Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fort from Dogfish Head Brewery

Dogfish Head Fort was a rarity that I found one day at Party Town in Florence, KY.  A rarity on two points, one because it is a occasional release by Dogfish Head, and two, the bottling date stamped on the bottle was 2008 (over two years ago).  When I noticed the bottle, it was stuffed back behind others on a end-cap shelf.  I knew that this is going to be a special beer, so I took it with me on my winter trip, to see my very good friend Jenni, in Houston, TX.

Fort, is a ale style brew, some what of a Belgium style ale, that is brewed with a "ridiculous" amount of pureed raspberries.  At around 15-18% ABV and 49 IBU, it is a very big beer that should be on the sweet side.  Since it was bottled over two years ago, it had plenty of time to cellar and have the sweetness meld away into the beer.  Also, from prior experiences with Dogfish Head, it should be hot and boozy.

I was not able find much on the grains and hops that were used to make the beer, but the Alstrom Brothers did a excellent interview with Sam Calagione on Beer Advocate, that I would recommend reading.

This beer was so large that I had to share it.  It came in a 750-mL bottle and was serve in pint glasses (not white wine glasses as recommended).

Appearance:  The beer pour slightly hazy (could be from the airplane ride from Dayton, OH and the a layover in Charlotte, NC) with a brilliant rose color.  In the sun, I could see pink and orange in the beer.  It was topped by a glossy 2 to 4-cm head that left a lacy film on the glass.

Aroma:  Fort has an intense raspberry aroma that bring both tart and sweet to the nose.  I smell slight Belgium esters in the beer with pale malts.

Taste:  First sip..."INTENSE" and "boozy" were the only word that came to mind.  After getting past the alcohol, a tartness that dominates the taste buds, with some spices, candy sugar, and honey that washes down with the beer.  I get a earthy hops that I didn't detect in the aroma. 

Mouthfeel:  Fort was highly carbonated and after the sweetness from the raspberries leaves the mouth, a dryness is left on the tongue and the rest of the palate.  A solvent heat from the alcohol warms the body.

Overall: Definitely a beer that needs to be shared with a friend.  This was extremely drinkable, which was not my first thoughts after the first sip.  A sipping beer at that...

I had fun with this beer and have many more Dogfish Head beers in the cellar that I will age over the next couple of years.

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