Burton Baton

Dogfish Head Burton BatonBurton Baton is one of Dogfish Head‘s "Occasional Rarities" that I found when we were in Ashland. It’s a limited edition and can pretty much only be considered one of their extreme beers: it’s 10% alcohol by volume and their site describes it as

A blend of oak-aged English strong ale and our 90 Minute I.P.A.. Citrus notes from Northwestern hops meld with vanilla notes from the oak.

Which I guess classifies it as an oak-aged Imperial IPA. Or hybrid strong ale. Or something.

Oh, and don’t let that image fool you. The bottle I had was a standard 12 ounce bottle.

Appearance: A nice clear copper color with orange highlights and a nice tan-orange head.

Smell: Mild, considering—flossy candy sweet; mildly spicy and clean hops. Reminds me of a barleywine.

Taste: Oh my, that’s complex… brandy, sweet barleywine-style malts and sugars, grassy herb of some sort, sticky-sweet candy, definite oak/wood notes as in a cognac. By far more sweet than hoppy. Peppercorn, some spiciness that reminds me of cumin… cloying sweet with dark fruit, alcohol heat. More like a barleywine than an Imperial IPA.

Mouthfeel: Nicely smooth and syrupy. Full-bodied but lacking in hop balance.

On BeerAdvocate, it scores 89 out of 100, with 99% approval. On RateBeer, it scores 3.7 out of 5 and is in their 93rd percentile.