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Guest blog! Dogfish Head World Wide Stout and news on the Stone/Dogfish/Victory collaboration

March 8, 2010

I’m starting to like this guest blogging thing. It keeps the content a-flowin’, and I have time to write papers for class. When I asked Amy T. Granite if she wanted to write a guest piece for The Beer Student, the natural topic was the meeting of the minds (Stone, Dogfish Head, Victory) that took place at Stone Brewing Company in San Diego this past week.

Take it away, Ms. Granite.

Brewery: Dogfish Head
World Wide Stout, on draft
Imperial Stout
Stone World Bistro and Gardens, Escondido, California
$6-ish, 10 oz. snifter

I’m a sucker for two things, really: craft beer, and hot dudes. Needless to say, I’m quite fond of the Beer Student, and so when he asked me to guest blog on account of two wild nights in America’s Finest Beer City (my hometown, San Diego), I obliged. After all, kicking it with three of most talented craft brewers in the world is boast-worthy, no?

Stone Brewing Company in Escondido, CA (San Diego County) has facilitated some mean collaborations in recent history, and they’re at it again, this time with Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales and Victory Brewing Company. The trio of brewers (Greg Koch, Sam Calagione and Bill Covaleski, respectively) gathered at Stone HQ to concoct their mash up, a Belgian style ale brewed with parsley, rosemary and thyme due out this April. For those of you in Chicago, you’ll soon have a good chance to drink it for yourself!

The fun started Tuesday at Neighborhood Ale House in San Diego’s East Village. Greg brought the following day’s event to Stone World Bistro and Gardens, which sounded just lovely. The boys were going to play all day in the garden picking and sniffing herbs, and then spend the night mingling with friends and fans. I imagine beer was brewed at some point, too.

When I arrived that night at Stone’s grotto, the dudes were all holding three separate beer courts, breaking conversation for group toasts, and a fun photo-booth that everyone seemed to be enjoying. The tap list for the night was super, with several selections of each brewery’s beers. At one point, Sam asked one pretty lady what she was drinking, and when she replied ‘it’s your World Wide Stout!’ he asked for a sip, and then took another sip before stopping himself. ‘I’m going to drink all this! I’ll go get my own.’

Bill from Victory, Sam from Dogfish, Amy, and Greg from Stone

He came back with the 10 oz. snifter, and took a gulp. Then another, and one more to finish off the dark and silky elixir. ‘I really like to drink this beer as a shot,’ he said. With something as big and bold as an 18% Imperial stout, I was surprised at his preference. I decided to get my own and judge.

The dark as night stout has minimal head, and light, small bubbles of carbonation running the sides of the glass; it’s nose, a sharp, alcoholy blast of dark fruits made me think of juicy purple grapes and rich black cherries. I expected a far more offensive first sip, but was warmly welcomed by smooth, chocolatey, decadent beer. Perhaps my only qualm with WWS is its sweetness; recalling its syrupy mouthfeel, I imagine a reduction with currants and cherries, poured over pancakes would be an other-worldly breakfast item. WWS’s finish is hot, but not as harsh as its (seeming) barrel aged nose implies.

I understood why Sam prefers to drink his WWS as a three gulp ‘shot.’ Typically, I enjoy my big beers most when they’ve warmed up a bit, especially of the Russian Imperial stout/porter category. But, as I neared my last sips of WWS, the room temperature beer was just too sweet for my tastes.

A definite special occasion libation, World Wide Stout is a must-drink for craft beer junkies. We seem to be in the midst of a trend, or rather a shoving match between craft brewers to produce the burliest ABV monster beers possible; while WWS’s 18% is no joke, it isn’t detrimental to this excellent beer. Complex, approachable, and even sweeter sipped (or shot) with Mr. Dogfish himself.

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