Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

American Beauty - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
American BeautyAmerican Beauty

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

158 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 158
Hads: 1,102
Avg: 3.85
pDev: 27.79%
Wants: 75
Gots: 251 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Brewery visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 158 | Hads: 1,102
Photo of UncleEmu
2.53/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.25

Dogfish Head American Beauty "Strong Ale"
serving type: goblet, tap at Farmer's Union San Jose, CA (Jan 2015)

A: Deep red with lots of brown. Lots of cream colored head.

S: A decent amount of malt and some alcohol sting. Quite poor.

T: A nice range of malt flavors are present, but that's about it. Some dried fruit, a bit of grapes, and honestly it is really light. Taste's like a 5% ABV, not 9.

M: Medium light, great carbonation.

O: A huge disappointment. After reading some other reviews, I'm worried that the server gave me the wrong the beer. Farmer's Union has over 50 taps, and our server described Sculpin IPA as "like Budweiser, but better."

 656 characters

Photo of acostuhhh
2.68/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Just not a fan. Thought it tasted terriblen especially the aftertaste... Which was papery? Not really sure. Thin, and just smelled kind of funky. Somewhat bitter, kind of foamy so the pour might not have been great, but good color. Trying again when I can.

 256 characters

Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.99/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

750 ml bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a light copper color with a two finger off-white head. Retention is quite good, while the soft, soapy texture doesn't leave a huge amount of lacing behind.

S: I seem to pick up a lot in the way of soft tropical and stone fruits, with just a hint of sweetness backing it up. I don't pick up much granola on the nose. Regardless, it's a very pleasing but slightly timid aroma.

T: This starts off well. A pleasant opening of stone and tropical fruits greet the palate nicely, but quickly the granola combines with the finishing herbal qualities to create something - dare I say - cardboardy on the back end. Sadly, this quality more or less kills this one. Even though the flavors aren't great, it *is* pretty drinkable for 9%, with no hint of the booze anywhere.

M" This is fairly light, clean, and non-boozy, which gives it good drinkability. On the other hand, the sweet, long finish over-exposes the crappy aftertaste. I never really noticed the carbonation that much.

O: Bah, another disappointment from DFH. The sad thing is that this had promise - there wasn't an overload of ridiculous ingredients, just a basic imperial pale ale with 'Merican hops and granola. The end result, though, is something that starts off nicely but quickly falls on its face faster than you can say "Deadhead".

 1,339 characters

Photo of smanders
3.06/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: clear copper w/ a fluffy, off-white head. Tons of intricate lacing.

Smell: nothing really stickin' out here. Maybe a little sweetness, but nothing really "Imperial Pale Ale" about it.

Taste: Meh...not bad, just meh. A hint of sweetness from the honey, but very little piney/bitterness from the "American" hops. Reminds me of a German pils.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied w/ medium carbonation.

Overall: Not real impressive. An interesting idea, though.

 465 characters

Photo of tigg924
3.12/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Appearance: 1/3 inch head, clear, amber in color, moderate carbonation

Smell: earthy hops and caramel

Taste: burnt caramel and earthy hops

Mouthfeel: bitter with slight sweetness, light bodied with moderate carbonation

Overall: A slightly hoppy grainy and earthy average beer. Does not rank too high on the scale of DFH beers I have tried. Nice to have tried, but I think I will pass in the future.

 402 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.15/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Clear amber, bubbling, and topped with a nice white foam in the tall Kolsch glass. I smell Kandy Korn and lemon cookies, which is not unpleasant.

All I can think of is "malt liquor." So it's a hoppy one, but the sweet taste and the hot alcohol burn make this one front-stoop ready and cue up "40 oz. to Freedom." Perfumey, bitter orange peel, lemon drops. The tangy citrusy aftertaste saves this somewhat, but the woody, bitter aftertaste with more than a hint of a cheap cigar makes me want to spit.

Okay, I'm officially tired of these endlessly silly flavored beer-like brewing experiments from DFH. I don't see them going in interesting new directions. It just seems like silliness, but for the fun-loving this is a flavored malt liquor with a story. And hey, it's the perfect pour for your morning bowl of Cap'n Crunch. From the 750 ml bottle bought at Bottleworks in Seattle.

 882 characters

Photo of ArrogantB
3.16/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at Hops and Pie. Orange color, short head. Aroma is candy, grape jolly ranchers, and gummi bears. Flavor is exactly the same, grape candy and gummi bears. Strange stuff and I would have been sad had I bought a bottle.

 224 characters

Photo of Jimmys
3.16/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750mL bottle into tulip. bottled on 10/01/2013.

A: great clarity. amber/orange hued brew. head is very frothy. slightly off-white. good retention. frothy lacing.

S: floral. a lot of sweet soft fruit. melon. very full fruit body.

T: tastes is similar to the nose. starts fairly fruity. a little slick. grain picks up towards the finish. a little chewy. reminds me of wheat a bit. definitely not bitter. finish is all grain. chewy bar.

M: mellow carb on a medium body.

D: a little underwhelming. under two months old and this already lost a lot of zing. not getting any flaws due to age, just missing a step. I am a fan of the collaboration brews, but making a high quality beer should always take precedence and this misses the mark for me.

 748 characters

Photo of BMMillsy
3.2/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle as an extra from trade. 10/1/2013 bottle date so this has been sitting around a bit but I don't care. Pours deep orange colored with a big creamy 2-inch off white head. Lots of lemon peel in the aroma, grass and hat, orange, and some sweet malts. Flavor is super sweet orange-lemon pinesol. Flavor is a bit watered down with some sweet orange blossom honey and orange marmalade flavor in the background. Just under medium mouthfeel, low to medium carbonation, slightly slick on the tongue. This one is a bit funky for me, and don't really get any granola flavor so not sure what that added here. Not a big fan overall, really had a soapy floor cleaner characteristic to it.

 680 characters

Photo of jman42
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%

A = CRYSTAL clear. Beautiful light orange color with a nice white head. Too bad this would be my favorite part.

S = Fruity and honey aroma, but not overpowering.

T = Not sure what I'm tasting. Sometimes I get a wine vibe from this. Nothing really stands out.

M = Smooth and creamy.

O = Interesting. Glad I tried it, but once is enough. Glad I split the big bottle with a friend.

 387 characters

Photo of BradT
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Boozy and sweet, with a faint granola aftertaste. Not overly complex, the booze far outweighs the hops. I think the price tag has more to do with the bottle, which reflects the relationship to The Grateful Dead. I had high hopes, but wasn't impressed.

Dogfish has better beers at better prices.

 296 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%

Shared at the BFD Christmas Party, thanks to who ever brought it.
Earthy pine hops, lots of sweet malt with an overbearing honey flavor and sweetness. Nice to try but I wouldn't seek it out again.

 197 characters

Photo of bobhits
3.26/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

An imperial pale ale a theme that rarely creates master pieces but often is decent. Put int one of these annoying Dogfish over the top sized wine bottles (planet earth is upset) lets just say I'm not sold.

The pour provides what has to be 4 inches of head, lasting minutes and yet the lacing is average to decent. The body is completely clear which is either a great thing or for me makes me wonder about what's to coming.

The nose reminds me of a earthy herbal hops, tea, perhaps noble hops, english malts, and for some reason I get a hint of spearmint.

A complex blend of tea, hops, spearmint, caramel, and ther4e's more here I can't get. It almost had a medicinal note mixed with soap and I mean those things is somewhat positive terms.

This is a pretty decent drinking beer, the carbonation is full and creamy with a nice body and minimal alcohol notes.

American Beauty to me will always be the movie which was a master piece. This beer is overly complex but the end result isn't that of a master piece but a lot of mixed up parts that don't really do much for me. Worth a shot but if you can get it on tap do that, avoid in bottles.

 1,145 characters

Photo of HardTarget
3.29/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Slight haze in a deep yellow edge of amber glass. Little head drops to a thin collar that doesn't lace.

Smell: Alcohol, bread yeast, tonic water earthy hops, slight grape ester, a bit like malt liquor.

Taste: Hint of hard candy quickly gets rushed by alcohol and pine hops.

Mouthfeel: Alcohol stings and numbs, low carbonation, slick oily feel.

Overall: Boozy, bit heavy handed, a hoppy malt liquor. I bit as an old Deadhead and liked the label, not sure I need another.

 487 characters

Photo of ThickNStout
3.34/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

750mL bottle from Sprayberry Bottle Shop (Marietta, GA). 11.99. Bottled 10/1/13. Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Poursa beautiful clear copper with almost two fingers of white foamy head. The froth lingers and leaves large chunky lace.

Smells of crisp, clean malts, biscuit and faint grassy hops.

Taste was almost opposite the nose. Bitter grassy and floral hops lead followed by toast, cracker, faint nuttyness and a touch of earthy sweetness. Slight booze burn but drinks easily for it's 9% abv.

Crisp medium light body with fairly high carbonation. Earthy, bitter, dry finish.

Not a bad pale ale at all without quite hitting what I was hoping for. Easy to drink but didn't have any kind of wow factor for me.

 723 characters

Photo of BeerandWhiskeyHQ
3.39/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: pours a medium sized, light tan head, clear amber color

S: caramel and light malt, smells sweet with a slight citrus/orange/lemon scent

T: honey and a little bit of malt a slight alcohol taste at the end

O: unfortunately I was expecting much more after trying some of their other “specialty” beers. I think it is a cool idea, but something from their ancient ales line or Bitch’s brew, Palo Santo Marron ect would be a better choice. I wasn’t upset that I bought it, I still enjoyed it but I won’t be spending that kind of money on this beer again.


 594 characters

Photo of snaotheus
3.39/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

750ml bottle poured into a large snifter. I can't find a bottle code right now, but I'll look some more after I empty the bottle.

Pours very slightly cloudy, amber golden, small head. Not much active carbonation. Smell is bready, yeasty, slightly grassy. Something sweet and sugary.

Taste is sweet. Slightly maple, slightly grassy, Too sweet.

Mouthfeel is thick and full, lush. Pretty nice.

Overall, it's fine. Not in love, not even really impressed. It's pretty OK.

 470 characters

Photo of Beer4Baltimore
3.41/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Very peppery which I normally like but there's not much else happening, it's decidedly one dimensional. Hop bittering is not strong but leans heavily towards stinging pepper spice.
Granola is buried under the alcohol and pepper but will show if you warm it up.
Aging might smooth this one out but I won't be buying a second to find out.

Way too expensive for something so plain.

Sam, are you even trying anymore?

 414 characters

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.41/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a snifter.

Appearance: Clear copper toned color with light bubbles, off white head rose to just over a finger's length dropping quick after one sip.

Smell: Light citrus scent with a dose of rose petal.

Taste: Easy IPA that the alcohol sneaks up on you in the end. Heavy oranges with a Light dose of hops.

Mouth: Medium lightly sticky.

Overall: A real mellow DIPA even though it's not classified as one at the time of those review. I would definitely grab it just to have it but it's definitely no 90 minute so buyer beware. Salud!

 550 characters

Photo of cosmicevan
3.43/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

how could i not pick this one up? enjoyed from an old skool 22oz DFH signature snifter.

a - brew poured a transparent deep orange red with 2 plus fingers of frothy head that left big streaky lacing on the glass as it dissolved.

s - syrupy. rich. grainy. i pick up granola, if not for suggestive reasoning. toasted biscuits.

t - wow, fairly tasty. nice vanilla notes and even some granola. again a bit rich and syrpuy.

m - thick and rich. full bodied. a nice beer rich in flavor, just like the band and its fans.

o - overall, initially i had high expectations for these music series beers...especially after that amazing bitches brew...but then i was brought back down to earth with the next few and have come to expect very little from these beers other than a hunt to obtain them. the good news, this one is actually pretty good. abv is well hidden and the flavors are pleasant. it works. far from a world class beer, but good enough that i don't mind tackling the full bottle on my own.

 993 characters

Photo of scottfrie
3.43/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into Duvel tulip. Bottled 9/25/2013.

A: Pours a bright deep amber with a huge, dense, cream colored head that took forever to slowly fade into a thick dense film. Patches of sticky lace were left down the glass.
S: Not as fragrant as I was hoping or expecting. I get faint notes of juicy citrus hops and perfumey flowers. What’s there is good, but for the abv I was expecting something more potent.
T: More juicy hops follow the nose with flavors of tropical fruits, citrus juice, nectars and floral bouquet. The finish is slightly sharp, boozy, alcoholic, and medicinal. Granola adds a mild bready graininess to the taste. The aftertaste is sweet, boozy and slightly minty.
M: Medium-full body, very chewy and creamy body as expected (from the oats), with smooth soft carbonation. The booze and finish needs polishing.
O: Good flavor, creamy mouthfeel, but it has its flaws. I thought it’d be hoppier, and smoother. Decent at best.

 960 characters

Photo of MacQ32
3.44/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

A - pours a copper amber with a finger of offshore/tan head. Amazing retention and absolutely perfect lacing all the way up and around the glass ), still 1/4 inch of head 30 minutes later.

S - sweet caramel Malta and light citrus hops, apple, orange and pear. Minimally resinous/sweet

T - Sweet caramel malts, really dry light citrus, tannis/offputting sweet hops, and a bit of earthy granila flavor. Turns much too tart almost like wait g rasp ferry seeds

M - medium bodied well carbonated and rather drinkable

 514 characters

Photo of Jadjunk
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

"Inside this bottle, your miracle ticket awaits. It's called American Beauty, an Imperial Pale Ale inspired by the Grateful Dead. The best way to capture 30 years, more than 100 live albums, 2,300 shows? Let the loyal fans drive the recipe. Among thousands of suggestions, granola was tops. It was the main course in millions of parking lot meals and is a sweet and toasty complement to the all-American hops and barley. There was something different about a Dead show. Whether you saw one or 100, you felt it. If only you could have bottled it..." Brewed in the style of an American Imperial Pale Ale with granola added. Available as a one-off release in 750 ml. bottles and on limited draft.

Poured from a 750 ml. bottle to a Dogfish Head Signature glass. Served above 51 degrees Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a frothy foam head of a caramel cream color over a maple amber body with plentiful assertive carbonation and chunks of pulpy sediment in tow. Retention is very good, lacing is light and streaked. 3.75

(Smell) Tropical fruit hops forward, with lesser notes of juicy citrus and floral subtleties, very aromatic. The malt profile consists of a simple caramel bread malt with a light syrupy sweetness, very clean. Potency is moderate. 3.75

(Taste) Up front, soft caramel malt with a subtle touch of honey-like sweetness, the greatest impact of the granola. Some faint nuttiness and moderate graininess. Finishes on a moderately bitter note with fruity hops and creeping husky grain. Fairly simple with not a ton of notable impact from the granola, but enjoyable. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, mildly grainy, moderately dry. Carbonation is medium-high, generating a smooth medium crispness across the palate. Body is medium for the style, medium+ overall. Balance is slightly bitter and grainy over sweet. Alcohol presence is moderate, and a moderate graininess does slow drinkability somewhat. 3.25

(Overall) American Beauty is a decent American Imperial Pale Ale, but a bit rough in spots, perhaps as an unintended side effect of the granola, or just the combination of flavors. Drinkable but about as familiar as the style itself, and thus not very impressive. 3.5

Dogfish Head Brewery's
American Beauty

 2,236 characters

Photo of fourstringer
3.46/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a Brewer's Art goblet. Moderate hand. No identifiable date on the bottle. Wouldn't exactly call myself a Dead Head, but let's see how this beer goes...

A: Honey-amber body with good clarity. 1 1/2 finger of off-white head. Good retention. Moderate to light lacing. Good looking beer.

S: Vaguely fruity hops. Interesting malt character - must be the granola. Some grape and berry. Raisin faintly. Light overall.

T: Unexpectedly light hop bitterness with breakfast cereal-type malt. Granola. Fairly strong oatmeal maltiness on the back end. Semi-dry finish without much definition. Some maple syrup notes. Indistinct hop bitterness in the aftertaste. Minimal alcohol - 9% ABV is well hidden.

M: Moderate carbonation with the typical, full-ish DFH body. Fitting.

O: Inoffensive, but not particularly endearing. The granola is present and interesting, but overall I find this experiment to be a bit underwhelming. A paucity of scents and flavors renders it somewhat lackluster. On a positive note, I crushed this big bottle in a flash. Very easy for a 9%er.


 1,104 characters

Photo of Fuzzycuffs
3.49/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

 1,971 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
American Beauty from Dogfish Head Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 158 ratings.