Reviewed: Dogfish Head SeaQuench Ale
Product description: SeaQuench Ale is a session sour mash-up of a crisp Kolsch, a salty Gose, and a tart Berliner Weiss brewed in sequence with black limes, sour lime juice and sea salt to make this the most thirst-quenching beer Dogfish Head has ever brewed.
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery – Dogfish Head SeaQuench Ale – 12 oz. can poured into specialty glassware – 4.9% abv.
Sampling this from a 12oz can, I’m happy to see there’s a clearly printed packaging date at the bottom. And though this can is pushing three months old, this style doesn’t rely too heavily on freshness. So, I don’t think it’s going to be an issue. What is that style again, you ask? A blend of Kölsch, Gose, and Berliner Weisse. Oh my. The name is actually a pun in reference to the sequence that the three beers are blended together as well as the salt component in the Gose and the quenching character of those three styles. Okay, maybe you knew all of that already.
Into the glass, SeaQuench is lightly turbid, super pale straw in color with soda-like, fizzy white foam that peters out rapidly. The aroma is bright and complex with a blend of wet dough, iced lemon pound cake, pineapple, and even touches of vanilla. Flavor-wise, there is so much going on that it is hard to describe. I’m not familiar with black limes, but apparently, they are limes that have been boiled in saltwater and then dried to dehydrate them and intensify flavor. Their contribution to this beer is incredible. Think leathery, bitter citrus peel and authentic key lime pie. Juxtaposed are the Kölsch’s contributions of white sugar and fresh bread, which balance out the salinity and acidity of the Gose and Berliner. Thus, the final acid level is nicely mitigated and sits comfortably at a 3 out of 10. That really lets you enjoy this beer instead of puckering up and worrying about enamel loss.
In addition to the interplay of salt, acid, and sugar; there’s also a background of creaminess in the mouthfeel – perhaps from the Berliner and Gose’s wheat component – that gives the beer more substance than you might expect. Add heavy carbonation and it’s a masterpiece – the Gatorade of Beers. I’m so happy that this is part of their year-round core lineup. I went into this review expecting to end with something like, “this is a great summer beer.” No, this is just a great everyday beer.