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Chateau Jiahu - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Chateau JiahuChateau Jiahu

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

1,277 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,277
Reviews: 535
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 13.76%
Wants: 87
Gots: 153 | 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:
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 added by: marburg on 06-15-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,277 | Reviews: 535 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
3/5  rDev -20.6%

t0rin0, Sep 20, 2012
Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

spycow, Mar 10, 2013
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Story Tavern in Burbank, CA.

Pours a clear orange with a foamy bone head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, honey, fruit, and slight herbal and spice aromas. Taste is much the same with a fruity flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with an interesting back story but the flavor is quite sweet.

UCLABrewN84, Apr 23, 2013
Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -20.6%

djrn2, Jan 05, 2012
Photo of zestar
3.25/5  rDev -14%

zestar, Aug 13, 2014
Photo of Thorpe429
3.6/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a moderate golden color into might tulip. A slight amount of haze and a light head and some lacing that falls a bit too quickly. The nose is spice with some green apple, grapes, and honey. The taste is fairly sweet with a tad bit of spicing and some mild fruit flavors. Zesty feel with a nice body. Drinks pretty well; a nice and interesting brew.

Thorpe429, Nov 10, 2010
Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Texasfan549, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of metter98
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: It pours clear golden yellow in color with a nice frothy head. A moderate level of carbonation is visible.
S: There is a moderate smell of grapes in the nose.
T: The taste is relatively sweet, complex and has a good balance; the grapes and honey flavors really stand out but are nicely balanced by the underlying malts and the other flavors.
M: It feels medium-bodied and rather smooth on the palate.
D: This is a good beer to sip as the interesting flavors will continue to hold your palate's attention. The alcohol is relatively well masked, so I think I would try this again.

metter98, May 02, 2010
Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev +5.8%

GRG1313, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +5.8%

kjkinsey, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of brentk56
4.38/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden color with a modest head that quickly declines to a film but leaves some splotches of lace around the chalice

Smell: Bananas and honey with subtle undertones of one of the more expensive sakes I have tried; fortified grape aromatics as well

Taste: Starts with a rice pudding flavor that is quickly joined by the banana and honey aspects; all of those flavors blend nicely by mid-palate; after the swallow, the grape flavors kick in and are joined by a subtle herbaciousness that creeps in that I cannot identify but must be the hawthorn and chrysanthemum

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and creamy with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: I approached this with some trepidation as Dogfish Head has been hit or miss with me; but this one knocks it out of the park; well-blended with tremendous complexity

brentk56, May 28, 2007
Photo of BEERchitect
4.47/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Newly distributed to Central Kentucky, this is a warm welcome. The orange / straw, murky look promises honey sweetness, fruity flavors and a firm body. The beer doesn't disapoint. Tremendous honey sweetnees without cloying. Very fruity with pears, peaches, and ripe apples. Very wine-like with a satisfying malt base. Spices of giner, clove, nutmeg and corriander give the beer an added complexity and compliment the beer well. An earthy, herbal quality persists. The beer, though viscous in the start, finishes with a drinkable tartness and dryness. Quite clean for such a sweet and varying beer; sorta Midas Touch-like, just better. Dogfish just won me over again.

BEERchitect, Oct 11, 2006
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.25/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of Plucier: Poured a golden yellow color ale with a nice white head with average retention and not much lacing. Aroma of malt is weak with some sweetness probably coming from honey. Taste is quit sweet with honey dominating and some light spices also noticeable. Body is about average with some good carbonation and no alcohol was noticeable. Overall, I thought this lack complexity and was slightly too sweet for my palate. Definitely not the best from this great brewery.

Phyl21ca, Jul 11, 2007
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Radiant tangerine-amber that looks like a perfect mixture of orange juice and pineapple juice. The head is no slouch either. It's either dark ivory or pale ecru, with a firm look rather than a creamy one. Only a semi-quick descent, a complete lack of rockiness and a near-complete lack of lace keep the appearance from a higher score.

The nose is fantastic. I can definitely appreciate the Muscat grape juice and I'm pretty sure I can pick out the wildflower honey, but beyond that I'm lost. Of course, it's difficult when you have no idea what hawthorn fruit or chrysanthemums smell (or taste) like. There's also a mild funkiness, complemented by a light spiciness, that reminds me of a Belgian saison.

I'm glad the flavor profile takes after the aroma, more or less. With a richer, creamier, more expansive mouthfeel (think world-class tripel), Chateau Jiahu would be a much better beer. It's still damn good, just not *as* good as the outstanding beer lurking just beneath the surface.

White grape juice and honey continue to co-star on the taste buds. It's no surprise, then, that the beer is on the sweet side. That means that I need take it slowly, but then I have the rest of the night to finish the '750'. Something is giving the beer an earthy fruitiness, so I might as well attribute it to the hawthorn fruit. Still no floweriness, though. I wonder if I'm imagining fresh pineapple.

The mouthfeel has a fruit pulp lush stickiness that I love. Again, more carbonation, properly used, would have sent it into the stratosphere. This beer cries out for a Belgian brewer's touch. The silver lining is that fewer bubbles will help me get through the bottle with relative ease.

I never know what to expect from one of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery's experimental ales. Midas Touch, to use but one example, was less than compelling. Chateau Jihau is another matter entirely. It has an interesting back story and is, much more importantly, delicious beer. It probably doesn't much resemble what the Chinese were drinking 9000 years ago, but it's fun to pretend. I have no regrets about spending $8.99 for the bottle.

BuckeyeNation, May 27, 2007
Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

jaydoc, Nov 14, 2013
Photo of kylehay2004
3.3/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Single finger head with excellent thick lacing on a golden amber murky body. Aroma of orange juice, candied fruits, honey and caramel. As Is the case with so many dogfish head brews the initial taste is strong, complex. A few more sips one can pick out orange blossom, honey, candied fruits up front finishing very sweet and floral. Oily, medium body and light to moderate carbonation. This one is pretty boozy and too sweet for me. Complex and worth trying. I would share the bottle with a friend or three.

kylehay2004, Dec 25, 2012
Photo of mikesgroove
4.33/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml capped bottled poured into several Goblets

A – Poured a very hazy and extremely sediment filled golden yellow, almost a honey color with no real head to speak of. No visible carbonation, nor was there any side glass lace. There were more suspended particles in this then I have ever seen before. Everything was floating and swimming throughout it.

S – The aroma was very sweet. Lots of honey and sweet grain like smells. There was a touch of some light grass and a touch of some kind of light grape or other light fruit as well. This smelled a lot like mead or a honey braggott. Very sweet and very light.

T – The flavor was surprisingly very good. I thought for sure this was going to be like a honey overload or another bland novelty but this was quite tasty actually. The initial flavor was full of honey with a touch of grain melded into the back. This gave way to a more light grape mixed in with honey sort of taste. Hard to describe other then very sweet with absolutely no hop profile at all, but this was to be expected. Very light profile not too heavy at all and not overboard on the sweetness. A good amount of rice flavor mixed in as well, and this gave it a lighter profile on top and helped balance out the sweetness a good deal.

M – Very syrup like feel, albeit much thinner. But with very little in the way of carbonation in here it took on a definite slick like feel and it made it a little difficult to enjoy the finish. Very flat and very mead like, which is fitting with the style I suppose.

D – Now here it is interesting. At first I was not so taken by it and was wondering how this bottle was going to go down, but surprisingly it actually was very drinkable and I was easily able to complete it. No hint of ABV at all and really an effortless drink.

Overall this was quite unique. Something that was very much different then most other things I had tried. There was a certain amount of oldness to it. Kind of weird having something that has been consumed in one form for thousands of years but it works very well. Lots of honey and rice and a good deal of sediment. This was something I would try again with no issue. It was definitely interesting and was worth the price.

mikesgroove, Dec 17, 2007
Photo of Knapp85
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as an orange color, expected red for some reason. The head fizzled away pretty quickly just leaving a white ring. The smell is sweet and has a good herbal aroma to it. The taste gives off a wine like flavor, along with some floral and fruity flavors. The mouthfeel is on the lighter side here and it's pretty smooth also. I'd like to try this one again sometime because it's been a while. This deserves another taste for sure.

Knapp85, Jun 02, 2011
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3/5  rDev -20.6%

westcoastbeerlvr, Oct 12, 2013
Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.4/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy, pale gold body with a teeny, tiny white head.

Smell: Faint aroma of pears, white grapes, and honey.

Taste: Weak, meandering flavors of thin strawberry juice, dusty grapes, subtle spices, and sweet grains. Finishes with a tangy-sweet zip.

Mouthfeel: Thin-bodied. Low carbonation.

Drinkability: Thanks, but no thanks. So far, I haven't been a big fan of these "residue beers".

ChainGangGuy, Jun 20, 2007
Photo of oberon
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Mellow in Greensboro.Poured into a goblet a medium to darker golden with a thin quick to fade white head,white grap juice aromas along with sweet honey,a little leafy heb in there as well.Sweet white grape skins and honey flavors dominate,there is enough of herbal dryness in the finish to keep it from being overly sweet.Its pretty good,its not nearly as complex as I would have thought,nice to try it but one and done is good enough for me.

oberon, Mar 07, 2011
Photo of TMoney2591
4.28/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a glass akin to a flute, but not quite one...

Pours a slightly cloudy golden amber, with a very small head and appropriately minimal lacing. The nose is honey, peach, white grapes, lemon, and coriander. The taste is similar, with notes of honey, white grapes, citrus, blood orange, and lemon zest. The body is on the heavier side of medium (or the lightest side of heavy...whichever), with relatively low carbonation and a somewhat syrupy feel, leading to a high but hindered drinkability (it would be a bit higher if the body were slightly thinner and the ABV a tad lower). Those ancient Chinese had a winner here...

TMoney2591, Mar 15, 2010
Photo of JAHMUR
3/5  rDev -20.6%

JAHMUR, Dec 20, 2011
Photo of biboergosum
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I just saw the Dogfish Head Variety Show, uh, I mean Brew Masters, episode where they had to dump a batch of this, which makes me wonder how on Earth I'm able to procure a bottle of this locally. Oh well - count my blessings...and nice Chinese tramp stamp imagery on the label...

This beer pours a hazy pale golden hue, with one finger of soapy white head, which settles quickly, leaving very little in the way of lace around the glass. It smells of honey and sweet white grape juice, very much of the fragrant Concord or Muscat type. The taste is very sweet musky young white wine, a bit of citrus, sake, more wild honey, and, oh, what the hell, I'll say there's some kind of grain in there too. The carbonation is moderate, the body smooth and weighty in that sugary grape juice manner - read: on the low end of cloying. It finishes still sweet and somewhat musky, the honey and white grape juice still front and center.

I know this has barley in it - it's just that I can't really tell by drinking it. If you told me this was a mead/late harvest white wine blend, then I'd be sold. The 8 points of booze are well obfuscated by the strong sweetness, and thoughts of beer are generally subsumed. It's cool that DFH is trying to revive lost beer styles - but they are also blurring the border between actual beer and other alcoholic beverages.

biboergosum, Dec 24, 2010
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.74/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I love this series, and I was stoked to see this on tap at the new renegade tap house on university. it pours a hazy orange tinted thicker color, with a colossal three inch white fizzy head on top with fine retention. the nose is very unique, and I think I smell sake yeast, although im not a big sake guy generally. lots of interesting fruits as well, and a grain blend only dogfish head could come up with. the first sip I notice the feel more than the flavor, its denser than it looks, not very carbonated despite the head, and has a bit of honey type sugars on the back end, a funny feel that I don't totally love. the flavor I do love though, floral and sweet, bright, and decidedly eastern in vibe. there are ingredients here that I am entirely unfamiliar with, but much like etrusca, midas touch, and some of the others, I like the way it all comes together in an approachable but challenging way. overall a very impressive beer, especially now that I have learned this is 10% abv, a strength one would never detect from drinking this beer. I hope these archeological brews continue, they are always a lot of fun to sit down with.

StonedTrippin, Jun 10, 2013
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Chateau Jiahu from Dogfish Head Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 1,277 ratings.