Heavy Hangover | Mysticum – The Cosmic Variant
Crypt of Beer
I know it has been a long-lasting absence. Once again, I found myself on hiatus amidst my writings and tastings. Stoked on a number of classic rock releases my Food & Beverages content took the hit as I raised my fists to celebrate rock in this fruitful beginning of 2023. The brawls around the globe continuing, I can’t do anything else but frown on mankind, frown on those in charge. Was life only as simple as it is for us metallians. Rock, celebrate and hang out amongst friends and enemies with only a couple of things in common: our music, as varied as it stands our beers, that unite us as friends. Basically, we are living proof of the Burgundy way of life with our fists raised to rock and metal.
Melding on those pillars are Norwegian industrial black metal pioneers Mysticum, redefining genres by industrializing brutal metal. Since their debuting demo in 1993, 3 decades gone past with the band embracing diversity and maturation, while enhancing their brutal tones with the clinical marching beat droning like shockwaves sent across the spheres. Mysticum are among the harshest of this genre and illuminate Dr. Best’s dynamic ponder with the saturated vocal caprioles from vocalist Prime Evil who simultaneously injects the highest squealing pitches from his guitars together with counterpart Cerastes. This swirling potion orbits on their full-length debut `In the Streams of Inferno’, the journey that continued on `Planet Satan’. The convulsion injected vocal contractions eluding in mosh pits around the globe, being fired up by onstage depletion of the mystic becoming cosmic.
In collaboration with Belgian Bryggja craftbeer Brewery situated in Bruges, the Norwegian band cooked up an interplanetary potion full of deeply rooted historic mystique for which both, brewery and band, are infamously known.
MYSTICUM – Cosmic Ale
Belgian Pale Ale
4.7 % ABV
The beer is publicly announced by the band stating it to be a “Crypt of Beer”, emphasizing as a new Bryggja Brewery in-house brand instead of a gimmick. It presses on the current stream of releases by band’s mainly labelling a beer rather than indulging in the creation or in hand collaboration with a craftbeer brewery.
Cosmic Ale is the first of two received from our friends at Johnny Liquor and comes in the typical Belgian ‘round belly’ bottle of 33cl, capped black. Dominated by the band’s rising phoenix carrying a pentagram with the band’s band logo atop, the label is golden with black, designed by Daniele Valeriani.
‘Belgian Beer – Norwegian Cult’ in small printing alludes and the side of the label features contents and expiration information. Mirrored on the label’s left is a short story of Mysticum and brewery’s collab, on the top displaying the flags of Belgium and Norway, adding to the intensity of presentation and their collaboration spreading. ‘Brewed with the deepest passion and in the great spirit of Mysticum’ also conveys their message. Neatly done, and the presentation is similar to that of their second brew Cosmic Tripel.
Poured, the Belgian Pale Ale is crisp, golden and slightly (minimal) hazy upon emptying the bottle’s sediment. I love the beer’s heavy foamy head, benchmark for Bryggja’s fine craft. There’s an earthy aroma with some wheat and bread presence amidst the swirl of citrus, lemon grass and mild herbs and spices. The balance is well blended and finds empowerment in its taste where the yeasty top notes are balanced on a palate of dry citrus with malts and herbs mixing for great flavor. In this mix its citrus notes find counter reference in a sweeter orange and peachy touch enhancing the bittersweet amidst its nice spices.
There’s a remote slightly acidic note, not uncommon for a Pale Ale, finding refuge in the lasting dry finish, being medium carbonated.
It is not a shocking Pale Ale, but certainly one that is extremely enjoyable and easy to slam, making for perfect companionship at a summer festival or at a Mysticum concert (if they ever come). The beer displays the craft of Bryggja with their typical earthy, ancient approach to the craft of brewing. There’s a genuine ooze to the taste that works well with the dark and ominous presence of Mysticum conveyed in their lyrics and music. Not the caverns of hell we might expect from this band, but rather a sky portal opened to a universe beyond our reach. There we hang raising glasses amongst the stars.
MYSTICUM – Cosmic Tripel
9.99 % ABV
Where we went all cosmic on the tasting of Mystericum’s Pal Ale, we descend to low ground for the wonder of Belgian Tripel beers. The craft the Netherworld Europeans have crystalized to the max, in its widest range of variety. Belgian Tripel beers are beyond the best thing in artisanal beer tasting and range in its ABV as in taste. This variety is exquisite with herbal and spiced variants that are enticing and rooted in the depths of mother Earth, as where the sweeter styles are like sunlight waltzing in your glass on a sunbathing terrace in springtime.
Mysticum’s Cosmic Tripel we find at the intersection of both dominant styles, hence why I refer to descend to the low grounds of Belgian beer styles. The beer’s presentation is on par with its Cosmic Ale counterpart with only minimal changes in color of presentation. The bottom bar is brown-ish as is the beer’s name below the Phoenix and pentagram. Nicely incorporated in the art and uniformly presentation. Upon pour the beer displays its difference with a hazier shade of golden, towards orange/copper. Little faint lacing against the sun. Medium head, nice, not to firm. Inviting is its nose of mid-sweet aromas and nutty-scent yeasty body. Not too sweet, but revealing apricot and orange zest. Not too dominant. Very subtle.
Much like its aroma the beer blends fruity notes with a yeasty warming body consisting of (remote) syrup and almond atop hoppy toning. It’s the top notes however that make Cosmic Tripel a standout tasting experience. There’s a welling wave of citrus zest and apricot with banana and ripe fruit such as raisin that start to swirl. It blends well with the hop aroma present in the body balancing the bready yeast and boozy alcohol from its 9.99 ABV percentage, a neat numeral play to the upside down 666 which aligns well with the band’s dark appearance.
So yes, alcohol is very present, but subdued by the beer’s rich aroma and taste. It makes for disaster in the sun…. This is not a beer that you can slam down… well, you can, but you will most certainly pay the price! The beer is very tasty masking its heavy alcoholic body well. Be careful…
Both beers go well with my side dish of dry French saucisson pur porc, saucisson with curry spices and the black and green olives in salted oil. The latter preferable the black olives while the oil is enriched with herbs and garlic as well as dry cheese (Greek feta). Especially the Cosmic Tripel gels very well with my platter of snacks. Almost as a match made in heaven. Other great pairings are with Port Salut cheese or cheesecake(Yes it does!), or with asparagus off the field. Its sweeter top also makes for companionship with dessert, like vanilla ice cream and thin pancakes, with molasses or syrup (possibly with a bit of beer or ale added to the syrup).
Given the wide variety of components in the top notes of a Belgian Tripel, you can very easily experiment. Pizza with Salmon was one of my less expected experiments that fully made the tasting experience bloom.
For the Cosmic Ale I found to go well with the curry spiced dried French sausage, which is commonly known of dishes and spices from the orient to go extremely well with the Pale Ale. This inherent to history as Pale Ales originated from England for their overseas troops and countrymen with the hops added for the beer’s longevity. There’s a historic bridge to the both and it finds solace in spicier dishes and flavored (grilled) meats. I would advise to try it with Indian cuisine or at a BBQ, but also for those who are more explorational; with garlic and rosemary seasoned chicken dishes of with aioli dip to accompany your fried chicken.
TEMPERATURE of SERVING
I recently got prompted some questions in regards to drinking temperatures of a beer. Though it isn’t higher science, it is commonly known that Ales and Pilseners are best served up at a lower temperature. You can even chill them back to around zero, though I personally won’t, as it degrades its taste.
I usually take the ABV percentage of the beer and hold that as (somewhat) the serving temperature of it. Lightly chilled back if it has to fuse with a warm dish, to extend table time of the beer presented. With stews I serve up the beers at room a slightly higher temperature to release more of its scent and taste and make it go down with the stew more fluently. You can add a pour of the beer (to taste) to your stew while cooking. The beer’s ingredients, especially with a bock or dark ale, will interlace with the meat in a subtle sweet way with the alcohol vaporizing.
And like with the dishes, it all boils down to your personal taste.
You can purchase ‘Cosmic Ale’ via Johnny Liquor HERE
Or the heavier ‘Cosmic Tripel’, right HERE