Monday, March 17, 2014

Chateau Jiahu

Jiahu was the location of a small hamlet in ancient China. The community has been defunct for nearly 8000 years but they were a relatively advanced society. They had written language, musical instruments, pottery, and booze. Discovered within clay vessels was the residue of a wine fermented from rice, honey and hawthorn leaves.

Chateau Jiahu (10% ABV) is a beer brewed by Dogfish Head based on those archaic remnants. It is brewed with orange blossom honey, muscat grape juice, barley malt and hawthorn fruit. The wort is fermented with sake yeast.

It pours a clear honey gold with a small thin head; even with an aggressive pour.

The aroma is both wine-like and mead-like in character; tart grapes and sweet honey.

The taste has crisp wine, sake, and mead characteristics blended with a solid malt backbone. Subtle fruit and other flavors are teasing.  The finish is soft honey and dry wine.

The mouthfeel is medium and lively carbonation.

Despite the sweetness and decided lack of bitterness, this is not a cloying or sticky brew. It's quite nice and dangerously drinkable.

Chateau Jiahu is a complex and wonderful flavor explosion. I could drink way too much of it.

Overall: very good.

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