Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Dogfish Head Burton Baton Review

Brewery: Dogfish Head Brewery | Beer: Burton Baton
Style: American Double India Pale Ale | ABV: 10.0% | IBUs: 70
Serving Method: 12 oz. bottle poured into tulip glass

Dogfish Head Burton BatonOriginally brewed for the late Michael Jackson's Rare Beer Club back in 2004 as a tribute to America and England, Burton Baton is a 50/50 mix of Dogfish's 90 Minute IPA and an oak-aged English Strong Ale. That new Strong Ale thread is a potent and hoppy brew utilizing both American and English yeasts and a four month aging in French oak.

The end result is essentially an American Double IPA with some added complexity gained during aging and a particularly rich malt backbone. Here's how Dogfish describe Burton Baton "Citrus notes from Northwestern hops meld with vanilla notes from the oak [along with] brandied fruitcake and raisiney [tones]."

It all sounds interesting to me, so let's get going.

Appearance: A slightly hazy, rich orange body with one finger of off-white head that sticks around a good while and leaves patchy lacing.

Aroma: Lots of bright, citrusy hops throughout, with a sweet caramel base poking through. There are also lots of tropical fruity, spicy, and woody notes to be found (though some of that woodiness may be due to the power of suggestion). Definite notes of alcohol, but not quite as many as you'd expect from a double digit ABV beer.

Taste: An even more complex proposition in the flavor profile. While there are plenty of hops here, but this is hardly what I'd call a hop-bomb. The hops are citrusy, spicy, earthy, and taste almost candied. As for the generous malt backbone, it's sticky sweet caramel all the way. I can detect some nice oakiness towards the end, but it's not all that powerful. Ten percent beers are usually very happy to let you know how potent they are, but in this case the punch is hidden rather well. Overall, this is very balanced for a Double IPA, with the hops evenly matched with the rich flavors from the malt and alcohol. The aftertaste is citrusy, oaky, and slightly boozy.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and smooth with mild carbonation. Dries in the finish nicely.

Drinkability: Ten percent alcohol content and 70 IBUs may not be a recipe for a thirst-quencher, but this is rather drinkable considering.

Verdict: I went in expecting something interesting and satisfying, and that's exactly what I ended up with. While this isn't a big hop-bomb (neither is their 90 Minute), Dogfish Head have crafted a tasty and complex brew here. I'm curious to see exactly how it ages.

Grade: A

1 comment:

FCGrabo said...

Your brew review of DFH's Burton Baton IPA was featured as the Random Review on <a href="http://sixpacktech.com/2011/01/22/saturday-night-blue-collar-brew-review-dogfish-head-burton-baton-imperial-india-pale-ale/</a> SixPackTech.com.

Thanks a lot.

FCGrabo