Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Dogfish Head Rosabi Review

Brewery: Dogfish Head Brewery | Beer: Rosabi
Style: American Strong Ale | ABV: 8.0% | IBUs: ~50
Serving Method: 750ml bottle poured into tulip glass

Dogfish Head Rosabi
Another of Dogfish's musical collaboration brews, Rosabi (a portmanteau from the beer's rose color and the inclusion of wasabi) was created with Julianna Barwick. Accompanying the beer is a five song EP.

Rosabi is an "Imperial Pale Ale" with Lousiana red rice and a touch of wasabi, one of Julianna's favorite ingredients. They've classified it as an Imperial Pale Ale to distinguish that it is moderately hopped, rather than being as bitterly hopped as your typical IPA. I'm throwing this in the American Strong Ale category here, because Imperial Pale Ale isn't a real style. At least not yet.

Here's how Dogfish Head describe it:
What’s hoppy? Wasabi. The Japanese root adds bittering and herbal notes similar to hops, with its subtle heat creeping in after the kick of carbonation.
I don't have any sashimi or ginger on hand, but I think we'll be okay. Let's dive in!

Appearance: A crystal-clear reddish-amber-brown body capped by two fingers of bubbly off-white head that fades slowly, leaving brilliant lacing.

Aroma: Resinous and grapefruit peel-like hops along with sharp and hot wasabi over big sticky caramel malt.

Taste: Up front, resinous, syrupy, citrusy, herbal, and moderately bitter hops and a nice flourish of wasabi. The wasabi is more flavorful and less angry than a usual encounter with wasabi, as the chemical burn character is diminished. Underneath, a big rich almost burnt caramel malt body balances everything nicely. Mild spicy alcohol throughout. All of the elements mesh rather well. Green and herbal hops, a hint of wasabi, and sticky toffee pudding malt in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium carbonation and a drying finish. Heat from the wasabi and booze throughout.

Drinkability: Drinks about as expected given the alcohol content and imperial tag.

Verdict: Rosabi is really a syrupy and resinous IPA or mild Double IPA with an interesting touch of wasabi. To be honest, I was hoping for a bit more aggressive/crazy wasabi attack here.

Grade: B+ (3.8 out of 5 stars)


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