American Beauty - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
American BeautyAmerican Beauty

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

158 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 158
Hads: 1,097
Avg: 3.85
pDev: 27.79%
Wants: 74
Gots: 238 | 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
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Reviews: 158 | Hads: 1,097
Photo of chinchill
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at Dogfish Head event with Sam Cagliogne at Barleys in Greenville, SC

Orange-amber body topped by a soapy, off-white head.

This "Imperial Pale Ale" does seem properly classified as an Amer. IPA.
Hoppy and moderately bitter, with a high ABV that is partially hidden. The contributions of the granola are also mostly hidden, although there are hints of honey.

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Photo of WestCoastLibations
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Probably the only review to be placed from overseas...specifically from South Korea, shipped here by my sister, for whom I am Grateful! "Maybe you'll find direction, around some corner, where it's been waiting to meet you..."

Served from a (well-traveled) bottle into a 10-ounce IPA glass from a local craft brewer in Seoul, the elixir came out a dark Amber color with just enough foam atop each pour, acting as cloud cover from that cold cruel world above and beyond the glass. Leaving traces of its appearance along the glass as I slowly worked my way through the beer; set out runnin' but I take my time.

With minimal but sufficient carbonation, the beer seemed able to breathe throughout the process, emanating strong notes of citrus, that winning ingredient of Granola, and of course bits of Sunshine Daydream. In addition the hefty 9% ABV makes itself known even before being tasted, reminding everyone that the Candyman's in town.

The taste was certainly that of an Imperial Pale Ale, rich as it is complex, with hints of the aforementioned smells being parlayed into taste. Hitting the palate smoothly, it left a lingering mouthfeel which resonated long afterwards, hoppy, strong, and worthy of a beer made in conjunction with the Grateful Dead. Let there be songs to fill the air...

From San Francisco to Delaware to Virginia to Korea, this beer delivered the goods, with the sometimes unimaginable combination of circumstances lining up just right. Drinking it while listening to the accompanying 1970 studio recording, all from the confines of South Korea: for those that know, no answer is necessary; for those that don't, no answer is possible!

"Sometimes, the lights all shinin' on me, other times, I can barely see. Lately it's occurred to me, what a long, strange trip it's been!"

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Photo of Apellonious
4.07/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

1 pt 9.4 fl oz bomber from FMcDs. Look out of any window...

A - Translucent orange, clear, with a two inch frothy head that dissipates at a medium pace to a creamy lace.

S - Toasted grains, hops, pine, lemon

T - A smack of hops backed by some mild fruits and a touch of sweetness, possibly attributed to to the granola? A touch of alcohol heat on the finish. When it warms I am picking up blueberry notes.

M - Very interesting. Carbonation is low, mouthfeel is full but soft and velvety, then there is a mild sharp finish that mellows out as the beer warms.

O - This is a fairly delicious brew. Second beer by Dogfish that I have tried with the beer/music collaboration theme. Both were successful.

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Photo of MVotter
4.74/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - The DFH American Beauty American IPA pours into a chalice light gold, with a half-inch cream colored head.

S - Sweet hops, citrus, yeast, honey, patchouli and incense (hahahaha!) honestly...I thought I detected patchouli fragrance...let's call it "floral and hop oils."

T - YES! Sweet-ish hops flavor, all the way. LOVE IT! Holy crap, this is reminding me of...dare I say it...THE PLINies!! NOT BITTER. I'm going to guess Centennial variety hops, simply because that is what I believe the Pliny beers use, and the same taste emanates from this brew...some Fuggles possibly, as well.

M - Medium to heavy texture. Plenty of effervescence. Semi-dry.

O - Superb. 9% abv, watch out, very easy to let it get away...drinkable, indeed.

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Photo of Samuel906
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

First, this is NOT AN IPA. It is an Imperial Pale. Good looking beer, bright and clear copper. Lots of wheat and grain, and some good fruit smells, banana, some mild hops, mango. Smell was very mild but good. Good be a little more potent for the people who like to smell their beers a lot like me. Very smooth, and easy to drink, but less carbonation than i was expecting. Very good beer!

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Photo of jebbitt105
4.09/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

To the moroons out there... You know who you are! THIS IS NOT AN IPA! You beer nerds ruin the the whole beer drinking experience! Put your skinny jeans on, go back to class and finish your studies at the hipster universities you attend. My brother in law is a brewmaster for a local brewery and I have experience drinking many good and not so good beers. Please cut the bullshit, Read what you write (out loud so you hear how ridiculous you sound), and stop making a simple process so complex. This is an awesome "PALE ALE" (NOT INDIA PALE ALE)! If you can't read the bottle label of the beer you're "RATING"... Please don't be one of the assholes that rate the beers! Well done Dogfish Head (as usual)!

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Photo of chugalug06
3.72/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice voluminous white fluffy head rises from a nicely orange/red brew. Decent clarity with good lacing.

Awesome sweet (granola?) aroma. Lots of crystal and toffee. Brilliant aroma.

Not a typical IPA. Lots of dry honey. Grainy, kinda bland for a DFH IPA. Kinda earthy and missing a lot of hop IBU's. Nothing overly memorable in the flavors. Could definitely use more blending. Deep flavors, but they never really develop into much more than earthy grains. Kinda bland/funky aftertaste. Carbonation is prickly and high, not very fitting.

Not quite what I had in mind for the description. But it's still good, just not memorable. I could use more blending and complexity with more rounded flavors and feel. A good offering by DFH, however, not sure I can recommend @ $14+

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Photo of Ego
3.56/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

one full finger of pock marked white foam form a lovely cap, a clean orange hue with amber notes peaking around the corners, a fairly good amount of carbonation commutes to the top to keep the head hanging about, lacing is excellent as this one is clingy as an over sexed dog just having at your leg, near post card looking beer

brownish euro hops (I know these are all american hops but they smell euro-ish to me) with honey tinged malt, slight stale bread notes, some of the herbal side of hops seems to dominate here, in a nice way

taste etc...
for a 9% club member this is mild going down, there is a real subtle sweetness that lingers, not quite honey flavor... some what more like nougat or something of that yarn, there is a slight ashy dryness in the finish which also has just a hint of carbonation bite, herbal notes tend to linger in the end.. kind of like really subtle menthol (is this hints of the alcohol?), a very interesting drink.... really sort of mild with some really strange things on the fringe.... but strange in a good way,

another nice brew from DFH, not a world beater but for such an ABV this is exceptionally balanced, I don't love it but it is hard to not just love sipping on it as it is an easy goer. definitely worth checking out as it does not clobber your brains with hops but yet has definite punch.

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Photo of ONUMello
3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle dated 10/1/13 poured into a DFH IPA glass
A: Amber colored with a 2+ finger head & nice carbonation
S: Lots of malt with more subtle notes of hops (mostly pine) and florals
T: Matches the nose - lots of malt with subtle hops and a grain/granola finish
M: Medium-bodied, pleasant carbonation
O: For an Imperial IPA per the bottle this is lacking in hops to balance all the malt. Overall it's nice, the malt profile is just a bit much making it a bit unbalanced, otherwise a nice beer

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle - Bullock's Wine & Spirits in Marietta, Georgia.

Bottled On: 10/01/13.

Appearance: Pours a clear, golden-orange body with a crest of whitish foam on top. Good lacing.

Smell: Sweetish, honeyed aroma with a range of fruity tones, citrus (predominately orange), tropical fruits, and even some simple orchard members. Additionally floral, herbal hop notes. Light nuttiness of the oats and, well, the nuts.

Taste: Fresh honey drizzled atop crunchy oats. Delicately toasted grains. Candied, sweet orange. Delightful nutty accents. Moderate bitterness, along with floral, citrusy hop tones and a low, light earthiness. Even a little pine-scented soap in the mouth. Late-breaking berry hints, dehydrated apple notes. Bitter-sweet, lightly citric, fruity finish that is definitely on the smooth side. A little medicinal tone lingering into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. Rather smooth, lightly creamy mouthfeel.

Overall: Varied, fairly interesting, nearly likeable.

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Photo of Dennycurr
4.89/5  rDev +27%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Let me tell ya....
As a Deadhead...I was intent on being very critical of a beer named after my boys.
Having the granola thing added----added to my skepticism.

It surpased all my expectations by leaps and bounds.

The look was elegant, tho not quite what I'd expect.
Was a deep gold with a fantastic head. Thought it would be prob.
These yahoos on here saying amber-ish and dark-ish...are crazy.
They must be trippin'...heh.
The taste was 1st F'in rate!
One of the best beers, of its kind I have tasted.
It is a shame this is a limited edition but, day-em...I'm glad I got to experience it.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.57/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into a snifter

Appearance – The beer pours a beautiful clear deep amber color with hints of red color within and a big and thick two finger white head. The head has an amazing level of retention very slowly fading over ~ 5 min. to leave a fantastic level of thick and foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is a nice blend of malty and sweet smells as well as a good dose of hop aromas. The malty and sweet are of a bready and light tropical fruit flavor of tangerine and a bit of mango with some other sweet smells of a caramel nature. The hop smell is a rather complex blend with a decent amount of grapefruit and grass and a moderate level of an herbal, grassy and floral nature. A little bit of graininess and alcohol round out the smell giving a rather big and hoppy smell overall.

Taste – The taste begins with a rather bready and doughy flavor with some flavors of tangerine sweetness as well as some caramel. Hop flavors of grapefruit and herb are present from the start with the grapefruit remaining fairly constant throughout and the herb gaining quite a bit more potency as the flavor advances. A bit of warm booziness comes to the tongue more toward the middle and the end, with some spicy hop flavors accompanying them. Some grass and funk also come to the tongue at this time as well as a bit of an astringent taste. In the end, a rather biting and slightly astringent and bitter, funky, boozed hop flavor is left to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the thicker and creamier side with a carbonation level that is on the lower side. Both are appropriate for the style, but a higher carbonation level may have been slightly nicer for the rather odd mix of hop, booze, malt and funk in this one.

Overall – Well.. It was OK, but really not worth the $12.00 price for a bottle. The look is fantastic and the taste starts out quite nice, but toward the end of the taste, due to a rather non-complementary set of flavors, leaves a somewhat disjunct flavor it linger on the tongue. I am glad I tried it, but would never buy it again.

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Photo of Braheem
4.19/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Enjoying this American beauty served from a recently filled growler poured into a hand blown snifter. I blow glass in my spare time and I enjoy drinking from my own glasses.

A semi aggressive pour yields a Beautiful 2finger head with moderate retention before dissipating to a thin white film. The brew is a light orange quite translucent. Find this beer is easy on the palate. Only very slightly bitter with minutely fruity undertones. The nose is not particular potent but neither is my sense of smell. Hints of honey can be detected (that's what my girlfriend tells me) the 9%ABV is extremely well hidden in this well balanced brew.

Overall a very solid beer for any season. This is the first offering I have sampled from Dogfish Head. I hope to sample more shortly.

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Photo of GreenJetta912
4.41/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance : crisp carbonation. Great head and average retention.

aroma: grapefruit hoppiness (cascadey) but with a definite malt presence. Invariably sweet-smelling with a fruity (orangy, grapefruity, slight lemon) hoppiness.

Middle: Absolutely perfect. Sweet, and citrusy. Unrivaled balance here. Incredibly great masking of 9 % ABV. This tastes like a 6-7% beer. Great sweetness and a noticable granola note. Great introduction of a non-traditional ingredient.

Finish: Grapefruity hops at first then a nice rounded and balanced smoothness.

Simple (by DFH standards) but a great beer. I hate The Grateful Dead but I love this beer. It's the antithesis of Pearl Jam Currant beer for me. Worth the price tag for me.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 750mL into a shaker pint, the beer is a slightly hazed, dark, honey-brown coloring with a tall, frothy, dense, clingy, off-white head that has some staying power. There is a thick, almost solid lacing left behind as you drink. Aromas of spicy and green hops, with pepper notes, honey sweetness, passion fruit and grapefruit, and resinous notes. Flavors are tangy forward, with a solid bitter undertone. Roasted toffee and nut, as well as some toasted oat character, with a light and tart citrus highlight, some resinous cedar notes, and hints of toffee and dark fruit. Smooth in mouth, with a subtle effervescence from the slow flow of carbonation. The aftertaste is a solid, balanced blend of bitter, sweet, and toasted grains. Slightly bitter and dry finish, with subtle lingering notes. Very solid, drinkable beer, and overall, a fitting tribute to a musical and cultural icon.

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Photo of jzeilinger
3.84/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a medium amber orange color with an evenly thick, creamy head and a steady stream of upward carbonation in the middle of the glass.

S - Alcohol, lime, some sweet orange, bready malt, pine, grassy citrus resin.

T - Sweet caramel malt base is sweet at the tip of the tongue and balanced out by moderate bitterness: pine, herbal, mango, toasted honey, oranges, and some spiciness. Ends with a spicy, piney, orange bitterness.

M - Medium to medium-full body.

O - Initially the alcohol effervescence takes a front seat and masks just about everything, 1/4 in after your palate adjusts to the punch of booziness different flavors start to emerge. Surprisingly, for the boozy effervescence the alcohol warming is kept to a minimum.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Nice lacing. Beer pours out a deep orange color with hop haze.

Tangerine hoppiness with some malty sweetness provided. Grapefruit, lime, and some piny woodiness.

Soft hoppiness with notes of orange, grapefruit, and fleshy papaya. Still, it's on the muted side compared to sweet and semi-tangy malts. It's tasty, but the execution is lacking. Also, too much alcohol is coming through.

Too boozy. Slick and slightly oily with light-medium viscosity. Carb level is medium.

A good IPA, with all due respect, but the aim is almost wasted.

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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?

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Photo of rlee1390
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Clear orange in the glass, one finger head that leaves behind nice lacing.

S-Lots of bread, wheat (must be from the granola). Tad bit of citrus but not much. Some hops but was expecting a tad more from a DFH IPA.

T-Like the nose, it starts bready. Then grass and floral notes take over. Slight citrus, not much bitterness but nicely balanced.

M-Medium bodied, nicely carbonated.

O-A good beer but needed some more hops/bitterness to give it a well rounded IPA flavor.

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Photo of smcolw
3.76/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Impressive starting head. Settles slowly and in a lumpy fashion. Leaves some ring and spotty lace. The brew is dirty gold with the mildest of hazes.

White pepper spice for the hop aroma. Some creamy pale malt nose as well.

Surprising alcohol presence. Brief pale malt flavor with a touch of sweetness. Straight forward bitterness without any of the complexities of most American IPAs these days. Creamy aftertaste of black pepper bitterness. Thin body for the style with a slightly elevated level of carbonation.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, bottled on 9/25/2013. Served in a Dogfish Head IPA glass, the beer pours a clear orange/amber color with about an inch off-white head that stays around for a long time. There's also a good amount of lacing. Aroma is nice, it smells like citrusy hops, honey, grainy malt, oats, and some light berries. I think the taste is mostly like the aroma, it tastes like citrusy and light floral hops, grainy malt, oats, honey, and a bit of berries/fruitiness. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit slick and creamy with moderate carbonation. I think it's a good Imperial Pale Ale, and it's certainly worth trying. $11.99 a bottle.

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Photo of John_M
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at 16 tons the other day.

The beer pours an orange amber color with fairly decent head retention and lacing. The nose is pretty one dimensional and simple, but it is pleasant, as I pick up some light orange citrus, some sweet malt and maybe a hint of vanilla. On the palate, the beer isn't bad at all and is very easy to appreciate. I read that input from the deadhead community lead to the introduction of granola as one of the ingredients, and I'll be damned if the flavor profile doesn't remind me of fresh, fairly sweet, granola. Otherwise, the flavor profile tends to replicate the nose pretty closely. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, and I have to say, there is no way I would have guessed the abv. was that high (9%? Really?).

Nothing earthshattering here, but this is a pleasasnt enough beer. If the price tag wasn't so ridiculously high, I might even order it again some time. However, if wishes were horses beggars would ride; bottom line is, the price is so over the top expensive that it's just plain absurd, and so nanturally I won't be ordering this ever again.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.19/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Saw this on the shelf at Joe Canal's in Woodbridge a few weeks back and was intrigued - the granola, the bear, and of course, the love of the Grateful Dead led me to pick this up. I never really listened to them but given that the Weyerbacher "Althea" was also part of my haul that night and the last beer that I reviewed before this, how could I not have this on a nice, windy fall day that required a hoppy beer to warm me up? With that aforementioned song cued up here, I gave this beer a go (sans rose petals in the bathtub).

The pour to this beer was great, as it had a radiant and nearly-clear copper hue, 3/4" head that wouldn't quit, and lacing that reflected where the beer leveled off after each sip that I took. Not a terribly strong aroma to this but the hops were solidly present along with the grainy granola that was part of this beer's allure. That chewy and somewhat rough aspect was in the taste, which lead to a grainy mouthfeel. Combined with rye and honey, that lead to a wonderful taste that was both solid and easygoing at the same time. This almost felt like a Rye IPA or a Barleywine since it was just a bit rough around the edges and there was just a bit of oily slickness in the aftertaste to make this a slow sipper, as the mouthfeel and consistency grew on me quite nicely and quite quickly!

Yes, this was strong but like anything worth enjoying, that's an afterthought because this was a beer that was not meant to be quaffed down in a hurry. The Dead payed at the Meadowlands here in Jersey more than at any other location and even though I never saw them there or anywhere else, the write-up on the side of the bottle expressed the desire to bottle the essence of a Dead show. Like a Green Flash beer, there's enough of a "skunk" here to make me think that I'm in the midst of haze of 420 but with the chewy and grainy granola aspect thrown in, has me thinking that a "crunchie" gave this to me at a concert. No matter - I enjoyed this and hopheads, deadheads, or even heads of a household would be wise to seek out this earthy, seemingly organic beer. There's a lot to like here for those who enjoy a beer that helps one to turn on , tune in, and drop out.

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Photo of Brenden
4.19/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A heavy bronze color in the snifter, American Beauty shines a bright medium orange in the light, letting it in but not through to remain completely opaque. The head, barely off-white, seems to never fall past the creamy, heavy full finger it begins with. Extremely creamy webbing to nearly the bottom of the glass proceeds from a thick ring at the top.
The smell is sweet and fruity up front, lots of jammy berry with an earthy tone and leafy hops adding balance. A little bit of a honey note accentuates the sweetness, with nut giving some more depth.
The berries and earth are first on the tongue. While I wasn't sure going in how I felt about granola in a beer, in the middle it tastes like I'm crunching on it and it works here. Leaf and flora add a light bitterness to balance, and I find lots of nuttiness in the finish. Overall, it's really juicy and fresh, and I really like it. There's complexity, layers to discover and lots of flavor overall. The ratings seem a little low, but it's subjective to a point.
It's lightly crisp all the way through. The body is medium and there's a flowing creaminess on the tongue. Neither the crispness nor the smoothness ever waver.

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Photo of millerbuffoon
3.62/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured a light amber color with a decent inch head. Moderate lacing. The taste is on the maltier side of an IPA, not a ton of hops, in the nose or the taste either. Didn't get the granola flavor until the second half of the bomber, but it was there! Not a bad offering from DFH, but not one I would visit again.

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American Beauty from Dogfish Head Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 158 ratings.