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Sah'tea - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Sah'teaSah'tea

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

1,725 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,725
Reviews: 592
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 14.65%
Wants: 139
Gots: 185 | FT: 4
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.

6 IBU

(Beer added by: DarkerTheBetter on 09-28-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,725 | Reviews: 592 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber from Premier. Great spicey and fresh aroma.
Looks- Unfiltered look, has a half inch of soapy head and is lacey.Carbonation bubbles.
Smooth mouthfeel, very drinkable.
Juniper worked, also positive that not noticeably gingery. Carmel, pecans, cola, carob.

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy honey orange color with a 1 inch off-white head that fades to a small cap. Random spots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is pure chai tea aromas and the taste is very much the same. I really like chai tea and this beer was very spot on in my opinion. Nice tea, spice, and citrus aromas and flavors come out in this beer. Good carbonation with a smooth yet bubbly mouthfeel. Overall, this is a great smelling and tasting beer but I am not too sure I could drink this one very often. I am glad I was able to find a bottle in CA as I had never seen it before.

Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -22.9%

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of acurtis
3.25/5  rDev -16.5%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Dogfish Alehouse this past summer.

A: Pours a light apricot-yellow with a nice amount of white lacing.

S: Lots of spicing throughout--ginger, nutmeg, a bit a cinnamon. A little bit of herbal tea. Some gin notes.

T: The gin-type notes become more prevalent and there is a honey-like sweetness underlying the above-mentioned spices.

M: Medium-bodied, slightly dry, and well-carbonated.

D: Quite drinkable. This is definitely one of the more drinkable Dogfish "experimental" beers.

Photo of Texasfan549
5/5  rDev +28.5%

Photo of GRG1313
3.1/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Amended 11/26/11 - I have apologized to this beer after tasting it several more times and especially with food. Many of the characteristics that I disliked below I now find appealing and this one is especially food friendly. Have it with exotic foods and big flavored food and it really goes well. I have changed my original D+ rating. Sorry Sah'tea..

* * *

Orig. Review: Please let me say first, that I love Dogfish Head Brewery. It is perhaps my favorite because it's not afraid to be bold, different and extreme. I've now tasted over 25 different Dogfish Head brews and there have only been 1 or 2 that I really didn't like. Sah'tea has joined the list.

Pours an orange amber with a very thin white head.

Huge nose of chai tea, sage and basil herbs that is somewhat different but appealing.

Mouthfeel is medium to thin and overall a bit disappointing.

Flavors are sweet peachy and overwhelming in chai tea flavors and character. Undertones of orange marmalade flavors and peach tea. In the interests of fairness, I do not particularly like chai tea. Those that like chai tea that tasted this beer with me were much more forgiving. Thus, this really is a "chai tea beer" in almost all respects.

Short sweet peachy/chai tea finish. Undertones of sage/basil/juniper berries in nose, flavors and finish.

Interesting beer but I have no idea why this beer was made, bottled or sold. My 21 year old daughter said she likes it..."it doesn't taste like beer." Others called it "refreshing."

I don't know when you would drink it...perhaps to cool down or in lieu of cold water? Would not be particularly food friendly nor would one want to sit and drink it by itself or sip it.

This is is just "not my cup of tea." (I couldn't resist...sorry).

Photo of metter98
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is cloudy yellowish-orange in color and poured with a thin white head that quickly faded away leaving lacy patterns of bubbles on the surface. Some yeast particles are visible floating in suspension.
S: There are strong aromas of tea leaves and juniper berries in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste is filled with flavors of chai tea and juniper berries. There is a slight amount of sweetness in the finish, which has some hints of fruits and honey.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a light amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is very drinkable because the alcohol content is well hidden. I would definitely try this beer again because it is very unique.

Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

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

An introduction into Sahti beers gives me the impression of a heavy Hefeweizen but with acidic tartness and chewy texture. This from Dogfish Head seems spiced with a lot of tea-like herbs along with a minty-piney juniper quality.

The beer opens with a hazy canary color, carrying a large protein-rich head that shows great staying power and lacing.

Honey is woven into the sharp aroma of cinnamon, chamomile, corriander, pepper, nutmeg and a lot of other chai/christmas notes. Zesty lemon pepper rides deep in the background.

Flavors of the sweetness and spice swirl about in other flavors of English shortbread cookies and fruity yeast tastes. Pineapples, mangos, lemons, green apples, papayas, and pawpaws make the beer very fruity as well as spicy.

Very heavy and viscous from sip to finish from unresolved proteins and sugars. Finishes with a creamy gulp and long spicy linger of spruce tips and mint. Light acidity plays on the tongue but not enough for complete balance. Gin/juniper flavors return in the aftertaste.

Overall a good beer that is hard to see folling up with another, but with little Sahti experience on which to fall back, I take the juniper/gin-like finish along with protien rich body as givens. But it seems like more tartness (lambic) and less forced spice would have made all the difference between great Sahti's and this.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a cloudy orange color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of sweet malt with notes of juniper and Chai tea is very pleasant. Taste is also dominated by aroma of juniper and nice fresh wheat malt with notes sweet fruity ester. Body is quite full with a nice texture and some good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. A lot better then I had expected based on previous experiment from this brewer.

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

Bright pumpkin with honey hued highlights and multiple lively streams of bubbles. A thick slice of yellowed ivory foam looks so-so atop the beer. The lid is almost featureless as it melts and is too unsticky to result in much lace. Not a bad look... and not a good look.

First, a word about ingredients. Sah'tea uses rye malt and German hefeweizen yeast. The brewery's website lists additional ingredients as follows: juniper berries, black tea, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and black pepper. During a short video, Sam also mentions ramp (leek) leaves, chai tea, cumin and coriander. This should be a very interesting ride.

The nose is enjoyable if you like spiced beer and chai tea. That's 'yes and yes' for me. Cardamom is especially prominent, which gives the aroma a Nordic quality that seems authentic. Then again, that spice originated in India, so it probably wasn't used by 9th century Finns.

Sah'tea is one of those off-the-wall DFH brews that works. It doesn't taste like the only Finnish sahti that I've ever had (Lammin Kataja Olut) and it probably doesn't come within miles of the real deal, but it tastes good and that's all that matters to this big beer lovin' American.

There can't be much rye malt in here. It's probably mostly pale. The yeast adds a definite ripe banana quality, which was a masterstroke. Bland ale yeast wouldn't have worked as well. Some spices are appreciated and some aren't. Those that are include cardamom, ginger and juniper. Maybe cinnamon too.

Alcohol is nowhere to be found on the palate, which is always a praiseworthy feat when the ABV is 9.0%. The mouthfeel is big beer beautiful. It's full and glassy smooth, with a little stickiness on the finish. Laid back bubbles are fine. That said, a little more creamy expansiveness would have earned the next highest score.

Sah'tea isn't the best brew that Sam has ever released, but it's definitely on the positive side of the ledger. No matter what you think of their brewing flights of fancy, the craft beer world is much better off for having Dogfish Head in it... pushing the envelope one beer at a time.

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.

Photo of mikesgroove
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

rich honey colored amber and nice and cloudy with a light touch of white head sitting up on the top. Subtle lacing leans back against the side of the glass and really keeps the profile nice and alive looking.

Aroma is sweet, lots of honey here with really nice touches of herbal and flavor notes dancing around in the background. Smooth, light meadow like touches, heather, lavender, lots of grain, very interesting. even flavor here with it being over 9% is actually quite shocking as none of it really was that noticeable at all. Lots of sweet honey flavors again all over the one and the profile were done quite well. as it finishes it is dry and smooth without much in the way of a kick.

Photo of womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazed orange color with a bit white head. As with most sahteas, a very herbal aroma. Lots of juniper and maybe some ginger notes. Lots of spices as well, mostly coriander and cardamom. A slight tartness is also noticeable. Strangely, there is a strong flavor of banana to go along with the juniper and spice character. Lightly tart and lemony, which is sort of interesting. Actually pretty enjoyable.

Photo of Knapp85
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured out with an attractive looking golden color. The head fizzed up and down pretty quickly leaving just a ring around the glass. The smell of the beer has lots of herbs in it. It's a very interesting smelling brew, It's got some juniper and tea-like aromas to it. The taste doesn't have as much juniper as I was expecting it to have. The mouthfeel has a good thickness to it and is decently carbonated. Overall I liked the brew, I would try it again one day.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3/5  rDev -22.9%

Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Served up a deep, burnt gold body with a thin, white head that, in all probability, wilted in transit to my corner table.

Smell: Sweet-scented, fruity bouquet, with notes of relatively pale malts slathered in honey, unripe orchard fruits, juniper berries, some subtle rye, and, of course, the generously added dose savory herbs and spices.

Taste: Sweet introduction of smooth honey-minded malts and caramelized sugars. Enter in some juniper berry character along With a myriad of fine flavors from all the added herbs and piquant, peppery spices. Then the sweet honey returns again, now pairing with some herbal qualities to provide a splash of Bärenjäger. Hint of rye. Small touch of peeled bananas. Also fruity undertones suggesting pears and apples. Lingering fruitiness beyond the spicy-sweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Somewhat sticky, though smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability: It's indeed interesting and quite enjoyable, a beer that was gone well before I had a chance to really explore all it's facets and complexities. So, I ordered a second one!

Photo of biboergosum
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, from the strangely limited selection at the Whole Foods in Littleton, Colorado.

This beer pours a hazy golden yellow colour, with two pudgy fingers of puffy, tightly foamy off-white head, which leaves little beyond a few instances of sea plume lace around the glass as things sink duly southwards.

It smells of pumpkin chai tea (I know no gourds sacrificed themselves for this beer, but 'tis the season, and the associative dissonance is strong there), a mild earthy fruitiness, a bit of candy sugar, a mildly spicy grain pale malt, and faint earthy, soapy hops. The taste continues the sugary sweetness bent insofar as the bready caramel malt is concerned, with a heady dose of indistinct warming winter spices, some middling black pepper, a weirdly corresponding understated saline character, earthy yeast, woody juniper, over-steeped black tea, a bit of dry Scandinavian licorice, and virtually nothing in the way of hops. No sign of the 18-proof booze, so, um, yay?

The bubbles are rather unassuming and pleasantly downplayed, the body a decent medium weight, fairly smooth, and even a wee bit creamy. It finishes on the sweet side, the caramel and pale malts bolstered by sugar and spice alike, while a slight warming profile kicks off its start-up routine.

A rather pleasant tea-infused big Belgian-style beer, which is obviously not the intent here, but hey, it's DFH, so you never really know. The nods to Finnish brewing history are tangential at best, especially after the guest ingredient quickly runs its course. So the best I can say about this is - forget preconditions and premonitions - this is a tasty tea-bagged strong ale, all without the immediate alcohol heat conditions one might readily expect.

Photo of TMoney2591
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Just once, I wanna see a guy in a suit and sash proclaim, "Hooray Finnish proto-beer!" Yeah, not much ring to it, but still... Anyway... This guy pours a clear copper-orange with almost a finger of white bubbly foam on top. This is not as soupy as the other sahti I've had, but I think it's a bit of a step-up. The nose is loaded with different elements: cracked pepper, cardamom, coriander, tea leaves (I can't tell different teas apart by their leaves' odors, so don't ask me to try here...though the bottle indicates a black chai tea), spruce, some smoke, and a seemingly random melange of miscellaneous spices and whatnot. Damn, such complexity! The same mixture shows up again in the taste, though the tiny bit of smoke is now compeltely absent, the spruce is lighter, and a note of oak comes through. Clearly the addition of the tea mixture upgraded a (probably) more average flavor profile. The body is medium-level with a lightly moderate carbonation. It all lands very well with me; I wish more brewers would rock such a style so differently, so well.

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

weird one. pours quite hazy orangeish light brown with a short white head that dies off after a few minutes. smells like spices of the far east, ginger, even flowers, very strange, but tempting. flavor has quite a bit of the tea flavor come through, which is smooth and earthy, ancient. interesting malt profile as well, amber malts, rye malts, interesting combination. feel is good, fuller bodied, boozy, and has average carbonation. overall this isnt anywhere my favorite dogfish brew, but it is an example of why they are like no other. what other brewery would attempt something like this, and execute it so well. this belongs in a museam somewhere.

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Sah'tea from Dogfish Head Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 1,725 ratings.