Beer: Burton Baton
Brewery: Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Style: Imperial IPA
Serving Style: Bottle
Glassware: Drinking glass
Drinking Establishment: Veggie Heaven, Denville, NJ (a fabulous BYOB vegetarian restaurant)
Primary Consumer(s): Ally and Kerensa
Sight: Clear, dark gold body with a frothy beige head that leaves exceptionally thick lacing.
Smell: Sweet, almost like dulce de leche or a savory caramel, but with fruity notes, like dried pineapple, and the aroma of pine. Very dynamic.
Flavor: Sweet hops, woodsy notes (it’s flavored with oak staves), a bit of vanilla–rich, complex, and savory. There is a bit of an alcoholic note, but nothing obtrusive.
Feel: On the thin side, with moderate carbonation.
Concluding Remark: Dogfish’s Burton Baton is a “two-thread” (or two batch) blend of beer: an English-style old ale and an imperial IPA. Once blended, the brew stays in an oak tank for about a month. The resulting depth of flavor is impressive–it’s hearty, like a meal in a beer, with a lot going on in the taste department; but the oak softens the flavors a bit, so that the 10% ABV is not so noticeable. For this reason, the label says to “share it with loved ones.” Well, done and done. And we recommend you do the same. Luckily, this brew that once had a very limited release has gained enough popularity that you’ll find it at most liquor stores in a 4-pack. It’s pricy (~$16), but worth it.
As for the name, the “Burton” is a reference to the Burton Ale once made by the Ballantine Brewery, which used the name in homage to the British town of Burton upon Trent that was well known for its breweries. We can’t find any evidence of where the “baton” comes in, but we can speculate that Dogfish Head is carrying the baton that was once passed from Burton to Ballantine. Well done, Dogfish Head.