Friday, May 20, 2016

Dogfish Head Beer to Drink Music To (4/10)

I'm a big fan of several Dogfish Head beers.  I love Ta Henket, Chateau Jiahu, Raison D'Etre, and Palo Santo Marron.  When I saw that Dogfish Head was doing a Belgian Tripel, I rushed out and grabbed a six-pack having never tried it.  I figured with Dogfish Head behind one of my favorite styles, it had to be good.

According to the label, Beer to Drink Music To is brewed with sweet orange peel, green cardamom, peppercorns, and vanilla.

The beer pours a hazy amber color.  It's a little darker than some of the true Belgian tripels, but I didn't hold that against it.  The head is thin and dissipates very fast.  The photo at the left is about three seconds after the pour and there's not much head left.

The aroma seems to mix vanilla and clove, which came across as medicinal the first few times I smelled it - which was definitely not appealing.

The flavor starts malty, mild, and somewhat dry.  After this initial somewhat non-descript hit, the beer turns bitter, with a mild burn.  The spices and orange peel seem to muddle together into something that seems a little pleasant at first, then begins to seem artificial, medicinal, or chemical-like.  More than anything, it's just bitter, as though it's trying to be a tripel for the IPA set.  It gets a little less bitter and more pleasant as it warms, but it's never the equal of tripels like Victory Golden Monkey, La Fin Du Monde, Tripel Karmeliet, and the like.

As much as it pains me to say this about a Dogfish Head beer, I really don't like it. I want to.  It's got the right pedigree and it's a favorite style, but this interpretation of it just turns me off.  Sadly, the best thing I can say about it is that the bottles will be valuable to me in my home brewing efforts and I'll probably get more of those than I did the beer.  Dogfish Head's bottles are nice and thick glass, and the labels remove without too much effort, to they're a good homebrew bottle.

I seem to be in the minority here.  Beer Advocate gives Beer to Drink Music To an 87 or "very good" rating.  Rate Beer gave it an 84 overall.  I'm giving it a 4 out of 10, which on my scale means I'd probably rather drink one of the macro brews.  I hate to be that harsh to a brewery I really like but this beer just does not do it for me.  Your mileage, of course, may vary.

I found the beer about a month ago at Giant Eagle in Hilliard.  It's taken me over a month to finish the six pack, and it doesn't seem to get better with age.

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