Thursday, February 5, 2009


For those of you that know me, you know I am an eclectic guy. Sure, I enjoy birding, beer, and bbq's (all things that begin with "B"), but there is alot more to me than just those three things. One other thing that I have been enjoying for a few years now is coffee (as in "B"-eans).

I don't just drink the stuff. I collect antique mills and antique coffee tins. I roast my own beans and certainly try to do the right thing by getting it Fair Trade and organic/bird friendly (you can read what those mean here). I even recently bought a cool 1960's poster for my kitchen that combines my birding and coffee interests (more on that some other time).

So, anyhow, what in the world does this have to do with beer? After all, this is a beer entry!

Well, those craft folks at the Dogfish Head Brewery in Delaware did it again. They let their imagination go wild and they came up with something a bit above and beyond - Dogfish Head Chicory Stout. Beer, with coffee and chicory. Now, coffee in beer is not new, but chicory, too?

After the pour, the head swelled up easily to 1" or so. Tan in color, it was a nice contrast with the black body. But it certainly didn't last long. 90 seconds maybe? What about the aroma? Malts, of course (you would expect that with a stout). But something else was really "in your face." Coffee. No doubt about it. Organic Mexican coffee! (No, I did not know it was Mexican from the smell - I read the label.) Subtle undertones of chocolate were there, too. Quite the aroma, eh?

On the palate, the carbonation was a bit light. Barely much at all, really. There was enough present to bite your tongue, but not enough to curl your nose. Overall, the body had a pleasant, light, creamy feel. Nothing heavy. Certainly not watery.

So, what's up with the Chicory? Well, the finish was odd. The coffee taste gave way to something that was beyond a malty taste. It was at this point that I may actually have been getting a feel for the roasted Chicory. I honestly can't sure.

Anyway you look at it, chicory has long been know to be a substitute for coffee. It has a more "roasted" flavor than coffee and has zilcho caffeine. I even have a coffee tin in my collection that specifically advertises the coffee "...with chicory." If you are wondering what this plant looks like, trust me, you've seen it. Check this out. Look familiar? While I would call it a wildflower, others might call it a weed.

So, overall, you might call this a beer brewed with coffee and a flower. Others might call it a beer brewed with mud and a weed.

Call it what you will...I still give it a 3 out of 5.

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