Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sly Dog Night at Belgian Cafe

Had a great night at the Belgian Cafe on Tuesday.  They were doing a joint Sly Fox and Dogfish Head night (nicknamed Sly Dog by Suzie Woods) and I was interested in chatting with her again when I was sober (instead of like during the Craft Beer Express) and, of course, trying some new beers.  As usual, the food at the Belgian Cafe was pretty great.  I had a vegan burger with brie and pickled jalapenos that was delicious and Jo had a chicken sandwich with leeks and blue cheese (aka the Monks Burger).  Suzy and the Dogfish Head rep, Wendy, showed up around 7 and I chatted with them both for a while.  Like I usually say, it's always nice when people are willing to talk to me about beer even if it's their job to do so.  I'll take anything.

I also got to meet the Ommegang / Duvel / Liefmans (possibly more brands) rep, Megan.  She was super nice as well.  I realized later that we had actually met during Philly Beer Week at the Sidecar Bar & Grille when she went out to her car to find me a neat Brewery Ommegang sticker.  I also chatted with a dude named Eugene, formerly of Minnesota, all about the Surly brewery.  I'm super jealous since he said he had quite a few bottles of Darkness which is a beer I really want to try but it's only available for about a week and in Minnesota.  All in all, I met a lot of cool people and Jo and I may go back to Belgian Cafe on Friday because they are doing a whole Duvel brands night and Megan said she'd be there again.  Seems fun.  We'll see though.

And now on to beer.  I started with the Sly Fox Christmas Ale since I've been wanting to try it anyway.  The Christmas is a Winter Warmer.
Smells like Christmas.  Nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon and ginger.  First sip is a huge mouthful of cinnamon and ginger.  I'll admit I thought it was mostly cinnamon but Jo and Suzie both said ginger and it makes sense.  Mouthfeel is nice, a little syrupy, but I really like beers that way.  Nutmeg started to come out as I drank more.  I liked this one although be aware it is heavily spiced.  On a nice cold day it would be really nice.

Following that I had a similarly sized glass of Dogfish Head Theobroma, a chili beer.  Smelled perfumy.  I actually thought it was the Festina Peche at first although I realized after bothering the bartender that it wasn't anywhere near as tart and fruity smelling.  Silly me.  Poured a golden looking color with a little head.  Tasted spicy and a little malty.  It's made with chilies and I felt like I could feel them in my mouth after each sip.  Sort of a tingling feeling.  It may have just been in my head though.  Really interesting beer but sort of hard for me to describe.

However, not nearly as hard to describe as the next one, Dogfish Head Sah'Tea, a sahti.  (No seriously that's the style according to Beer Advocate.)
It smelled very sweet and flowery with some hints of tea.  Taste followed the aroma, lots of sweetness and flowers and sort of a chai tea flavor.  The base is a wheat beer and I could definitely taste it throughout the glass.  Another oddball from Dogfish Head and again I had a lot of trouble coming up with a description.  To be fair, though, it was tasty.

Really had a great time at Belgian Cafe and can't say enough about all the beer reps.

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