Things are usually pretty quiet in the depths of the Geekosystem mailbag, but every now and again something wonderful emerges. Today, we received two bottles of Dogfish Head brewery’s Urkontinent beer. As careful beer-minded readers of ours will remember, we first heard about this brew way back in October of last year when the brewery partnered with Google to crowdsource a truly unique beer. Now, this Belgian-style dubbel is making its way into the wild, and we’re having a first taste.
In the literature Dogfish included with the bottles, the brewery lists some of the unique ingredients of this worldly beer:
- Wattleseed from Australia
- Toasted amaranch from South America
- Green rooibos from Africa
- Myrica gale from Europe
- Hiveplex honey from Google’s apiary in California
- Pilsner, Munich, and chocolate malts
- Belgian Dark Candi syrup
I found it to be a malty, complex drink. I can’t really pin down all the flavors, but a sweet chocolate dominates it with bright spots of lighter, herbal flavors pining like fireworks on the side of your tongue. After you’re done, a sweet honey flavor lingers on the roof of your mouth. Though it’s very much in the style of Belgian dubbel, but it’s with a unique twist that you probably won’t find anywhere else. I could see that uniqueness being problematic for some people, but even if you don’t like beers it’s worth a taste.
Following in the footsteps of our sister site Styleite and their “Name That Scent” feature, we asked our office to take a few minutes and tell us what they thought. Results were generally positive, with many people commenting on the warm chocolatey flavor.
Eric Limer, of Geekosystem: It’s good. I can’t get over how I expect any beer that looks like this to taste like Guinness, and the fact that it isn’t is throwing me off. It’s hella stiff. It looks and smells more like coffee than it tastes like coffee. Then again, it is beer so that’s probably not a bad thing.
James, of Geekosystem: Yuch, it smells like beer. (He doesn’t drink beer.) Uch, it tastes like beer. (He then proceeded to return the still full cup.)
The Jane Dough: Good smell. A very hoppy smell. You can definitely tell it’s strong! Spicy, feels like a cold weather beer. I want to be bundled up by a fire, reading a book.
Julia, of Styleite: I don’t really think of it as strong. It’s not bitter. Very easy to drink. Quite delicious. I really like it. I feel like so many girls are like, “I want the lightest beer, but I don’t want bitter beer.” And this is not bitter; but it doesn’t feel heavy – which I appreciate. Definitely feels like a fall or winter beer. I wouldn’t call it refreshing. But I do really like it. I’d like to drink it by a wood burning stove.
Sir Bryan of Adhops: I’m getting a lot of honey notes in it. It definitely is an Earthier beer. It’s easy to drink, more of a fall beer. I don’t know if I would drink it at the park in the summer, but I would drink it maybe on the patio during the fall.
Patrick Reynolds: I’m normally good at describing beer; but not this beer. It kinda tastes like coffee. I don’t particularly like the smell, but I do like the taste. I notice a rich chocolate, coffee taste. Smooth; very little bite. It makes me very happy because I am drinking beer at work.
SeanyCakes: It tastes like their Barley Wine, but I like the carbonation here. It makes me feel like their other beers, but in a good way. Also, that’s a kickass label.
Jada, of Styleite: This tastes like chocolate. I like it, it’s good. Except that it’s really chocolatey and thick. I don’t think I could drink this in large amounts. That being said, I will finish this cup.
Sarah: I can really taste the honey. It’s sweeter than I want it to be, but I’m okay with that.
Susana, of The Mary Sue: I like it in the beginning, but then the sweetness rubs off and it’s bitter again. I’m really sensitive to bitter.
Glenn Davis, of SportsGrid: Kinda porter-y, I feel like. It’s got this sort of chocolate-coffee thing going on – which I like. I’m not a big fan of floral IPAs and I’m not getting a lot of that with this one. As far as the honey goes, I’m not really getting that. I think I could drink this in large quantities. Whenever you crack open that other one, I’d be open to help out. I’d definitely drink it again.
Keith: Smooth. Chocolate. Not too sweet; it’s good, solid. Usually these small batches are too sweet, but this one is great. The alcohol doesn’t seem too much either. I feel like I could finish the whole bottle and I’m not really big beer drinker. It might be a smoother afternoon.
Noah: Very malty; very heavy, very filling. It feels like it has a stronger alcohol content than it does. Has kind of burnt barley flavor. It’s probably better cold, but I think you’re probably supposed to drink it warm. I’d give it a six out of ten.
James: Very filling. Rich. Well, I’m giving it a 9 out of 10. Toasty! I would drink the whole bottle. It’s like chocolate in a can; very chocolatey. I feel like if Joe Biden liked a beer, it would be this one.
Alex: It’s kind of thinner than I expected to be. It is kind of toasted tasting. It would go great with Belgian fries. I would drink it again.
Jon: I am sadly not a fan of dark beer, but please remember that this is the opinion of someone who purposefully has kept his taste at the level of college piss beer in order to save money.
Monsterod Von Hugenstein: It’s definitely got kind of a desserty thing going on. There’s the cholocate aspect, and a sweetness that’s not too overwhelming. I don’t usually get something that’s supposed to be consumed at room temperature, but I think this should be and I’m okay with that. This seems like a bottle I’d split amongst people; I don’t feel like I could get through it on my own.
Andrew: It tastes like a stout; like a porter or a stout. It’s got kind of a roasted peanut. Tastes like a stout, but it has the consistency of a regular dark ale. It’s good, though. Slightly bitter, actually. It tastes like I have a bunch of peanuts in my mouth.
Jen Glickel: It’s very buttery. Like, creamy but not in a milk-in-coffee kind of way. It coats your tongue, but in a good way. I generally don’t like dark beers, but I would drink this, and drink more than one pint of it – which I generally don’t do with dark beers. It’s got a good aftertaste, not sour or hoppy. I like it!
Jo: I’m a fan of thick dark beer, but that one was sensory overload. I’d drink that like cognac. Full glass would be like Guinness’ “meal in a glass” except its like tea time with lots of chocolate, and, like, potpourri. Or am I drunk?
- Our original coverage of Urkontinent
- Our list of the best geek-beers available
- 8-Bit beer is beer with a retro gaming aesthetic
- Would you like to drink Duff beer?