Dogfish Head Grateful Dead American Beauty Imperial Pale Ale

This is a beer based on a music group. I've had these kinds of things before, and they haven't had 100% success. This one is a Dogfish Head beer, though, and they do some pretty good beers. So, even though this is named after an album that was released in 1970, I'm going to go ahead and get my hopes up.

The copper beer lazily spits bubbles up at the top to form a smooth and clean cut head. The aroma is hops, but it's very laid back hops like they were refined at a concert for the Dead in the 70's, and they just wandered over here to take a look at what was going on in the bottle. Malt and citrus are there for the party, but they are even more laid back - like a couple of stoners sitting in their car getting baked.

First sip is not as laid back at the smell was. It has pine hops and floral hops that positively attack the tongue with tastes. It's not subtle like the aroma was. Instead, it hit hard and fast. I was distracted for a little while, so I let the beer sit and warm a bit. I took another sip, and now, the malt has taken over, but it has done it with a gentle hand. Added to the hops, it is actually a very nice sipping beer. It seems a shame to try to gulp it, but I'm gonna.

Tip-in is grapes and citrus fruits with a bit of carbonation along the cheeks. The middle is mild biscuity malt with a sense of the hops that I noticed in that first sip. The middle is almost meditative with the serenity and smoothness, and it's just about as delightful as you can imagine. The finish sends a small wave of bitterness from the hops across the whole mouth before being tamed again by some citrus and grainy malt. It's very nice.

Bottom Line: It doesn't matter if you're a fan of their music. The beer is excellent.



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