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Monday, August 22, 2011

Dogfish Head Burton Baton- Oak Aged Imperial IPA

IPA month on Man Drinks Beer continues with one of my favorite breweries- Dogfish Head, and their outstanding Burton Baton.

My mother in law actually brought this beer up on a recent visit. Its becoming a habit of hers to bring good beer for us to sample. She may have to visit more often.

Burton Baton 
Dogfish Head Brewery, Rehoboth Beach, DE
10% ABV

This beer is actually a blend of an English Style Old Ale and an Imperial IPA. The two beers are fermented separately in stainless steel tanks, and then blended together and aged in a 10,000 gallon oak tank. They age for a month on the oak. Its brewed three times a year, according to the Dogfish Head web site.

This beer pours a brackish, cloudy brown, with a tight, thick white head. (Oak aging tends to produce a cloudy appearance, so this is expected)

Smell is sweet. I suspect its the vanilla notes that the beer drew out of the wood in the oak tank, and also perhaps, from some darker roasted malts that really bring out the sugars in the malts, but I'm guessing here. Alcohol is also detectable, but its not a big alcohol smell, just a hint.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, creamy, with some warm alcohol and vanilla sensations on the tongue.

Taste is, in a word, smoooooooth (not a typo). This beer is super mellow, with a mild vanilla sweetness from the oak aging. Malt and hops are completely mellowed by the wood tanks. Hops are flowery, although hard to detect, and their bitterness is gone. Malts are sweet, with a woody spiciness. Its a complex taste, but awesome nonetheless. Beware of the alcohol as well, as the oak tanks also subdue the alcohol taste, but not the percentage.

Overall, I give this beer a 4+ on my scale of 1-5.

The English Style Pale Ale really gives a richer, fuller body to the Imperial IPA, and the oak aging mellows them both. This is a really tasty beer, almost a desert type beer thanks to it's sweetness. 

Note-Hop and malt varieties used in this beer were not listed on the brewers web site, so they are not included here. My apologies.

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