Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Sam Calagione’

The Hop Brief: Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales’s Burton Baton

Dogfish Head Burton Baton

Enjoyed on 9/30/2010

Brewery: Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales

Location: Milton, DE

Beer: Burton Baton

Web: http://www.dogfish.com/

Presentation: 12 oz. – Brown Glass Bottle – Capped

Vintage: 2010

Style: American Style Imperial India Pale Ale blended with an English Old Ale

Barrel: Oak

ABV: 10.0%

IBU: 70

Hops: Warrior, Glacier

Malt: N/A

Commercial Description:

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)

Timperial’s Notes:

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

Beer Law & Legis: A Take on Beer Wars

February 10, 2010 Leave a comment

Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head stole the flick. *photo originally on Cream Ale Drinker and then probably another site - unfortunately we cannot track that. but you have our love and credit*

So we had a Belgian night last week, in preparation for the big trip (4 weeks!). So we overloaded our beer experience – with more beer stuff.

To do so, we enlisted the help of Anat Baron’s Beer Wars film. I am glad I did.

Not only does this movie open your eyes about the sickening display of force feeding our great country has endured at the hands of Anheuser-Busch (i’ll simmer down, i promise). But, the movie also paints a wondrous and thought provoking dialogue about whether or not this country and its lawmakers actually know what is best for its constituents in the beer world.

Beer Wars is a documentary-like depiction of the modern US beer industry. It aims to impress upon consumers, the trials, tribulations and pains of American beer makers.

The movie’s producer, writer, director, star is Anat Baron is the former CEO of Mike’s Hard Lemonade. She repeatedly refers to Mike’s as a beer company, which is gross. But, considering its at least a malt beverage, sold side by side with beer – we’ll humor the argument.

Ms. Baron’s story requires a hero v. villain approach. Demonizing mega-beer’s Anheuser-Busch and Miller Coors, means glorifying micros Dogfish Head, New Belgium, Stone and Boston Beer. Dogfish Head’s Sam Calagione is the star of this film. Sam’s undying passion for his amazing brewery, and its image, market share, future development and quality, make the movie.

But the movie is principally about the battle of the three tier system. The three tier system should be known to all severely psychotic beer consumers (like us), for its the reason we pay too much for our beer. The three tier system designates a sales pyramid from brewers, to distributers and then to retailers. The intention was to prohibit major beer makers from dominating market share, setting prices, and controlling public consumerism. Well, it failed.

The movie shows that over time, Anheuser-Busch (A-B) has actually taken advantage of the system by buying into the middle man market. Distributors, retailer chains and even small beers shops are generally controlled by the big two (A-B &  Miller Coors). Small breweries have zero say in product placement in storefronts and marketing material display. In reality, the reason your favorite microbrew is where it is on the shelf (on the bottom, side, or under something else) – is because an A-B rep decided it should be there.

Without hating them entirely, there is some good that came from A-B. Modern beer advertising and marketing were largely developed by these giants. Off-color and entertaining beer media was the brainchild of A-B and Miller. Furthermore, A-B distribution is largely responsible for the growth of brands like Red Hook and Widmer, who were able to break free from A-B control after benefitting immensely from the distribution chain.

Regardless of what we think of Anat Baron’s writing and direction, she made one critical and very believable point: A-B doesn’t make beer you want to drink. They make you have to drink their beer. I firmly believe that, and I hope that makes me feel better. Product placement, clever & cool advertising and attractive price points make the beer a “have to” not a “want to.”

It struck me again last night, while watching the Super Bowl (Go Saints!). We ran out of beer. It was frightening. Luckily  a friend had just arrived back at the house and was willing, after some forcing, to make a beer run. After pleading for no Bud products, he embarked on a beer mission. The return – bud light. The reason: most people will drink it and its cheap. This was the result after an expressed ire against purchasing this beer. In fact, it was the only beer that was demonized prior to his departure. A return of Miller, Coors, Pabst, Ranier, Olympia, Kokanee, would not have been met with such unexplainable confusion. But A-B wins the day – again.

Beer Wars should be seen. Even if you do not care about the brewing industry in America, at least watch it for Sam Calagione. Its great to see someone fighting for their livelihood and unafraid of the giants.

Finally, BeerBlotter.com is touched. A new reckoning will begin. Starting this week, a new section will be posted on each Wednesday, with a perspective and report on Beer legislation, law and policy. Our resident legal squad will pull the topics and give you the word. Don’t worry – we actually have law degrees.

If you have anything to add – ADD IT! We love comments.

Events for the Week of December 14, 2009

December 14, 2009 1 comment

Check out Beachwood BBQ this week in celebration of their 3rd Anniversary. Great beers on tap!

Another weekend has wizzed by leaving us lost and alone on a Monday evening. But do not fret, Beer Blotter is here to liven up your week with some great beer and beer events.  So lets take a gander at what is “goin’ down” this week.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Swift Hibernian Lounge 14th Anniversary: New York, New York

5:00 PM until close @Swift Hibernation Lounge

Featuring beers such as Troegs Mad Elf, a cherry/honey infused ale, Goose Island Boubon County Stout, (need we say more?) Sierra/Dogfish Life and Limb, a strong beer brewed in collaboration by head brewers Ken Grossman and Sam Calagione , Dogfishead Chicory Stout and Ommegang Adoration, a strong, dark Belgium beer. What a line up!  Located in the East Village, Swift Hibernation Lounge has an old world pub atmosphere which is great for a relaxing Monday night!

Jolly Pumpkin Maraciabo Especial Release Party: Ann Arbor, Michigan

4:00- 6:00 PM @ Jolly Pumpkin Brewery

Get it while its hot and off the market! Come taste Jolly Pumpkin’s Maraciabo Especial, a rich brown ale inspired by the monastic brews in Belgium and the flavors of the tropics. With a complex palate and an overall sour quality, www.ratebeer.com gives Maraciabo Especial an A-.  This beer sounds amazing and please report back to Beer Blotter if you get the chance to try it!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Bell’s Two Hearted Cask Night: Raleigh, North Carolina

6:00 PM- 12:00 AM @ Busy Bee Cafe

This IPA by Bell’s Brewery is sweet and floral as opposed to bitter. The crisp finish and hop presence is smoothed over when served at room temperature. This beer is well balanced and available year round! Tonight is Busy Bee Cafe’s inaugural cask night.

He’brew Brewery Night: Brooklyn, New York

Starts at 6:00 PM @ Bar Great Harry

The beers are priced as usual, meats and cheeses will be free and the line up for goes something like this:

  • Bittersweet Lenny’s R.I.P.A. / NY / 10% / 12oz
  • Genesis / NY / 5.6% / 16oz
  • Jewbelation 12 / NY / 12% / 12oz
  • Jewbelation 13 / NY / 13% / 12oz
  • Messiah Bold / NY / 5.6% / 16oz
  • Origin (Barrel-aged) / NY / 8% / 12oz
  • Rejewvenator / NY / 7.8% / 16oz

Made under the Schmaltz Brewing Company, He’brew, “the Chosen beer” makes quality products and a wide range of styles.  People from the great borough of Brooklyn, come support a once Western, but now local brewery!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Extreme Winter Beers: New York, New York

5:00PM until December 22, 2009 @ Rattle N’ Hum

Today marks the day that Rattle N’ Hum unveils their winter beer tap list and man is it a list! Just to name a few, like 1/3 of the list (click on each beer for a description): 21st Amendment ‘Monks Blood’, Allagash Grand cru, Dupont Avec le bon vouex, Rogue Yellow snow, Lagunitas Cappuccino, Southern Tier Old Man Winter and Scaldis Noel.

Tasting of Harpoon’s limited edition Harpoon 100 Barrel Series, Ginger Wheat Ale.: East Hampton, Massachusetts

7:00 PM- 9:00 PM @ Amy’s Place

Come warm these cold winter nights with a pint of Harpoon Brewery’s Ginger Wheat Ale.  The Harpoon 100 Barrel Series Ginger Wheat Ale is an ode to brewer Scott Shirley’s favorite spice, ginger. The earthy, warming flavor of this golden-hued ale is derived from fresh ginger.

Cask Alert: Renton, Washington

4:00 PM@ Black Raven Brewery

Enjoy a glass of the brewery’s sold out Wisdom Seeker Double IPA, the only cask of it made. Get there early and drink up!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Puget Soundkeepers Alliance Event: Seattle, Washington

7:00PM- close @ The Beveridge Place Pub

Featuring Fish Brewing Co.’s Soundkeeper Pale Ale, a cask of Winterfish and Mudshark Porter.  A portion of the proceeds will go toward the Puget Soundkeepers Alliance, an organization dedicated to reducing the pollution of the Puget Sound by making polluters accountable to the law and promotiong education and cooperation in the effort to protect the Sound. Drink some beer for a good cause. Save the Sound!

Brooklyn Invades Staten Island: Staten Island, New York

8:00 PM – until close @ The Wild Goose

Brooklyn Brewery takes a trip across the Verazzano bridge into the neighboring borough of Staten Island.  Brooklyn Brewery will be featuring seasonal favorite Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, the latest Brewmasters Reserve, Backbreaker, another secret vintage Brewmasters Reserve no longer available, and more! In addition, look for new Brooklyn bottles never before seen here including Brooklyner-Schneider Hopfen-Weisse, Monster Ale, their barley wine, Brooklyn Weisse, and of course both Local 1 and Local 2.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Heavy Seas Firkin Friday: Ellicott City, Maryland

5:00PM-8:00PM @ Judge’s Bench

Join the founder of Clipper City Brewing Co.’s Heavy Seas, Hugh Sisson, and have a very special one-of-a-kind Heavy Seas firkin. Maryland grown hops have been added to the Loose Cannon, a hop monster with over 3 pounds of hops along with a few secret ingredients. Other Heavy Seas beers on tap too! Great beer & free stuff!

Yoga Holiday Happy Hour: Philadlphia, Pennsylvania

6:00 PM- 8:00 PM @ Yoga on the Ridge

Yoga + Beer: It’s two of your favorite relaxations combined in a one-of-a-kind evening of holiday cheer. Join owner, Teresa for a Vinyasa Yoga Class.  After class, attendees will gather for a tutored tasting of unusual, richly flavored holiday beers and winter warmers. Good for the mind and the soul!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Free Brewery Tours of Chelsea Brewing Co.: New York, New York

2:00 PM, 3:00 PM, 4:00 PM, 5:00 PM and 6:00 PM @ Chelsea Brewing Company

Come take a tour of the brewery located on Pier 59 in Manhattan, receive FREE samples and discounted pints after the tour. The brewery consists of a copper and brass 30 barrel brewhouse, six 60 barrel uni-tanks, four 30 uni-tanks, two 60 barrel bright beer tanks and six 15 barrel servers.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Closing Day of Beachwood BBQ’s 3rd Anniversary: Seal Beach, California

All day @ Beachwood BBQ

Beachwood BBQ, local barbecue joint boast craft beers on a daily basis.  Today is the last day to get beers featured for the restaurant’s 3rd anniversary. The tap list for the week of their anniversary includes: Hair of The Dog Fred 06, Port Brewing Santa’s Little Helper, Lost Abbey Barrel Aged Gift of The Magi 08 and Mikkeler Santa’s Little Helper.  We highly recommend ordering Fred by Hair of the Dog, an amazing beer with a caramel flavor that coats your mouth.

Specialty Bottle Sale: Seattle, Washington

1:00 PM- 5:oo PM @ The Beveridge Place Pub

Stop by Beveridge Place Pub and check out the inventory being sold at retail prices. We don’t know exactly what will be up for grabs, so get there early and stake your claim!

And that’s that, the week of December 14, 2009. Stay merry during the days leading up to Christmas and if you go to one of these events or have an event suggestion, leave a comment or email us at beerblotter@gmail.com!  Cheers!


Notes of a Beer Nerd: Dogfish Head World Wide Stout

November 24, 2009 1 comment

World Wide Stout: The cognac of beer. 18% and insanely complex!

Enjoyed on 11/23/2009

Brewery: Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales

Location: Milton, DE

Beer: World Wide Stout

Web: http://www.dogfish.com

Presentation: 12 Fl. Oz. (355 ML) – Brown Glass Bottle

Vintage: 2008

Style: Imperial Stout

Barrel: N/A

ABV: 18%

IBU: 70

Hops: N/A

Malt: N/A

Vessel: Snifter

Recommended Serving Temp: 55 degrees

Notes from the bottle: “A very dark beer brewed with a ridiculous amount of barley.”

Bottled on: 11/14/2008

Flavor will continue to develop for some time to come.

Food Pairings: Smoked meat, game

Cheese Pairings: Brie, Gouda, Havarti, Swiss

Beer Advocate: A-

Rate Beer: 100 (4.15)

Timperialstout’s Notes:

Pours a darkness so intense the lights in the room flickered with fear.  The head was tan/brown and fleeting, but small blotches of white foam lingered throughout my enjoyment, much like the foam on a pool of ocean water.  The moment my nose got close enough to the opening of the snifter to gather in a whiff, it became ever so clear that this beer was expertly crafted.  Would we expect anything else from Mr. Sam Calagione?   This masterpiece was apparently brewed using 7 different yeast strains… yeah that sounds like Sam.  This beer is very much like a port or a fine cognac.  The deep complexity and minimal carbonation play a large hand in my reminiscing of such distinguished libations.  Let’s get into the scent… oh so sublime.  Chocolate covered coffee beans and cherries come to mind.  The sweetness is no doubt a product of the “ridiculous amount of barley” found here, deeply roasted barley that is.  And booziness, well it’s not all entirely missing in the nose, but really only present enough to further inspire thoughts that this is so nearly a spirit.  I really feel for the yeast here, those little guys must have worked so hard, yet so much sugar remains.  The un-fermented wort must have tasted like a thick chocolate syrup built to top an ice cream sunday.  Coats the mouth like a slick oil, and the insides with warmth.  Roasty and caramelly in the flavor indeed, with some mild acidity coming through and an altogether different aftertaste, like rum chocolate truffles.  a faint booze heat can be felt on the post-swallow exhale, but truly subtle.  How?  A bewildering brew made by one of America’s finest.

If you like World Wide Stout, you should try…

Great Divide Brewing – Yeti

Stone Brewing – Imperial Russian Stout

Avery Brewing – The Czar

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.