Thursday, 7 June 2012

Twitter Beer Roulette
Dogfish Head - Palo Santo Marron 12.0%

So what's this all about then ? Twitter Beer Roulette !
It's quite simple, and you can play it too.
Last night, possibly due to laziness, or maybe due to ... no, it was laziness, I couldn't decide which beer I wanted to drink. I posted up some criteria on Twitter, and I was lead toward a Bear Republic - Hop Rod Rye by fellow blogger and general good bloke from Norwich, Mr Nathaniel Southwood.
Tonight however I took it in stages as I wasn't sure where I wanted to go.
First up was which part of the world, quite generally, that I wanted to explore from what I had in my collection: British, American or European?
Mr Chris Dixon @ckdsaddlers responded first with USA. So far so good.
Light or Dark?
Hoppy, malty or weird?
So weird it is, and as weird goes, Dogfish Head do it rather well.
Palo Santo Marron is essentially an American Brown Ale but it is aged in a custom built 10,000 gallon wooden tank (made from exotic Paraguayan Palo Santo, or 'Holy Tree' wood), and is the largest wooden brewing vessel built in America since before Prohibition. It's unfiltered too.
It pours a beautiful deep dark brown with the faintest hint of deep port-like red, and a fluffy light brown head which settles down to a souffle consistency over the beer.
Lots of coffee and boozy chocolate with vanilla in the aroma, and smooth and richly untuous over the tongue. Caramel, dark chocolate toffee flavours burst forth melting wonderfully into a rich port wine. Astonishing. There's some liquorice and even some brackish herbal notes which aren't in the least bit unpleasant. The finish is a long, lingering coffee caramel port toffee. Sweet, lush and warming, hardly surprising given it's strength.
I have never had a beer aged in Palo Santo wood, but I certainly would love to try another. It seems to impart a rounded richness and I was unsurprised to learn that it is used to age wine in South America, and also for incense burning sticks.
So you might want to try Twitter Beer Roulette and see where it leads you, just make sure your criteria have beers within your reach. You might find an unexpected gem.
As an aside, Mr Dixon also suggested Pantera's - Primal Concrete Sledge as a musical accompaniment, but adventurous as I am in beer I'm afraid I can't quite stretch that far, however I will admit it kind-of works.

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