1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Festina Lente - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Festina LenteFestina Lente

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

108 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 108
Reviews: 79
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 19.02%
Wants: 138
Gots: 5 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Brewery visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
Lambic - Fruit |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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 added by: taez555 on 10-23-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 108 | Reviews: 79 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by PopeDX:
Photo of PopeDX
PopeDX

Pennsylvania

4.78/5  rDev +22.9%

I had this in bottles right after it came out and had an undercarbonated one. I had it on tap soon after and was impressed, but not floored. I'm drinking one right now, a good 5+ months afterwards and am just amazed. It's so amazingly good. Pours out Tang orange with no head at all. The smell is heavy of peaches. Starts sour and fruity on the tongue, no real barnyard scent or taste, however. Incredibly drinkable as well. It's a shame I bought the last one of these at the bar, I'd be going back to get some more tomorrow. It's just a step behind Cantillon and I would imagine a wonderful "gateway beer" into the world of true lambics and guezues. If you have a bottle cellared it's okay to drink it now. This beer is truely the direction American lambics should go. Easily accessible, heavily drinkable, and really good. Neo-lambic indeed.

06-24-2004 02:52:03 | More by PopeDX
More User Reviews:
Photo of DaPeculierDane
DaPeculierDane

Wisconsin

4.33/5  rDev +11.3%

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…

06-13-2006 19:52:02 | More by DaPeculierDane
Photo of tuckevalastin
tuckevalastin

Delaware

4.1/5  rDev +5.4%

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.

01-14-2010 03:08:47 | More by tuckevalastin
Photo of orbitalr0x
orbitalr0x

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

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!

12-04-2005 04:09:54 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of chOAKbarrell
chOAKbarrell

Maryland

3.78/5  rDev -2.8%

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.

11-06-2005 01:56:58 | More by chOAKbarrell
Photo of ADR
ADR

Pennsylvania

4.43/5  rDev +13.9%

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....

01-19-2004 18:24:02 | More by ADR
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

West Virginia

4.22/5  rDev +8.5%

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.

01-19-2004 07:55:01 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of OStrungT
OStrungT

California

4.7/5  rDev +20.8%

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.

03-11-2007 01:30:42 | More by OStrungT
Photo of DagFishHead
DagFishHead

New York

4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

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.

01-01-2004 03:15:07 | More by DagFishHead
Photo of ggaughan
ggaughan

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev +11.3%

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.

12-20-2005 04:25:45 | More by ggaughan
Photo of Varkias41
Varkias41

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

08-27-2013 14:12:51 | More by Varkias41
Photo of cokes
cokes

Wisconsin

4/5  rDev +2.8%

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.

12-06-2003 06:55:52 | More by cokes
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

4.43/5  rDev +13.9%

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!

07-07-2005 23:34:46 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of SpeedwayJim
SpeedwayJim

New York

3.8/5  rDev -2.3%

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.

12-28-2012 02:28:36 | More by SpeedwayJim
Photo of benmiliron
benmiliron

Ohio

4.28/5  rDev +10%

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.

06-30-2004 03:12:42 | More by benmiliron
Photo of Beertracker
Beertracker

Oklahoma

5/5  rDev +28.5%

11-29-2011 05:06:01 | More by Beertracker
Photo of MuenchenerKindl
MuenchenerKindl

Germany

3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

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

11-25-2007 08:18:28 | More by MuenchenerKindl
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

12-07-2013 04:32:19 | More by emerge077
Photo of hustlemuscle
hustlemuscle

Ohio

2.8/5  rDev -28%

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.

06-30-2004 03:56:14 | More by hustlemuscle
Photo of cubedbee
cubedbee

Maryland

3.88/5  rDev -0.3%

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.

04-29-2006 19:46:18 | More by cubedbee
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

2/5  rDev -48.6%

08-24-2014 19:20:32 | More by largadeer
Photo of Brent
Brent

Kentucky

2.8/5  rDev -28%

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.

10-02-2004 00:56:32 | More by Brent
Photo of maybrick
maybrick

Pennsylvania

3.28/5  rDev -15.7%

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.

12-02-2003 15:40:32 | More by maybrick
Photo of weeare138
weeare138

Pennsylvania

4.28/5  rDev +10%

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.

09-02-2008 16:19:00 | More by weeare138
Photo of GreatPondBrewer
GreatPondBrewer

California

4.18/5  rDev +7.5%

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.

01-24-2004 22:14:45 | More by GreatPondBrewer
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Festina Lente from Dogfish Head Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 108 ratings.