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Palo Santo Marron - Dogfish Head Brewery

Palo Santo MarronPalo Santo Marron

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,362 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4362
Reviews: 1891
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 11.99%

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:
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 added by: Imstillthegman on 11-19-2006)
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Ratings: 4,362 | Reviews: 1,891 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of NewGlarusFan


4.53/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an Ale Syndicate Pint glass.

A) Dark brown almost black, thick two finger head surprising for a 12% abv beer. It leaves lots of lacing.

S) Burnt sugar, cookie, brown sugar, toffee, sweet malt, toast, and a honey.

T) Vanilla, caramel, brown sugar, sweet bread, wood, earthy, fusel alcohol after taste.

M) Thick medium amount of carbonation almost batter like.

O) This is delicious, a sweet malt bomb with woody finish. At 12% this one is good to share with a friend or spouse!

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2014 16:31:20 | More by NewGlarusFan
Photo of thedoubler55

New Jersey

4.36/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this at the Dogfish Head brew pub in Rehoboth Beach Delaware.

A: A nice dark brown, pretty much black, a nice tan head at the top that stuck around for a while, left a little lacing around the glass.

S: A nice nose on this beer, some caramel, bit of chocolate and brown sugar, nice notes.

T: Little vanilla and caramel up front, slight hints of the sweetness from the sugar but pretty complex, and great tasting.

M: Nice mouthfeel, very smooth and thick all at the same time, slight carbonation.

O: This beer was fantastic, lots of character and slight hints of the wood from the barrels its held in, I enjoyed this brew very much.

Serving type: on-tap

04-22-2014 15:44:35 | More by thedoubler55
Photo of HoppySeb


4.39/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours jet black with a creamy cappuccino colored one inch head. Poured on a teku glass, put against the light and couldn't pick up anything through the thick pour. Not much lacing after the head dissipates. Residual alcohol legs remain after every sip.

Smell: Vanilla and the alcohol is predominant, wrapped on the sweet aromas from the barrel aging - wood (palo santo, I guess :) ). I also pick up spices (trace amounts of cinnamon) and coffee, this last one mostly coming out after the beer warmed up a little after being in a fridge at 55 degrees.

Taste: Faint coffee comes out increasingly sip after sip, but never overpowering like some RIS. Vanilla and wine/spirit type alcohol are always present. This makes a very well balanced beer. The after taste is lasting and opens up with the sip's subsequent breath exposing more of the properties of this complex beer - vanilla ice cream, pinot noir, and cinnamon.

Mouthfeel: Creamy. Delicious. Almost no carbonation allowing for the tongue and palate to easily absorb the full spectrum of flavors, without distraction.

Overall: Excellent beer. At this price point ($14/4pk in WA) its a very compelling offering from DFH that can compete with both strong ales, brown ales as well as lower ABV RIS. I would love to pour one of these at a RIS blind taste.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2014 22:53:41 | More by HoppySeb
Photo of SavvyStudent


4.53/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours very dark and not what i expected for a 'brown' visible lacing and very little carbonation.
S: Amazing smell and very inviting. I get the oak right off the bat with some caramel, raisin sweetness. You can smell the ABV on the nose which is always a good thing in my mind.
T: The taste mimics the nose and just as solid. oak, chocolate, caramel, and an earthly alcohol sugar finish.
M: Medium-heavy mouth, medium carbonation. very drinkable for the style and just heavy enough to know you are drinking 12%.
O: Personally not been too impressed/excited for dogfish head in a few years but this one was a solid offering. not like the norm of this style and really pushed the outer bounds. I will look for this one in the future as it was an awesome surprise.

Serving type: on-tap

04-21-2014 21:39:42 | More by SavvyStudent
Photo of Crafts_and_recreation


4.85/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a very dark, nearly black color with two fingers of dense, tan foam that retains beautifully and nearly cloaks the insides of the glass with a thick, tight lacing. Tiny bubbles continue to rise and build in layers below the surface. Looks nearly like a freshly brewed espresso with foam atop.

S: Strong, aromatic wood, dark malts, and raisin lead the nose with a hint of chocolate to follow. Aroma continues to build with more woody/earthy notes and some alcohol as it warms.

T: Smoke, wood, and roasted malts rush in, followed by a hint of sweet, dark fruit, and perhaps a bit of raisin and vanilla. Beautifully hidden alcohol, with very little noticeable heat. Roasted malts linger on the palate, with ever so slight bitterness at the finish.

M: Extremely creamy head with excellent carbonation, almost chewy full and silky mouthfeel, and incredibly smooth (actually, it's terrifyingly smooth for its ABV). Not nearly as thick as it looks, following the Brown Ale profile even though it looks more like a Stout. Finishes with a perfect touch of dryness.

O: Exceptional! This brew left me craving the next sip! It was almost as enjoyable to look at as it was to drink. If anything, I wish they had bolstered the aroma a bit, as it seems the rest of its attributes tend to overshadow the aromatic profile. Would highly recommend.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2014 01:39:27 | More by Crafts_and_recreation
Photo of beerdedking


4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This was thoroughly enjoyable. A touch boozy, but so well balanced, as it warmed the booze did not heighten. Thick and chewy, this beer had hints of vanilla and dark fruit twisted amongst the caramel bittersweetness. I didn't get any wood from this, but the mouthfeel and carbo just danced up and down my palate. Will absolutely have again. Might be my new DFH fav. If your a RIS fan looking for a touch of variety, try this, you will thank me...

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2014 01:37:18 | More by beerdedking
Photo of robofreak

South Carolina

4.48/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A) Dark brown color like a stout, Very small head

S) Sweet, roasted, dark fruit, woody, coffee

T) Sweet, roasted/smoky, hardwoods, coffee, not too much alcohol for 12%, delicious finish

M) Full body, low carbonation, smooth

O) Extremely delicious, great body, pleasant finish. This is a winner.

Serving type: growler

04-11-2014 00:13:28 | More by robofreak
Photo of Bosoxfan20


3.58/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A- Super dark brown with hints of light coming through giving it an intense mahogany glimmer. Light 1 finger caramel head doesn't stick around long.

S- Lots of rich wood character, caramelized sugars, and touch of vanilla

T- Sweet malt up front mellows into the dark fruit and damp wood. Significant booze flavor in the finish.

M- I genuinely enjoyed the feel as it was full and somewhat silky, but the booze was slightly hot and distracting.

O- Very solid imperial brown here. I haven't had many beers of the style to compare it to, but the one that comes to mind is Prairie Okie. A bit more contained and less complex to that one in comparison. A unique and well done effort

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2014 02:32:37 | More by Bosoxfan20
Photo of bleedsblu


4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Brown as a turd but tasty. A nice half inch head.

Smell: It smells like beer, nice, nice

Taste: Like beer of course, thick and wonderful.

Mouthfeel: Its thick and creamy, its dark and incredibe.

Overall: Its a great beer, a dark brown ale, nice head and dark as night. I love it.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2014 00:20:33 | More by bleedsblu
Photo of bound4er


4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A. Dark brown to black appearance with a three finger tan head that has great retention. Laces extraordinarily well.

S. Malt, oak, caramel, cherry and vanilla nose. Lacks assertiveness which dings its score.

T. Raisin, sweet cherry, oak, vanilla and caramel that finishes with a slight hop prickliness. This is a big beer that carries its alcohol very well. As others have stated, it reveals layers of flavor as it warms.

M. Creamy with low carbonation.

O. This is my second favorite DFH beer after 90 Minute. It's is nice change of pace beer to have from time-to-time.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2014 22:26:35 | More by bound4er
Photo of tmm313


4.44/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Mostly black, but with subtle ruby hues. Dark tan, 1 finger head. Good lacing. Thick alcohol legs.

S- Cherries, raisins, chocolate, booze (but the good kind), caramel, something that reminds me of oats, light smoke, hoppy spice, and vanilla.

T- This is one of those that goes from good to glorious as it warms. Sweet mix of dark fruits in the very beginning. Beautiful combination of coffee, chocolate, and caramel comes next, morphing into wonderful dark roast coffee. Spice, dark chocolate, and coffee aftertaste. Raisin shows up a couple of minutes later.

M- Medium body. Silky with nice medium carbonation. Drying.

O- This was an awesome, awesome beer. Please drink it slow and let it warm. You won't regret it. Subtle changes with each sip, and flavors fade in out of nowhere. Beautifully crafted, balanced, and complex.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2014 21:24:18 | More by tmm313
Photo of FFreak


3.61/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours virtually black except for a faint red translucence at the edges. You can't get a head on this if you try, its just too viscous.

Aroma is rich with plum, raisin, caramel....smells awesome

Tastes as expected from the aroma. Rich and viscous. Alcohol is hidden with the heavy body and dried fruit. Very slight metallic taste...maybe I got an old 4-pack. Edited after some additional aging - the metallic taste increased over time to the point that the taste is not all that pleasant.

Mouth is rich, full. You won't want to quench your thirst with this on a hot day. This is dessert after a big hearty meal.

Awesome big heavy sweet brown ale. But the metallic taste detracts.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2014 23:35:19 | More by FFreak
Photo of pkalix


4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

awesome chocolate milk head, medium consistency and creamy! on top of a very dark brown liquid which smells very sweet and malty. very high alcohol aroma....
taste is definitely like a stout or a porter.... brown ale? how? sweet and malty, as the others before me noted. some vanilla. some coffee(?). very high abv but not totally obvious in the taste.
overall, I've had this before but not reviewed it. I remember liking it. I actually think it's a decent brew and easy to drink considering the abv.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2014 01:02:05 | More by pkalix


3.24/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Don't know what to make of this beer to tell you the truth,it's different that's for sure.they call it a brown ale but it pours black like a porter or stout,smells more of the same.in order to get any head you gotta pour this thing like a fountain,it laces nice but it's not a brown ale and that's what the label says it is.in the beginning it taste pretty good some vanilla and coco,a little sweet and very rich,once again it taste like a porter and not a brown ale.to be honest this beer begins to fringe on wine and not beer IMO.

All in all this one was like other dogfish brews not very good.wtf is up with these guys do they think their shit is like nectar of the gods or what,I mean all there beer is way overpriced and not that great.i have yet to have a world class beer from them yet.i won't be buying this again and maybe not any dogfish head period.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2014 04:07:12 | More by BEERZILLA
Photo of surfbouy


4.56/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed: 2/18/14 12oz bottle
Appearance: Aggro pour into a pint snifter gives a 2.5 finger head of café latte head that lasts due to my pour. Thick lacing contrasts a very dark, but slightly red colored beer. Amazing legs.

Aroma: alcohol, cherries (dried), vanilla, coffee, smokey hardwood- almost like a beach cookout smelled from waaayyy down the beach.

Flavor: light smoke, alcohol, coffee, roasted malts. Slight hoppy-ness, vanilla, toffee?, hint of chocolate, dark dried fruits. Sweetness at first then bittering, then super complex, followed by alcohol warming.

Mouthfeel: Full- bodied, alcohol warming as it goes down (too easily). Feels even on the tongue.

Opinion: I really don’t know how to rate beer very well yet, but this beer is extraordinary. I’ll definitely give it another go when the time is right. Very easy to drink considering the ABV and thickness.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2014 01:42:31 | More by surfbouy
Photo of RoamingGnome


4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron

Enjoyed on tap at Champps Americana Brookfield, WI. This was served in a 12 oz stemmed tulip. Served chilled...

A) This is dark... A dark brown... Damn near stout territory. A nice tan head, about a fingers worth. Nice retention and some lacing too.

S) Sweet and malty... A bit of roast with a fair amount of dark fruit. Milky, like a hint of milk chocolate, and smokey, with vanilla, and a little spice.

T) Very flavorful... Unlike any brown ale I've had the opportunity to try. It's near the nose. Sweet, smokey, a fair amount of wood. The alcohol is so well hidden.

M) Full bodied with mild carbonation. This is fairly thick... Goes down smooth. Nice aftertaste too.

O) Glad to give this beer a try. Remarkably flavorful with a nice full body. The ABV is well hidden. Very tasty.... Glad to recommend this beer,

Serving type: on-tap

03-19-2014 04:44:11 | More by RoamingGnome
Photo of NoHorsePiss


4.99/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is my second tasting of Palo Santo Marron. My first was last August. It's pretty expensive here, so I waited patiently and tried again. I was NOT disappointed.

Each sip caused me to lean back in my chair and smack my lips and enjoy the fruity aftertaste. There isn't a hint of bitterness anywhere in the tasting and there is such a pleasant fruit smell and clean, smooth taste that I don't feel the need to chase it with chips, but it sure does go well with Pringles.

I probably poured it wrong, but I barely got any head... just 1/8" but it surely didn't dampen the taste.

I'll re-review it if I get a different pour another time. This is my favorite beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2014 02:15:24 | More by NoHorsePiss
Photo of hops202

District of Columbia

4.75/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottle Poured into a Stone Snifter. Bottled date - 2/4/14

Very nice dark brown almost black appearence. Has look and body of a stout almost. Smell is awesome. Notes of caramel, vanilla, molasses, some nuts. Taste is quite sweet and delicious. Tons of caramel, vanilla and sweet malt with some chocolate. Just plain awesome.

I will be aging a few more of these. Can't wait to see what some time does for them.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2014 21:33:44 | More by hops202
Photo of dpgoblejr

New Hampshire

4.95/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

To begin, for me alone, this was a true spectacle of perfection. The beer poured a very dark-brown color almost pitch-black; into a pint glass.

No light getting through this dark, thick beer. One finger thick light-brown head formed then dissipated with virtually no lacing along the glass.

The body of this brew is almost like that of a stout. Smells of some chocolate, molasses, some sweet dark malts, nuts, possibly caramel, and of course of vanilla.

Truly divine flavor and taste of coffee, chocolate, caramel, molasses, toffee, dried fruits and vanilla.

This slick, smooth, mouth feel may be quite possibly amazing amongst the subtle carbonation.

Overall, this was an awesome concoction that I cannot wait to savor again! Stored a couple away for next time. Highly recommended!!!

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2014 00:03:29 | More by dpgoblejr
Photo of Stevedore


3.23/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, bottled 1/2014. Poured into a Surly goblet today, 3/4/2014. Also drank a 9/2012.. which was subsequently drainpoured. Comments to come in the Overall section of the review.

App- Dark brown body, one finger mocha head with good retention. Not much lacing. Looks thick and viscous.

Smell- Overpowering alcohol, but still get sweet caramel, toffee, very nutty, lots of oak. Alcohol is very strong here and in my opinion, a big detractor.

Flavour- Very, very sweet. Caramel, nuttiness, lots of oak. And a lot of alcohol. Not very complex, and I find this to be borderline undrinkable due to the sweetness and the solvent-nature of the alcohol.

Mouthfeel- Thick bodied, syrupy, viscous. Pretty much on point for what I'd expect from an Imperial Brown Ale.

Overall- I did not like this beer that much. It's drinkable, but not by much. The sweetness and the high solvent alcohol character on this beer is too overwhelming for me. The 9/2012 bottle was even more disgusting as it was just even more overwhelmingly sweet without any alcohol presence to cut the sweetness. The price point is also not helping this beer any.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2014 00:59:53 | More by Stevedore
Photo of EdwardK77

New York

4.75/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer is a constant in my fridge. It's so good that I enjoy introducing it to as many friends as possible. This is perfect with dessert or while relaxing on the couch at the end of the night. Rich flavor with pleasant mouthfeel for such a high alcohol ale.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2014 02:03:48 | More by EdwardK77
Photo of BoldRulerVermont


4.16/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle.
Pours thick, and very dark with minimal caramel colored head.
Smell is very nice, very roasty, a lot of bourbon notes (with no bourbon in the beer) some cloves.
Taste is really nice as well. Right in line with the aromas. Alcohol is hidden well despite the very high ABV.
Mouthfeel is slippery and slightly viscous. Nice.
Overall, very much enjoyed this Brown Ale.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2014 13:08:30 | More by BoldRulerVermont
Photo of WhiteHillsStore


4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I think that this is one of the best beers made year round. The color is a super dark brown with a nice coffee colored head that lingers after you pour. The smell of the wood and the alcohol are easy to find and then come forward at the first sip. In the middle and end you get all the little nuances. The earthy tones, mostly nuttiness, from the brown ale compliments the overwhelming wood flavor. It's a filling beer that coats your mouth from the first sip. I absolutely love this beer and would recommend it to anyone within earshot.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2014 00:10:38 | More by WhiteHillsStore
Photo of BrewViking


4.59/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron is nearly black, with a dense, dark-brown head, with substantial lacing. It has a mild malty smell that belies its overwhelmingly chocolatey (in a good way - deep, tasty dark chocolate not cloyingly sweet or artificial) flavor. The intense flavour nearly covers the substantial 12% abv despite minimal hoppiness, but it's still easy to tell that this isn't a beer to slam, or even an every-day sipping beer. There is no pretending that this is something light. The density is slightly offset by a pleasant carbonation.

Calls itself a brown ale but it's far heavier than anything else I've had in the genre, probably closer to an imperial stout.

A unique and delicious beer, I strongly recommend Palo Santo Marron.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2014 04:14:57 | More by BrewViking
Photo of samtrillo


4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Dark dark brown...meaning black. Basically like a stout. Dark head as well.

S - Sweet caramel.

T - Bitter roasted caramel with darkly sweet vanilla. Can't really believe this is a "brown ale" but when a brown ale is aged this is what happens. Very similar to an Imperial Stout.

M - Can definitely taste the alcohol but it's a pleasant sensation. The flavors and rich smoothness of the body mask it in an enticing manner. Complex to say the least.

O - Really good and hits the spot for the complex stout and aged stout area even though this is a "brown ale". Price point is a bit steep but that's Dogfish head.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2014 04:20:30 | More by samtrillo
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Palo Santo Marron from Dogfish Head Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 4,362 ratings.