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Sah'tea - Dogfish Head Brewery


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very good

1,475 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1475
Reviews: 572
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 14.91%

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Brewery visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
Sahti |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
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.


(Beer added by: DarkerTheBetter on 09-28-2008)
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Ratings: 1,475 | Reviews: 572 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of onechordwonder


3.99/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On draft into a snifter at Side Bar.

Pale amber with very little head. Smells of coriander, orange peel and bergamot. Taste is light at first with a delayed attack from the spice mixture in the brew. Could be a little creamier and would be real interesting on nitro.

An above beer but merely par for the course from Dogfish; there are better options in their 750ml offerings.

Serving type: on-tap

11-03-2013 01:31:21 | More by onechordwonder
Photo of cjgiant

District of Columbia

4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This tea has grown on me since first trying it. To me, it's sort if a cross between a spice beer and a citrusy hefeweizen. The spices of nutmeg, clove, and some tea in the back. The fruitiness takes the form of some tartness of lemon, or maybe something more exotuc like star fruit.

A: opaque orange, little to no head, lacing, retention.
S: nutmeg and a hint if cinnamon with some notes of sour
T/M: see above. Tingle in the tongue reminiscent if a more carbonated beer, although this doesn't appear such. The spice lingers on the tongue, but there is no real dryness to speak of.
O: this brew is not in my normal category that I would rate highly. There is a lack of hops dryness that I miss. However, I usually order this for one glass when I am at a DFH.

Serving type: on-tap

09-02-2013 18:32:22 | More by cjgiant
Photo of tjsdomer2


4.14/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Looks exactly like syrupy iced tea.

Smell: Raspberry tea and lots of yeast. The latter makes this nice.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Flavor is mostly sour cranberries. More yeast, which gives it a superb mouthfeel. Did I mention the yeast?

Overall: I only wish it had more juniper berries in the flavor, but it's still a great beer.

Serving type: on-tap

08-21-2013 04:17:14 | More by tjsdomer2
Photo of 1sophrosyne1


3.14/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Consumed over 20 minutes from a draft pour at the tap house.
The appearance is of an amberized wit with slightly more clarity. The off white head is thin and lingers very little; small spots of lacing hang onto the glass.
The nose has the banana of a wit, as well. It’s covered with a dose of cinnamon, nutmeg and some honeyed ginger. It’s the most intriguing aspect of this brew.
Spiced banana is there right at the start with some of the honey sweetness, not unlike the preview of scents. The middle is dominated by booze wrapped around a nutty center that lingers into the aftertaste. The woodiness and ethanol stifle much of the gin-fruit essence and its companion resins. Despite their power, the flavor profile is still somewhat short—tannins seem to cut off subtle spices rather than allowing them to create an interesting aftertaste.
The mouthfeel is rather thick and heavy—disarming in a way that a Sahti often is. Still, one would hope for more length from the available oils and ample ethanol. The latter certainly does warm…
In general, I wonder if other positive reviewers have been seduced by what the brewers indicate they did to create this beer instead of focusing on what has actually been created. There are other things it could and should be, based upon the general description of recipe. But there is little opportunity for juniper and other Scandinavian herbs to contribute as they might, perhaps due to the choice of malts and high dose of alcohol. As a result, even time and warmth don't make it stylistically on target, even if it's curiously drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

07-28-2013 21:02:54 | More by 1sophrosyne1
Photo of dar482

New York

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

The beer comes in a hazy gold, orange color.

The aroma has tons of tea, spice in the cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and juniper, honey. It really smells like you’re about to dive into a really spicy (spice-y) and sweet tea.

The flavor follows with bready Belgian yeast quality, but I guess that’s also similar to what they use, a German weizen yeast. The sweet honey, pepper and a huge combination of spices continue through with then a gentle booze on the end. There’s also some fruit like lemon or white grape.

The body is pretty creamy and gentle. Very much like the ease of drinking a green tea.

I’ve yet to have a weird concoction like this from Dogfish and this really is quite interesting. Not something I would really need to go back to, but surely worth trying. Definitely recommended for tea lovers.

Serving type: on-tap

07-02-2013 17:38:59 | More by dar482
Photo of RollBounce

New York

4.16/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I had the beer before in bottle before.
No lacing, nice bronze clean cider like color. Smell is intriguing with sweet nutmeg or cinnamon, honey. flovor is upfront, with holiday notes and a full mouthfeel.

overall this beer reminds me of the McKenzie seasonal special apple cider that is brewed with the cinnamon and nutmeg. great summer fall beer!

Serving type: on-tap

06-22-2013 18:15:33 | More by RollBounce
Photo of Swazzle

4.7/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the best beers Dogfish Head has to offer. Had on tap at the Rehoboth Brewpub

A - Amberlike in color, it came out with a nice head with slow retention. Left a nice lacing on the glass that remained sticky while drinking.

S - Big on the caramel and booze smells, with subtle hints of cinnamon and clove and tea as well.

T - Just wow. as an avid tea drinker, this beer was a dream come true after the first sip. With all the spices and flavors of a Chai tea, a home run in my book. Strong notes of cinnamon and pretty sweet for a beer, but this is an exception where it's not a bad thing.

M - Medium bodied with the spiciness of a Chai tea. Goes down pretty easy for a 9% beer.

O - One of my favorite beers hands down. Simply fantastic. If you have ever had and enjoyed a Chai tea, this is a must try.

Serving type: on-tap

08-07-2012 02:24:57 | More by Swazzle
Photo of WoodBrew


4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well, this is one of those beers to which I really have no comparison to base it on, style-wise. It pours a light gold color, and clear. Like a crystal-weiss, almost. I get juniper and some menthol notes—which does but shouldn’t remind me of menthol cigarettes, since the aroma is nothing like that. More… herbal? Piney? Eucalyptus? More like the smell of evergreens after a spring rainfall. A complex finish that lingers and takes some getting used to. An interesting beer from an interesting brewery. I’ll have to try more sahti and see how this compares.

Serving type: on-tap

08-01-2012 03:20:29 | More by WoodBrew
Photo of kylehay2004


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

Enjoyed at the brewpub in Rehoboth Beach, DE

A: half finger head with nice lacing on a cloudy golden with slight crimson hue body.

S: lots of honey, candied citrus, wheat and barley. Nice juniper notes.

T: opens with honey and wheat and turns to honey, juniper and herbs finishing with a slightly sweet citrus note.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: I have heard this one is better bottled. The flavor is full and there are no off putting notes. This one becomes more and more drinkable as it is enjoyed.

Serving type: on-tap

07-28-2012 17:15:18 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of Gambrinus1184


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

Served on-tap in an 8-oz. tulip shaped glass at DFH Brewings & Eats in Rehoboth Beach, Del.

A: Poured a hazy, copper orange color with a very thin head of fizzy, white foam which settles to nothing. Bits of yeast and streams of carbonation can be seen along the edges of the glass.

S: Vinous and fruity, with a hint of spicy, white grape must, coriander and turmeric. A slightly tart, acidic scent rises as well.

T: Dry, fruity, flavorful malts smack the palate first, imparting dry citrus and grapeskin accents. A semi-sweet, tart apple flavor creeps into a grassy, herbal hop and slightly hot alcohol taste. The finish is spicy and sweet with a slightly yeasty, spicy Belgian ale flavor.

M: Dry and crisp with a tart, yet medium-bodied feel. Spicy and dry in the finish, despite pulling fruitiness.

O: A pretty refreshing brew for a warm July afternoon at the brewpub. The 9% ABV isn't fully detected and the tart fruitiness is a nice reprieve. However, most of these "ancient ale" recipes all veer too close to Midas Touch for my taste. It was good but I'm unlikely to get it again.

Serving type: on-tap

07-12-2012 22:07:30 | More by Gambrinus1184
Photo of Darkmagus82


3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a 10 oz chalice glass

Appearance – Pours a hazy golden color with a light white head. The head fades quickly leave a light amount of lacing.

Smell – The smell is fruity and spicy. Aromas of citrus and berry are a nice base with which aromas of some juniper spice and a light pine aroma rest upon. Mixed with these are smells of yeast and some light breadiness as well.

Taste – The taste starts out on the fruitier and sweet side with a good dose of citrus and some berry flavors. These are mixed with juniper and some yeast tastes. The juniper soon becomes more potent with other spices of nutmeg and cinnamon coming to the tongue as well. As the taste advances further a herbal tea flavor comes to the tongue and takes the taste to the end where some floral flavors mix in with the herbal tea to leave a very interesting flavor on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer was on the medium side with the carbonation level just a hint above average. The average body was good for the tea, spice and fruit flavors with the carbonation level making it more refreshing then a standard 9 % abv brew.

Overall – It was an interesting and tasty brew. One to try if you get a chance.

Serving type: on-tap

07-02-2012 23:26:58 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of Sco

New York

3.3/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dogfish Head Sah'Tea

Enjoyed in a tall stemmed glass. 

A- Pours a half inch head which dissipates relatively quickly.  Color is a hazy, deep gold. 

S- Definitely some spice there. Slightly astringent and sweet smelling. Apple cider vinegar?

M- Fairly light and lightly carbonated. This is a surprisingly easy beer to drink - doesn't feel like a 9 percenter. 

T- Starts malty sweet and quickly shifts to clove. I'm really getting a lot of clove - not overbearing, just ever-present. Juniper flavor seems to be more in the background.   I can taste the chai tea in the finish, which is smooth and a bit dry. 

O- This is my first sahtea, and I like it! Definitely a change of pace, especially for an IPA drinker. It might be a sessionable beer for some, but for me, it will remain a change-up pitch. I think this beer would be a great selection in the winter to lighten up from all the heavier winter beers without losing that warming holiday spice. 

Serving type: on-tap

06-26-2012 22:46:21 | More by Sco
Photo of vonnegut21

New York

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

Pours a mild brown, with a slight tan head. Smell has mild malts, with a nice spice backbone. The first sip is mild malt forward, with spice notes and a smooth finish. Mouthfeel is very crisp and refreshing. This beer goes down super easy for a 9% beer. Overall an interesting take on a traditional Finnish Sahti. Definitely worth a try if you've never had it.

Serving type: on-tap

05-18-2012 21:12:30 | More by vonnegut21
Photo of bszern


4.83/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had on tap.

Poured a hazy golden color with some lacing.

Smell is much like a wheat beer, with some spicy notes.

Taste is sort of fruity, and the wheat yeast presents itself well. A little bit of spice is present in the aftertaste.

This is an awesome beer...I have been very hesitant to try any of DFH's "Ancient Ales," but after drinking this phenom I will have to change my approach to them!

Serving type: on-tap

03-31-2012 20:30:40 | More by bszern
Photo of n2185

North Carolina

3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: pours a hazy orange with half a finger of off-white head that fades away with no lacing.

S: lots of spices on the nose. Ginger, orange zest, clove, etc. It smells like a chai tea with oranges and a sweet bready finish.

T: similar to the aroma, lots of spices dominate with orange and ginger being prevalent with notes of clove and cinnamon. Like an orange chai. The finish is slightly yeasty.

M: medium-light body with highish carbonation, this beer is clean and fairly crisp with the alcohol very well hidden.

O: a good beer, overall. Lots of nice spice flavors and aromas without being overwhelming. I don't really know what the standards for the style are, but this is a tasty beer.

Serving type: on-tap

02-18-2012 00:33:10 | More by n2185
Photo of elNopalero


4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well, this is one of those beers to which I really have no comparison to base it on, style-wise. It pours a light gold color, and clear. Like a crystal-weiss, almost. I get juniper and some menthol notes—which does but shouldn’t remind me of menthol cigarettes, since the aroma is nothing like that. More… herbal? Piney? Eucalyptus? More like the smell of evergreens after a spring rainfall. A complex finish that lingers and takes some getting used to. An interesting beer from an interesting brewery. I’ll have to try more sahti and see how this compares.

Serving type: on-tap

09-29-2011 21:11:44 | More by elNopalero
Photo of GarthDanielson

North Carolina

4.28/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured in a tulip, the beer is a pale, yellow-gold color, slightly hazed, with steady bubbles and a thin, small bubbled head. Very floral and herbal nose, with a gin-like characteristic. Smells a little like potpourri. The taste is actually more reminiscent of peppermint tea, with some darkly sweet fruit overtones. The aftertaste is rich, with a light sweetness and heavy coriander and nutmeg spicing. The finish is slick, and slightly creamy. Very tasty and aromatic brew. Extremely unique and intricate.

Serving type: on-tap

08-10-2011 03:24:00 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of socon67

New York

4.68/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a tulip at The Good Life, Massapequa NY.

A - Golden with slight carbonation. No lacing at all. Very thin white foam on top.

S - Wow. Scents of chai and black tea dominate the nose. Behind that is an herbal fragrance of spice. This is truly an example of what is possible with bold concepts in craft beer. Sam, I am impressed.

T - The spicy notes continue through to the taste. Very flavorful, with a spicy iced tea feel. Tastes of cloves, bananas, cinnamon, and peppery feel. For those that like an earthy, herbal vibe this is Nirvana.

M - Rediculously smooth. A spicy grate on the back of the tongue. Feels medium bodied, and masks the ABV very well.

O - I just loved this beer. The profile was like nothing I've had before. And the qulaity of the beer makes me wonder if all sahti are quite this good. I've wondered if DFH was a bit overhyped and beers like this say otherwise. Just great execution.

Serving type: on-tap

07-26-2011 03:03:02 | More by socon67
Photo of Holland


3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

A: dark gold to copper. Nice head stayed thin throughout after the initial pour.

S: chai tea and malt, some other spices I can't put a name on unfortunately.

T: tastes like chai tea and an amber ale mixed. Sweet/caramelly, spicy, malty, and no hops at all.

M: wow this was smooth. I like hoppy beers a whole lot, but this was something new for me. Sticky, and smooth.

O: delicous brew, though not all that drinkable for some reason. I shared this with a few others. It's so much taste in a small glass. Still, great beer, and I love trying new brews.

Serving type: on-tap

07-24-2011 18:32:22 | More by Holland
Photo of MDDMD


3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-golden amber color with tan head slow to dissipate and good lacing

S-sweet and citrusy with aromatic spices

T-citrus and malt flavors combined with chai tea spices

F-medium bodied and smooth

O-an interesting beer,but beers with this type of added spicing are not my cup of "tea"

Serving type: on-tap

07-23-2011 21:10:42 | More by MDDMD
Photo of notchucknorris


3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Pizza Port Carlsbad

A: Slightly hazy golden color with a thin bubbly off white head that goes down pretty quickly.

S: Pretty faint here, but I get a touch of juniper and some wood.

T: Definitely some hints of juniper along with a little oak and something sweet that tastes like cotton candy. A little rye and honey on the finish. I'm not getting a ton of the tea, but there may be a bit hidden in the front of the taste.

Serving type: on-tap

07-22-2011 05:24:02 | More by notchucknorris
Photo of Stunner97

New Jersey

3.05/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance- pour with nice white had and nice yellow murky color, good look

Smell- malt , yeast, and a lot of spice can be picked up on the nose

Taste- alot of spice as the juniper and cardamom can be noticed for sure, theres decent amount of maltiness in this beer but i feel most dominating flavor profile for me is the various spices in this beer

Mouthfeel- very heavy almost thick with moderate carbonation,

Drinkability/overall- in terms of drinkability for my taste this one was not very high, it just had way to much spice and to me was sort of overwhelming, you add this extreme spice and then weight and alcohol and this wasnt my favorite in drinkability, overall the beers quite unique that much is certain and i give dogfish credit again for pushing the envelope like they always do but for me personally this was a miss

Serving type: on-tap

07-11-2011 03:43:23 | More by Stunner97
Photo of ATLbeerDog


3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful cloudy dull orange. A quickly dissipating white/yellow head tops the brew. Aroma really stands out as the smell of spices knock you back. Cardamom and juniper dominate the nose with Belgium yeast quite up front. Taste is biting but somehow seems balanced. Mouthfeel rocks but the body is a tad thin. Nicely carbonated.

Serving type: on-tap

07-10-2011 04:25:47 | More by ATLbeerDog
Photo of hopsolutely

Ontario (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not a style I know well, so please take this review with a grain of salt i.e. is based on my enjoyment of the pint rather than how it corresponds to an archetype.

Cloudy yellow amber with little head, no lacing and minimal carbonation. Supremely spicy aroma is matched in taste; even without the tasting notes I get black pepper, cardamon, cloves & cinnamon.

A fascinating pint I'm glad to have tried!

Serving type: on-tap

07-05-2011 21:53:27 | More by hopsolutely
Photo of jayhawk73


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

A- Pours a golden color with a slim white head which disappears fairly quickly. Decent carbonation and lacing. Nice looking beer. Reminds me of a Belgian.

S- Lots of spices.. corriander, cinnamon, pumpkin, etc.. w a nice hint of malt. Wish it was a little stronger, but nice nonetheless.

T- Same as the nose. Very tasty brew! Reminds me of a Belgian brew, but I can't think of it right now... Lots of the same spices.

M- Smooth, and fairly thin with no hint of the 9% ABV. Good, but not exceptional.

O- Really reminds me of a Belgian beer. Wish I could think of the specific one. Very tasty, and worth checking out. Not for everyone, but I enjoyed it.

Serving type: on-tap

06-28-2011 15:26:25 | More by jayhawk73
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Sah'tea from Dogfish Head Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 1,475 ratings.