Dock Street / Four Seasons Truffled Old Ale.

This beer had me at first sip.

I don’t usually get into such esoteric criteria as “mouth feel,” but my first impression when I opened and poured the first glass from the 25.9oz bottle the nice folks at Dock Street sent to me was just that, an immediate indicator that something special was in the offing.

There was no discernible nose that I could detect (keep in mind throughout these comments the fact that I had chilled the beer and might have opened it a bit sooner than I should have once I took it from the ‘fridge), but the head itself immediately struck me, feeling richer and fuller than I’d expected. Then came the richness of the beer itself, smooth and well-rounded, the alcohol (which I assumed was right high, given that the truffles were steeped  in vodka before being added to the brew) present but subdued, providing a background canvas for the rest of the flavors. I did not find as much of an earthy tone as I’d expected and wonder if more aging in the bottle would bring out more of that character.

I said to myself on that first taste “this is a really well-made beer” and never found any reason to change my mind as I consumed the bottle, accompanied by some sharp Provolone to start and then a perfectly grilled chicken breast and a light salad. “Well-made” is a technical judgement and does not always mean “extraordinary,” but it did in this case.  I certainly hope that Dock Street has set aside a few bottles for tasting down the road and/or to send off to the Great American Beer Festival next October.

That this was done in a partnership with The Four Seasons and is but the first in a series of four seasonals to be released this year is, in the big picture, an even more important story but I’ll be saving my thoughts on that for print (i.e., where they care enough to pay me; what a concept).

Kudos to Dock Street owner Rosemarie Certo and brewer-in-residence Scott Morrison.

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