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Chateu Jiahu (Dogfish Head)

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Chateu Jiahu (Dogfish Head)

Friday, 13 December 2013 12:00

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Written by 

The Buzz:

         A Dogfish Head Brewery seasonal, Chateau Jiahu is described as an “ale brewed with honey and hawthorn fruit and fermented with grape juice.” The bottle goes on to say that it's a recipe discovered by archaeologists in Chinese pottery in the Yellow River Basin, and stands as the most ancient, chemically-attested alcoholic beverage in the world.

 

 

Life of the Party:

         To some this may not seem like a positive thing to say about a beer (and those same people obviously don't know us very well): this is a goddamn strange beer. It pours a beautiful light golden color, with a very clean looking head, and a bit of bubbling taking place in the glass from the bottom up.

         Now the smell might initially turn you off (it made me worried, at first), that is if like me you don't like saké. It has a really strong rice-wine aroma to it, that I found to be somewhat sweeter than what I normally like in a beer.

         And then I tasted it.

         You can definitely taste the honey and grape juice; it's a very sweet yet light and drinkable ale that Biggs, Boman and I all agreed tastes like a apple-cider & mead hybrid. On first sip I wasn't that thrilled, but as I continued to drink it and the flavor built up I couldn't help but love this beer more and more. Just describing the individual flavors of honey, grape, hawthorn, and strong apple-cider make Chateau Jiahu sound like a very strong tasting, not-easy-to-drink beer, but that's so far from the truth it's baffling. Which is also pretty amazing when you consider that this is (the bottle doesn't say that I could find, so this is according to the web) a 10% ABV beverage!

         If you're looking for something that's truly original (...kinda when you consider this is an ancient ale...) and a real treat to try, look absolutely no further (if you can find a limited release bottle) of Chateau Jiahu!

The label unfurled out

Potential Hangovers:

         Like I said, this is a strange brew. The sweetness and rice-wine aroma will turn off some drinkers at first, and the price will keep some people from even taking the bottle off the shelf. In an Norfolk, VA Total Wine a 22 oz. bottle of Chateau Jiahu cost me around $14, which is a lot for the non-craft beer enthusiast. But I don't think I can stress enough that it is worth that money.

 

The Vibe:

         The price and the strength of this beer takes it WELL out of the “party beer” category, and to try and enjoy it in such a situation would be both a waste and an insult. Chateau Jiahu deserves a proper tasting ritual, with some friends to bounce tasting notes off of, and a clean, sober pallet to properly enjoy the various flavors and nuances of the beer. I'm actually legitimately worried that my “pro's” section does this beer NO justice; if you can find a bottle and are willing the pay the price, this beer deserves to be enjoyed.

 

Plus/Minus:

+ It's weird, but I love the smell (after I got over the rice-wine scent)

+ Nice color

+ Really easy to drink, surprisingly

+ Absolutely DELICIOUS!

+ Beautiful bottle art

+/- It is pretty weird

- Price/weirdness will turn away some, which is a shame

Read 764 times Last modified on Friday, 25 April 2014 02:58

About Us

Tanked Matinee is the place to go for good drinking movies. What do we mean by that? Simply speaking, we evaluate and recommend entertainment media based on how much fun it is to watch with friends on the sofa and a cold beer in hand.

Everyone knows "The Godfather" is a great movie, but is it as great to drink with as "Roadhouse?" We can appreciate "Citizen Kane" as a masterpiece of cinema, but is it as good a centerpiece for your party as "Santa Clause Conquers the Martians?"

Tanked Matinee appreciates film as art, but when you're kicking back on Friday night with a tall Rum & Coke, you're not looking for art, man, you want to be entertained. We're here to recommend the best movies for your night in, whether it's a big party, small get-together, or just a quiet night alone with a bottle of wine or three.

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