I’m still cruising around New York City. While I do that Silvio has his hands on the LIBA controls. Man, I bet he’s going to be ticked when he sees that my Beer Catalog was apparently missing a link to the beer he thought he was doing the first review of on LIBA. Silvio…
I decided to pick up the gauntlet thrown down by Josh on Thursday and review a Dogfish Head brew that he hasn’t gotten around to reviewing. As you can tell by the list of Dogfish beers he has reviewed, this was a daunting task. Fortunately, I stumbled across a 22 of the Dogfish Head Sah’tea Ale on my last beer trip.
This is an intriguing beer. It’s brewed with black chai tea and juniper berries, based on a traditional 9th century Finnish recipe that incorporates rye and juniper, heat the wort with wood-fired rocks, and adds black chai tea at the end of the boil. Serious yum.
The pour was awesome, with a light orange cloudy color. There wasn’t much foam, but the aroma was incredible. I got lots of different scents – sweet honeysuckle, blended with spicy cinnamon and cardamom. There was also a lot of floating yeast in the glass, which is always good for +1 point in my book.
If the pour was awesome, the taste was exceptional. I’ve been on a hot streak lately with really tasty beers, but this one stood out. I got lots of spices on the nose, with ginger prominent in the crisp but full mouth feel. To me, this had an IPA-type feel but without any hint of hoppy bitterness. There were some faint malts through the middle, which created a creamy taste, and the Sah’tea ends on a high note with juniper notes and a sweet, simple finish.
I loved this beer, totally got the black chai, and loved the complex spiciness throughout the beer. It’s got a high alcohol content with a 9% ABV, but there’s no real alcohol taste. Bottom line – if you see the Sah’tea, stock up with as many as you can fit in your basket!