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Beer Review: Dogfish Head Red and White

August 24, 2009

Doing these beer reviews has made me really appreciate beers that show a lot of complexity and beers made with unique ingredients or with unique flavor profiles. Given that fact, and my love of all things Dogfish Head, I was really anxious to give their Red & White a try. Here is what Dogfish Head has to say about it:

A big, belgian-style Wit brewed with coriander and orange peel and fermented with Pinot Noir juice. After fermentation a fraction of the batch is aged in Oregon Pinot Noir barrels, and another fraction is aged on oak staves. The beer is blended together before packaging.

The Pour
This pours with a very light tan, pillowy and fluffy three finger head. Decent lacing is left on the glass. The beer is orange with coppery undertones and looks quite cloudy. It looks very solid and full bodied at first glance.

The Nose
There is definitely a citrus presence in the nose, tart and lemony but with some spice (the coriander, among other things) notes as well. There is also an underlying sweetness in the nose, something of brown sugar or maple sweetness.

The Taste
This is full bodied and extremely complex! It opens with a good deep fruity red wine profile, I suppose from the pinot noir, followed by a sweetness that melts into tart citrus notes, such as lemon and grapefruit. The higher alcohol content of this brew is noticeable on the finish. This beer has a very creamy, slightly syrupy mouthfeel. Spice notes and citrus come out more as the beer warms. The beer becomes very slightly crisp at the very very end of the finish.

Overall
Overall, I was very pleased with this brew. I found its complexity to be very interesting, keeping you experiencing different flavors with each sip and as it warmed. Fermenting it with the pinot noir juice really adds character and interest to the witbier base. It really takes what probably would have been a tasty, tart witbier and really makes it a beer worthy of taking to a dinner party instead of a traditional bottle of wine.

Recommended: I very highly recommend this for the beer snob out there, or at the very least the adventurous and experienced beer drinker. There are many layers of flavor to be appreciated here, but you should probably have been exposed to a good variety of beer styles and breweries before giving this a shot.

Price: $13.99 / 1 pint, 9.6 fl. oz. bottle

ABV: 10.0%

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4 comments

  1. This sounds fascinating. While it seems that orange witbiers were all the rage this summer, I really like the concept of the pinot noir barrel aging. One to look out for it seems. Cheers!
    -Anthony


  2. Bear in mind it’s a January-February release so in stores that carry DFH it can go quickly or it can stick around a while. At a local Whole Foods, for example, there are still a few bottles left but other stores I know have been out of it for some time until next year.


  3. Definitely one to check out, Anthony. Next I want to try their Black & Blue.

    Well, James, I guess this one had been sitting around a while but I can’t see that it hurt anything at all. I would think you could cellar this one for a little while at least


  4. Wow. Those guys make such interesting beers. Another one for the list!



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