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Palo Santo Marron: A beer and a movie

So would you pair Palo Santo Marron (shortened to Palo Santo for the rest of this post), the latest release from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, with popcorn?

Probably not, but it is tempting simply because the beer comes with a movie. Dogfish Head has enclosed “Take Time” with the first 10,000 four-packs of Palo Santo with a note that the length (19 minutes) of the documentary about making the beer coincides with the optimal time it takes to finish a snifter of the 12% beer.

As you can see, Dogfish made the video available on YouTube in two parts. I put the second part here because you get right to the nuts and bolts. Start at the beginning if you like.

Watching it (while drinking the beer, of course) the thought occurred to me that had there been DVDs and YouTube in the 1970s this is something Robert Mondavi would have done. Sorry to introduce wine and marketing but it’s relevant. The story behind this beer won’t fit on a neck label or in a Twitter feed.

Watch them head into the back country of Paraguay and shoot bullets at the tree this wood comes from. Or listen to Bill Wehr talking about the largest wooden brewing vessels (holding 10,000 gallons) built in America since Prohibition.

Now back to the beer. Were I to play the “describe this beer in one word” game with Palo Santo that word would be “bark.”

Not in the sense of a dog howling at the moon. Bark as in wood. Aromatic and intense, unlike anything I can remember, blending with a boatload of flavors that test the list of beer descriptors posted yesterday. Add chalky, charred and gritty for starters. That’s meant as a compliment.

4 Responses to Palo Santo Marron: A beer and a movie

  1. TC March 12, 2008 at 8:36 am #

    DFH seems to get some flak for going big all the time, but this is some of the sneakiest 12% brew I’ve ever had. Lovely stuff, lots going on in there, and nary a hint of boozy flavoring. Thanks for posting the video though–no DVDs came with my case of the stuff.

  2. Thomas March 12, 2008 at 8:47 am #

    I had a bottle last night interesting character to it. I agree with TC comment that’s a sneaky 12% I look forward to watching the video and trying another afterwards.

  3. mallace March 13, 2008 at 4:20 am #

    TC and Thomas–
    It’s interesting you say you didn’t catch much alcohol in it. I had a bottle last night and it was redolent of alcohol. I thought the flavor was nice and complex, especially for a brown (a style I’ve never really gotten into…then again, most browns aren’t 12%…), but the flavor of alcohol got to me after awhile. Then again, it was one of the first beers I’ve had in a long time that really got me to think about it–specifically, thinking about why the flavor of alcohol stands so far out from some beers but not others regardless of abv or flavor profile, and what the purpose of designing a 12%, or 20% as the case sometimes is, beer in the first place.
    Of course there are a few obvious answers to why alcohol will stand out in a flavor profile, but I also assume that Sam is a good enough brewer to get the beers pretty much exactly right every time. So I assume the beer went into the bottle the way it was meant to be.

  4. C. FOSTER KANE July 2, 2009 at 4:37 pm #

    This is an awesome beer…..not a movie beer. A ball game is another thing…This beer needs to be sipped….one is plenty……a meal in itself…


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