Monday, July 13, 2009

13. Dogfish Head Burton Baton Oak Aged Imperial IPA

Our second beer from Dogfish Head; while it is a bit early to already be doubling up on breweries, we got a four-pack of Burton Baton as a gift and just couldn’t wait any longer to try it. Take that, Puritan ethics of denying one’s self pleasure. As with last time, Dogfish Head Brewery is still located in Milton, DE, and their brewpub is in Rehoboth Beach, DE.

Burton Baton has a particularly delicious nose, combining maltiness, hoppiness, and oakiness to create a trifecta of olfactory delight. I almost didn’t want to stop smelling the beer, but was told I needed a) start the actual tasting, and b) stop bogarting the log. Remember, it’s puff puff pass. Or in this case, sniff sip pass. The rich full brown color was accentuated with red hints; while there was a bit of a sticky sweet mouthfeel, due in part to the higher ABV, it balanced nicely with the oakiness that was surprisingly un-tannic. Flavor-wise, a pronounced malty sweetness to start that was strong but not overbearing before moving cleanly into the hoppy middle, carrying with it pine and resin notes. There was minimal overall bitterness, at least in large quantities, probably due in part to the increased malt load of the beer, but the hop flavors worked well here. Burton Baton finishes with oakiness, although there is a noticeable lack of the vanilla hints that traditionally accompany oak. The oakiness does increase as the bottle warms, becomes more prominent; from the current flavor, I think that this is a beer that will age well, especially as some of the oak mellows and rounds out the overall flavor. For a 10% beer, the alcohol never really comes to the forefront, which is impressive.

From the Dogfish Head website: "“A blend of oak-aged English strong ale and our 90 Minute I.P.A. Citrus notes from Northwestern hops meld with vanilla notes from the oak.”

ABV: 10%
IBU: 70

"Huh huh...huh huh huh huh. You said increased malt load."


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