Beer Review: Dogfish Head Sixty-One

Beer Review: Dogfish Head Sixty-One, 4.9 out of 5 based on 4 ratings
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 4.9/5 (4 votes cast)

Beer Review: Dogfish Head Sixty-One

Sixty-One 1 There was a time that I tried to get into wine. I went to some tastings with my wife, bought a nice variety of bottles, and came across a style that I do still enjoy occasionally, Malbec. That said I still much prefer beer. The variety across the styles is more pronounced, it’s easier and quicker to make yourself, and for the most part, it’s cheaper. For the longest time it’s been considered the beverage of the commoners and, despite the hoity-toity beer nerd you may run into at the local bar these days, it’s still a more accessible and accepting drink. At least in my humble opinion. But what happens when someone decides to just mash the two together? Well that all depends on who’s doing the mashing (no pun intended).

There are only a handful of breweries doing true beer/wine hybrids, lots play with wine barrels in their aging (for what it’s worth, I’m typically a huge fan of these), but not too many actually incorporate grape must i

n the brewing process. The first such hybrid I ran into was Noble Rot by, as you’d expect, Dogfish Head. The second was Amuste by Odell. The third is the one I’m about to drink, Dogfish Head Sixty-One. The bottle is fairly nondescript, calling the beer “The continually-hopped India Pale Ale brewed with Syrah grape must.” The website has a bit more information, but most surrounding the genesis of the beer and availability. They do mention that this is the first new core beer since 2007, so that’s saying something. I’m coming in with high hopes.

The beer pours an auburn color that raised my eyebrow immediately. Noble Rot looked like a beer in the glass. This looks like a sparkling wine, or at the very least a lambic. Even the head has a mild pink tinge to it. About a finger of bubbles out of the bottle dwindling down to a thin coating, good retention due to the hops. Impressive lacing given the relatively low 6.5% ABV.

The smell is hard to pin down, the grape must is pretty dominant but you can certainly get the earthy, citrusy hops trying to claw their way through. Not much grain in there, it’s easily overtaken. The taste is oddly balanced, the grape comes through and mellows slowly into a citrusy hoppiness. The hoppiness is surprisingly mild, I’m not sure if the hop bill is the same as 60 Minute but it certainly doesn’t taste like it.

It’s got a relatively thick mouthfeel for an IPA, feels right for the beer but a departure from the norm. Same with the finish, IPA’s are usually clean, crisp, and relatively dry while this one has a bit more of a lingering grape flavor on the front of the tongue. Overall it’s an interesting experiment in what can be done and it comes at a fine pricepoint (this was a $3 bottle, four packs run $10). I would definitely recommend trying to find a bottle. Certainly worth a taste and, if you do like it, looks like this one won’t be as tough to find as some of the other Dogfish brews. Skål.

Sixty-One 3Sixty-One 2

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 4.9/5 (4 votes cast)

Comments

comments