Monday, August 2, 2010
Dogfish Head Red & White
Saturday my wife and I were at the store trying to decide what to try that night. She couldn't find the bottle of wine that she wanted to try and I couldn't decide on what mega-super hoppy-imperial-double-triple ale I wanted to try. So I saw the very last lonely bottle of Dogfish Head Red & White on the shelf. I decided it was a good compromise and something she and I would both enjoy.
The label states that this is a typical Belgian Witbier, brewed with orange and coriander, mixed with Pinor Noir juice and aged on oak barrels. 11% in Pinot Noir barrels and 89% on oak staves. It also boasts a 10% ABV so I was expecting another big Dogfish brew.
So I poured two glasses, they poured a dark gold or light reddish color. My wife wanted me to point out that this was "beer red" not "wine red" like the pinot noir would suggest. The aroma wasn't overpowering, to me the first whiff was a winey nose with the suggestion of alcohol which faded along with the white head. When I smelled it again I couldn't get anything more out of it except a bit of that grapey nose.
The first taste was delicious! My wife and I both took a sip at the same time. You could definitely tell it was 10% ABV and we both got a blast of flavors and warmth at the back of our throats. I tried to pick out citrus, coriander, grapes, hops, malt, etc. but it all went too fast. I couldn't get the individual flavors because there were too many melded together. Our second and subsequent tastes didn't have the initial surprising blast of flavor that the first one did. We were both a little disappointed that we failed to pick and identify the witbier and wine parts.
I should mention another thing. I poured this at maybe 45 degrees or so straight from the fridge and, as I mentioned above, there was a warm alcohol flavor at the back of our throats. Well, as it warmed it did the opposite I expected. The beer got smoother as it got warmed, I expected the alcohol to shine through but it was much mellower than I expected at that point. The initial mouthfeel was like a typical wheat beer with a medium-high thickness. As it warmed I felt it also felt thinner as well as smoother. Very interesting beer!
The Bottom Line: While this beer is not my typical forte when I'm drinking on my own, I have to say I enjoyed it. I always enjoy Dogfish Head beers since "off centered ales, for off centered people" seems to describe me so well. I would recommend trying this one for anybody who is interested in experimental styles or trying something new. As a "limited rarity" you should pick up a bottle when you see one. For 2010, they released it in February so it will probably be a little hard to find starting soon. If you find one age it or drink it right away, and be sure to share with the wine drinker in your life!
Style: Belgian Witbier with Pinor Noir juice
Original Release Date: 01/2007
Recommended glassware: snifter