Hey, what do ya know, it’s that time of the week again. Aren’t we all excited? Now, I don’t want to say we all only live for the weekends, because that would imply almost 75% of our lives are spent waiting — which just sounds super depressing. But the reality is, for us jabronis in office jobs, the weekends are cherished. Looking beyond that, fun fact: I also felt kinda shitty this week, despite my regular intake of alcohol (because of?). For that reason, this weekend couldn’t come soon enough. I like infecting my office as much as the next person, but it’s just easier to waste away in peace. And it’s for this reason that I turned to two of my most reliable sources of enjoyment for this edition of Receiving the Evcharist. The Metal: Enslaved’s RIITIIR. The Booze: Knob Creek, Rye Whiskey.
There are few — very few — albums that have stuck with me as well as Enslaved’s RIITIIR. I remember back to the first time I heard “Thoughts Like Hammers”, with its unbelievably captivating chorus followed immediately by “Death In The Eyes Of Dawn”, which is one of the ten best metal songs of the past decade. I absolutely lost my mind. Over the course of these eight lengthy tracks, there is not a single weak moment. The diversity Enslaved shows through their atmospheric/cosmic viking metal tendencies on this album is incredibly cohesive. I would, with confidence, make the claim that this is the best album Enslaved has released in their extensive career… by a distance. For a band that has quite literally done everything, this is the one to hold above the rest. The songs are just as impressive live, as I’ve seen them live twice since this album dropped. Yet, somehow, I’ve only managed to see this title-track and the aforementioned “Death In The Eyes Of Dawn” in those settings. No matter. From “Veilburner” to the heavier “Roots Of The Mountain” to the melodic and thought-provoking “Storm Of Memories”, the tracks on RIITIIR just do something special. Something different. I will always hold this album among the most important in my collection. And in a week where I felt like garbage, coupled with my favorite rye on the market, I had to make the associated album count. Now let’s talk about booze.
The Booze: Knob Creek, Straight Rye Whiskey
This is it folks. This is the official drink of the Literati Overlord. This is what I turn to consistently… and often. Knob Creek Rye, double pour, neat. Is it the best rye on the market? Of course not. Michter’s, for example, could be an arguably better flavor overall and just as easily attainable — and I probably drink just as much of it, hence its mention here. But there’s something about the Knob that just comforts me. For one, it’s got booze. Duh. At 100 proof, you can feel it and taste it enough, but not overwhelmingly so. It’s wonderfully warming in all the right ways. But it’s also very affordable. A 750 is a slim 32 bucks in this neck of the woods, which is amazing. But I guess the suggested retail is closer to 40. Whatever, still reasonable. The taste is a tremendous balance of malt and spice, making it surprisingly smooth without losing out on those definitive rye flavors. When you take a sip, you smell all the complexities to this rye as much as you taste it, which does wonders to the experience overall. My understanding is that this drink is aged up to nine years, which explains the complexities behind the taste and nose. I can’t tell you the exact makeup of the grains, nor would I be able to explain what they do or don’t do to the flavor. I’m not that good at this. I just like the stuff. But when it comes to a freaking delicious rye pour, or really any kind of pour, I turn to nothing else as consistently. My favorite drink. An amazing album. Nothing but a good situation can be the end result.
If you’re consuming these together like I told you to, you’ll probably realize how well the album relates to the Knob Creek. Aggressive… yet smooth (phrasing). I mentioned how cohesive RIITIIR is and how long I’ve appreciated how consistent it is in terms of quality without sacrificing creativity. The same can be said for Knob Creek, which is a brand that delivers one impressive whiskey after another. But my favorite is, without a shadow of a doubt, the one above. Robust and addicting, on both fronts, I invite you all to get weird with me once again. Happy Friday the 13th.
“Ein Bier… bitte.”