Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Witness the Firepower of this Fully Armed and Operational Dogfish Beer!

Let's talk about beer shall we?

Rob has always spoken of Dogfish Head beer in quiet, reverent tones. His eyes shimmering with lust, like two shimmering things - One of his great beer laments that he could not get this mythically delicious beer here in California. Last week, when he sent me an instant message letting me know that Dogfish was finally making its way to our golden state, and that there would be a fancy launch party at our very own beer paradise, the Toronado, I enthused that he had me at beer. I mean, when Rob makes the beer call, you gotta accept the charges!

As soon as I got off work, I made a frantic run across town as I knew the small space was likely to become quickly filled to overflowing. I was not disappointed. As much as I love the comforting, pungently scented arms of the Toronado, it is quite possible the worst bar for beer events ever. It's small. And beer nerds are drawn to events there in droves rarely seen by non-nerds. It was already two deep at the bar when I arrived, and as I waited. And waited. And waited some more to get my greedy hands on a beer, I began to wonder if it was worth it to even be there.

Before doubt could sink its claws too deeply in me, Rob arrived and grounded me with his forceful gaze of desire. He would not be letting me leave anytime soon. Sacrifices must be made for the cause of delicious beer! We finally had our chance to order, and were mortified to find that the object of our mutual desire wasn't going to be served until the event officially began at six. Oh no! I had to make do with a paltry Pliny The Elder! My life is very hard. The buzz built steadily as the magic hour approached, and when we heard a bell ring there was a pavlovian rush to the bar. Seriously, they rang a bell and it was as though the running of the bulls had begun.

They had six beers available, and fortunately for me the choosing was easy as three of those beers were only available for the event. Time for a flight!

Please note that my ability to analyze beer flavors is stupendously shitty. Everything I say about these beers other than how good they are should be treated as comedic relief. A much more cogent take can be found here.

Immort Ale

The first thing I noticed was that the nose wasn't a strong as I had expected it to be, but that belied an extremely smooth and drinkable beer. The main things I got was a really nice earthy flavor as well as hints of whiskey which, of course, made me very happy. There was also a secondary flavor that I couldn't put my finger on. Fellow beer nerd/friend/Rob's wife Des had a sip and immediately proclaimed "gorgonzola!". I hid my thoughts of how crazy she was as I took another sip, and son of a bitch she was right. That may sound like an odd flavor for a beer, but it worked beautifully. Overall I liked this one the least of the three, though given that it still fell into the category of one of the best beers ever, I was pretty happy.

Chateau Jiahu

This one had really nice floral hints in the aroma that were delicate but forceful. The flavors were redolent of honey and citrus, and the beer overall was crisp without being too light. This one pretty much blew me away with its beery awesomeness.

Olde School Barleywine

Here's my dirty beer nerd secret. I really don't like barleywine. It's always been too much of a funky kick to the groin for my delicate (yet manly!) tongue. But this stuff? Oh this stuff was nothing short of a revelation. It was sweet in the nose and on the palate - Rob called it perfectly, that the sugar was pretty much like table sugar, and yet it was anything but cloying. It took me a couple of tastes, but I also got a very nice note of cognac on the finish. I'd be more than happy to get blackout drunk on this stuff. Far and away this was my favorite of the three.

Near the end of the evening I commented to Rob that I was going to be filling my refrigerator post-haste to which he replied that I shouldn't be so hasty - That he had many more beers he wasn't to show me in the future. To that I say: I need another drink obsession like I need another one inch wiener.

Oh, I also, had a sample of the 90 Minute IPA that Rob bought, and it was by far the best IPA I've ever had. Those Dogfish Head kids might actually know what they're doing.

Comments always welcome or feel free to e-mail us at drinkaweek [at] gmail [dot] com.


Rob said...

That's right, my friend: Many more beers, many more. Many more one-inch wieners, too, if the price is right.

drinkaweek said...

I said no! Uh, unless the beer is really, really tasty. Arg! What have you done to me?