Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Milton, Delaware. I remember enjoying this back at the end of 2010, but this is one of those beers that doesn't come around every day. So I grabbed it despite its $10 single-bottle price tag. This is an 18% alcohol beer. Bottled 2011A 10:15. The label simply says, "A very dark beer brewed with a ridiculous amount of barley", with a barley background.
You've probably heard me fully endorse the awesome art work that Dogfish commissions for many of their beers. I love the ones that Marq Spusta did a few years ago (I have them all). And in fact, I think I'm about to propose to Audrey Aprihop. For real, stay away from my woman! But I think the standard 12 ounce labels could use a face lift (like in their Tweason'ale bottle, which I mentioned yesterday). For such an awesome lineup, I think an upgrade would be super awesome. Anyway, the beer matters the most!
After removing the nuclear neon green warning cap, I poured this beer into my Hennessy snifter which is usually reserved for spirits (but never Hennessy = gasoline). Very roasty aroma, not super powerful. However, this was the kind of beer you could sit and smell for a long time, which I did. Vanilla and chocolate are prominent with licorice and coffee also adding some fun. A little booze in the nose but not too much.
Whoa! Very rich flavors, greater than 100 times what the aroma suggested was coming. Despite drinking this before, I was still caught off guard. So luxurious right away! The dominant flavors in the beginning are rich raisins, prunes and figs, sweet but not too sweet. Coffee flavors follow, but not any ordinary coffee-the best coffee ever. Roasted (but not burnt) grain flavors are prevalent throughout.
The 18% alcohol very much accentuates the dark fruits and also brings out nuances of vanilla, chocolate and licorice. There is a boozy quality, but there is no harsh hotness and the alcohol is never bothersome. Impressive! Not flat. Carbonation is low but good. Excellent texture, creamy, smooth with a big body. Felt great in the mouth. A complex and intense sipper. Fabulous. Try it if you get a chance. Share one with a few friends. I kind of wish I invited myself to the Cuban neighbors' party later with this as my ticket in the door!