The Badass Bottle: Dogfish Head Red & White
'Never mix the grape and the grain', they say - a wise motto to live by if you want to avoid the mother of all hangovers in the morning. I guess the folks at Dogfish Head didn't get that memo because they've put them both in the same bottle and come up with Red & White.
First brewed in 2007 and now one of DFH's established seasonals, it starts off as a Belgian style witbier (that's the 'White' part) brewed with coriander and orange peel, but it's fermented with Pinot Noir juice ('Red'). At this point, a portion of the batch is drawn off and put into Oregon Pinot Noir barrels while the rest is aged in DFH's oak tanks (some descriptions say 'aged on oak staves'). After a few month's it's blended, packaged and sent out for you and me to enjoy.
This is an incredibly complex beer and a really tough one to pin down. It sure doesn't taste like any witbier you've ever had. There's a hint of the coriander and orange peel, and both the Belgian and wheat aspects are identifiable, but the wine juice and oak ageing adds several new layers to the brew. It packs an alcoholic punch at 10% ABV but the booze is well hidden. All the same, I'd recommend sharing a (750ml) bottle of Red & White, especially as it doesn't come cheap. We'll send this one out to you in a wine bucket and with tulip glasses to pour it into so you can savour the full aroma of this unusual... indeed, unique beer.
Jim Hughes, Head Beer Nerd, Alamo South Lamar
“If I had all the money I’ve spent on drink… I’d spend it on drink.” ~ Sir Henry Rawlinson