Through fortuitous circumstances, two cases arrived at Calvert (one of my three local Beer Meccas) the day before I stopped by. As I’ve been looking forward to this new release from Dogfish Head, as previously described, I walked away with a nice supply.
- Name: Santo Palo Marron (“Holy Tree Brown”)
- Brewery: Dogfish Head
- Style: Wood-Aged Beer (Category 22C, BJCP 2008 Style Guidelines) – aged in 10,000-gallon Paraguayan Palo Santo wood brewing vessels
- Alcohol: 12%
- Serving: 12-ounce bottle, chilled, served in freezer-stored “Celebrating 25 Years of Palladium Books” pint glass
Scoring (in solidarity with Charlie the Beer Guy):
- Appearance: 9 – Pours a completely opaque dark brown that is nearly black, and impenetrable to light. Topped with a thick, sudsy brown head that fades slowly to a thin lace. Looks beautiful!
- Aroma: 7 – Malty, with caramel notes, and a surprising lack of alcohol for its ABV. Tempting, but relatively mild.
- Taste: 8 – Sweet and malty, with predominant caramel and vanilla notes, with a slight hint of coffee. Notable but mild smokiness appears midway. No lingering aftertaste.
- Mouthfeel: 8 – Moderate to slightly heavy, but not cloying. Very smooth.
- Holistic: 8 – Tasty, very well-balanced, and more subtle than expected. If it’s possible for a brew of this strength to be smooth and balanced enough to be a session beer, then this is it.
- Overall: 40 – I am very impressed. Dogfish Head has pulled off subtle artistry where I was expecting something more pronounced, and in a beer style that’s not my first choice. I’ll definitely be seeking out the Palo Santo Marron when it’s available.