Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Burton Baton Imperial IPA

Beer Review #74

I've been suffering from a head-cold these last few days. With a sense of smell and taste so inexorably linked to each other, and to craft beer, I thought a nice strong hopped up Imperial IPA would be just the thing to cut through the sinus congestion. Seeing as its been awhile since I reviewed a beer from Dogfish Head and I thought I'd correct this oversight with a taste of their Burton Baton Imperial IPA.

Of my 73 previous beer reviews (read them all: here) a great many have been of India Pale Ales, but off the top of my head I can't recall many of those IPA's being oak aged. According to the brewer's website, Burton Baton is the blend of an English style old ale and an Imperial IPA, brewed and fermented separately and then combined to age for a month in an oak tank. Pouring a transparent red-leaning amber-brown with a thick head of creamy foam, Burton Baton, visually says "I'm more than just a hop bomb."

Even in my congested state, a rich malty backbone is readily apparent. If you've ever home brewed with malt extract and licked some from your finger before pouring it into the kettle you'll have some idea of the taste (totally in a good way). But also look for strong vanilla and licorice notes imparted by the oak.

If you're all about the hops, never fear. At 70IBU's Burton Baton is sufficiently bitter and calls to mind 120 Minute IPA and Palo Santo Marron, two other high-alochol, age-able Dogfish Head concoctions which somehow manage to balance the ferocity of hops (mainly floral) with the mellow sweetness of oak and malt without pulling punches with either.

10% ABV. A touch of alcohol burn on the nasal exhale.

Musical Pairing: Space Oddity Tribute to David Bowie by Jordan Rudess on grand piano

  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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