Red, White & Dogfish Head

22 Sep

Last Tuesday night was a looooong night!  I went to a fashion show & after party with my friend Amanda, and then decided to pop over to the BT to see what was left from their Dogfish Head event.  When I got there Oz told me that they had already kicked about 9 kegs!!!  Great news for them… but bad news for me, because my first three choices were gone… but don’t worry, I recovered quickly 🙂

I was taken with the description for the Pangea, so I decided to start with that… here’s how it was described:

Dogfish Head Pangea ’07:  Pangea (the name of the world when it was all one big happy continent) is an ale brewed with an ingredient from every single continent – crystallized ginger from Australia, Muscavado sugar from Africa, Antarctic water, Belgian yeast, exotic grains, and more… (6.0% ABV)

The beer smelled a bit fruity to me, kind of like apple juice… and lo & behold, I thought it tasted like a cider!  I was really hoping to notice the ginger ’cause I’m a huuuuuge fan of ginger, but I didn’t really get it!  I did like this beer a lot though and even though it was cider-like, it was yummier to me than most ‘regular’ ciders… plus it was very tingly on the tongue!

I was super intrigued by the Red & White and asked Oz to pour me a half, but the keg was basically kicked… but Oz managed to get a little into a glass for me, provided I didn’t mind waiting for about 4 inches of foam to settle! lol  SO worth the ‘wait’!  Here’s their description:

Dogfish Head Red & White ’08: A big, Belgian-style Wit brewed with coriander and orange peel and fermented with Pinot Noir juice.  After fermentation a fraction of the batch is aged in Oregon Pinot Noir barrels, and another fraction is aged on oak staves.  The beer is blended together before packaging.  It successfully marries the refreshing citrusy qualities of a Belgian-style white beer with the robust complexity of a bold red wine. (10% ABV)

I don’t even know what it tastes like, but it’s definitely really different than any beer I’ve had before… ’cause in the after taste, I get the tannin-y feeling you get with a dry red wine, ya know where it kind of hits you with that dry spot in the back of the throat?  It’s a pretty cool thing to experience with a beer!

Meanwhile, as I’m sitting there trying to smell the Red & White, all I can smell is someone’s food order that’s been set down next to me… ’cause I swear that the beer definitely does NOT smell like lamb sausage or a bacon sandwich! lol  Once the food got taken to it’s rightful owner and I was able to get a good whiff of the beer on its own, I have to say that whatever notes I did pick up on must have been the coriander, ’cause there was a spiciness there… I really should go out & smell some coriander!

Dogfish Head @ BT

So at this point, here’s what my bar-spot looks like:  In front on the left I’ve got my mini sample of the Red & White, and Oz has already poured me my next two… the Raison D’etre in front on the right, with the Raison D’extra behind it… but Oz also poured me a super foamy sample of their Theobroma, ’cause the keg was about to kick & he wanted to make sure I got to try it… isn’t he helpful?

On to the Raisons…

“Raison D’etre”, or the reason for life (if you will), is a bold brown ale brewed with whole leaf high alpha magnum, eroica and fuggels hops.  a second smaller kettle is used for an adjunct boil of Belgian beets ugar and raisins – giving this beer its deep delicate sweetness and intricate taste profile. (8.0% ABV)

Brown, yep – a little maltier than I like (am I starting to sound like a broken record yet with that??), but this would probably be a good middle of the road beer for me… kind of a good gateway beer to darker brews for me… kind of a half-malt maybe!  Meanwhile, am I really supposed to taste beets?  Maybe I do notice a little bit of rooty-ness, but then again I don’t like beets, so I guess not tasting them is a good thing!

This description definitely has me curious about the different types of hops in here… I just thought hops were hops, end of story…  not so much!  Looks like I’m going to have to do some research into the various types of hops out there! Alpha magnum? Eroica? Cascade? Fuggels?

On to the D’extra… here’s the descrip: 

Raison D’extra is an extreme version of the classic “Raison D’etre”.  This mahogany hued ale has a big malty nose with slight tinges of alcohol heat.  The flavor is big… with strong overtones of dried fruit, spices and malt which are balanced with a blend of heat from the alcohol and a somewhat oak-y finish.  This of this as the evil twin of the D’etre. (20% ABV)

Smells kinda like a malty cider to me… and it’s definitely sweeter, pretty much too sweet & a tad syrupy for me… I gotta stick with the D’Etre for now to get me warmed up to the darker, maltier brews like this… meanwhile, did you notice that it’s 20%??? yikes!

Here’s a quick recap of the two I got to sample…

Theobroma:“This beer is based on chemical analysis of pottery fragments found in Honduras which revealed the earliest known alcoholic chocolate drink used by early civilizations to toast special occasions (like hanging out at the Tiger, I assume).  The discovery of this beverage pushed back the earliest use of cocoa for human consumption more than 500 years to 1200 BC.  As per the analysis, Dogfish Head’s Theobroma (food of the gods) is brewed with Aztec cocoa powder and cocoa nibs, honey, chiles, and annatto (fragrant tree seeds).  Theobroma is 9% ABV.” – Sam Calagione

Is it weird that I totally smell lilac mixed with the chox?? lol  To be fair, the beer sat there for a little bit while I had my Raisons, and when Oz first poured it and I took a sniff, I did notice the chocolate more directly… maybe the lilac only comes out once it’s had a chance to decant? 😉  I don’t know how many people will get this reference, but something about the taste of this beer reminded me of these gumballs I would get at the Jelly Mill in Manchester, VT when I was a kid… They would use sugar to ‘decorate’ the gumballs and turn them into little animals… like this!

Palo Santo Marron:This beer is a deep dark brown ale that has a rich smoky nose.  The taste is filled with roasted malt goodness, hits of oak, mellow caramel, notes of warm sweet spice, and a light underlying of earth that makes this beer super complex yet approachable. (12% ABV)

Based on the description I thought I would only like it if it was smoky… but, nope.  It was smoky, but also sweet, and the combo didn’t work for me…

My new friend Ken was kind enough to buy me a beer, so I recommended that we cap off the night with a Six Point Bengali Tiger.  SO DAMN GOOD!!!!  I’ve had this beer before and was really excited to have it again… it has such a deliciously strong hoppy smell, that I get excited about it before I even have my first sip! Luckily, my recommendation also worked for Ken, so we were a happy pair 🙂

Up next……. Elysian Beer at the Blind Tiger! YAY!

~HH~

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