Beer Review – Midas Touch Golden Elixir

It’s the holidays and I’ve been sampling new beers like never before.  I have about a dozen to review.  But before I do, my new friend Larry Port offered to give y’all a run down on a beer that he’s excited about – Dogfish Head’s Midas Touch.  (I love Dogfish – great brewery).  Larry, take it away!

“First of all, let me say how honored I am to be the inaugural guest beer reviewer for Mendelson’s Musings. May this series be blessed with great new brews for all.

Now on to the beer.

The recipe for Midas Touch Golden Elixir is touted by its creator, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, as the “oldest-known fermented beverage in the world”. The origin of this beer has an interesting history.

Apparently, ancient Turkish kings were buried with bronze cisterns of beer, which, when you think about it, makes perfect sense and is a tradition in long need of restoring. One tomb in particular, from 8th Century BC, is believed to be that of King Midas and had enough residue in the beer vessels to recreate the brew. So an archaeochemist (a field of study I never knew existed but sounds very cool) named Patrick McGovern from Penn worked with Dogfish to reverse engineer the recipe.

Enough history. Here’s what counts:

When you open and pour Midas Touch, you know immediately you’re in for a treat. First, you can mesmerize your guests with the same historical anecdote I just relayed here (and if you can pull out the word “archaeochemist”, two points!).

Hops wasn’t used in beer in King Midas’ time, making this beer taste unlike any other brew you’ve tasted. Instead, the team used historically accurate yellow saffron as a bittering agent. Honey and something called “yellow muscat grapes” are also used in the recipe.

The color is a rich reddish brown and creates your typical foamy beer head. It pours and feels a bit thicker than your typical brew. Midas Touch has a distinct aroma of honey and spices, and has a heavy sweetness to it, not a light sweetness like you might experience with a wheat beer. There’s a lot of different, unusual flavors due to the saffron and honey. Even though hops isn’t present, there’s still a sense of bitterness, so the taste is not completely alien. It goes down smooth, in spite of the 9% alcohol content, and don’t be surprised if you reach for a second.

I don’t know that Midas Touch Golden Elixir will be a regular in the fridge, but it’s definitely worth trying and revisiting for a special treat.

Rating: 8/10 (though 10/10 for originality and uniqueness).

Larry Port is the Founding Partner and Chief Software Architect of Rocket Matter, the leading web-based legal practice management product. Larry has written extensively for legal publications, including Law Practice Today, Legal Management, ILTA’s Peer to Peer, FindLaw, Chicago Lawyer, and others. He can be reached on Twitter at or via email at larry (at) rocketmatter (dot) com.