Haven’t we all got a little cozy in the cold? I should hope so.
On tap, and we’re deadly serious about this, is Dangerous Man’s Red Rooibos Ale with Vanilla.
Now, let’s take a good look at this beer and enjoy it, shall we? The base of this beer is a Red Ale, which is an American-styling based primarily on color and hop content. Generally, a red ale is comparable in hop bitterness and presence to American pale ales 10-years ago before the ravenous hop beast took over the American beer scene. They feature a soft, palatable bitterness with a present but not overpowering hop flavor; the red ale is more of a blend between hops and malts versus hops being pushed forward by the malt backbone. Red ales derive their color from crystal malts, which are malts stewed to convert the starches into sugars instead of heated at high temperatures. This conversion, similar to mashing, then allows the grains to be kilned for varying times and temperatures to create a glassy appearance and give particular colors and tastes, such as toffee and caramel, to beer.
Whoo, step 1 done. Now for the Rooibos. The rooibos plant is endemic to the Western Coast of South Africa and there alone. It is a tisane whose reddish quality comes from oxidation, which is called fermentation in the tea community. Chock full of antioxidants and becoming ever more popular the world over, Rooibos adds a definitive earthy, floral, and tea quality to this ale. The exuberant red that this ale gains from the rooibos pours an exhilarating garnet color and is exciting to see from across the taproom. It definitely shines when it sits in the tulip glass.
Finally, vanilla aged in bourbon was added to the rooibos to provide a dimension of sweetness to the beer. This ale runs with a solid malt backbone, pushes into the rooibos tisane of earth, flowers, and a hint of citrus, and then finishes out dry with a very present, and pleasant, flavor of vanilla. The nose is heavenly in this beer, and there’s been more than a few lost in this poppy field.
Enjoy this new year, with much love from us dangerous damned. Drink local, drink Dangerous!