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Palo Santo Marron - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Palo Santo MarronPalo Santo Marron

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2,006 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 2,006
Hads: 5,468
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 10.36%
Wants: 323
Gots: 1,072 | 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: 5,468
Photo of tone77
3.79/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a very dark brown, damn near black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of fruits, vanilla, molasses. Taste is dark fruits, malts, wood, some alcohol and vanilla. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall is a complex and high quality beer. (280 characters)

Photo of RexBanner
3.92/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark in appearance, almost black. Pillowy beige head. No carbonation bubbles detected.
Aroma of molasses was very prominent. Background whiff of chocolate was also present.
The taste was mostly molasses, followed by a cardboard aftertaste that I'll attribute to the barrel aging.
Heavy mouth feel. Somewhat syrupy, bitter finish.
Meh! Nothing to write home about. Good but not great. This tasted more like a porter than a brown ale. Too heavy IMO. (452 characters)

Photo of cyclonece09
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. Pours black with a small light brown head. Smells of dark, deep fruitiness, slight nuttiness. Tastes of deep woodiness and fresh fruitiness. Beer is full bodied but dangerously drinkable. Overall a superb beer. (237 characters)

Photo of Scott17taylor
4.85/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Look black with almost no head,
Smell woody sweet boozy and roasty.
Taste it starts Roasty but in the middle of the palate it is sweet and finishes with a woodsy character and alcohol
Feel thick and coating
Overall great beer. Must purchase if it is available to you. (268 characters)

Photo of KarmicSkrambl8
4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
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

winner....winner (274 characters)

Photo of PeterParker
4.61/5  rDev +11.1%
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. (655 characters)

Photo of Bunman3
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
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. (326 characters)

Photo of Jonny41
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
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 (211 characters)

Photo of Sandalwood
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
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. (328 characters)

Photo of brewskifan55
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
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. (497 characters)

Photo of nicholas2121
4.65/5  rDev +12%
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. (717 characters)

Photo of DKMII
3.96/5  rDev -4.6%
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. (234 characters)

Photo of geodonnokepyo
3.76/5  rDev -9.4%
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 :) (567 characters)

Photo of MaximalC
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (1,572 characters)

Photo of ONUMello
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
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 (379 characters)

Photo of jellikit
4.41/5  rDev +6.3%
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. (285 characters)

Photo of Bone53
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
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. (1,176 characters)

Photo of SoupKitchenBeerSnob
4.09/5  rDev -1.4%
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! (708 characters)

Photo of draheim
4.24/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Revisiting this one as I last reviewed it more than 3 years ago. 12oz bottle (bottled 10/24/2014) into a tulip. Pours a deep, dark brown w/ minimal head.

Aroma is rich and complex, mostly dark sweet malt and gooey molasses/caramel. A hint of chocolate.

Taste is likewise complex. Dark malt, rum-soaked dark fruit, lots of warming booze, vanilla, subtle coconut. Equal parts bitter and sweet.

Mouthfeel is thick and rich. Good carbonation w/ a surprisingly dry finish for such a high ABV beer.

This is definitely a slow sipper, a dessert beer. A triple imperial brown ale. (575 characters)

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

The power of suggestion reigns on this label. It is an American Brown Ale, and does indeed pour very brown, with a lovely dark khaki head. We are told that ther will be vanilla and caramel. And there is, certainly present in the nose. But also, a malty note in there as well. Hops are minimally present in the nose. Then the flavor delivers on two of the three promises. There is vanilla. There is caramel (both the candy profile and the malt profile... which was really tasty). There is a nice balance of the sweet with the necessary bitter. I am afraid I cannot detect specifics in the hops as the dominant sweet profiles mask them from my palate.

And then there is the wood. Just don't get it. Wood flavor that is. I understand the concept of practical uses for timber. I just cannot taste much in the way of wood. And I really want to. I want to taste the wood, like oak in a well made white wine (even though I don't like that flavor profile anymore). Or more importantly like wood from an American Bourbon. I know this isn't aged in Bourbon barrels, and I didn't expect that. Just wanted wood flavor period. Didn't get it, so I have no idea what a Palo Santo tree tastes like.

But the beer is damn good. (1,212 characters)

Photo of Caveworm
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Palo Santo Marron - Dogfish Head Brewery. Poured from the bottle into a glass, the head is two fingers thick and tan with solid lacing, and an extremely dark brown body

I smell the vanilla and caramel mentioned on the label, along with hearty grains.

Tastes like caramel and roasted malts, perhaps a copperish note, and bit of alcohol astringency.

Mouthfeel is slightly more viscous than others, but still very smooth and drinkable. This brew is certainly a sipper.

Overall, a 4.75 for Palo Santo Marron - Dogfish Head Brewery. A great savory sipper to reflect on the day with during a nice film. I will probably pick this up again. (653 characters)

Photo of OrangeMen
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- Pours black color, opaque. Finger thick, mocha colored, frothy and creamy head. Moderate lacing on sides of glass. Resembles the appearance of an imperial stout.
Aroma- Toasty caramel malts, vanilla, hints of chocolate, slight butterscotch. Spicy wood notes, earthy fragrance, astringent oakiness balances sweetness.
Taste- Creamy vanilla and caramel sweetness, slightly toasted/roastiness compliments. Spicy, oak notes come through and add earthy bitterness. Booziness lingers into aftertaste.
Feel- Medium to full bodied, very creamy and slightly sticky. Lower amount of carbonation, spot on.
Overall- Wonderful creamy flavors come together nicely, caramel, vanilla, butterscotch give beer a decadent richness and delicacy. Slight roastiness and oakiness come through and balance out sweetness, while also adding a spicy complexity and depth. Alcohol does show, but doesnt detract from the main flavor profile. (924 characters)

Photo of flyingpig
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

355ml bottle as a gift from Virginia, USA:
A very nice beer from Dogfish Head once again, this one had an enjoyable taste to it and went down a lot easier than I had imagined going in. The nose could have been a little more pronounced with some notes proving a little difficult to detect but once given some time to open up things started to be a little more noticeable. The alcohol was fairly well hidden with only small amount coming through and the sweetness in the taste was very nice. A great beer overall and definitely one that I'd like to try again, hopefully I can get my hands on another bottle somehow. (613 characters)

Photo of Safa1
5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is my god damned go to beer. My regular. It's delicious and different. It's for people who think stone brewing makes weak tasting beers. Propers to dogfish head. This beer is the pinnacle of brown ales. Period. (215 characters)

Photo of Edgarallenpoor
4.99/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The fact that this particular bottle was aged for six months gave this dogfish " holy tree" beer a full masterful taste of caramel and smooth flavor. I will have this one ranked in top 3 in the dogfish line. (209 characters)

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