Oooo, she's a grumpy wort!
A Review of Urkontinent by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Posted on 1/29/2013 by Chops
To say that Dogfish Head is a unique brewery at this point is somewhat of a redundant statement. You can practically use their name as an adjective to describe anything off-centered. ''Dude, that's so Dogfish Head.'' Fans of the brewery know exactly what I'm talking about, which is of course why they are fans of the brewery. Every beer is an adventure and president/founder Sam Calagione is the brewer equivalent of the Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin. ''Oooo, she's a grumpy wort!'' I can go on and on about what Dogfish Head brings to the craft brew table, but I think it's just easier to let them describe their Urkontinent Ale:

''Urkontinent is a social collaboration of worldwide proportions. The seed was planted when Dogfish Head asked beer-­loving tech types around the globe to suggest ingredients for a new off-centered ale. A small team from the brewery (and a few of our beer-loving tech friends) then narrowed the list to five: wattleseed from Australia, toasted amaranth from South America, rooibos tea from Africa, myrica gale from Europe and honey from the United States. The name Urkontinent, a German word for the theory that all of the continents were once connected, is a shoutout to the worldly recipe and ideas that make up this beer. The careful combination of ingredients gives this Belgian dubbel complex coffee and chocolate-­covered cherry notes.''

See what I mean? Now imagine going into this beer with the blind acceptance of any old boring brew. Your brain would grind to a halt and you would speak only in grunts.

In the glass, this beer has a muddy dark brown coloration with a ruby red edging. I would like to describe it as a mahogany, but it's not quite there. It comes with a creamy tan head that has good retention. On the nose, I detected a rich earthy roasted aroma that was very complex. Granted, I wasn't even familiar with half the ingredient list before going into this beer, so I'm left to describe it from a generic perspective. I found notes of chocolate, dark breads, toasted nuts, sweet vanilla, tart cherries, and a savory coffee roast. Oh yeah, did I mention this is a Belgian dubbel? Mental disconnection, thy name is me. That's not a criticism mind you, just an acknowledgement of the Dogfish Head way.

It should come as no surprise that the flavor was equally complex. Savory earthy malt, dark fruits, toasted bread crust, nuts galore, a dusting of spices, hints of caramel, and a cola-like sweetness infused with cherry and vanilla. Seriously, what is my brain supposed to do with this information? I pretty much reverted back to caveman reviewing at that point. ''Beer good!'' Nothing specific stands out as a primary trait, this brew is just a mishmash of delicious complexity. The mouthfeel takes on a chalky roasted feel similar to a coffee stout. I also found a twinge of alcohol burn. To be perfectly honest, this beer doesn't drink at all like a Belgian dubbel. It leans more towards a Foreign Extra Stout or a Winter Warmer.

Overall, Dogfish Head's Urkontinent Ale is an oddly delicious brew. It will more than satisfy any imperial fan with a pension for the strange. Its array of unique flavors a lot of fun to study. I honestly cannot recommend this beer to any specific camp. It really is a coin toss on whether you will like it or not. I personally really enjoyed the experience and will happily partake in more. My only real advice would be go into this beer with zero expectations. It seems that the ''Belgian'' designation was more of a ''close enough'' decision because this brew lacks classification outside of ''Frankenbrew''. So for the adventurous among you, pick up a Urkontinent Ale and start speaking in your best Australian accent. This is a brew that would make Steve Irwin proud.

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Urkontinent by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
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