Monday, November 2, 2015

Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron (review)

Beer Review #56

What happens when you make beer in the largest (10,000 gallon) handmade wooden brew tanks built in America since before Prohibition, and instead of using more typical oak, you construct those tanks with imported Palo Santo wood from Paraguay? You end up with Palo Santo Marron brown ale from American craft brewing rock stars - Dogfish Head Brewing Company.

I had to research the Palo Santo tree (who says beer can't be educational?). Based on what I learned, its potential to yield great beer isn't all that shocking, though I'm guessing that in these days when beer is more typically made in stainless steel containers, or the occasional oak barrel, 10 thousand gallon handmade containers made of an exotic import are probably out of the question for your typical profit-obsessed mega brewer. But the beauty of a company like Dogfish Head is that they are small enough to care (about quality and creativity), and yet also big enough to do something about it. Judging by what I'm tasting right now - the investment was well worth it.

At 12% Palo Santo Marron, like the brewer's more famous 120 Minute IPA, is a BIG, cellar-friendly beer. You'll find no "best by" date on this baby. Stash a bottle away in a cool place for a couple of years and taste the magic.

Though classified as a brown-ale, this baby pours as dark as any porter/stout and boasts a brown head of foam to match. They say opinions are like assholes because everyone has one. But everybody also has a nose, and this nose smells primarily caramel and ethanol with hints of coffee.

Mouth-feel is viscous (but totally in a good way), with off the chart flavors: vanilla, caramel, some roasted notes and of course the alcohol warmth you'd expect from a 12%ABV. I might add that this beer is also quite sweet - but again - totally in a good way. I'd be very interested to taste a bottle of this after several years of aging.

Musical Pairing: Our Wings are Burning by Virgin Black

Twin Tiers Beer Trail:
-Twin Tiers Craft Beer Club
The Jolly Farmer, Waverly
Bluestone Brewing Company (Sayre)
- Diversion Brewing Co. (Chemung)
River Barge Brewing (Wyalusing)

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