The daily beer painting of the day is of Burton Baton Oak Aged Imperial India Pale Ale by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. Thanks for mailing me such a wonderful beer, Rich! If this were the only beer left on earth, I would be totally fine with that, as long as it didn’t run out! This is a particularly fine offering from one of the world’s greatest breweries. Oak-aged, and good for cellaring if you can keep your hands off it. I didn’t even have to take a sip to start enjoying this beer. My nose could sense the aroma of citrus and fruit, followed by a woody sweetness and hints of caramel and vanilla from the barrel aging. The first sip was a bit surprising, as the beer didn’t taste as sweet as I had expected, but more oaky.
So why the Burton Baton name? Who is this guy pictured on the bottle playing his guitar? Well, this beer is named after the yeast that is in it — Burtons English Ale yeast, and baton is for the blend of brews used to make this beer. It starts out as an English old ale that is heavily hopped and aged four months in French oak staves. It is then blended with the 90-minute boil IPA, creating a 10 percent monster of an imperial IPA. The label art is a painting of a symbolic cowboy by Jon Langford, lead singer of the English punk band the Mekons. So, the label is actually a symbol of America created by an English guy; a blend of goodness, kind of like this beer.
When I fly to the East Coast, I am very excited to go to the tasting room at DFH because 120 minute IPA is on draft there, as well as many other tasty options. Burton Baton? I always love going to the pub tasting room at a craft brewery. Seems to me that this is one of the characteristics of a craft brewery over a regular brewery. Almost all the giant German breweries are huge industrial zones, but quality craft breweries, even giant ones like Stone and Deschutes, have great pubs.
Cheers to Dogfish Head! You have crafted a melody of flavor, a symphony of brews! The Burton Baton is probably beer perfection!