The Dogfish Head folks make several of my favorite beers. I love Ta Henket (their Egyptian inspired beer), Chateau Jiahu (based on an millennia-old Chinese recipe), Palo Santo Marron (brewed in Palo Santo wood), Noble Rot (uses a wine fungus), Festina Peche (brewed with peaches), and Raison D’Etre (brewed with raisins). Since I like so many of their beers, I’m always excited to try one I haven’t seen before. Since I’m also a fan of oak-aged and barrel-aged beers, Burton Baton sounded like it might be up my alley. On the other hand, it’s brewed as a pale ale with definite IPA tendencies, and I’m simply not an IPA fan… try as I might.
Burton Baton pours a medium (slightly reddish) brown with a thin white head that dissipates slowly and leaves behind ring-like lacing.
Its aroma is decidedly hoppy, enough so that I get very little else from it.
The flavor is primarily that of an IPA, which is to say that it’s quite hoppy and bitter. The oak aging comes through in the form of a slight vanilla note hidden under the boatload of hops at the front. The finish is bitter, as you’d expect for an IPA.
As I’ve come to expect from the hop heads at Beer Advocate, Burton Baton rates a 92-94 out of 100 there, or “outstanding”. Similarly, Rate Beer is giving Burton Baton a 99 out of 100. If I was an IPA fan, I’d probably agree with them. But I’m not, so it only gets a 4 out of 10 from me.
I tasted this particular beer at The Winking Lizard on Bethel Road in September 2012. I’ve seen Burton Baton at various area beer festivals, on draft occasionally at local restaurants and bars, and in bottled form at some local retailers.
Although Dogfish Head beers are pretty easy to find at most area retailers, Burton Baton is a bit more difficult to locate. I have seen it on the shelves at Palmer’s Beverage Center and at Whole Foods in Dublin.
Sweet, Malty, Dry, Bitter, or Sour: Bitter
Spice Level: None
Hops Level: High
Dominant Flavors: Hops bitterness, oaky vanilla
My Rating: 4/10