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Palo Santo Marron - Dogfish Head Brewery

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Palo Santo MarronPalo Santo Marron

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5,337 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,337
Reviews: 2,018
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 11.96%
Wants: 307
Gots: 977 | FT: 23
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,337 | Reviews: 2,018
Photo of KarmicSkrambl8
4.63/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

oaky, smooth....viscosity is phenomenal, unlike many other DFH's I have had this is not out-of-balance in the sweetness realm

I really enjoyed the complexities over and under the tongue...the ABV% is not overpowering and is so nice in the "fee" department


Photo of Catalina
4.73/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

so smooth, so potent, so dark - wait, is this a dating site?

Photo of PeterParker
4.61/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours nearly black with a centimeter of brown head that doesn't last long.

Huge smelling beer. Licorice, dark fruits, oak, vanilla, toffee, and a bit of alcohol. Smells terrific.

Really friggin good. Roastiness up front. Lots of woody characteristics are omnipresent in this one. Slight Belgian style fruitiness ending with a very small burn from the alcohol. Really nice.

Surprisingly full bodied for the ABV. Slick and viscous mouthfeel which coats the mouth. Aftertaste of dark fruits and alcohol.

A tremendous offering from DFH. I usually overlook this one because it's so widely available but I think I'll pick this up much more often.

Photo of Bunman3
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Oh. My. I have not sampled many beers that have this level of investment or complexity. Two bottles is all you need for a sitting, because there is so much going on in the Palo Santo Marron. The combination of malt, vanilla, wood and dark fruit is absolutely delicious. Easily one of the best beers I have encountered to date.

Photo of Jonny41
4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

had to have in small doses, 8oz pour first four great than gets a little rich,,, but once the burger arrived the rest of the beer was great also, very thick and chewy great with a meal but a bottle might be much

Photo of Sandalwood
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark brown to color with a smell light brown head. There head is small and soapy. The odor is very malty sweet, roasted note, slight woods, boozy, smoky note, dried fruit, slightly spicy. The taste is very sweet, dry woods, very malty, almost a bourbon note, slight bitterness on the back, a little nutty, dry finish.

Photo of msf55
4.54/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Outstanding brown ale. Very tasty caramel notes. Had 2 and am quite lit up.

Photo of brewskifan55
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sipped in a tulip glass. Thanks, Alan, for sharing.

A: Deep brown. A tan half finger head that leaves pretty fast. Not much lacing.

S: Anise, roasted malts, dark fruits.

T: Smokey malts, vanilla. So smooth and caramel sweet. Lots of complex wood effects from the barrels. The alcohol comes in late and kicks ass. Sip slowly.

M: Medium all the way. Kinda chewy on the carbonation.

O: Glad I finally got to try this one. Terrific to share with friends. Maybe break out the cigars.

Photo of Lezlibelle
4.81/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This beer has flavor for miles.

Photo of nicholas2121
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Palo Santo Marron brewed by Dogfish Head Brewery, with an ABV of 12.00% This brew pours out a dark brown color, with a nice light brown head. The brew has the look of cola. The smell is rich with flavor and sweetness. You also pick up on grain, malts, and a hit of hops in this brew. Now for the taste it is bold with flavor, and sweetness. There is a lot going on in Palo Santo Marron. At first, there is a bold sweetness and it fads to a clean roasted grains after taste. The mouthfeel is full bodied and well balance, there is nothing overpowering about this brew. I like how this brew is different from most brews on the market. Overall I giving Palo Santo Marron a 4.75 out 5. I would buy this brew again.

Photo of Beer-A-Lot
4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Hides alcohol well at first but gets big as it warms. Very solid beer. Nice taste with hints of fig, peppers, leather. BSDA like. Enjoyed it much.

Photo of GMan310
4.94/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

love it great beer. not for everyone very strong and heavy taste

Photo of DKMII
3.96/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Black color. Small light brown foamy head.
Smells like roasted malts.
Taste almost like dusty malts. Like a dark wood attic flavor deliciously captured in a bottle.
Good carbonation on tongue. Starts heavy with light malty finish.

Photo of geodonnokepyo
3.76/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Look - Pours a dark brown to black color. No light shines through. Grayish/tan head. Good head retention and nice lacing.

Smell - Roasted malt. Chocolate malt. Small hint of vanilla. No hops noticeable

Taste - Follows the nose. Very dark malt flavor. Dark chocolate with a smoky woodiness to it. Possible hints of dark fruits.

Feel - A little harsh with alcohol burn. Other than that it is pretty creamy.

Overall - I think some aging should serve this beer well (like it says on the bottle) to mellow out the high ABV. Good thing I have two put away for awhile :)

Photo of MaximalC
4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours seal brown right out of the bottle, with nothing more than a ring of khaki froth around the surface. If I had a nickel for every brown ale that had such a deep, dark brown color...I’d be broke. This looks straight up nice. Aroma smells of salted caramel and peat, with hints of cherry and booze. Spotty lacing clings to the glass as the beer recedes.

Alcohol wastes no time asserting itself on the front end, but once it subsides, your tastebuds are treated to flavors of smooth, rich molasses accented by butterscotch, brown sugar, and vanilla. It doesn’t take long before your lips are ensconced in a sticky, malty, residue that could nearly glue your mouth shut. Earthy, herbal hops provide a subtle, bitter counterpoint without getting in the way of the malt. While the alcohol felt a little strident at first, some habituation reveals that it’s not nearly as pronounced as you’d expect for its ABV. The delicious aftertaste is a lingering haze of molasses and brown sugar. A hefty body provides plenty of substrate for the luxurious taste, while very fine carbonation lends just the right amount of texture; the mouthfeel is befitting of the taste is accompanies.

After recently trying a series of light, caramel-colored brown ales, this was a revelation. Palo Santo Marron comes across more like an imperial doppelbock than a traditional brown ale. It wouldn’t be hyperbole to say this tastes very much like a barrel-aged Celebrator. It has definitely earned some of my respect for what I’d previously considered an overrated brewery.

Photo of SuomiHobbit
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big, dark, sweet. Great winter brew.

Photo of ONUMello
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A: Dark brown, almost black, with a one-finger head
S: Cherry, dark malt, a bit of smoked wood, molasses and honey
T: Largely matches the nose, particularly the cherry and molasses. A bit woody and fairly boozy
M: Full-bodied, somewhat sweet with noticeable alcohol
O: Tasty and I love the unique wood aging though the alcohol is a bit strong

Photo of lbb
4.8/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice. Can't drink more than 1.5 in one sitting but that's my problem

Photo of jellikit
4.41/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from Bottle.
Appearance: dark brown. Thin to no head. Clear when held to light.
Smell: smoked wood.
Taste: raisins, dates, figs. Followed by a light liquid smoke.
Mouthfeel: medium carbonation. Big body. Slightly sweet.
Overall: tasty big, smoked beer. Will buy again.

Photo of founddrama
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow. Complex isn't the half of it. Caramel notes, a subtle vanilla under it. A big malt finish.

Photo of Bone53
4.6/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark brown pour yet opaque in the glass when put up to the light. Two finger light brown head

Smell: Sweet malt (caramel, toffee), vanilla, light chocolate, dark fruit such as black cherry and figs, wood

Taste: Upfront is that sweet malt (caramel, toffee) character that quickly transitions into vanilla and very light chocolate, perhaps a touch of dark fruits in there, and finishes with all the notes mentioned with a undertone of wood.

Mouthfeel: Heavy body; Goes down just fine considering the abv. with moderate alcohol presence and a dry, slightly bitter finish

Overall: Im admittedly not a big fan of Dogfish, but this one surprised the hell out of me. Every time i take a whiff and sip i pull out different aromas and flavors. Its pretty complex from the sweet malt characters to dark fruits, light chocolate, vanilla, and wood. I like how the finish carries on for a while and the woody character along with the dryness is almost like chewing on wood itself. Along with Indian Brown Ale, this is my favorite beer from DFH. They sure know how to make a brown!

This is easily one of my favorite year-round offerings from any brewery available to me.

Photo of kfey
4.11/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Not as pungent or acrid as beers of this style and ABV usually are. Has the same malty flavor you'd get from a milder stout, which I appreciate.

Photo of SoupKitchenBeerSnob
4.09/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Damn fine brew... I've recently begun to step back back a bit from the big stout/porter beers that beat you about the head and neck regardless of how much I love them (see my review of Avery's Mephistopheles for where I stand)... Nevertheless, this brew is up there on my charts. Thick, big and black; it is a force to be reckoned with (keep your smartass racist/phallic interpretations to yourself!). This is quite a departure from what I've come to expect from the guys at Dogfish, for sure. Definitely worth a try if you're thinking of a brute of a beer on a cold winter night. Not recommended for the hop-friendly types that would be offended by a malt-heavy, sweet and severely alcoholic brew... Cheers!

Photo of GOLee33709
4.63/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Smooth, potent, well-rounded and balanced. Glad I took the time to let it open up.

Photo of BB1980
4.89/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Dark Brown. Great carbonation. Fantasic Caramel flavor and vanilla tones. Sweat with a smokey finish.

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Palo Santo Marron from Dogfish Head Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 5,337 ratings.