Bob's First Beer Review: Dogfish Head, Chicory Stout

Friday, May 11, 2012

Things here at have been a little quiet lately, especially for an election year. I guess that is what happens when every one of the contributors here have a pack of kids, many of which under four years of age. We are also remodeling, buying homes, taking on new jobs, and all that stuff. We here still care very much about the politics, we just have a lot less time to bitch about it. We also still drink and brew piles of beer.

Not that long ago....OK it was like months ago....Smitty challenged the crew here at ATK to write more.

He even challenged me to do a beer review. That was pretty intimidating. I have half a nose and sure as hell have not been B.J.C.P. certified.  But, I will give it a whorl. I cannot tell you why a beer is funky, or what brewing method makes it great. But I can give you my opinion and tell you why I like the flavor of the week. Perhaps I will lead you to a new favorite brew, or keep you from wasting 3 bucks on a single microbrew that tastes like unpolished sterling silver. If you disagree, that is cool, let me know in the comments. Beer is as diverse as the people who brew it and we should celebrate it.

I hope you like what I write.

Beer Review:

Dogfish Head, Chicory Stout
5.2% ABV
Milton, Delaware

Today’s beverage comes to us from the land of the favored state of incorporation, the home of the Biden, and the state that almost elected a witch to the U.S. Senate. It is also home to one of the finest breweries in the country, Dogfish Head. Their Chicory Stout is the first Dogfish I have tried outside of an I.P.A. I love Dogfish Head for their I.P.A.’s and I really don’t normally like I.P.A.’s at all. Their 120 minute I.P.A. is the brew of very special occasions.

What the heck is Chicory? According the Wikipedia, it:

“…is a somewhat woody, perennial herbaceous plant …cultivated for salad leaves, chicons (blanched buds), or for roots (var. sativum), which are baked, ground, and used as a coffee substitute and additive.”
Chicory Stout pours very dark, but not thick, with a quarter-inch thickness coppery-brown head. It has the deep smell of coffee with a sweet smell that makes me think of two sugars in a small cup of Joe. The taste itself isn’t sweet, but definitely like chocolate chips in a glass. You might think of dark chocolate morsels, but without the sugar hit of a Nestle chocolate chip. Instead, this beer has the finer satisfying, very mild aftertaste I associate with dark chocolate after it has melted away. That flavor is quickly washed away and you are left with a clean palate which is a reasonably good thirst quencher for a dark beer. It has a weak carbonation, no alcohol sting and finishes quite dry yet almost watery finish.

I struggled to give a better description of the malt or grains that provide flavors to the beer, but it is just not that complex. It’s a decent beer, but not even as complex or flavorful as some of the better brown ales. If you are a lover of stouts, this is not your stout. It's simplicity makes it OK for drinking two in a sitting.

I liked the beer and would try it again, but for everyone else, I describe it this way: If Guinness is the gateway to good beers, Dogfish Head’s Chicory Stout is one step past the gate. It is a seasonal brew, so get it while you can.

I rate it a 6.5 out of 10.

UPDATE: I would not say a 6.5 should be considered a "D" grade like a 65% would be in geomotery class.  This is Dogfish Head, so they might be graded a bit harsh becuase they make some great beers.


steves 8:48 AM  

Nice review. I will have to try this. I like chicory coffee and stout, so this sounds like an all-around winner.

Joel 8:52 AM  

is this working? Am I in finally. Test, 1,2,3...

Joel 8:53 AM  

Good 1st review Bob. 6.5 eh? Hmmm... we'll see if I have a hankerin' for something like this. I LOVED that beer we had at Crunchy's for Noah's B-day. What was that again Smitty?

Bob 8:56 AM  

Hey Joel is allowed back in good news.

Note to Smitty - that Joel-blocking software has failed us.

Bob 9:10 AM  

I would not say a 6.5 should be considered a "D" grade like a 65% would be in geomotery class. It is what it is.

This is Dogfish Head, so they might be graded a bit harsh becuase they make some great beers.

Smitty 8:33 AM  

Nice review, Bob! And I agree with it; I have had this beer several times, and given my love of chicory-laden coffee when I visit NOLA, I really dig this beer. "Calmer," if you will, than other Big Giant Stouts.

I am re-inspired. Thanks, Bob. This post was actually...helpful. I was burned-out.

Bob 6:05 PM  

Thanks Noah. Heck, I am not sure I new what Chickory was. I have a couple reviews in the works.

Third Street Brew 4:16 PM  

Not bad for your first review!

Rickey 1:35 PM  

Attention motherfuckers. Rickeys Blogging again.

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