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...