BOOZER DAYS: Dogfish Head’s Burton Barton

Because we love beer almost as much as we love burgers, we thought we might as well spit some words on the brews. Each week (or as close as we can get), we lock two beer aficionados, simply known as Doc and El Borracho, in a room with a notepad, pencil and a stockpile of beer. Whatever we can decipher from their alcoholic scribbles we bring to you with Boozer Days.
Doc: Despite his nickname, Doc is, in fact, not a doctor of any kind. Rather, Doc acquired his handle from El Borracho for his ability to read above a fifth-grade level -- a skill that warrants an advanced degree in the eyes of El Borracho. Intellectually (and, occasionally, physically) aroused by the bounty of our beer-filled world, Doc is always eager to sample pints from around the globe and learn the stories behind them. Happily married, Doc has often joked that he'd leave his wife for a proper pint. His wife has yet to find this amusing. El Borracho: A patron of 90 percent of the nation's bars during his 45 years, El Borracho's knowledge of beer is surpassed by only a select few. How he has accrued that knowledge has not always been a savory process. As a result, several outstanding warrants have prompted El Borracho to sport his trademark Luchador mask whenever he appears in public -- earning him the rapt attention of both Mexican wrestling fans and fetishists. Single -- and most likely permanently so -- El Borracho is the (sometimes) proud father of seven children in eight states. (It's complicated.) El Borracho's connection to Doc is something of a mystery, but many suspect the involvement compromising photos.

Burton Baton by Dogfish Head Brewery

(Milton, Delaware) Type: Two-thread ale (predominantly IPA) | Alcohol: 10% | With a nod towards the ales of the Burton region in England, Dogfish Head blends two beers – including their famed 90-minute IPA – and ages them in French Oak to form a finished product that has Doc and El Borracho convinced that two is better than one – especially when it comes to a bottle of Burton Baton.


Doc: Throughout history, there have been some legendary combinations. Peanut butter and jelly, bacon and anything, R&B … El Borracho: T and A … Doc: Yes, well, the point is that when the combo is just right the whole is better than the sum of its parts. Such is the case with Dogfish Head’s Burton Baton. El Borracho: First brewed in 2004, Burton Baton blends two different style of beer using an oak aging process to create, what I think, might be the best beer in the Dogfish Head arsenal. Doc: I’m a huge fan of the 90-minute IPA too, so coming from me, this is like Archie switching his affections from Betty to Veronica. El Borracho: Well, considering the 90-minute makes up 50 percent of the Burton Baton blend, it’s more like choosing Betty and Veronica. Doc: In-deed.  


Doc: This beer does not stand out on the shelf and if it hadn’t been grouped with the rest of the Dogfish Head lineup, I probably would have passed it by. El Borracho: On top of that, the label features a creepy old cowboy sitting on top of a barrel, strumming a guitar and looking happier than any cowboy has a right to look. It makes me wonder what, or who, is in that barrel. Doc: Let’s just assume it’s a barrel of Burton Baton and move on, shall we? And besides, the label was drawn by British punk rocker Jon Langford, who now resides in Chicago. That’s fitting considering the beer itself is the blend of the 90-minute IPA and an English-style old ale. El Borracho: All I’m saying is that smile is going to come off that cowboy’s face sooner or later. Everyone takes a turn in the barrel. Everyone …  

The Taste

Doc: The first thing you notice is the last thing Dogfish Head’s beer ninjas do to the brew – age it in French oak for about a month. It's a technique you see a lot with wines, but it's becoming more and more common in beers these days. The oak creates almost a vanilla flavor that permeates the beer. El Borracho: But the harmony of the blend is notable too. This isn’t just two mediocre beers tossed together in a barrel, this is like Da Vinci dipping his brush into two different shades of paint to create a masterpiece. Doc: I’m actually impressed you know who Da Vinci is. El Borracho: Dude, how would I not know the author of the Da Vinci code? Doc: Yeah, uh, no, that’s not … never mind. Bottom line, the combination ups the stock of the already impressive 90 minute, by giving it a little more body and dialing back the citrus just a bit in exchange for a nice oaky finish. El Borracho: Tell you what, I’d like to dip my brush in this. Doc: Moving on …  

Final Verdict

Doc: Much like the 90-minute, Dogfish sells Burton Baton in four-packs, which is disappointing only in that I always find myself wanting more. The good news is that Dogfish Head now sells the brew year round as one of their mainstays. El Borracho: That’s very good news, but I would definitely like the ability to buy this in a big bottle. At 10% alcohol though even one of the small bottles packs a good punch. I gotta say, I love this “Betty and Veronica” blend. Doc: Even with the creepy cowboy? El Borracho: Hey, if both Betty and Veronica were in that barrel, I’d be smiling too.  

Suitable for:

Pairing with traditional American BBQ fare Drinking on its own, any time, any where Getting your head right in a hurry Gratuitous jokes about mind-blowing combinations and duos of fictitious cartoon women

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