No rhyme or reason, but kind of the point
Posted on 4/28/2012 at 12:25 PM EST (386 days ago)
1 Member Rating | Good Overall
On a recent trip to the Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Delaware, I was fortunate enough to spend many an hour within the walls of the world famous Dogfish Head brewpub in Rehoboth Beach. This place is the beer fanatic’s equivalent of Disney World. There is always something to see, new people to meet, awesome musical performances, exciting new rides (brewpub exclusive beers), and sometimes you even get to meet Mickey Mouse (Dogfish Head founder Sam Calagione). And just in case you’re reading this Sam, I mean that as a compliment. On my last day in town, I was doing my best to try as many brewpub exclusives that I could, one of which was the Bricolage, a Brown Saison. Sam describes this beer like so:
When you Google the definition of Bricolage, the first thing that pops up is this: (in art or literature) Construction or creation from a diverse range of available things. This style-defying ale lives up to this definition. When our pub brewer Ben arrived at Dogfish there were LOTS of various grains and ingredients left over from numerous off-centered ales brewed before him. So, he set out to brew a dark saison-ish styled beer utilizing many of the various available things that he had to work with.
There you have it. This beer is a ''gimme this, gimme that'' mad scientist creation brewed specifically because they could. Cap it off with Ben’s evil laugh and you have Bricolage.
In the glass, this brew has a deep and hazy ruby red hue. It comes with a frothy white head that likes to stick around for a while. The aroma was quite complex and not surprisingly considering its origins. I found plenty of dark fruit notes, a base of malty sweetness, a lot of spicy characters, and the list goes on and on. It’s quite literally an ''everything but the kitchen sink'' kind of situation. Going into that first sip, I had absolutely no idea what to expect.
The flavor profile ended up being just as complex as the aroma. The malt base took on a candied vibe that reminded me of an Irish Red. There is a strong fruity layer that constantly teases your taste buds with cherries and figs. I also discovered an earthy undertone that I could never firmly grasp. Add in a peppering of spice notes and you have quite the mental playground. In all honestly, I found no rhyme or reason to this beer, but I guess that’s kind of the point.
Probably the most surprising aspect of this beer was the mouthfeel. Considering the smorgasbord of flavors battling for attention, I expected more girth and staying power. But, the mouthfeel was unexpectedly thin, causing the flavor train to speed right through your taste buds into a wispy exit. It takes several sips to get ahold of the beer. But hey, you’re hanging at the Dogfish Head brewpub, so you don’t really mind the effort.
Overall, Dogfish Head’s Bricolage Brown Saison is a really strange concoction. I can’t exactly categorize it as anything, which again is kind of the point. There are definitely traits I liked and traits that confused me. This is one of those beers that I can recommend to every level of beer fan because I have no idea who is going to like it. It’s a case-by-caser that is sure to keep you guessing. If nothing else, it’s a fun beer to dissect because there could be anything in it. Every analytical sentence is some form of ''I think I taste this'' or ''I think they used that''. Good times, good times.
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Just another "it will probably never be made again, so consider yourself lucky for even getting to see it, let alone taste it" beer that you were fortunate enough to have. How I really wanna punch you in the right ear right now. Heh. Very glad you got the chance to try it though. It sounds delightful.
Posted on 4/30/2012 at 6:56 PM EST
Hmm, you just gave me a great idea. I think sometime in the future BrewChief needs to do a weekend of "Dogfish Head brewpub specialty indulgence." Just plant ourselves at the brewpub and slowly sample our way through as much of the specialty menu as we can (within reason of course). Then we have "Dogfish Head Specialty Review Week". Rehoboth Beach road trip anyone?