… Part 6
After the meal, without any cleaning, we retired to the living room to relax our stomachs, and yet again entice our palates; this time, a bottle of the Dogfish Head Red and White.
The Dogfish Head brewery in Delaware NY has, since 1995, been brewing off centered beers for off centered people. Or at least so says their slogan; but I can’t argue with that. Their IPA range along is astonishing. There are three beers in this set: a 60 minute IPA, 90 minute IPA and a 120 minute IPA – each referring to the amount of time that they allowed dry hops to steep in the beer during maturation. And this is just the beginning; they have a whole range of historically inspired beers which they have created with the help of a Bio-Archeological Professor! But right now we’ll stay focused and discuss the Red and White – one of my favorites.
The Red and White is a big, Belgian-Style Wit beer brewed with coriander and orange peel. This is so far pretty ordinary – but here’s the kicker, it’s fermented with Pinot Noir Juice! After fermentation part of the batch is aged in Oregon Pinot Noir Barrels, and the other is aged in oak staves. After maturation the beer is blended together to create a 10% limited edition beer available in 750ml wine like bottles. If you are lucky enough to find a bottle that dates back to 2007, buy it! Then send it to me! This beer ages beautifully and builds with a rich warm character that is difficult to find in any other beverage.
Pour the Red and White carefully, into a tall glass preferably, and watch the storm develop in the bottom of the glass. The beer is creamy orange and completely opaque and rumbles to the top forming a full pillowy head rich in aroma and flavor. Instantly you can smell esters, pinot grapes, oak, orange, spice, light hops and lavender.
The feel of this beer is the first thing I noticed when drinking it – and its classic Wit; very effervescent, light, tickling and very quenching – but still, holds a creamy texture. This all helps excite the flavors of the beer on your palate. The coriander, wheat, orange peel and hops start first racing across your tongue. But soon, grapes in a wine like warmth fill your cheeks and invade your whole palate with a clean and somehow light rush of flavor. It’s a touch tart, sweet, lightly malty, but still wheaty and oh yes – still a Belgian style Wit beer.
It’s definitely much heavier than the usual 6% you may see, but this also has a lot more to offer in terms of complexity and excitement.
We drank this alone, and it made a great after dinner aperitif, but I’m excited to pair this with food in the future! I’m thinking cedar planked salmon with a grape reduction sauce. Mmmm.
… Part 8