Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Dogfish Head Shelter Pale Ale (2011)


This is actually one of DFH's more rare beers, but I'm not sure why. There's nothing particularly special about it - no weird ingredients or ancient recipes involved. We all know Sam Calagione loves to make big, exotic brews. So a generic pale ale at only 5% ABV? That's definitely not his style.

NOTE: This review was shot with a Sony HDR-CX160 1080hd camera I just bought. I'm not sure why but it looks blurry and gray. The same thing happened last summer when I bought a Sony HD camera. This thing is going back to the store ASAP unless someone can tell me what I'm doing wrong. Is it my computer? Is there some magic codec I need? Is there a certain setting the camera has been set to? 


3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (627) - Albany, USA - MAY 10, 2011
Dogfish Head is known for making big, bold beers with strange ingredients and ancient recipes. But what if they brewed just a regular old sessionable ale? They’ve done just that with their Shelter Pale Ale - a beer that does indeed taste and drink like any other pale ale.

I’ve had this beer twice: once on tap and once from a 12oz bottle. The experiences were nearly identical.

Appearance: Looks like a typical APA. Burnt umber/orange/light brown color. Mostly clear with slight haziness. Small head but nice lacing.

Aroma: Light floral scent with noticeable earthiness.

Taste: The best way to describe this beer would be iced tea win a slightly hoppy finish. Reminds me of a traditional English bitter or any other generic pub-style ale. Slight malty texture and bready/biscuity flavor, but not very robust as a whole (especially for a DFH beer). There’s a subtle hop bitterness in the second half, but you really have to look for it.

Despite the lack of energy there’s nothing offensive or off-putting about the palate here. In fact, it’s very drinker-friendly since lower echelon drinkers will warm up to the mildness easily, and upper echelon drinkers will enjoy picking up the subtle flavors.

Mouthfeel: On the lower end of medium-bodied with a soft, tepid, almost watery texture.

Drinkability: Probably the only DFH beer I’d ever classify as chuggable. It’s extremely smooth and very refreshing. Highly sessionable at only 5% ABV. I’d love to kill a sixer of this on a spring or summer afternoon.

Overall, it’s surprising to get such a pedestrian beer from Sam, but I like it.

Grade: 7/10