Dogfish Head's Festina Pêche: Beer Review

What started as a potentially bright lemon and peach-infused summer brew turned into a tart, unpleasant experience with Dogfish Head's Festina Pêche. Served in a tall glass from a 12oz bottle, a single item purchase from Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

Appearance is very attractive, a bright and cloudy yellow with very little head. As it pours, the aroma of the tart citrus flavors rise from the glass -- promising something of a bubbly, vibrant experience. A very mild barley / wheat note comes from it, but the acidic aromatics dominate.

Once the first sip had been taken, it went downhill. Mouthfeel is syrupy and lightly carbonated, somewhat watery but with a bit of bubble later on. It does have a velvety feel that's not entirely unpleasant when sipped on a deeper level, but mixing the lemon / peach concentrate with any form of quaff against the brew results in an off-putting backwash of biting citrus potency.

Flavor, however, is this brew's major bane. Combined with the syrupy texture and the light carbonation, the overall sensation with Festina Pêche feels like drinking a very poor infusion of fruit concentrate and dusty, flat light beer that's been haphazardly stirred together. It has a pungent shot after each taste, leaning so hard on the tartness that it almost rustles up the urge to pucker lips. After three or four sips and trying to "adjust" to the overly sour bite, it was time to surrender.

Dogfish Head's brews are among my favorites, especially their crowd-pleaser Indian Brown. However, the Festina Pêche, though creative and quite different, is a face-scrunching, tart experience that won't be revisited.


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