921. Palo Santo Marron

921. Palo Santo Marron

I picked up a couple bottles of this beer at Liquor World in Porter Square, after reading the New Yorker article on Dogfish Head. Jadyn and I split a bottle while cooking Thanksgiving dinner, and I had another bottle later that evening.

Palo Santo Marron means "Holy Tree (or Wood) Brown", and refers to the fact that this beer is aged in barrels made of Paraguayan Palo Santo, a hard, aromatic wood from South America. Palo Santo barrels are often used in South American wine making.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Alcohol: 12.00%
Serving: Bottle, 12 oz.
Style: American Brown Ale, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance: 4.0 | Smell: 4.5 | Taste: 4.5 | Mouthfeel: 4.0 | Drinkability: 3.5

Overall: 4.25

Palo Santo Marron seems thick and viscous as it is poured from the bottle to the glass. A thick, dark brown head appears on the pour, and quickly fades to an uneven coating of bubbles on the surface of the beer, and a sudsy ring. The beer itself is a very dark, opaque, brown, resembling an imperial stout. Swirling brings back the head and leaves trailers of lace on the side of the glass. Rich and malty aromas are prevalent. Most noticeable is a dark chocolate aroma over subtler notes of dry fruit, and a distinct woody aroma. On warming the roasty edge of the chocolate is mellowed, giving the overall aroma a sweeter, molasses character. Swirling brings out astringent and spicy alcoholic notes.

Sweet, chocolate malts are prevalent initially, but give way to notes of molasses and dry fruit in the center with a hint of alcoholic spice. The spiciness gains strength towards the finish, and meets a dry, woody character. Upon warming the tannic woodiness and spicy alcohol in the finish become stronger. The beer is thick and full-bodied on the palate, with a good amount of carbonation that keeps the beer from feeling to syrupy or heavy on the palate.

This one is strong, malty and high alcohol; it's definitely a sipping beer, and isn't meant to be sessioned. Overall I found it very enjoyable. The Palo Santo gave the beer a woodiness that was distinct from other barrel aged beers that I've had before. If you can get your hands on a bottle give it a try. I'll probably pick up a couple more bottles to see how this one does in the cellar.

Labels: ,