Brewery: Dogfish Head Brewing Company
Beer: Chateau Jiahu
Style: Herbed/Spiced Beer
Character: Brewed with brown rice syrup, orange blossom honey, muscat grape, barley malt and hawthorn berry. The wort is fermented for about a month with sake yeast until the beer is ready for packaging.
Metal Connection: JIG-AI – Live at Obscene Extreme 2012
Oh Dogfish Head, why are you guys so experimental? Oh who cares, why! I love you for this fact. But like your motto says “Off-centered Ales for Off-centered People.” But trust me folks, Dogfish head beers aren’t for everybody. Lucky for me, I love to experiment with food and my beverages. I get excited when I see a new DFH beer on the shelves. Usually down here in San Antonio, they are priced a little higher than most beers in the store, but I still always find myself taking at least one bottle home.
Chateau Jiahu is part of the Ancient Ales series by Dogfish Head, and is as unique and extreme as it could possibly get. The ingredients used to brew this exotic ale were discovered in 9,000 year old preserved pottery jars in a tomb in China. This beer is brewed with brown rice syrup, orange blossom honey, muscat grape, barley malt and hawthorn berry. The wort is fermented for about a month with sake yeast until the beer is ready for packaging. This recipe is based on the oldest known fermented beverage in history. So according to the DFH website, this fact proves that beer is older than wine!
Using my 5 Stones Brewing Company pint glass, this beer poured a clear dark golden color with a very thin layer of bubbly white head, which dissolved to just a thin ring around the top of the beer, but it did retain and left a nice, light sticky lacing down the glass.
The aroma of the beer is pretty complex, and can get a hint of most ingredients use in this beer. The aroma has some honey, a little floral, a hint of pepper, and smells of such fruits as grapes and even an apple/pear aroma. It’s all over the place, and this one had my nose going haywire!
The taste does follow the nose, as it should, so yes, it’s just as complex, and tortured my palate in such a good way! First of all, the main thing about this beer is that it is very sweet. It’s like liquid sugar. It evens left a sticky sweet film on my lips as I took each drink. So, hiding behind the sweetness were flavors of honey, a bit of a peppery spice, some notes of pear/apple, and it finishes with a grape like flavor, reminding me of a kind of saké flavor. The aftertaste has a little floral hint to it, just rounding out this complexity of flavors.
The body is medium thickness. There is good carbonation in this one. The mouthfeel is syrupy, and sticky, but goes down smooth. As said earlier, this beer leaves a residue of sweet stickiness on the lips.
Overall, I will say that I enjoyed this beer for the complexity and creativeness, and the fact that these guys are always pushing the boundaries of extreme brewing. As with most of the other Ancient Ales made by DFH, you must have an open mind, and open palate to full y enjoy these beers. This beer was a bit too sweet for me to give this a perfect score, but still very worth it, and this should be in your hands, in your fridge, and enjoyed if you are a craft beer drinker.
Metal Connection: There are not many Chinese bands that I know of, and even Metal-Archives.com didn’t give me too many familiar names from there either. But seriously that didn’t matter much, as when I first wanted to review this beer, the first band that came to mind was JIG-AI, mostly cause of the name being just as weird as Chateau Jiahu. The word Jigai is actually Japanese, meaning a traditional method of ritual suicide for women, where they would cut the arteries of the neck with one stroke. Now, the band JIG-AI is actually a 3-piece Porno/Gore Grind band from the Czech Republic. Their songs are pretty short as with most Goregrind bands, so I chose a professionally shot live video from the band performing at the Obscene Extreme Festival in 2012. Just watch how the crowd goes nuts for these guys!