Sunday, January 9, 2011

Dogfish Head - Midas Touch and Great Divide - Old Ruffian

I tried two new beers this evening and the first was Midas Touch from Dogfish Head with an ABV of 9% and IBU of 12.  I had heard / read about this one and what I recall was that Sam Calagione had heard of a fairly recent archaeological discovery of the tomb of King Midas and one thing discovered was a recipe for beer.  Sam is a creative and extreme brewer and he tried to replicate it.  This one poured a nice golden straw color with a smaller head and the carbonation was incredible.  This one is very smooth and I could detect the sweetness and the grapes used in brewing and it had a nice sweet / dry finish that reminded me of a Gewurztraminer.  The description from the website - “This recipe is the actual oldest-known fermented beverage in the world! It is an ancient Turkish recipe using the original ingredients from the 2700 year old drinking vessels discovered in the tomb of King Midas. Somewhere between wine & mead; this smooth, sweet, yet dry ale will please the Chardonnay of beer drinker alike.”  I would agree that this would please the wine drinker and I will purchase more as I think my wife will really like this one.

Great Divide’s Old Ruffian Barley Wine-Style Ale is a hop monster at an IBU of 90 with an ABV of 10.25%.  This one poured a nice amber / garnet color with a nice head that receded quickly.  The hops were very apparent in the aroma and this was a very fresh bottle with a bottling data of Nov. 2010, I could not make out the exact day on the stamp.  The aroma and the bitterness in the taste reminded me of an Imperial IPA that is then balanced by nice caramel malt sweetness.  Really interesting beer and I can taste why Old Ruffian has won awards over the years. The description on the bottle stats that Old Ruffian is “a hefty, hop-forward Barley Wine-Style Ale.  Seemingly mellow at the start with subtle fruit aromas and complex caramel sweetness.  It quickly becomes aggressive with its bold hop flavors and huge hop bitterness.  Ultimately, the big body, succulent sweetness and massive hop character come together to work wonders on your palate.”  Old Ruffian is another really great beer from Great Divide.  I have only had one other Barley Wine-Style Ale and it was Avery’s Hog Heaven.  This is a style that I like and I will have it again.  I am not a big fan of winter – too dark – do not like snow – however, I like the beers of winter.

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