Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron Brown Ale

bottle glassAppearance

Pours a gorgeous dark, dark brown. Looks thick pouring it as the near absence of head gives it a molasses-like appearance.  This is a beautiful beer.

Smell

Immediately after pouring it the vanilla was apparent. Not Bath and Bodyworks vanilla, but a deep, oaky vanilla that’s more reminiscent of pipe tobacco.  Chocolate was another strong scent, rounded out by brown sugar, malts, and surprisingly, some hops.

Taste

Giddyup! Now calling this a simple Brown Ale is a bit of a stretch, so get “Newcastle” out of your mind.

This stuff tastes just like it looks. Nice thick mouthfeel with vanilla and molasses right up front and the bitter hops (it’s still a brown ale, ya know) nicely balancing everything out.  Despite all that, this is not a sweet beer and the alcohol is well hidden except for a nice hit at the finish.

The brew is aged in Palo Santo wood casks that impart the natural escense of vanilla into the beer. Nothing fake about this stuff. This is a fantastic beer.

ABV/Price/etcbottle

Brewed at the venerable Dogfish Head Brewery in Delaware, they’re known for some other great brews that I’m anxious to try.

For four 12oz bottles, I believe I paid $15 and I’d gladly do it again.  At 12% ABV (yep), if you plug those numbers into the URP Price per ABV Ratio Thingamajig, it turns out to be a pretty good deal!

Overall

This is one of the few beers that I think could please almost anyone, but without trying to please everyone. Dark beer fan? Vanilla and dark wood? Hops? Not to beer-y, but being the very escense of great beer? It’s all there.  I’d highly recommend getting your hands on this stuff and enjoying the night. Just don’t drive…they’re wicked strong.

I’m  going to take the advice and buy another 4 pack and stash it in the back of a closet until next year when it’ll be even better.  Here’s a map to help you find some of it.

Cheers.

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