Sunday, August 16, 2009

Palo Santo Marron, Dogfish Head Brewery, Milton Delaware

The Dogfish Head craft brewery likes to challenge with their interesting and often, strong beers. I picked up the Palo Santo Marron a while ago which is described on the bottle as "Malt beverage aged on Palo Santo Wood." (That is a Paraguayan wood.) At 12%, it is available in 12 oz bottles.

It pours opaque with a dark head.

The aroma is sweet with vanilla, caramel and heavy malt. It does have that "oak-aged" element that I've had before (though noted this is Palo Santo wood - which is used in wine making in South America).

The full body launches a lot of flavor. The malt starts right off, but vanilla and caramel catch up on the tongue. The sweetness builds there before dissolving a bit in the finish where wood, and a smoky malt curb the beer from being overly sweet. Alcohol tang rounds up the finish.

The aftertaste is malty and thick with initial sweet notes (mostly vanilla) kicking around - but that releases into a wood/aged alcohol flavor. It resonates on the tongue almost like wine.

This is a deliciously interesting strong beer - definitely worth the try - a slow sipper to enjoy all the flavors offered up...


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Morimoto Soba, Rogue Ales, Newport Oregon

On yet another recent trip to the coast (and therefore, to Rogue Ales) I enjoyed their Morimoto Soba Ale - made from buckwheat (Soba) which is of the rhubarb family (not wheat). Interesting, but not as interesting as the taste! Let's give it a try....

It pours copper with a thin head.

The aroma has an interesting caramel essence, but not sweet. It is also slightly nutty.

The taste is delicate, but holds it's own. It is almost cask-like with it's smooth velvety medium/light body. Honey is apparent up front, but a nutty flavor arrives on the tongue. There is slight caramel (again not sweet) in the finish.

The aftertaste is sweet and slightly bitter. It is very smooth -

This beer is definitely hard to pin down - it's refreshing and unique, but the unique quality doesn't overpower, it's a nice clean beer to enjoy anytime -


Friday, August 14, 2009

Saison, Great Divide Brewing Company, Denver Colorado

Great Divide's farmhouse style ale offering is simply titled Saison - Known for their yeast presence they tend to be refreshing yet robust. Let's give Great Divide's a sample....

It pours a straw, near copper color with a white head.

The aroma is strong yeast with peppery spice. There is also orange and citrus at the end.

This Saison is bright and refreshing with a light/medium body. Yeast and peppery spice are present on the tongue, then citrus arrives at the end. There is also slight coriander in the finish.

The aftertaste is slightly sour and bitter with dominant citrus tones.

A wonderful, refreshing summer seasonal. At 7.3%, it holds it's own - yet the citrus and yeast keep it lively and fresh -


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Glen, Rogue Ales, Newport Oregon

And we're back...On a recent adventure to the coast, we dropped by the Rogue Brewpub in Newport, Oregon. It was a hot day, but the Glen from Rogue hit the spot - both cold and refreshing.

It pours a honey hue with a medium head.

The aroma is mild hop, but not overly flowery. The hop is curbed by the malt aroma that arrives a little later.

It is hoppy, but smooth. There isn't much bitterness in the body, which is medium/full and velvety. Bitterness does arrive in the finish with a malt presence which gives it body.

The aftertaste is bitterness with malt that weighs on the palate keeping the hop from dominating the finish.