Pouring With an Even Flow
A Review of Faithfull Ale by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Posted on 2/16/2012 by Chops
I have been eagerly anticipating Dogfish Head's Pearl Jam Twenty Faithfull Ale since its release in October of 2011. I was lucky enough to score a bottle from my local beer store before they all disappeared. Faithfull Ale is the third beer in Dogfish Head's Music Series, which includes the Bitches Brew (Miles Davis-inspired) and Hellhound On My Ale (a tribute to Robert Johnson). All of these brews are limited releases, so when they're gone, they're gone. Consequently, I feel fortunate as a beer lover to be sampling this fine nectar, both as a fan of Dogfish Head and as a fan of Pearl Jam.

DFH: Faithfull Ale is a celebration of Pearl Jam's 20th anniversary as a band and its extraordinary debut album, ''Ten.'' In recognition of these milestones, this Belgian-style golden ale is delicately hopped to 20 IBUs and fruit-forward from 10 incremental additions of black currants over a one-hour boil.

My co-founder and I were in high school together when Pearl Jam's “Ten” album hit the airwaves. It ushered in and exciting new era of music and Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder quickly became a potent voice for our generation. We attended many of their concerts, including the infamous anti-Ticketmaster tour. We were also cheated out of a highly coveted New Orleans show, but that sad story is reserved for a cozy pub and some cold brews. Speaking of cold brews, let's get started on the Faithfull Ale.

In the glass, this beer has a semi hazy peach coloration. It comes with a spongy white head that dissipates normally. The aroma consists of a rich and tangy citrus, mostly orange, along with a pleasant spiciness that reminds me of warm Russian tea. You can definitely smell the currants that were used in the brewing process resting underneath, which add a thickness to the aroma. The nose doesn't direct you toward any particular style. It's a mishmash of Witbier, Saison and Belgian Golden traits. It's very fruity and very inviting.

The first sip matches the aroma profile quite well. This beer has a dominant zesty orange flavor with the currants serving a more complimentary role. The flavor profile is very fruit-forward and easy to handle. The mouthfeel is very light and smooth, making Faithfull Ale an easy drinking brew. Both the hop profile and Belgian yeasts are significantly muted and almost nonexistent, which was a little disappointing. To be honest, this beer drinks more like a rich cider or an applewine. The finish is a bit sticky and leaves behind a tangy citrusy aftertaste, much like you would experience from a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice.

Overall, Dogfish Head's Pearl Jam Twenty Faithfull Ale is a pretty good brew. I can easily recommend it to any level of beer fan, but its fruity and easy drinking nature will resonate more with novices. I would imagine that Belgian purists will probably not appreciate this brew because it's way too light and fruity to be properly classified as a quality Belgian Golden. That being said, Faithfull Ale is endlessly enjoyable and is certainly worth the experience. If there was such a thing as a no-thinker drinker in the Belgian world, then this beer would fall into that category. It's not aggressive, not too thick or boozy, not overpowering, and not too complex. It's just a really tasty brew that you can enjoy and share with friends. And when all is said and done, what more could we ask for? Just be sure to pour Faithfull Ale with an Even Flow. *rimshot*

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Faithfull Ale by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
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