My first beer posts back in the states will be about as far away from German style beers as one can possible get. I sat down this week to enjoy two from the Great Dogfish Head Brewery out of Deleware. I have talked about their beer before of course as this is one of my favorite breweres, and I love the experimentation that goes on there. While not all are successes, I appreciate the effort to do something new.
Chateau Jiahu: One of the most unique beers I've ever had, well according to the label its actually a"malt beverage" not a beer, but whatever. Made with Hawthorn fruit, honey, grape concentrate, Chrysanthemum flowers, this is like Midas Touch, a reproduction of an ancient beer. Go to the website to find out a little more about the history. The beer was packaged in a big bottle, the label an amazing piece of artwork. The beer weighs in at a nice 8%, pours a nice cloudy yellow orange, with plenty of carbonation but minimal head. The nose is full of honey, citrus, orange blossom, and floural notes. The mouth is more of the same, mild, with floural notes, citrusy notes, yeasty, loads of frozen white grape juice flavor, and very bubbly, like a champagne. Very interesting, not sure I would get this again and again, but it has its place thats for sure.
Raison D'Extra: One of my favorite beers is the Raison d'etre so when I saw this at my local Spec's, a Souped up version so to speak I had to grab a couple of bottles. WARNING: as this beer is an alcohol BOMB! The beer weighs in at 18%! Pours a dark rich cloudy copper brown, again with minimal head, and nice carbonation. As expected the nose is full of brown raisins, brown sugar and caramel, suprsingy not a lot of alcohol. The mouth has lots of raisins, maple syrup, not a lot of hops and this is where the alcohol starts to show up hiding some of the nuances you know want to come out. Like the 120 minute IPA, I think this beer will mellow out stretching and concentrating the brown sugar and raisin flavors with a little bit of age.