Saturday, March 26, 2011

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery - Palo Santo Marron

I love trying new things, so when it comes to beer, the weirder the better. If a beer has a great idea behind it, I'm trying it out. This probably explains why Dogsih Head is one of my favorite breweries. If you look at their lineup, nearly every one of their beers has an incredibly creative and innovative idea behind it. Palo Santo Marron is no different. Palo Santo Marron, which somehow didn't make it onto an episode of "Brewmasters," is a brown ale that is aged in huge, 10,000 gallon barrels made of the Paraguayan Palo Santo wood. According to Dogfish Head's website: "Palo Santo means 'holy tree' and it's wood has been used in South American wine-making communities."

Palo Santo Marron pours an almost black color with only a tiny, mocha colored ring on top for a head. It's intimidating to look at and like no brown ale I've ever seen. The nose is remarkable and has notes of coffee, golden raisin, a little smokiness and some overripe mango. There's a ton going on in the smell here and it makes this beer really intriguing.

To tell the truth, I had no idea that this beer was 12% until I opened the bottle. For a brown ale (or any beer for that matter), that is beastly. A lot of breweries shy away from high alcohol contents because the alcohol becomes all you can taste. Luckily, Palo Santo Marron does anything but that. The taste opens with nice some molasses and raisin sweetness. Then, the taste becomes a little earthy and smoky and the finish is rich espresso. Though a little syrupy, this beer shows almost no hint of its high ABV. This is another must try from Dogfish Head.

Final Grade: A

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