Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 17, Dogfish Head Chicory Stout


Here is another winner out of Scoats's 24 beers of Christmas case.  I am definitely Wow-ed by this beer!  Does the crew at Dogfish Head ever sleep?  They put out countless beers!  I would really like to put this up against Philadelphia Brewing Company's Joe Porter and see which one I preferred.

OK, excellent use of crimp top bottle.  Homebrew points!

The pour is so nice and quiet.  Like slushy New Jersey waves breaking on the beach in the middle of a blizzard.  The head takes a minute to form from the carbonation and is a tan color.  The bottle describes it as bone white,  but it's darker and thin with fine bubbles.  It leaves VERY nice lacing on the glass like a hurricane fence pattern of stacked diamonds.  

The aroma of roasted coffee soon hits your nose and sits on top of a dark malty nose.  So this beer has Chicory in it as well and it is often used as a coffee substitute so I am guessing that it is not all too prevalent in the nose of the beer, but I'm getting mild hints of vanilla.  Perhaps that comes from the chicory.

Wow, reading up on chicory has me fascinated with this plant, the leaves are the bitter red salad leaf called radicchio!  I had no idea!  Chicory has a couple of functions in beer.  The bitterness may allow you to augment your hop profile AND it adds a sweetness or body as well if used properly and I think that is where DFH is going with this.

As you sip, the hop profile is not real apparent but the roasted coffee sweetness is.  The mild to medium carbonation almost let's you think that you have a root beer in your mouth until the bittering hops come through.  The mouthfeel is rich and creamy and the body medium heavy.  There are definitely vanilla notes in this beer and they are apparent at the end.  Also, have you ever notices a mild numbing of the tongue with root beer or birch beer?  Almost like it's medicinal?  I get a little of that as well.  It's so freaking complex and delicious!  The finish is slightly dry and bitter as it gets you prepared for the next sip.  

As the beer approaches the 55 degree mark or even 60, the flavours and aromas really start to emanate from the beer.  It truly is a remarkable beer!

As always, please, comment on this beer if you have tried it!  I am dying to get some feedback!  Have a great night and HAPPY FRIDAY!



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