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Chateau Jiahu - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Chateau JiahuChateau Jiahu

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,304 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,304
Reviews: 539
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.79%
Wants: 90
Gots: 168 | 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: 1,304 | Reviews: 539 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of FightingEntropy
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: wine bottle from Riley's poured in a tulip glass.

A: Lookse like cider--orange yellow glow--barely there pearly white head that falls as I poured down the center.

S: my wife says it smells like Budweiser and turns up her nose. Not sure if it's the rice or what the similates, or more likely the appley smell of Bud, but it's there but siginificantly better nose overall. Light airy spice, apple, watermelon jolly ranchers...

T: more fruit and spice, watermelon, sweet honey and malt, spice, and flowery in the mouth as well as the nose, carbonated to tickle rather than bite.

M: medium light but not thin or watery. Carbonation seems to float away and go flat as it warms, even though I capped the bottle in between refreshers.

D: extermely easy, in spite of the alcohol content, which I didn't notice as much as other reveiwers.

Overall: Very cool to be drinking a 9000 year old recipe--in fact, it's one of the reasons I want to homebrew more is to do historic recipes. While this is interesting and nice, it doesn't tickle my fancy that much. Good but not something I'll buy again in spite of my love and respect for Dogfish to make beer like this--though, I did buy this one $12 bottle in the name of the cause, nor can I say I was disappointed--just not overwhelmed and expect it was a tremendous ale 9 millenia ago.

Photo of jjayjaye
3.92/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy golden yellow color with a shallow wispy fizzy white head that fades fairly rapidly. Very light lacing. The smell is kind of nice. I get honey and grapes mostly with a little apple and spice. Light bodied, the mouth feel is mild and creamy yet adequately carbonated. The flavor is soft, sweet and fruity; a little apple lightly spiced. A little like a mellow apple-pear marainge . Finishes with a lingering orchard fruitiness. The alcohol is well hidden in the mouth, but it is a warmer on the way down. Enjoyable, kudos; scores points for imagination. I am definitely going to snag another... or so.

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pale orange-ish yellow with a small white head. Aromas of honey, spices, and a sweet malt. In the taste, honey is quite predominate, and a lemon citrus charicteristic. A clean mouthfeel with an aftertaste of honey and a small presence of something like medicinal. I liked the dry honey taste. Easy to drink and quite different.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.3/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice reddish orange, quite cloudy. Very little head and no real lacing, but hey, who knows what beer looked like way back when. For now, I'm not complaining. The smell is fruity with orange, something berrylike,and a waxiness and earthiness from the rice. The taste is smooth, complicated and interesting. An underlying red rice flavor seems evident, similar to a red rice saki- waxy and earthy notes. There are also substantial honey flavors, so there is a meadlike feel as well. Some slight astringent notes from the Hawthorne. Mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy. Very interesting and quite drinkable- I also love the archaelogical beer project, let's keep them coming!

Photo of ksbrainard
4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - This beer is a beautiful glowing golden orange, with a small head that quickly dissipates.

S - Smells sweet and fruity, and a little spicy, almost like a Saison. It could even be said to smell like apple cider. You can really smell the honey and grapes in there.

T - Taste goes along with the smell. It is fruity, almost sticky, but not overwhelming. It is balanced with a bitterness that tastes like hops, but it doesn't seem like there are hops in there, according to what I've read. Must be the flowers or whatever that are bitter. If so, I can see where hops came into use. Early sips provided a warm alcohol feeling in the chest. This is a very pleasantly sweet and light (tasting) beer.

M - It is a bit sticky, probably from honey, but it also has a nice fizziness to balance that, and it has enough of a watery feel to also balance the stickiness.

D - I think this is a very drinkable, and I just love it overall. I guess if you aren't in the mood for a light, sweet, refreshing drink then this isn't the best choice, but on a Friday after a hot work day, this was perfect for me.

Photo of bluegrassbrew
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a crystal clear straw color. A nice white head that drops to a ring. No lace to speak of.

Smell is bold. Grapes and muscadines hit you right away. Maybe some spicy clove like notes??

Taste is much the same as the smell. Muscadines and spices. Some green grapes in the finish.

Overall, a tasty and very interesting brew. IMO better than Midas Touch though along the same lines. Recommended.

Photo of robrobrob
3.33/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was excited to try this one, but my hopes weren't so high for it because I'm not really big on fruity spicy beers. It poured a cool, cloudy November orange with no head at all. There was a lot of suspended yeast and some precipitate as well. Smell was spicy and fruity, a lot like cider with notes of herbaceous plants. It tasted a lot like a hard cider to me, the grapes were noticeable and so was the honey-lent sweetness. It was light and spicy in the mouth, though the taste of the alcohol wasn't very prevalent, the feeling of it was there. I wasn't nuts about this one, and wouldn't be inclined to drink more than the pint I had when I shared the bottle of this with my dad. Not a bad one-off though, It wasn't for me, but other people might be more inclined to like it.

Photo of hellcatsjg
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark cloudy orange with almost no head and no lacing. Second pour brings a lot of sediment.

Smell: Smells sweet. A combination of grapes, sugars, and bit of a floral aroma as well.

Taste: Nice and complex. Initial taste is of light grapes and sweetness, with perhaps a touch of honey, which gives way to a malty flavor. The end of the sip brings out a taste that I first thought of as a white wine, but after a while realized was a Sake taste. Good complexity here.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth. Not much carbonation but does a good job of bringing out the array of flavors in a good order with each taste.

Drinkability: Very high. The smoothness of the beer combined with the mid-range alcohol make this very easy, and very tasty, to drink. A very worthwhile addition to Dogfish's lineup this year. Highly recommended.

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Comes out of the bottle a nice clear golden-amber with a hint of orange. Aroma is crisp and hoppy with a bit of an alcohol bite and a touch of citrus. Flavor is hoppy, crisp and edgy, with some malt element and a strong orange hint - rather different from other beers I have tried, perhaps because the recipe is supposed to be 9,000 years old. It is smooth with just a little bitterness and a hint of orange flavor in the aftertaste.

Photo of Da1nonlyBD
3.35/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Usually I like Dogfish Head beers, but this one was a little diffrent. The wife and I bought it (along with some other beers) at Wells in Towson, and drank it last night. Right after the pour, there was a TON of floaties in there. I've had this beer before and it was nothing like this one. I remember dogfish saying there were really into quality control, but I guess they missed one. I still drank it though, as it tasted ok. Smell was probably the best thing about it. I dont think I'll get this one again.

Photo of BeerBelcher
3.15/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

I wasn't quite sure what to make of this beer before trying it. I view most of these "ancient recipes" with skepticism (Midas Touch included), as I believe there is a reason we're not walking around festivals drinking flat beer through a long straw from urns. Nonetheless, I was intrigued by the ingredient list and wanted to give it a try.

It pours a slightly hazy lemonade color, with lots of densely packed tiny bubbles (typical evidence of secondary fermentation). Aroma is slightly sour fruit. Flavor was of white raisins, with a layer of candy sugar atop them (must be the honey?). I didn't find this beer to be as complex as I'd hoped, and it didn't really score huge points with me for drinkability either. Mouthfeel was quite nice. However, I would call it unique, and it definitely wasn't bad.

I guess based on the uniqueness alone, I'd weakly recommend it.

Photo of tgbljb
4.3/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a cloudy medium orange-amber color with modest head. Some chunky floaters also [resent.
Smell is summer fruity, with strong notes of grares and apricot. Also some floral notes are found.
Taste is extremely nice, with a strong friuty taste. The diffferent fruit tastes blend perfectly to produce a nice refreshing summer beer.
Great drinkability for an 8% beer. Alcohol is completely hidden.
Another good beer from Dogfish Head.

Photo of smcolw
3.45/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Slight cloudiness with a darkened golden color. Very little head and no lace whatsoever.

Refreshing smell of wildflower honey--similar to a dry mead.

There's strong flavor of honey with a powerful sourness (like an under-ripe apple) to counterbalance the sweetness. Very similar to a light melomel. No hop. Full bodied and highly carbonated.

This is not a drinking man's beer. There is a lot unusual flavor to this offering. With an open mind, this can be a great beer to test. That said, it isn't my style as I prefer more hoppy beers, but I'm glad I have had a chance to try it.

Photo of sleazo
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pours ahazy brownish yellow. Minimal head and lace.

S smells of apricots and honey. No hops to speak of.

T. A honey mead like sweetness with hints of wheat, apples apricots, grapes and a lot more. Very complex taste. Dry finish.

M-slightly syrupy with a pleasing carbonation of tight small bubbles to break it up

D very good. I usually don't like such sweet beveriges but this does the trick on a hot day

Photo of YonderWanderer
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle.

A: Hazy, yellowish-orange color with a small head that dissipates fairly quickly.

S: Apples, pears, grapes, a tiny bit of ginger, honey. Not bad overall, intriguing for a beer.

T: I was really surprised how much I enjoyed this beer. It comes through as a malty beer spiced with a mixture of grapes, honey, and ginger. No real hops profile to speak of, as the spices and malt blend with each other nicely.

M: Lightly carbonated, and pretty thin to drink. Fits the beer well though.

D: I've had this a few times, and will continue to drink it from time to time. It's not an every-day beer, but it's a nice change of pace from time to time.

Photo of Boto
4.58/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle: Mine poured into the glass with a bit of fizziness, but no head to speak of and what was there was gone almost instantly. The color is a cloudy, orange hued dark golden. The aroma is nice. Hints of spices and slightly orange to the nose. Maybe pears and honey too. Somewhat sweet, with notes of pears and honey to the taste. Also some spiciness. This is really good. It is interesting that someone may have been sipping a similar concoction 9000 years ago. Another fine and creative beer from a great brewery.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.23/5  rDev -14.3%
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.

Photo of Flyer
3.47/5  rDev -8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy lemony color. Mine had more than a few suspended particles and a minimal head. Faintly floral aroma. The flavor is a nice, crisp pear-pineapple with a good bite on the back of the tongue. The alcohol makes its presence felt in a nice way, with a gentle warming at the end and just a hint of burn. A very nice change of pace.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.43/5  rDev -35.5%
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".

Photo of SilentSabre
3.64/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

$11,00/750mL Kwik Liquor N. Green River Rd. Evansville, Ind. USA

I must say, I liked this a bit more than I thought I would. After reading everyone's reviews stating that it was too sweet, or they couldn't handle a whole 750 by themself or whatever the case, I was a bit leary of this, but I actually ended up liking it.
It was really unlike any beer I have ever had, but rather a beer / white wine hybrid. It poured a cloudy orange colour with loads of debris both floating about and suspended in the liquid. Head vanished rather quickly. It isn't exactly a pretty beer to look at, but it smells and tastes quite nicely and that's all that matters.
Smell is floral/botanical with a bit of honey tht is fairly identifiable. There is also a bit of yeast detectable, as well.
Taste is very much like white wine with the muscat grapes really pronounced. The only beer-like quality I could easily fine in the taste, was a dryness (biscuity is the closest word I can think of, but it wasn't truly biscuity) on the finish.
Considering how bizarre this is, the relative sweetness, and the fact that it is 8,0%abv, I feel that this is rather drinkable, and have no problem at all finishing a 750mL by myself. Certainly one of the better strange or specialty offerings from DFH, IMO.

Photo of crwills
3.4/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Tasting at biegaman's place with grub, viggo, lexx, blankboy (RB), and tupalev (RB). I didn't write down who brought what, unfortunately, so thanks everyone! (Oh wait, I brought this one...)

Poured a surprisingly pale yellow, almost like a white wine, into the sample glass. Honey and fresh fruit aromas, grapes and apples mostly. Flavour is more sweet honey with very little carbonation, with some pears, sweet apples, and red grapes. Long-lasting cloying aftertaste and a thickly oily mouthfeel.

Not something I'd want to drink often, or even a whole bottle of, but not bad and worth trying!

Photo of flexabull
4.12/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of Diagathyramb. Thanks angain!

Shared with a friend who likes good beer. Though this isn't really much like a "beer".

Pours a cloudy light gold color with a faint white head. Looks a lot like an unfiltered wheat.

Smells flowery, of honey, and with notes of citrus fruit.

Tastes quite sweet, must be from the muscat grapes. A definite citrus fruit like quality, honey flavor is noticed as well. Beer has a crisp bright and dry finish, with a bit of warming alcohol like feeling. Certainly an interesting beer to taste.

Mouthfeel is very nice. Very full bodied, and it's coats the mouth quite nicely.

A very easy and interesting beer to drink. A bit of novelty, not sure if I'd pay the steep price they charge for this. But more kudos to Dogfish Head for brewing these creative beers!

Photo of nlmartin
4.32/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer was served in a wide mouthed wine goblet.

Appearance: The beer pours as hazy golden coloration. The head was white and about 2.5 fingers high. The head had no retention and quickly resolved to a ring of foam. White flecks of floating sediment are suspended in the beer.

Smell: This beer has a very sweet smell. The beer leads with an unknown fruity sweetness (could this be the hawthorne fruit?), honey, raisins, assorted peppery spiceyness. Bottom line I really like the aroma of this beer.

Taste: The beer is really sweet honey, fruity flavors of unknown origin, raisin / grapes, a pleasant spicey combinaton of pepper and alcohol combined with pleasing earthyness. The finish of the beer is dry inspite of the sweetness. This is a very pleasing beer. I want more!

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The body of the beer is on the light side. I think I would like a bit more carbonation to this brew. The beer is very easy to drink and as stated previously stated I want more. This 750 ml bottle passed very quickly. Thanks DFH for yet one more envelope pushing beer!

Photo of brentk56
4.37/5  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

Photo of biegaman
3.84/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A really neat label, although I can't help but think the tattoo on the lower back of the seductive lady on the front has become fashionable only recently. Then again I doubt they had modern bottling lines then either, so whatever. I assume all aspects are true to the 9000 year old recipe, maybe.
A very, very clouded and sullied appearance. Most of the head fades out quickly. A tangerine orange colour. Complex aroma of bananas, strong suggestion of tropical fruit, heavy sweetness, muscat grapes at the forefront. Flavour is deliciously sweet (the sake yeast maybe?). A little champagne sweetness only without the carbonation. The flavours are lovely and well blended.
Another neat alternative to "beer" as we're used to it and something that would make a lovely 'thank you' or 'hostess' gift that you could bring to a party and enjoy over the course of a social evening.
Thanks to crwills for this treat!

Chateau Jiahu from Dogfish Head Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 1,304 ratings.