Dogfish Head Chateau Jiahu Review
Chateau Jiahu was a, I will call it a beer for these purposes, that I had the pleasure for enjoying for the first time this past fall. As I said, I will call it a beer for the purposes here. It is an exteme drink to say the least. Which goes in line with what Sam tries to bring to market with every beer from Dogfish Head. Chateau Jiahu is one of the beers in an archaeological series that DFH has come up with in the past few years. This particular one has a history that is 9000 years old. Sam Calagione partnered with Dr. Patrick McGovern of the University of Pennsylvania to recreate this ancient ale. Dr. McGovern is a Molecular Archeologist, that was able to analyze some ancient pottery to recreate a recipe for Sam to work with.I poured my Chateau Jiahu into a stemmed Tulip glass, to reveal a beer that has a reddish gold head that lasts just a few seconds before receding. A few sips leaves some lacing, but really nothing to make much note of. And really seems to resemble more of a desert wine than a beer. But, don’t let that fool you. It is yummy!
When you smell it, it has a pleasant honey and grape nose, once again, more similar to a desert wine. The taste is really brings the grape flavors forward and some sweetness is there from the honey, but it is much less pronounced than in the nose. There are some additional fruitiness and floral tastes that I found hard to describe. Likely because I am really not familiar with what hawthorn fruit or chrysanthemum flowers taste like. But there is something going on in there that makes this complex, and it isn’t from the honey and grape flavors.
The mouthfeel also resembles desert wine. Soft, and almost syrupy, yet with a thin overall texture. In someways it is totally contradictory in nature. Every aspect of this is more similar to a wine, than beer.
You would think with everything that I just described, that this really wouldn’t be very drinkable. But that is where this contradicts itself again. It is totally drinkable. It has the sparkling wine feel that despite it’s high ABV could be very refreshing on a summer afternoon. It was truly a delight! The best of the bunch of this historical flight. While this is certainly not an everyday beer, I know I will be enjoying it again.
Dogfish Chateau Jiahu
Where to find?
Draught – Your best bet is Victoria Gastro Pub in Columbia or Dogfish Head Ale House in Gaithersburg, Falls Church, or Fairfax
Bottle – Most good stores will have this from time to time.