A pure, unmitigated, passion for brewing
A Review of Midas Touch by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Posted on 9/5/2012 by Chops
For craft brew fans, the mere mention of the Dogfish Head Craft Brewery will produce one of two very predictable reactions. First, from the more adventurous side of the spectrum, showers of praise and stories of favorite experiences take over the conversation. But on the more steadfast side, they don't understand the appeal and dismiss the brewery as too strange. I used to be moderately offended by self proclaimed craft brew fans who dissed the almighty Head that is Dogfish. But the more and more I sampled their product line, the more and more I understood their motto: off-centered ales for off-centered people. Sam Calagione and his merry brewers are not out to please everyone. And when you come across beers like the Midas Touch Traditional Ale, you realize that pleasing the masses is never the point. It's the pure, unmitigated, passion for brewing.

Per Dogfish Head: This sweet yet dry beer is made with ingredients found in 2,700-year-old drinking vessels from the tomb of King Midas. Somewhere between wine and mead, Midas will please the chardonnay and beer drinker alike.

See what I mean? Who does this to please the pub crawler?

In the glass, Midas Touch has a warm golden honey coloration. It comes with a frothy white head that has pretty good retention. On the nose, I detected a strong grassy aroma with hints of honey and a mild dusting of saffron. It's definitely a very strange introduction that had my brain wheels turning. Going into the first taste, I was expecting a strong spicy lager.

Wow, it's been a while since I've tasted a beer that left me speechless. It took at least half of the beer to start formulating coherent opinions. It's a very difficult taste to grasp and the aroma does very little to prepare you for it. First of all, the beer has a surprisingly strong saffron profile, which acts as the hop-like bittering agent. Coupled with an equally strong alcohol burn, it took a little while to uncover anything else. The saffron itself provides a sharp and stingy feel, but is oddly unassertive. It acts as more of an amplifier for the muscat grapes. The flavor itself is comprised of a sweet candied base that transitions into a tart muscat grape finish. The honey character makes a brief appearance in the middle ground, but is never prominent. I found the mouthfeel to be sticky and syrupy to start, but ends up finishing very dry like a crisp wine. To be perfectly honest, this brew reminds me more of a dry mead than a beer. It's a very strange concoction, but definitely fun to study.

Overall, Dogfish Head's Midas Touch Traditional Ale is a wacky brew with a rich history. I would by no means call it a session beer, nor would I call it a regular drinker. I found it to be more of a dessert beer or a tool for education. This is by no means saying that it's a bad beer. Quite the contrary. This beer has a lot of uniquely delicious traits. But, I can only recommend it to seasoned drinkers with imperial palates. Otherwise, the experience is going to be completely lost and dismissed as a bad session. Midas Touch deserves better, so take your time and give it the attention it deserves.

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Midas Touch by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
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