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Sunday, April 6, 2008

Palo Santo Marron

Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron:

This intriguing brew is listed by the brewers as a "malt beverage aged on Palo Santo wood."
The handmade wooden casks are said to be the largest wooden brewing vessels built in America since before the error... um, era known as Prohibition. At 10,000 gallons, that's a lot of contraband. The Palo Santo wood comes from Paraguay and has been sought for the delicate flavors it can infuse into the beer. Dogfish Head has even included a dvd to help the drinker have a bit of backstory to go along with his or her drinking pleasure. I haven't yet seen the footage, but hopefully I can get a hold of it and share it with you soon.

This brew is extremely rare and I only managed to get a 4-pack thanks to a friendly store manager arond my way (thanks, Chris). Sooooo glad I did!

Palo Santo is exceedingly mellow. Smooth and vanilla-ish, this ale is a friendly reminder of how creative the folks at Dogfish Head can truly be. The dark, malty, dreamy potion needs to be savored on the tongue and swallowed slowly. Don't waste a drop. It's the kind of beer you'd suck off the carpet if you spilled it. But be on your guard -- the alcohol is barely detectable, even at a butt-kicking 12 % abv. I would share this one if I were you. Aside from the obvious consequences, this beer merits discussion among friends so don't be greedy.

One possible flaw is that Santo could be too mellow. It is complex and wonderful, but perhaps aging this beauty may help in releasing some of the character that lurks beneath the surface. In fact, out of the four bottles I shared one, gave one as a gift, and "cellared" the remaining two. Since it is so rare, however, don't pass up an opportunity to have one if it comes around.

Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron:

Representation: 1.0
Style: .90
Accessibility: 1.0
Personal Preference: .90

Total Score: 3.8 Flags


Sugarmouth O'Riordan said...

OWEN! Thanks so much for visiting...it's been a rough couple of days/weeks/months, but every day down is on closer to being done, blahblahplatitudescakes.

Love the blog and have a bit of a question for yas: Jody and I used to *love* Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, it being our go-to beer when a hoppy local microbrew was nonexistent.

Over the last year or two, we've started to notice a decline in quality of their pale ale, or more to the point, a decline in hoppiness. Have you noticed this at all or are both of our plates changing at the same rate?

Thanks, o sage one!

PS: Blogger's word verification word is "icist." Which is funny, because after this past hell winter, I do hate me some ice. ;)

Ferment Nation said...

I soooooo appreciate the response, my dear! I haven't been able to get to your blog lately because my computer takes me to meet sexy singles instead. While that's cool and all, I figured I'd get my info from Crazy Tom instead. I've seen some stuff with my pop over the past year, so please know that I'm thinking about you with all available brain cells.

But about the beer: I haven't so much noticed the decline in hoppiness of Sierra. It is still a go-to brew of mine as well, but I've been experimenting with other slightly crazier IPAs. But you may not be going loony... The supply of hops worldwide has been strained by the growth of IPA lovers and hop-heads. The growers can't really keep up and the craft brew industry will soon be coming up with alternatives. Look for more creative malty brews like Belgian imitators or imperial stouts. Possibly wheatier offerings like dopplebocks, weizenbocks, or hefe-weizens. Maybe hemp?

If check out Sierra's ESB or Celebration to get that hop fix. There's a local brewery in PA called Victory. Their Hop Devil is the bom-diggidy if you can find it.

Thanks again for visiting. Keep me informed and drink up!

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