Dogfish Head Beer Tasting – Review

I had a thoroughly enjoyable time at the Flying Saucer last night. They had a Dogfish Head beer tasting event, where we got to try five different Dogfish Head beers along with a five course tasting meal to go with the beers and such.

First: By far, my favorite was the Midas Touch. It was an excellent beverage, extremely smooth. The contents of it are unusual (as with all Dogfish Head beers), and it had a flavor which I’m somewhat unable to describe. Very mellow and mead-like, but not overpoweringly so. Strong as heck (9%) but you can’t tell at all. A very complicated beer.

Second: The Festina Peche, which was not a beer that I was expecting them to have. It’s a wheat beer, but they called it a “Neo-Berliner” which was new to me. It had the most variation in flavor of any beer that night, very sweet at first, turning almost sour by the 4th-5th taste. High in carbonation (for a beer), but surprisingly low in alcohol (only 4.5%). Excellent flavor though, and I will pick it up again when I find it.

Third: The 90 Minute IPA. For those of you that know me, you probably know that I hate IPA’s. Really, really hate them. However, the 90 Minute IPA really does an amazing job of hiding the hop flavors with the sweet flavors at the start. I did discover that if you block the sweet flavors by eating some bread just before taking a drink, then it’s extremely hoppy. All the hop flavor comes out when you can’t taste the sweetness.

Fourth: Raison d’Etre. This is one I’ve had many times before, it’s a beer made with green raisins and Belgian yeasts. It’s a good beer, but many people don’t like it because it’s slightly sour flavored and very malty. Note that by ranking this 4th, I’m not saying it’s bad, I’m just saying that the other three were better. :)

Fifth: The 60 Minute IPA. It’s a pretty average IPA, but with a lot more hops than per normal. The hop flavor is immediately apparent as it’s way overhopped. I have to say that while I can drink this beer, I don’t really care for it much. It’s a high alcohol beer (6%) for a low alcohol price, and that’s a good thing. It’s also a much better beer than many others on the market. However, it’s very much an IPA with a huge amount of hops, and I don’t care for that style of beer myself. But if you like IPAs, you’ll love it.

Unranked: The 120 Minute IPA. Mikey was lucky enough to procure the “Golden Ticket” and thus win one of the coveted bottles of their heavy-duty IPA. We also procured a couple of other floating bottles, so I got to taste this one fairly well. The short of it is that that it’s very strong. At 18%, it’s not messing around when it comes to the alcohol. It’s also very heavily hopped, but honestly, the alcohol hides that flavor. Again, I tried the bread trick, and it worked, you can really taste the hops when the sweet alcohol is hidden from your palate. I do not recommend doing this trick on this beer however, as it tasted like I had chewed on a handful of hop pellets. It’s that strong. On the whole, however, it’s a good beer, but it’s more like a fine wine. Sip it. Slowly.

The food was delicious as well, and whoever thought of mixing the Peche wheat beer with orange sherbet is a sheer genius. Same goes for the Beef Stew and the 90 minute IPA.

The guy from Dogfish Head mentioned that they’re bringing their beers into more Memphis liquor stores. Apparently we have a 6% law I did not know about, so you’ll likely only be able to find the stuff in liquor stores and not general grocery stores. Some of their beers are well worth the extra trip, so I plan on making some liquor store runs soon and seeing what I can find.