WHAT’S ON TAP THIS EVENING? Well, nothing, actually, because I’m at home currently, drinking one of Dogfish Head Brewing’s Burton Baton IIPAs. Which came out of a bottle. Not a tap line.
NO NEED TO BE SO LITERAL. I know.
WHAT KIND OF BEER IS IT? It is an oak-aged hybrid of an English-style old ale and a traditional IPA. According to their website:
After fementating the beers separately in our stainless tanks, they’re transferred and blended together in one of our large oak tanks. Burton Baton sits on the wood for about a month.
SOUNDS INTENSE. It does sound like it’ll blow your head up, but it actually tastes quite mild. Which is dangerous because the beer boasts a hefty 10% ABV. The malty English-style aspects become more forward the longer I let the beer sit and warm up a little bit (my fridge is too cold), and the overall feeling is not overly hoppy. It drinks more like an English bitter, rather than a double IPA.
IS THAT A GOOD THING? It works. And obviously the masses agree; Burton Barton went from being a limited annual release to a year-round offering from Dogfish Head.
BUT IS IT TOO OAKY? I get just enough in the finish to know it’s there, but it’s fairly undetectable. My guess is that this beer would be bonkers on your taste buds if it wasn’t allowed to mellow in the barrels for a month. I wonder if Dogfish Head ever offers a non-aged version of the beer?
SO, YOU LIKE IT, TRUE OR FALSE? True! The beer is expertly blended and all of the flavors work with the others to form a nice, cohesive whole. There is a mild, vanilla-oaky quality that helps to offset the citrus flavor one would get from the hops. Burton Baton is a thoroughly drinkable IIPA, which is going to be the cause of much unintentional inebriation. I’ve had one, and I’m already feeling a little goofy.
DID YOU REMEMBER TO EAT TODAY? Yes, actually I did. Multiple times.
YOUR MOTHER WOULD BE SO PROUD. Well, let’s not get carried away.
SO YOU’D RECOMMEND IT? What? The beer?
YEAH. Yes! Thumbs up!
WHERE’D YOU FIND YOUR FOUR PACK? Madisonians can try their luck at Trixie’s. That’s where I picked mine up. And if they don’t have it when you stop in, check in with the managers–they’re generally more than happy to special order beer if they’re able.