Sah'tea - Dogfish Head Brewery

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Sah'teaSah'tea

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BA SCORE
87
very good

1,773 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,773
Reviews: 595
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 14.65%
Wants: 167
Gots: 225 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Brewery visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
Sahti |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: DarkerTheBetter on 09-28-2008

This Ancient Ale is a modern take on a 9th-century Finnish beer.

The wort for Sah'tea is caramelized over white-hot river rocks, and the beer is fermented with a German weizen yeast. In addition to juniper berries foraged from the Finnish countryside, Sah'tea is flavored with black tea, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and black pepper.

The spicing is subtle and balanced, and Sah'tea is a highly-quaffable, truly unique brew with a full mouthfeel.

6 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,773 | Reviews: 595
Photo of Das_Reh
4.44/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.75

2012 bottle. Poured 2/15/2015 into a tulip.

A = Dark gold hue with fervent carbonation. Lots of free floating sediment in the mix, forming a silty pile at the bottom of the glass. Head dissipated quickly. Minimal lacing.

S = Intense aroma of gingerbread, cinnamon, nutmeg, and other sweet spices. Juniper, spiced tea, bananas and rum.

T = Follows the incredible aroma with boozy gingerbread, sweet spiced Chai tea, bananas, brown sugar, and sweet pine. Would be a wonderful beer to have on Christmas and would be great in a baked dessert. Then again, that's what this beer is to me, a dessert in a bottle.

F = Medium, almost syrupy. Definitely a slow sipper, but that's not a bad thing.

O = This beer defied all my expectations. Heavily spiced and aromatic, sweet and warming, a perfect beer for Christmas time (there's even a reindeer on the bottle). Too sweet and heavy to be sessionable (not to mention the 9% abv), more of a dessert beer. HIGHLY recommended.

Photo of dabarton
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Outstanding complexity. Definitely a trading beer.

Photo of Teenieyogini76
5/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Delicious spiced brew. Artfully brewed with excellently balanced ingredients. Sweet, but not cloying, light, nice aftertaste!

Photo of 57md
3.56/5  rDev -8.5%

Hazy straw color. The nose is sweet , much like a fruity herbal tea. The two dominant flavors are sweet maltiness and funkiness on the finish.

Photo of Stellartaste
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Sweet, smooth and very complex.

Photo of mchegash
3.26/5  rDev -16.2%

Date: 9/4/2014
Other notes: Bottled 3/11/13. Just picked it up at the store a few days ago. So it's likely been sitting on the shelf at room temperature for 1.5 years. Hopefully this doesn't negatively impact the taste.

Appearance - 3/5
A fairly clear orange. A little bit hazy. You can see a LOT of large particles floating around in the beer. No head. Lots of medium-sized carbonation bubbles flowing up at average speed. The color is nice, but I wish there was more head, and the particles are kinda freaking me out. They are not like the particles I have seen in other beers. They make me wonder 'Is something wrong with this beer?'. It's probably fine, but the fact that I even have that worry is big negative points for me.

Smell - 3/5
CHAI CHAI CHAI. Maybe a little bit of breadiness, but mostly all I smell is Chai (which I don't like by the way). Even if I did like Chai, I don't think I'd want my beer to smell like it. But I guess since this is an Ancient Ale, they are just trying to faithfully replicate the spirit of this Ancient recipe

Taste - 3.5/5
Chai, sweet maltiness, maybe some honey and cinnamon. The chai is not totally overpowering in the taste, which is good. I'd still say it's the dominant flavor present. Maybe small hints of fruit and alcohol taste as well. Even though I don't like chai, I don't hate this beer. Given that I've never had nor even heard about any other beer having chai in it, this beer is definitely an experiment, which I think they pulled off fairly well. If you love chai, you will probably like this beer a lot. If you hate it, you probably won't.

Mouthfeel - 3/5
The carbonation is nice and light, and the beer is smooth (although the strong chai flavors dominate, so if you don't like chai, that makes it a little bit harder to get down). The beer is medium-ish in body. The feel is more on the creamy side.

Overall - 3.85/5
I gave the ratings a little boost for the overall, because I'm trying to give it a fair rating, given that I don't like chai a lot (I don't hate it though either). This was definitely an interesting brew, and I love the creativity which DFH is doing with their Ancient Ale series. Even if I don't love the beer, I enjoyed drinking it, knowing that I am imbibing something very similar to people in 9th century Finland.

Weighting: Appearance 15%, Smell 15%, Taste 35%, Mouthfeel 15%, Overall 20%

Photo of jprivott
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

Clear notes of tea and chai spices. Banana finish.

Photo of iheartmyTHO
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Upon my first smell of this beer, I was hesitant if it was going to taste good or not. The aroma was very malty and typically, I'm not a fan of malty tasting beers. But upon my first sip, I was pleasantly surprising. I definitely taste the chai spices and tea. I don't get much of the juniper. This beer also feels lighter on the palate than I expected.

Photo of BierStein711
5/5  rDev +28.5%

This is a beer I will never forget. I drank it after I had some of the worst news in my life, and celebrated the upcoming victory I'll have once this journey is complete.

This was a draught serving,and it's golden color reminded me of a Belgian wit, but the flavors reminded me of a nice Gin. If you like gin and weissbier seek this out.

Photo of Ozzylizard
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%

Undated bottle at 40 degrees into snifter
Aroma of chai
Head small (< 2 cm), white, creamy, rapidly diminishing to partial 2 mm ring
Lacing poor – few small islands of tiny bubbles
Body medium yellow, cloudy
Flavor begins with chai then the juniper rolls in; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, watery, lively carbonation

Appearance 3.25, Aroma 4, Flavor 4.25, Palate 3, Overall 3.625. Final weighted score: 3.9.
This is a surprisingly good beer in which the chai and juniper balance and complement each other. This never tastes like gin and the alcohol is totally hidden.

Photo of wethorseblanket
3.93/5  rDev +1%

750ml bottle.

A: Pours a hazy sunburst orange under a solid one-finger thick white frothy head which eventually fades to the rim leaving splotches of lace.

N: Juniper is smelled 2 feet away, chai spices (cloves, orange peel, cardamom), very herbal.

T: Complex intermesh of booze, mild tartness, rye and chai spice, juniper, orange peel, mint, malt, floral and herbal notes.

M: Moderate body and medium carbonation. Exotic and alluring herbal spiced finish.

O: Interesting. Just when I think I've had my last sip I'm drawn back for another. Impressed and well done Sam.

Photo of WhiteHillsStore
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%

Probably my favorite from the ancient ales line from Dogfish. Pours a golden yellow with almost a rose hue to it. The smell was full of spice, mint, sage, as well as a ton of clove. The taste was really nice in my opinion. Starts of mild and herby and seems to grow till there is a bite of mint at the end which made for a much more refreshing beer than I had anticipated. Overall I found it quite the enjoyable find.

Photo of bleedsblu
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

WTF, where , bring back the format for the reviews. This is my third from Dogfish head ancient ales and this might be the beast so far. Its brewed with Black chai tea and with white hot rocks, hell yeah dogfish.

Served from an ice cold bottle into a glass.

Appearance: A golden yellow , thick not transparent with a lot of carbonation. It had a 1/4 inch head with a vigorous pour.

Smell: It smells of tea and fruit, mmmmmmmmmmmm.

Mouth feel: It tastes of tea and the mouth feel is thick but not so great it overpowers. It tingles in the mouth from carbonation, who doesn't love a little tingle.

Taste: Fruit and black tea , this is my favorite ale so far and at 9 % ABV it will kick you in the sack.

BleedsBlu recommends, Drink it

Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Slightly clouded yellow-orange, loose particles of sediment. Negligible head retention. Bright!

S: Vibrant spices, just like a chai tea- ginger, clove, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon (not at all subtle). Color me impressed!

T: Same as above, with the addition of some lightly bitter hops (or maybe juniper), black tea in the far back. A few sips verge on the downright heated spice. A considerable amount of sweetness.

M: Lightly syrupy, nothing cloying, and still fluid and light.

O: Damn good! Liberal in the additives, but carefully meted and balanced by one another. Surely not a typical style, but if you have an open mind you will at least be able to appreciate this one (and if not send it to me!)

Photo of Tone
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, copper color. 2/3 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of strong juniper, sweet malt, hint of earthy malt, hint of alcohol, cream, hint of rye. Fits the style of a Sahti. Mouth feel is sharp and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of juniper, sweet malt, grass, earthy malt, rye, biscuit, slight tea, and alcohol. Overall, an interesting brew, good appearance, aroma, body, and blend.

Photo of kliner88
3.34/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

A: Poured with a small, frothy white head which almost immediately disappeared. Almost no lacing; attractive light amber color, like weakish tea with lots of honey.

S: Unfortunately, also smells like rather like overspiced tea with lots of sweetener. Juniper and cardamom are almost overwhelming. A tad of bitterness from the juniper, but not enough to provide balance. Nice mellow caramel notes in the background.

T: Very similar to the aroma; sweetness is slightly less apparent. Juniper comes to the forefront and piney notes are apparent. Cardamom and cloves linger, with a bit of woodiness. Alcohol is largely undetectable, particularly considering the ABV. Beautiful caramelized sugar, again largely hidden in the background.

M: Medium-fine carbonation balanced with a silkiness. Leaves a bit of a stickiness-- again, similar to an overly-sweetened tea. The carbonation is appreciated as it cuts the cloying sweetness a bit.

O: I appreciate Dogfish immensely for what they do; I often love what they do. Here, I appreciate the concept but am underwhelmed by the execution. It's clearly a well-brewed beer and I appreciate every element they've incorporated. I'd like to access the sahti backbone a bit more-- the combination of resiny juniper and intrinsically-strong sweet spices overwhelms the subtlety and renders the beer too complexly sweet, to put it simply. I do stand impressed by the well-cloaked nature of the high ABV, and if you're looking for a sweet alcoholic carbonated iced chai, look not a drop further than here.

Photo of exilio
5/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Okay, we all know that specialty beers that add fruit and spices end up a lot of times not tasting like beer..more like fruit juice with a kick.

Sah'tea is none of those things.

The Sah'tea from DFH is simply amazing. Not overly fruity. Not overly spiced. Still taste like a beer...from first sip to last drop, a rare treat for the senses. Buy two bottles and share with a friend.

**EDIT**

Just noticed The Bros have not imbibed yet...really?! C'mon, guys!

Photo of doktorhops
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Dogfish Head is the type of brewery I would own (if I owned a brewery). Not content just to brew the staple craft beer styles (APA, IPA, DIPA, Imperial Porter, etc) these guys like to branch out and brew beers from other times and other cultures. QED: With Sah'Tea - based on a traditional Finnish ale known as Sahti and brewed to a 9th century recipe, then adding black Chai tea (not in the original recipe) Dogfish Head are testing the limits, and now hopefully my taste buds.

Poured from a 757ml bottle into a Chimay chalice.

A: Presents with a cloudy orange/gold body and a white head that soon dissipates to a ring of lacing (no head is the norm in 8% ABV+ brews).

S: The aroma is dominated by the black Chai tea - think of tea and spices like: cardamom, coriander seed, cinnamon, clove and throw in some honey as well. Not much else to report, if you put Chai tea in a beer it is certain to overpower the olfactory senses.

T: The flavour is where the balance comes in to play: cardamom, coriander seed, cinnamon, clove, juniper berry, sweet rye and honey all intermingle and balance sublimely. Finish is both dry (with some tea leaf astringency) and bitter with earthy green herbs. The way this ale moderates the competing flavours is a master-class in brewing by Dogfish Head. For a flavour comparison this is like a glass of fine spiced mead with some herbal bitterness thrown in.

M: Medium bodied with a reasonably dense carbonation.

D: Well I am impressed with my first Dogfish Head brew. I never expected any less though, and there are so many of their beers I would love to try - the Midas Touch was a beer I was keen on finding at Plonk! (to no avail). There is a proviso when trying this beer - you have to like Chai tea and spiced mead - if either of those don't agree with you then I would suggest stepping away from this ale: It is a spice roller-coaster!

Food match: Take a bottle of this to your local Renaissance fair or medieval themed restaurant (that does BYO) and you will be thick in the action.

Photo of bnes09
3.67/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Translucent orange color. Decent head retention and some lacing.
Has a caramelized look to it.

Yeasty, bread, spicy cinnamon and ginger aroma.

Caramel and honey flavor. Mildly sweet. Assertive yeast. Tons of spices. Low hop character. Smooth overall flavor.

Dense, full body. Sticky on the lips. Well carbonated.

Good stuff and a nice change of pace.

Photo of superspak
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into signature tulip glass, bottled on 3/11/2013. Pours fairly hazy/cloudy deep gold color with a 1-2 finger dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big juniper, black tea, cinnamon, cardamom, clove, ginger, black pepper, herbal, grass, light banana, light caramel, bread, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Fantastic aromas with awesome balance and complexity of fruity/earthy yeast, spices, and bready malt sweetness; with great strength. Taste of big juniper, black tea, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, clove, herbal, light banana, black pepper, grass, light caramel, bread, and herbal/yeast earthiness. No bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of juniper, black tea, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, clove, light banana, herbal, grass, light caramel, bread, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity and balance of fruity/earthy yeast, spices, and bready malt sweetnesss; with an awesome malt/spice balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very smooth and fairly creamy/slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic Sahti style. All around awesome complexity and balance of fruity/earthy yeast, spices, and bready malt sweetness; and extremely smooth to sip on for the ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

Photo of vickersspitfire
4.21/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance:
This is a nice semi golden and burnt orange ale filled with plenty of carbonation. The head is light tan, thick but not fluffy and almost no lacing. This looks like a nice drinking beer!
Smell:
The aroma is very complex, mixed fruits, dark fruits and esters are all mixed in with a very mild alcohol scent. Slight orange peel raisin and fig all come through.
Taste:
Crisp and light, mildly tart and certainly a sight for sore taste buds to taste. The citrus fruit hits you first, followed by the esters, and the fig. The tartness wears off and become more of an alcohol flavor but its not over powering.
Mouthfeel:
Crisp and filled with carbonation, this is a medium bodied ale, it really warms up your mouth and the ale just envelopes your tongue
Overall:
This is a very interesting beer and very smooth. It is nice and creamy at time and the fruitiness does create a mixtures of flavors as you drink it down.

Photo of utfiero
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Color- milky gold. Full head.

Aroma- spicy juniper, coriander, salt water, and mossy vegetation.

Taste- very spiced including coriander, pine needles, and clove but gently finishing with a clean, crisp clove-like but completely unique spice. Very unique. Don't serve too cold. Would be interesting to test against Sam Adam's Norse Legend.

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a Liefmans Goudenband glass (my preferred all purpose beer tasting glass). Tasted 5/24/2013.

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.07/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

ACBF pour

A-Pours light orange with a thin head.

S-Yeah, that's really loaded with tons of spices. Smells like chai or something. Herbal. Cloves and other herbs.

T-Overly spiced tea. Nutmeg and clove with herbal tea. Almost minty. Chai again. A chaotic assortment of cooking spices.

M-Too distracted with spice rack orgy in my mouth. Print remember it being very hot or anything.

O-Not for me. Thankfully a 2 oz. sample goes away quickly.

Photo of Crimtor
4.72/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'll start by saying I'm a huge chai tea fan and I don't know if this is really a "beer lovers" beer, but apparently it fits my pallet perfectly

A- A very clear amber color nice lacing on the edges

S- Smells like sweet nectar, some light hops, and huge spicy nutmeg (exactly like chai tea), rounds off with me wanting to wear the smell as a cologne.

T- Well no surpise it taste like Chai Tea with a tiny bit of 60 Minute IPA in it. aka awesome. I enjoyed it so much I got a another chalice and bought a bottle and both were excellent too. Might be too sweet/spicy for some, but those people aren't me.

M- A Very thin, very drinkable beer.

O- One of my favorite low alcohol beers on the planet. If you like chai tea you have to try this. I also think it's got a little similar taste to the Noble Rot so if you like that you should at least try this.

Photo of JerseyHopHead
4.01/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a fairly clear, golden brown with minimal head retention.
Smells strongly of chai tea with a hint of berries.
The taste is very malty and sweet with a bit of a yeasty presence. The chai sits strong on the tongue with a hint of sweet berries. The finish is sweet and then a moment or two after a distinctive gingerbread taste is revealed.

I definitely enjoyed this but it's very sweet and flavorful and I imagine it is best shared with friends, perhaps in a snifter on a cold night.

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Sah'tea from Dogfish Head Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 1,773 ratings.