Sunday, January 24, 2010

208. Dogfish Head Chicory Stout

Dogfish Head says yummy goodness. Or at least that is our claim for today. This is our seventh beer from Sam in Delaware. Our rundown includes Theobroma, 120 Minute IPA, Festina Peche, Squall IPA, Burton Baton Oak Aged Imperial IPA, and Sah’tea. We had this on tap at South Park Tavern; we had pizza and beers while watching the Saints decide that they really did want to win that game, and pull their heads out at the end.

Chicory Stout has a creamy roasted malt nose that is also a bit woody. We think the color was an opaque brown or black—sorry, the bar was dark and also crowded—with a thick tan head. It also started out a bit cold, so we did wait a little for it to warm up to get a better sense of the taste and smell. Chicory Stout starts creamy and roasty, moves into some mild lactose-like sweetness accompanied by light coffee flavors, and finishes with more roastiness mixed with woody, chicory, and herbal notes (well, at least we are taking it to be chicory—there was a taste we weren’t readily able to identify that married well with the roasted malt profile)—it ends rather clean. The mouthfeel is rich, creamy, and smooth; there is very little burnt unmalted barley flavor across the profile of the beer, but still rich and enjoyable. There is also a good bit of dryness across the body, particularly at the end. Chicory Stout is rather subdued for Dogfish Head; they’ve done a nice job here of using a unique ingredient to subtle effect; as a stout, this is well rounded, and also very drinkable. As noted above, the chicory blends well with the rest of the beer, making this a smooth, nuanced, and, more importantly, very enjoyable beer.

From the Dogfish Head website: “A dark beer made with a touch of roasted chicory, organic Mexican coffee, St. John's Wort, and licorice root. Brewed with whole-leaf Cascade and Fuggles hops, the grains include pale, roasted & oatmeal. Chicory is one of the first beers we started brewing when the brewpub opened back in 1995. That’s back when we had a teeny, tiny brewing system and had to brew all day, every day to keep up the bar stocked. Brewing with the same four ingredients got real boring, real fast. That’s when Sam’s ADD kicked in and he started adding some non-traditional brewing ingredeints. Chicory Stout is our winter seasonal and released in bottles each year in the November/December timeframe. We do brew this beer in smaller, draft-only batches for our brewpub throughout the year. It is roasty and delicious. It is also a fantastic food beer and pairs very well with chocolate!”

ABV: 5.2%
IBU: 21


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