Beer Review: Dogfish Head Red & White

Beer recommended by Stan Stolowski 

I’ve decided I really like these aged beers. They have more complex flavors and those flavors are far more appealing. For example, I’ve had cherry flavored beers before and I’ve also had Sam Adam’s American Kriek, which is a brew aged with Hungarian cherries and barrels and other things.

Cherry flavored beers taste like someone dropped a jar of maraschino cherries into a vat of some lightweight pale ale. It’s like an alcoholic’s version of cherry cola. Bleh. The American Kriek, however, is imbued with the flavor of cherries. It’s not overpowering, but it’s definitely there. It has an underlying layer of good things.

Dogfish Head’s Red & White is similarly complex. There’s not just one, overriding flavor. It, in fact, has three discrete tastes. It starts off Belgian, which is fine.  It doesn’t have that hard, thick flavor of a stout. It’s lighter, with more of punch to it than your average Belgian ale.

Next comes a sweetness and the taste of oranges. At first I was worried I was afflicted with a brain tumor and was suffering from low-grade gustatory hallucinations, but it turns out that it’s supposed to taste like oranges. Citrus is not a bad follow-up to Belgian.

And lastly, it ends on a bitter, crisp note,  which is great because I don’t think I’d want this to finish with an overwhelming flavor of oranges or Belgians.

It’s this kind of complexity, the three flavors so separate from one another, that gives aged beers their appeal. The only problem is that it’s twelve bucks per (giant) bottle of the stuff. Otherwise, I recommend the Red & White for anyone who wants something more interesting than your average Belgian, but not as daunting as last week’s Bourbon Stout.

So…an A. Yeah.

Dylan Charles

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