Sunday, December 13, 2009

Dogfish Head: Chicory Stout

A couple weeks ago, my buddy Joe told me I needed to try Dogfish Head's World Wide Stout. Problem is, by the time I got to the beer store, I couldn't remember the name of the beer I was supposed to get. I grabbed the first Dogfish Head stout I saw. So I made the wrong pick, but I wouldn't really call it a bad pick.

Dogfish's Chicory Stout is a very creamy stout, almost a milk stout. It's even got that faint chocolaty sweetness you tend to get in good milk stouts. But this brew's got some notable coffee flavors as well, which gives it a faintly mocha-esque taste. For a stout, it's got a very mild hop kick. Usually I would complain, but since the malt flavors are not nearly so big and bold as you might otherwise expect, the reduced hoppiness actually works out pretty well.

In fact, the flavors in this beer are so nuanced and carefully balanced that it seems to be a little bit of a departure for Dogfish. The Dogfish brews I'm used to make bold moves with pronounced and unconventional flavors. This beer, on the other hand, is a lot more traditional and reserved. The upside, of course, is that this is definitely a beer that you could have 2 or 3 of in a night before getting tired of it, which I can't say about their 90 minute IPA, as much as I love it.

A very tasty and approachable beer, especially on a cold winter night.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Flying Dog Bewery: Kerberos Tripel

I haven't had a new flying dog in a while (though I do go for a six pack of their Old Scratch lager every now and again). Never having tried their version of the Belgian Tripel, I decided to give it a try.

I am picky when it comes to Belgian brews, but I was really underwhelmed by this one. It's got a primarily sour-citrus taste to it, and it finishes with a very yeasty taste. Not really my ideal flavor combo. It doesn't really seem to have any of that earthy spiciness that makes for a great Belgian beer either.

Flying Dog is turning out to be a real hit-or-miss kind of establishment. Their Old Scratch lager and Gonzo porter are quality brews, and their IPA is respectable, to say the least. But their winter warmer and this brew have been disappointing, and their pale is just another undifferentiated american pale ale.

Oh well. The 8.5% ABV is appreciated on a cold December night. Happy Holidays.