Friday, December 15, 2006

Monk's Beer Dinner 12/12/06: Dogfish Head [Part 2]

If you missed Part 1 of this review of the Dogfish Dinner at Monk's on 12/12/06, then click here and check out the first half of our comments. We'll be here waiting when you return. We're not convinced of this conversational format for doing an event review. If you have an opinion, please let us know.

Bryan: What do you say we finish blessing people with our thoughtful insights to the Dogfish Head beer dinner at Monk's? :)

Adam: we have any?

Bryan: Well, the night certainly stepped up to the next level with the third course. The purportedly retired Baltic de Belgium one-off from 1999 was "discovered" in Tom Peters' basement. Isn't that how the story went?

Adam: Pretty much, Tom was talking to me about it a bit.

Adam: He said that he was kinda forgetting about it and waiting for the right time. With Extreme Brewing being the theme he felt it was time. According to Tom, the aging helped make this beer stand out. I would agree. I would have to say it was the best beer of the evening!

Bryan: Hm, best? Well, it was certainly different. And it was my favorite at least until the next course came around. Seriously, though, this beer had developed somewhat of a legend that grew even more when it was announced to be served with this particular dinner. The addition of wormwood (am I allowed to say that?!) and "surprise finding" in Tom's basement only further adds to the legend! Sorry to say this could be the last time anyone has access to it in this sort of environment. {Check out a video to be posted later today of Sam describing this beer. A nice touch to the evening}

Adam: Let's see, what do my notes say? Smelled like licorice liquor, butterscotch, and slightly bitter. It doesn't even begin to describe it. It wasn't overly sweet either. D'Extra blew it away in that department. Yeah the wormwood is a good draw for this. I would say it added to the bitterness, but, honestly the whole package was just freakin' incredible.

Bryan: The aging did seem to thin the beer out a bit, which Sam acknowledged during his introduction to the course. But, the aroma to me was the real winner. Noticeable licorice, like sambuca, stood out. And, the accompanying food was a pleasant surprise. I was a bit skeptical about the Seitan (could it be....Seitan...oops, sorry!). Overall, great course. My notes started to suffer after this course for sure.

Adam: Heheh...mine too. I thought the food pairing provided a great backdrop. It let the Baltic take center stage. Man...if I could have a bottle or two of that! But alas, not from this batch. I wonder if they will ever try it again?

Bryan: While this was my second favorite course of the night (oh wait, what about dessert.....aahhh, dessert), the fourth course was it for me. The duck ragout/pasta was, uh, just spectacular with the chunks of meat tumbling around the pasta. But to have the the d'Etre and the d'Extra paired together with this course just made it an over-the-fence grand slam. The sweetness from the raisins and apple, the saltiness from the duck, and the alcohol warming rich flavors from these beers just all paired just so spectacularly well. Ok, I'll stop now or I'll go on forever.

Adam: Stop! You're making me hungry. Seriously though, you just made remember how much I liked that dish. I was going to choose something else. The d'Etre and d'Extra were incredible. This was my first experience with the d'Extra and it was amazing. Whew...another one at the top of the list.
Can we go back?

Bryan: The bar was definitely set higher here with each course. How about the lamb and the World Wide Stout? Not too shabby, eh?

Adam: Now this is my favorite course of the night. The lamb itself was incredible. Especially the bites with fruit compote. Wash it down with some WW Stout and bingo! Right up there with a Belgian dinner pairing. Can we go back?

Bryan: Funny thing is I don't (somehow) recall the yogurt or the fruit compote. But, I do distinctly remember the strips of tender perfectly cooked meat stacked upon each other and the succulent flavor. Maybe I didn't use the yogurt to top it? Oh well, in any case, the WWS unfortunately for me got lost in the mix of what was still on the table....that is, the Baltic, the d'Extra, the d'Etra, uh, and probably something else. You all get the picture out there? Actually, I believe we have one!

Adam: I'm telling you at this point I was feeling very warm. Knowing that there was one more course to go and knowing it was paired with a 14% brown ale definitely made me take pause.

Bryan: Yeah, I don't know if any of you saved your appetites because wasn't I the only one who finished the dessert? It was an incredible decadent chocolate dessert paired with an equally decadent brown ale. But, I don't recall getting much woodsy flavor in the brew, did you?

Adam: I know what you mean. There's something to be said of ordering your beers in a beer dinner. This beer would have been better to taste right before the baltic. It has more subtle notes and was in danger of being eclipsed by the dessert and the four high gravity high amplitude beers before it. I hope I get to try this again. Isn't it going to be sold under another name?

Bryan: Yes, it was certainly a solid beer, but 14% ABV. I didn't sense that. But, like you said maybe our palates had been "well trained" by this point of the night....Yes, Sam did mention putting it into production. As we could tell from his intro and comments throughout the night, he's quite proud of Mike Gerhart, their brewery and distilling manager and creator of this beer.

Adam: Ok...that's it. I'm goin' back to see if they have anything left.

Bryan: You know, come to think of it....these are the kind of guys (you know, Sam, Tom...etc etc) who always have something special hanging around. So, let's ask next time!

Adam: Heheh...we could only hope. Let's stop this crazy thing. Anything else to add?

Bryan: I'm sure we could go on and on with even more details about that night, but I think we got across the main point...a special evening with great beer, people, and food. A classic Monk's dinner if there ever was one. Does it make you anxious for January and Russian River, or what?!

Adam: I guess once I'm through the stages of grieving I'll be fine. It's always nice to know there's a light at the end of the tunnel.

Bryan: And then another light called Lost Abbey....and New Belgium....and Brooklyn....and we're on a roll. Well, this has been fun doing something different with our event highlights. Do you think anyone else liked this format?

Adam: I guess we'll never know. Unless...

Bryan: I'm sure our loyal readers won't have any difficulties in sharing their opinions. Ok, then, 'til next time. Cheers, my friend!

Adam: Bring it on! Cheers!

Bryan: Oh, one more comment. Did we even bother mentioning that this was at least partially in support of Sam's new book, Extreme Brewing? He was selling and signing copies and passing out complimentary glassware. Nice add to the collection.


Anonymous said...

Well boys,,,it was an incredible evening. Great food, great friends..and excellent beer!! I did go back to Monk's yesterday for lunch after a meeting. They had some "big brown woody" left...but, would not give a sample to my colleague who heard so much about the dinner. BTW...I had a GREAT burger!! :) Kathleen

Adam said...

Hi Kathleen,

You're very lucky to be back in town. I'm jealous! Hmmm...too bad about the sample. Well it is something they are going to sell, but, under a different name. Maybe we'll have a chance to sample it then.

Can't say the same for the Baltic though. I wonder if they would give me the recipe. Anyway, I'm happy you and Patty came with us.


Eli said...

Sounds like you guys had an amazing dinner, color me jealous.