February 13, 2008

Midas Touch

Iím very excited about tonightís beer review. Itís a very historic moment here at Miasmatic Review as far as my beer reviews go; this one is 3,000 years in the making! After much anticipation I will be reviewing Midas Touch by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. This beer is made using a recipe that is based on the residue at the bottom of excavated drinking vessels.

This recipe is the actual oldest-known fermented beverage in the world! Our recipe showcases the known ingredients of barley, white Muscat grapes, honey & saffron found in the drinking vessels in King Midas' tomb!Ö

Ö.Under a huge mound at the capital of Gordion, a University of Pennsylvania Museum expedition in 1957 excavated an intact burial chamber which likely belonged to King Midas himself. The body of a 60-year-old male was laid out in state on a thick pile of purple and blue-dyed textiles inside a unique log coffin.

Most remarkably, the tomb held the largest Iron Age drinking set ever found--157 vessels, including a ram-headed and lion-headed situla--for preparing, serving, drinking and libating a special beverage at the funerary feast of the king. The secrets of the beverage were revealed by the new methods of Molecular Archaeology. Dr. Patrick McGovern of the Museum discovered that the residues inside the vessels belonged to a "Phrygian cocktail," which combined grape wine, barley beer and honey mead. Starting with the ancient chemical evidence, Dogfish Head Brewery "re-created" a marvelous golden elixir, truly touched by King Midas.

The first time I heard about this beer was on the History Channel as they talked about the history of brewing. At that time I had difficulty trying to find some, as it is a limited production base. Fortunately for me a local store received a shipment and I was able to pick up a four pack of it.

Midas Touch.jpg

It comes in the standard 12 oz brown bottle. There is purple label with a golden fingerprint on it. The name of the beer is imposed over the fingerprint. At the bottom of the label it states, ďHandcrafted Ancient Ale. With Barley, honey, White Muscate Grapes and Saffron.Ē It also proudly claims itís 9% Alcohol by Volume.

There is a nice golden amber color to it. Itís clear, with no cloudiness or sediment detectable at all. Light passes through easily. When itís poured it formed a quarter inch white head that fades quickly. There is no lacing or film on the top of the beer after a couple of minutes.

The scent to this beer is like none Iíve experienced before. Itís a fruity mix of grapes (like wine), a touch of honey, some malts and a hint of alcohol. The taste is a very complex mix. Itís sweet beer/wine/mead combination. You can taste the grapes, honey and malts. There is no bitterness, but there is a strong spice taste and at 9% ABV it shouldnít be a surprise you can just taste the alcohol. The taste makes me think of a parody of the old Reeseís Peanut Butter cup commercials. ďYou got your wine in my mead! No you got your mead in my wine! (Takes a drink) HEY!Ē

This is a medium body beer. There is a nice tingly carbonation to it that really opens up the flavor. It is very smooth to drink, which with the high ABV, could lead to problems.

Iím happy to say this beer did not let me down. It wasnít exactly what I was expecting, but then again I wasnít sure what to expect. I found it to be a very satisfying beer. I donít know how much of it I could drink in one sitting, but itís pretty damn good. I give it 7 out of 10.

Posted by Contagion in Alcohol at February 13, 2008 08:32 PM | TrackBack

Interesting. I wonder if they sell it here. My husband might like it. I'll have to look around for it. But it IS Massachusetts... *sigh*

Posted by: Teresa at February 13, 2008 09:18 PM

So the question is,.....was it worth the wait, the pain, the and the torture to finally get it? :)

*Thinks back to the great beer hunt of 2007 in Knoxville*

Posted by: BloodSpite at February 14, 2008 09:43 AM