Enjoyed on 9/30/2010
Brewery: Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales
Location: Milton, DE
Beer: Burton Baton
Presentation: 12 oz. – Brown Glass Bottle – Capped
Style: American Style Imperial India Pale Ale blended with an English Old Ale
Hops: Warrior, Glacier
This is a blended beer that we’ve been brewing for the past several years and it’s recently been gaining in popularity.
For Burton Baton we first brew two ‘threads’ or batches of beer: an English-style Old Ale and an Imperial IPA. After fermenting the separate beers in our stainless tanks, the two are transferred and blended together in one of our large oak tanks. Burton Baton sits on the wood for about a month.
When enjoying the Burton Baton, you’ll find an awesome blend of the citrus notes from Northwestern hops melding with woody, vanilla notes from the oak. The wood also tends to mellow the 10% of the beer – so tread cautiously!
Beer Advocate: A- (4.13)
Rate Beer: 98 (3.74)
When I had this beer at Brouwer’s Hopfest I had forgotten how delicious it was. If you saw our review of said fest here, you probably noticed that it was our second favorite out of everything we tried, which was nearly 40 hopped up brews. It would be wrong of me to say that I’m surprised, after all, DFH is a force to be reckoned with. One can only fantasize about how those results could have been effected were 120 Minute IPA involved. Honestly, I don’t think that it would have mattered, at least for me. Never-the-less, ever since my re-discovery of the Baton, I have been unable to mosey past it in the bottleshops without grabbing one.
When you break this beer down to its core elements, it’s quite clear that Sam Calagione stepped into my psyche, rummaged around a bit, and popped out with a beer manifesto perfectly penned to make my knees wobble. I am gaga about old ales, gonzo about imperial IPAs and gung-ho about wood aged beers. Have your read my review of Great Divide‘s Hibernation, or my review of Russian River‘s Pliny the Elder? If you have, you probably got a sense of my intense passion for the styles. To blend the two, well, leave it to Sam to come up with that one. Yes, maybe it happens more than I know. Possibly, breweries do it and don’t advertise it as such. If they do, they should inform me and me only. I’ll keep that little nugget in the vault and acquire my fair share of the congenial cocktail for continued consumption.
If you haven’t done it already, I would highly recommend going to the Burton Baton page on the DFH website and watching the video of Sam describing the beer. The most interesting part is being able to see the wood vat that the beer ages in. It’s pretty epic.
A standard pour conjured a respectable head that rose like an ominous yellowish-white fog about an inch above the liquid. It took about 5 minutes to settle down to a thin foam and ring. The lacing is impressive, a dense slathering of porous paint on the inside of the glass. I gentle swirling of the brew causes the transparency of the glass to wither. The fluid itself is of a mysterious, cloudy amber hue that seems to vary from murky pond water brown to bright sunrise orange depending on the angle you hold it to the light.
The scent perplexes the mind with its unfathomable depth. I know not where to begin… The initial moment my nose hit the scent, I thought the wrong beer was in the bottle. There seemed to be coffee and cocoa emanating…from an IPA? As it warms just slightly, those notes seem to fade to the peripherals. Somewhere between then and when it’s warm enough to fully and properly experience, there are strong shots of lemon, blood orange, pine, and sweet baking doughs. The booze can be sensed early after the pour. Low temperatures do nothing to hide the 10%. It’s surprisingly medicinal, or nearly petroleum like with potency. To call this balanced in the nose is almost laughable. I mean yes, there is a gargantuan helping of lupulin here, and the gods themselves where heavy-handed with the malt bill, but to use the word balance seems to place some sort of neutrality tag on a beer that is far too massive to even fit on known scales. This is a beer for warriors, for Vikings, for kings of men. Wait, I haven’t even smelled it at proper temp yet let alone tasted it.
As it warms a bit more, a medicinal, syrupy hop quality really dominates, but all the while drizzled upon sweet buns hot out of the oven, soaked in rum. Sometimes granny gets a little nuts in the kitchen. Even more warmth leaves only the malt backbone and a nose hair singeing alcohol.
The mouthfeel is just as the smell would suggest, slick with sugars and minimal with effervescence. In this case, that’s what’s appropriate, and points are won for consistency. The words that I want to use to describe the flavors are bouncing around my head faster than I can collect them. The most striking of all is the re-emergence of what was inhaled at the very onset. Coffee? Again, I thought this was an IPA, and no, not a Cascadian dark version. Yes, there is some tinge of brown in the color, and lest we not forget the old ale swimming in our midst, but roasted malts? Clearly, nothing is off-limits for DFH.
The sweetness factor alone is multifaceted. I get a slight bubble gum quality along with the baked sweets. There is caramelized, near burnt sugar, which seems to play with the coffee and the hop bitterness to make a valiant attempt at blotting up the salivary glands. There are moments when my palette is left feeling chalky dry, but inevitably, the sugar cascade reigns supreme. No matter the juxtaposition in precipitants as I swallow, there is an undeniable need for more sips. Though, I must admit, that desire for more is mostly beset on the intrigue factor – intrigue for what happens before the swallow, to greater understand the ever emerging nuances in flavor.
And I mustn’t dare leave out the hops. Sure, they are in there – the piney, citrus aromas, the battling bitterness units… there is no mistake that this is a strong IPA, but the overall hop profile seems to lie in more of a supporting role. If you told me there was hop extract in this beer I wouldn’t bat an eyelash. There just isn’t enough room for the hop to substantially play on my taste buds. I couldn’t even begin to contemplate the varieties used, let alone where they may sit in the addition schedule. Does that hurt the score? Well, maybe to a very finite degree, but like I said, this is an IPA and there is no question about that. For the malt profile to be so brutally steadfast and for the ‘IPA’ moniker to still be obvious, how could one hold issue?
The aftertaste is the only flaw I can find here, but believe me, I’m stretching. The “burnt” flavors seem to latch on with the most strength after the fluid has passed. It’s a deep flavor that tells of the darker malts and the conditions of the wood that once housed the brew, or so I assume. 99% of the time, the byproduct of these elements brings me to my knees with delight. Here, I’m forlorn. For me, it’s not too different from being offered a fine cigar…or a Tom Waits album. I so badly want to have the experience enlighten me, but sadly, I just wasn’t built for it. I was, however, built for hop candy, and this is one of the supreme examples of just such a beer.
Color/Head/Retention [maximum of 1.00 point possible]: 0.97
Odor [maximum of 2.00 points possible]: 1.98
Carbonation/Mouthfeel [maximum of 1.00 point possible]: 0.95
Hop Flavor [maximum of 3.00 points possible]: 2.79
Malt Flavor/Balance [maximum of 2.00 points possible]: 1.96
Finish/Aftertaste [maximum of 1.00 point possible]: 0.90
Total [maximum of 10.00 points possible]: 9.55
Now for your week in beer.
Monday, September 27, 2010
Brewery Ommegang Tasting: Bronx, New York
6:00PM-9:00PM @ The Bronx Ale House
Enjoy a night of Belgium brews with Brewery Ommegang: Belgian Pale Ale, Cup O Kyndnes, Zuur, Witte, Rare Vos, Hennepin and Three Philosophers. Enjoy!
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Saison Du Buff Trifecta Night: Chicago, Illinois
7:00PM-11:00PM @ Fountainhead
all three versions, a Saison Du Buff Trifecta!!!
Tonight enjoy three flights of each of the three breweries takes on the saison recipe as well as tapping, rare kegs from Stone, Victory, & Dogfish with food pairings to go with them. Victory Braumeister Pils paired with Sambal Spiced Noodles with Lime, Cilantro, & Grilled Chicken, Stone Chipotle Smoked Porter with BBQ Pulled Pork & Chipotle Mashed Potato Stuffed Pablano Pepper and Dogfish Head Sah’Tea with
“Pumpkin Pie” Custard with Crispy Crust & Black Tea Whipped Cream.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Goose Island Beer and Cheese Pairing: Louiseville, Kentucky
3:00PM-5:00PM @ Valumarket
Cheeses! Beers from Goose Island! Sounds like a sophisticated wine tasting- But no, come by and taste Sofie, Demolition, Matilda & Pere Jacques perfectly paired with tasty artisan cheeses.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Great Divide Kickoff: San Diego, California
7:00PM-11:00PM@ Urge Gastropub
Mark your calendars- Great Divide is coming to San Diego! 7 brews including the Yeti will be tapped tonight at Urge Gastropub.
Friday, October 1, 2010
An Evening of Chocolate and Beer: Ann Arbor, Michigan
5:30PM-9:30PM @ Jolly Pumpkin Brewery
We’ll have Patric Chocolate’s Alan McClure and Jolly Pumpkin‘s Ron Jeffries here for an informal presentation and Q&A with chocolate and beer samples. And then if your heart desires, there is a strolling beer, chocolate and food tasting featuring pairings. Ron’s brewed some very special chocolate beers for this event, and we are very excited to taste them. Chocolate and Beer Tasting – $15 – 5:30 to 6:30 PM
Price includes samples of beer and chocolate. Beer, Chocolate & Food Tasting – $35 – 6:30 to 9:30 PM OR you can buy tickets for both events for $45 and save!
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Dogfish Head Tasting: Bellport, New York
1:00PM-5:00PM @ Bellport Cold Beer and Soda
Vintage, rare to find Dogfish head beers will be at this event!
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Whole Foods Market Homebrew Event: New York, New York
10:00AM-10:00PM @ Whole Foods
Whole Foods Market’s Local Homebrew Hero Contest is under way and the entries have been rolling in. They will be accepting entries until Sunday October 3rd. Stop by anytime and get a copy of the Rules, Entry, and Bottle Label Forms. Entry is free and welcome to anyone interested. Check out our website for more information.
http://wholefoodsmarket.com/stores … beer-room/
If you go to an event, want to go to an event or had a beer at an event leave a comment or email us at email@example.com. Cheers!
Week 29 of 52 ( I think we are almost caught up)
Type of Establishment: Beer bar, local hangout, the kind of place that might get rowdy on the weekends
Visit: A stay at grandma’s during the hot, humid Ohio summer, I stop in the Buckeye Beer Engine, with mom in tow for a cold one.
BEERS ON TAP (at time of visit):
Boulder Looking Glass Mojo(NITRO)
BUCKEYE 76 IPA
BUCKEYE BEAUCOUP D’HOUBLON
BUCKEYE WHEAT CLOUD
BUCKEYE ZATEK 2010
Dark Horse Crooked Tree IPA
Dieu du Ciel Aphrodite
Great Divide 16th Anniversary
North Coast Red Seal Ale
Ommegang Tripel Perfection
Original Sin Cider
Sierra Nevada Tumbler
St. Feuillien/Green Flash Biere De L’Amite
St. Louis Framboise
Thirsty Dog Irish Setter Red
So many wonderful options- a booklet of densely written type. I was too focused on the tap beers and was in a time crunch after spending an hour picking out beers to bring back from Rozi’s Wine House. For the full bottle list, click here.
FOOD OPTIONS: Its your average bar menu with some surprising twists. Wings graced the menu which is not surprising considering we are in the Midwest, a.k.a. wing mecca. With several flavors including your normal hot, atomic and honey BBQ, the Bourbon BBQ caught my eye. My companion and I settled on the onion rings, soft, flavorful onions engulfed by a crisp beer battered shell with chipotle mayo for dipping. Other note worthy menu items, Adobo Beef Egg Rolls, fried pickle spears and the burger of the day was Chicken Chorizo. If we were there during meal time, I would have done some serious damage.
In a far off land in the “heart of it all” I find sweet corn, several family members and friends, amazing wings and a local beer culture that deserves some praise. Ohio. A place many never visit and many never leave.
From the outside, the Buckeye Beer Engine is bleak and reminiscent of a fast food joint. There is an outdoor seating area and if this place were in Seattle on a hot August day, it would be packed full. Instead, not a person in sight due to the humidity. I step inside and let out a sigh of relief. The inside does NOT match the outside. In fact, the inside is quite pleasant with plenty of seating, wooden tables and a wooden bar. The wooden bar is in the shape of an octagon and hugs the center which is where the magic happens. The wall directly behind the bar is home to the neon glowing tap list. Old tap handles hang from the walls- a tribute to all of the great beers that once graced the list at the Buckeye Beer Engine.
Once home to the operations and production of Buckeye Brewing Co., the BBE represents with 4 of their beers on tap. I order a flight which includes Buckeye Brewing Co.’s ’76 IPA and Zatek 2010. Zatek on both beeradvocate.com and ratebeer.com is listed as a strong ale. At BBE, it is listed as an imperial stout and I must say, I agree with them. It is dark in color with a tan, chocolate colored head. There is a slight bitterness, like the bitterness from coffee followed by a sweeter finish. A great beer. I am kicking myself for not grabbing at bottle to take home with me. I snagged a bottle of ’76 (I purchased bottles from Rozi’s, not from the bar) but was able to taste it today- it doesn’t pack the hop punch I was hoping for and was slightly thin. I ordered a Great Divide 16th Anniversary which in my opinion was way more flavorful and left a lasting impression. Granted we are dealing with an IPA v. an Oak Aged Double IPA, so as far as a single IPA, the ’76 is worth your time!
I also ordered a Founders Cerise for my mom who drinks wine on most occasions. However, today, she happily sipped on this beer and I was a proud daughter. A quote from Founder’s website:
You’ll have a soft spot for this one. Using only fresh Michigan tart cherries, this beauty tantalizes with intense flavors combined with a no hesitation malt bill. Adding fresh cherries at five separate stages of fermentation achieves the ultimate balance between tartness and sweetness.
It reminded me of Cantillon out of Brussels- lambics that are not overly tart or sour, lack carbonation and have a subtle, yet flavorful fruit component without a sugary aftertaste. I really enjoyed this one as it brought me back to a place I adore. All in all a great place with friendly staff, loving patrons, a great bar menu and a showcase of amazing local beers as well as the great beers from around the world.
Lurking in the shadows of summer beer festivals is the Seattle International BEERFEST. Mark your calendars for July 2-4th for this epic, yes, epic outdoor beer loving, beer gazing, beer drinking event.
We are talking beers from all over our fine country plus the rarest of the rare, beers from all over the globe. Over 150 beers from 15 different countries to be exact. Now you know why I’m saying “epic.”
Let the world unite under the pretense of good craft beers at Seattle Center next weekend. Its going to be magical and not to be missed. With over 150 beers, I am unable to review them all. However, I present you with four top five lists since that seems to be an easy way to organize the blog these days.
1. Top 5 breweries to try from the USA
2. Top 5 breweries to try from outside of the USA
3. Top 5 beers you should try
4. The 5 rarest of the rare
Hopefully that will cover the basics, but for the full list and all of the details visit the 2010 Seattle International BEERFEST’s website. And just a note, there is no particular order to the “Top 5s.”
1. Top 5: US Breweries To Try
Although this is your chance to try some rare, undeniably authentically amazing beers from other countries, I have to represent. After all, the USA did make it to the second round of the World Cup! So my reasoning behind choosing these 5: Festivals are a place where you want to capitalize on those beers you normally cannot obtain and those that have several options. Therefore, the breweries are on this list for mainly those two reasons, plus of course, they are awesome.
- Cascade Brewing Co., Portland, Oregon- amazing sours beers and once in awhile Uber Tavern will get a few kegs, ONCE IN AWHILE. They are showcasing two mystery beers, which are almost certain to be some wild yeast infected, wood-aged masterpiece. Save your tickets for those.
- Great Divide Brewing Co., Denver, Colorado- The beers that are pouring, you can buy in bottles, but rarely do you get to enjoy a Oak Aged Chocolate Yeti (read our review) on tap. Also, try their IPA!
- Deshutes Brewing Co., Bend, Oregon- Black Butte XXII- its new and its here!
- Dogfish Head Brewing Co., Rehoboth Beach, Delaware- although this brewery is getting more popular by the minute, this weekend 90 min IPA, the 120 min IPA (take it easy on this one, its 21%!!!!) and World Wide Stout will be pouring, so if you missed WWS at Brouwer’s Back to Black during Seattle Beer Week, now is your chance for redemption.
- New Old Lompoc Brewing Co., Portland, Oregon: This is another brewery that although located 2 hours south of Seattle, rarely shows up on tap. Try their barleywine and save on the gas!
2. Top 5: The Foreign Brewers To Try
Now onto more worldly things….the following breweries produce high quality beverages. I will write a little snippet, if you will, on each brewery just for your enjoyment.
- Mikkeller, Denmark: Mikkeller makes beers of all styles and they are all amazing. A line of single hop IPAs, an IPA that combines 10 hops, a-m-a-z-i-n-g-l-y flavorful and thick stouts as well as your finest Belgium styled beers. And, no big deal, but they are pouring 6 beers, one of which is Big Worse (their incredible barleywine).
- Dieu du Ciel, Canada: Amazed that the two beers they are pouring are on tap – Peche Mortel Imperial Stout and Rigor Mortis, a Quad.
- Nogne-O, Norway: If their amazing trademark brand doesn’t entice you, then their innovative beers will. Cant go wrong with a beer from Nogne-O, especially the Batch 100 IPA.
- Cantillion, Belgium: If you are a frequent reader, then you know our love for this brewery, especially after experiencing it first hand. Authentic Lambics are brewed here. When you drink these lambics, you can taste the authenticity…it just tastes…pure. Iris is the only beer pouring, but my God, its on draft.
- Caracole, Belgium: This is a Belgium brewery through and through producing a White Ale, a Blonde, Amber Ale and Brown Ale. Of course, these beers are named for their color…their taste goes much much deeper.
3. Top 5: Beers You Cannot Miss
Now this is challenging- the top 5 beers you should try.
- Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast on draft! Had this a couple weeks ago in San Diego. Fixated.
- Mikkeller Big Worse on draft! And I am back to this brewery. That is what you get for being awesome and also pouring 6 beers. Big Worse is a barleywine and is on tap. A Beer Blotter favorite.We had Beer Geek in San Diego last month and Big Worse on the tap in Amsterdam – best on draft.
- Oud Beersel Oude Kreik: a cherry lambic pouring from the bottle.
- Both of Cascades’ Mystery Beers: take your pick, cannot go wrong. I know that’s two beers – but whatever.
- Nogne- O #100: a Double Imperial IPA on draft.
4. Top 5: Rare Ones Not To Miss
Now, on to the rarest of a the rare.
- Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast Bacon: WHAT? BACON? Its out of the bottle but this is going to be unreal.
- De Molen Dispution Stout: We had the pleasure of visiting this brewery in the Netherlands. Every beer they crank out is top notch, this being no exception.
- De Proef K-O: Straight from Belgium, this “Knock Out” is a Triple weighing in at 10% (ok no more boxing puns).
- De Ranke Cuvee: Old sour beer from De Ranke blended with Girardin (another brewery in Belgium) lambic. This is being poured from the bottle. However, if you are in the mood for draft, De Ranke is pouring the XX Bitter which has a hop component with that sour funk you get from good ol’ wild yeast. Both beers are sure to impress!
- De La Senne Equinox: I’ve selected this beer because they are the perfect representation of the “new Belgian” movement across the Atlantic. This young brewer is situated in French Belgium, south of Brussels. They make remarkably progressive beers, while holding on to the classic Belgian styling. Try this beer, one of their best.
There are so many amazing beers and amazing breweries at this event. It truly is unfortunate that my liver and my bank account can’t support my trying every last one. Take notes, report back and let us know which beers you are excited to try. Leave a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
***Notes of a Beer Nerd is a column written by resident cellar dwelling mammal, Timperial Stout. Feel free to e-mail him at email@example.com with any questions, concerns or comments***
Enjoyed on 6/23/2010
Brewery: Great Divide Brewing Co.
Location: Denver, CO
Beer: Espresso Oak Aged Yeti
Presentation: 22 oz. – Brown Glass Bottle – Capped and Foiled
Vintage: Bottled on 3/15/2010
Style: Imperial Stout
Barrel: Oak Chips
Recommended Serving Temp: 55 degrees
Notes From the Bottle: Espresso Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout is a new addition to the Yeti clan. A generous infusion of Denver’s own Pablo’s espresso adds yet another layer of complexity to this beer, combining with the vanilla oak character, intense roasty maltiness and bold hop profile to create a whole new breed of mythical creature. It’s official, you can now have Yeti with breakfast.
Food Pairings: Breakfast burrito, eggs Benedict, hash browns, cheesecake, creme brulee.
Cheese Pairings: Gouda, brie, swiss
Beer Advocate: A-
Rate Beer: 100 (4.08)
The combination of coffee and beer has an unclear history. When it was and who it was that first combined the two alludes me. Though the amalgam of two of the worlds most loved brewed beverages seems like a painfully obvious invention, it is by no means a traditional fusion for brewmasters. In fact, one just may consider coffee imperial stouts to be yet another page in the ever-expanding history book of the world’s extreme beer movement.
The “obvious” tag comes with the natural flavor components of the two core ingredients of this style, and how they compliment each other. The thick, treacly black nature of stouts comes from roasted and chocolate malts that impart a bevy of flavors upon the brew, most pertinently: coffee accents. Coffee on the other hand, coats the mouth in a blanket of oils and astringent bitterness. In many cases, deep stouts leave the bitterness of the hops far too hidden in the depths to play a substantial role, but the addition of coffee breathes life back into the bitterness component of the beer.
The “coffee flavor” will always stand above the rest in such a brew. The best brewers will find a way to bring complexity to the stage. It is the mouthfeel, the sweetness, the chocolate, the roasty elements that support the coffee that will separate your run of the mill coffee infused brews from the all-time greats. The original Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti is one of the most masterfully created imperial stouts I have ever had, so we already know that the backbone is strong with this one. Let’s see how perky the espresso version makes the palate.
She pours the color of fresh black top with a timid head that quickly settles to the familiar “wisp and ring” that I describe so often. While that froth lasts, it’s a sight to behold. So rich and luxurious. Reminiscent of Mexican hot chocolate or a dark roast espresso or mocha’s foam. A mild clinging to the walls of the glass exists, but mostly in sporadic clumps, like arms of lather reaching for freedom from the vessel’s confines.
The scent is deep and complex. As the brew warms, the coffee becomes more and more overpowering, but prior to the bean’s reigning supreme, there is a very earthy undertone. May the hops actually be discernible? These smells of freshly tilled earth and hop farm, entwined with coffee, lend the impression of what may be the scent of raw coffee beans. Perhaps I’ve been transported to the fields of a Colombian Coffee farm. I can see the workers gathering and harvesting without rest. Just imagine the bean’s long journey to Denver and their careful roasting. Do you think they ever thought that they would end up in a beer?
A lot of chocolate sweetness is able to cut through it all, which is a relief. I feel almost as though I can smell the oily nature of the fluid that the beans secreted. The boozy scent is mostly hidden until she warms quite drastically and a medicinal quality emerges. The melding of this medicine, dirt or earth, coffee… seems to fuse into a perfume of fermented dark grape or cherry skins. Very intriguing. My mouth waters.
The mouthfeel is very creamy and epitomizes body. This is yet another quality of imperial stouts that separates the men from the boys. No skimping on grain bills here.
At this point the booze is very recognizable, but the intense bitter of the coffee competes with considerable mettle, and my mouth is ecstatic to play host. The oils of the coffee are as coating as I’d assumed they would be, and thus the flavors linger with no premonition of dissipation. In fact, the flavors seem to improve with the added heat of my mouth. I need more!
Ultimately, if forced to choose, I’d prefer the uninfringed original version, with its natural complexities, but this is very nearly the best coffee beer I’ve ever had. My excitement was palpable when I first read that Great Divide would be treating their Yeti with various additions. The chocolate version is well worth a taste as well. If you like an imperial stout as much as Timperial, these are not to be missed.
If you like Espresso Oak Aged Yeti, you should try…
Disclaimer: This beer was purchased on my own with my own hard-earned money at a local bottle shop, and aged to perfection by yours truly.