On this day, the day of 2016’s birth, I thought it appropriate to pay homage to the birthday of one of my favorite breweries. Higher Math, a golden ale brewed with sour cherry juice and chocolate, commemorates Dogfish Head’s 20th anniversary. This unusual ale is a nod to the first batch of homebrew attempted by founder Sam Calagione, which also featured cherries. Higher Math weighs in at a jaw-dropping 17% ABV. I can assure you that even the lowest levels of math won’t be happening after sampling this boozy birthday cake. So… Let’s celebrate!
Higher Math pours a golden, redish brown with a nearly nonexistent head. The aroma is complex with sweet and sour cherry, fig, and chocolate notes. There’s also an underlying nutty character that gives off vibes of peanut butter. A pervasive booze aspect weighs on the aroma from front to back.
The flavor profile begins with booze soaked cherries and rich chocolate with dark fruit tones. This transitions to raspberry and lemon notes that brighten up the sweet, boozy foundation. This ale finishes with molasses and more booze that coat the palate like cough syrup. The body is as heavy as one would expect for an ale this robust.
Dogfish Head delivers another unique experience with Higher Math. I often have trouble evaluating Dogfish brews due to their unprecedented nature, which is one of the few troubles that I embrace with open arms. This ale is best enjoyed by those that have spent some time developing their palate. Speaking of time, I would expect that those with the patience to cellar a few of these will be pleasantly rewarded.
- Appearance: Golden, Redish Brown / Extremely Thin Head
- Aroma: Cherries, Figs, Chocolate, Peanuts, Booze
- Flavor: Cherries, Chocolate, Dark Fruits, Raspberry, Lemon, Molasses, Booze
- Mouthfeel: Heavy, Syrupy
- ABV: 17%