Palo Santo Marron | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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Palo Santo MarronPalo Santo Marron

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States | website

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

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

Added by Imstillthegman on 11-19-2006

User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,051 | Ratings: 5,661
Photo of Dufmandinga
4.12/5  rDev -1%
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

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Photo of beergoot
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

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Photo of watermelon
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
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

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Photo of MUTINY
3.99/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

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Photo of rpjterp
4.66/5  rDev +12%
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.

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Photo of alexanderplatz
3.33/5  rDev -20%
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.

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Photo of Myotus
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

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Photo of jancona
4.19/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

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Photo of DanKarPgh
3.99/5  rDev -4.1%
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".

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Photo of vince321
4.41/5  rDev +6%
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.

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Photo of moonboogie_n8
4.89/5  rDev +17.5%
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.

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Photo of Dave1999
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

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Photo of stompilator
4.8/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a snifter.

A - Pours a deep, dark brown, thin cinnamon head.

S - Toasted almonds, peat smoke, figs, charred wood.

T - Extremely complex toasty nut and chocolate notes come out the gate. Roasty, nutty malts are quickly overcome by a huge charred wood flavor. Very rich vanilla bean notes and toasty, dry wood tannins interact with the robust malts beautifully. Tinges of chocolate malt weave in and out, but the Palo Santo wood is at the forefront. A light alcoholic burn develops over the mid-palate, climbing a bit in intensity with the chocolate malts towards the back. Finish is woody, sweet, a bit chocolatey, still bits of toasted almond, and decently boozy.

M - Absolutely nailed the mouthfeel. Full-bodied and sweet without being syrupy or cloying. Just enough carbonation to liven the flavor.

O - What a distinctive beer. Nothing tastes quite like it, and proudly eludes any style distinction. Even "barrel-aged imperial brown ale" is fitting a square peg in a round hole. Amazing.

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Photo of arizcards
4.07/5  rDev -2.2%
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!

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Photo of manfromanotherplace
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | 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 brown ale ive ever tried

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Photo of Gear54
4.51/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

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Photo of rjmc64
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

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Photo of tone77
3.79/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

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Photo of RexBanner
3.92/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

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Photo of cyclonece09
4.45/5  rDev +7%
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.

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Photo of Scott17taylor
4.85/5  rDev +16.6%
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.

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Photo of KarmicSkrambl8
4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
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


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Photo of PeterParker
4.61/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

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Photo of Bunman3
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

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Palo Santo Marron from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 2,051 ratings.