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Chateau Jiahu | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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Chateau JiahuChateau Jiahu

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States | website

Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by marburg on 06-15-2005

User Reviews
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Reviews: 563 | Ratings: 1,420
Photo of Emersonio
4.93/5  rDev +29.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pour: Bomber bottle into a tulip glass. Appearance: Light gold with white head. Aroma: Very musty. tannic like aromas. Flavor: Sweet. Malt forward palette. Spices show up in abundance. Light bite. Aftertaste: Malty and musty all the way. Overall: Very similar to Sake given the ingredients. I love the ancient ales series and Jiahu is one of my favorites. Its really cool how DF Head re-created these ancient recipes with Archaeologists from the University of Pennsylvania. Loved it. Unique! Excellent: 5 out of 5.

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Photo of Zythophile
4.28/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle Date: 1/12/15
Palate Contaminants: a quality pizza an hour earlier

Yet another Ancient Ale. After having had a few, I have expectations of something good.

Appearance is slightly opaque gold with particulates. There's a fine head on it, but not much lacing.

Smell is nice and sweet, with honeysuckle and candied orange. There's some pineapple and strawberry scent in there, as well.

Taste is very smooth and moderately sweet. There's dried fruit like bananas, apples, and yellow raisins. And the honey carries over from the smell. There's also a bit of... almond, maybe? Some slight nutty flavor. It's as close to mead as I've had out of a brew. A good dessert beer.

Feel is moderately carbonated. Apparently, it's a 10% ABVer, but I'm not getting any alcohol until I'm into the aftertaste.

Maybe I'll end up with another bottle somewhere down the line.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I was not a big fan of the Chateau Jiahu. It poured a copper color with slight haze and a thin white head that did not lace. The grape was present in the scent and very present in the taste.....very close to white grape juice. The mouthfeel was lighter in body with good carbonation. Overall it was ok.

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Photo of sjdevel
4.86/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hazy and light gold color. Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Dogfish Head Goblet. Only about a 1 finger head when poured. The head fades, but I was left with very interesting swirling bubble patterns and lacing.

Smells of sweet and only slightly tart fruit. Has a nice hint of white wine. Some citrus/floral hops are faint, and there is a bit of caramel hints.

There is a minimal hop bitterness right at the beginning. Then there are very interesting fruit notes that are unlike anything I have tasted in a beer before (may be the hawthorn fruit?). There are notes of white wine, apple, caramel, slightly toasted nuts, wood, and some herbs. Among all of the swirling flowery flavors, there is a nice sweetness throughout. The finish is sweet and there are yeasty/bread notes at the end.

This is a fairly light beer but there definitely is a fuller mouth feel. Medium -> Full. It just goes down like a darker ale.... slightly thick and oily.

I loved this one. There are so many beers out there to try and I rarely pick up another specialty beer like this (mainly because of cost) but I am looking forward to grabbing another one of these soon. I am a HUGE fan of Dogfish Head's brews and have never been disappointed. This one is at the top of my favorites list.

I am an off-centered person and I love their off-centered beers!

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Photo of Urk1127
3.3/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

-hazy orangish gold.
-Yeast, rice, booze
-Honey, orange, alcohol, yeast, some cooked rice
-Heavy, boozy, low carbonation

-did not enjoy and had a huge amount of sediment

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Photo of Hsolorz1
4.84/5  rDev +27%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Incredible reconstruction of a lost and ancient Chinese recipe. Light and fruity with a slight Asian twist. The honey, grapes, barley, Hawthorne, and chrysanthemum are blended and balanced by the Sake yeast culture. The resulting beer is liquid gold. Marvelous. Congratulations Dogfish!

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Photo of 303beer
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a bubbly yellow with a bubbly head that turns rocky. Leaves a nice amount of lacing. Has a sweet fruity taste. I have been waiting for it to change but it hasn't. A presence of grape.

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Photo of ThierryBeer
4.74/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Incredible beer. Beautiful Amber color. Fairly light for a 10%er and easy to drink. Intriguing smell and tasty fruit and honey, but that said, doesn't over do anything with a smooth dry finish. Definitely pick this up if available around you.

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Photo of RickS95
3.24/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

A really clear pour. Peach in color, but again it's a very light color. There is a brilliantly white head up top, just under a finger thick, but it's got no legs. Subsequent swirls liven the head, now an off white color with better retention. Thinnest of lacing left behind.

The scent is pleasant and full of fruit. You pick up the grape juice and though I have no idea what hawthorn fruit smells or tastes like, I think it's noticeable as well. I couldn't pick up any hops presence or honey, but it's got a pilsner malt nose.

It's not a bad tasting beer, just nothing special. The honey and fruitiness are mostly evident, but so is that Pilsner malt taste and that ruins it for me. Reminds me of a macro too much to score high.

Macros have destroyed anything with pilsner malts in it and this beer falls into that category. I appreciate the sweet fruit and honey, but I can't get past the grainy, bitter pilsner feel to it. Not sure of the ABV in this, but there's an alcohol feel in the finish. Honestly, the beer starts off fairly nice, but it ends poorly.

Overall, it reminds me of most Dogfish Head beers...overrated and way over priced. I don't see the fascination with this brewer. I keep buying their offerings waiting for something I'll like, but it's few and far in between. This is no different.

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Photo of HattedClassic
3.94/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice head that dissipates quickly but leaves a nice looking residue around the inside of the glass. The beer itself is a clear medium gold color that is fairly nice in its presentation.

The beer smell is very good. The beer has strong sweet honey notes and hawthorn fruit. Those notes work well against the grape juice backdrop. Also, there appears a bit and almost unnoticeable hint of hop bitterness that keeps the beer from being too sweet. In addition to those notes, the beer smell has a fruity note that comes from the sake yeast and a little bit of rice on the nose.

The taste has the same notes as the smell but not as awe-inspiring for some reason. The taste still has fruity notes from the yeast, and honey with hawthorn fruit notes among the back drop of grape juice. My guess is the slight alcohol note and the sake taste is throwing things off. However, it's still pretty good overall.

The mouthfeel is nice but a little thick. The beer has some carbonation to keep it from becoming thick and makes the beer a lot lighter than it would be normally.

Overall, a very unique beer and worth getting at least once. I like how the notes and ingredients are something that you don't see and the use of sake yeast to add more notes is cool.

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Photo of TruePerception
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Dogfish Head's Chateau Jiahu, ale brewed with honey and hawthorn fruit, and fermented with grape juice. 10% ABV.

A: About a finger of fluffy white head. Peach orange in the glass. Very slightly yellow-tinged clear in the dimple. Slight sheeting. Very slight lacing. Now that the head has died down, their appears to be a thin, clear, and slightly oily meniscus. I almost didn't notice, but that rainbow effect caught my eye.

S: Green grape must. Dry honey. Slight biscuit.

T/MF: Fairly acidic (though not in a tart/fruity way). Dry honey, and some kind of dry berry flavor. Slight lime peel and black tea notes. The overall taste brings to mind "elegance". Mouthfeel is rich, yet slightly bubbly.

Interesting. Not fantastic, and it likely needs food, but interesting. And, fairly light for a 10%-er

Poured from a 750mL bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass.

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Photo of DrSchnitzengiggle
4.79/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottled in 2012. Drank in 2015.

I loved this beer. It has a very intriguing smell. Lots of fruit and honey. The fruitiness carries over to the flavor, and the finish is smooth. Even with some age on it, the alcohol is still present, but it's mild. Definitely worth your money.

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Photo of BoljaBoy52
4.64/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful Amber color. Smell is of a citrusy wine. Taste is notes of citrus, juicy grapes and alcohol. Finishes tart and dry. Mouthfeel is explosive. Incredible beer and ancient recreation!!

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.74/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Brilliant golden color with excellent clarity. There's a fingernail of white around the rim of the glass and a third of the rest of the beer. I smell white grape juice and a hint of sweet honey. The flavor is an intense burst of white grape juice and sweet honey. The mouth is thick with sweet malt and plenty of sugar from the honey, hawthworn fruit and grape juice.

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Photo of ARoman
3.72/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap, poured into a sampler glass as the American Beer Classic. The aroma has a potent ammonia note to it with undertones of citrus, grapes, and alcohol. The beer is clear yellow amber with a white, dense soap head that has good retention and lace. The taste is highly sweet with a medium bitterness. The beer is waxy with a fuzzy carbonation and a medium body. The flavor is not too dissimilar to a white wine with flavors of white grapes, an alcohol warmth, honey, bread, and a mellow spice that heighten at the finish with a zip like a champagne or crisp white wine along with some bread flavors. The aftertaste is fairly long with warm alcohol, spice, and citrus.

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Photo of Slack
3.71/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Light gold in color with a minor amount of head. Clear. Minor lacing.

Smell is dominated by sweetness. Am getting some fruit and floral notes. Also there is a bit of a musk.

Taste is sweetness again but more in line with honey. Equally present is white wine. A dry and sour note appear too. No hops.

Mouthful is medium with light carbonation.

Overall the beer's back story in conjunction with the beer itself lend to trying. I found that towards the end of the beer, the cloying nature was beginning to detract.

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Photo of Crossbreed29
4.58/5  rDev +20.2%
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.

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Photo of JackieTH
4.01/5  rDev +5.2%
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..

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Photo of MattyG85
4.29/5  rDev +12.6%
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.

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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.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

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Photo of WhiteHillsStore
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

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Photo of jopezu
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
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! =)

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Photo of Marcio_Beck
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

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Photo of Nicked
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

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Chateau Jiahu from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 563 ratings.