1. Dogfish Head Bitches Brew
Famously featured on the controversially short-lived show on the Discovery Channel, this beer from Dogfish Head was a collaboration with Sony Legacy Recordings in honor of the 40th anniversary of the innovative album from Miles Davis. Bitches Brew was a game-changing album, starting the jazz fusion movement. The fusion idea was what inspired the recipe for this beer, combining about 75% imperial stout with 1/4 of honey beer with gesho root. The only bad thing about drinking this beer was the thought in the back of my head that, once it's gone, I almost definitely will not ever get to drink it again. Trying to live in the moment, with my friend Rob, while listening to a bit of the Bitches Brew album, I soon realized this was one of the most solid high-ABV stouts I've ever had. The portion of honey beer was very faint in the taste but it's clear that it balanced the beer out and made it very smooth. Aside from the great taste, the smoothness and creamy mouthfeel of the beer are really what made it stand out. I think Miles Davis would be proud.
Overall Rating: A
2. Dogfish Head Hellhound on My Ale
This beer was the second collaboration between Dogfish Head and Sony Legacy Recordings. It celebrated the 100th birthday of the legendary blues musician Robert Johnson. Though I wasn't as familiar with Robert Johnson as Miles Davis, I figured I would suck it up and try the beer anyway because I'm dedicated. The description of the beer was right up my alley: a "super-hoppy" ale, hitting 100 IBU (the maximum number of bittering units), using centennial hops. Robert Johnson's mentor was a man by the name of Blind Lemon Jefferson, so they used lemon peel and flesh to intensify the citrus of the hops. So basically a really intense imperial IPA. Call me crazy, but I think this beer was a little too intense for me. I got a lot more of the underlying bready malt flavor than the hops, which wouldn't surprise me if I had aged this beer for a while and the hoppiness had settled, but this beer was just released last month. I struggled to find the lemon citrus flavor because it was masked by a harsh alcohol taste. It was drinkable but a little heavy for my taste. But considering the name, I suppose that's appropriate.
Overall Rating: B