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Chateau Jiahu - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Chateau JiahuChateau Jiahu

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BA SCORE
85
very good

1,344 Ratings
THE BROS
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,344
Reviews: 552
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: 1,344 | Reviews: 552
Photo of Crossbreed29
4.58/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my first ever review on BA. Just want to preface this by saying, I've been drinking "craft beer" for 7+ years now. Dogfish Head is a well respected brewer in the industry. This beer has a straw color appearance. It is light on the tongue in terms of mouth feel but is very full of distinct flavors. The beer itself is low in carbonation... It is very delicate. At the same time you can notice the notes of honey. There is no alcohol flavor whatsoever. Probably the most impressive of the Ancient Ale Series that DFH has been brewing over the years. I've tried them all. This on draft is exquisite. For 10% I could drink it all night. Easy 4.5/5. World Class.

Photo of JackieTH
4.01/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Golden beer kicks up a white foam that fades quickly into a ring. Smells of hay, honey, biscuit, crackers, yeast, dough, grain, Pilsner. Timeless quite nice actually, sort of like a very healthy double Pilsner. aste has honey, straw, grape, green apple, bread, grain and biscuit. Mouthfeel is a bit loose with moderate carbonation. Some mild sweetness throughout. Interesting beer. Enjoyable experiment reconstituting ancient history and glad I tried it but won't seek out another. I think maybe we've learned a few tricks in the last 5,000 years about brewing delicious beer without resorting to fermenting Muscat grapes..

Photo of Faxmesomehalibut
2.44/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Typical dogfish fashion, making things weird for the sake of being weird. I'm sure some people like this, just not for me.

Photo of MattyG85
4.29/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a chalice. Bottled in January of 2015.

Appearance: Pours a bright golden orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. Big two finger white head that settles into a thin patchy layer.

Smell: A sweet and somewhat sour aroma with big hints of fruits and yeast. Barley malt with hints of straw, grains, cracker, yeast, and biscuit. Sweet hints of honey and sugar. Fruit hints of grape juice, orange, apple, hawthorn fruit, and lemon. Kind of funky and dry smelling. A pretty interesting and good aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a sweet yet drying taste of fruits and funky yeast. Barley malt with bready notes of straw, cracker, grains, biscuit, and yeast. Sweet taste of honey and sugar. Lots of dried fruit with white wine like notes of grape juice, apple, orange, lemon, and hawthorn fruit. Fairly musty, earthy, and drying. A pretty nice taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Juicy, drying, and pretty smooth with minimal alcohol heat.

Overall: A very solid take on an old style. Nice dry wine like fruit flavors.

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.

-BeerandWhiskeyHQ

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

10/20/13

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

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Chateau Jiahu from Dogfish Head Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 1,344 ratings.