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Palo Santo Marron - Dogfish Head Brewery

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Palo Santo MarronPalo Santo Marron

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2,006 Reviews
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Reviews: 2,006
Hads: 5,467
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 10.36%
Wants: 322
Gots: 1,071 | FT: 24
Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Brewery visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Imstillthegman on 11-19-2006

An unfiltered, unfettered, unprecedented brown ale aged in handmade wooden brewing vessels. The caramel and vanilla complexity unique to this beer comes from the exotic Paraguayan Palo Santo wood from which these tanks were crafted. Palo Santo means "holy tree," and its wood has been used in South American wine-making communities.

50 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 2,006 | Hads: 5,467
Photo of L0ne
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

In fridge for an hour and then poured into a snifter. Bottle dated 6/15.

Pours almost black, with a creamy, tan, .75" head.

Smell is warm and inviting. Molasses, vanilla, alcohol, almost reminiscent of dark rum.

Taste follows, molasses sweetness, dark fruit, vanilla, chocolate, warming, dry and pleasantly boozy finish. Feels thick and coats the mouth with a lot of lingering flavor.

Overall a really tasty sipper, took me upwards of an hour to drink, enjoying every bit. (476 characters)

Photo of Buck89
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the brewery. Mahogany brown color with a smallish tan head. Enticing smells of oak, roasty malt and chocolate. Beautiful taste with generous heavy roasty malt with hints of coffee, oak, vanilla and chocolate. Full bodied but not overly sweet. Alcohol hidden dangerously well. (285 characters)

Photo of qcghost
4.34/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured on tap. Wonderful dark brown appearance. Strong alcohol aroma with notes of vanilla, brown sugar, and mild smoke. Tasted like a mix between a typical brown ale and bourbon. Oak, dark chocolate, caramel in the finish. Fantastic beer. (239 characters)

Photo of jeffdr123
4.29/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark porter look with very little head and some mild lacing.
A toasty smell with chocolate and fruit. Smells lighter than it tastes.
Thick and a little syrupy, more like a porter than a typical brown ale.
All sorts of flavor going on here. Layer after layer makes it a sipper. You can taste the wood barrels and higher alcohol. Some flavors reminiscent of Jack Daniels. Plus malt and dark fruits. A good late night beer for relaxing by the TV. (443 characters)

Photo of Bonis
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 12/18/12, consumed now. Has a very stout-like appearance with a small caramel colored head, spotty lacing. Aroma is of chocolate covered raisins/figs and a hint of vanilla. Tastes like booze soaked fruits and dark caramel malt; slight wood and bitter chocolate roast. Tasty stuff, but still pretty much a sipper at over two and a half years. Have two more bottles with the same date, so I'll try one again here in a year or so. (435 characters)

Photo of m_hall
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip. Deep, dark coffee brown, almost black, completely opaque. Head is thin, chocolate-brown, and falls quickly to a film. Lacing is sparse.

Nose has prominent woody notes, vanilla, toasted malts, and alcohol, with smokey/spicy highlights. A very aromatic beer.

Flavors are very bold... big oak-like woody notes right up front from the aging in exotic Palo Santo wood vats. Beneath that there are deep roasted/bittersweet chocolate malt flavors, molasses, dark fruits and dried berries. Alcohol follows in, but not in an overbearing way. Finish is a lingering mix of spicy tones, almost like some red wines; smoke, blended with subtle earthy hops.

Mouthfeel is very rich, chewy, viscous and mouth-coating. The heaviness in texture combined with the high ABV (12%) places this one firmly into the category of a "sipper." The decent level of carbonation does give it just a touch of tingle on the palate.

A somewhat experimental beer from a company known for such things, this DFH offering was quite a discovery. It's classed as a brown ale here, though that's perhaps a bit misleading... think more along the lines of a Belgian Strong Dark or even an Imperial Stout and you're getting a better idea of what this is like. With the high ABV, this one should age well; I'm planning to put a few up for a while and see how it evolves. As it is, this is already a great beer for people looking for a big ale. (1,449 characters)

Photo of GerryPendry
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pitch black, very little tan head. Smells like fruit, wood, and alcohol. Complex flavors: roasted barley, cherry maybe? Dark chocolate, a little vanilla, boozy. Thick, viscous mouthfeel. Reminds me of a barleywine. Wow, what an "in your face" beer. There's a lot going on here, and in typical Dogfish Head fashion it makes no attempt to reign in any of it. The 12% abv is noticeable, but it works very well with all the other assertive flavors. An outstanding beer that defies classification, and one of my favorites in the Dogfish Head lineup. Highly recommended. (566 characters)

Photo of October
3/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Booze, booze, followed up by some more booze. I got some slight dark fruity notes, but overwhelming just tasted like booze. I consumed about two months after bottling. Someone suggested that I age one, as the alcohol flavor fades over time. Will try that and re-visit. (272 characters)

Photo of Dufmandinga
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A little boozy (obviously) and slightly syrupy so had to dig it a lil for feel. Tons of rich flavor. Made for sipping but 2 bottles go down easy enough (151 characters)

Photo of beergoot
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Deep, dark brown hued body, nearly black; thick, creamy, dense light brown head; lots of clinging sheets of foam on the glass. Chocolate and cocoa aroma; vanilla; a touch of cinnamon. Rich milk chocolate flavor; mocha; roasted grains; boozy with a mellow bitterness. Thick, velvety mouthfeel; oily; and chewy; mostly sweet finish.

Eye-popping lusciousness imbued with mouthwatering chocolate sweetness makes this one incredible beer. The high ABV is hardly noticeable until the finish. Depth, balance and complexity all combine in making a very approachable, heavy hitting beer that is pure liquid wonder. (606 characters)

Photo of watermelon
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Great opaque color although the head is a bit lacking.

S: sweet smell some booze and vanilla scents

T: Dark fruit and boozy sweetness.

F: great mouthfeel slightly boozy but not excessive.

O:Excellent beer would buy over and over again (244 characters)

Photo of MUTINY
3.99/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into a tulip.

A: Pours what I'd call dense opaque black with 1"+ cocoa colored head that recedes pretty slowly. Retention & lacing are both quite nice.

S: First up is pure oaky sweetness. I notice that as it warms, more of baked fruit aroma takes over- fig, apricot, maybe red raspberry. The booze is masked well.

T: Cocoa up front with a bit of a coffee touch. Mid palate reads as more candied fruit, black cherry, red raspberry. The finish is slightly more bitter with a much more pronounced oak character. It lingers heavy, but in a pleasant way.

M: Fairly moderate carb. The body is ever-so-slightly silky stickiness & overall creamy character. It drinks fairly heavy, which I'd say is fitting.

O: This is a very well done, truly unique ale. Throw out everything you know about Brown Ales with this one, yet at the same time, it's undeniably a Brown Ale. I love that about this brew. (919 characters)

Photo of rpjterp
4.66/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

An exceptional drink.

Beautiful dark beer without the heavy dark beer weight and feel as you drink. Has good head when poured but bubbles do not interfere with your sip.

Complex flavors that keep this beer from getting boring. (231 characters)

Photo of alexanderplatz
3.33/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Scant head. A little on the heavy side. Malty, sweet. In some respects similar to strong dark Belgian ale, in others similar to a porter or a stout. Not very balanced, too malty and cloying. Syrupy. (238 characters)

Photo of Myotus
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle (bottled 21Apr15) into a pint glass. Pours with a finger's worth of cinnamon colored foam that dissipates into a quarter's worth of khaki foam within 2 minutes (great diissioation rate and lovely color transformation). Beer is black in color with with a difficult-to-see maroon tint and no perceivable bubbles both due to how black the brew is. Lacing is moderate. Has mild aromas alcohol (ewwwwww!!!!!), molasses, figs, and vanilla and a hint of caramelized malt, sweet chocolate, and oak (I know it's actually the Palo Santo wood, but it smells like oak) aromas. Initial taste is of strong molasses and fig flavors that entangle with mild alcohol and oak (Palo Santo wood) flavors. As all flavors persist, mild vanilla flavors along with hints of choclate finish out the taste. Very full-bodied with a nigh syrupy feel that clings to the back of the throat. Has a subtle carbonation and goes down smooth. For those of you know me, I do not appreciate the perception of alcohol. Everything else being said, this was one heck of a brown ale.
NOTE: Unlike most brown ales which become more enjoyable as they warm up, this becomes unpleasant due to the alcohol presence becoming stronger. (1,213 characters)

Photo of ryan1788a5
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. 10/4/2011 date means this is approaching four years of age.

A: In the glass it sits the darkest shade of brown. Creamy brown head initially sits at a half inch, but settles shortly. It can be revived by swirling the glass. Spotty lacing.

S: Rich aromas of sticky blackstrap molasses and dark rum. Hazelnut fudge. Carob. Dark chewy caramel and vanilla extract. Very sweet. Some wet paper bag reveals the age. Woody. Fig and flashes of prune.

T: Lots of nutty and carob flavors. Dark rum. Big pull of spicy alcohol lets you know this beer means business and also helps to balance the deep sweetness. Dark caramel and brown sugar. Hints of fig and prune. Traces of earthy hops. Wood and woody vanilla rides up middle to end and brings a lot of welcome dryness. Trailing woody and carob finish.

M: Big, thick body. Very chewy and coating, yet velvety and sultry. Low tingling carbonation. Big alcohol warmth. Faded tannins.

O: Very impressive. Age suits this beer well. It's a gargantuan brew, but balanced perfectly. Pair with a hearty pot roast or a variety of savory beef dishes, then take a nap. (1,137 characters)

Photo of jancona
4.19/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the Dog Fish Head brewpub in Rehoboth, Delaware. Amazing flavor of raisin and dark fruit with a touch of the palo santo wood. An amazing brew. (152 characters)

Photo of DanKarPgh
3.99/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

An interesting beer on draught with not much of a noticeable nose. A bit bitter finish but otherwise a nice sipping beer. And at 12%abv, it should be dipped, savored, and enjoyed. Vanilla and caramel flavors take a few sips to notice. A nice darker beer in general without being too "heavy". (291 characters)

Photo of vince321
4.41/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark, like a stout, very little head. If you like malty, this will deliver. Woody and thick with a lot of alcohol but not boozy. Super nice and an excellent regular production beer. (183 characters)

Photo of moonboogie_n8
4.89/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I'm not sure what kept me from giving this beer a full 5... oh well.
it's quite possibly the best beer I've had this year. picked it up on a whim because the wood aging (and the high ABV)
wow, I was surprised it was so dark number one, dark dark brown almost black with a creamy dark tan head.
smells nutty and malty, with a good dose of booze.
follows the nose, nutty, lots of malt & maybe smoke?
full body & rich boozy finish, so yummy.
will get again for sure, and TRY to cellar one. (487 characters)

Photo of Dave1999
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with a tan coloured head. The head retains extremely well considering the abv.

The smell is sweet malts,some nuts and wood.

The taste is very sweet, nutty, woody,a lot alcohol with some hop bitterness .

The mouthfeel is thick, smooth and creamy.

Overall a big beer, would be good for dessert. Doesn't try and hide the alcohol. (348 characters)

Photo of arizcards
4.07/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a single from TW Arrowhead in early May for $3.99. Bottled on 2-4-15. First of a 2 part tasting. Part 2 is a 2008 version.

Beer poured dark brown with a beautiful tan head that has some serious hang time.

Nose is roasted malts and hints of sweet wood.

Taste is heavy roast and wood with an initial alcohol warming. Molasses and vanilla round things out with a decent amount of hopping so that it is not cloying.

Mouthfeel is full and very smooth.

Overall a solid brew...looking forward to the 2008 version!

The 2008 version was a little more raisony and less hoppy which led to a slightly smoother beer but not enough of an appreciation so the ratings will not be changed. Cheers! (702 characters)

Photo of manfromanotherplace
4.73/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Very rich beer, almost dessert like.its like a brown ale on steroids, the vanilla and caramel tastes really are brought out well by the palo santo wood. a really excellent beer.best brown ale ive ever tried (206 characters)

Photo of Gear54
4.51/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle into a snifter

Pour is deep brown with 2 fingers of thick kaki head. Minimal lace on the glass as head fades. Middle of the road on carbonation.

Smell molasses and vanilla. Milk chocolate and vanilla with faint roasted malts in the background.

Taste follows smell well. Fantastic vanilla and molasses. Malts are faint and I get some fruit with it. Really complex. There are tons of subtle flavors and each sip seems to bring more in the nose and on the toung. Maybe the best brown ale I've ever had

Feel is also strong. Flavors coat the palate well and last until the next sip.

Overall this is a fantastic beer. Best brown I've ever had! I would expect nothing less from dogfish. (703 characters)

Photo of rjmc64
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark dark brown with slight brown head that faded quickly. Nose is caramel, vanilla, molasses and booze. Taste is caramel sweetness and smooth vanilla, dark fruit. Nice complex beer. (195 characters)

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Palo Santo Marron from Dogfish Head Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 2,006 ratings.