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Day #130 – Dogfish Head!!!

May 11, 2011

Well I’ve made it to Day 130. It’s a rainy gloomy day but I decided to do something special today. I get REPEATED requests to feature more Dogfish Head beer on my site all the time, but as I have mentioned several times before their beer has become increasingly difficult to come by. The success of their show “Brewmasters” catapulted them into a new mainstream beer market in which the demand was far greater than their production levels. Since then, I have only seen a few DFH bottles available locally and a few more options on tap. They even pulled their distribution model out of 4 states and several countries to match demand in their other markets. Texas was lucky not to be on the chopping block, but we did lose access to some of their more limited offerings.

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Well I received a text from a friend of mine today while at work alerting me to a lovely opportunity to grab some rare Dogfish Head beer. The only problem was, it’s being held at the Meddlesome Moth. You may recall this location from one of my previous posts found HERE. I was very impressed by them the last time I went and feel it’s worth it to head on out there again. They are tapping 5 different beers all brewed in 2007. 2 of these beers I have never had before and am excited to try. So for all you Dogfish Head fans, here’s a 5 for 1!

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Dogfish Head Red and White

2007 Batch.

The Red & White is actually a blend of two separate fermented drinks. It starts as a Belgian wit and is blended with Pinot Joir wine juice. It then gains the classification of Belgian Strong Ale. A small portion is aged in Pinot Noir barrels and then reblended before packaging. This is where the name comes from; a blending of a white beer with red wine. At 10% ABV, this is the lowest in alcohol beer I will have tonight. Yes, you read that correctly. 10 is on the low end.

This beer pours a cloudy reddish orange hue with a light amount of off-white head. Slight lacing on the glass.

Aroma is woody right off the bat, with a fair nose of wine grapes. Very light spice but not much. While it was brewed with coriander it seems time has faded most of it off.

Flavor is a fruity burst of flavor right off the bat. It has a sudden tingle on the front edge of the tongue that leaves a warming sensation that snakes down your throat. It also has a woody, clay type flavor. The wine aspect of this beer has most certainly taken over and has moved it into a more fruity barley wine flavor. It’s very good but I know this was not the brewer’s original intent.

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Dogfish Head Burton Baton

2007 Batch.

Burton Baton is a blend of and English Old Ale (of which I have yet to rate this individual style) and an Imperial IPA. They initially ferment these beers separately then blend it in oak barrels to age and develop in flavor. Classified as an Imperial IPA. This also comes in at 10% ABV.

This beer pours a murky, ruddy orange color with a fine beige type head. Small amounts of lacing.

The aroma is woody, musty and earthy. I remember this now the first time I tried this beer. It took me and my buddies ages to finally decide what the aroma was like. Granted this was the first beer of this type we had come across, but we decided on wet ad rotting wood, that when you step on it it crumbles easily. That’s exactly what I smell. Certainly outdoorsy and aged. No real fruit to speak of, or vanilla as the description suggests.

Flavor is immediately sweet sugar and browning fruit. The hops provide a bitter touch and mouthfeel with no real impact on the flavor. Not surprising as hop flavor fades considerably with time. It has a large woody flavor with, yes…vanilla. Wow, this one also has a tingle down the throat. Man this is SO much better than the first time I had it. This ages very well with a dry type finish.

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Dogfish Head Immort Ale

2007 Batch.

Immort Ale is one of the only distributed Barley Wine that DFH makes. They have some others that they’ve experimented with but this one remains one of the 2 that I can think of that they distribute. The description includes maple syrup, peat smoked barley, juniper berries and vanilla. This one is also aged in oak barrels. 3 of 3 for the night thus far. 11% ABV….getting stronger!

This beer pours a bright reddish color with small bits of sediment floating around. Not much of a head to speak of, even after agitation.

Aroma is hmmm. Prepare yourself. Hay, barnyard, manure, wood, and a touch of band-aid. I’m believing this might have an infection from odd yeast. Literally this is like walking into the animal pens at the stockyards. This beer is close to room temp by now also as I’ve been here for an hour.

Flavor is also smacky band-aid, sharp flavors, a huge mix of maple and smoked malts with a large burning on the tongue. Maybe a little sweetness hiding but this is not good. I’ve had this beer before and it tasted nothing like this. Definitely infected. Sometimes infections come from wild yeast getting in the beer, but that usually results in sour flavors. Band-aid flavors come from either poor sanitation or a high presence of initial yeast produced phenols. Gross.

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Dogfish Head Raison D Extra

2007 Batch.

Raison D Extra is a amped up version of one of their best-sellers, Raison D’etre. (Which I have yet to review) It starts more or less as the same brew but they multiply the ingredients to make this beer HUGE. The ABV of this sucker is an astounding 18.5%! Damn! Now you see why it’s taken me an hour to drink 15 ounces of beer. This is classified as an American Strong Ale.

This beer pours a dark maroon color with very little to no carbonation. Looks heavy.

Aroma is very raisiny with sharp notes of vinegar and alcohol. This has developed a bit of a tart nose which I also do not recall from previous tries. Slight hint of maple in this.

Mouthfeel leaves a HUGE tingle on the tongue. Holy crap this is super warming. Definitely a maple and raisin flavor with a touch of wood. Finishes with a sweet flavor that tingles like hell. This is fairly solid. (minus the vinegar smell)

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Dogfish Head Fort

2007 Batch.

Fort is another 18% beer, this time being a Fruit Beer. It says it was brewed with a ton of pureed raspberries, and I’ve got a feeling this is no hyperbole. My buddy raves and raves about this beer but only after it sits for several years. For this reason I have always shied from trying it as I have little patience for cellaring beers. However, now that I have the opportunity to try a 4 year old version of this, I’ll jump right in!

This beer pours a super murky brownish-orange red. Like all the colors of beer mixed together to create this. Not much carbonation or head either.

Aroma. Holy crap aroma! So at this point I’ve been sitting at the bar for an hour and a half with these five beers in front of me and every so often I would catch a whiff of something ridiculously fruity. Well turns out it was this beer. The aroma is a gloriously intense raspberry, all the way. Very nice and fresh. Wow!

Mouthfeel provides a familiar tingle but the flavor is great. Lovely tart raspberries with a solid sweet flavor. Dries out the mouth considerably however but still remains fantastic! I’m very glad I saved this one for last. Now I can just relax and savor it.

Special note: I finally reached the bottom of this glass and it has sediment like crazy!

So there you have it folks! I’ve gone Dogfish Head crazy for this post!

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Holy crap. So I was seriously about to walk out of this place and post my blog when the manager comes by and drops this gem in front of me. “It’s only a taste” he says but when I see what beer it was I could care less.

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Dogfish Head Bitches Brew

So if you have seen the first episode of “Brewmasters” you will know it is about this beer. It goes through the life of it, from the planning stages, research and production of it. I’m very pleased to see this beer tonight. It is an Imperial Stout at 9%. Aw I guess that means this is now the lowest ABV beer I’ve had tonight. 😦

This beer pours a very very dark brown color with a nice heavy brown head. Very pretty.

Aroma is first off roasted malts big time. It has a roasted chocolate and smoky nose. Sweet nose and very lovely to smell. I hesitate to say this but…….peppermint? Perhaps in the slightest!

The flavor is super roasty with again a spearmint flavor. Not sure where that is coming from but I kinda dig it. It’s different. Roasted chocolate malts that feel rather bitter on the palate. For being the lowest in alcohol beer I’ve had, it’s certainly the slowest drinker I’ve had tonight. Funny how that works. This is really good also. Man I have been pleased with (most) everything I’ve been served tonight.

A most deservedly CHEERS!!

EDIT: Again before I walked out I ran into the official DFH rep that was here and was able to chat with him for a bit. He asked my favorite and I replied with Burton Baton. He absolutely agreed with me and had lots to input on the beer and how it typically ages. What shocked me was when he said his favorite was the Immort Ale which I completely despised. He really digs the smoky flavor and the sharpness that comes with it. Well I’m doubtful he had my particular bottle but, to each their own. It’s been a great night.

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