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American Beauty - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
American BeautyAmerican Beauty

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

946 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 946
Reviews: 151
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 10.7%
Wants: 69
Gots: 185 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Brewery visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: slvrmon82 on 10-09-2013

An Imperial Pale Ale brewed with granola & All American hops. 55 IBU

Collaboration with the Grateful Dead.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 946 | Reviews: 151
Photo of burnerfinger
4.57/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A WOW - four full fingers of head. suds are VERY long lived, and with intircate lacing as it settles. Also - Clear golden amber color.

S nice hops per the DOGFISH head line (what did you expect????) but not as overstated and the 60 or 90 min IPA.

T hoppy as the nose implied. solid malt background with hops at the front.

M the aftertaste is more of a molty feel, still WAY so good. a bit oily seems to me

D the 9 ABV makes this worth your while savor the brew and savor you buzz!!!

Photo of iheartmyTHO
4.21/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I definitely taste the honey, and just a slight bit of granola. But I couldn't taste the almond. The honey flavor does pair nicely with piney hops. My first few sips were rather pleasant. Despite the 9% ABV, the beer felt rather light on the palate. However, as it started to warm up, the beer got noticeably stickier and maltier.

Photo of Celtics17
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a miss for me. It lacked bigger flavors. I got little honey, and very little granola. This was malty, and not in the best way. It had solid hops, and overall the beer was decent. Nothing special.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a snifter)
A- This beer pours a crystal clear deep orange body with a quick carb. There is a sticky thick beige head that last a good bit.

S- A flinty granola and oat aroma leads to some pine hops blended with citrus skins that have a perfumed quality to them and some silage aroma that comes through as it warms.

T- Full resin hops with a musty character to it and some granola flavor comes through as it opens. There is a green cinnamon hop spice that lingers a bit after each sip.

M- The light mouthfeel has a nice alcohol warmth in the finish that helps cut the soft sweetness.

O- This is a nice drinking complex Imperial Pale Ale. Good malt character with full hops that have nice depth and the alcohol and sweetness are softer than the hops but support each other.

Photo of Faxmesomehalibut
3.56/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

2013 bottle....nothing special, not bad at all

Photo of nyyfanatic213
3.96/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is like an oatmeal cookie and a pale ale had a baby

Photo of sjones5045
4.06/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4


Pour copper red with a nice head that lasts. Taste is a nice balance of hops and malt. Nice aftertaste and pretty smooth. Enjoyed a bomber on my own. Would love it in 12oz bottles.

Photo of MattSlem
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Strong orange blossom honey flavor, medium to full bodied but finishes crisp. One of my new favorite Dogfish ales.

Photo of LouZ
4.04/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Subtle flavor of honey graham cracker. Pretty darn good, and sneaky strong - you do not notice that this is 9% ABV.

Photo of pat61
4.41/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dogfish head brewed American Beauty with almond honey granola and all American hops and it sounds outrageous. It has a fruity, granola, almond honey nose. Pours orange tinted amber under a 2” quickly dissipating lightly tan tinted white foam cap with clingy lace. On the palate it enters nutty and slightly sweet with honey and light sugars balanced by a moderate hop bitterness on the finish. The finish has an underlying layer of honey and leaves a little honey stickiness on the lips. The beer is very creamy with above average carbonation stuffed into a medium full bodied beer. The granola is definitely there throughout but it is never too much to be cloying and is nicely balanced by the other flavors in the beer. It pairs well the the background pale ale graham cracker flavors and is well balanced by both the hop flavors and bitterness. The alcohol is unnoticeable.

Photo of 31Sam13
4.82/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I just have good things to say about this beer. it is very drinkable. Another reviewer described it as mild, which is accurate to be sure, but I think in a good way. it is just so well balanced. Top that off with my favorite musicians' furry friend and I can't help but smile, smile, smile...

Photo of dlord16
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was expecting more from the DFH name and price. I would plausible buy this again in a 4 pack for 11$. But not a 16$ bomber.

Photo of Cavanaghty
3.76/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Clear reddish amber color with a thick beige head that lingered.

Smell: Surprisingly mild smell of hops.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Smooth medium bodied. Taste of mild hops and mild malts.

Overall: I was surprised at how mild this beer was, it was good, but very mild in my opinion.

Photo of mynie
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Finz in Salem, MA, where apparently they get cool DFH brews because they always have three lines dedicated to the brewery.

Double IPA/American Strong brewed with granola, because we are all out of ideas.

Also, I don't know why I forgive the art for Rogue's Dead Guy but find this one so repulsive. The Dead's semiotics creep me out in general, but the bears... especially the bears.

Pours hazy dark gold, thick and limp. Smells like hops and grass--the weird adjunct nodes of the granola are nice and crisp and do a fantastic job cutting against the hops.

Doesn't taste quite as good as it smells. The first few sips are great: giant hops up front, weedy adjunct finish, good balance. The graininess becomes heavy as the beer warms, however, with the back end getting sweeter and sweeter until the balance is thrown off.

Strange. Usually with off kilter strong ales, especially old ales and barleywines, I wind up liking the beer more and more as I progress through the pint. This was the exact opposite. It never became bad, but I took my sweet time finishing it and probably won't order it again.

Photo of Bmftbl8
3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Good but a little sweet for my taste

Photo of tempest
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I'd call the "imperial pale ale" description accurate, calling it a strong ale or barleywine works too. It's just a big beer with a lot of everything. The hops aren't on par with Arrogant Bastard, they're a softer citrus punch. The malts are toasty with a granola-like sweetness (or maybe I'm imagining that because it's on the label). Very smooth and balanced for the strength, it feels at home in a red wine glass. It's a good trip.

Photo of NoseOverTail
4.26/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

DFH American Beauty is a sweet, nutty Imperial ipa that is both sweet & bitter. Perfect head, delicious smell of sweet hops. The sweetness & bitterness of the perfect caliber. Awesome reason & art of the bomber bottle label. Great for an at home cupples nightcap. Enjoyable to those just getting into IPA's of strong ales. I prefer more of the bitter IPA's or douple/imperials. Give this Dogfish Head brew a try whenever the opportunity. Enjoy!

Photo of Fuzzycuffs
3.49/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: This is a beautiful beer to look at. The initial pour showed unexpectedly good head retention, even for a sticky APA like this one. A rich, rosy amber colour with fluffy, white head, and very minimal lacing (unsurprising given the 9% abv)

Smell: The honey granola is immediately apparent, didn't pick up on the almonds like some others. Hops are understated, but sweet in the nose of this one. Kind of a sweet smell, overall, with not much complexity to it.

Taste: Good, but falls short of great. The taste of almonds and granola are apparent, but seem trapped beneath the intense hop flavors. Very little honey shows through, but I'm okay with that. The factor that holds this brew back from greatness is the lack of harmony between the flavors. Rather than the sweet nutty start, and clean floral finish I expected, I was left with a muddled mix of flavors that seem to taper off simultaneously.

Feel: I really prefer a stronger body on a brew this strong and ambitious. I feel like some interesting malt characteristics may have held the flavors together nicely, but was instead left with mild, understated mouthfeel. The carbonation is very apparent, and the well-concealed boozy-ness makes an appearance at the back of the throat. Other than that, the mouthfeel is nothing special, if not weak. This would be a great feel for a less ambitious brew, but with such a pronounced flavor, the contrast is somewhat unsettling.

Overall: Pretty good, but from this brewery, I expected much more. Dogfish Head is an industry leader when it comes to Pale Ales, and I'm not sure how they went wrong with this one. From any other brewery, I would be thrilled to find this beer. Unfortunately, by a very slight margin, my expectations were not met.

I'm not sure whether I would pick up this brew again. I don't want to say it wasn't good( because it really was quite good), but any store that stocks this is bound to have something better for the same price tag.

Photo of TheCraftBrewReview
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – 92: My initial pour revealed a medium amber color, which turned to a beautiful golden hue in shades of the light. The head was surprisingly thin, and lasted for only a moment before becoming a white ring of bubbles around the glass. (Rather than a touch of grey, as it were).

Aroma – 85: Given that this beer (unlike most IPAs) has several unique infusions of granola, honey and almonds rather than the typical floral fare that one would come to expect, the smell was a little underwhelming. Smooth and crisp to be sure – the almonds are certainly detectable playing around with the barley.

Body and Texture – 86: As expected of an IPA, the body was extremely light and pleasant, and I was immediately greeted by a thin fruitiness (almost a white grape like quality) which shifted to the granola before leaving with a mild malted taste.

Taste – 85: Sadly, I was somewhat disappointed by the overall taste of this beer, as the notes of honey, granola and almonds were completely drowned out by the hops and barley. For those who have tasted the brewery’s most popular offering (the 90 minute IPA) – this has a very similar taste to it, if slightly sweeter. Given that both almonds and granola don’t pack very unique tastes (and the honey used appeared to be simply a sweetener) the overall impression was slightly bland. This isn’t to suggest that it is a boring beer, but when I read the various infusions, I was expecting them to pack a little more punch. Perfectly acceptable as a tribute beer to the Grateful Dead, and to get myself in the mood I cranked “Uncle John’s Band” to get the mojo flowing. However, this definitely wasn’t this brewery’s best showing.

Overall – 85.5 (Good) The lasting memory that I’ll retain of this brew is the artwork on the bottle (a Grateful Dead bear sporting a foaming pint glass), rather than the actual taste itself. Had the additions been more prevalent in the taste it would have certainly received a much higher rating, but the dry-hopped barley overpowers the other flavors. For fans of the brewery, I would recommend purchasing one of their other offerings over this. It is still an above-average beer with a higher ABV than most which is smooth and crisp, but not enough distinction to truly be remembered.

Purchase Value (B) – “Bombers” are typically more expensive than six-packs, as was the case here – $11.99 for a 750 mL bottle is about average for a 90+ rated beer, but it felt like I was paying for the artwork and tribute nature of the beer, rather than the taste.

Photo of TBoneJones
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pint pour: clear crisp copper body, very bubbly, incredibly creamy white head, foamy lacing. Looks terrific.
Faint hops, grain and honey on the nose.
Just like I recalled the only other time I tried this a year ago, this is great use of granola hops, with the higher abv. and level of honey sweetness giving it a medicinal aspect. Prickly bite in a syrupy sense. Some warming.
Overall impression is cereal grains with a citrus rind hop elixir, but so drinkable. A milky cereal aspect reminds me of a more balanced (and medicinal) version of Day Break by Martin House).
Medium creamy and smooth, with the right amount of prickly.
This was about a 3.75 rating across the board when I tried this before, and for some reason I was drawn into giving it another go. There was a reason for that, even despite the $14.00 tag (still a bit high in my opinion). There's just something in the taste, a sweet spot, that sticks.
Another exceptional, impressionable craft beer from DFH.

Photo of Redfoxrun
4.21/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

8/1/1942 - 8/9/1996
I'll try it again in the summer at Soldier Field.

Photo of RoamingGnome
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Well the bottle art is obviously fantastic, but the beer is pretty damn good too. I could easily drink this while walking down Shakedown Street at Alpine Valley looking for a ganja goo ball, and a grilled cheese. You can pick up some of the honey in the flavor, which mingles nicely with the earthy hops. The alcohol is well hidden. The body of this brew is medium and really smooth. Easy drinking, even at 9% ABV. Glad to recommend this brew. Cheers!

Photo of CHickman
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 11/14/2014: Pours clear copper color with a big foamy 2 finger eggshell colored head that had tan mixed in like cinnamon sprinkled on it; the head was full of bubbles of all sizes that popped and dissipated very slowly, leaving good foamy lacing and rings as it went down. The foamy layer stayed on top long after most of the head had faded, making this look like an DIPA.

Smells of sweet malt, caramel, graham cracker, oranges, citrus hops, tangerine, lemon zest, fresh cut flowers, pine cone/piney hops, apple, honey and some sweet fruity candy. The balance is nice, hiding the ABV completely and letting the malt and hops compliment each other; the aroma see-saws back and forth with malt and hops, so I found that very impressive for such a big brew.

Tastes pretty malty up front, with caramel, toffee, toasted grains, wheat bread, graham cracker and what I assume to be the granola starting things off; the hops kick in before the malt is through, with orange peel, grapefruit, piney hops, pineapple, fresh cut grass, and floral hops or wet flowers like a dandelion just pulled from the lawn. There are some earthy notes and mild spices like pepper and brown sugar, but the hops come out more in the aftertaste with fresh or wet citrus hop like resin, a hint of honey, a little roasted nut, and then more sweet juicy hops that trail off with a slight bitterness. The 9% ABV never effects the taste or smell, but you feel it as you make your way through the bomber. Nicely balanced, this is smooth for an imperial beer and much easier to drink than I thought it would be.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and on the thick and chewy side, with mild carbonation, a slick feel on the tongue and an aftertaste that is bitter, but not too bitter, with nice malty accents and a fine mix of citrus hop sweetness and malt backbone.

The label states that this is "An Imperial Pale Ale brewed with almond honey granola & all-American hops." That sums this up much better than be listed as an American Strong Ale. I love the label, great to see the dancing bear with a mug. A fine tribute and overall a very tasty and enjoyable beer that hides the ABV and is quite easy to drink, much better than I expected. Jerry would be proud.

Photo of Irishrover58
4.9/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Just had my first it won't be my last

Photo of CJNAPS
4.54/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Didn't think i was gonna like this one, but it really surprised me. I will always grab a bottle of this stuff.

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American Beauty from Dogfish Head Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 946 ratings.