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DOT has all the bases covered in today's selection, from light and breezy IPA to the densest, darkest, double-digit barrel-aged blend. I suppose we may begin at the beginning.

A micro IPA called Catches starts us off at 2.5% ABV. This is a clear gold and smells deliciously fruitsome with peach and apricot. Oats and wheat are there to offset any wateriness but don't quite cover the beer's nakedness as it's still rather skinny on the palate. Those juicy aromas fade to a pithy and metallic sort of bitterness on tasting: watery grapefruit juice and a little damp paper. Naturally it fades quickly and, pleasingly, the peaches come back in the finish, albeit briefly. This isn't a great example of the super-low-strength IPA, but it is at least easy-drinking and thirst-quenching. I guess it's my own fault for trying to analyse it too much.

DOT pays tribute to new wave bad boys The Stranglers with a peach-laden sour ale. No skimping on the fruit here: it's a dense breakfast juice orange and has a huge tinned-peach effect, in both the aroma and flavour. They've added a modicum of passionfruit as well, which contributes a tropicality that increases the impression of a blended breakfast juice concoction. For all the pulp that must be in there, it's quite light of body, though the ABV is a substantial 4.8%. That helps it be refreshing rather than sticky, as does a significant tartness which has an almost funky, smoky side. I'm guessing there's some serious mixed fermentation action going on under here. This is the very essence of summer. For maximum impact, wait for the very hottest of days before opening it.

There's even more of a fruit vibe to Sour Ballad: 15g of cherry per litre, boasts the can. The result is a deep dark blood red, pouring thick and flat. Ripe and squashed cherries are the aroma, unsurprisingly: real and tart rather than sweet and, er, cherry flavoured. There's a little bit of a sparkle on the tongue and the body is much lighter than it appears, especially given 6.4% ABV. It is extremely sour, but not in a harsh sour-beer way. It's the sourness of a black cherry, or a fistful of them: there's a certain juicy aspect as well, but no sugar. As with the aroma, there's no cherryish flavours, it's much too intense for that. Instead it's dry, tannic and even a little savoury or herbal. I quite enjoyed the punchy extremeness of it but couldn't shake the impression that this is merely the first stage of something else. I hope there's a quantity of it mellowing in barrels somewhere. Mellowing would do it good.

The first of today's barrel-aged pale ales is From the Vine, 6.2% ABV and aged in a Sauternes barrel. While it's another fruit-forward one, I'm not sure it got the full benefit of the wine, lacking the rounded lusciousness I associate with Sauternes and Sauternes-derived products. It's quite hot, with pear drops in the aroma and a slightly rough solvent character in the flavour. Thankfully this is offset by a clean acidic pinch which the label calls gooseberry with which I wouldn't disagree, and would add lemon zest and whitecurrant to the descriptors. The texture is very thick, which doesn't suit it, taking away any possibility of crispness and adding a woody muddyness. This is another where a little more time, in the tank or in the can, might be beneficial.

31 words are used in the description of Farmhouse Limoncello and three of them are "zingy", which sets expectations before the tab is pulled. We also learn that this is a pale ale, aged in white wine barrels before further ageing on "limoncello chestnut cubes", something neither I nor Google Image Search can picture. It's 7% ABV and a hazy ochre colour, smelling quite heavy and dense with oak and syrup. The wine is first into the foretaste, followed by a slick and oily coconut effect. The lemon is something of an afterthought, but it's present and I will even accord it a certain amount of zing. This isn't the spritzy refresher I was expecting, but a much heavier, more involved glassful. It's inarguably good though: the succulent white grape vibe mixed with vanilla oak is quite quite delicious. The name is gimmicky but the beer is not.

Rum Red Dark VII is the *counts on fingers* seventh outing for the iterative barrel-aged red ale, this one blending the previous three. Like VI, which I didn't get to try, this takes advantage of the Teeling Distillery's recent interest in peated single malt whiskey, and the spare barrels which result. It pours quite flat, and the aroma suffers as a result: not much going on here but a plain roasted malt vibe. The turf really leaps out on tasting however, bringing a lovely comforting phenolic warmth, buzzy and cosy, not harsh or antiseptic. It's flanked by gentler caramel and aniseed balls. The flatness doesn't bother me as the resulting smoothness suits it well. It's a beautiful and mellow mature sipper, perfectly suited as a sundowner on the unseasonably chilly evening I drank it. If that huvvy Scotch vibe is to your taste, don't miss this.

And once you're in a boggy hole, keep digging. Next is Stacked, a stout of 8.2% ABV making serious use of those peat barrels. I would be quite prepared to believe that they used peated malt directly in the grist, but apparently not. My reasoning is the big, almost fresh, phenolic twang at the front. And the middle. And the finish. Balancing the busy peat, to a certain extent, there's a chocolate and coffee richness, imparting a complementary sweet side. I tend to like some hop bitterness and dry roast in export-style stout, but I don't miss them here: there'd be too much danger of ashen acridity. You really do need to like your stouts peated to enjoy this as the barrels have added much more than a seasoning. It's almost, but not quite, one-dimensional, but I certainly liked the way it goes about its business, for one small can anyway.

DOT's advancing age -- five years now -- means its birthday cake is getting weaker. Barrel Aged Birthday Cake on its second outing is down to 10.5% ABV from 10.7%. The formula seems pretty much the same as last year -- an imperial milk stout aged in cognac, sherry and single malt barrels, with cocoa nibs and coffee -- but the result is quite different. Gone is the heat and acidity of the 2020 vintage and instead, as I'm sure was intended all along, it actually tastes like cake. There's a little bit of spirit, but it's entirely in keeping with those desserts that have a glug of brandy or whiskey in them; likewise the coffee is real and roasty, but is no more involved than what you'd find in a high-end coffee-flavoured sponge. It's creamily textured, filling and warming, yet clean and not cloying. I mentioned barrels-as-seasoning above and that's what you get here, adding a fun extra dimension to a tasty imperial stout without pushing it to any extremes.

Doubtless there will be eyes rolled at DOT's new found love of peaty barrels. Me, I'm excited to find out where it will take us next.