Beer Wednesday: Chicory Stout by Dogfish Head

I had another review queued up for today, but then I drank the Chicory Stout by Dogfish Head two nights ago and decided I had to review it immediately. I am a big fan - apparently more so than most people.

Chicory Stout is a stout in style, but it has unique flavor elements. The label says it is made with chicory, Mexican coffee, and licorice, but I also taste a slightly spicy flavor. It's almost like a panang curry spiciness or Indian food spice, not so much red pepper. The coffee flavor is pretty subtle as well. Most of all what I love is that the beer is super smooth - I immediately thought of a Guinness when I first drank it because it has that same heavy, velvet texture. I love that the Chicory Stout combines that smoothness with subtle coffee and spice flavors. To me it's really complex and satisfying.

In comparing notes with a friend who recently tried this, apparently most people feel more along the lines of Beer Drinker Rob of Daily Beer Review (which is a great beer blog, by the way) rather than sharing my sentiments. This is backed up by the B+ rating on Beer Advocate, although it gets a solid 95 rating on ratebeer, which are both good but not amazing. My palate must be a bit of an outlier on this one.

Chicory Stout is 5.2% ABV and cost I think $2 for a 12oz bottle, which to me is absolutely worth it to try a unique and delicious beer. Heck, buy a 6 pack and share them, they are great holiday season beers.


  1. I know what hops taste like!

    That is all...

  2. When Scott came over on Friday I has him taste an ale, a pale ale, an IPA, then Sierra Nevada's Torpedo Extra IPA each time looking for the distinct plant taste.

  3. As for the Chicory Stout...

    If I remember correctly, one of the distinct characteristics of Guinness is that they use nitrogen instead of normal carbonation that gives it the smooth, filling, creamy liquid texture. ("heavy, velvet texture") Royce, would you say that this Chicory Stout really is comparable to that?

  4. Yeah. Although I'd want to taste test the two side by side to be sure... actually I have a Guinness in my fridge right now, but I need another Chicory Stout. I'll report back once I do the test.

    So Scott, can you expand upon your hops-tasting experience? When did it really start to hit you, how do you feel about hops in beers, and do you like pale ales/ IPAs or no?

  5. I don't recall which beers I tasted, nor their order, but I know that I couldn't 'taste' hops after the first few. However, one beer came up (an IPA of sorts - help me out Aaron), and all of a sudden I 'tasted' the plant! After that, we had a few more samples and, I think, I correctly pointed out their relative 'hopsiness'.

    That said - I need to test my abilities again with a few blind taste tests.

  6. ...and I'm not too sure if I enjoy more/less hops. I do think that I would not enjoy anything uber-hoppy, a la The Left Coast Hop Juice Double IPA.

  7. You are absolutely killing me here Scooter

  8. What can I say? I'm the MP of taste.

  9. I went to Lucky to create my own six pack and also get a six pack of Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA (mostly for myself...Scott and the rest of the guys are lucky I decided to share those). Trying to remember the beers off the top of my head...
    Red Hook ESB Original Ale
    Full Sail Pale Ale
    Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
    Red Hook Longhammer IPA
    Lagunitas IPA
    Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA

    There was another ale in there, but I forget which one. It was not a pale ale or IPA, just a standard craft/microbrew ale.