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Chateau Jiahu - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Chateau JiahuChateau Jiahu

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very good

1,338 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,338
Reviews: 548
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.79%
Wants: 92
Gots: 187 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Brewery visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
Herbed / Spiced Beer |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: marburg on 06-15-2005

Let's travel back in time again for another Dogfish Head Ancient Ale (Midas Touch was our first foray and Theobroma our most recent). Our destination is 9,000 years ago, in Northern China! Preserved pottery jars found in the Neolithic villiage of Jiahu, in Henan province, have revealed that a mixed fermented beverage of rice, honey and fruit was being produced that long ago, right around the same time that barley beer and grape wine were beginning to be made in the Middle East!

Fast forward to 2005. Molecular archaeologist Dr. Patrick McGovern of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology calls on Dogfish Head to re-create another ancient beverage, and Chateau Jiahu is born.

In keeping with historic evidence, Dogfish brewers use brown rice syrup, orange blossom honey, muscat grape, barley malt and hawthorn berry. The wort is fermented for about a month with sake yeast until the beer is ready for packaging.

10 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,338 | Reviews: 548
Photo of Furlinator
3.71/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Fruity and sweet up front with a definite grape presence. Grainy on the finish with smooth honey accents.

Photo of vette2006c5r
3.79/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Chateau Jiahu pours a straw like golden color with a small lacing head. There is a very crisp malty aroma, with hints of honey. The taste has a great crisp pils like malty backbone, with good hints of honey, and a subtle sweet aftertaste. A little flat, but good flavor. Overall its very well put together. Great beer like backbone, and the fruit and honey blends perfectly.

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Clear gold, slight haze, 2” rocky head, dissipates to a thick film, leaves delicate, artistic lace.
S: Grape, malt, honey, bitter, sour apple, woody, earthy.
T: Sweet, slight bitter in the back but predominantly like a sweet light wine. Grape, honey, malt and bitter, funky bitter sour apple flavors.
M: Medium body and medium carbonation to just under medium. A little alcoholic but not 10% abv alcoholic.
O: Read Patrick McGovern’s book that discusses how this was made and it is an inceredible story. A person who like sweet wines will probably like this one.

Photo of WhiteHillsStore
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy yellow with an off white head that trails the glass. The smell is rather sweet with the honey coming through the nose. The taste was nice with first the sweet honey and fruit notes, and then the grapes coming through on the finish for a tart aftertaste. The aftertaste wasn't as clean as I would have liked but very good and an interesting beer I would try again.

Photo of jopezu
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into a snifter from the jiahu bomber; a very cloudy amber beer with a head that dissolves quickly. nose is sweet white grape. taste is dominated by honey and muscat grape, but not cloying. very well balanced - interesting that the main flavors are sweet, yet it remains highly drinkable with no counterbalancing hop/bitterness profile (though there is a spicy underpinning, perhaps from the 10% abv). aftertaste, again, is a slightly dry, warm white grape. much like dfh "red & white", i was expecting this to be a swing and a miss judging from the desciption on the bottle, but i'll be damned if i'm not enjoying it! =)

Photo of JTbrue
4.34/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the Bier Stein. Eugene, OR. Poured 3 finger head, quickly receding but a little lacing sticks around throughout. Hazy golden orange color. Smells like sourish grapes, a little musty, orange peel, tropical fruits, spice, mirrors taste very well. Taste - green grapes, spicy as hell but in a good way, orange and tropical fruits, honey brings it all together very well, great flavor. Crisp, refreshing, drinks like a 5%, not getting any alcohol at all. Dogfish head is becoming a huge favorite of mine. 120 Minute is still my number one, but this is a valiant effort. Well done.

Photo of Swa73
5/5  rDev +32.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A sophisticated delight. Not like any other beer I've ever had, although I'm still a noob really when it comes to craft beer.

Photo of Marcio_Beck
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Beautiful golden color, slightly hazy, medium carbonation and a fair white head, which doesn't last very long, but leaves some traces on the top of the liquid and on the sides of the glass.

The honey notes are dominant in the aroma and taste, followed by an intense fruitiness reminiscent of a white wine. As i have never tried hawthorne fruit before, the muscat grapes were more apparent. No hop bitterness (only a faint floral aroma), but the sweetness is not excessive.

Sweet, tangy and a little boozy finish, altough the alcohol is very subtle for a 10% AbV brew.

Photo of Nicked
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Serving: On tap into chalice

A: pours gold, looks almost like a mead, but with a thin layer of white foam. Spotty lacing slides down the glass after the beer.

S: sweet notes predominate (honey), white grape

T: taste is much like a dry, sweet white wine, but with a touch of sweet malt and honey to balance the sharp grape flavor. White grapes reign here, little/no hop character.

M: pleasantly dry character, leads one to anticipate the next sip. This creates a lovely, vicious cycle.

O: definitely a non-traditional beer, but well-executed as always by the folks at DFH.

Photo of trickynicky
2.43/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I'm not a fan of anything to do with grapes, which is probably why I did not care for this. I am a fan of Dogfish Head, though, so this did nothing to change my opinion of their brewery.

Photo of gr0g
3.99/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle. Golden in color, high clarity. A good two fingers or so of foam fades somewhat quickly, leaving streaks of lacing. Malty, sweet, and yet vinous aroma. The characteristic sweet aroma of muscat grapes, not to mention honey, comes to the forefront. The honeyed sweetness plus floral notes gives this an overall aroma that's kind of a like a Maibock.

Sweet, fruity flavor profile. Just enough hop bitterness to keep the sugars from becoming overbearing. A touch of alcohol on the finish. Booziness is very well restrained for 10% ABV. Well carbonated with little to no prickliness.

Sweet and strong, not all that complex, but plenty satisfying. All in all, it's very similar to Midas Touch, just with a bigger, more robust flavor profile.

Photo of m_hall
4.18/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pour from a 9.6 oz bottle into a tulip yields a clear amber-gold beer, topped by a fizzy soda-like two finger head that quickly falls to a faint film leaving light lacing.

Aroma is sweet, both malty and fruity, but with a vinous tang as well (unsurprising given the presence of grape juice.) There's a also an herbal mustiness present.

Flavor is unlike any beer I've had before... not surpising, given the background to this. Very sweet, almost cloying, but it never quite goes too far. There's a malt sweetness, but also a mead-like note from the honey as well. Lots of esters... Grape and pear are quite in evidence. The fruits in some ways remind me of some Belgian Ales I've had, but the other notes present would keep you from ever confusing this with any of those. Finish is sweet with a dry tartness at the very end. Despite this weighing in at a hefty 10% ABV, the alcohol presence is very well controlled. It's there, but not in an overbearing way.

Feel on the palate is a bit syrupy, but not obnoxiously "thick." Carbonation is fairly light.

A very adventurous, unusual brew from a company who aren't afraid to explore. It's something everyone should at least give a shot... while I don't see myself drinking this all the time, I could certainly see myself coming back to it in the future. DFH should be commended for this, a great example of looking back at history, but in a way that pushes craft brewing forwards.

Photo of PsilohsaiBiN
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sweet without being cloying, I know it's cool to take a shit on DFH to up your "cred," but I won't bite. The intense hop aroma paired with big honey sweetness is awesome, and the taste follows suit, with added vinousness. Abv is hidden well. Peace.

Photo of jprivott
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%

Strong clear flavors, at the threshold of what is palatable.

Photo of clayrock81
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden orange body with two finger head that sticks around a little bit and leaves lace. Aroma is sweet with touches of grape and something akin to pear and sweet fruit and there is a hint of floral hops and oh yeah, honey. I find that the honey aspect is dominant in the sweetness of the beer, the sweetness itself being the dominant aspect of the beer. There are touches of other fruit, mostly grape, and a floral edge that I know of thanks to the label. Finally tried this after years of passing and glad I did b/c I like sweet beers and this a lighter drinking sweet beer that is not too sweet.

Photo of DaveSchultz
4.45/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Golden yellow. A bit of lingering head.
S - Mmm... honey.
T - Mmm... honey. Some grape there too.
M - Syrupy... like... honey.
O - If you like honey, you will love this beer. I like honey and this is my favorite beer right now. Sweet, sweet God nectar. It's good to know that I could take the DeLorean back 9,000 years and still enjoy magnificent beer.

Photo of BeerandWhiskeyHQ
4.37/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: beautiful clear, golden honey color, moderate head

S: I smell grapes, spices, light bready/malty scents, sweet and lightly floral

T: a strong initial sweetness, grapes and grain come through nicely, light and dances on the palate. Pears, grape and fruit are very prominent, slightly malty too which makes for a very nice overall blend and balance of flavors

O: I really like ALL of Dogfish’s ancient ale beers and this one is no different. It is properly balanced, has a muscular alcohol content that isn’t over aggressive, but rather blends in nice. That being said, I wont run out as fast as possible to go get more but I DO look forward to picking this up again. A wonderful beer that should at least be tried once.


Photo of rudzud
3.91/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Shared this with BPK59, 2009 Vintage, reviewed from notes.

A - Poured into a tulip a nice crystal clear honey hue with a thin white head that fades to leave a thin blanket.

S - Tons of sweet honey and malty sweetness. Really nice grapes as well. Pretty solid.

T - Taste is similar to the nose with tons of sticky sweet honey and malts. Lots of slightly musty grapes. Tasty.

M - Mouthfeel is a bit syrupy, though it works.

O - Overall, this was a tasty beer. Definitely aged well.

Photo of isunktheship
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A - 4.50 Deep yellow almost orange, very low to no head
S - 4.50 Incredibly sweet, not sure what to pin it on, pineapple/apple/grape
T - 3.50 Taste is close to smell, no bitterness (IBU of 10). Thick and syrupy.
M - 4.25 Smooth, without much carbonation, fruity and sweet.
O - 3.75 Enjoyable, but due to the level of sugar I couldn't have more than a pint at a time.

Photo of secondtooth
3.57/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First, it must be noted that this bottle has been aged for nearly a year.

Pours a murky golden amber, with almost no carbonation or lace.

Aroma is strong on the fruit and sweet malts. So malty, in fact, it seems almost a barleywine.

Taste is definitely thick, with fruit and honey being key. There's a distinctly strong and heavy honey finish here -- more so than with any other beer I've had. The grapes are also notable in the tasting, as well as a sturdy alcohol presence.

Overall, a unique and tasty brew, but not one I'd return to. Would definitely be curious to try a fresh bottle, though.

Photo of rdilauro
3.49/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

The pour , a nice golden tan was perfect. Nice creamy frothy head, ahhh, the start of a super beginning.

Now, the bouquet., all right not the best, but it still held my nose somewhat captive.
The first taste.... Somewhat overwhelming, a big nose with so many different flavors. To me, the fruit was over the top in relationship to the body and maltiness of the brew.

I still tip my hat to DogFish Head brewmaster for coming up with so many different and interesting beers


I really enjoyed the sweetness in this beer combined with the relatively high alcohol and tartness

Photo of ONUMello
3.79/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into a pint glass
A: Dark yellow leaning almost towards light orange, a fizzy head more like a can of pop that disappears as soon as the pouring stops
S: I'm getting bits of everything mentioned on the label each balanced nicely on the nose. Not so much the malt/hop mix of most beers, but it's nice
T: Almost like a moscato wine initially in terms of a bit grape-like and a bit sweet, but with the added orange-blossom honey & what I can only assume is the hawthorn fruit though I've never had that on its own
M: Fairly viscous though from the sugar not the alcohol which is actually quite balanced, would be a touch thin if not for the sugar. Fair carbonation
O: Interesting & surprisingly good for a reproduction of an ancient fermented beverage though I would open another when I'm more in the mood for a desert wine than a beer

Photo of zac16125
4.02/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle into a tulip
no born on date

A: Pours a crystal clear honey color with 2 fingers width of light tan head. Head dissipates down fairly slowly and leaves a moderate amount of lacing.

S: Fruity, spicy, white grape, vinous, yeasty, raw honey. It has that unique yeast-like sake aroma. Its almost like a Tripel crossed with sake. Im very intrigued by this.

T: Very sweet, much sweeter than the nose implies. Fruity as well as sugary sweetness. There is also a significant spice component that balances out the sweetness nicely, but I cant really place what spice it is. Next I get hawthorn fruit...just kidding I have no idea what the fuck hawthorn fruit is. I do, however, get honey and a sweet, almost artificial grape flavor (somewhere between a muscat grape and grape laffy taffy). It has this huge sweetness, but its not at all cloying to me. Its strange, I hate sweet white wines, but I really enjoy "beers" like this, even though in many ways they are sweet white wine-ish. I think its the balancing spice component.

M/D: Full bodied, but still somewhat light if thats possible. Carbonation on the heavier side. ABV is completely masked. Drinkability is good.

O: Overall, I really dig this beer. Not sure its something Id made a habit of drinking, but Id definitely drink it again in the future if I were looking for a unique change of pace. I could see this being a love it or hate it sort of thing, but its certainly worth a try in my opinion.

Photo of Auraan
4.07/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice clear amber orange with almost no head. It looks nice, but is also different, quite unique in character. Scents of sweet fruit, sweet sake and aromatic flowers. It's an almost perfume like nose. Extremely appealing, easily the finest part of the beer. Flavors were very sweet. Sweet fruit, sweet moscato wine, a hint of sweet sake and a slight hint of honey on the aftertaste. The beer is extremely sweet and reminded me quite a bit of a moscato sangria or something of that nature. At 10% ABV the alcohol was not noticeable at all. Not horrible, but I couldn't drink a lot of it. Mouthfeel was light bodied with low carbonation, hiding the alcohol quite well. It was very easy to drink because of this. Overall this is a very unique beer. It is quite sweet, and in many ways has more in common with a moscato wine than a beer in it's flavor profile. However it does have an appeal and I would drink it again if the opportunity presented itself.

Photo of chefhatt
3.69/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I poured it from a 22 oz bottle, it has a light yellow color body with a fizzy white head that dissapers quickly. The aroma is sweet and grapey. The taste is sweet of honey, some grape flavor. The mouthfeel is smooth and very wine liked. Overall this is a good beer, i couldn't drink it everyday but once and a while would be good.

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Chateau Jiahu from Dogfish Head Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 1,338 ratings.