Following up on their Beer Fest, Eli Cannon's Tap Room presented a tap takeover to end all tap takeovers on the 7th. Unleashing twenty one Dogfish Head beers, eighteen of them above the 7 percent a.b.v. line, Eli Cannon's had one of the most impressive lineups of excellent, hard to obtain brews that I've ever seen. For a full (and astounding) list of what beers were at the tasting skip right down to the end.
Now I've had a few of Dogfish Head's IPAs before, so I wanted to go to something unique and hard to obtain for my main tasting event. Between myself and Mike (the ever-present beer guru manning the taps) we figured out four solid beers to base my tasting notes for the evening on.
I started with the Faithfull. This beer pours out a deep translucent gold and smells softly of dried grape fruitiness. At first taste this beer is bright with a large fruit bite that is balanced by light carbonation. The taste progresses through dried fruit to a deep warmness that lingers at the back of the tongue. The warmness of the beer is tinged slightly by a light bitterness that serves to balance it out. This a solidly medium beer that feels dry and warm with dry grape overtones. The taste itself lingers and tastes much like a lightly carbonated white wine, with a hint of more sweet grains.
I then moved onto the Positive Contact. This beer has a medium, light golden translucent tone that smells bright with Bavarian hop notes: yeasty with the light aroma of fruit. At first taste the beer is bright with a high yeastiness that goes through sweet malthing and then ends up on a sweet (and slightly sour) note which lingers lazily on the back of the palate. This is a medium to large beer. The sweet yeastiness kicks the beer up without overpowering the senses. It's obviously big (given the abv) but sweet and altogether well balanced. A good one for a lazy summer night.
The Sah'tea was next. This beer was transluscently golden with a slight amber hue. The beer itself smelled sweet and richly citrusy. The beer is warm, slightly sugary with an apple-like sweetness that gives way to a dense, sweet mid taste. This then abruptly drops out to a slightly bitter tone that sits on the pallate and warms the mouth for the next sip. This beer is medium to large. Each sip builds an intricate web of lingering bitterness, sharp sweetness, and dull sourness that culminates to a great, spicy mouthtaste.
To round out my flight of big, awesome Dogfish Head beers, I ended with the World Wide Stout. This beer is a super deep hue of mocha brown walnut, almost black. It smelled brightly of currants, deep sweetness, and hints of dark chocolate. At first sip this beer hits you with a super rich sweetness that gives way eventually to a sharp sweetness of currants which lingers. This only lasts for a moment until you're slammed with a moderate warming spiciness that sits, hotly, spreading down your throat and chest. This beer is heavy in every possible sense of the word. It's an unapologetically big beer that is spicy yet exceedingly well balanced. It's a great mix of wine-like denseness and stout sweetness.
The World Wide Stout was probably my favorite of the night as I am a huge stout fan. I wish I could have tried all the beers that were present, but I'm pretty sure that even a sample of all 21 monsters would have seen me leaving the bar on my back! The beers on tap in total were Burton Baton, Chateau Jahu, Faithfull, Fort, Hellhound, Immort Ale, My Antonia, Namaster, Noble Rot, Old School, Palo Santo Marron, Positive Contact, Sah'Tea, Ta'Henket, Theobroma, World Wide Stout, 60 Minute IPA, 90 Minute IPA, 120 Minute IPA, Festina Feche, and India Brown. This was a resounding success of a tap takeover: gathering together all the rare Dog Fish Head brews in one place within easy reach of a mug!