Burton Baton - Dogfish Head, Milton
Ever since I had my first 90 Minute it's been the beer I compare all other IPAs to. That doesn't mean 90 Minute is my favorite IPA, but I think it's one of the best brewed IPAs out there. I happen to like Hopslam a little better, but 90 Minute will never be a disappointment. 90 Minute has a great rich maltiness that really balances out the huge hop content. Then, along came Burton Baton. I'd only heard the name of this beer a few times before moving to Delaware, I'd certainly never tried it. From what I'm told, it's basically a oak aged 90 Minute with a bit more alcohol and lots of vanilla flavor. Awesome.
Pouring the Burton Baton into my glass was a bit underwhelming. I'm not sure what exactly it was that I was expecting, but this beer looks and smells like a 90 Minute... only oaked. That's not surprising, I mean, that's what essentially what this beer is promising. I don't know why I found it underwhelming, it is what it is...
My first sip of the Burton Baton nearly turned me off to this beer completely. It was still rather cold and it just tasted like a thin, oaked hoppy beer. As the beer warmed up it became exponentially better with each degree in temperature it rose. The warmer this beer gets, the maltier and oakier it gets. While the oak adds a lot of vanilla and almost chocolately sweetness to this beer, my one complaint would be that the oak is a little strong and distracts from the IPA base at times.
I really enjoyed the Burton Baton. It's a beer that starts out with a great base in 90 Minute and adds a lot of dimension by being oaked. This is one I might not be able to enjoy every day of the week, but it's definitely worth keeping a few around for special occasions.