Bringing this home the little misses notices that it was a Dogfish Head label,she hadn't seen before and knowing they're into pushing the extreme beers into all kinds of different directions asks "Oh no, what are they up to now?"
"It's a double IPA aged in oak barrels. Notice the label. It's Jon Langford of the Mekons artwork. That's gotta make it cool no matter what. I'm gonna let it chill awhile and we'll give it a try."
"We?" she asks with a bit of sarcasm in her voice. "More like I'll take a sip to see what it's about, tell you it's a bit too much for my taste and you can have the rest to yourself."
She's most likely right. She has her faves but they lean towards the wheat's and the fruit type beers. She is interested in the brewing processes and the what will they think of nextness of the crazier brews but as she said to me one evening while trying something a bit over the top "This is the kind of thing where someone would say 'This will put some hair on your chest' and that's not something I'm interested in persuing."
This is one of those kind of beers. She gave it an obligatory sip, made notice of it's sweet and woodsy taste saying "I think you'll really like this one but I'm gonna go with that bottle of Hoegaarden that's in the fridge. It's more my speed." Ahh, ya gotta love her.
Dark amber in color with about a quarter inch head that doesn't last very long 'cept for a slight bit on top making for a good amount of lace on the glass. A decent level on complexities in the scent-Oak (natch) is the first thing detected in the aroma which is not something anyone normally expects in a beer. Notes of toffee malts come next along with a floral yet unobtrusive aroma of hops and bit of a warming alcohol effect. The boozy aroma's weren't so suprising (we're talking 10% abv here) but the understatedness of the hops I found interesting because, after all, this is a double/imperial IPA.
The variety of scents do help one know what to expect in the taste (as they should) but only a bit though. It doesn't quite prepare ya for what's in store. According to the Dogfish Head website this is a combo of their 90 Minute IPA and English strong ale stored away in the wood casks until it's ready for bottling. The wood aging gives this a smokey and slight caramel sweetness all of it's own, subduing the smack of hops that the 90 brings with it and mellowing the bitter bluster that a good portion of strong ales bring with them. As the sips go on and the beers warms a little the a citrus tang from the hops becomes more noticable but never over take the proceedings. The flavors of the oak and the 90 Minute IPA compliment each other nicely and the full & creamy consistency of the beer itself make for a pleasent feeling in the mouth and down the throat. The aftertaste has something like a cinnamon and citrus thing going on but it's not overbearing nor does it carry too much stickiness with it. If you're looking for a straight up D-IPA this is probably not what you're looking for but if you're interested in seeing what kind of things can be done with one, giving it a flavor exclusive to itself, this is one to pick up. I know I'll be returning to it a time or two before this season's stock is gone from the party store shelves around this town.