Releasing in bottles for the first time, Oak-Aged Siracusa Nera, a Russian Imperial Stout from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, was shipped to taps and shelves Nov. 3. Blended with Syrah grapes and aged on American oak, this innovative beer-wine hybrid marries a dry-roasted Imperial Stout with a jammy wine, resulting in a complex, fruit-flavored finish. Beginning with roasty malts that give notes of coffee and dark chocolate in the aroma, brewers then add Syrah grape must to bring multifaceted flavors of plums and cherries, and then age the brew on American oak to add hints of light, toasty vanilla.
Born at the crossroads of Italian and American experimentation, this 10 percent ABV stout was originally brewed as a collaboration beer with Eataly, the largest Italian marketplace in the world. In fact, the name Siracusa Nera pays homage to the historic origins of the Syrah grape, tracing its ancient roots to the small Sicilian city of Siracusa in Italy. "This delicious stout captures the Dogfish spirit of beer-wine interaction and innovation which we've been experimenting with for over two decades with fusions like Midas Touch, Sixty One and Rasion D'Etre," said Sam Calagione, founder and CEO of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. "A Russian Imperial Stout is a style we've been excited about re-creating with a beer-wine hybrid twist. We're super happy with the way Siracusa drinks like a roasty, punchy, pitted-fruit wine but with a toasted oak finish. And props to our brewer coworker Amanda for leading on this recipe innovation." For the foodies out there, Siracusa Nera pairs well with full-flavored, rich dishes like seared duck breast and roast venison, and on the sweeter side, it tastes yummy with a dark chocolate mousse or a plum tart.
Dogfish is also excited to bring back the Holy Grail for Hopheads, 120 Minute Imperial IPA. This big beer will begin making its rite of passage to shelves and taps Friday, Nov. 10. Clocking in at 15-20 percent ABV and 120 IBUs, this colossal, candy-like India Pale Ale is copper in color with sweet-citrus, piney and floral aromas, and a delightfully bitter mouthfeel. Unfiltered and generously hoppy, 120 Minute is carbonated like an IPA and loaded with heaps of flavor and grand complexity. Six times as hoppy as traditional pale ale, this sipper is an ideal candidate for sharing and is best served cool, not cold.
Continuously hopped with more than 120 hop additions, 120 Minute IPA is packed with a hefty amount of high-alpha American hops. In 2001, Dogfish Head introduced the continual hopping method to the beer world with the debut of 90 Minute IPA, the world's first Imperial IPA, and followed the release with adding more continuously hopped beers to the family, including the iconic 60 Minute IPA, 120 Minute IPA and 75 Minute IPA - a cask-conditioned blend of 60 and 90 Minute IPAs. Dogfish Head found that by dosing small bits of hops continually, in equal increments, over the whole boil, they can make a beer that is intensely super-hoppy without being brutally bitter.
Dogfish Head will be celebrating the release of 120 Minute IPA all weekend long. That's 4,230 minutes of nonstop 120 festivities. To kick things off, the brewery is offering a super-special 120 Minute IPA Vintage 4-pack featuring an insane lineup of aged beers. The hand-packaged collection contains one bottle each of 120 from 2007 (signed by Sam), 2008, 2009 and 2011, with two limited-edition glasses.
Only 96 gift packs of this once-in-a-lifetime offering will be released at the brewery in Milton at 11 a.m., Friday, Nov. 10. They’re priced at $80, and shoppers can find them at the Merch Shop in the Milton brewery. Only one package per person, folks! Chesapeake & Maine will also feature flights of three vintage 120 Minute IPA available for purchase priced at $12 (2014, 2015 and 2016), and it will be flowing from the Randall at Brewings & Eats all weekend long in Rehoboth Beach.
For more information, go to www.dogfish.com/brewery/fishfinder.