This blog post is intended for readers 21 and older.
By Rob McFee
This Week's Pairing:
"Identity Crisis"- Written by Brad Meltzer- Art by Rags Morales- Inks by Michael Bair- Published by DC Comics, February 2016
Three Philosophers- Quadrupel (Quad)- 9.7% Alcohol by Volume (ABV)- Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown, NY USA
Every decade or so you come across something that redefines its genre. Two such things are DC Comics' "Identity Crisis" and Brewery Ommegang's Three Philosophers. I caution the imbiber who partakes in this pairing; it will change you. To quote the Greek philosopher Heraclitus-
"No man ever steps into the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man."
Our pairing begins with the first few pages of this comic, which are reminiscent of the first droplets of rain before a storm, innocent and almost unnoticeable, but in reality they are the preamble to a raging tempest that will consume all in its path, and whatever is lucky enough to survive will be changed forever.
Brewery Ommegang's Three Philosophers much like it's pairing partner, begins innocently enough, at first pour you are greeted with a rich cherry chestnut, almost amber in color Belgian style dark ale; it is opaque but not cloudy topped by a smooth, tan head. The flavors and aromas of roasted malt, molasses, brown sugar, dark fruits, brandied raisins and chocolate, will enchant your nose and your palate, but that is where its innocence ends; something more awaits the imbiber. A mystery perhaps?
The Justice League, revered by the common man as their protectors and symbols of hope, find themselves in a place where hope is in short supply and protecting those they love, will prove more difficult than ever. New York Times best-selling author Brad Meltzer and artist Rags Morales deliver an all-too-human look into the lives of superheroes. When the spouse of a Justice League member is brutally murdered, the entire superhero community searches for the killer, fearing their own loved ones may be the next targets! But before the mystery is fully solved, a number of long-buried secrets rise to the surface, threatening to tear apart and divide the heroes before they can bring the mysterious killer to justice.
"Three Philosophers was made for contemplation." Brewery Ommegang's slogan for their "quad" can also be applied to "Identity Crisis" as well. Both of these creations require your undivided attention. Rag Morales' art commits to every panel, a level of emotion that pulls at your heart; where as Three Philosophers commits to your palate a unique blend of a Belgian-style dark ale and Liefmans Kriek, an authentic cherry ale from Belgium. The 9.7% ABV of the quadrupel will not lessen the sting of raw emotion that permeates this comic, but it will soften the knot in your throat, and allow you to turn the next page. Three Philosophers notable sweetness balances well against the dark tragedy that is "Identity Crisis". This pairing will bring you to a place where heartache, deception, and misfortune are just a page turn away; few may choose to take this journey, but those who do, will be glad they did.