Red & White (Dogfish Head Craft Brewery)

If there’s one thing Dogfish Head is known for it’s making unique limited release beers. President and founder Sam Calagione is always on a quest for new ingredients to add to his ever-expanding line of off-centered ales. Although RED & WHITE isn’t as “out there” as some of the stuff they produce, it is definitely not your typical beer.

Red & White is a Belgian-style Witbier with a practically non-existent 35 IBUs and an ABV that floats between beer and wine at 10%.

Red & White is a big, Belgian-style witbier brewed with coriander and orange peel and fermented with pinot noir juice. After fermentation, a fraction of the batch is aged in one of our 10,000-gallon oak tanks.

The idea for Red & White was born at a beer and wine dinner Sam attended on the West Coast. Whenever there’s peanut butter and chocolate in the same room, Sam’s gonna mix ’em.

Red & White successfully marries the refreshing citrusy qualities of a Belgian-style white beer with the robust complexity of a bold red wine.

Looking back I probably could have found a more appropriate piece of glassware to use, but alas the beer was poured in a plain old pint glass. The color is that of orange marmalade (even though you can’t really tell by the photo). Apricot highlights appear when held to the light. The head is a pillowy bunch of white foam. Lacing is very plentiful.

Even though the smell was muted I was still able to detect several different scents. Apples, white wine, honey and grilled corn were all noticeable. Orange peel was one of the few smells that really jumped out.

After the mellowness of the nose I was expecting much the same from the taste, but, boy was I  wrong. The wine come through first with a big hint of booze, a malty cracker backbone rounds out the experience. Hints of honey struggle to come through and don’t succeed in every sip. As it warms up (to a more appropriate temperature) it takes on an orange zestiness that tastes like what I think an Orange 7-Up would taste like (if such a thing existed). The booziness also mellows out as the beer nears room temp, creating a more balanced concoction.

Just as you would expect by reading the description this beer is light, bubbly and dry in the mouth. As with any white wine, and some Witbiers, there is a residual dryness left behind.

Even though Red & White was good, I don’t think the beer and wine flavors blended as well as I would have liked. It starts with big wine and almost no beer, to big beer and almost no wine. Not really meshing as well as one would hope. It’s a good beer, but I have a higher standard for Dogfish Head beers and this one didn’t quite make it there.

Overall: 6.5 out of 10

As a WITBIER: 5.5 out of 10

FOR FANS OF:  Dogfish Head NAMASTE, Unibroue BLANCHE DE CHAMBLY, Jolly Pumpkin CALABAZA BLANCA

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