Feb 9, 2008

Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale and Raison D'etre

Dogfish Head's Indian Brown IS brown in color but a very dark one. It let's a little bit of light through but I've seen stouts lighter than this. Decent one inch head that faded moderately fast. Earthy and nutty along with coffee and hops in the aroma. There's a roasty malt and chocolate flavors at first taste. A good bodied, creamy feeling in the mouth and on the back of the throat with a hops and alcohol kick in the finish to warm you up. It does the trick right on these wintry days.
I first tried the Raison D'etre last October at a Halloween party. A few other beer aficionados were there and we got into trading mode so I only ending trying one of them. No notes were taken then and by the end of the evening I had forgotten any mental ones (after all I end up trying six different beers including this that night so I figured it would have to wait til my next go round with it. Good dark red color with a head that didn't get big at all (1/4 inch total) but held it's retention for a good long time. Brewed with beet sugar and green raisins the scent is on the slightly on the sweeter end of things but not artificial or too much of a candyness to it. It's not overbearing-You can smell the yeast and malts. It definitely smells like beer but Dogfish Head prides itself on doing things offbeat/off center and it's an usual aroma but piques the interest on how it's gonna taste.
Full bodied but not thick. The dark sugars and slightly grape flavors blend well with a malty dryness. Very smooth and not bitter-unless one is made aware that this is a 8% abv they'd never have an idea. It's a proverbial iron fist in a velvet glove story. As it warms in the glass it takes on more of a spiced wine taste but still holds a distinct character. It finishes with a creamy and caramel like flavor. I wouldn't suggest it as something when the months get warmer and the days get longer but in the cold times were in right now, this is an enjoyable beer to curl up on the couch with the wife, a big quilt and a couple of movies.

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