[Author’s Note: August is the Dog(fish Head) days of Summer here at The Dogs of Beer. All throughout the month I’ll be looking exclusively at the beers from DFH.]
Well, unlike my up coming review of Hellhound on by Ale, I have very little say before I review this beer. To be honest I didn’t even know it was part of the musical series until just a few months ago.
Positive Contact is named after a key track on Dan and Del the Funkee Homosapien’s 2000 release, Deltron 3030, an adventurous hip-hop album that took over a decade to make. Initially the beer only came in a 6-bottle set including a vinyl LP and recipes (Dan is a bit of a chef, and Positive Contact was brewed using his favorite hand-picked ingredients). But now you can find the beer on its own pretty easily.
THEM: Positive Contact is a beer/cider hybrid, brewed with Fuji apples, roasted farro, cayenne peppers and fresh cilantro. Of all these ingredients, the one most likely to send people scurrying to Wikipedia is farro. Don’t bother. I quote, “The exact definition is debated.” There ya go. But I can tell you that in general farro is whole grains of wheat that have been cooked in hot water. Where the definition gets cloudy is WHICH grains are actually used. Three specific grains (including spelt) in Italy are referred to as farro. Although in some places barley and farro are used interchangeable. I would assume that in this case the farro being described is a roasted grain, and wouldn’t be surprised if it was something other than barley. Or else they probably would have just said, roasted barley. The beer has 26 IBUs and a respectable 9% ABV.
ME: PC pours a nice golden color with a slight haze. The first whiff is full of things that remind me of Belgian and earthy tones. After your nose gets used to it, you get a clean apple aroma with a slight touch of floral. The flavor has some nice malt with a crispness that no doubt comes from the cider element of the brew. As I sip the beer the malt is more bready than caramel in nature, and after the beer warmed up I did detect more of the apple. The finish is clean with a little bite that doesn’t seem like a hop bitterness. The after taste is clean, but sweet, has a very slight touch of heat and just barely hides the 9%ABV in the beer.
I was very disappointed with the lack of cilantro I was able to taste in the beer. I love cilantro, and like to think I’m pretty good at recognizing its taste. But I didn’t really get any in this beer. The heat was understated, which it has to be in Positive Contact. There’s not a lot here to cover up a lot of heat, so it needs to be subtle, and it is.
Rating – Glass. Nice to try more than a few sips of, but this isn’t some thing I really need to have again. But I’ll be honest, it was drinking pretty good on that hot Sunday afternoon. For educational purposes I would order it on draft if I see it, to see if the cilantro is more predominant.
Time for another beer.