It’s hot and muggy here in Delaware again, so I guess it’s the perfect time to wind down my series on the beers of Dogfish Head. I had one more on my list that I wanted to get to because (I’m not going to lie) I love it. But for some reason it kept getting swept to the back of the fridge by on coming tides of BBQ sauces, yogurt containers, coke bottles and yes, even other beer. So with that, let’s reach in deep for the last beer in the Dogfish Days of Summer series. That beer, is Burton Baton.
Ah wood. What would we do without it? What…I already did that? OK, let’s just taste.
THEM: Burton Baton starts as two different beers referred to by Sam as “threads”. The first is an English-style old ale and the other is an imperial IPA, Once finished in the primary, the threads are combined and aged for 1 month in one of DFH’s 10,000 gallon oak barrels. Baton clocks in at 10%ABV and 70IBUs.
ME: I like it, I love it, I want some more of it. Beautiful ruby red with a crisp head. Oak and floral hops swirl out of the glass with hints of caramel, honey, fruit (raisins?). The flavor is a lot of the same, but it doesn’t muddle all together like a big mess. To me, the hops/IPA are just a touch under the old ale (which is pretty impressive considering BB has a pound of hops per barrel) the beer having that big caramel/malt sweetness, but not overly so due to a little bit of bitter on the back end. It initially was hiding its 10%ABV pretty well but it did start peeking through a bit on towards the bottom of the glass.
I’m not sure which is more fun, just drinking the damn thing or trying to crawl into the glass and figure out all that’s going on inside of it. If there’s anything negative to say about this beer it’s that it certainly doesn’t drink well on a hot, humid day like today. This beer needs cooler temperatures (like maybe later tonight when the temperature starts to drop) and probably would work well with food, although to be honest I’d prefer just giving the stage to BB as a solo. It really doesn’t need a backing band in my mind.
This is tough because Baton is sitting right on that CASE/KEG edge. I’m just trying to figure out if it’s really up there with Hellhound and Theobroma for me. You know what? I think this is the perfect beer to slide gracefully out of the ratings bizz. It’s been fun, but you don’t need me to assign some arbitrary appraisal to Burton Baton to know what a great beer it is. All you have to do is pour one yourself. And speaking of which….
TIme of another beer….