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...


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