Thursday, November 4, 2010


Finally got around to tasting this one at Jen's as I was giving up studying for my Microbiology and Medical Anthropology Finals. Jeff Rice got me this $13 bottle and gave it to me our meet in Oshkosh. I've tried pretty much all of Dogfish Head's seasonal and year-round brews, so I'm experimenting with the more atypical, further out ales.

Appearance: Robust amber, which was quite surprising given the bottle and the description. Clarity is minimal with a semi-visible carbonation. There isn't much of a head either which only takes a form of a thin white ring around the glass.
Aroma: There is an apparent chocolate aroma right at the nose with a sweet mellow floral/honey backbone. Alcohol is a finishing contributor to the smell. There are also slight toasted overtones to complement the sweetness of the honey in the aroma.
Taste: Initially, the taste has a delectable subtleness and balance between chocolate and chili's with a sweet honey foundation. Malt flavor is light with a caramel profile that efficiently integrates into this very distinct beer. I'm still discovering some phenolic fruitiness similar to the Midas Touch, perhaps contributed from similar yeast strains? Anyway the first taste the combination between honey and chocolate followed by a dry/chalky resinous finish consisting of mellow chili flavors (not spiciness), alcohol and a bland nut shell bitterness. There is a very distinct cocoa/tannin taste resembling stems or a specifically bitter spice like nutmeg (or annatto, though I'm not too well acquainted with the flavor). Ends slightly medicinal by the time one reaches the end of the glass.
Mouthfeel: Thick but with a perfect carbonation to loosen the texture. Slightly sticky on the lips but not cloying in the mouth. Remains refreshing given the complexity of the flavors.
Overall Impression: Finally after much thought (and drinking) I realize that bitter taste at the end and aftertaste primarily resembles that of ripe, unroasted nut fruits. I find it especially similar to a extremely light puckering bitterness of acorns, yet with a flavor of medium roasted forest nuts (like again, acorns or chestnuts). A very interesting beer and I congratulate the bold experimentation.

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