Beer Porn: Dogfish Head’s Chateau Jiahu

Don’s note: Today we’ll be featuring a special Beer Porn from our guest writer Adam Kern (owner of our favorite T Shirt shop, My Buffalo Shirt).  Enjoy!

After watching Brew Masters on Discovery channel, (episode Ancient Ale), I was inspired to try Dogfish Head’s Chateau Jiahu Ale. Brew Masters is a relatively new show (started in Nov. 2010), which tracks Dogfish head founder Sam Calagione as he travels around the world finding new and different ingredients for new brews. It is considered reality beer making TV, so in my opinion it’s the only reality show you should really be watching. In case you were curious, Dogfish Head is located in Delaware.

Cheateau Jiahu is a limited release brew that’s described as “an ale brewed with honey and hawthorn fruit and fermented with grape juice.” I went to Consumer Beverages to pick this craft brew up and was able to find it only in a 22oz bottle (known as a bomber) for $11.99.  I later learned that Dogfish only sells this beer one time a year to retail stores in the larger beer bottles and in kegs. Since the label did not state the ABV I had to look it up on the Dogfish Head website, there I found it to be 10% ABV.

Dogfish Head’s slogan is “off centered ales for off centered people.” This is surely the case here because Chateau Jiahu does not taste like your average beer.  If you watch the episode you learn its ingredients are reversed engineered from ancient artifacts. This brew is composed of specialty sake rice, muscat grapes,  hawthorn fruit, honey, and hops. On my first sip, I could really taste the grapes it was fermented with. It is a light colored beer but very rich in flavor which makes it moderately heavy. I would describe it as a sweet tasting beer with a slight hopiness to it. I would even go as far and say it tastes like a hybrid beer / wine concoction, definitely one of the more unique beers I’ve had.

In case you didn’t catch the subtle suggestion about Brew Masters above, I would really recommend you watch it (repeats can be seen on the Discovery Channel, they just finished airing season 1). In regards to Chateau Jiahu, It’s a brew I would not purchase again and I would only recommend it to the more adventurous beer drinkers. I am looking forward to trying more of Dogfish Head’s specialty brews.

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