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Palo Santo Marron - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Palo Santo MarronPalo Santo Marron

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,913 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4,913
Reviews: 1,936
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 12.23%
Wants: 243
Gots: 706 | FT: 20
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,913 | Reviews: 1,936 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jdhilt
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a three finger light brown head that fades quickly to a ring leaving traces of lace. Totally black color. Light carbonation and heavy bodied. Malty nose. Flavor is sweet roasted chocolate, no wood, high ABV is hidden, mellow finish. $4.20 for a 12oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

jdhilt, Aug 12, 2008
Photo of barleywinefiend
4.85/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drunkmonk came through on this one!
Poured almost blackwith a big tan head. Its like an imperial brown. you can smell the alcohol and complexity of this beer.Nose had notes of wine, vanilla, licorice, spices, and wood. The taste is very compex with maple, oak and vanilla. Lots of sugar and a great malt profile. ABV is very well hidden. I believe this is as good as it gets for a Brown.

barleywinefiend, Aug 12, 2008
Photo of Sixpoint
3.93/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5


I like the effort...

Moderately carbonated.

Viscous brown burgundy wants to be black kinda like that dude Jayme in Malibu's Most Wanted.

Reaching for deep brown shugga flavor with a little spice and vanilla from the wood.

Viscousy, slightly cloying flavor. Most certainly full-bodied high gravity finish.

Hops are muted, hog-tied and left in the trunk of your car.

with duct tape over their mouth

Sixpoint, Aug 12, 2008
Photo of dirtylou
4.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz single, sticker marked $1.89 - i really have no clue where or when i purchased this. In a side note, this will cost you 10 euros a bottle in Amsterdam, but it can be found

appearance: poured into a nice snifter - absolutely dead sexy appearance. The body is a nice dark mahogany shade with a gorgeous chocolate cream head and great lacy retention. Due to the way this appearance grasped me from the get-go, i think a 5 is in order

smell: rich notes of vanilla and wood, licorice, creamy chocolate, bourbon playfully burns the nose hairs, dark fruits and nuts provide additional complexity and strong traces of dates, figs, and raisins round out the nose

taste: Yikes - this is a sensational beer. This thing just screams complexity - the first thing to hit the palate is some creamy chocolate covered plum, raisins/dates/figs, creamy vanilla, wood kicks, bourbon boozyness, a touch of licorice, caramel. This one really kicked me in the pants - what an awesome beer

mouthfeel: flawless. creamy and decadent, full of booze and texture

drinkability: strong but cant put it down

dirtylou, Aug 10, 2008
Photo of Phenom
4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle, this one has been in the fridge for a while. Bottle 2/2008.

A: Pours like crude oil, almost non-existent tan head on this opaque black brew.

S: After allowing it to warm to cellar temp, this beer's amazing complexity starts to come through. So many malty smells, mostly on the sweet molasses and dark brown sugar end of the spectrum. It's a little boozy, but in a good way. Wood is also very apparent.

T: Sweet molasses, dark fruits like currants, wood. A little spicy, black pepper, nutmeg, . It even reminds me of a dark rum.

M&D: Very smooth, a little dry at the end. Medium body, definitely thinner than an imperial stout. Extremely drinkable, the alcohol is integrated so well.

An excellent offering from DFH, I am glad this one is a year-round beer. I wonder what another 6 months would do to it, but I highly recommend it at any age.

Phenom, Aug 10, 2008
Photo of thequeen711
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ahhh, this beer had limited release in the Philly area...at least I had a heck of a time locating some...untilI went to the Rehoboth... The brandy glass of the nectar of the gods arrived, and immediately put a smile on my face! The caramel the vanilla, words just can't express the wonder of this magnificent brown ale. Sam C gets the unique flavour for the Palo Santo tree in Paraguay, thus, the name Palo Santo Marron!!!

thequeen711, Aug 10, 2008
Photo of BeerTruth
4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pretty sure I got this one from gford217 as an extra, thanks man!

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

Whoa, this is 12% abv?!?!

For being a brown ale, this one pours a deep dark black with a big three finger dark brown head. Nice layer of webbing left on the sides of the glass as this one falls. First whiff I get is maple syrup, chocolate, vanilla, and sweet caramel. Very complex, malty smelling brew. Taste begins nutty and sweet with big caramel and butterscotch notes. The wood emerges midway with a touch of booze and molasses as well. Vanilla and cane sugar round out the moist aftertaste, this is a damn fine tasting beer for sure. Full body with a thick and chewy feel. Carbonation is very subtle but fits in well with the beer. I have no idea how this beer is 12%, I could put this down just as easy as a normal brown ale and that's just scary. Dogfish beers have been pretty hit or miss with me, but this one is definitely a winner. Wow...

BeerTruth, Aug 10, 2008
Photo of smilingPolitely
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Definitely caught off guard by the ABV on this one (I meant no disrepect). This guy pours dark and brown - real dark with little head retention and gives off a woody, kind of chocolate smell. The taste is a strong malt body with a slight nuttiness and heavy on the chocolate and malevolent fruit rounded off by the aged wood it was stored in, and has a full, thick mouthfeel. I didn't feel too loaded down after one of these but I would enjoy the adventure of making a session out of it.

smilingPolitely, Aug 06, 2008
Photo of smanders
3.65/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron - 12% ABV

Bottled on 4/16/08 - Consumed on 07/30/08

Appearance - deep mahogany. Cappuccino foam-like head. Looks like I poured a candy bar into a glass.

Smell - warm sugar, chocolate, caramel, ripe fruit, vanilla, and sweet spices. Can you tell this is a complex beer?

Taste - woody. lots of sweetness (vanilla/chocolate) well-balanced with a good dose of hops.

Mouthfeel - creamy. heavy. Best served out of a brandy snifter.

Drinkability - For special occasions. Save this one for the last beer of the night. Everything else will be tainted.

This is a very special beer that should be consumed by professionals.

smanders, Aug 04, 2008
Photo of Pencible
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage malt beverage aged on Palo Santo wood. This poured like an imperial stout, an opaque black with a bit of dark brown head. It smelled strongly of oak and mocha and licorice, with prominent alcohol. It tasted very strong and complex, like oaky cooking vanilla, barley malt, and mocha bitter-sweetness. It was quite thick with no carbonation, and had a lasting bittersweet aftertaste with alcohol warming. Overall this was totally unique with lots of elements that were well blended and balanced. Its wonderful flavor and body kept it from being too difficult to drink, despite how bold it was, and the complexity of the boldness was great to sip and contemplate.

Pencible, Aug 04, 2008
Photo of MrMonkey
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours the darkest of browns, almost black, with a bubbly two-finger tan head that fades slowly to a sticky ring and floating cap. No lacing.

Smell is caramel, wood (Palo Santo, I presume), vanilla, rum-soaked raisins, burnt bread crusts, and a hint of chocolate. For a 12% beer the alcohol is not really noticeable.

Taste starts with some sweet caramel, vanilla and rum-soaked raisins. Alcohol adds a little warmth in the middle before some toasted bread and wood notes lead back into some sweet caramel and molasses in the finish. The alcohol does make itself more apparent as it warms up.

Mouthfeel is medium to full-bodied, a little thick and syrupy, but smooth.

Despite the ABV, this is quite drinkable. Dangerously so! Another great beer from Dogfish Head!

MrMonkey, Aug 02, 2008
Photo of Bighuge
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours with some viscosity and creates a thick and dense brown head that sticks around forever. Lacing comes in full sheets. The body is dark and does not allow light to get through. Aroma is very, very nice. Very penetrating. Rum soaked berries and rich malts and chocolate and barrel properties and figs and raisins. The flavor is pretty rich and decadent. Vanilla and caramel mingle with boozy rum notions, maple syrup and treacle. Almost like a jacked up milkshake. It's boozy, but it's 12%. So it's to be expected. Creamy mouthfeel. Interesting beer.

Bighuge, Aug 02, 2008
Photo of Dogfishipas
3.58/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer is on the lower end of my favs from Dogfish. 12 oz bottle put into a pint glass. Head is minimal at best.

It isn't a bad beer it just wasn't what I was expecting from a brown ale. It pours and drinks more like a stout to me. Drinkability is definitely there and it is a good beer. I think I was thrown off from the Brown ale aspect.

Picture after being poured:

Dogfishipas, Aug 01, 2008
Photo of BamaBeerBuff
4.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Pours an almost black color with a thin mocha head that falls quickly to a decent lace over the top. It's very much RIS-like in appearance.

S: Wow--what an incredible aroma. Incredibly rich, complex, and malty. Rich dark fruit, molasses, brown sugar, and a smooth vanilla aroma from the wood aging. Some alcohol in the nose contributes to the smooth, pleasant aroma. I can't rave enough about how rich this smells.

T&M: Yummy. Dark fruits, sweet malt, and very pleasant smoothness from the wood aging give way to a slightly smoky, woody flavor in the finish. This beer is smooth--almost like a RIS. I am definitely a fan. Body is full with a silky-smooth mouthfeel.

D: For how high its ABV is, it really drinks smoothly. Obviously, this isn't your run-of-the-mill brown ale, but I would strongly encourage anyone who hasn't to pick up some of this stuff.

BamaBeerBuff, Jul 31, 2008
Photo of OWSLEY069
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown/ black color with a brown-ish head. In the aroma, oaky, woody, alcohol, and hints of chocolate. In the taste, alcohol, and chocolate malt. Kind of wine-ish. A smooth and a medium to big bodied mouthfeel, and a small dry, alcohol, and malty aftertaste. Big but good, alcohol is nice, a nice woody presence.

OWSLEY069, Jul 31, 2008
Photo of QuentinCompson
4.83/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle into Chimay chalice

A - Quickly gone pinky finger head, nicely spotted; malty coffee-look; inviting; opaque; black up to light

S - Heavy pear scent when the top comes off

T-M - Malty nose; fruit-laced stout; just right for the style; vanilla plus berries galore; almost like pears and apricots darkened with aged wood sides, spiced with time.

D - Wow. Would love another, but never had two back-to-back. In favor for later.

QuentinCompson, Jul 29, 2008
Photo of Doomcifer
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours a surprisingly, superdark, inky black with a great caramel-brown colored head which retains very well. Nice lacing. Smells very roasty, hints of vanilla, dark chocolate, grains, lactose, and tons more. If I didn't know any better, I would swear that this is some kind of Double Stout. Then comes the tasting. Roasty, cherries, vanilla, burnt caramel, figs, very apparent alcohol bite and extreme warmth in the chest. Lots of hoppiness in the finish as well. Very heavy bodied, inky, good carbonation, finishes pretty dry. Very enjoyable brew from DFH as would be expected. This one is definitely a sipper. One to kick back, and take time with all it's complexities and subtleties. Definitely one I shall revisit soon.

Doomcifer, Jul 29, 2008
Photo of YankChef
4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle dated 5/28/08 poured into brooklyn snifter

Appearance: Dark, deep hazy brownish black that lets almost no light pass through. Foamy, bubbly cocoa powder colored head that settles to just a wisp with bubble concentration in the center.

Smell: Aromas of chocolate and alcohol are the most apparent as well as dark and rich malt. Maybe even a little diacetyl

Taste: Just sweet and smooth all the way through with some serious chocolate flavoring going on in here. Finishes sweet and smooth, alcohol is incredibly well masked. Maybe a touch of vanilla and the wood aging comes through delightfully well and melds with the other flavors to make a truly enjoyable sipper.

Mouthfeel: This guy is huge, its like beer syrup so full bodied its pretty much ridiculous. Carbonation is very low

Overall: Truly unique beer from DFH which seems to be their thing and well done which usually seems to be their thing. If you can get it try it, its uniqueness is certainly worth investigation.

YankChef, Jul 28, 2008
Photo of JoeMayo
4.53/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours almost black with a lasting head. I still feel wierd calling it a brown ale...

S- The smell only begins to describe the complexity of the beer! Sweet malts, chocolate, caramel and vanilla all dominate the nose with more subtle scents of oak and dark fruits (plums or figs?)

T- The malts are the star of this beer, bringing in notes of caramel, cocoa, brown sugar, vanilla, and hints of molasses. The dark fruits come through clearly in the taste, but there is a crisp citrusy flavor that fits surprisingly well. Complex notes of earthy wood come through with a slight alcohol-induced sweetness.

M- Thick and syrupy (like a good stout...again...how is this a brown ale?) There is, however a slight alcohol burn makes its way down the throat.

D- Considering the alcohol content, the beer is very drinkable

JoeMayo, Jul 28, 2008
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours to a deepest dark brown almost black body with a carmel brown colored one inch head leaving only a skim after a couple of minutes. Nose has dark richness with woodsy malt and dark fruit with a hint of hops. Big richness in the way of carmalized malt teams with distinct woodsy oak notes with first sip. Dark fruits and some slightly sour cherry tones are there in the middle of the palate. A cherry nyquil feel hints at the back of the tongue also. I would call this a brownest dark red ale. Big and rich throughout. Attractive fat thick mouthfeel. Very drinkable for 12%.

SPLITGRIN, Jul 28, 2008
Photo of CrellMoset
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Wine Warehouse in Charlottesville, VA. Poured into a traditional American pint glass, though that may not have been the best glassware choice for this monster!

Appearance: A thick, oily, brown beer - a few shades white of black - with a creamy, coffee head, about one-and-a-half fingers tall. It fades slowly and leaves solid sheets of lacing. Very inviting.

Aroma: Sweet, sticky roasted malts - coffee, chocolate - stone and dark fruits. Very pungent - I could smell it from a few feet away.

Taste: Delicious coffee overtones are prominent. Sweet chocolate. Light citrus and sweet, ripe stone fruits. Some darker, sweeter fruits - sweet golden raisins - further along. Some earthy roastiness. Vanilla hints, maple syrup, and tons of other oaky, woody notes throughout, though particularly at the height of the sip. Sweet alcohol in the finish. Chocolate becomes more noticeable as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Big bodied and smooth, thick and syrupy, slight warming alcohol feel in the finish.

Drinkability: 12% abv, but it's so smooth and sweet it's hardly noticeable. I really like this one - don't know why it took me so long to pop it open. It's been sittin' in my fridge for at least six months! Highly recommended.

CrellMoset, Jul 28, 2008
Photo of Dmann
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's rare to find a truly unique beer these days, and Dogfish Head has come through with a winner. The pour was great with nice lace and a silkiness that lined the glass beautifully. The aroma was quite intense with brown sugar, slight coffee and dark chocolate tones and prune scents all mixed together to form a very inviting scent. Flavors were very intense with slight port wine flavors mixed with bitter dark chocolate and a smoky aftertaste. It was a big surprise that there was not more of an alcohol flavor in there but the 12% blended in perfectly. Highly recommended and definantly let it warm a bit for maximum flavor.

Dmann, Jul 27, 2008
Photo of lpayette
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours a reddish brown in the light but don't be surprised that this "american brown ale" appears more porter like in the glass than it does sienna brown. Head it khaki colored with about 1/3 of a finger covering once things settle out. Some lacing.

Smell- Sounds crazy, but it reminds me of smoked salmon(slightly salty) in a very subtle and pleasant way. Smell is clearly malt driven with some bitterness coming mostly from roasted/chocolatey malts as opossed to alpha acids from hops. Espresso overtones but nothing overbearing or even suggesting the actual addition of coffee beans. Prunes/dark and over-ripened fruit. Fruity alcohol and light tobacco. Overall quite complex and interesting.

Taste and Mouthfeel- Smooth and slightly hot, yet not as much heat as one might expect from a brew weighing in at 12% ABV. Light carbonation... gets better as it warms. Taste is overall a bit on the chocolatey side with a plethora of amazingly complex attributes. Smokey (again the salty salmon for me), nutty, prunes, plenty of woody flavors, lightly tobaccoish.

Drinkablity/Conclusion- Quite the drinkable and enjoyable beer at 12%. Expensive, but well worth it.

lpayette, Jul 27, 2008
Photo of Jmamay22
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out like an Imperial Russian Stout, very dark brown nearly black opaque beer with a burnt tan head that eventually dissipates to only a collar. No lacing.

Smells of chocolate, raisin and brown sugar with a roasted edge. I can't make up my mind if I'm smelling maple and nuts or if the label is influencing my perceptions.

Initially sweet and chocolate with a bitter and nutty finish. The aging on wood contributes to the aftertaste and creates a spicy finish. Alcohol is nowhere to be seen despite the huge content. There's hints of molasses here and there as well.

Mouthfeel dances the fine line between medium and thick. Moderate carbonation. A sure sipper, but the alcohol, as mentioned, lacks the presence I had expected. Damn good beer, but a bit pricey. I bought a single so I missed out on the DVD.

Jmamay22, Jul 27, 2008
Photo of dciBA
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a stemless wine glass I've been waiting to try out. Pours jet black with very thin brown head. Very little lacing as I drank it.

Chocolate, vanilla, caramel, and some alcohol in the nose. Very pleasant. Similar to the appearance, the smell is more like a baltic porter than any brown ale I've ever had. The porter/stout theme continues in the taste, with all the good stuff hitting your nose showing up on your tongue as well. All that and some crisp maltiness, with some hops and you've got a very tasty, balanced brew.

Despite quite a bit of alcohol warmth, this stuff is still quite drinkable. I can imagine the warmth wouldn't bother me on cold, snowy maine day, so maybe 85 and humid wasn't the best time to drink this. Oh well, I'll make sure to pick up a couple more and store them away for this winter.

dciBA, Jul 26, 2008
Palo Santo Marron from Dogfish Head Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 4,913 ratings.