Dogfish Head – Midas Touch

This week has been a pretty crazy week.  Monday I had my first day back at teaching.  I am doing the Talented and Gifted students
this year so, while it means I don’t have to worry as much about student behavioral problems, I do have to worry about being a more complete teacher.  Also, it means that I have quite a few students.  Tuesday we then had our first natural disaster of the week.  My first earthquake ever wasn’t terribly scary, although it definitely left me feeling slightly on edge.  Then we had the joy of standing in the parking lot for well over an hour waiting for dismissal.  Now, I sit in my living room with Irene blowing around outside.  What better way to ride out a hurricane and unwind from a strange week than enjoy a beer and blog about it.

As my regular readers can tell you, I love just about everything that Dogfish Head does.  I know not everyone agrees with that. I had more than one person tell me they didn’t enjoy The Red and White as much as I did, but I just can’t help it.  It’s sort of like your favorite band.  Yeah they put out a few records now and then that really aren’t all that great, but because they are your favorite band, you can always seem to find some good qualities in it.  Well for me, Dogfish Head is that band.

Midas Touch is one of the beers in Dogfish’s line-up of Ancient Ales.  The ancient ales are beers that have been created based on analysis of old pottery and drinking vessels found in different archeological digs.  They attempt to recreate these extremely old brews based on their findings.  Midas is the only one that is brewed year round. This brew is based on the analysis of different drinking vessels found in the tombs of King Midas.  It is one of the oldest known recipes going back to the 8th century BC. Included in the recipe is barley, white Muscat grapes, honey and saffron.  It’s really almost surreal to think that you are consuming something that was originally created and consumed by people so many years ago.

Midas pours out an ironic golden color.  I suppose something called Midas Touch should be gold in color.  It does develop a slight white head; however, that head pretty much completely disappears in seconds.  Swirling the glass results in a little lacing; however, it doesn’t hang around long.  I think most of the sweet sugary content in here is due to the ingredient of honey.  Due to my current love for dark beers, nothing about the appearance made me very excited for the ensuing tasting.

I personally really felt like I could pull that grape smell out of the original smell.  It’s very much at the forefront.  I’m not highly knowledgeable of what white muscat grapes or saffron smell or even taste like, but I know what to expect from your typical grape.  There were also some very light citrus notes that came out in the smell.  Some hints of apple are also present, but once again, they are not all that powerful or overpowering. Overall, most of the smells are light and clean.  Nothing really jumps out of the smell.

The taste brings that citrus and apple flavor right to the forefront.  It really has that almost hard cider feel to it at the onset of the taste.  However, the grape flavor is really present throughout.  Actually, the grape flavor is rather full-bodied in the entirety of the tasting.  After the apple flavor dies away, there is a rather sweet feel before the aftertaste kicks in.  I think this has to be due to the honey included in the ingredients.  The end of the tasting results in a slightly bitter taste.  It definitely doesn’t taste like the result of hops, and the fact that the Dogfish site says there is only 12 IBU’s in here proves it. Therefore,  I can’t think it’s due to any amount of hops.  Like I said earlier, I have no idea what saffron tastes like, but I think it comes through in the aftertaste. The aftertaste lingers far to long in this particular beer, and it isn’t particularly enjoyable.  It just leaves you with a slight bad taste in your mouth.

There is a moderate to large amount of carbonation present in this beer, which helps make this beer pretty enjoyable at the start.  I really feel like a fan of hard cider would like this beer before the aftertaste kicks in.  The big problem comes in the ending.  I can understand the allure of creating a beer that is based on such an old recipe, but this beer just loses me in the end.  The clean and crisp start to the mouthfeel is extremely appealing, but it all goes downhill after that.  The lingering effect of the aftertaste is a really big turnoff.

Like I said at the start of this blog, Dogfish is the band that can do no wrong; however, I can’t help but think this beer will be the album I only play when I’ve forgotten I really just don’t like it.  I think Dogfish has a great idea with producing their ancient ales line, but how is it this one is produced all year round.  Sadly I will end up giving this beer a poor review, but I’m hoping the next Dogfish bottle I pick up will make me forget about this Dogfish misstep.

Teacher Rating: C-


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