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Tasting notes from a tortured soul.

Six small glasses with various beers in them, ready for tasting

A while back, two good friends and clients of mine (who will remain nameless unless they wish otherwise) found a way to get 10 super-fresh bottles of DogFish Brewery beer all the way across the country to California, for my tasting pleasure. As a way of thanking them for their kind gesture, I wrote up some tasting notes for their enjoyment. Perhaps you too, dear reader, will enjoy the notes and the suggested pairings:

Midas Touch: 8/10. A honey-infused, fruity brew with a touch of class. Goes best with a bit of soft cheese, top shelf crackers, and board shorts, while listening to 80's throwback soft rock, watching an Ikea tea light burn itself out in the breeze, and listlessly musing about good times past.

Indian Brown Ale: 7/10. Slightly sweet with brown undertones, followed by a lingering aftertaste of brown. Goes best with fist full of peanuts, a strip of turkey bacon, and a Thai lettuce wrap. Suggested clothing paring: brown casual oxfords. And pants. Definitely pants.

60 Minute IPA: 9/10. The beer gods dropped out of the attic and laid this beauty of a beverage in our proverbial laps. Smooth as a baby's bottom, perfectly hopped like a well-formed bunny rabbit, and tasty enough to be illegal in 12 minor territories. Best with a bowl of guacamole and a lightly grilled salmon with garlic butter.

90 Minute IPA: 6/10. So ... when the beer gods dropped out of the attic, it was a good thing, right? I mean, free beer flowing and all. But that extra 30 minutes, man, then they have to use the restroom, and want something to snack on, and next thing you know they're sitting around with their shoes off. And their feet smell. Sort of like this beer. Best with stale pretzels, day-old pizza, and a hangover.

Burton Baton: 7/10. Boldly tossing its hat into the arena, flouting it's "oak-aged" flavor, the Baton was boasting some mighty big shoes to fill. But was it too big for its britches? Was that oak-aged flavor the shiznit after all? Or was the fruit cake's worth of spices an overwhelming blow to the delicate afterglow? Perhaps. Best with a warm sweater, eggnog, and a tic-tac chaser.

Palo Santo Marron: 9/10. Stunningly rich and thick and meaty enough to scare off all but the heartiest vegetarians, with hints of peach and epic thunderclouds in the sky with diamonds and shiz. Holy crap this beer is like all of the goodness of a three-day weekend compressed into 12 ounces and spiked with a pinch of malt. Best with peach cobbler, coconut-encrusted white fish on the grill, and a pair of flip-flops carelessly tossed aside in the heat of the (culinary) moment. Update: Seriously, folks? This is an awesome brew.

Piercing Pils: 5/10. A light and cheerful beverage, full of sparkle and life. Just like that annoying kid in high school that would never leave you alone. Lingering aftertaste of, well, pretty much nothing. Best with milquetoast, low-fat low-sodium popcorn, and a box of tissues. Snif, snif, my friends.

Sixty-One: 8/10. An ale brewed with "grape must". 'Grape must' what? Must taste good, that's what! A tasty brew for casual occasions like electronic bill pay, cleaning the BBQ grill, or one-handed diaper changing. Just a whiff of spice to add complexity, which dissipates long before any malodorous aftertaste. Best with white pizza, an arugula salad, a side of beets, and — after reduction — drizzled over toffee ice cream.

Tweason'ale: 6/10. In a cherished and time-honored tradition, the head brewer binged for 36 hours on Skittles and Diet Caffeine Free Sprite, subsequently depositing them with a Technicolor yawn into the brewers vat with just a smidgeon of yeast and carbonation. Goes best with dandelions, unicorn feet, and glitter.

Namaste: 7/10. A wonderful, fruity, effervescent brew that harks back to a childhood of lightning bugs, Sprite, and friends at college with an unhealthy fascination with burning cloves. Brewed with orange slices and peppercorns, which come to think of it would make a great steak rub for the BBQ. Goes best with dark chocolate, strawberry shortcake, and batik-print scarf worn as a spur-of-the-moment robe by a long-haired free spirit. As it were.


Image source: Sal Gh


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