This beer is one of my last few that I picked up at my recent run to the Spec's Superstore. I have had this beer a few times in the past, but before I began putting up tasting notes on beer on this blog so I thought it was worth buying again just for the experience, and of course sharing.
The Style: This is a pretty unique beer. The style is a spiced beer, but this particular one is much much more than that. This beer is based on an ancient recipe, actually the oldest known beer recipe that was found in King Midas's tomb. Using some modern ingredients the ever Extreme folks over at Dogfish created this Golden Elixir. Its an amazing piece of work that started as a lark, but became one of their year round brews.
The Brewery: I love Dogfish Head. I am fortunate to leave in an area that gets most of their regular year round selections which makes me very happy as I have tried all of the beers I can get a hold of. The brewery started out as just a Brew Pub by one of the more creative Brewers in the States Sam Calagione in Rehobeth Deleware. In some of the books I have read he has stated that he does not make beer for beer drinkers instead he makes them for Wine Drinkers. This creates some contravened since a lot of his beers don't taste like well....beer, leaving some traditionalists upset. I disagree as I love his 90 minute IPA and think his 60 minute IPA is one of the best every day beers you can have. I love the seasonal Aprihop, and India Brown Ale and of course the first beer I had by Sam raisin d'etre, made of course with real raisins.
The Beer: This beer fits in the aforementioned category of trying to make beer for wine drinkers. The ingredients of this ancient beer are barley, juniper, White Muscat grapes and Saffron. This is a complex beverage to say the list. The beer comes in a four pack and is not that cheap. I used a chalice shaped glass to show off its complexity. It pours a very bright golden orange with a thick white head that dissipates into plenty of lacing. There is some orange spice and hoppy bitterness in the nose. There is a very nice mouthfeel, with spicey and fruity notes jumping out on my tongue. As the beer sits in your mouth you do get the feel of the Muscat grapes coming through adding another level, then coming out at the end is some floral hop bitterness. The aftertaste has a bit of alcohol burn, which at 9% abv I guess I was a bit surprised by. I really enjoyed this beer, however not everyone agrees. Here is what the folks at BA had to say.
Food for Thought: I think this is pretty much a sipping beer but if your going to serve it with food I would go for a strong hard cheese like asiago or a good aged Parmesan.