Dogfish Head Olde
January 20, 2005
Malta) - At
this point, regular readers may have realized that the
Hopper Crew has a soft spot for the fine brewed beverages
of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery of Milton, DE here in
the US. You must forgive us, especially those of you
in Europe and elsewhere who can't get this beer. It
is especially good and we love pretty much everything
they do. It is something that is endearing about our
country, and to us it represents the "good side"
of what we can be. An innovative blend of capitalism,
style and conscience. Imagine that.
So, as we were in Malta
without so much as a Budweiser available to us, we dug
back into the hidden cooler and found this 4-pack of
barley-style ale from Dogfish called Olde School.
Expensive, high in alcohol and dubbed as a "barley-wine
style ale". Interesting. Heck, it's Dogfish, it
must be good!
Opening this beer, one realizes
that this is not so much a traditional beer as a real
craft brew of sorts. It smells sweet and complex, and
as usual with DFH, the alcohol is masked pretty well.
The color is a medium rose-like golden peach with a
minimal head that leaves the sides clean - no real lacing
to speak of. Not a traditional beer performer here with
it's tight, little bubbles, but interesting nonetheless.
The scent and flavors of
sweetness are enough to discourage the regular beer
drinker, but there seems to be enough hops to balance
the taste out nicely. The big malt taste is bracketed
with tinges of sweet sugar, vanilla and other sweet,wine-like
flavors, all of which are brought back to beerdom by
the unobtrusive presence of hops. Very nice to drink.
In fact, it is, like most things Dogfish, DANGEROUSLY
Why so dangerous. 15% ABV,
that's why! This is the most potent brew we have sampled
to date, and man, you best be careful with this one,
mate. Split this 4-pack up with a friend unless you
want to pay for it the next day. It drinks so nicely
that the temptation to ingest more can be overpowering.
Nothing wrong with that, as long as you have a driver
and a day blocked out on the calendar.
One of our goals is
to become Dogfish Head completists, sampling each and
every brew they craft. We have a long way to go, but
Olde School Barleywine Ale measures up to everything
DFH has come to represent. Now if we could only figure
out a way to share this most amazing brew with the rest
Head Olde School
For more information on
Birra La Rossa, visit their
website at www.birracastello.com