The issue with many artisan beers is that drinking them is more about the experience than actually having a beer experience. In other words, the balance between trying to figure out the complexities of the beer overtake the actual enjoyment of drinking a beer. I, like many, prefer somewhat of a balance between the two.
Fort, from Dogfish Head, is one of those sought after rarities that you’re supposed to pick up, even though it runs $16 a bottle. I stumbled over one on Yoke’s on Argonne—hurry over and they might have some left—which was bottled in 2007.
And while the beer is superbly complex and well brewed… Well, if you read the first paragraph you know where this is going. I strongly admire Dogfish Head for what they’ve put together with Fort. The cloudy orange looks beautiful after pouring, and the raspberry aroma hits you like a fist in the face. Flavorwise the 18% ABV really dominates with a mix of raspberry and a mouthfeel that isn’t miles away from mead. It is a complex beer, definitely made for sipping, and again, if you find a bottle, buy it. It’s an experience worth having.
Now had the price been $10 cheaper, would I make this a regular in my rotation? Most likely not. This isn’t an everyday beer, and I felt like I owed it a certain level of concentration that took away from some of the actual enjoyment. Nothing wrong with some complex tasting now and again, of course, but Fort might just take it all a bit too far for any form of casual enjoyment.