Ta Henket and Chateau Jiahu. I like Raison D'Etre and Festina Peche as well. One of my favorites, though, has to be Palo Santo Marron.
The base beer might be nothing to speak about. It's a brown ale, rated at 50 IBUs, and 12% alcohol by volume. What makes this beer special is that it's aged in Paraguayan Palo Santo wood vessels often used for wine. The wood imparts an incredibly complex array of flavors into the beer that transform it from a standard brown ale into something much more. Time in the barrel also mellows out the hops, making it seem much less hoppy than it might otherwise.
The beer pours a deep dark brown with thin tan head that doesn't stick around long thanks to the high alcohol content.
The aroma is complex, hinting at sweet malt and a wine-like flavor.
The flavor is bold from the start. It opens with intense malt and wine-like elements, followed by some roasted grain and vanilla. Despite being 50 IBUs, it's relatively sweet. The mouth feel is substantial, like drinking a milkshake. I also find that as much as I love drinking this beer, finishing more than one of them is difficult. It seems to sit in my stomach for a while, as though my stomach is enjoying it and refusing to share it with the rest of me.
I'm not alone in my love for Palo Santo Marron. Beer Advocate gives it a 93 or "outstanding" rating. Rate Beer gives it a 99 overall. I give it a very solid 9 out of 10, and on a good day I'd be willing to nudge that all the way to a 10.
This is one of those beers I buy again and again, and like having in my refrigerator.
You can find Palo Santo Marron at most Columbus area retailers who carry Dogfish Head products. I've seen it at large grocery chain stores, Whole Foods, The Andersons, Kenny Road Market, and other retailers. The price the last time I bought a four-pack was around $15, so it's not a cheap beer but not the most expensive either.