golden orange color with modest head
-Aroma of hops, caramel & rye
-Remarkably smooth and well-balanced

-Beautifully and lovingly imaginative
-A bit long & bloated


Filed under Review

Samuel Adams’ Dark Depths & Sphere

Evening, Drinkers!

In continuing with our theme of underwater movies that feature Samuel L. Jackson, we’re watching Sphere in the dark company of Sam Adams’ Dark Depths Baltic IPA. So grab your swimming gear and let’s dive in.

In 1998, the underwater psychological sci-fi mystery horror thrill known as Sphere came onto the scene. Based on a Michael Crichton novel, Sphere is the story of a group of scientists who investigate a mysterious spacecraft 1000 feet beneath the water. Not to spoil anything, but they find a giant sphere and mayhem ensues. And though we come to understand that the sphere causes people’s dreams to manifest in reality, the film is really more of a study in stress and paranoia. While the characters do manage to dream up some scary encounters with giant squid, jellyfish and some weird “nocturnal” sea snakes, these are not the real moments of drama. Rather, the moments when the characters start to accuse each other of lies, betrayal and confusion are the film’s strongest. Part of this might be due to the fact that the film has a more acting driven cast, as compared to a more action-themed cast. Leading the film you have Dustin Hoffman who, from time to time, actually is a fantastic actor. Obviously, Sphere is not one of finest moments but he does lend some legitimacy to our connection to the characters and their predicament.

Well this doesn’t seem to explain much at all…

Where the film falls flat is that leaves you feeling bizarrely unsatisfied. For the most part, all of the major questions are answered but something seemed terribly amiss to me when the credits began to roll. Some of the major questions regarding Samuel L. Jackson’s character are left unanswered; and for a film about a sunken spaceship, very little time is actually spent discussing said spaceship. It seemed to me that no one in the film was asking the big, glaring questions any normal person would. But I guess if you’re under the influence of an interstellar golden-swirly ball 1000 feet under the ocean, we can cut you some slack. This film is by no means great. It’s long and slow but it is a nice change of pace when it comes to sci-fi movies. Aside from the really annoying interstitial titles that felt like commercial breaks, most of my gripes with this film stem from lack in satisfaction with the answers provided. But I guess if we were to ever encounter an alien entity or an unknown spacecraft, I doubt all of our questions would be answered to our liking.

Now let’s go see Prometheus!

Creeper face.

And how was my descent into the Dark Depths? Well, like Sphere, it was an odd experience that left me with some questions. From my understanding, Baltic IPAs (BeerAdvocate labels this beer as a Baltic Porter) were born many years ago from shipping porters long distance by sea. The long travel time altered the nose and flavor of the original beer and inspired this style of beer. With that, I guess it explains the Dark Depths unusual flavor. It pours very dark with a chocolatey head that is reminiscent of a stout or porter. When you first taste it, you get hit with that rich maltiness of a porter. However, as the taste finishes on the back of your tongue, you get that hint of bitterness that you could identify as IPA-ish. It’s faint, but it’s definitely there. The whole experience is quite smooth and the 7.6% ABV doesn’t hurt either. And though the beer taste pretty good, I felt like the two aspects of the beer, the porter and the IPA, weren’t meshing as well as they should. It was good, but maybe I thought it should be better or more special than it actually was. But fortunately for me, Sam Adams makes about 239048 other fantastic beers, so I’ll be seeing them again soon.

So let’s come back up to the surface here and just review our thoughts here. Sphere was an interesting yet ultimately unsatisfying movie experience. The premise is interesting and the character interactions are pretty strong, but a lot of key questions are left unanswered. For Sam Adams’ Dark Depths, I was also left a bit confused by the combination of the malty smoothness of a porter with a fruity, bitterness of an IPA. It wasn’t a bad beer but I was left a bit perplexed.

And for those who are counting, our next BAAM review will be our 50th! Crazy! And it’s been pretty much a year since I started this thing too! Wild! Exclamation! And while I’m not sure if I’ll be a doing a big celebration for the big 5-0, I will try my best to make the review something special. And I’ll be thanking you all profusely. Sorry in advance.

Thanks for reading and, as always, keep drinking my friends!

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
Samuel Adams’ Dark Depths:
-Deep, dark color
-Mostly porter with hints of IPA in the finish
-Good beer but not a great beer

-Claustrophobic sci-fi underwater nightmare mystery thriller starring Dustin Hoffman…
-Intriguing yet unsatisfying answers & conclusion.
-Surprisingly lack of sphere in Sphere.

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Filed under Review