Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Dogfish Head Bitches Brew

I haven't had a lot of time to write a review of my few beers that I have drank over the past couple of days.  These next few post will be written after the fact.  I have three reviews that I has to catch up on:

For the New Year's I figured that I would break into my collection and open a bottle that I can share around with other people.  What better choice to taste a beer that numerous people have heard about because of few reasons.  First, because of a new show on Discovery channel called Brew Masters featuring Sam Calagione.  Secondly, because of the popularity of craft beer over the past few years.  The list can go on and on.

For the New Years I decided to open and share a occasional rarity brew by Dogfish Head called Bitches Brew. 



This beer was released to coincide with the release of the 40th anniversary edition of Miles Davis' Bitches Brew vinyl.  As explained on the website, this beer is "a bold, dark beer that's a fusion of three threads imperial stout and one thread honey beer with gesho root, a gustatory analog to Miles' masterpiece."  I can't find any information on specific grains or hops, but from the information that I have found the beer is a blended beer of three different imperial stouts and one batch of honey beer.

The honey beer, a mead-like concoction based on a traditional Ethiopian alcoholic drink called "Tej."  Tej are usually made in winter, because in summer the must may go bad before it starts fermenting.  Gesho, a common name for Rhamnus prinioides, the Shiny-leaf Buckthorn, is an African shrub or small tree in the family Rhamnaceae.  The root is used in the beer as a bittering agent.  The beer has a ABV of 9% and 38 IBU.

Appearance:  The beer pour a deep black with a hints of ruby around the rim and in the abyss of the beer.  The beer is looks as though it is filtered with no particulates within the beer.  A tan head fluffy head sit on top of the beer that leaves a lot of lacing around the glass as it is drank. As it is left to sit, the head does not die down past 1-cm.

Aroma:  First thing that hits the nose with this beer is the honey with faint hints of dark chocolate, molasses and roasted barley.  It has such a complex smell.  As the beer is drank, some woody notes and spice comes to the nose.

Taste:  The first thing that comes from this beer is the dark chocolate taste and honey.  Honey is present with each sip and is what really stands out in this beer.  The taste has differences that what was present in the aroma.  The chocolate isn't as sweet as it smells in the nose but come out as the bittering agent.  I do which that I new what gesho really tastes like so that I can pull that out of the beer.  I taste the toasty malts and the alcohol warming isn't that present in this beer for being such a high ABV.

Mouthfeel:  Very creamy, almost silky with low carbonation.  The creaminess of the beer coats the mouth at first with sweetness and then leaves the mouth dry, really wanting more.

Overall:  This is a solid beer, but with all the hype it was better than average.  If I haven't gone looking for this beer and just happened on it and not know anything of what DFH does, I would have been blown away.  I was very pleased that I did find this and got to experience the beer.  I have one left in the cellar and will sit on it for a few years.

I have a line-up of other rarities by DHF that I am waiting to try next.  I really can't wait...

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