Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

American Beauty - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
American BeautyAmerican Beauty

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

158 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 158
Hads: 1,083
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 10.13%
Wants: 75
Gots: 233 | 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
Reviews: 158 | Hads: 1,083
Photo of sjones5045
4.06/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

4/10/15

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. (193 characters)

Photo of pat61
4.41/5  rDev +14.5%
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. (878 characters)

Photo of 31Sam13
4.82/5  rDev +25.2%
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... (292 characters)

Photo of Cavanaghty
3.76/5  rDev -2.3%
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. (332 characters)

Photo of mynie
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
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. (1,120 characters)

Photo of tempest
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
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. (434 characters)

Photo of NoseOverTail
4.26/5  rDev +10.6%
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! (453 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)

Photo of TheCraftBrewReview
3.55/5  rDev -7.8%
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. (2,575 characters)

Photo of TBoneJones
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
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. (977 characters)

Photo of RoamingGnome
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
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! (451 characters)

Photo of CHickman
4/5  rDev +3.9%
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. (2,233 characters)

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

Unique bottle label data: none noted

Brilliant and deep-hued copper colored body with a very thick, rocky head; lots of lively carbonation. Grand floral aroma combined with a touch of sweet grains; spruce resin; mild toasted cereal. Initial flavor strongly talked alcohol; subsequent sips revealed a more in-depth bit of soft, grainy sweetness; Captain Crunch cereal taste; mild fruit. Medium bodied; smooth and silky; mostly dry finish.

Although not quite what I expected (I anticipated a bolder malt and grain character), the beer grows on you with its varied and, generally, complex flavors. The boozy component detracts from the overall appeal. It's somewhat hot and astringent. Still, one may find this another intriguing and appealing quirky DFH offering that's worth the experience. (791 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 sprucetip
3.81/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful golden/copper with fizzy white head that fades fast.

Smells grainy, a little boozy, and faintly of citrusy hops. I have a bit of a cold, so my ability to smell is not optimum.

Tastes a bit boozy, mildly hoppy, and with time I get some toasty and sweet malty flavors. Liking it better as time passes, but would prefer it to be IIPA instead of IAPA.

Adequately carbonated, medium full body, clean finish with a bit of lingering bitterness.

This is what it says it is. It tastes like an amped up pale ale, and I would have to say that they nailed. Yet I would much rather it be an Imperial IPA. But it's good. And my fellow deadheads asked for there to be granola in it, so I guess they had to work with that! (721 characters)

Photo of WhiteHillsStore
4.24/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a rich golden color with a thin fizzy head that trails the glass. The smell has a bit of toasted malt from the granola as well as a decent amount of citrus from the hops. The taste was very bright with hops being the focal point with the granola coming through in bits and pieces. Very well balanced and hides the heavy alcohol content well. Would definitely try again. (375 characters)

Photo of Kendo
3.96/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 11-14-14; consumed on 1-9-15, making this one about 7 weeks old.

A: Poured from the bomber into a Piraat tulip/snifter-type glass. Body is clear coppery-orange with a thin off-white film of head on top. Nice, bright look to this.

S: A faint mustiness detracts from the overall impression. I get tropical fruits over sweetish malt.

T: Tropical fruity hops (mango and pineapple) up front, then after the swallow I get a balance of caramel malt and hops, with a touch of lemon showing up along with the tropical fruit. Lingering spiciness too, plus heat from the ABV felt on the way down.

M: Medium to full in heft with moderate carbonation.

O: Good. Nothing phenomenal, however. A bit sweeter than I like my DIPAs to be. Too heavy overall to be drinking till the morning comes. (793 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 jdhilt
3.79/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a three finger cream head that fades very slowly leaving a good lace. Crystal clear, amber color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Grapefruit hop nose and flavor follows - grapefruit hops, hints of honey in background. Light lingering bitterness. $14.00 for a 750ml bottle from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, Me. (319 characters)

Photo of dd43
3.59/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the 750 (7 weeks old) into an IPA glass. So Dogfish went ahead and built a granola IPA, which delivers a nutty, more malty, and slightly more boozy version of a traditional IPA. I suppose they delivered, but I'm not ready to call it a winning concept. Pretty drinkable for 9% and the flavor improves as it warms, but this beer [literally] feels more experimental than what I was anticipating.

Looks great from the pour, nice fat head and moderate lacing, perfectly translucent and deep orange in color. Looks like carbonated bourbon. Flavor wise I get some muted honey and bitter peanut/almond skin, combined with a run of the mill hop profile. Caramel malts seem to be fighting with the granola like in laws rather than getting along like a happily married couple.

I guess I was thinking the granola would yield more of an oatmeal-esque smoothness, but instead the mouthfeel is more grainy than that. Perhaps my expectations were off in this regard.

Worth sharing with a friend, you won't have a bad time with this beer but you aren't going to be transported back to a Dead show either. (1,105 characters)

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

Caramel malt dominant, with notes of resin. Slightly nutty and oaty. Flavor is malty, as well, with a bitter, resiny finish that's a little more than I prefer. (159 characters)

Photo of cyclonece09
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured on tap in a snifter. Pours red orange with a small white head. Smells of piney and citrus hops. Tastes of earthy hops with a nice bite and just enough maltiness to keep it interesting. Beer is very smooth and extremely drinkable for abv. Overall, a very good beer. (271 characters)

Photo of avalon07
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a clear texture. There was an inch and a half of foamy, fairly long-lasting head. Great lacing.

S: A surprisingly sweet aroma of light, tropical fruit, malt, and hops.

T: Tasted of a good amount of hops, malt, a nutty quality, honey, and light fruit (mango?). An unusual flavor (it wouldn't be a DFH beer if it wasn't) that succeeds in most ways. Light, sweet and sharp.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a slick finish. Medium-bodied.

O: On the whole, this is an enjoyable beer. Not really classifiable in terms of style, but worthwhile. (603 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
3.43/5.00 (2,236 characters)

Photo of zac16125
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750mL bottle into a tulip
Bottled on: partially rubbed off but I think 11/14/14

A: Pours a crystal clear dark copper with 2.5 fingers width of light tan head that has good retention and leaves lots of lacing. 4.5

S: Pale malts, some hop spice, malt sweetness, a bit of citrus rind, very subtle booze. Nice, but straightforward and nothing crazy. 3.75

T: Lots of hop spice, a noticeable booze, significant bitterness on the finish. Citrus rind, pine. Lots of floral notes. Interesting hop profile, that grew on me as I continued to drink. Quite enjoyable. 4

M/D: Fuller side of medium body, carbonation appropriate, somewhat dry finish, ABV is noticeable but its not hot, drinkability is very good. 4

O: Its a nice thought, throw some granola in there to appease us hippies. Unfortunately I didn’t get any of the “almond honey granola” notes in either the taste or aroma. Oh well. Still a solid brew, but definitely not worth the price tag. Dat bottle label though… 3.75 (995 characters)

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