1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Chateau Jiahu - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Chateau JiahuChateau Jiahu

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

1,322 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,322
Reviews: 544
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.79%
Wants: 90
Gots: 181 | 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
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 1,322 | Reviews: 544
Photo of MarkSCCOT
4.12/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into my faithful Unibroue oversized wineglass. Paired with Thanksgiving dinner. The Holidays are the time to raid the cellar.

A. A tangerine orange beer with a beautiful head that quickly dissipates to a moderate lacing.

S. This is the first beer that I have reviewed that smells more like a wine than a beer. I can definitely appreciate the muscat grapes and an aftersmell of honey.

T. This tastes like a hopped wine if that is possible. Again the grapes are forefront and the honey comes around.

M. Very fruity, pulpy beer that finishes with a sharp clean finish.

D. Hard to get. Higher abv. Would still love to cellar this beer and try it over the next few holiday dinners.

Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.17/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I decided to buy this on a whim. I've been intrigued by the concept for some time but always wound up putting my money into other brews first.

A - Pours a hazy orange amber wtih a nice off white head.
S - honey, spices, sweet ripe fruit malts and a note that reminds me of a nice light wine.
T - similar to the aromas but melding in a wonderfully complimentary way.
M - medium to full bodied, mildy carbonated, sweet vinous aftertaste.
D - a definite treat. THANK YOU DFH for not putting the ABV through the roof on this one. Yes I shouted but it deserves emphasis. This drinks nicely.

I would recommend trying this if you like a range of beers or are open to a beer with very un-beer characteristics.

Photo of xthemystic
3.52/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Unfiltered hazy honey colored liquid pours out of the bottle. Not much head lingering about. Toward the end of the pour sediment swirls down into the glass. Looks more or less close to a hefeweizen.

S- Sweet, with a lot of active carbonation in the nose. This popping carbonation smells of champagne. After the sweet and champagne aromas permeate the nostrils, a mellow apple comes in to top it all off.

T- Crisp. Sweet. Like a champagne in this way, but also tastes very much of honey. Significant alcohol burn upfront cleans palate with each sip for the renewed sweetness of honey.

M- Again crisp. Effervescent. Feels very dry and active.

D- Good enough to drink a whole bottle, but not something that most would stock in abundance.

While Dogfish Head gets their share of naysayers, i generally like the innovative spirit of the company. This is another interesting selection, which, like most of their stuff, has its place on my palate when looking i'm looking for something beyond a well crafted selection of a specific style. Oh, and for those who don't like drinking sediment, simply don't shake up the bottle too much, and don't drain it down to the bottom. I suppose you could also decant it down. So anyway, pretty tasty, and a pretty awesome concept, in both brewing and historical terms.

Photo of Gusler
4.76/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Flowing like the waters of Yangtze before the Three Gorges Dam, it fills the glass with a slightly hazy orange, the head a huge pile of frothy white, which erodes slowly, the resultant lacing, a complete coat to hide the glass. Nose, a phenomenal blend of aromas, honey, grapes, barley, rice, Hawthorn fruit, Chrysanthemum flowers, yeast, what a lineup, and they all blend perfectly. Ambrosial start, with a twang at the back, top feels moderate to the palate. Finish is modestly acidic, sweet, flowery and dry aftertaste nails itself to the taste buds, what a brew, what a marvelous concoction of grains, flowers and fruit, a true one of a kind masterpiece of the brewers’ art.

Photo of ultralarry2006
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle that indicates that it was "bottled on 07/10/07". Leaves about one finger of a slightly tan head with good retention, and some good spotty lacing. Body is a hazy orange-peach tinted amber.

Smell - honey, some sugar, spices, honeydew melons, and a hint of toasty malt biscuits.

Taste - honey, sugar, green raisins, honeydew melons, and spices. There is a hint of toasty maltbiscuits in the middle. Finishes the way it started with the fruit, honey, sugar, and spices. Well hidden alcohol.

Mouthfeel - medium to full bodied, slightly syrupy.

Drinkability - this is a good ale. Its abv limits sessionability, and also this would seem to be something to go with dinner and/or dessert, rather than serve as a session beer.

Photo of bluejacket74
3.67/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle, bottled on 7/10/07. Served in a pint glass, it pours clear gold with a half inch white head. Not much head retention or lacing. It smells like honey, grain, apricots and grapes. There's also an aroma that reminds me of Budweiser for some reason (not in a bad way), I can't exactly explain it. Taste is fruity and sweet. It tastes pretty much the same way it smells, except there's a bit of a spicy and floral taste too. Mouthfeel/body is medium, with a bit of a syrupy feel. Drinkability is OK. Alcohol is noticable, but it's not overpowering. It's another unique brew from Dogfish Head, that's for sure. I'd have to be in a certain mood to drink this again but I would revisit this in the future.

Photo of Freshie
4.65/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

When reading up on this many months ago, when the brothers put this in the Beer Smack, I gave it the old "Hmm, I don't know" attitude. An attitude that proved correct with other such historical brews. Some even from this very same brewery. Brewers always seem so well intentioned in the creation of these ales, and in my adventure through this craft beer world, I usually take the bait, only to be disappointed in the end.

Well, I guess I am still idealistic because yesterday I bought a very pretty bottle of this Chateau Jiahu, and I am pleased to say I am a believer again.

Very pungent fruit aromas entice the nostrils. Sweet, yet still subtle, with just a hint of spice.

The taste is spicy at first. Hops rise to the occasion, replaced by fruit esters. Grape, and what I assume is the advertised Hawthorn. A honey sweetness coats the throat in a mild, but welcomed syrupy texture.

The honey balances out the other rather extreme flavors, leaving this one very drinkable.

Cheers to Sam, and everyone at DFH for a job well done on this one.

Photo of beerphilosopher
4.12/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ML bottle, this strange fluid pours a medium yellow color, with highlights of light honey. Active carbonation bubbles soar to the surface of the liquid in the large white wine glass I’m using to review this beer. The rather thin head is tight and quite sticky, leaving spots of lacing inside the glassware. The nose is quite simply otherworldly – is this beer or possibly a complex white wine? The Muscat grapes used in this beer are present right from the start and lend a very unusual wine-like bouquet to the nose, making you think you might be drinking a sparkling white wine instead of a (technically) beer. Slightly sweet on the nose as well, the wildflower honey is evident and makes one think a bit of a mead. This is either one of the most complex beers ever, or it has a serious identity crisis. Slight floral notes, which I can only assume is from the chrysanthemum, are very inviting as well. The nose is, quite honestly, more like a wine or a mead than a beer, on first blush. The palate does not pale in comparison to the nose, but grants a fuller picture of what the nose only hints at. Again, a sparkling white wine comes to mind, but the mouth feel is obviously thicker and the initial flavor substantially sweeter. The sweetness subsides a little bit as the beer sits in the mouth, and yields to a spicier, fruitier composition that reminds me of a good Belgian tripel. Without a doubt though, the honey and the grapes are dominant on the palate. The finish is moderately dry, and the carbonation is just adequate to keep this beer from being sticky and cloying. In a nutshell, this beer has a lot going on all at once. I’m a little bit torn whether it all melds together masterfully, or it’s just a little outside the realm of congruence. Whatever your take is, however, this is clearly a well-crafted and seriously complex beer that defies style and stretches the palate in a very good way. I think if you really like a Belgian Tripel, or maybe even a saison, you’ll at least appreciate this beer. For me, I genuinely like it and would like to revisit it again. Like anything new, a beer that is this unique takes some getting used to. Dogfish Head does it again.

Photo of hreb
3.89/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased from the Dogfish Head Brewery. 750 mL Bottle is dated as bottled on 7/11/07. Served cold and poured into a wide-mouth Chimay glass for maximum aroma. Pours yellow and orange amber with a tiny white head and an aroma of honey and sweet apple juice. Perhaps very faintly spicy, as of allspice or something.

First taste is fizzy and lush with complex fruits: oranges, apricots. A very faint bitterness balances it out, and the result is not nearly as sweet as the aroma would indicate. The beer is light enough to be refreshing, despite the relatively high alcohol content (par for Dogfish), with neither cloying sweet flavors nor overwhelming bitterness. There's some spice in the background which is eluding me. Something just a little bit sharp. I've never had hawthorn fruit before, and though I have been drinking Chrysanthemum flower tea recently, this does not remind me of that.

I bought this beer with no expectations. Having tasted it I don't quite no what to make of it. I like it, but I can't quite recommend it. The closest parallel I can make to it is #9: tasty, sweet, but not an over the top fruity beer. This is unarguably a more serious beer than #9, but it's not ubiquitous or cheap like #9, so the comparison is unfair. I might need to experiment by feeding this to a more feminine palate...

Photo of CortexBomb
4.22/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

06 Vintage.

Pours out hazy golden, opaque, with a light dusting of a head on it. The smell is very white winey, green grapes, honey, smells tasty.

Taste begins with a sweet and sugary hint, with a tonne of light fruits...pears, granny smith apples, a touch of apricot and then gives way to a huge honey flavour. An exceptionally malty underbody. I quite like it.

The mouthfeel is thick and syrupy, which is my favourite consistency for beer. The drinkability, meanwhile, is not a problem.

Overall: I like the extremely old school beers that Dogfish has been brewing lately. While most of their modern stuff strikes me as merely ok, both Midas and this, Jiahu, have hit a sweet spot with me, literally. I will definitely be picking this up again.

Photo of jcdiflorio
3.77/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Split a 750ml bottle capped opened with a loud hiss,poured into a Chimay glass,a mirky,golden color with a 1' fizzy head, turned quickly into a silky coating.

Clean,very fruity nose,vinious with a grape leaf/currant aroma,remisent of a white wine. Pleasing aromas faint to moderate.

Malty feel to the taste,very sweet,honey-like with apricot,white grapes with a candy-like sugary taste leaving a sugared coating.

Full mouthfeel with a creamy lightness. Interesting taste,more of a sipper,goes down easy,not something i would want to drink a lot of. Seems like a good beer to age with the wine-like feel throughout.

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

Beer pours out a dark golden color, not too far off from some macro lagers. Gives a very small head, with a small ring of lacing. Smell was mild, some light malt and rice, with honey seeming to come through in both smell and taste. The taste is mildly sweet, full of that honey and some spices. Mouthfeel somewhat syrupy to me. All in all, above average, but not great.

Photo of goochpunch
3.21/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy apricot/orange with numerous slow-moving bubbles, distributed evenly throughout the glass, making their way to the thin ring of lace that sits atop the beer. Aroma has a very clean "rice beer" aroma along with some mild graininess and medicinal qualities. I pick up some honey and pholics along with a hint of alcohol. Flavor starts off with a punch of cloying sweetness and fermented rice flavors (think Bud). In the middle comes a mild yet bright tartness along with some floral notes and some fruitiness that does not taste as if derived from fermentation by-products. Finishes with a bit of dryness and a return of the somewhat heavy phenlic edge. Aftertaste is rather sugary, in spite of the relatively dry finish. Mouthfeel is rather sticky and jagged (with concerns to the carbonation). Overall, I enjoy this, in a way, but honestly, this reminds me of a boozier Budweiser with a touch of cloying sweetness, a mild tart presence, and some odd phenolics (and an over-the-top price tag). Impressed? I am more so by the idea rather than the execution.

Photo of WesWes
3.48/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a nice golden color with virtually no head at all. The aroma is decent. It has a fruity scent that smells of grapes and honey. I'm not sure I'm a huge fan of the aroma, but whatever. The taste is decent as well. It has a wine taste to it. There are flavors of honey and fruit with a bland grape juice flavor. The mouthfeel is average. It is a full bodied brew with less than adequate carbonation. I'm really not impressed with Dogfish Head's new brew additions. I guess they're cool and innovative, but I'm totally uninterested.

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

Bottled on 8/28/06.

I was admittedly a bit frightened by this one heading in, as I don't particularly like saké, or mead for that matter, and I have no idea what either hawthorn fruit or chrysanthemum flowers taste like.

It pours to a lightly smogged yellow with a skimming of tiny-bubbled foam.
Honey is immediately identifiable on the nose and is by far and away the premier factor. A secondary saké impression appears. Otherwise, it suggests mushy yellow apples, watermelon candies, rose petals and a variety of other garden blooms.
It enters the mouth with a burst of honey sweetness. It turns toward apple, melon, and white grape and stays every bit as sweet. For a moment, if you weren't paying attention, it could almost be confused with a hellesbock. Then the rice starts to show through and mingles with a dry and almond-pasty saké yeast. Wildflowers pick up the slack and continue the sweet trend, as it rides off in a perfumed direction.
Medium bodied, and fairly highly carbonation upfront, though the bubbles escape from the liquid quickly. Even when flat, this doesn't cloy up.
I dig the historical research behind this, and actually dig the reinterpretation quite a bit too. I never much cared for their other foray into the past, Midas Touch. But I'd do this again. The numbers I've assigned are more or less meaningless, because it is incomparable to anything. A "mood" beverage for sure, but I think it was pulled off well.

Photo of tanarm
4.14/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the 750ml into a wine glass. No head to speak of, put plenty of carbonation visible. (On a second pour into a flute, got very nice foamy head, but it fizzed away quickly). Hazy yellow-golden color.

Aroma is very nice, floral and sweet, mostly floral... Taste is very much the same, hard to describe these flavors, but they are really nice. Full bodied, but with a dry finish. Fruity and floral notes blend with some caramel, and some honeyish sweetness. The 8% abv is barely noticeable.

A very nice offering, I will have to get some more of this while this batch is available. Bottled July 10, 2007.

Photo of ThirdCoast
3.91/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

ST: A 750 ml bottle poured into a glass goblet.

A: A wonderful orange, honey color with a lace on the top of the beer.

S: Floral, musty, grass, earthy, sweet. A complex aroma.

T: Sweet, earthy, honey, such a nice flavor.

M: Creamy smooth, leaves a slight sting on the palette, but a nice mouthfeel.

D: Not my favorite by far, but another wonderful brew from one of my favorite brewers.

Photo of jdhilt
3.94/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a two finger white head that fades slowly leaving traces of lace. Cloudy almost pale amber color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Grape nose. Flavor is grape at first but then a sweet/tartness from the hawthorn, hops are in the background. Clean finish. Interesting beer. $10.90 for a 750ml bottle from Tully's Beer and Wine Wells, ME. Bottled on Jul 11, 2007.

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.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Chateau Jiahu from Dogfish Head Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 1,322 ratings.