Archive for American Brown Ale

10 – Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron


“An unfiltered, unfettered, unprecedented brown ale aged in handmade wooden brewing vessels. The caramel and vanilla complexity unique to this beer comes from the exotic Paraguayan Palo Santo wood from which these tanks were crafted. Palo Santo means “holy tree” and it’s wood has been used in South American wine-making communities.

This beer is a 12% abv, highly roasty, and malty brown ale aged on the Palo Santo wood. It was a huge hit at our Rehoboth Beach brewpub when first released in November of 2006, so it’s coming back… into full production.

At 10,000 gallons each, these are the largest wooden brewing vessels built in America since before Prohibition. It’s all very exciting. We have wood. Now you do too.”

We’ll see about that…

When a new DFH is available in my area, I try it. It’s like a new style of Pepsi, gotta try at least once. I got word from the weekly 3 Sons mailing list that the Palo Santo Marron was in. The what? I’ve never heard of this one? I have been lax on my DFH 2008 Release calendar so eh, my bad.

The pour was exciting. As soon as I finished emptying the last drop into my pint glass, the head on this beer went from a stagnant tan line and exploded into a nice 2 finger head. Didn’t last very long but it was cool to watch. Props for effects.

The aroma caught me off guard. Vanilla? *sniff* Banana? *sniff* fruity? wtf is going on here? According to the bottle and website this is an American Brown style beer. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a brown ale and I must say that I have NEVER had one like this. I like that, a style that surprises me.

First off this is 12% ABV. I’m not kidding, 12%! The max you would normally see is 8% so really it shouldn’t shock me that DFH kicked it up. I’d wager to say that most browns I’ve tasted have been pretty much the same. A little nutty, malty and slightly hoppy. The Palo Santo(Holy Tree) Marron was de-friggin-licious. Here’s why…

First off, I can’t taste the alcohol. When you see 12% ABV you face the risk of a strong alcohol taste. Must be the holy wood that fools you. Vanilla! Vanilla! Vanilla! Oh sweet Jesus it’s not overpowering but you know it’s there. *taste* mmm That would be a little fruit and nuts. Anyone who’s a freak about lacing though won’t like that it’s non-existent. Should you care? I really don’t. It doesn’t take away from the fact that this is a fine beverage.

Price I paid was $5 for a 12 oz bottle and $17-$18 for a 4 pack. That may seem pricey but for the Bud/Coors/Miler drinkers that would be equivalent to 12 of your beers… in 4 bottles. Crack one open and say hello to Wonderland, bitches!