Dogfish Head “Red & White”

After hearing quite a bit of craft beer bashing on Fourth of July, I decided it was time to drink some great beer, and on July 6th, after my bloody mary and a Avery Maharajah at Mark Bar,  KLK and I drank our bottle of Dogfish Head‘s “Red & White” (Bottled on 2/9/07).

This is one of those really obscure limited release 750ml bottles that DFH does…in their words it is:

A big, belgian-style Wit brewed with coriander and orange peel and fermented with Pinot Noir juice. After fermentation a fraction of the batch is aged in Oregon Pinot Noir barrels, and another fraction is aged on oak staves. The beer is blended together before packaging.

This ends up being quite possibly the strongest Wit beer I have ever tasted at 10% alcohol by volume. 11% of the beer is aged in Pinot Noir barrels, and the other 89% is aged in Oak barrels.

This beer looked pretty intimidating, especially because I am not really a fan of the Wit style. It was my first wine aged beer, and I was a little bit afraid of the term “pinot noir juice.” But I guess they were just using juice as a slang term for wine (not the first time I have heard this). But DFH proved to me again without a doubt that they can do no wrong.

It was wonderful and unique, and it makes me sad I only had one bottle.

My thoughts:

The beer poured a redish brown color with a 1″off white slightly redish colored head that resulted from a slightly harsh pour. As I drank the glass a bubbly lace remained around the sides. The smell was wheaty, hints of corriander, citrus/orange/lemon, strong grape or wine scent, with hints oak and vanilla. It was a really crazy bouquet. The taste was what you would expect from a belgian wit, but slightly heavier and with a ton of berry and wine flavors. The fruitiness and the alcohol really cut the light overly wheaty favor that wit beers normally have, and let some nice vanilla essence come out. Dogfish Head uses wine when the normal person would use a lemon. Strong, but not overly sweet with the alcohol hidden very well. This full bodied version of what people typically consider a light beer was easy to drink, flavorful, and unique.

I highly recommend tying this one out if you see a bottle of it at the store or in the bar. I was really satisfied, and I hope to find another bottle for a special occasion.

I would give this a 90 out of 100 (if I review beers from now on I am going to try to do this rating system).

See what other people think of it here.

Photos borrowed from Dogfish Head’s website.

(Tom)

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