Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales
Here’s a tasting coming from Milton, DE to Nanuet, NY at Growler & Gill. I followed that up with three more, okay, four . . . okay, five, suffering nobly you may be sure!
Straw colored with a generous foamy white head. The aroma is yeasty spicy with banana and stone fruit esters over cracker malt. Flavor starts with spices esp black pepper and coriander, the malt comes in, then the lemongrass comes in so that it’s like drinking Thai food…which would be a terrific pairing. Puckers me up a little like pineapple or tannins. That yeast and spice carries straight through tying everything together in a long finish with hops drying things out. 4.8% ABV, 20 IBU.
Hazy straw in color, quite effervescent but no head so it’s like ginger ale in that respect. The nose is mostly mildly malty with the faintest hint of stone fruit but not noticeable peach. On the palette it’s mildly tart with no sourness. The bready malt reminds me of a Kolsch gone hazy. With a big gulp swirled around the mouth I could convince myself that maybe there’s some peach in it, but I wouldn’t notice it if I wasn’t expecting it. Of five people trying this on draft, I was the only one to claim to detect even a hint of peach. I thought it might be the keg so I picked up a bottle. Same thing, no peach. The finish gets a little more tart and it’s rather refreshing … but not peach. Last year’s recipe had more peach and I think was more tart too. Maybe last year’s drug-crazed raccoons left more peach behind than this year’s circus-garbed bears. 4.5% ABV
Pours amber with a moderate white head. It has an aroma of cracker malt and white grapes with a sweet note. The flavor starts with grape and flows to pervasive malt. The sweetness resolves to honey with a subtle spice note, and that spice builds from sip to sip. I found it mead-like with a good blend of malt, wine and honey. The finish persists sweet and fine, gently emphasizing the grape. To my surprise, some found this bitter, but others who “don’t like beer” liked this very much. 9% ABV, 12 IBU
Copper in the glass with a persistent medium snow white head. As the cap comes off, you’re hit with an aroma of red wine grapes plus hops. The first close sniff gives citrusy hops and the next brings back the grapes. As the head dissipates crystal and caramel malt emerge. There’s a fruity quality to the flavor and even a mouthfeel like a crisp cider, but the taste reflects the rich hops and the Syrah. The finish has a hint of grape juice on a malt bed with soft bittering hops. Quite refreshing. 6.5% ABV, 60 IBU
Pours a beautiful amber with a medium off white head. Massive malt aroma leads with medium hops. There are more hops than malt in the flavor, but adding nice caramel. The finish has a lot of hops but very much in balance, enough that some who normally can’t stand IPA enjoy this, even to ranking this #2 of these five, and “one of the two I like” (along with Midas Touch). Personally, I like four of these five. 9% ABV, 90 IBU
Images courtesy of Dogfish Head
This is an IPA brewed with apricot juice. The color is copper or apricot with a fluffy generous head, off-white with hint of orange. The nose is of malt and spicy hops with just a hint of stone fruit, not clearly apricot. The flavor definitely starts with apricot, quite tart, and a bready malt with hint of caramel. The hops come in on the finish, more earth and spice than citrus. Balanced and subtle. 7% ABV, 50 IBU.
A collaboration born of a trio of breweries, Stone and Victory and Dogfish, kind of a Murderers Row of great breweries! This pours pale to straw in color with a big foamy white head. The aroma starts with herbs and spices, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme plus spicy hops with a big shot of yeast and fruity esters. The herbs lead the flavor with lots of malt underneath. There’s melon and orange peel going on too. The finish is long and spicy ramping herbs and melon slowly down into a little pool of spicy hops. One of the most interesting beers, but what else can one expect from Sam+Greg+Bill? All three breweries put it out in 2010, the same recipe in each brewery, and the current releases are from Dogfish in 2014, Victory in 2015, and Stone in 2016. If this bottle was a year old, it has aged nicely! 6.8% ABV.
Give a copper glassful with a medium fine grained white head. The aroma seems classic Belgian yeasty and estery over rich malt, but with an unusual berry note. The flavor also starts classic Belgian but then the berries explode across the palette and persist into a smooth malty finish. This is not a berry ale but rather a Belgian ale with berries, and an excellent one, also another one to seduce some wine drinkers. Very sneaky: 10% ABV and doesn’t remotely seem like it! 25 IBU
Hmm…now what’s this here?
A Belgian Strong Ale, this is an extreme beer that doesn’t really taste extreme . . . which means that the ABV of 18% could be quite a surprise. This pours amber-brown with brief head, then gives a very full raisin and malt nose. The flavor comes in with caramel and raisin toast and layers of malt. It has a wine-like finish, raisiny like Amarone. The 40 IBU are largely masked by the malt, brown sugar, and raisins.
All right,can’t stop, let’s relax by the pool with one more 90 Minute IPA.
No, this wasn’t all in one session!