Festina Lente - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Festina LenteFestina Lente

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

117 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 117
Reviews: 80
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 18.21%
Wants: 140
Gots: 6 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Brewery visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
Lambic - Fruit |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: taez555 on 10-23-2003

A neo-lambic ale that goes through both a yeast and bacteria fermentation and is then aged on oak chips and 400 pounds of Delaware peaches. This beer is very tart and complex. It is bottle-conditioned in champagne bottles.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 117 | Reviews: 80
Reviews by ManekiNeko:
Photo of ManekiNeko
4.27/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle served chilled in a Deus flute

Appearance: Hazy honey yellow topped by a frothy yet scant head. Slow moving bubbles work their way up through the liquid. No real head retention.. not much expected.

Smell: Acidic and tart tang of crazy beneficial microbes. Peaches pop their fuzzy littles heads up now and then. Very funky, makes the nose hairs burn.

Taste: Twangy and vinegary peach juices. Woody pit aftertates. All kinds of tartness making my cheeks pucker. Lacks some of the "over-the-top" qualities of the "real" deal, but awesome nonetheless.

Mouthfeel: Slightly water, but refreshingly so. Slightly undercarbonated. I've had bottles of this that had better fizziness, though.

Drinkability: Break out the Tums, cuz you'll need 'em. Funky freaky "lambic." A DFH experiment that worked. I liked it and found it rather pleasureable.

More User Reviews:
Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.28/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazed yellow with light carbonation and no head, none what-so-ever. Smells like the funk, plus a couple rotten lemons and peaches. Tastes like melted wax, piss, muriatic acid soaked limestone, a donkey’s ass, my feet after a hike on a humid day, and lemonade. This stuff is awesome!!! Extremely acidic. Absolutely not for the faint of heart. Extreme as beers get. Perfect for capping off a long day of Barley Wine drinking. This stuff is just awesome. Geuze like. Sour as beer gets. It can match up head to head with a lot of Belgians and take home the prize. The best part is, it only gets better with age, much better! I fell in love with a three year old bottle of the stuff. Now if only I could get my hands on some more…

Photo of tuckevalastin
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2003 Bottle

A: Translucent orange with no head to speak of

S: A strong sour peach smell dominates

T: It's like drinking a not yet ripe peach. Sour, acidic, and dry. The peachiness is obvious but it hides behind the sourness.

M: Feels alot like drinking a dry wine. No carbonation on this one.

D: For a sour it's very easily downable. Although the sourness makes it lean towards a sipper.

Overall it's a great representation of a sour beer. Wonderful summer beer or dessert beer. Can't speak for the taste of a fresh bottle, only had this aged one.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.24/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I finally pulled this beer from my cellar as I've been anticipating it for quite awhile. The Festina Lente pours from the 750ml bottle a crystalline orange/peach color with a few white bubbles that quickly fall, very subtle carbonation here. Aromas begin with smashed peaches, grapes and citrus fruit along with some vinegar acidity and a really nice barnyard funkiness. Nice and sour...I'm really enjoying the nose on this one. It has that authentic lambic musty, earthy funkiness.

First sip brings a puckeringly tart pale maltiness accentuated by a mellow sweet peach flavor. Vinegar acidity flows throughout each sip along with a nice earthy funkiness. Finishes with a lingering tart peach taste on the back of the palate. Fairly dry overall this is a tasty sour brew, the brettanomyces work their magic yet again. A lushious treat, where each sip has me anticipating the next and wishing I had more than just this one lone bottle!

Mouthfeel is fairly light and smooth with a really mellow carbonation that I actually like. There's just enough to give a nice tingle on the way down and making it easy to enjoy. A well done stab at a lambic by Sam and Dogfish Head here...I like the addition of peaches as it makes this unique to any other lambic I have previously sampled. A 750ml bottle goes down like candy to this wild/sour beer lover. An interesting brew that's worth checking out...I hope they brew this one again. Thanks to clvand0 for obtaining this bottle for me!

Photo of chOAKbarrell
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased this bottle at the new Dogfish Head Alehouse in Gaithersburg, MD. It was a 3 year vintage, if I remember correctly, for $17.

Wow, I have never had a beer like this before. Suprisingly sour, but in a good, powerful way. Made with peaches. It reminds me a lot of a lambic, but it is not sweet - just puckeringly sour. It actually hit me right in that spot in the neck that contracts when you eat sour things.

Most other properties of this beer are similar to a lambic. Saison yeast was most likely used for this beer as well. It has a bit of that same champagne quality to it as well.

This is probably a 50/50 hit-or-miss as to whether you'll like this beer. If you're into lambics, definitely try it, but dont expect it to taste like other lambics you've had. Definitely an experience. You will probably want to split the bottle with friends, because of the price, and so that you dont get stuck with the whole bottle if you dont like it.

Photo of ADR
4.42/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Extreme Beer Fest 2004...

Murky deep yellow color, small head and no real lace on the glass. Nose prickling aroma, good astringency. Finely carbonated and soft in the mouth (nice to see this problem is getting better). Flavor is great, sense of Brett and musk farminess, properly tart with a fine sense of real peach (not peach syrup) coming through, all the way to a pit-like bittering. Great sourness that's just leavened rather than overwhelmed by fruit. Much better than pretenders from either side of the ocean. Probably the top North American "Lambic" I've had, despite taxonomic or geographic subjectivity....

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Amber orange hazy peach tone that's almost noncarbonated very thin white head. Very similar to a Cantillion lambic in camparison to this peach infuesed ale in front of me with a peach scented tartness very impressive stands up to a Cantillon lambic to me. Taste: Very tart peach flavor, leaves me with fruit juices and puckering lips nice and somewhat of a dry finish. Mouthfeel: Thin to light bodied lambic this is an amazingly complex ale that I will stand by everytime very good beer is present. Drinkability: Amazing fruit lambic quality that will stick with you throughout the tasting session, a very tart and full flavor great tasting lambic that makes your lips pucker until the last drop.

Photo of OStrungT
4.7/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a cloudy straw yellow, with almost no head. What head is present, is white. It leaves a surprising amount of lacing, considering the fact that almost no head is present.

This beer has a pleasent spur aroma. I smell some fruit. Peaches and pears. It has a slight citrus aroma as well. Although that is pretty much all the aroma, it smells great.

This beer has a sour flavor. It tastes great. Some fruityness is also present. As with the aroma, I taste mostly peaches. It has a slight earthy Belgian yeast flavor to it also.

This beer goes down smooth leaving a crisp sour aftertaste. It has almost no carbonation to it at all.

I think this beer might make a good session beer, but it might get a little overbearing after a while since it is so sour.

Overall: I really liked this beer. Thanks so much to ggaughan for this great beer. I owe you. Hats off to Dogfish Head.

Photo of DagFishHead
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle that was a part of the batch known to have the low/no carbonation problem at DFH. Stored bottle in warm room for 4 weeks after purchase.
Appearance: First, the bottle opened with a very crisp (and reassuring) pop! Slightly hazy, straw-gold body with orange/peach highlights. A one-finger, frothy pure white head formed and held briefly leaving no lace.
Smell: Oak, earthy, grassy. Wow: sour peaches. A whiff of urine, farm animal sweat, musk and wet wool.
Taste: Big tart peach up front. Tartness expands with carbonation to a fluffiness at the top. Finish dries with earthy/grassy hops and aftertaste is acidic, blood-metallic and moldy sour grapes.
Mouthfeel: Light-medium body. Light carbonation and sour fruit tingle. Puckery in the aftertaste.
Drinkability: As I gain experience with more beer styles, I now find myself giving a 4.0 score for a whiff of urine? This was a fun beer that I will be trying again.

Photo of ggaughan
4.32/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I first had a few bottles of festina lente with friends a few years back when DFH first released it and although I liked the idea of the beer and the potential that it could have, it didn't seem mature enough at the time and thought it could use some cellaring time.

Fast forward to the current time. I was lucky enough to have a few glasses of festina lente at a DFH beer tasting in Philadelphia a few weeks back and was really impressed with this beer and how it as matured over time. As it is no longer made I know the bottle had a bit of age on it but could not tell exactly what year we had.

The beer pours a nice rich bubbly copper color and has a very lambic, fruity smell and taste to it. You can compare this to champagne and the carbonation quality that it has. The alcohol level is very deceiving in this as I could find myself drinking this all day and not noticing...until it is too late. I plan on picking up a case of this over the Christmas holiday and splitting it with my brother and cousin. Can't wait to try more.

Photo of cokes
4.01/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I purchased this beer today with much anticipation, only to be deflated. I've just read (on the forum) that DFH sources say they've let some under/non-carbonated bottles slip out. After these warnings and the waste of effort that was their Pangaea (sampled moments before). I expected the worst.
Great! I can't wait to sample a botched beer. Glad I shelled out top dollar too!

But wait!

The cork is removed with noise. Oh! Rejoice!
Granted, this pours a limp, hazed yellow with only a suggestion of a head. Undercarbonated? Absolutely. But it hardly matters.
Nose full of piss and vinegar. Literally. Farmy, horse-y. This is lambic alright. Gueuze. Bile and foulness. Fucking lovely. Oh yeah. Peach. But who cares?
Taste begins sharply acidic. More urine along with melted crayons. Barnyard elements are minimal, but adequate. Do you like sweaty mules? I thought so!
Peaches add phantoms of fruitiness, but are ultimately squashed under human waste. Without the evidence on the label, the peaches may not even be noticed.
Gueuze fans will enjoy this.
I am and I do.
Malts add wet hay and sour grapes. The sourness gains strength as this finishes. Bile and blood add exclaimation marks
There is just enough carbonation present to make this enjoyable. If this (as DFH claims) gains CO2 in the bottle, it will morph into something beyond excellent (per US standards).
Even if it doesn't, I am still satifisfied with the result.
Whenever this is "fixed", it will be the best US-spawned lambic around, without a close second in sight.

Even with its flaws, it probably aready is.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.4/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Spritzy, tart, fruity... but much cleaner than a lambic. Hmmm... interesting!

It pours a just slightly hazy golden body beneath a short head of bright white foam that all-too-quickly dissipates, leaving next to no lace behind.

The nose is lightly musty and barnyardish (Brettanomyces) with a distinct note of sweet peach.

In the mouth it's lightly zesty and crisp with a thin/medium body.

The flavor offers all of the refreshing qualities of a fruit lambic, but it seems to be more based upon Brettanomyces than peddiococcus, lactobacilus, or some other bacteria. It's peachy, but just slightly sweet; and fairly tart. There's little bitterness, but it's not needed as it still finishes chalky-dry due to its acidity.

As far as serving and enjoying goes, anywhere that a traditional geueze would work... this will work just as well (and it actually reminds me of a certain peche beer from a certain well respected brewery from Belium!). I think it would also pair extremely well with a traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinner as it's light on the palate, tart like cranberries, and spritzy enough to refresh between bites!

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml corked and caged bottle into a Cantillon tulip. Shared with capra12 and schen9303.

Pours a .5 finger foamy white head with poor retention. Beer is crystal clear goldenrod that reveals ample carbonation. Spotty lace with oily legs. Not great head, lacing, or legs but the color is amazing.

Nose is sour peaches, acetone, lemon rind, and vinegar. Decent. Lets you know you're in for a sour experience.

Opens with huge peach notes. Acetone and vinegar in the middle. Mild fruit sweetness comes through a touch as it lingers in the mouth. Finishes super sour peach skin and vinegar. Aftertaste of sour peach skin. Solid considering the age. Amazing that the fruit character is still so prominent here.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Slick with a touch of bubbles in the mouth. Filmy and slightly dry going down. Finishes messy with a long, lingering aftertaste. Very good for the style.

A decent beer overall, again considering the age. However, this is a touch too sour for me. Amazing that the fruit characteristics are still very prominent. Worth seeking out for the experience but don't expect flavors or body that will blow you away.

Photo of benmiliron
4.32/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Paid $8.00 for a big bottle. Aged for about 6 months.

Reminds me more of champagne than beer. Though the beer qualities are definitely in there. Almost a cider-beer-champagne, with individual elements of all three. I couldn't really taste the peaches, but definitely a fruit presence. This stuff was very very good, and certainly worth opening and sharing with a few friends. I'll leave it at that.

Beer? Lambic? Fruit beer? I'm not sure what this qualifies as. It doesn't matter. It's a fun experience.

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a mag by beerbeing after DLD 07 in the hotel. The liquid was a light pale yellow with very fine carbonation. The head was small and fizzy very wine like.

The smell was strong, sour and peachy.

The taste was no suprise, a puckering sour peach brew, acidic and dry. The taste was good to be sure as the bottle did not last long.

The mouthfeel was light and airy like a sparkling wine

The drinkability was tough. Eventhough the brew's taste was interesting and drew you in for more with each sip, the acidicness and the sourness made it hard to have a lot.

Thanks again to BB for the taste of this rare brew. MK

Photo of hustlemuscle
2.85/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I am but a simple man, a man who likes his hops, his malts, his beer. This, it appears, has none of the above. Looks like apple juice, smells like peach juice, tastes like something that spoiled. Peachy, but so tart it is nearly undrinkable. A little spicy, but a thin torturous liquid that ruined my drinking for the night. I like dogfishhead, but this was rough.

Photo of cubedbee
3.87/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle at the Alehouse in Gaithersburg, poured into a pint glass, hazy golden yellowish orange, almost no head and no lacing, harldy appears carbonated. Nose is is a nice tart peach and not much else, fairly assertive and natural smelling. Taste is peach, peach, and more peach, nice tart, a restrained sourness that makes if fairly drinkable. Medium bodied with a medium/high carbonation for a fairly crisp beer. Overall, this is a pretty decent tasty beer, but it's a one note peach beer, and by the end of the bottle it was getting a little old.

Photo of Brent
2.8/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

The bottle label caused me to expect more of a fruit beer (why was the word "ale" blacked out?). Poured with absolutely no head. I feared a bad bottle that had gone flat. Almost still in the mouth, and a distinct tartness reinforced my initial suspicion. However, a tingling on the tongue annouced that there was some minute level of carbonation, and the tartness woke up with characteristic lambic-like flavors. Now, having gotten into the groove of the beer, the cidery, unripened peach flavor bloomed a bit. There is enough depth of flavor to keep some interest up, but the tartness is tedious. Finishes dry and a bit astringent. The 7% abv is well disguised below the sourness. A bit of burning in the belly - alcohol or sourness? Can't tell. Interesting, but I doubt I'll hang in for the whole botte.

Back to the review after a valiant effort to continue, but the tartness simply got the better of me.

Photo of maybrick
3.28/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Sam call’s this a “neo lambic.” I call it insane. It’s infused with peaches that are easily detectable in the nose. The color was light straw and was very bright. The taste is tart and reminiscent of the “Sweet Tarts” candy. 7.5 ABV in a 750ml corked and caged bottle. It's different - for the people that like guexe, you may like this.

Photo of weeare138
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brewed in 2004...
Appears a hazy, orange toned amber with a spritzy, white head that quickly fades away. Scattered spots are left around the glass. Small streams of CO2 slowly rise to the top.
Huge aromas of brett, vinegar, sweaty clothes, horseblanket, peaches, and citrus.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a mouth puckering vinegar smack that reminds me of a hand full of sour patch kids. Very tart up front with some candy sweetness that is buried way in the background.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, spritzy, finishing thin and dry with my lips still smacking together at the thought.

Photo of GreatPondBrewer
4.14/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy peach orange which resembled apple juice. There was absolutely no head or carbonation and even a vigorous pour resulted only in some air bubbles on top. So much for a striking appearence. However the smell and taste begged to differ. Smelled slightly tart and lemon like with a pretty good musty odour resembling traditional lambics. Taste was very refreshing with more tartness, medium dry, but very little in the way of any barnyard effects. The flatness f the beer was replaced well by the tart, mouth-puckering feel. The finish was more peachy and softly fruity with some excellent creamcicle and vanilla flavors. The fruitiness definitely improved as it warmed. This is a higher gravity lambic, but there were only very subtle hints of the increased alcohol. Neo-lambic you say? Me like. It has enough innovation to be distinctly american, but gives an excellent nod to tradition.

Photo of Dithyramb
2.25/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Purchased as a wine sized 750 from Midtown Wine in Nashville. The born on dating was sans notch on the labeling. Didn't seem overly old, though. Haven't heard much of this brew and haven't seen it available in MD.

Less than ripe peach colored hazy brew, with a short lived white foam head. Tiny little pieces of lacing.
Brett and ripe peach on the nose.

A thin bodied brew, this at times was marvelous. There is the slightest hint of faint delicate peach. However, this was intermingled with the Brett. Sorry, but I'm not a fan of the phunk. There is substantial tartness and bittness to the brew. Finishes dry and acidic.

I didn't finish the big bottle, as myself and the others at the house didn't dig on bret. This is perhaps my least favorite DFH brew. The brett phunk was even more distastefull than the lawnmower. Kept the scores up, though, since this is closer to the style. I was just hoping for more fruit and less geuze.

Photo of meathookjones
3.35/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from a 750ml bottle on 1/15/05. Pours out a flat apple juice color with barely a hint of bubbles erupting from a vigorous pour. Of course no lacing was left with the lack of a head. Aroma is extremely tart with a decent bit of sweetness in the background. No real fruit scents in the aroma, only a strong tartness. Flavor start out with a big tartness before some feint sweet peach notes come across, which help out the taste greatly. Not much else going on but more sour and a lingering sourness on the finish. Mouthfeel is crisp and about medium but the lack of carbonation hurts it a bit. Drinkability is fairly good though a bit more peach flavor and carbonation would help this as well. Thanks for the bottle slander.

Photo of mrmanning
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to IMTHEOPTIMATOR for sending this one my way! Pours no head, flat and still looking. Cloudy orange body.Apricot, sour brab apples, and yeasty esters fill the nose. Flavours are sour fruit, semi-tart apricots, and lemon jiuce. Tart aftertaste. Alcohol no noticable. A well made American Lambic that keeps up with most of the belgian ones I have had. 04' Vintage.

Photo of ppoitras
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, corked and caged.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, no head, just swirls of teensy bubbles over most of the surface, and some bigger bubbles along the edges, over the clear honey gold brew. Lacing is very minimal, as expected for the style. Aroma is tart with fruit notes apparent. Taste starts with a lightly funky maltiness that quickly bows to the tartness. The fruitiness comes out for me as the pucker fades, and that same fruit lasts into the aftertaste. Mouthfeel and drinkability very nice for the style, quite approachable. Sort of an intro to tart before one tries Cantillon, if you will. Very enjoyable.

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Festina Lente from Dogfish Head Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 117 ratings.