Sunday, June 11, 2006


I'm trying this one after already having a few beers in me, so I'm not sure how sensitive I'll be to the subtleties of this beer. On the other hand it is a fruit beer. I'm guessing that if I can pull raspberry out of the smell and taste that I'll be pretty close.

Stats: Brewery – Dogfish Head in Milton, Delaware
Style – Fruit Beer
ABV – 18%
IBUs – 45
Hops – Warrior
Malt – Pils and malted wheat.
Serving Type – Champagne-style 1 pint, 9.6 fluid ounce bottle

Leave to Sam Calagione to brew the World’s Strongest Fruit Beer. Of course DFH also brews the strongest Dark Beer (World Wide Stout), the strongest Bottle Conditioned Beer (Olde School Barely Wine) and the strongest Belgian Beer (Raison D’Extra), so I guess this isn’t out of character. And besides, what else would you expect from a beer whose name means “strong” in just about all the romantic languages.

There is more to this beer than just alcohol…there’s also the raspberries. During the courses of a two month primary fermentation, over a ton (20 pounds per barrel) of pureed Oregon and Delaware raspberries were slowly dosed out. They introduced the raspberries slowly in order to keep more fruit in the aroma and taste, also the natural sugars become extra food for the yeast and more alcohol is created.

The beer label artwork was created by Tara McPherson. She is better known for designing album covers and tour posters, but apparently fell in love with Fort at its premiere at the Waldorf Astoria in NYC in December of 2005 and decided to work with Sam to create her first beer label. If you like what you see, she is also designing the label for their Chateau Jiahu which will be coming out in August.

When asked if Sam had any recommendations on how Fort should be served, he said "Cool to cold, from a champagne glass, or white wine glass, or belly button."

Glass – Dogfish head pint glass

Aroma – Even before I pored this beer into a glass, the sent of raspberries began to enter my nose. Once I could really get a nostril full I was able to pickup some spices and the faint aroma of alcohol.

Appearance – It poured with a big fluffy white crown, like a soft and delicious cloud. The body is a bright amber with hints of light ruby highlights.

Flavor – Can you say "raspberry?" Believe it or not, 1000 pounds of raspberries makes them the dominant flavor throughout the mouth. Not that it is overwhelming, I'm still getting some caramel, vanilla and some spiciness, but its presence is known. The alcohol is surprisingly well hidden until the very end where there is a hint of it lingering around with the raspberries after the beer is swallowed.

Mouthfeel – A very smooth beer to drink. It seemed almost oily with little carbonation. It had a medium to full body.

Final Thoughts – If I only had one word to describe this beer, well it would obviously be "raspberries", but if I had a second it would be "balanced." Even with all the alcohol and raspberries, there was no one thing that was truly overpowering. I'm normally not a fan of fruit beers but I really liked this one. Good thing LK and Angela were around to help me with this one. I would have slurped down the whole bottle, and with the alcohol so well hidden I never would have seen it sneaking up to knock me on my butt.


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