Tasting Notes journeys into the world of Session Sour Ales this week by taking a look at SeaQuench Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (Milton, Delaware).
Before we get to the review, let’s cover some background information on this exciting new brew. SeaQuench Ale is a new limited release from Dogfish Head that combines the stylistic worlds of Kölsch, Berliner Weisse and Gose in one beer. This union features a good dose of wheat, sea salt, black limes, and fresh lime juice to create a highly drinkable Sour Ale capable of quenching any thirst. This 4.9% ABV offering is still hanging out on shelves in six-packs of 12 oz. bottles and pouring on draft, but its limited availability is nearing an end. Look for this brew at craft beer establishments in Florida and throughout Dogfish Head’s distribution footprint. For more information on this offering, click here to read the release profile I published back in August. Now that the formalities are out of the way, let’s see what SeaQuench is all about with some Tasting Notes!
Tasting Notes for SeaQuench Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Appearance: SeaQuench hits the glass as a hazy, straw yellow in color. When held to direct light, lemony yellows develop and that haze holds fast but also divulges that it is not completely opaque. The body displays a carbonation level that judiciously streams bubbles in single file lines found randomly along the full circumference of the glass. The pour produced a fizzy half finger of bubbly white head that dissipates almost as quickly as it appeared.
Aroma: Just as it should, lime citrus saturates the air as soon as the beer is poured. Lime zest and peel account for the majority of the aromatic profile, but a touch of the briny black lime hints at its role in this beer with a salty citrus quality turning up as well. Trademark lactic sour notes develop around just a whisper of wheat. It may be cliché, but this smells of summer on the coast.
Taste: Tart lime and lactic sourness initially grab your attention with a quickness on each sip. Lime juice, peel and zest shine brightly along with a nicely timed interjection from the preserved lime character. The brininess of the black lime and the added sea salt jump in to clean things up with a breezy, saltwater quality. Coriander and spicy hops add a little dynamic jolt at times. The wheat is a bit of a wallflower here, but it does timidly wave hello just as the beer’s flavors vanish from the palate. Bright, clean, and delicious.
Mouthfeel: This beer is wonderfully light in body with a moderate carbonation level. It is mostly tart on the palate, but salt and a touch of sweetness tickles the taste buds as well. The ABV is absolutely nowhere to be found, allowing the beer to be incredibly crisp, refreshing and quenching. The aftertaste is all freshly squeezed lime.
Final Thoughts: By combining the easy-drinking German styles of Kölsch, Berliner Weisse and Gose, the folks at Dogfish Head have an absolute winner here. The lactic hit of the Berliner easily works with the limes to create a refreshing tartness that is balanced by the subtle, grain sweetness you expect from a Kölsch. The saltiness from the Gose then kicks in and finishes things off with a perfect level of salinity that wipes the palate clean to entice another sip. I also have to say that I am totally sold on the idea of black limes making an appearance in future Gose offerings. Simply a perfect choice in ingredient and I feel like a fool for not thinking of it myself. All in all, SeaQuench Ale has achieved the level of an ultimate thirst quencher. Each sip is bracing and a delight. I simply cannot get enough. Prost!