Posts Tagged ‘Dogfish Head’

Discovery’s Brew Masters

Sunday, November 21st, 2010

Don’t forget that tonight is the premier of Sam Caglione’s TV show Brew Masters on the Discovery Channel. Sam is the force behind Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Milton, Delaware, a brewery well known for their strange brews. They have brewed beers according to some of the oldest recorded procedures. They have constructed massive aging tanks out of the hardest wood in the world, just to see what the beer would be like.

As I understand it, the show simply documents Sam’s efforts to source such exotic ingredients and recreate the ancient recipes. Seems like it should be interesting.

IPA Week: Dogfish Head 90 Minute

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

Dogfish Head, from Milton, Delaware, is a strange brewery (if you couldn’t tell by the name). They make some of the strongest and strangest of American craft brewing. They make forties of “Liquor de Malt” and have a beer called “Golden Shower”. They put strange ingredients in beer and make historic replica brews. They also have perhaps the most acclaimed series of India pale ales in the United States (East of the Rockies, at least), their 60- 90- and 120-Minute IPAs, so named because they are “continuously hopped” each minute for 60, 90, or 120 minutes.

2009-07-02-90-minuteThe story goes that when Dogfish Head started making these so-called continuously hopped beers they rigged up a machine that would shake a coffee can with a hole in the bottom just enough to empty the can after an hour. Nowadays I imagine their system is fancier.

The 90-Minute Imperial IPA is a barely hazy amber with a thick straw head. The nose is strong but delicate. Initially sweet with toasty pale malt, it grows into a serious flowery aroma. Daffodil and lavender are followed by a light peach character.

The peach and toasty sweetness continue on to the first taste. A smooth bitterness tries its hardest to take over but the malt obstinately balances it out. Floral and herbal hop flavor dominate as it moves to the back of the tongue and into the aftertaste. The bitterness lingers a little longer, but a hint of mouth coating holds it just at bay.

A playful and delicate beer, remarkable for one at 9 percent alcohol.

++Dogfish Head 90-Minute IPA

4.1 (4-8-8-4-17)

Chicory Stout

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

Dogfish Head Chicory StoutFrom the ever-interesting Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Milton, Delaware I have a bottle of Chicory Stout. This is rich dark stout made with roasted chicory as well as organic coffee from Mexico. Roasted chicory has a history of use, especially in Europe, as a coffee substitute. The interesting ingredients don’t end there, though. Sam decided to throw in St. John’s wort, licorice root, and oatmeal to make a robust and chewy brew. Let’s see how it is.

The bottle proclaims “Goodness beneath a bone white head.” I would say the head is much darker, but who is going to call them on that? It’s creamy and it lasts on top of the almost pitch black reddish stout. The nose is strongly roasty. Coffee and roast malt are prominent, but a dry, somewhat woody roast character is present as well. I am unfamiliar with that aroma, so I’ll attribute it to the chicory. The nose is subtle, with just a bit of caramel sweetness.

The flavor is rich, roasty, and robust. Dark coffee flavors mix with a playful bitterness that reminds me of tonic water. Some chocolate is hiding in there as well, a dark baking chocolate. An earthy, almost peppery hop character is noticable. The roast is strong and lingers, not too harsh, just in perfect balance. The creaminess helps there, with a full palate that is never cloying.

+Dogfish Head Chicory Stout

4.0 (4-7-8-5-16)

Dogfish Head Raison D’Extra

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

I just saw this review over at Legal Beer of Dogfish Head‘s Raison D’Etre. That “deep mahogany” beer has inspired me to pull out a bottle of their other, stronger raisin beer, Raison D’Extra. They haven’t released this since March of 2007 so this bottle has had a little while to age.

This one pours a thickly hazy dark reddish-brown, almost maroon, with some creamy straw head. On the nose is strong booze with a raisin character, quite reminiscent of port. Somewhat sweet, there are also major oak and caramel aromas. This is a thick, complex aroma you could study carefully.

The flavor begins with a sharp, but not unpleasant alcohol bite and a sweet, oak-raisin fullness. The bite fades to a warming and the sweetness to fruity yeast character and strong brown malt and brown sugar flavors: rich caramel and biscuit, some toast.

While D’Extra is quite sweet, it is also very strongly carbonated so it still seems relatively lively and light. The (18%+) alcohol invigorates every part of your senses: first the nose, then the lips and front of the tounge, and finally the roof of the mouth and the back of the throat. This is quite a beer to sip and share on a cold late fall evening such as this.

++Dogfish Head Raison D’Extra

RateBeer: 4.1 (3-9-7-5-17)

Hop Fest!

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

Last night Trevor and I sampled a few hoppy beers. We were too tired to get to the fourth (Goose Island Imperial IPA) but I’ll rate it eventually.

First off, Bell’s Hopslam, an Imperial IPA made with honey. I’m told this ages better than any other hoppy beer. We won’t really know because the bottle I have is from January of this year.

It pours a beautiful orange-tinted gold, lightly hazy. The head is creamy, lasts forever, and laces brilliantly. The aroma is strongly of fruit: peaches, orange blossoms, and grapefruit. It is a thick, somewhat sweet nose.

Immediately you get a strong floral, slightly fruity hop flavor. I note roses, orange blossoms, and apricots. The bitterness slowly grows to overpower the delicate flavor, and lingers. This beer is ever so slightly cloying, which actually balances the lingering bitterness. However, these long aftertastes do not get in the way of another sip. That’s dangerous at 10% alcohol.

Next up: Dogfish Head’s Burton Baton, an Imperial IPA aged in oak barrels. At first this seems like it must be more authentic to the history of India pale ale. Note that while Ballantine’s infamous IPA was aged in uncoated oak barrels such as the ones used at Dogfish Head, IPAs actually shipped to India were probably sent in pitched barrels to prevent any influence from the wood. Just saying…

On to drinking it. Burton, an almost clear copper, pours a good straw head. It has a light sweet aroma, somewhat herbal hoppy. There is also a significant caramel note and a little biscuit. I can also detect a bit of alcohol on the nose. Ethanol itself is not volatile, so you cannot smell it. A beer smelling boozy indicates the presence of fusel alcohols, a byproduct of warm, high alcohol fermentation. It is fusels that cause really painful hangovers.

Right at first you notice both a prominent bitterness and a strong sweetness. This beer is thick, and its sweetness is cloying, probably from the use of a large percentage of caramel malt. The oak certainly also adds sweetness and vanilla. The hop flavor is herbal and grassy.

I think perhaps the oak and the hops are competing too much in this beer. The hop flavor is too earthy. They would be better off using a lighter, more delicate flavor hop.

Last we have a bottle from the Tyranena “Brewers Gone Wild” series. This is Hop Whore, their Imperial IPA.

The appearance of this beer is not entirely appetizing. While it is a wonderful copper red color, there are some little chunkies floating and the head is somewhat soapy. The nose is great, though. A strong fruity hop aroma, peaches and some grapes.

Quick sharp hop bitterness, a little fruity and a little sweet. Notes of hop spiciness, reminiscent of cilantro. While it is pretty bitter, this fades and it lingers balanced. Very drinkable.

++Bell’s Hopslam

RateBeer: 4.0 (4-8-8-3-17)

+Dogfish Head Burton Baton

RateBeer: 3.2 (3-7-6-2-14)

+Tyranena Hop Whore

RateBeer: 3.2 (1-7-7-3-14)