Rosabi - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

541 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 541
Reviews: 75
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 13.81%
Wants: 21
Gots: 85 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 541 | Reviews: 75
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
More User Reviews:
Photo of kojevergas
2.01/5  rDev -44.5%
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-

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.17/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This was an attractive beer. In a snifter it was a strikingly clear cherry amber color. There was a thick tan head that receded quickly, leaving a bit of lace.

Aroma was very herbal and earthy. Peppery in the nose. A bit of sweet fruit.

Herbal taste (? oregano). There was some late, subtle heat that I assumed was the wasabi. A little fruity, but in the background.

Medium-bodied and spicy.

I liked this beer a lot; I see I'm in the minority on this issue.

Photo of pat61
4.4/5  rDev +21.5%

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.

Photo of MattyG85
4.21/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice. Bottled on 05/13/14.

Appearance: Pours a deep amber orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. Big three finger off white head with decent retention. Leaves a good amount of lacing.

Smell: An earthy, herbal, and pretty spicy aroma with big hints of wasabi and hops. Big upfront scent of the wasabi spice giving some herbal and floral hints. Earthy hop hints of grass and slight pine. Citrus hop hints of orange, lemon, grapefruit, and pineapple. Pale malt with hints of caramel, biscuit, grains, straw, and yeast. A very interesting and pretty good aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, an earthy, herbal, and very spicy hop forward taste with big notes of wasabi and hops. Earthy hop notes of grass and pine resin. Citrus hop notes of grapefruit, orange peel, lemon, and pineapple. Big presence of the wasabi spicing giving some herbal and floral notes. Solid malt presence with sweet notes of caramel, biscuit, straw, grains, and yeast. Nicely bitter and spicy. A pretty good taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Spicy, juicy, and pretty drying on the finish. Some heat is felt but its probably more from the wasabi than alcohol.

Overall: A pretty interesting and solid twist on a Pale Ale. Good combination of wasabi and hops with a solid caramel malt backing.

Photo of PeterParker
3.82/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours into a Dogfish glass a translucent maroon with a beige finger of head.

Nose is very interesting. I'm getting spice and malt. No hop aroma detected. Predominantly horseradish but not quite. It kind of smells like steak actually. Interesting.

Tastes like sweetened wasabi. Spicy malty goodness. The wasabi is present but subtle. Very drinkable. Perfect dinner beer, like red wine.

Thick, smooth, and savory, would pair well with burgers or steak. Mild wasabi is in the aftertaste as well.

Overall this is very drinkable and nice if you're eating. It is different in many ways which is why it's worth a look.

Photo of rdilauro
3.54/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This one has been intriguing me for a while now. I love Wasabi, so a brew with a hint of wasabi from the red Rosabi tree, how could I not go for it.

This poured like a golden tan ale with a medium semi-white creamy head. There was nothing to really distinguish from the nose, so I went right in for the sip. The taste was round and soft, semi-big, but no real wasabi flavors. It wasnt until after the beer was down, did I find a trace of wasabi. Nothing hot or spicy, but a nice grainy dryness you sometimes get from wasabi made from powder.

The aftertaste stayed for a while and it was real pleasant. A real nice surprise from the brewery that never stops surprising.

Photo of ZachHodgson
3.59/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.75

A: As the name implies, this beer is a beautiful ros´e with excellent lacing. Upon pouring, it blooms to a full two-finger head that dissipates over the enjoyment of the glass to a thin capping of foam that persists throughout the experience.

S: This beer is fruity and sweet on the nose, and has a fruity punch from the Centennial hops balanced with the earthy qualities of the Simcoe. i'm having trouble picking up the wasabi except for possibly a complexity in the aroma.

T: Sweet, but resinous, this well-balanced beer borders on IPA-like bitterness and alcohol burn with a less assertive bittering that betrays it's APA roots. I'm hard-pressed to detect any heat from the wasabi that the name of the beer advertises.

M: The bitterness lingers, seemingly forever. This beer has a nice balance to make it a great choice for summer nights when the sun has faded.

O: For a beer with the word wasabi on the label, I was expecting to feel a bit of heat from the horseradish. I'm not unhappy with this beer, but I'm surprisingly underwhelmed. There's so little heat that I'm having trouble distinguishing it from the bitterness of the hops and carbonation. Perhaps this offering is just not quite off-centered enough for my taste. However, I must say that I love the story behind the beer and that aspect about Dogfish Head in general. I paid $11 for my bottle, and for that, I'm quite happy with my purchase.

Photo of HeavyArms
4/5  rDev +10.5%

Has a very faint wasabi taste, but without the sinus clearing heat.

Photo of bluejacket74
3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750 ml bottle, bottled on 05/23/14. Served in a DFH IPA glass, the beer pours an orange/copper color with about a couple inch off-white head that stayed around a long time. There's also a good amount of lacing. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like caramel malt, earthy and citrusy hops, and some light wasabi. It tastes like citrusy and floral/earthy hops, caramel and bready malt, wasabi, and citrus peel. There's only a slight amount of heat and flavor from the wasabi noticeable, but it's still enough to make it an interesting addition to this brew. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit coating and is well carbonated. Truthfully, I'm not a big fan of wasabi but I liked this. $8.99 a bottle.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

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.

Photo of iheartmyTHO
3.67/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I'm a sucker for any beer with unusual ingredients. So when I saw that wasabi was one of the ingredients, I was actually a bit hesitant to try this beer. I just couldn't see quite how beer and wasabi go well together. However, upon my first sip, I was pleasantly surprised how good this beer actually tasted. It reminded me of an earthy / herbal pale ale. The wasabi flavor was very faint and there was none of the heat associated with wasabi either.

Photo of smakawhat
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a Dogfish Head snifter glass, sure why not!

A deep orange to red amber body, complete with a light vanilla cream head, that forms like a pillow easily three fingers tall. Fairly clear, but with an opaque character and no haze or sediment.

Very interesting nose, on what would be a possible scary combination. Quite subtle but controlled and still noticeable. Light pungent horseradish like wasabi, a nice sense of caramel sweetness but not too sweet. Hints of floral and garden quality, interesting and fun.

Palate comes a little less subdued than expected. Solid caramel malt backbone, with a mild hop presence. Hardly any hint of pepper, but a sense of lime like finish on the tongue after drinking, with some zesty oil. An almost Belgian candy caramel sucrose quality but not as sweet to the flavor palate.

Overall it comes off as just a simple ordinary if rather decent ale, and the odd ingredient list ironically doesn't throw it into a weird zone, but makes for a simple accent that is an otherwise well made beer.

Photo of Gregaroo
3.32/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

This one was just OK. I couldn't pick up on the subtle heat. A fine beer overall.

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.74/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Dogfish Head pint glass. Pours a medium to dark coppery amber with a one finger ivory head with great retention and lacing. Mild aroma of caramel malt, vegetal spiciness, light grassy hops. Flavor starts with bready caramel malt and earthy citrus, developing grapefruit rind, mild mustardy spiciness and grassy hops. Finishes with citrus hops, root vegetable, and an increasingly noticeable wasabi note of heat. Medium bodied. As advertised, the wasabi melds into the hop bitterness, adding an earthy, mustardy hotness to the hop bite. This was well integrated and is not evident until the finish, although there is an earthy root vegetable flavor throughout. The wasabi hotness is relatively mild, but adds an interesting note to the finish. Not sure I'd choose this frequently as a go-to pale ale, but it is flavorful, diffferent and well balanced. It is quite dark for a pale ale and perhaps belongs more closely in the vegetable/fruit category, as that is more dominant influence than the pale ale hopping here. Like many Dogfish Head ales, I approached this with a bit of trepidation and was once more impressed with how they pulled this off to make it off beat, but fine to drink several glasses with pleasure.

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4/5  rDev +10.5%

Appearance: light, clear copper with huge billowy whitish-red head. Quite a looker.
Smell: not a great nose. Sniffs like a slightly sweet, citrusy ipa. Not getting much wasabi here.
Taste: drier than the nose would indicate. Taste is mush better than the nose. Mostly dry, slightly sweet citrus and the wasabi makes itself known without being overpowering. Slightly spicy finish.
Another fine successful experiment by DFH IMO. Inventive and tasty.

Photo of Immortale25
4.21/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Dogfish Spiegelau glass. Bottleneck says Bottled On 05/15/14.

A- Pours a reddish medium amber color with a 3/4 inch off-white head that retains well before eventually becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a full sheet of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a broken ring behind.

S- Musty hop aroma that's well complemented by the very apparent wasabi presence. The fumes of the wasabi combine with the fumes of the hops to make for a very unique bouquet. Has that aggressive wasabi pungency but isn't overly intense.

T- Flavor is even more subdued as it's basically a moderately hopped pale ale with just hints of wasabi sprinkled throughout. Really does work well together as the wasabi heat gets steadily stronger with each sip. ABV is hidden quite well.

M- Sharp from the hops and wasabi with medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the lighter side.

O- I don't even really like wasabi, but this is very good. Who would've thought these elements would all work together? Leave it to Dogfish.

Photo of jman42
2.75/5  rDev -24%

Not going to give my normal reviews of appearance, smell, taste, mouthfeel, etc. Had it on tap at The Shepherd and the Knucklehead. It poured nice, looks nice, but that's about it. The wasabi wasn't overpowering (and I like wasabi anyway). It just doesn't belong. Dogfish Head is my favorite brewery in large part because of their willingness to experiment, but they've been going too far on some of their beers lately.

Photo of NinjaJesus
4.25/5  rDev +17.4%

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

Photo of DavoleBomb
1.77/5  rDev -51.1%
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.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

On-tap 6/27/2014 at Track 84, in Warwick, RI served in a goblet glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a short off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but contains citrus, caramelized malts, some hops and some spice.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of caramel and citrus. Then some spice kicks in but not a lot of it. The wasabi flavor is subdued but noticeable and the heat strengths slowly as you continue to drink the beer. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and creates a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly spicy.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, good kick, good variation of style, it’s a decent beer but the flavor is too odd to make me what to drink it consistently.

Photo of PicoPapa
3.29/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

On tap at New York Pizza. Pours a reddish amber color with an inch of frothy khaki colored head. Lots of lacing. The aroma is some citrus hops with some notes of the Wasabi. Not overly hot smelling. Slightly floral. The taste is light citrus with maybe (maybe) some Wasabi heat near the end. Caramel malts with a floral finish. Not much Wasabi flavor or heat. Medium bodied. Tastes like a slightly spicy old 90 Minute. I love Wasabi so this is a big letdown for me. Its an alright beer but there isn't alot of heat here. Overall, one and done with this one.

Photo of predikit
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

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.

Photo of Rbodacious
4.5/5  rDev +24.3%
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.

Photo of jlindros
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled 5/15/14

The long neck and chugging effect forces a nice big creamy thick but also foamy 1.5 finger head that sticks around fairly nicely, eventually gives up a bit of space and leaves a huge thick lacing all around, a fairly clear amber rosy slight orange colored beer.

Nose brings mild citrus to blend in with the big Wasabi, and typical DFH big beer yeast aromas, big wasabi out front, not spicy just the smell of the wasabi mash itself, that mild citrus I initially got is all but gone, just hints of orange peel left. Also fairly big sweet candy malts with touches of booze and that typical mild estery yeast aroma from most of the big DFH beers. Although as it warms, hops bring a mild fruity appley pear note, a hint more citrus note, and a little resin even.

taste starts with sweet candy malts again, syrupy and juicy malts even, caramel, little toffee, a bit of a butterscotch thing too, I even get a fair buttery note which seems like it was aged in a barrel, but could just be diacetyl or something. A flash of booze comes through as well, and again that typical DFH estery note from their big beer yeast, in this case probably finished too quickly with a hint of diacetyl. Hops are background, a little spicy, mild resinous note, faint faint pineapple and grapefruit, touch of citrus, and some generic fruity flavors, but very little of any of those. Wasabi is in there too, a basic wasabi flavor with just a faint flash of wasabi heat that is gone as soon as I swallow. Finish is sticky sweet, a little drier, bit more booze warmth and wasabi heat, more wasabi and an earthy root like flavor, actually gets fair earthy flavor almost like soil, and flashes of resin and spicy hops.

Mouth is fulled bod, bit syrupy, mild booze warmth and mild wasabi heat, and decent carb.

Overall OK, but nothing great, better than some of the other experiements from them lately as I do get a decent wasabi, hops seemed like they wanted to be a lot better but don't quite come through as much as they should. I could have done without that much big sweet candy syrupy malts, and big yeast and booze, etc. But then again, it's DFH and they have to do everything way over.

Photo of mister_moose
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had high hopes for this as I am a big horseradish/wasabi fan. The underlying beer is good, the body, balance and malt is just what you'd expect from Dogfish. However the Wasabi, what little there is, comes off stale and wanting. You know how old horseradish tastes, like muddled vinegary carrots with some root dirt. That's the taste imported to this beer. There is no pizazz, or bite, in fact the only bite to this beer is the $13 I paid for it.

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Rosabi from Dogfish Head Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 541 ratings.