Thursday, June 11, 2015

Finding Balance

I have always liked the beers that have come from Delaware brewery, Dogfish Head, and because they're not readily available in Ontario, I always keep my eyes open for the easy-to-recognize logo.

When I was on a recent trip to New York City, I was pleasantly surprised to see a wide selection of Dogfish Head beers at Eataly, in the Flatiron district. I saw my favourite 90-Minute IPA and the 60-Minute IPA, but I wanted to go with something different. A fella could go nuts, trying to find just the right beer to bring home, and I sought serenity in finding something unique.

I found it.
Namaste (4.8% ABV)
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Milton, DE, U.S.A.
Appearance: a pale golden, effervescent colour (like ginger ale) with a foamy, pure-white head that stays thick for most of the pour, settling to a solid cap.

Nose: hints of ginger, grass, and citrus.

Palate: herbal with slight citrus notes. A light body with a balanced, spiced finish. The bottle states that Namaste is brewed with orange slices, but the citrus is not distinct; there is lemongrass, coriander, and peppercorn, but the coriander is so subtle that I could not taste it and the peppercorn was not strong, either.

Overall impression: while this witbier has a fresh taste in the initial mouth feel, as the aftertaste lingers, the grassiness becomes reminiscent of lower-quality, mass-produced ales, like Molson Canadian. A tough criticism from me, who would rather drink a gallon-sized kale kefir smoothie than take a sip of a Molson product. I think that the lemongrass and coriander blend in a way that comes out simply as grass.

My impressions leave me at odds. I like Dogfish Head a lot, love their hoppy and interesting flavours. With Namaste, I enjoy the aromas and initial flavours, but I don't like the aftertaste and I'm not inclined to drink more than one bottle in a sitting. But I will drink the other bottles in my six pack, eventually.

Namaste was worth a try but, given the myriad offerings by this brewery, I think I would choose something else next time.

Beer O'Clock rating: 2.5

Namaste... err, cheers!

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