Sunday, 2 December 2012

Burton Baton: Again for the First Time

Every once in a while something knocks your socks off.

I sampled Dogfish Head's Burton Baton at Mondial de la Biere this year, but had yet to truly have one fully, on its own, and away from the countless other taste samples of that event.

I recently got that chance, and I have yet to find my socks and that has nothing okay, little to do with its 10% ABV.

I poured this beer into a Maudite tulip glass and was truly impressed from the beginning as it presents a gorgeous reddish-amber with slightly wispy cloudiness in the body, while crowned by a thick white, creamy head of good retention and smooth, thick, creamy lace.  All of these characteristics were inviting and appealing, and certainly excellent if not the best-of-the-best I have seen.  The creaminess is evident in both photos below (please forgive the phone quality, though I think they suffice to show the visual characteristics nonetheless).

The aroma is faintly earthy and piney, but with a nice, dominant citrusy hops representing orange primarily and only lightly grapefruity, with a balanced aroma of baking-bread maltiness, with some pleasant woody notes.

The taste is likewise complex and well-balanced, if drier than some might prefer, with some oak hints with vanilla discernible up front, before a finish that is equal parts chewy bready malt and citrus/rind hops notes insofar as this strong malt backbone is clear alongside the finely drying finish.  The dry piney finish is thus superbly balanced by the bread-like qualities of the excellent complex maltiness.  Sure, at 70 IBU it is bitter to the casual, non-IPA, beer drinker, but it is also remarkably complex and balanced and I truly savoured every sip and remaining drop.

On the tongue, you observe none of this fine beer's 10% ABV, though it is slightly warming while built by a full body, with a slightly sticky and mildly oily yet smoothly crisp carbonation.

This is one unbelievably amazing beer and I adjust my original A-/A rating to give it the deserved Grade: A+

I have to choose favourites by style because picking between unlike things is difficult and unfair, but this is right there on the list with every favourite I currently have and tops my list of Old Ales and/or Imperial IPAs, and probably oak-aged beers as well.

Please SAQ and/or LCBO - can you start importing Dogfish Head???

1 comment:

  1. I second your request to the LCBO. I liked this a little lest than you, but then again, I have a t-shirt (that's not a joke, I really do have a t-shirt) so I must have liked it.