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Rosabi - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

70 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 70
Hads: 550
Avg: 3.67
pDev: 38.42%
Wants: 21
Gots: 87 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Brewery visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ThatsThatDude on 05-15-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

An Imperial Pale Ale brewed with wasabi.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 70 | Hads: 550
Photo of sjdevel
4.66/5  rDev +27%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2 finger head, poured from a 750ml bottle. Head retention is quite good and lacing continues for quite some time. After the head recedes, I was left with a nice foam ring around the glass. Deep amber/brown color and quite hazy and opaque.

Smells of powerful hops, fruit, and caramelly malts. There definitely is a spicy aroma that arises with each swirl of the glass.

At first there is a hop bite, then a sweet caramelly wave that comes through. It is not long before you get the rush of tangy wasabi. It comes in very forcefully along with some warmth. It's very noticeable, but it doesn't overpower your taste buds. Then there is a nice floral-hoppy finish that balances all.

Fairly full boded brew. A little thick and syrupy feeling.

Loved this one as I do all of Dogfish Head's brews. This one was so unique and unlike anything I have tasted before. I am a huge wasabi fan so this one was right up my alley. I will grab another one of these if I see one as it looks like it has been retired.

I am an off-centered person and I love their off-centered beers!

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"The vivid rose hue of Rosabi comes from a combination of Munich and Caramel malts and a touch of red rice from Louisiana, birthplace of musician and collaborator Julianna Barwick. Citrusy Simcoe and Centennial feed Julianna's love of hops, and the star of the show is her go-to ingredient: wasabi. What's hoppy? ,,, Wasabi. The Japanese root adds bittering and herbal notes simolar to hops, with its subel heat creepin in after the kick of carbonation. It's expansive from start to finish. So go ahead, take a sip, toss your head back, and howl at the red Rosabi moon." Brewed in the style of an American Pale Ale with Wasabi added. Available in 750 ml. bottles and on limited draft.

Poured from a 750 ml. bottle to a tulip glass.

(Appearance) Pours a foamy, smooth head of a batter-white color over a mildly hazy copper-orange body with ample carbonation. Retention is good and lacing is light and spotty. 4

(Smell) Light bread malts, slight caramel graininess and delicate pale syrup base, with the bold bittering aromas of lemony, grassy and murky citrus hops, also a distinctive aroma that I deduce to be Wasabi with a bit of subtle heat on the aroma. Potency is moderate. 3.5

(Taste) The impact of the wasabi is noticeable from the initial impact of the first sip with a slightly vegetal bittering agent throughout the flavor profile although the overall impact is much more transparent than I had imagined. Bread malts, caramel and delicate graininess, a lingering mild vegetable bitterness that I can only describe as slightly piney, slightly minty at this point but all-around very interesting- it makes little to no impact on the finish of this beer with heat, the spiciness is virtually gone as are the hop profiles included in this ale. Pretty interesting, fairly curious impact of wasabi, those who fear an overpowered ale can try this ale without fear, but for wasabi fans, this ale may leave something to be desired. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, lightly chewy, smooth, mildly dry. Carbonation is light, generating a mild frothiness and a lightly crisp finish. Body is medium for the style, medium overall. Balance is slightly sweet over bitter. Alcohol presence is light and there are no off characters. 3.5

(Overall) I'm a bit saddened that I missed trying this ale at a younger age but part of me intended to hold off in case the wasabi was overly brash and intensely spicy when freshly bottled. What remains is a fairly enjoyable pale ale with a notable flavor of wasabi, but not overly dominant nor overly spicy and harsh. It's very distinctive and unique as far as flavors go and I think it would accent certain fruit beers fairly nicely. One may have to see if Dogfish Head ventures this way and rebrews this ale again but at its current age I'd sooner venture away from this incarnation than seek it out. 3.5

Dogfish Head Brewery's

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Photo of metter98
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is hazy reddish amber in color. It poured with a quarter finger high beige head that died down a bit but never completely faded away and left some bubbles down the sides of the glass.
S: Light aromas of wasabi are present in the nose; these become a bit stronger as the beer warms up.
T: The taste starts out with some light flavors of caramel and toasted malts and then transitions to some notes of wasabi. There is a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. No crispness is present.
O: This seems to be rather weak for a wasabi beer as you just get some notes of it in the smell and the finish of the taste.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of mrfrancis
2.39/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a clear amber with a fizzy, quickly dissipating whitish head.

S: Aromas of caramel and biscuit are met by earthy, fruity scents of wasabi, herbs, and mild citrus. This ale seems very neutral and somewhat unappealing on the nose compared to many of Dogfish Head's recent products.

T: The entry presents muddled notes of brown sugar, caramel, biscuit, cream, pine, juniper, cedar, grapefruit pith, lemon rind, and herbs. The finish presents herbal, cedar hop and sweet caramel notes with a slight wasabi kick.

M: On the lighter side of medium and initially slick, though it turns sticky pretty quickly. Carbonation is airy and delicate. Alcohol is barely detectable. The stickiness and underpowered carbonation couple with the odd flavor and unappealing aroma to make this beer really difficult to drink.

O: This is probably one of the worst Dogfish Head beers that I have tried to this point. They were really trying too hard with this one and it shows. In my opinion, everything about this beer is unappealing; the muddy color, lack of head retention, neutral aroma, awkward flavor combination, sticky body, and underwhelming carbonation mark this as one on which to pass.

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Photo of RobAM
3.29/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I really enjoy a good pale ale and this one is no exception... However I don't taste wasabi in this. If you told me it was just a pale I probably would have scored it a bit higher.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
1.77/5  rDev -51.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.25

Poured into a snifter.

3.5 A: Well hazed amber copper color. Two fingers of frothy/pillowy beige head. Retention is about average and lots of lacing is left.

1.5 S: This smells interesting, but not good. The wasabi makes it smells like rotting vegetables. I'm not sure what else to say. It smells like a terribly brewed homebrew. Some caramel and doughiness. Orange citrus hoppiness.

1.75 T: It doesn't taste as bad as it smells, but it's not much better. This is just freaking weird and not in the usual good way that DFH manages. Again the wasabi gives a strange vegetal flavor. Unfortunately, it offers almost no heat, which could have helped a bit. Herbs, vegetables, tree bark, caramel, doughy yeastiness.

2.5 M: Heavier medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Too chewy for my liking.

1.25 D: This beer is tough to drink. There's a good chance I'm going to dump some of this, which is something I've only ever done one other time. Wasabi gets put on my "do not brew with" list without a second thought.

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Photo of trickynicky
2.4/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

For me this was a beer I could only slowly sip, I struggled to finish it. It's far from a bad beer, but I don't think wasabi pairs well as an ingredient in beer.

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

We pop a 750mL, pouring into our Great Lakes pints. It appears a beautiful auburn grapefruit coloring, supporting a two finger head of creamy, full oatmeal colored bubbles, showing excellent retention into cakey sheets of lacing and a resistant film across the top of the liquid. A thick, persistent haze dims clarity, and tiny hunks of sediment are found throughout. Carbonation appears to be light. The aroma gives heavy malty sugariness of caramel, pale, and rye maltiness, buttery diacetyls, pesto saltiness, steel, cereal grain, syrupy and floury flapjack sweetness, nectary hoppiness, light molasses, cinnamon and white pepper spiciness, tomato soup, raw cauliflower, floral rose, and finally with warmth, on the back, we appreciate a subtle wasabi twang. The flavoring gives vegetal, metallic, and softly spicy wasabi from the very front of the very first sip. Following through is a blend of buttered popcorn Jelly Bellies, heavy but dusty caramel malty roast, dry pale and amber grain and grit, dried metallic straw, grassy and soapy hoppiness, peppery booze, vegetal poblano peppers, fermented strawberries and rhubarb, mineral water, melted brown sugar, old paper towel, hollow ethanol, Magic Marker phenols, and chemical chlorine. The body is quite full, and the carbonation is medium, but soft. Each sip gives nice slurp, smack, cream, and froth, with a wet finishing pop. The mouth is left warmed somewhat neutral, but somehow both cooled and spiced, with a bit of a dry touch to the far back of the palate. The abv is appropriate, but on the high end stylistically, and the beer drinks back only okay.

Overall, this was an interesting beer. The wasabi is surely there as an additive, but I’m not entirely confident we would pick up on it if it weren’t plastered all over the bottle and in its name. Heat is mild and circumstantial; it doesn’t come close to being robust of frontal. The latter would have been nicer. It’s funny, actually, the best things about this beer are its supporting elements, such as appearance and feel. This is a gorgeous beer, in both color and head, while the feel is somewhat thick and hearty for the style. Unfortunately, none of this makes up for drinkability, which remains burdensome and novelty-driven for something labeled as a “pale ale”. We will always have a special place in our hearts for Dogfish Head, but it saddens us to see how poorly some of their beers can compete against some of the more edgy but excellently executed contenders that push the boundaries for their styles or ingredients respectively.

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Photo of Rbodacious
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Supported solidly by the constant high level quality from Dogfish.
This IMPA exhibits a gorgeous hue orange to a red line capped with a thick froth head.
Pepper hop spice scent is noted and is repeated slightly stronger on the tounge. Nice chili bitterness spreads, expanding to a semi sweet malt finish-then an
encore of peppery dryness. Satisfying and unique- totally Dogfish.

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Photo of mchegash
3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - 3.75/5
The bottle claimed this beer had a "vivid rose hue", but it poured pretty orange-looking to me. Perhaps some red/brown hues to it, but basically it's an orange-red-brown color, emphasis on the orange. There is probably one finger of head. The beer is moderately clear. An average amount of carbonation is visible and is rising at a slightly slower than average rate. The look isn't bad, but I would have liked the brew to actually be red(-dish).

Smell - 3/5
Smells of citrus-pine hops. Couldn't really smell much beyond that. I would have liked to get some of the wasabi spiciness in the smell.

Taste - 2.8/5
Some sweet maltiness, a lot of pine-citrus hopiness. Maybe a hint of spiciness, but no more than that. I was kind of disappointed by the taste. I was hoping for more of a spice kick due to the wasabi, but there really wasn't any. This just tasted like a standard IPA (an expensive one!), for the most part. Also, the aftertaste is not very good.

Mouthfeel - 3.6/5
Beer is medium-light in body, fairly crisp. A fairly good carbonation kick, but far from overpowering.

Overall - 3/5
The wasn't a terrible beer, but it just didn't really stand out in any of the ways I was hoping for. The color wasn't red, I could barely detect the wasabi spiciness. The taste was only mediochre. I would never get this again, nor recommend this to others. Not because it's bad, but because I feel like I can get a better beer for way cheaper just getting a standard quality IPA.

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Photo of ism
4.11/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Preconceptions do this a disservice. The sharp freshness of wasabi is obliterated in the brewing process, but its essence is strong in the form of am herbaceous earthiness that combines well with resin and earthy hops.

It is fundamentally an IPA, and does well in that regard, delivered in an interestingly cloudy brown body with a 2-finger palomino head and below average retention. It is an artful offering and enjoyable in its uniqueness and strong base.

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Photo of Pencible
3.82/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured a cloudy copper with thick light tan head.
S: It smelled like bitter citrus and herbal hops, with caramel malt and chalky wasabi paste.
T: It tasted like bitter citrus zest and resin hops, with some chalky and spicy wasabi and earthy caramel malt. It had a clean and slightly spicy bitter aftertaste.
M: It was slightly thick with lots of carbonation. Decent body.
D: This was an interesting brew that accomplished exactly what the beer seemed to intend. Nicely balanced scent and taste that clearly showed the wasabi without it being overpowering. The body was ok, with a surprisingly smooth finish, so it wasn't difficult to drink at all. Not an instant classic, but a successful eccentric brew that's fun to try once.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Bottle: Poured a deep amber color ale with a nice large foamy head with excellent retention and some lacing. Aroma of citrus hops is pretty dominant with some lightly caramelized malt. Taste is also dominated by strong citrus hoppy notes with some light spicy undertones and some toasted malt notes. There is also quite a bit of residual sugar in this beer. Body is full with good carbonation. I was expecting the beer to be quite a bit more spicy but the wasabi notes were quite subtle.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served from tap in a snifter at Beelow's.

What, no ginger? Anyway, this stuff pours a clear brass topped by a half-finger of soapy off-white foam. The nose comprises herbaceous greens, light biscuit, and a bit of dark pine. The taste is primarily a blunt streak of mild pine resin, sweet biscuit, and dark greenery, though the wasabi does occasionally make itself known in the form of an odd herbaceous character (and, no, there's not heat here whatsoever). I wanna say some wild rice comes through, too, but I can't really be sure; maybe it's just my constant drifting to the thought of sushi right now... The body is a stolid medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a mostly fluid feel. Overall, this beer had an interesting idea, but the execution never reaches the heights of that piquancy. Instead of a spicy, wasabi-invigorated departure from the norm, we are given a mild, malty pale ale that leaves me wanting. It's not bad, but nothing I'll ever likely wanna drink again.

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Photo of NinjaJesus
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%

Gotta love dogfish head. They always make a wonderfully balanced beer. The wasabi acts like another hop and gives a beautiful and slightly spicy green note that you feel in your nose. Definitely will drink again

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter.

Appearance: A hazy copper body, heavy bubbles within the frame and white head which is thick on the initial pour rising about to a notch or two below a finger's length.

Smell: Light hops scent,

Taste: Smooth, real smooth...to dislike it is almost a sin. Bitter with a sour after taste. Comes off like lemon and mustard with pieces of spiciness. LIght but complex, almost feels like a liquid meal.

Mouth: Full carbonation, feels bready almost like a bavarian lager but has this sourness to it almost citrussy at the end as well.

Overall: I don't know what the bashing is about this beer, it is something totally different but not exactly spectacular. It exceeded my expectations by far, maybe a little pricey but worth purchasing. Salud!

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Photo of Tone
3.78/5  rDev +3%

Pours a hazy, copper color. 2/3 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of sweet malt, hops, alcohol, hint of pine, and wasabi. Mouth feel is sharp and clean, with an average carbonation level. There is also a slight heat/warmth. Fits the style of an American Pale Ale. Tastes of sweet malt, hint of pale malt, hint of hop, hint of wasabi, and a hint of alcohol. Overall, good appearance, decent aroma, body, and blend.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.47/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Rosabi pours a hazy bronze color with a big white fluffy head. There is a bigger hoppy aroma with a nice wasabi note. The taste is old hops, with very few but some wasabi flavors. Very flat body, weaker flavors. Overall interesting idea, but doesn't pan out.

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Photo of pat61
4.4/5  rDev +19.9%

This is a very scary sounding beer that works surprisingly well. You first notice the wasabi upon opening the bottle where it joins some malt and spice aromas.
The beer pours hazy copper tinted amber under a 2” very finely bubbled lightly copper tinted off-white foam cap.
As the creamy brew sweeps over the palate, malt, fruit, a light bitterness and a touch of sweetness first appear then a little wasabi heat comes through on the finish with a little vegetal astringency. In the middle you start to notice flavors suggesting Sake and realize it’s the red rice that is being used to slim down the body while boosting the alcohol. Sam Calagione is using the wasabi instead of hops and he manages to squeeze just the right amount of bitterness out of the wasabi to balance the malt and the red rice while keeping the wasabi heat to reasonable levels.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.3/5  rDev -10.1%

Pours a two finger off-white head that fades slowly leaving some lace. Light hazy amber color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Light grassy, grapefruit nose and flavor is grapefruit hops, no heat from the wasabi. Lingering grapefruit aftertaste. $9.99 for a 750ml bottle from Julio's Liquors Westborough, Ma.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%

I enjoyed this from the bomber chilled in a IPA glass, review taken from notes ...shared with Rich and JC.

The color is rosy with light haze and fast moving bubbles are visible with thick white head with fine bead and stringy lace pattern. The smell has a fruity ester with slight orange essence and hop aroma with spice note and slight grapefruit in the back with mild wasabi earthy odor. The feel has a very tangy citrus quality up front with moderately high bitterness and light spice texture with medium carbonation and semi-dry spicy finish.

The taste is good with fruity and citrus hop qualities with a light dank herbal aspect and slight yeast flavor contributing with a subtle earthy wasabi peppery flavor in the middle and mild toasted grain with slight horseradish bitter wasabi flavor toward the finish. Overall interesting and very good as far as strong pale ales go with nice spice and hop combo, I would drink this again

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Photo of kojevergas
2.01/5  rDev -45.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

1 pint 9.4 fl oz brown glass bottle with appealing label art and branded brass-colour pry-off pressure cap acquired at a local H-E-B grocery and served cold into a snifter at low altitude in Austin, Texas.

Reviewed live as an "imperial pale ale" per the label. 8.00% ABV. Expectations are below average given the brewery (and style).

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 2 fingers wide. Off-white colour. Fairly frothy. Has a nice smooth even consistency and a soft appearance. A light coating of lacing sticks to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Retention is above average - about 3-4 minutes. Creaminess and thickness is decent.

BODY: Vibrant gold colour with orange hues. Translucent and transparent. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible. Clean.

It's a good overall appearance for a pale ale; the vibrance in particular is nice. Appears very well-carbonated. While it's not unique or special, I'm looking forward to trying it.

AROMA: Generic floral hop character. Hints of faint diacetyl/buttery off-character. Pale malts. Munich malts. Caramalt.

Dogfish Head's hoppy brews are often criticized for their sweetness; this is shaping up to be anything but an exception. It's mind-boggling a beer touted as an "imperial pale ale" (not even an IPA) could somehow still be overmalted.

I don't find anything of interest in terms of hop character: no citrus, no pine, no nectar, no oils, no herbal notes...all it has is that boring floral hop character.

I find none of the red rice or wasabi mentioned on the label, nor is there even a nasal spiciness that would indicate the presence of wasabi or horseradish.

Alcohol presence is poorly disguised considering the mere 8% ABV. No yeasty notes are detectable.

It's an underwhelming aroma, but doesn't offend. Average in strength. My biggest issue is the bland hop profile, which suggests quite an insipid pale ale indeed.

TASTE: I do pick up on the wasabi note in the first act and early second act, and boy does it just plain not work in this flavour profile. It's not spicy (both in terms of heat on the palate and in the horseradish-y nasal sense), but it does have a weird herbal feel to it. There's an odd herbal note on the finish as well - could be the red rice, could be the wasabi. Either way, those notes do not belong in a pale ale, and do not work.

The foundation is doughy and raw, and is littered with unwelcome vegetable notes. Hopwise, all we get is boring floral hop notes. Pale malts, Munich malts, caramalt. It's a biteen grassy. It's got some creamy notes, which don't work well in a pale ale in my opinion - or at least not in this one.

I'm straining for positive feedback here: the beer hides its ABV better than the aroma suggests. It's not the spicy sinus-annihilating trainwreck it could have been given its premise.

I can't stay positive very long...this is a mess of a brew, with plenty of off-notes and little else. Even if you subtracted the off-character, there'd still be an overly sweet pale malt base with a bland hop profile. It has more cohesion than it ought to considering how much the flavours the clash with the malt base, but no one could genuinely call this a balanced brew. There's no interesting subtlety here, and the beer flat-out fails at providing a satisfying drinking experience. I'm definitely not liking this one.

TEXTURE: Smooth, wet, buttery, medium-bodied, moderately thick, and a bit too heavy on the palate. Unrefreshing. Fairly soft. Overly creamy for the style.

This texture is not a good companion to the taste, but I'm glad it's not bitingly crisp or overcarbonated. Overall presence on the palate is subpar, largely due to the problematic buttery feel.

OVERALL: I'll finish this with effort, but the buttery feel, diacetyl off-notes, and horribly misguided vegetable notes make this very hard to recommend. I expected a subpar beer given the brewery, but this is so far off the mark it's hard to believe it even made it to market. More usage of gimmicky ingredients masquerading as experimental boundary-pushing brewing. This reminds me why there's often a long period of time between my reviews of Dogfish Head beers; how can you not be turned off when they're putting out beers like this at the prices they do?

High D-

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Photo of predikit
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

My gaze passed by this, and I decided to pick it up.

500 ml bottle, poured over two servings into a pint glass.

Dark amber pour, with a pale amber head, that stuck around for a bit.

No lasting feel in the mouth, crisp on entrance and exit.

The hops are very pungent, piney and grass like. Completely overpowers anything else in this brew, I cannot say I detect any Wasabi notes whatsoever.

Not terrible, not amazing, but I'm glad I had the chance to give it a go.

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Photo of smcolw
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The bottle foams over when first opened. The head starts off there-fingers thick. Decent spots on the glass for lace. Cloudy with dark gold color.

Very clean and balanced smell. Solid, mildly toasted malt with a steady presence of hop bitterness.

The taste mimics the nose except the alcohol bite is quite noticeable. Smooth body with a comfortable level of carbonation. Surprisingly short aftertaste, although there is a lingering pepper-ness long after the swallow.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

750ml capped bottle at fridge temp poured into a large mug, leaving about an inch and a half behind and any sediment it contained. Bottled on 5/23/2014.

Pours slightly hazy amber/bronze with a medium sized off white head that sustains itself nicely with a significant amount of active carbonation. Smell is hay, mild yeast, something vegetative.

Taste is malty with a nice, slightly hidden bitter backbone and just the slightest hint of wasabi (which I wouldn't have detected or named if it wasn't printed on the label).

Mouthfeel is thick and a little chewy. Overall, it's not bad.

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Rosabi from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 70 ratings.