Monday, 16 July 2012

Movie Madness Part 1 - Salamander Stardust Stout

I didn't get the connection at first while trying to decide if I liked the latest stout offering by the Salamander Brewing Co. Why stardust? Turns out its a film, more of which I will elaborate later.

Stardust Stout is a well made, well balanced deep rich flavorsome brew that drinks a little under its 4.5% ABV but haven't we seen this before from so many other breweries? Maybe I'm getting jaded, stout in summer is after all a little bit of a failed concept from the outset, pale and well hopped sunshine pales seem more in order but I am a die hard stout/porter fan and the lack of sunshine this year hasn't kicked my pale ale butt into gear yet.

Salamander have always been an enigma, strange names and otherworldy flavours making a heady combination attracting a variety of drinkers to sample their wares. Startdust Stout doesn't fit their norm flavor-wise, quite ordinary in comparison to something like Squonk and I am left pondering the movie connection with this other Stardust [DVD] starring Michelle Pfeiffer, maybe the brewer is a fan.
An adaptation of the Neil Gaiman novel of the same name, Stardust brings a strong cast together for an enjoyable family feast, with plenty to enjoy.
Stardust mixes in romance and adventure, all in a fantasy movie guise, as it follows Tristan on his quest to retrieve a fallen star for the beautiful Victoria. Only it soon becomes clear that there’s a lot more going on as Tristan makes his journey (not least a companion more diverting than the aforementioned Victoria). Michelle Pfeiffer, for instance, returns to high profile movie making (after quite a break) in the role of the evil witch, while there’s space too for Robert De Niro’s pirate and an odd cameo from Ricky Gervais.
Seemingly one of a wealth of family films that made it out of the blocks off the success of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Stardust doesn’t quite hit those heights, but it has quite a sporting go. It’s an uneven tale, albeit one told with enough passion and enthusiasm to encourage you to cut it some slack. And when it gets to the end of the last reel, it’s hard to feel shortchanged by what you’ve just seen.

What does Stardust taste like? Deeply Sweet and enticing on first sip changing to a more serious bitter dry taste as it goes down the glass and the roasted malts play their part. An oaty finish with a hint of golden syrup at the back.

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