Dogfish Head | Palo Santo Marron
I never really was a big fall guy. Tons of my friends are all about it. I just love summer, and I wail and moan when the first frost hits. What I do enjoy, however, about this time of year has to be the smells, specifically the hint of bite to the air as the temperature lowers and the winds pick up. Particularly, when the nights get really cold, the bonfires in backyards become commonplace, and the smell of firewood catches in the air and on one’s clothes. To go along with the welcome-to-fall fires, I have a Dogfish Head beer that I have, strangely enough, just stumbled upon: the Palo Santo Marron, a brown ale that packs a mighty punch.
Racking in at 12%, it is impish in its smell, taste, and overall composition. This particular ale has been aged on Paraguayan Palo Santo wood, hence the name. According to Dogfish Head, this same wood is also used in winemaking in many South American locations.
The smell upon first open is faint but rich; as one pours, there is an increase of woodiness and strong waves of vanilla. Along with that woody aroma are sweeter elements, like that of bourbon. It is a grand smell that pairs well with the distant odors of freshly burning firewood, not downwind of course!
The beer pours thick and dark with a faint tan-colored head, nothing excessive. A nice thin lacing continues as one progresses further down the glass to the unfiltered bottom. The beer’s color, a deep, deep brown, almost black, hue is reminiscent of stouts. The taste though is all malt, all brown ale. Very whiskey without the bite of the same liquor.
Though high in alcohol content, it is not excessively bombastic. It’s smooth and palatable. Easy pairing with chocolate. Lucky for me, I was able to taste this along with other Dogfish Head beers at one of the Cleveland Beer Week events last week. In this case, I sampled beer with handmade chocolates. I was in confectionary heaven. With each sip, I found my new favorite by Dogfish Head!
Get the bonfires ready, and sit back and enjoy what fall has to offer, even if it is not always your thing. You will at least stay warm with Palo Santo Marron at your fingertips