Flying Saucer: Randall 3.0 + DFH Punkin Ale (and some other beers)

September 22, 2010


So when I first saw someone post on twitter that tonight at Flying Saucer (tonight was also Brew Nite featuring the annual FS Oktoberfest Stein, 2fer!) in downtown they would be Randalling a Dogfish beer (first it was Palo Santo but the distributor apparently ran out so now it is Punkin Ale) I was like WTF is Randalling? Fear not, trusty Google sent me to a page from Dogfish’s website that helped clarify some things (ok, everything). Apparently, Randalling involves tapping a beer through a little contraption (double chamber filter) that is loaded with other ingredients that will enhance the flavor. Tonight at Flying Saucer, one of 9 bars that will simultaneously be tapping beers through Randall 3.0, they will be using Dogfish Punkin Ale (that I tried earlier this month)  “with fresh roasted pumpkin seeds and cinnamon sticks” according to Saucer’s twitter. This sounds awesome! You can check out the list of the other bars doing this including which DFH beer they are using and what ingredients they are using to Randall. I’ve never had a beer that has been through this process, though I’m not sure many have.  Below is a picture of the device dubbed as “organoleptic hop transducer module” by Dogfish.

A Dogfish Invention- Randall 3.0. Image from

A note from Sam Calagione, Dogfish Head founder: “Basically , it’s a sophisticated filter system that allows the user to run draft beer through a chamber of whole leaf hops, spices, herbs, fruit, etc so that the alcohol in the beer strips the flavor from what ever you add and puts it in the beer.” from the website. Apparently starting tomorrow, you will be able to buy at cost for $375. But I suppose that requires beers on draft at your disposal, such as the lucky people with enough space to home-brew, or a nice bar owner that will let you bring your Randall in!

Since I got there early, hallelujah since it was SO PACKED, I started with the Magic Hat Hex, while waiting for both the Brew Nite Stein (Spaten) and the Randallized DFH Punkin Ale.

The Beer:
Magic Hat Hex
Brewed by: Magic Hat Brewing Company, Vermont
ABV: 5.4%
Style: American Amber/ Red Ale

Magic Hat Hex, Flying Saucer, Houston, Texas

The Taste:
The Magic Hat Hex had hints of toffee and caramel, which are some of my favorites, that were followed by a smoky finish, which isn’t my favorite, but it was well-balanced and quite enjoyable. It was very drinkable. To be fair, after tasting the DFH Punkin that had been Randallized I had a hard time remembering what the other beers were like. This is why I cannot wait for my 33 Beers journal to get here!

The (other) Beer:
Spaten Oktoberfest
Brewed by: Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
ABV: 5.9 %
Style: Märzen/ Oktoberfest

Annual Oktoberfest Stein (filled with Spaten), Flying Saucer, Houston, Texas

The Taste:
I’ll be real honest and say whatever this did taste like, I can’t recall due to the strong smell and taste of the Dogfish Randallized Punkin Ale. I will say, it didn’t seem like a seasonal, Oktoberfest style beer (it’s all relative though), but very drinkable and smooth. My bad.

The Beer (after the Randall 3.0):
Dogfish Head Punkin Ale
Brewed by: Dogfish Head Brewery, Milton, Delaware
ABV: 7%
Style: Pumpkin Ale

Dogfish Punkin Ale- Randallized! Flying Saucer, Houston, Texas

The Taste:
The smell of pumpkin, cinnamon, and wood were very strong (which makes sense). Then the taste, wow! It was delicious, very strong pumpkin and spicy taste as well as the woody notes. I enjoyed it even more than the regular Punkin Ale, which I was sure wasn’t possible.

After having the Spaten Oktoberfest in the annual Flying Saucer Stein, we were delivered the glorious Dogfish Punkin Ale that was Randallized with toasted pumpkin seeds and cinnamon sticks. It smelled so strong of cinnamon and pumpkin and tasted like regular Punkin Ale but much more powerful, there were also hints of a certain woodiness.

It was fabulous. I put Punkin Ale in my top 3 Oktoberfest style fall seasonal beers and this was just awesome. Even better, Jake, the manager at Flying Saucer gave it to us on the house! HEYO! Also, I had some Spaten left in my stein when the Dogfish Punkin got to the table, so just as a little comparison, I tasted the Spaten after having had most of the Dogfish, NO COMPARISON. AT ALL. it was like drinking a bud light (gag) after having great craft beer. What was also awesome about tonight was meeting fellow Beer Nerds (I would say mentors since they gave me so much good advice about aging and other things) Dave and Ted AKA @Davewantbeer and @Barleyvine, respectively. Such cool dudes with lots to share and plenty of beer knowledge for me to glean.

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