Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Dogfish Head Brewery - Chateau Jiahu

For the Seventh Beer of Christmas, we travel to Ancient China via the brewing archiologists in Milton, Delaware.

Dogfish Head Brewery
Chateau Jiahu
Oh Dogfish Head, how I love thee, let me count the ways. I love thee for thy creativity. I love thee for thy sense of humor. I love thee for the tasty, tasty brews thy brews. Yes, Dogfish Head is one of my all-time favorite breweries. Every time I see a new Dogfish Head brew on the shelves, I am compelled to buy it. Chateau Jiahu was no different.

Light gold with hints of amber, the beer is very similar in color to the honey that is an important ingredient in it. I don't know what honey it's made from, but it looks very similar in color to orange blossom honey to me (we buy it at Walker Honey Farm in Rogers, TX). The head was think at first, but quickly fizzled away to just a thick ring around the glass. Lacing was low to non-existent.

The aroma is very sweet.  A mixture of malt, honey, grape juice, and pinapple. At first the bouquet was strong and I could smell it as I poured the glass. But afterwards it was much more subtle and I had to almost have my nose in the glass to catch the scent.

Sweet tea. Not just sweet tea, but Memphis sweet tea was my first thought when I tasted this brew. Honey is a predominate flavor. It's just a bit syrupy, but not so much so to be overwhelming. It's a little bit like a Reisling or Moscato wine. Even though it's 10% alcohol, the alcohol does not come through in the taste.

At 10% alcohol, this is almost too drinkable. Sweet and delicious. Great with food, as a dessert, or just as an enjoyable drink.

Brewer: Dogfish Head Brewery
Location: Milton, Delaware
Website: http://www.Dogfish.com
Style: Spiced Beer
Alcohol Content: 10.0% ABV
Interesting Note: Okay ... so my love of Dogfish Head probably seems obvious. But why do I love them? Several reasons.

  • First, their variety of beers is amazing. They will try anything. If they can pick a flavor that hasn't been brewed before, they'll try it.
  • Second, Sam Calagione is a helluva cool guy. It seems like he's in every craft beer documentary and for good reason. The guy has charisma and just listening to him talk with his passion for brewing makes you want to try his beer. I even own two of his books (Brewing Up a Business and He Said Beer, She Said Wine.)
  • Third, the brewery tour is awesome. We made it to Milton (and then went on to Rehoboth Beach to have lunch at their brew pub) in June of 2013. The staff shares Sam's passion and gave a great tour. On top of that, the brewery is a great place to run into old friends. When Lisa (the Mrs.) and I were there, halfway across the United States from where we live, we ran into some friends, Jake & Courtney, who'd moved back east a year or so before. It was completely by accident but a great surprise. 
  • Fourth, they have a steampunk-ish treehouse in front of the brewery. Very cool.

Courtney and Jake at Dogfish Head - June 2013
Dogfish Head's Treehouse

So, all in all, Dogfish Head is awesome.

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