Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Dogfish Head Sah'Tea

Our second Sam Calagione masterpiece of the night was one of the Ancient Ales series. The brew is based on a 9th Century Finnish recipe called Sahti, which although uses unique ingredients is more famous for the way it is brewed.

Dogfish Head Sah'Tea is a 9% ABV, hazy, unfiltered, light-amber colored brew with particulates floating in it. It pours to a two-finger white head of small bubbles, and smells of rye, sweet and dark black tea and citrus. The label features what appears to be an Indian/Hindu princess of some sort riding a reindeer on a blue background.

According to the wrapper and website, this beer is brewed with rye, juniper berries, black tea, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and black pepper. What is crazy about this brew though, is that the wort is heated by the addition of hot river river rocks rather than a traditional boil.

The aroma that this brew gives off is like an incredibly complex mix of tea, sweet honey, lemon zest and a mass of different spices. The first taste is peppery and spicy with sweet characteristics. The juniper berries add a serious twist - it gives the beer some body and earthy notes like a sweet gin. I was much more pleased with this brew and would probably pick it up again if I ever came across it again!

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