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Sah'tea - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.

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very good

1,760 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,760
Reviews: 595
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 14.65%
Wants: 159
Gots: 218 | 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.

Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,760 | Reviews: 595
Photo of YouSkeete
3.18/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Effervescent copper/yellow. White head with just a touch of lacing.

S: Sweet lighter fruits, like apple, pear and orange . Honey completes the sweet aroma, and some light lemon zest keeps the scent pretty spicy. Lightly peppered, moderately malty. I don't really smell the chai yet, but we shall see.

T: Honey peppered fruits is exactly how i would explain the initial taste. A Savory herbal and floral taste balances the mild spices in the beer. The undertones of the spices definitely make the "Chai" present, but it's very faint and hardly noticeable. There's not much more to this beer than that: Not much difference between the initial taste and aftertaste. It's all pretty much face value.

M: Sticky and milky, like Dogfish Heads ales usually are. medium carbonation, medium body.

D: Easy to drink, the 9% abv isn't very strong at all. Mildly sweet, mildly spicy, a well-balanced beer. Tasty, but not really my style.

Photo of SPThirtyThree
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

Sah'Tea - an ale brewed with black chai tea and juniper berries...might be a little too experimental for me, so I don't have high hopes.

$14.00 for a 750 mL. Regular cap. Served at 46°F.

A: Pours into my favorite NB snifter, and I can already smell the tea. A one-finger head leaves some lacing if the glass is tilted, but it quickly slides back into the ivory cap, which is rapidly diminishing. The etching at the bottom of the glass does its best to recharge the head, and there's a fair bit of carbonation here. The hue is a hazy, golden orange, just a shade lighter than amber.

S: Herbal and grassy, this beer smells like nothing I've ever tried. There's a strong fusel hotness, tangled with banana phenols. Behind the complex yeast smells lie abundant spices: clove, ginger, and cinnamon; white pepper and nutmeg. After a long whiff, the juniper comes through. Sah'tea smells juicy, and slightly citrusy, like lemongrass and french vanilla.

M: Upon tasting, the mouthfeel makes a huge presence, and stands out more than taste, so I'll describe the flavor later. A full-bodied creaminess envelops the tongue. This is outstanding.

T: The first flavor is a strong sweetness of light caramel, like biting into a bit-o-honey. There's a mild bitterness, but not a standard hop flavor, so perhaps it's a result of the juniper and tea. There's also a little too much spice - clove and nutmeg, but not much juniper in the flavor (thankfully). The Chai tea is definitely present, and probably accounts for most of the spice flavors.

D: Medium-low. Sah'tea is interesting, innovative, and fun to try, but once the uniqueness wears off, much of the appeal leaves as well. It's certainly not sessionable, either, although it went above and beyond my expectations.

Photo of mjsheehan08
3.32/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

---from notes

Definitely a big beer. I'm still in the middle of it, and it is probably one of the more complex beers I have ever tasted. Very nice mouthfeel, which is immediately hit with a taste of the bubblegum yeast, followed up with notes of clove, chai, and maybe some cinnamon. Still trying to decide how I feel about the combination of flavors though. I chilled the bottle in a wine cooler to 57 degrees, which brought out alot of the different tastes. It might not be the best tasting beer ever, but kudos to DFH for having the balls to make a beer this complex. Definitely worth a try.

Photo of beagle75
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Slightly hazy, medium orange-golden color with no foam head. No lacing remains on the glass. Traces of sediment can be seen accumulating at the bottom of the glass.

S: Prominent spicy ginger with accents of honey, cloves, hay, and urea. No alcohol is detected in the smell.

T: Begins dry with husky, pale malt that is soon joined by spicy, effervescent ginger and hints of aromatic juniper berry. Bright fruit (nectarines and cooked apples) defines the middle. Faint earthy tea is just barely detectable in the finish, which is otherwise lacking bitterness. No flavor of alcohol is detected.

M: Thin viscosity, very light on the palate, with moderate to heavy carbonation. A slight burn of alcohol accumulates on the palate over time.

D: This beer is (not too surprisingly) rather difficult to score by style, but it most resembles an exciting, flavorful tripel very much in the spirit of the Bruery's basil-infused Tradewinds. Expect this beer to do everything a tripel can, not excluding the potent dose of ethanol in a serving.

Photo of buschbeer
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I poured into a nonic glass to three fingers of off white head. It is orange/amber colored. This is a very aromatic beer. I get clove, juniper, cinnamon, and some faint caramel malt. It reminds me of a Christmas ale. The taste is everything I smelled. I get the spices and malt up front with the piny taste lingering a bit on my tongue. It leaves a little bit of a chalky feel on my tongue. I had NO idea what to expect from this beer, but everything about it reminds me of Christmas. I may have to get another bottle for the holidays.

Photo of JayS2629
4.97/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The only fault I can give this is that it doesn't taste like a beer. However, it is absolutley delicious.

A- A dep golden amber with a hazy sediment.

S- Spicy. The ulitmate chai stands out on the front with a bit of orange in there somewhere. Sweet malty and deep overall taste. Clove stands out.

T- Liquid candy. Nice carbonation. A bit strong on the fore-front but easy on the aftertaste. Ginger comes in with a nice dance to the carbonation.

M- The carbonaton is very nice to the mouth. Slightly creamy. Smooth.

D- The juniper berry brings a nice sweetness and pine feel. It has a spicy finish that is a bit dry but the orange overtones and the background of of a honey calms things down to a very mellow drink. It doesn't taste like beer. The chai tea is overwhelmingly good. Its like a chai tea with carbonation poured into a very nice medium bodied brew.

Photo of Fartknocker
4.48/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

25.6 oz bottle, Bottled in 2010.

A- Deep golden color with quite a bit of 'sediment'. Thin white head.
S- Spicy, fruity aromas, almost wine-like.
T- Spicy with a sweetness like candy or taffy. Taste is similar to a hefe with an added clove/cinammon flavor.
M- Little carbonation which makes for a smooth feel.
D- This is a really good beer, easy drinking that no way feels like 9%.

Photo of kzoobrew
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bright golden orange body with a moderate amount of haze. Frothy white head sits three fingers tall. Retention is fairly decent though lacing is lacing.

Chai spice aromas find themselves deeply intertwined with the strong clover characteristics of the yeast. While the scents due make for an attractive combination the clove aroma does become a bit too strong. Nondescript sweetness is set below all the spices.

The flavor expands upon the foundation in which the nose laid. More overwhelming clove backed up by a chai flavor which is weaker than preferred. The juniper berries come into play delivering a strong sweetness mid palate. Towards the end of the glass the flavors meld into a subtly citric flavor.

Medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Texture is smooth and a bit creamy. The sweetness really clings to the palate making for a long finish.

I was pleased to try this beer but was let down a bit by the results. Sahtea is more of a victim of high expectations than poor craftsmanship. Very easy to drink though the taste is not quite what I would have wished for. The flavors make this one to share with your noncraft drinking friends.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle split and poured into a Duvel tulip. 9% ABV, Bottled in 2010B printed on the neck.

Big thanks to Thorpe429 for knocking this one off my wants list!

A - Hazy golden amber but bright in color, it's topped by an awesome white head. Lower retention with some little bits of lace left on the glass.

S - The blend of chai tea and juniper is quite something! It's got a fantastic aroma I've never smelled in a beer before. Subtle minty hints play well with the black chai. Subtle pale malts fall behind. Very refreshing smelling.

T - The minty juniper hints work well with the black chai! It's got almost no real beer flavor to it but despite the large flavor going on here, nothing is overpowering.

M - Medium-bodied and moderately carbonated with a refreshing minty and spicy finish that never gets too strong.

D - This is pretty incredible. I can't think of another beer like this at all. Even the alcohol doesn't come through at all. Thanks Mike!

Photo of Stigs
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, split and served in large flutes

A - pours with a thin layer of loose and bubbly, cream colored foam. settles quickly to an even thinner film and ring around the glass. the beer is gold in color, with just a touch of haze.

S - strong and herbal with hefty amounts of thyme, basil, cinnamon, ginger, and chai spices. finishes out with some mint leaves and weak tea.

T - begins a little on the sweet side with some "generic" (gas station) sweetened chai tea, cinnamon, and eggnog. spice slowly creeps in, bringing basil, mint, tea leaves, and a small amount of orange/citrus rinds.

M - light to slightly medium body, with moderate carbonation. very crisp flavors, sweet yet refreshing. finishes just a tad on the dry side, with lingering herbal tastes and sweet tea.

D - a brave, yet successful offering from DFH. i remember having this fresh on tap at one of their brewpubs and thinking it was just a tad too sweet. the year this has sat around has done well for it. paired nicely both during and after some homemade pad thai. dangerous at 9%

Photo of metter98
4.14/5  rDev +6.4%
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 BeerCon5
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy bright orange color with 1 finger of fluffy white head.

The scent was of berries, citrus, and tea.

The taste was of grapefruit and other citrus at first, then there was notes of berries, tea, wheat, and sweet malt.

Light bodied, very crisp at first then finishing somewhat creamy, high carbonation.

This beer had very complex flavor, I thought it was a bit out of balance, at times it was too sweet and others kind of sour. Though it was interesting I'm not sure I'd be interested in this again.

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

A - Poured into a 16oz tulip. Hazed orange with a golden tint to it. Admittedly I had to practically force a head on it.

S - Huge berry and clove notes with orange hiding in there somewhere.

T - Orange and yeast up front that mingle with tea notes. Berries, clove, and a hint of booze follow.

M - Nice even medium body. Just enough carbonation to dance on the tongue.

D - High ABV hinders a bit. Good enough to keep going in my opinion.

I was really impressed with this. Spiced beer I'm sure is frowned upon by the purists, but not me. I'm a little surprised that I haven't read higher reviews. Thoroughly enjoyed.

Think I will pick up a bottle to put away.

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

My first (and likely only) sahti beer. This breaks with tradition but who cares.

It pours a particle filled golden colour with a big white head. Some lacing is left behind as it settles to a cap of foam.

The smell is a complex mix. My first thought was - unibroue.. as their beers have big yeasty, clovey smells. This one is similar.. with yeast, clove, ginger and sweet malted honey.

The taste bumps it all up a notch. Big volume of sweet malts, combined with oodles of spice.. clove, cinnamon and other chai flavours come through in spades. Complex as hell and very well done. Its lacking some balance but I think that's true to style (no hops). Alcohol is very well hidden.

Mouthfeel is a touch thick but considering how big this beer is it's not much of a fault. Carbonation is good but could be bumped up a touch for my tastes.

Drinkability.. well done. For a beer of this strength and complexity you have done well!

Photo of JoeAmerican77
3.89/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out of a DFH Bomber into a tulip glass.
Not entirely sure how a Sa'hti is supposed to look , but it is pretty solid. Fills the glass a copper autumn color and left no real substantial white head.

Smelled of Cinnamon and ginger, basically chai tea spice, slight alcohol in the nose.

The flavor leads me to a confusing conclusion, why does this beer taste more like a pumpkin beer than any pumpkin beer I've ever had? Pumpkin and spice stand out with the cloves and ginger leading to a delicious flavor I was not expecting. Delicious yes. Unintended, maybe.

There is a medium body to it with semi heavy carbonation.

Quite drinkable for one. And thats the number I would recommend.

Not very affordable as this bomber puts you negative 15 bones

Photo of AdamBear
4.49/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A-gold, slightly hazy with thin white head

S-resembles a belgian pale ale, there's definitely a spice to it, juniper scent is slightly noticeable. cinnamon is there too.

T-wow this is one complex beer! taste is close to a very crisp, strong belgian pale ale. the chai and juniper tastes are there, but there are so many other yummy tastes i can't define/ the after-taste is so refreshing and long lasting!

M-medium to heavy carbonation with a very nice smooth creamy finish!

D-mmm i could drink a lot of this. is it really 9% abv?? it goes down so easily!! i love it! good thing it comes in a 750mL bottle!

Photo of mstyne
3.62/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


Bomber from Beverage Mart, NY 66.

A very nice cloudy orange/amber. Thin head, very minimal lacing. Light carbonation. Smell is amazing. Sweet, citrus, spice, banana, grapefruit. Very, very complex aroma.

Taste is similar, what I would expect from a farmhouse ale, but still different. Very similar to the aroma, there is a spiciness start to finish, and a warming sensation -- not surprising considering the 9% abv. Almost has the viscosity of a stout or porter -- slightly syrupy.

This was definitely an interesting experience (I would expect nothing less from DFH) and I look forward to trying it again soon.

Photo of rfgetz
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazed dulled gold with minimal to no head. Scent is very wheat beer like with underlying tones of berry and herbal ingredients. Taste brings the notes of berry, mild herbs to the front, while a wheat beer background is still present. A noticeable alcohol quality lingers in the rear. Medium bodied, maybe slightly undercarbonated. A very pleasent suprise of a beer.

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

Had a sample at the Blackback Pub and Flyshop.

A: Pours a nice golden amber color. Provides a nice off white foam head with ample lacing.

S: Lots of chai tea, citrus fruits, banana, spice and juniper. The juniper and chai tea are the most prevalent. Kind of reminds me of a Hefeweizen.

T: The wheat, chai tea and juniper are very apparent throughout the tasting. There is some banana and spice on the back end but the junper masks them for the most part.

M: A very light crisp flavor on the palate.

D: This was my first adventure with a Sahti and I enjoyed it. The alcohol is masked nicely which makes having one or two in a sitting feasible.

Photo of EwaldEichstaett
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The color was golden brown, actually it matched my cupboards exactly :) Decent head and lacing. There were a few little floaties inside of the beer, not sure where those came from.

S: At first the smell reminded me of an American wheat beer-- not appetizing in my opinion. However, there were also strong elements of chai spice. The spice and earth flavours came to the front after a few minutes.

T: The beer has the background of a wheat beer. The spice is delicate at first and becomes more prominent as you continue to drink. Very interesting combination of flavours. Despite having no hops, the spice of the beer gives it a good bite and freshness...

M/D: Mouthfeel was good, thats about all I can say about it. I did enjoy this beer, although I have no clue how I should rate such a strange beer. I would like it again, but I would need to wait several months. Perhaps it fills a strange niche in the beer world.

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

Cloudy gold with a 2-finger white head, and bubbles rising gently. Good retention, with distinct rings of lacing. Thick body, quite viscous on the tongue.

Chai spices hit the nose, eventually discerning herbacious juniper and sweet banana notes not unlike a hefeweizen. Cardamon, cloves, sweet fruit, and juniper are surprisingly balanced without hop bitterness, though a bit on a sweet side. Just make sure to drink it cold to mute the sweetness, or it becomes too cloying. Interesting lingering yeast flavor in the finish, quite unlike anything I've had before in a beer, almost like a bread yeast (I bake bread regularly).

A refreshing and creative brew that jives with my worldly sensibilities. The hidden ABV is a nice bonus. I wish I encountered it earlier in the summer. DFH is brewing some really interesting stuff and this one will be a summer regular for me.

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

Review from notes taken on 8/18/10.

On tap at Als of Hampden served in a type of goblet and quite cold. It appears a hazed golden color with little to no lacing effect and very poor head retension. All that remains reminescent of a head is a bread of white bubbles around the glass.

The nose of this brew is very hefeweizen-like. It needs to really warm up before the sweet smelling scents of clove and other spices come out with a bit of herbal character. Some fruitiness is noted along with an eatery alcohol presence.

The taste again is very much like hefeweizen initially but with an exaggerated amount of clove and spices that have a bit of an herbal twang and increased dryness with the way the spices hang on the tongue. The warmth of the alcohol fills the back of the throat and the spices incorporate a mild bitterness that counters the sweetness and spiciness of this brew.

Lots of lingering spiced flavors left in the mouth that come across a bit peppery at times. This is a medium bodied brew and moderately carbonated. Fairly drinkable for 9% but gets more complex and enjoyable as it gets slightly warmer.

Photo of vkv822
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into tulip pint.

The beer pours a cloudy golden yellow with chunks of yeast throughout, as well as a thick white head.

The aroma is strongly of herbs and spice, with some juniper notes.

The flavor also has notes of spice, though thankfully they are a bit more subdued then in the aroma. There is also a light citric touch, followed by very light tea notes. As the beer warms the tea flavors become quite a bit more prominent.

The mouthfeel suites the flavors well, with a medium body and light carbonation.

This is a very easy drinking and pleasant beer, with the tea characteristics probably better enjoyed on a warm summer day though. I really enjoyed the ability of the flavors to be very unique but still feel quite familiar and at home in a beer.

Photo of deaconoflove
3.33/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Ap. Cloudy and hazy, kind of an orange/golden light brown color with a nice inch high head even though it was cold. Very pretty beer.
Sm. Spicy, citrisy, cloves? maybe. Not really very appetizing to me.
Ta. Spicy and orange zest at first followed by mild sweetness, a little funkyness. Finish is a little sticky without bitterness. Sort of reminds me of Constant Comment Tea from back in the 70's.
Mf. A little thick, smooth.
Dr. After a couple of tastes, I wasn't looking forward to finishing the bomber; however, the alcohol has worked its magic and it's gone and I feel fine.

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.

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Sah'tea from Dogfish Head Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 1,760 ratings.