Reviewed: Rhinegeist Peach Dodo
Official description: [From promotional material] First brewed in 2015, Peach Dodo was our first and perhaps most popular foray into kettle souring, making a welcome leap into cans in 2016. This year, we moved from kettle-style souring to a new production method, using a yeast strain that produces lactic acid without using Lactobacillus, while retaining Peach Dodo’s refreshingly tart contour. Bright and ever-so-slightly salty, Peach Dodo is a thirst quencher par excellence. Gentle lactic acidity is balanced with fresh peach juice for a Gose that is primed for picnicking and poolside unwinding. Available seasonally. Hops: Cascade. Malts: 2-row, Wheat, Acid Malt. 4.4% ABV
Rhinegeist Brewery – Rhinegeist Peach Dodo (Gose Sour Ale with Peaches) – 12oz can served in stemless snifter – 4.4% ABV
I’ve reviewed several fruited goses (kettle soured wheat ales brewed with salt) recently including Sierra Nevada Otra Vez with Lime & Agave, Dogfish Head SuperEIGHT Super Gose, Sixpoint Berry Jammer, and some more established recipes like Anderson Valley Blood Orange Gose. Acidity and salinity profiles for American interpretations of gose are all over the place. Some are barely acidic and impressively buoyant in a saltwater manner. Others are extremely tart. I’ve had one such beer already from Rhinegeist, Nitro Cobbstopper, which is a derivative of Peach Dodo that adds lactose and vanilla, which sounds like it would do the trick in providing some nice balancing sweetness. But Cobbstopper was overwhelmingly sour and didn’t allow much peach to come through in my opinion. Maybe the regular Peach Dodo will find some middle ground.
Note that Peach Dodo’s description on Rhinegeist’s website is out of date. This year’s version doesn’t use a kettle souring method with lactobacillus opting instead for a yeast strain that produces lactic acid. It is also made with Cascade instead of Bravo hops.
I’m sampling Peach Dodo from a 12oz can with an easy-to-read packaging date on the bottom of 4/18/19 making this about five weeks old at the time of writing. Into my glass, Peach Dodo is crystal clear straw in color with thicker white foam that takes about two minutes to fully dissipate – impressive for a kettle sour. The aroma is powerful peach, but it comes across closer to peach-scented candle. It’s lovely and intense but perhaps too one-note as there is minimal underlying funkiness to imply a sour ale.
Flavor-wise, Peach Dodo is intensely sour hitting the limit for what I would call enjoyable vs. puckering or over-the-top. Rather than milky, yogurty lactic acid front and center, there’s prominent citric acidity like lemon juice that distracts. The peach flavors are present but nuanced compared to the aroma. Without the intense peach nose and “Peach” written on the can, it’s possible I would breeze past the peach flavor and find it drowned out by the high acidity.
With that said, Peach Dodo doesn’t go completely overboard like its counterpart Nitro Cobbstopper. It’s still enjoyable while punching hard for its style. I would like to see more traditional gose flavors, though, as buoyant salinity is difficult to appreciate here as is the lactic acid component. Additional sweetness would help balance out the acid profile whilst helping the peach flavors pop.
Perceived Specs for Rhinegeist Peach Dodo
Peach Dodo is one of Rhinegeist’s most popular beers and I can see why. It delivers on the peach in a big way in the aroma and punches hard with powerful acidity. However, gose is a style that can take advantage of both creaminess from wheat and yogurtiness from lactic acid. Peach Dodo comes across as too citric (lemon) focused and misses out on that balance. Right now, it comes across closer in acidity level to a barrel-aged sour ale vs. kettle sour. In addition, boosted sugar could help accentuate the delicate peach flavors.
The upside to Peach Dodo’s profile is that it exhibits practically zero funkiness and very little yogurty lactic acid – most likely consequences from abandoning traditional kettle souring methods and opting instead for a lacto-producing yeast. Drinkers that aren’t that big into kettle sours like Berliner Weisse and gose will find Peach Dodo to be clean and straightforward. Sourheads will rejoice as Peach Dodo gives you more aggressive acidity than most others in this segment. However, gose purists looking for the nuances in the style may be disappointed.
For an introduction to fruited goses, I would recommend anything from Anderson Valley. They specialize in the style and distribute in cans. They produce a Blood Orange Gose, Briney Melon, Cherry, and Framboise Rose. These exemplify the style in my opinion. I was seriously impressed with the Jammer series from Sixpoint as well. If you have access to these, grab them while you can.
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