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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Couple of Ancients

        Tell you what – When you drink a lot of beer, it’s becomes increasingly rare to come across brews that are truly original.   Ones that make you rethink what brewing can be, rather than what it’s about.  By no stretch of the imagination am I disparaging traditional brewing methods.  Rinse and repeat.  I love traditional styles, and can’t express my appreciation enough to the brewers that continue to produce them. 
        It’s just such a nice change of pace to really come across something so original that it reshapes how you think about beer.  Whether you enjoy them or not (I actually only liked one of these two I’m about to review), it’s just plain cool.

Dogfish Head Midas Touch –

        One of the first of Dogfish Head’s Ancient Ales series, “Midas Touch is based on molecular evidence found in a Turkish tomb believed to have belonged to King Midas.”  (   Awesome, right?   

       I don’t even know quite how to describe this one – It’s not mead.  It’s not a wine.  It’s not a beer.  It’s a really interesting amalgamation of all three.  If you’ve tasted a honey liquor like mead, you can definitely taste the honey coming through, and if you’ve had a dessert wine like Muscat or late harvest Riesling, that’s there too.  However it’s spiced, Dogfish Head manages to create a nice balance, so that the sweetness isn’t overpowering.   Definitely a sipping beer at 9%.  I would definitely buy this beer again, but I can see how it wouldn’t be for everyone.

Dogfish Head Ta Henket –

        I wish there were a weirdness scale for beer, because this would be the definition of said weirdness scale.  I am going to repeat weirdness one more time so it sinks in.  Wierdness. 

        It’s brewed with an ancient strain of wheat, loaves of bread, chamomile, dom-palm fruit, and unrevealed Middle Eastern herbs.  I hope that gives you some idea of it’s weirdness.  Oh, I forgot.  The brewer’s even collected a strain of Egyptian Yeast on a Petri dish while travelling there…

        As far as taste…let me relate this story.  My brother and I shared a bottle.  I took the first sip, and had no idea what to think.  I wasn’t sure if I liked it or hated it because it didn’t fit into any category that I could associate it with.  He tasted it, and pretty much said it was one of the worst beers he’d ever had, and that it reminded him of how the inside of Nepalese stores smelled when he travelled to Nepal.  That kind of ruined it for me, and all I could taste after that was Nag Champa incense, Cumin and sand.  With carbonated water.  So if you’re into that kind of thing…

All in all, Dogfish Head is a cool brewery.  I’ve tasted some of the more traditional beers, and they’re fantastic.  I love this experimental wing of their brewery, and can’t wait to see what they put out in the future.

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