318. Midas Touch Golden Elixir

318. Midas Touch Golden Elixir

I picked this up at Downtown Wine & Spirits because my dad had heard about on a show on The History Channel. The beer came in a standard 12 oz. brown bottle. The purple label has a fingerprint on the logo, and says "Handcrafted Ancient Ale with barley, honey, white muscat grapes & saffron". I let the beer warm to approximately 50°F, and served it in one of my New Belgium snifters.

Beer Advocate lists this beer as a Herbed/Spiced Beer, a sort of catch-all style that isn't particularly informative for individual beers. The Dogfish Head website gives a more accurate description as to what this beer is about:
"This recipe is the actual oldest-known fermented beverage in the world! Our recipe showcases the known ingredients of barley, white Muscat grapes, honey & saffron found in the drinking vessels in King Midas' tomb! Somewhere between a beer, wine and mead, this smooth, dry ale will please with Chardonnay or I.P.A. drinker alike."
The website goes on to say that a tomb, likely that of King Midas, excavated in 1957 contained the world's largest Iron Age drinking set. Analysis of the residues inside the vessels indicated that they contained a beverage consisting of grape wine, barley beer and honey mead. Dogfish Head attempted to recreate this beverage and Midas Touch is the result.

Appearance (3.0): Midas Touch pours a crystal clear, deep golden-orange. It's fizzy, with large soda like bubbles. Topped by a white half-inch head, that quickly diminishes to a ring. (Note: from looking at other reviews the turbidity seems to vary with serving method)

Smell (3.5): The beer smells earthy, malty and a little buttery. Upon swirling I get wine-like grape aromas.

Taste (4.0): The taste is complex. Grainy flavors and honey sweetness are evident immediately. Malts take over in the center and are overtaken by tartness and spicyness in the finish. The aftertaste is spicy with alcoholic warmth. A modest bitterness appears mostly in the finish. It's almost like there's a mead to beer to wine transition.

Mouthfeel (4.5): Creamy and medium bodied with light carbonation. Leaves a buttery feel in the mouth.

Drinkability (2.5): This beer is 9.0% abv, which is evident in the taste. The flavors are also very strong, making this a bad session brew.

Overall (BA: 3.6, TC: 3.65): This is an interesting beer, definitely very wine like. It's a neat idea for a beer, and the execution isn't bad. It's almost a little too strong.

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