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Brew Review: Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron

2010 April 1

Brewery: Dogfish Head Craft Brewery Inc. Milton, DE

Style: Brown Ale

ABV: 12%

Served: Chalice from 12 oz. bottle. Purchased at Julio’s Liquors for $3.75.

Apologies for the slight hiatus. Pasta dinners and turning in early do not lend themselves well to beer appreciation, so I eschewed the brew review the last few days. Even getting started on this review was interesting, because Dogfish Head, BA, and RateBeer do not agree on the style. One says Brown Ale, one says ‘American’ Brown Ale (apparently distinguished from English), and another says American Strong Ale due to the alcohol content. I will side with the brewer on this one.

The style doesn’t specifically call for chalice glassware, but I wanted the high ABV to open up a little. Pours a dark “Grade B” maple syrup brown (New Englanders will know what I’m talking about). Quite opaque, and just from observation this is a more oily Brown Ale than I’ve tried before. Thin but persistent dark buttery crown. Smells of raw nuts and damp earth. Vanilla, woody spices, and dark chocolate follow in the nose. First sip in a deep, rich, dark chocolate experience. Woody, almost whiskey-like qualities. Sweetness and booziness are understated, but a proud green apple zing stands out. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy. Harshness of the alcohol is tempered by its richness. Finish is quiet, with dried apricot and apple tartness, with a toast of coffee.

There are plenty of brown ales to be found, even at your local supermarket. This one is quite unique. It being a few hours since dinner, I am feeling the 12%. But the richness and complexity of this dark ale are not to be missed. Not a session ale, not even an every-so-often brew, this is nonetheless a Keeper in my cellar. A

2 Responses Post a comment
  1. simonswes permalink
    April 7, 2010

    If you’re a Dogfish Head fan you have to try India Brown Ale. It’s one of my favorites and I think that it is one of Dogfish Head’s best beers. Give it a try if you can find it.

  2. April 7, 2010

    I have one of those in my cellar! Can’t wait to try it.

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