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Chateau Jiahu - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Chateau JiahuChateau Jiahu

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

1,262 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,262
Reviews: 535
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.79%
Wants: 85
Gots: 148 | 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: 1,262 | Reviews: 535 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TexIndy
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle with a bottled on date (8/06) laser printed on the neck. The label was really neat and featured a Chinese woman with a tatoo on her lower back - tasteful unlike most of the crap you see out there. It had a nice golden honey color with a bit of orange - slightly hazy. It had about half a finger of head and a ton of initial carb. Both settled down quickly. The smell was a strong fruity smell dominated by grapes. There was also a good spicy kick in there as well. The taste followed the smell with really good fruitiness and spices to offset the sweet. It's not what you normally expect in a beer and in my mind is closer to a sweet wine but I enjoyed it. The 750ml is too much for me. A 12oz bottle every couple years would be enough (or a big bottle to share with a group). Recommend trying because of the uniqueness and history. (3.5, RB, ML, O)

TexIndy, Feb 18, 2007
Photo of acrawf6
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours out a lively orangish amber, but with a white head that fizzles out like soda. I really like the color, but hate how the head disappeared within seconds.

Smell. Smells quite sweet. Lots of fruit aromas (peaches) and spices.

Taste. Very Sweet, and spiced. This one is one the verge of being cloying, but doesnt cross the threshold (for me). Fruit flavor i get are more peaches, but it is the honey flavor that seems to be dominating. Aftertaste is still sweet.

Mouthfeel. Full body. All the sugar leaves my lips a bit sticky. an interesting balance that i think works for this beer.

Overall, i think this is one worth trying for the sake of what it is. I the the high amount of sweetness gives it more uniqueness that i can see many people not liking. If i was not in the mood for something sweet, i probably would not have enjoyed it as much. So wait for your sugartooth to come before opening this one up.

acrawf6, Feb 16, 2007
Photo of Tbone
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy bright yellow with minimal had and zero lacing.

The smell is fruity sweet, with both the grapes and flowers coming through.
Taste is more of the same, but with a subtle, almost saison-like spicy tartness in the finish. It is somewhat mead-like, but less sweet than most meads and with more body.
Not something I would keept on hand, but a novel taste experience worth trying.

Tbone, Feb 15, 2007
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.43/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bright golden color, opaque, slight carbonation, nil head.

Gorgeous aroma, abundant with fruit and flower, light and delicate, yet succulent. Sweetness surrounds the senses, but is well-grounded, and doesn't spoil anything.

Brisk sourness at the front, smack of grapefruit mingled with honey, drizzle of lemon with ...with the squeeze of a rainbow's nutsack.
A brew like this leads you to embrace absurdities, as it contains more than the mind can emcompass.

Light bodied, but so sui generis...

Delicious. An ephemeral blend, quite out-of-this-world, or too much into it, perhaps...lovely, lovely...gorgeous...

what more can I say? Beautiful.

feloniousmonk, Feb 12, 2007
Photo of TheSarge
4.13/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chateau Jiahu is unique. Only Dogfish Head would brew something as ballsy as this concoction.

The brew doesn't give off too much of a heavy aroma. What is present is honey and grapejuice, and that's pretty much it.

When poured this produces very little head, but has a neat medium bodied head of a very hazy and orangish peach appearance.

This tastes almost like a white wine with honey and carbonation, and finishes warmly from what I suppose is the sake strain of yeast used here.

Chateau Jiahu is the first malt beverage my wife could actually down a glass of. Calling this a beer is probably not right. It's more like a mead to me.

TheSarge, Feb 10, 2007
Photo of Morris729
4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy golden peach color with orange highlights and a fluffy white head. Nose is quite floral with notes of honeysuckle, rose, and chrysanthemum along with a light fruitiness of ripe banana and champagne grapes as well as a bit of perfume. Taste begins with sweet tropical fruit and honey nectar along with flowery chrysanthemum followed and balanced by powdery yeast, a grape tartness, and peppery alcohol. Quite unique. Be sure not to have this beer too cold—near room temperature seems ideal.

Morris729, Feb 09, 2007
Photo of bradleyseven
4.18/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

ON TAP - poured into a brandy snifter

beer pours a deep orange-amber color, completely opaque, with about 1/2 inch of white head that quickly dissapated leaving no lacing at all

lots of honey and orange zest with faint hits of grape

light hints of barley; strong sense of orange, honey, and grapes; notes of granny smith apples; and light notes of Rennaisance spices. Little bit of alcohol burn cleans the throat on the way down, but there is a lingering of grapes and honey coating the tongue and inner cheeks.

full bodied and practically syrupy, very minimal bite of carbonation, slightly chewy. as i already stated, there is a slight alchohol burn but some definate lingering of flavors in the mouth.

This is a very complex "beer". The flavors do seem to play nicely together, but the big and sweet aspects of the beer, it is something that i could not drink every day. Nevertheless, it is an interesting drink, with good "after-dinner" potential and would probably present a great opportunity for conversation at a dinner party given the background story of this Dogfish Head oddity.

~E. Brad

bradleyseven, Feb 07, 2007
Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.33/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

A - Hazy brew with a straw to gold color and a very small head. There are flecks of lacing all over the thing.

S - A very strong vinious character, somewhere between a chardonnay and a reisling. A clear presentation of hawthorne fruit . . . of course I'm kidding since I have no clue what hawthorne fruit smell or tastes like (or even looks like). There is also a potent rice backing (actually this probably is also enhancing the chardonnay aroma. There are hints of some fruit with a lot of sugar and an unpleasant aroma flavor. Also a heather-esque herbal aroma. It has an alcohol smell typical of a white wine.

T - The most dominant flavor is rice, I know this flavor well for it is the flavor of a typical malt liquor - only concentrated. Next, I get a potent reisling and light malt sugars. The aftertaste is strangely herbal, almost like heather, along with a strong, slightly bitter rice aftertaste. Not great, but not awful

M - A bit thin and harsh like both a cheap chardonnay and malt liquor (I am thinking King Cobra here). Ther is a bit of drying to it as well.

D - This says it is fermented with Sake yeast, but I thought Sake was fermented with Aspergillus? Oh well. Honestly, I think this drinks like a crappy white wine. I am glad I didn't live in ancient China. Interesting . . . yes. Worth purchasing . . . no. It isn't worth trying, it seems like it is, but the flavor are not exotic, they are mundane, mix of cup of cheap reisling with a Colt 45 and you are pretty much on target. I definitely won't buy this again. The only way anyone should try it is if they buy it with some freinds.

mrasskicktastic, Feb 07, 2007
Photo of Metalmonk
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 8/28/06.

Pours a mildly hazy peach-golden color, with a blinding white head that lasts several good minutes before minimizing. Healthy bubbles too, abundant and quick, even some larger ones settling at the bottom that shoot up randomly. Interesting.

Aroma is honey, lemon, white grape, a slight bit of white pepper...attains an aged sort of dustiness, as if there's a veil over those and other aromas. I ain't just reading the bottle and dreaming, there's this interesting "distance" to the aroma. Earthy and subtle.

Abundant honey carries the flavor, with big peach, ginger, lemon and cinnamon characteristics. A maddeningly hard-to-describe pungency is delivered by what I'm guessing is that Sake yeast, and it's this non-sweet aspect of the flavor that offsets the fruity/herbal dominance elsewhere. Would like to see it come through even stronger, but it does creep up slowly during the sipping.

Mouthfeel is full and very sticky, heavier than your typical herbed/spiced beer. Has an almost mead-like consistency and complements the flavors well. But the stickiness hangs around longer than necessary. If you're drinking the entire bottle alone, a water by your side is highly recommended.

Definitely a sugary beer, but not cloying in a syrupy or alarmingly-sweet way. Also not the utterly incredible concoction we tend to expect from Dogfish Head. (those who dislike sweet beers might as well not even bother with it, considering the price.) It's a different sort of experience, and there's something to be said for that. When it comes to DFH's historical brews, Midas Touch is better, but this one is still worth the time and effort.

Metalmonk, Feb 01, 2007
Photo of allengarvin
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served into a Duvel chalice, this pours a pale cloudy amber with a head that is initially large but fades quick. Fruity aroma (kinda mangoish) with a subtle, unidentifiable spiciness. Very sweet flavor with a lot of fruity esters and a little grapeskin tannicness. Spices are very subtle and don't do much to offset the sweetness. Alcohol flavor becomes apparent at the finish. Feels well-attenuated for the strength, with a medium body.

Somewhat interesting, but not enough to buy again.

allengarvin, Feb 01, 2007
Photo of Beertracker
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dogfish Head Chateau Jiahu is best served at cellar temperatures (45-50°F) from a tulip wine glass or mazer cup. This limited edition beer opens without much ceremony, but pours up lovingly with a surprising amount of carbonation that creates a craggy, whitish head that proudly sits atop a hazy, pale orange-golden body. The varied fruity, floral aroma showcases the chrysanthemums, as well as the wildflower honey with a hint of berry spiciness and graininess mixed into the background. The sporadic flavor starts off with a light barley/rice maltiness with some sweet pyment (grapes & honey) character that gives into a tart spiciness presumedly from the Hawthorn berries. The resulting spicy, "sweet & sour" finish is surprisingly crisp with just a hint of alcoholic complexity. The medium-light bodied finish is a bit thin, but fairly rounded with ample carbonation to carry the "mixed bag" of flavors. This historical concoction from Dogfish is quite interesting and rather beguiling, but certainly not something one could enjoy everyday. Suggested parings include Mandarin Chinese, Szechuan or Cantonese dishes. Here's to another "off-centered" creation from Dogfish Head!

CHEERS! Beertracker

*Taster's Note: Thanks to amatuerbeerguy for sharing this one!

Beertracker, Jan 30, 2007
Photo of IceAce
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750 ml bottle with a Bottled On: 08/28/06

A super-aggressive pour yields a hazy,golden-honey body topped by less than a full finger of off-white, creamy foam with a half-life of 40 seconds.

The nose piques my interest in this brew as the aroma is highly reminiscent of a Belgian Triple with strong esters of alcohol, yeast, and caramelized sugar.

Entry is muted until the midtaste takes over by blanketing the tongue with a thick coating of honey. The fnish is dry and led by red grapes and...surprise!...more honey. Even the lip-licking goodness following the finish is honey based.

So...just how does one go about rating "a beverage found in clay posts in China around 9000 years ago"? My guess is that only a molecular scientist could tell us if the recipe came close to the makeup of the ingredients of the original recipe.

My numbers reflect my overall impression of this brew...nice appearance, great nose, overpowering honey midtaste & finish.

IceAce, Jan 29, 2007
Photo of Nesued
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle as pictured.

Appearance - Cloudly amber/yellow color. Poured with little head that quickly dissipated. A very small ring retained and was fed by a mild/moderate carbonation.

Smell - Malt and honey. A warm fruity presence as well. A bit of mild yeast as well.

Taste - A very smooth offering. The grapes really come through which balances nicely with the sweet honey taste. What is missing is an alcohol taste. I was hard-pressed to even remember that this was a fermented product! Hard to say if this "represents the style" well, since I'm not too familar how many 9000 year old recipes are accessible.

Mouthfeel - A very dense mouthfeel. Almost a syrup feel. The honey seems to create that "dense" feel. Not very carbonated as the pour went on.

Drinkability - I would call this a good "finishing" beer. I wouldn't want to follow this with something more traditional. I would put this in the same category as how I use the fruit lambics (i.e. an after dinner palate cleanser/dessert).

I'm glad I bought this one. Was on a recommendation from Mike's mom at Brawley's in Charlotte, N.C. My only concern was the price. 15 bucks a pop is steep.

Nesued, Jan 29, 2007
Photo of Cadyfatcat
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I popped this beer while smoking a hookah, so a little bit of culture splitting going down here. Poured into a Trappist glass.
Delicate white head that dissipates somewhat quickly. Cloudy orange with small yeast bits floating around in it.
Taste is somewhat akin to a cheap spumante, not to say that it is unpleasant. Floral honey sweetness, not unlike the taste you get when you chew a freshly picked honeysuckle. A lot of tart and actively refreshing grapey tastes. Pretty dry throughout the taste profile. A little bready. Not nearly as complex as I expected. Definitely a sipping beer, would work with a fruity dessert or some authentic Greek yogurt.
A little disappointing for fifteen dollars, but an experience I wanted to have knowing the origin of the recipe. That being said I wish this beer were rougher around the edges, it definitely displays the brewing know-how of a highly respectable craft brewery. I think Dogfish Head should have made an attempt to make this beer a little more authentic, perhaps not filtered it as much, maybe guessed at the bottling point instead of measuring metabolization rates.

Cadyfatcat, Jan 28, 2007
Photo of jasonjlewis
4.3/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Interesting sweet, unique. Decent appearance. head fades fast. Nice cloudy appearance though. Smell was very nice a little bit of banana phenol. Taste was unique. Tastes a little funky. No hops detected, however there are some bitter notes (only slightly). However, nice malt, has a nice fruitiness to it. A lot going on and a funkiness with yeast. Very interesting. A great brew to give wine drinkers and beer drinkers a like. Dogfish head is becoming one of my favorite breweries. They are unique and adventures. Off-centered ales for off-centered people. Well I'm a little off-centered I guess and I love there beers and will continue to pay top dollar to get them shipped to me. Very nice.

jasonjlewis, Jan 28, 2007
Photo of Sephiroth
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 8/28/06. Pours golden yellow with average carbonation. Smells a little sweet and floral.

I can definitely taste the honey in this beer, and there doesn't seem to be much of a malt or grain flavor. And since I already know that there are flowers of some sort in this beer, I'll say that I can taste those too, although I would otherwise be at a loss for words to describe anything else. This is definitely better than Midas Touch, not quite as tart.

The body is medium, and there is something tannic about this beer. I am having no problem drinking the 750ml, but I would not pop another one tonight.

Sephiroth, Jan 26, 2007
Photo of Domingo
3.48/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pretty interesting effort from Dogfish Head. No matter what you think of it, you've got to applaud them for trying something like this and making it pretty drinkable.
Pours a slightly hazy golden color. Forms only a little foam at the top. It's definitely carbonated, but not much.
Smell reminds me a lot of the meads I've had. Honey and a little bit of grape.
Flavor is best described as a cross between a mead and a muscat wine. Not a ton of depth, but it's tasty. Not a lot of grain presence, so I'd judge this as a mead more than a beer. As a mead it's pretty good.
It also drinks more like a wine than a beer. I've had carbonated mead before and I wish this one had their fizz.
Drinkability isn't too bad, though. I split a bottle of it and when it was done I could've had a another if cost weren't an issue.
I admire the effort behind this brew. It's good, and it's a really cool idea. I didn't like their Midas Touch as much (which was similar), but it was priced much better. At $12-13 for a bottle, this is a one off for me. If it were $7 or 8 I could see getting it again, though. I think the concept of an ancient beverage is definite success, but it's more of a novelty unless it were cheaper.

Domingo, Jan 22, 2007
Photo of sulldaddy
2.95/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled this brew courtesy of StrangerBrew, Stopper's bro!
Poured into a snifter at room temp. The beer pours slightly cloudy gold color with minimal fizzy bleached white head of .5 cm that fades gradually.
Aroma is fruity with white grapes, brewady yeast and a bit of cloves. Similar to a fruity muffin actually.
First sip reveals an average body with very fine carbonation, flavor is fruity like the nose, with some sweet honey as well.
I get a bit of booze as well and some yeasty dough notes. The beer seems incomplete in my opinion, did fermentation not run its full course? Not very impressed with this brew, even though it has a good story and interesting recipe.

sulldaddy, Jan 20, 2007
Photo of BeerSox
4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into snifter. The label holds a brief description of the beer as well as artwork by Tara McPherson, showing a woman from the back holding a champagne flute full of Jiahu.

Similar to beer, wort made of rice and barley malt is added to a kettle, but this is where the similarities end. Instead of hops, a mixture of grapes, honey, fruit from the hawthorn plant, and Chrysanthemum flowers (how many homebrewers have added a flower to their beer?), which adds a little sweetness to the boil. Finally, Sake yeast is added for the month long fermentation process. The result is a beer that can’t be classified under traditional methods. Put this one under your Neolithic Rice Beer category if you wish.

Slightly hazy goldenrod hue. A white fizzy head rises to about half an inch, and quickly fades to a thin rim. Scattered bubbles slowly rise from the bottom of the glass to the top creating little pockets of bubbles on the surface. Stringy and spotty lacing coats the glass.

Light malt and honey like aromas start off, with some spicy alcohol coming through. Melon like fruit flavors (probably the hawthorn) add a dull sweetness.

A husky and sweet malt base starts this one off, with some of the rice flavor being detectable, similar to a high powered American Macro Lager. A tea like sweetness is added along with a little bit of spice to balance it. Hints of fruits such as peach and plum add to the complexity, leading to a soft creaminess that tops the mix off perfectly. Full bodied with a lower amount of carbonation giving it a slick oily feel. The finish is sweet with lingering grain and fruit. The alcohol is hidden well, considering it is around eight percent alcohol by volume. The beer tastes beset closer to room temperature, as more elements reveal themselves to add complexity.

Yet another unique beer rolled out from the Dogfish Head brewery in Delaware. This one lives up to their standards as something you typically won’t find from any other brewer in the world. The idea came when a professor from the University of PA asked to recreate an alcoholic beverage that was recently discovered in 9000 year old clay pots. The beer itself still tastes like a fruit or spiced beer, but it has its own uniqueness as well. Sweet with a little bit of offsetting spice. No hops are used in this beer, so it is not susceptible to skunking. If you are drinking one by yourself, watch out for the alcohol. It isn’t easily detectable so it can sneak up on you. Recommended for a try, but I’m sure you will like it.

BeerSox, Jan 18, 2007
Photo of arguemaniac
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden with a wispy, brief lace. Fruity grape aroma. The tasty but subdued fruity sweetness of the palate includes notes of grape, apples and a nice hint of honey. There is also a firm spice profile but it kinda plays hide-and-seek with the mildly warming alcohol. No hops to speak off, but you don’t miss them that much. Somewhat thin mouthfeel with a touch of mellow spice in the finish.

The spice in this one are not as blunt and overpowering as they are with many other Herbed/Spiced ales out there, and, personally, I think that makes it a lot more drinkable. Plus, the delicate fruit flavors of the palate are quite nice. Recommended.

arguemaniac, Jan 16, 2007
Photo of akorsak
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 750 mL capped bottle.

A: The beer is a hazy pale yellow color, resembling a hefe weizen. The head leaves sporadic lacing but does not retain well.

S: The nose is spicy sweet, with ginger and saffron jumping out, along with some honey.

T: The ale has a slightly tart taste of muscat grapes, more ginger and saffron. There is a nice honey base that makes me view this as more of a mead than beer. Not much hop-wise, but the spices make up for it, adding a nice well-rounded flavor that keeps the tastebuds guessing.

M: The mouthfeel is an unusual blend of spices and honey, very sweet and exotic.

D: The ale is interesting, worth a look, like Midas Touch, for the unusual history behind it. This beer will never be a go-to drink, but it is interesting and innovative, as Dogfish Head seems to do consistently.

akorsak, Jan 14, 2007
Photo of soulgrowl
4.3/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Amber chrysanthemum gold. Fair-sized white meringue head with decent retention.

Smell: Lagery in its clear, dry crispness, no doubt because of the rice used in brewing. Light and mildly spicy with a touch of funk from the sake yeast. Hawthorn manifests itself as a subtle fruity tartness. Chrysanthemum adds a wild, herbal, grassy dandelion twang, and honey wafts over the surface of the beer like a cool breeze.

Taste: Sweet and unusual, with a strong but not cloying honey character. Spicy with yeast and alcohol, with a very pronounced edge of sake. Chrysanthemum and hawthorn are not very noticable at first, but they come around in the finish to add a very unique, fruity, herbal tang. Dandelions, tea, and apples come to mind. Truly out of the ordinary.

Mouthfeel: Deceivingly syrupy, as it is quite light and dry, but the aftertaste leaves behind a honeyed viscosity. Good, but it could be better.

Drinkability: I would serve this as you would a sweet sparkling wine. It's really an interesting beer but the whole bomber is a bit much for one person. An excellent pair with white chocolate.

soulgrowl, Jan 13, 2007
Photo of Budlum
3.3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pouring this beer produces one inch of thin, foamy, white head that quickly dissipates. The body is hazy with a pale yellow and orange color definition.

The nose of this beer is quite complicated. Smells are immediately sweet with a lot of sugar and floral notes. Spice presence is strong overall mixing with ginger. A powerful, musty odor closes the smells rather unpleasantly. The musty smell is much like that of my cat and that just isn't good.

This ale starts with a mild fruit taste that blends with a nicely balanced spice flavor. Thankfully, the delicious blend of spices mixes with a brown sugar sweetness in a civil manner. Additional fruit tastes, mainly pomagranates, mix with a well proportioned ginger flavor. A strong, earthy, yeast flavor joins for the finish with faint alcohol. A very unique and tasty brew.

The mouthfeel of this beer is quite lively with a good mix of spiciness and carbonation.

Drinkability is good but this is definitely not a "football game" beer. It is enjoyable to drink but a 750 mL bottle is a bit much for one person. Overall, this is a very unique beer that I was happy to sample regardless of the strengths or weaknesses.

Budlum, Jan 13, 2007
Photo of paulthebeerguru
4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into an snifter. A hazy, dark yellow hued colored beer is the first thing I witnessed, which suprised me. The head seems to disappear instintly, although it takes about three seconds. The aroma is sweet and malty with a large "hint" of fruit and spice, similar to Don De Dieu from Unibroue.
A taste of sweetness is present first, from the honey, and then the spices kick in. Out of nowhere, the grape juice hits my palate. It appears to be sweet, but not too sweet, but I am still searching for hops...i still can't find them. The tail end of the glass has a warm cider-ish feel to it...maybe its the idea of a 9000 year old recipe being accessible or maybe I am just warm and tingly from another fantastic Dogfishhead brew.

paulthebeerguru, Jan 08, 2007
Photo of jmz62565
3.43/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy orange honey color with a small white head. The head leaves no lacing and disappears quickly. The smell is alittle weak with grapes,honey, some spices, and some unknow sweetness. The taste is very different. Very wine like makes this an unusual beer. Honey,grapes, apples, lemon, sweet malt, and a "bisquity" flavor make out this beer. The m/f is medium and creamy with all the flavors mixing well. This beer is a little tough to drink more than one,but kudos to Dogfish Head for trying something different.

jmz62565, Jan 01, 2007
Chateau Jiahu from Dogfish Head Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 1,262 ratings.