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Sah'tea - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Sah'teaSah'tea

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

1,765 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,765
Reviews: 595
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 14.65%
Wants: 164
Gots: 221 | FT: 4
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: 1,765 | Reviews: 595
Reviews by VelvetExtract:
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.

More User Reviews:
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 wesbrownyeah
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

x2 Dogfish Head Sah'tea... 9% alcohol.

A- Pours a crisp golden fluid with a spritzed clarity that is flawless in constancy. Beautiful active ring remains around glass with massive lacing sticking to walls.

S- Sweet like cider. Also scents of fresh honey and chai tea. Very strong presence of all spice... nutmeg, clove, and cinnimon.

T-M- Metallic front with massive tart sweetness. Fresh taste of juniper berries, chai tea, cinnimon, ginger and cloves upfront. Light but present hop bitterness with small malt backbone. Mouthfeel is great with mild carbonation that tingle the tongue making the tart of the beer smoothly fall back. Leaves a lasting fruity presence on the mouth... almost like wild berries.

D- Very drinkable beer that has a complex flavor to think about as you drink. I'm still thinking... Will buy again...

Photo of weatherdog
3.49/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Evan1023 for this one.

75cL bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. Bottle date read 'Bottled in 2009'

It pours a hazy golden orange with a 3 finger pillowy frothy head. Minimal lacing ran down the glass as it emptied.

At first whiff I'm getting some nutmeg and clove smells but when I stick my whole nose in I'm getting a distinct chai tea smell. It seems like a great marriage of malty sweet beer and black tea.

Taste is just like someone mixed in some chai tea with a light crystal malt heavy base beer. I'm also picking up some orange taste. I'm not sure if this is from any citrus hops or if they used orange peel in the process. It finishes a little too sweet.

It is very full bodied malty spicy beer. The drinkability suffers from how spiced and heavy it is. I drank the whole 75cL but was rather tired after the first half.

I am a chai tea lover and average about one a day so I really was looking forward to trying this beer. It does satisfy me in that the flavor components are there but I was kind of wishing for a more bold tea flavor from something coming from DFH. I am glad I tried it and enjoyed it but would recommend having no more than about 8oz. at a time. After that it becomes too filling and kind of a chore to drink.

Photo of newk340
4.79/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: a hazy burnt gold, thin foam ring coats the surface.

S: a wicked explosion of various flavors, a stew of hops, malts, berries, chai teas, and a plethora of other flavors that defy description.

T: what doesnt this beer have? hops, malts, cloves, coriander, berries, chai tea, spices, citrus... and the list goes on. what in the world just happened to my tastebuds?

MF/D: epic. smooth, bitter, carbonated, dry, sweet... all at once. a symphony on the senses. thank you sir, may i have another?

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.54/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice attempt, could have been better. In a mug the beer was an orange color with a small white head. Sweet malt aroma, tea, juniper. The taste was lacking, all I could get was sweet tea. Where's the rye and juniper? On the bland side. I really like DFH and applaud their outside the box thinking, but this was a miss for me.

Photo of gregmoscetti
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer was yet another surprise from the good guys over at DFH. When i hear the run down on these big beers of theirs, I never even know what to expect out of the bottle let alone from the beer. I split a bottle into two New Belgium Worthy's and watched the show as the carbonation created a sort of spring in the middle of the beer.

Upon tasting, I decided that this was an awesome Biere de garde/mars. The spice character gave it a perfect play of pumpkin pie spice that I associate with NB's biere de mars and LA's Avante Garde. The juniper berry added a pleasant but not over powering sweetness. The mouth feel was light and airy. I could have drank the whole bottle over a lunch of fresh bread, sopressata and tallegio... or maybe just with some homemade vanilla ice cream?

Photo of marvin213
3.49/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An aggressive pour from the big bottle leaves me 3/4 full of beer with 4" of foam. By the time I can write this sentence, however, the foam dissipates to a thin layer. The liquid looks light in color, but opaque nonetheless. I always think minimal light passage adds an appealing dimension of mystery to beers like this.

The smell is kinda weird. I definitely smell the rye and, honestly, that's not one of my favorites. I can't identify the juniper berries, and that's disappointing. I do smell what must be the hot rock smokiness. Still, it smells more like a tea than a beer.

It tastes like a hot tea served cold. It's got an herbal feel to it, and a sweetness I attribute to the juniper berries. It's also got a Belgian feel to it, in both the taste and smell--maybe that's the rye?. Oddly (because I hardly ever drink them), it reminds me of a Hoegarden. Like a tea (and perhaps a Hoegarden), you could serve it with a lemon. This is the Dogfish big bottle for girls. It's light and crisp, and almost tastes good for you. I really wonder what it'd be like served pipin' hot like hot tea. It's really difficult to judge because it's so in a class by itself (how many sahti-style beers are there, really), a characteristic of Dogfish Head I really appreciate. It's too weird, though, for me to call it a good beer, but I like it more than your average tea.

The Dogfish beers seem to always offer good mouthfeels. They're appropriately carbonated, and maybe the novelty of their ingredients makes them more fresh. It's a light, lemon-like, tea sort of effect. I call it a rye beer only after that. Its sweet juniper berries mesh with rye and chai tea. Where its weirdness might hurt it elsewhere, I think it really makes the mouthfeel. It's really neat to just sit and hold this one, furrowing your brows as it piques your curiosity.

Drinkability is good because it's so unique and light. It's not exceptionally good because the beer is so weird. Though you could certainly wonder about and enjoy this beer all the way thru a serving, I don't think this is one you pound in one sitting to discover (like you might an Abyss or some other complex RIS). It's no doubt another extraordinary DFH concoction worthy of any craft brew collection.

Photo of Beaver13
3.57/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle. Pours a hazy yellow orange with a small fizzy white head that quickly disappears.

The aroma is lots of spices - ginger, tea, a little fruitiness and some floral notes. Some yeast comes out as it warms.

The flavor is sweet melons and citric fruits with some tea spices (ginger), leading to a bit of bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and syrupy with light but sharp carbonation.

Overall, an interesting beer. It is a bit much on the sweet side.

Photo of merlin48
4.17/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Never had this style so don't know what to expect, especially with a DFH version. The bottle pours a slightly hazed yellow golden body with a tall vanilla head. Good retention and some curtains of lace are left on the glass.

Perfumey aroma! Sandalwood incense, floral hops, juniper berries, and nutmeg are all I can hope to nail down. Lots going on with the bouquet but it is pleasantly floral and herbal.

Mouthfeel is light and airy, though the body is what I would call a light medium. Spritzy carbonation works well.

Taste has a prevailing astringent bitterness that may come from the chai tea but the juniper berries certainly contribute. A gin-like presence caught me off guard midway through, but the alcohol is not noticed even at the 9% abv. Lots of enigmatic herbal notes and a definite note of nutmeg add to the complexity. By the end of the bottle I really liked the odd flavors going on here.

Another adventurous beverage from Dogfish Head. I would definitely have another one of these.

Photo of Perkyanda
4.36/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Smells JUST like chai tea, and tastes like a beer, but with a total hit of cardamom.

It's a gorgeous opaque tawny gold, orange where it's thick, yellow where the glass is thin.
The smell IS chai--its smell is both creamy and full of cardamom. The fist sip is refreshing, a hit of orange and clove. I can also taste the cream and the tea--the beer flavor is in the background, with the tea dominant. The mouthfeel is smooth and bubbly--there isn't much of a head, but the carbonation is definitely noticeable. The spice to it has a touch of a ginger flavour, but the most dominant flavour is cardamom, with a touch of clove.

I absolutely love this beer; it's probably my favorite from Dogfish Head. A touch pricey, but completely worth, and will keep buying as long as it's in stock.

Photo of Homebrew35
3.86/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is my first go with a Sahti. I drink quite a bit of Tea, and Chai is no exception. I was fortunate to have a new friend pop this one open for my wife and I.
A: Bright yellow with a hint of orange. A small half finger head quickly dissipated to nothing. It seemed a bit under carbonated.
S: Smells like a good strong spiced yet somehow mellow Chai. Cinnamon, clove, cardamom all come through nicely. A sweet honey and banana smell come out as well.
T: Tastes quite sweet with a bit of cinnamon spice aftertaste. I love this one especially for dessert with some flan or cheesecake.
B: Medium to full bodied, syrupy sweet rounded mouthiness. Low carbonation with I think could be a bit higher to spread out the sweetness.
D: I like this one quite a bit but need to share it with a few friends, so drink-ability is kind of average.

Photo of tigg924
3.38/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: minimal head, orange/yellow in color, moderate carbonation, clear with sediment

Smell: honey, cloves, cinnamon, and chai tea

Taste: honey, cloves, cinnamon, toasted malt, herbs, and chai tea

Mouthfeel: very sweet with a small bit of bitterness at the end, minimal carbonation, medium body, sticky

Drinkability: Like drinking an alcoholic chai tea, it has got interesting spicing like their Midas Touch. I appreciate their creativity, but this is a bit too sweet for me. It was hard to finish this one.

Photo of kingcrowing
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into a Piraat tulip.

Pours a fairly clear and hazy golden color with a very small thin white head. Nose is chai tea, and all sorts of spices, very cool.

Taste is very chai tea like, it's got some light pilsner malt flair and no hops at all. Mouthfeel is light and crisp, really unique.

Photo of Kraken
3/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes, consumed 7/2/09

Split with GF & Mom over a game of cribbage. Poured from a 750ml bottle into a 16oz pint glass. Firm pour evokes no head, no lace. Color is a green tea, but slightly cloudy.

Nose- Very interesting nose, non-beerish. Almost a mead like nose. Chai really comes through.

Palate- Again very interesting. Very dry, and sweet. Chai comes through with some muted floral notes. Ginger, some pumpkin spice, carbonation helps to cut the spice cabinet. Slightly cloying.

Mouthfeel- a bit syrupy.

Drinkability- Low, novelty-esque beer.

Photo of Osiris9588
4.17/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml poured into La Chouffe tulip. The bottom portion is a pale gold, while growing progressive more honey-like toward the top, when a two-finger head resides--decent retention, slight lacing.

The aroma is magnificent, very warm and yeasty with a host of spices and some citrus punctuating the fragrant melange. It stinks real good.

The taste is reminiscent of a Belgian White ale, all the clove and yeast, and the banana, but enough other fruitiness comes through to differentiate it, and it grows quite sweet on the end, before just a flash of sourness and a slight dryness--maybe like eating golden raisins and a tangelo, yet the citrus is quite tempered and mellow, and some vanilla pops up on the finish.

It's really complex, and the alcohol is so well cloaked it's ridiculous for a 9%'er. Very drinkable. One of the best of the Ancients that DFH has given us.

Photo of PatLarsen
4.39/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very unique beer. Medium dark amber color with a thin head that fades fairly quickly. Aroma/taste reminds me of bananas and chai tea. Very complex beer that hides the alcohol well. Hard to believe that it is 9% abv when feels more like 7% abv. Very crisp and tasty. I wish it could be added to the year round portfolio. Really nice. If you see it get it.

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 1pt 9oz bottle into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a slightly murky yellow; has a 2 finger fizzy white head with some retention (the mug was scored on the bottom). Some sticky lacing as I drink it.

Smell: Malt hits the nose first, followed by spicy whiffs of black tea and chai, with a light juniper note at the end. Also some yeast, and maybe green apples.

Taste: Spicy chai over bready malt, no bitterness. Juniper not really noticeable until the aftertaste. Also some sweet flavors from the chai tea, perhaps cinnamon; the alcohol is hidden quite well for 9%.

Mouthfeel: Delightfully fizzy, almost champagne-like carbonation; but a much thicker body.

Overall: Quite different; not sure if it's something I would pick up again for the price but it was definitely tasty.

Photo of BranfordBound
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the DFH Brewery in DE.

Pours a dark golden color, translucent, with an off-white head of a finger.

Smells of clove, honey, maybe a little juniper berry, and sweet malt.

Following the aroma, tastes very similar to a hefeweizen. Starts sweet and malty, touch of honey in the middle. Finishes with a strong clove note and juniper berry.

Heavier side of medium bodied, a little on the wet side.

Well this beer has its place, and from the yeast used I can conclude that DFH should make a hefeweizen, but then again that just wouldn't be their thing. Pretty good beer.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just watched the video with Sam/Bryan Selders and their crew heating the rocks for the pilot batches. I've been nervous to try this creation because of the heavy chai tea infusion post boil. Pours a pale golden amber honey hue with a bright slightly off white head forming thick with fine lacing. I've only had one Sahti from Tom Baker's heavyweight, never had any of the bottled Finnish versions that make it stateside. Aroma is heavy with fruit and chai tea, really tropical fruit banana and pineapple heavy in the nose with hints of citrus fruits. Flavor, what can I say I had nothing to be scared about the Chai flavor is present but it doesn't overbear the palate it's continuous throughout each sip but not off putting. A caramelized dessert banana with earthy tones juniper/clove/chai tea additions makes for a happy palate. Mouthfeel is heavy with spice finish, carbonation is natural flowing evenly body is medium to full especially with residual spices left behind. Drinkability overall impressively better than I could have imagined go for this beer I guess I'm going for the Nemaste next time I see it, because honestly this is pretty good.

Photo of OStrungT
4.45/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a cloudy yellow color, with a thin, but fluffy white head. The head fades slowly, leaving a nice lace.

This beer has a grainy aroma, with some peppery hops. I can detect some coriander, citrus, and even cloves. It has a mild floral aroma as well. Lost of different aromas.

This bee rtastes like it smells. A lot of different things. Spices up front. Coriander, grains of paridise, and cloves. Behind that, some lemon zest and some floral hops. Maybe a slight tea flavor too.

This beer is crisp, and refreshing. It leaves a citrusy aftertaste. It is highly carbonated, fitting the style.

This beer might make a good session beer, but the alcohol content is a bit high. Other than that, is is great.

Overall: This beer is quite unique. I like it. I would drink it again. Good job Dogfish for making rare styles. Thank you.

Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a cloudy golden-orange color with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of pale malts with large amounts of good amounts of tea leaf aromas. Also present are hints of coriander and what smells like grains of paradise. Finally, earthy hop aromas round everything out.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Sweet pale malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by good amounts of herbal tea. Mild amounts of spices join in shortly thereafter with hints of sugar-coated pear flavors lingering in the background. Midway through the sip earthy hop flavors temper down the sweetness and carry through to a solidly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass without any problems and could have another.

Overall I found this to be an interesting beer and while it's complex the flavors don't play off of each other terribly well. Still, it's worth a shot.

Photo of rhoadsrage
2.31/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

(Served in a dimple mug)

A- This beer pours a slight hazy bright orange body with a bubble beige head that boils and then soon disappears. There are strands of tiny bubbles gliding to the surface out of the murky liquid.

S- The sharp ginger bite hits the nose right away followed by some soft plastic notes and a finish of eucalyptus.

T- The flavor of medicinal herbal cough drops is followed by a much softer caramel sweet hint and then fades back into the medicinal plant after taste that lingers. There are notes of camphor and dry spices with a light dry horehound note aswell.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a tight fizz finish that enhances the medicinal aftertaste. There is no alcohol heat noticed.

D- The first glass was rough to get through so I knew there was no way I could get through the giant bottle, and I hate to waste beer. As the rest swirled down the drain the kitchen filled with an herbal Vicks vapor rub aroma. This was to medicinal and there were very little beer qualities to this drink. I brewed a Triple with Chia and it had the same bad qualities so I'm glad to learn that chia spices just turn out this way, and it wasn't my batch.

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.26/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml Bottle poured into a Snifter

Appearance: Sah’Tea pours a cloudy, golden orange color that is capped with a thin white lace of a head that quickly fades to leave a halo of lacing around the edge of the glass.

Aroma: Tons of spice, like a chai tea (hence the tea in the name). Black pepper, cinnamon, clove, allspice, star-anise, and juniper, mixed with fruit, maybe peaches or apricots, or plums. Honey.

Taste: Strong notes of spices at the front. More black pepper, juniper, clove and honey, followed by faint hints of lightly toasted bread. The warmer the beer got the more intense the chai spices became. Really good.

Mouthfeel: Slightly creamy and nicely carbonated which accentuates the spice notes of the beer. Very smooth, which is surprising considering the 9% ABV, which is lends the beer a nice, slight, alcohol warmth finish.

Overall: Sah’Tea is the second of the Ancient Ales produced by Dogfish that I’ve had, (the first being Theobroma), and I have to say so far, Dogfish is 2 for 2! I really liked this beer, though not as much as Theobroma, and I’ll certainly get it again. Looking forward to the other editions of the Ancient Ale Series.

Photo of caddybuyer
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Second review of this beer...the first got lost when the bros lost their server...oh well..

I bought this again, because I really enjoyed it the first time around, although a bit unusual....

A-Poured into a snifter, pours a clear rich golden amber with a creamy white head....

S-Cardamom, with Belgian yeast and some peppery spices. Smells like a tripel loaded with some cardamom....nothing wrong with that.

T-Nose carries on to the taste, along with some fresher fruits like banana and pear, with a hint of clove. Slightly sweet, and all good.

M-Medium bodied and carbonated.

D-Very drinkable and enjoyable brew. I love beers with cardamom....Now that Snowbound is no more, I guess this will have to do....

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Sah'tea from Dogfish Head Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 1,765 ratings.