Style – American Brown Ale
ABV – 12%
Appearance – This Dogfish Head offering pours an opaque black with a small cocoa tinted head. Looking at this beer in a glass, if I did not know it was an American Brown Ale, I would certainly say it is a stout. Perhaps the darkest brown ale I have ever poured.
Smell – A hint of chocolate works with dark malts to produce a very rich slightly, sweet roasty aroma. I also catch a hint of vanilla as a result of aging the craft beer in the Palo Santo wood barrels, although it is rather subtle.
Taste – Upon first sip, your mouth is hit with chewy malt, along with roasted chocolate, a bit of molasses and coffee bitterness that is offset by a fruity currant jam flavor. A smokey wood flavor with hints of vanilla and caramel are present in the finish and continue to linger after swallowing.
Overall – This is a big beer, weighing in at 12% it is certainly a sipper. The flavors present in this beer are extremely interesting to say the least. Chewy roasted malts, hints of chocolate, currant, coffee, vanilla and caramel, all contribute to create a very well balanced flavor.
I am curious if laying a bottle of this craft beer down for a bit would enhance the vanilla and caramel profile Dogfish Head was after from the aging process in Palo Santo wood barrels. Could be an interesting experiment to revisit this beer a year from now and stick a bottle of this in the wine cellar.