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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Dogfish Head - Palo Santo Marron

Bio
Palo Santo Marron is a wood-aged brown ale from the the wizards at Dogfish Head brewery. OK, that's the boring version... this beer is actually aged in the largest wooden brewing vessels in the country, which are built from the exotic Palo Santo wood from Paraguay.

12% ABV

Appearance
I don't know why, but I expected this to be much lighter. Instead, it pours thick and is a dark, black-brown color. It looks much more like a porter than a brown ale, with a nearly opaque appearance and a mahogany hue around the edge. My first bottle had thin, tan head, but my second poured with a thicker, denser head.

If you prefer a thick head, pour slow and hold your bottle high. A standard pour nets a thin result with this beer.

Aroma
Palo Santo has a warm, rich, boozy nose. Notable aromas include banana bread, raisin, toffee, black cherry and an exotic, aromatic woodiness that reminds me of trip to World Market.

Taste & Feel
Whoa! This is absolutely mindblowing.  The flavor is deep, rich and complex. Very little hops flavor makes room for plenty of roasted malts... vanilla, toffee, caramel, raisins, banana and a subtle smokiness.

Looks aren't deceiving... it has a full body and a smooth, soft, creamy mouthfeel that's accompanied by a mild carbonated tingle that builds into a boozy, coating warmth.

Sweet on the lips, virtually no hops bitterness and an earthy, wood finish. 

Verdict
Liquid pleasure, plain and simple. I already had a not-at-all-secret crush on Dogfish's brews, but this one raises the bar. Dogfish never disappoints Simply fantastic.
  
Drink this one slow and savor every sip. The high alcohol content sneaks up on you halfway through the second glass.

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