1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Sah'tea - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,735 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,735
Reviews: 593
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 14.65%
Wants: 149
Gots: 196 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sah'tea Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,735 | Reviews: 593 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Thorpe429
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
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 becktone
4.27/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

From notes 9-13-09

Eye: Wasn't sure to expect when I poured this one but it pours a hazy lemon yellow. Head formation isn't all that great, and retention isn't all that great either. What you'd be calling a head is thin, pretty much bone white, and foamy in appearance. All in all, ok...the color and clarity are fine, but I'd like more from the head.

Nose: Very spicy aroma all around. Almost reminds me of the type of spiciness you get in pumpkin ales, but not as potent or single minded. Also reminds me of apple pie liquors, or wassail. Generally spicy. All the spice has to be from the juniper and the tea. Aroma almost reminds me of maple brown sugar oatmeal as well. Juniper berry doesn't come through like I thought it would, not nearly as strong as it is in gin. Definitely some spicy, piney and sappy aromas but not real overwhelming. All in all a nice complex and deep aroma...I enjoy it, pretty unique and inviting.

Tongue: Pretty interesting on the tongue too. Sweet malt, though its not heavy. Very unique. The whole thing is balanced out by the spiciness of this brew. Juniper really helps to give balance to the maltiness of this. Again, getting some resemblence to maple brown sugar oatmeal...weird but tasty. There is also a piney and woody taste to this that comes through more in the end, a little bit of bark maybe. Quite a good brew. Very good.

Feel and Drinkability: Finish is dry one this one, which compliments the spice in this brew. Body is light with higher levels of carbonation, large bubbles that don't scrub the palate but add to the feel in a positive way. I really don't think that this one could get any better in terms of feel. I don't see this as working quite as well as it does any other way. This is one that I'll have no problem to finishing and would gladly drink again. It'll just be a while. One bottle goes a long way I'm thinking. This isn't a beer that I'd drink all the time but one that would be nice to return to periodically.

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 nickd717
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by either mfielden or Sandstone on BA. Not sure which one to thank, but they both brought some solid brews, so I'll thank both. Poured into Bruery tulip glass. This was pretty solid stuff. DFH can be a bit hit-or-miss with their "traditional ales," but this one was a hit.

A - Pours a brilliant golden color with a small, creamy white head.

S - Aroma is spices, tea, rye, and sweet malt.

T - Flavor is very nice with tea, sweet pale malt, rye, lemon, juniper, coriander, ginger, and other spices, with a fairly herbal character to it. They used ramp leaves in this? That is an interesting ingredient that I never expected to see in a beer. Oh well, crazy or not, it works.

M - A little syrupy on the palate with full body and medium-high carbonation.

D - Better than other DFH traditional ales. This does not get cloying or overspiced.

Photo of jjayjaye
4.29/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an ultra pale golden color, visibly effervescent, with a shallow white head that fades fairly quickly with minimal lacing left behind...looks as if its going to be thin. The smell is complex and aggressive with a strong Chai tea, cinnamon, nutmeg and earthy banana aroma that's quite nice. Full flavored, sweet and spicy, the taste matches the nose pretty well, but instead of banana it tastes more like a meaty pumpkin pie. In that regard, it reminds me somewhat of ST Pumking (this one has more pronounced spice to it). The mouth feel isn't dominated by carbonation. In fact, while on the lighter side of a medium body, it has a creamy smooth texture. The lingering after flavor compliments the feel nicely. This one is a riot to consider and I could easily finish the bottle, but not tonight. The 9% ABV presents a modest warmth on the way down...the affect is a notch or two below distracting. Another successful deviation by Dogfish Head if you ask me.

Photo of eljefe21
4.09/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Orange yellow in color like apricot juice. Some thin lacing. Little if any head.

S: Spices, spices, spices. Nutmeg, cinnamon, oranges, who knows what else.

T: Taste follows the smell: nutmeg, cinnamon some sourness. An explosive mix of flavors. Slightly odd for a beer but good.

M: Light soft carbonation. A slightly tart finish makes it refreshing.

D: Kind of an odd beer for any situation. A nice one to try once in a blue moon when feeling adventurous. Almost like a pumpkin beer, so maybe a treat for the autumn.

Served: in a snifter.

Review from notes taken on: 7/17/09 at the Falls Church VA DFH Alehouse.

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

Wow! Interesting. My first thought was that it tasted like a ginger snap.

A: Mostly clear, very deep gold in color. Creamy off-white head. Very good retention. Minimal lacing (must be the alcohol).

S: Spice, like all-spice... it's not quite ginger and cinnamon, but a little bit like ginger and cinnamon. Clove. Perhaps nutmeg. Tea. Bready. Malt. Grain-like. Crusty cookies. Soft, even dull brown sugar.

T: Malty. Honeyish. Spicy and bready. Very much like the aroma, but you've got the full experience here. There's a hint of cola in the very end. I don't find any hops, it's just malt and spice. Oh, and there's the rye note! Interesting to say the least! And yet the alcohol remains mainly in check - well done. And then there's the spicy note of juniper, just like you find in Gin. It kind of lingers on the front of your tongue. Weird, but cool. It definitely progresses and changes as you progress through the glass. Great complexity.

M: Medium-full and creamy smooth with a moderate carbonation and a clearly dextrinous edge.

D: Overall, this is not like any Finnish Sahti I've ever had. It's not sour enough, and not woody enough, and it's too full bodied and sweet - and to be honest, it tastes more like Chai tea than anything else, but OK, that said, I don't care about any of those references, and I only look at it as-it-is, which is extremely nice. It's a little sticky (not backed by much bitterness), but it balances itself out and doesn't cling to the palate. And it's totally unique. I've never had a beer that's anything like this. And I appreciate that DFH is pushing the boundaries and taking beer where it hasn't gone before. Kudos!

Photo of scruffwhor
4.06/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour reveals very little foam, OK bubbling, and an oaken stained piece piece of wood with lots of copper and amber. Pretty syrupy looking texture too. The aroma is a super chai tea with some pumkin overtones and juniper berries for a punch of spice. The abv. only heightens these aromas. The taste starts off pumkin ale and strong black tea. The middle brings the chai and juniper berries center stage. The finish warms everything up with a warm fuzzy feeling. Nice syrupy palate with lots of spices and herbs. Very unique mid-autumn evening sipper.

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy golden yellow with a fairly thick but not persistent white head. Aroma, though, is strong and distinctive with a firm overtone of juniper and hints of spices. Flavor is malty and a little sweet with a spicy undertone and more than a hint of tea along with a ribbon of juniper flavor. One might think this would taste terrible, but it doesn't at all - it's not just distinctive, it's quite enjoyable. Texture is silky smooth and just a little tingly. This beer is weird in the best way.

Photo of danielharper
4.37/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

(What do you know? A whole style I didn't know even existed.)

Appearance: Very hazy translucent yellow-orange body, thin white head that dissipates quickly in my snifter.

Smell: Strongly citrus (think oranges), hints of grapefruit and berries. Very strong black tea underneath.

Taste: When cold, this has a orangey citrus flavor, but as it warms the citrus fades completely into the background, leaving a strong black tea flavor with a nice yeasty tart finish.

Mouthfeel: Moderate thickness, slight carbonation, very slight hoppiness. Tartness leaves its effect on the palate.

Drinkability: Very drinkable, high in alcohol but very much worth a try. Not worth $27+ a bottle, but decent. I may buy again someday.

Photo of coachdonovan
3.12/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

i finally get around to trying this... it's been on my list since the New Yorker article last year. time to sample another one of Sam C's crazy recipes.

pours a hazy light cold with basically no head. if it weren't so hazy i would say it looks like ginger ale. aroma is cloves/cardamom with some of that chai tea mixed in.

eh. to me this seems more along the lines of a spicy hefeweizen. the yeast is there, but i don't necessarily notice the presence of juniper or the absence of hops. i don't see the big deal.

Photo of mltobin
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Prime 16 in New Haven. The bartender served it in a snifter (poured just right).

Appearance is a bright golden color with a small head to it.
Smell was quite different from what I had expected going into this, it consists of cloves, nutmeg, honey, different fragrances that one might expect from a herbal tea, which considering the name of this offering from DFH is actually not too surprising. Moving along to the taste, it has a light and easy going sweetness to it, somewhat medicinal, in a positive nature that is. Mouthfeel is unique and pops with the plethora of ingredients contained in this sahti, which is the first beer in this style that I have sampled. It is easily consumed without the alcohol content being evident, so sip & enjoy all the different characteristics of this beer.

Photo of fropones
4.29/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a golden pumpkin orange with really no head (maybe dirty glass?). Smell was of chai spices, mainly cardamom. Some juniper berries. Very inviting aroma. Taste is very complex. Some sweetness. Notes of cardamom, cinnamon, cloves in front with the juniper throughout. Tastes sort of like chai tea with a splash of gin, but in a good way. A fairly herbal taste. The mouthfeel somewhat viscous, thicker than you'd think looking at it. Good amount of carbonation. Drinkability is very good. Alcohol is well hidden and I have every intention of downing this whole 750.

Photo of BretSikkink
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served with a pale tan head of about an inch, but not much stickiness. Amber, I suppose a bit tea-like in appearance, and hazy. Nose exhibits juniper and lots of Chai notes: nutmeg, clove. Fairly sweet.

Sweetness is up front in the flavor, with a stickiness of character that leaves the chops smacking a bit. I expected more spices on the flavor after the aroma, but I'm finding a lot of honey sweetness. Malts are light and cracker-like, and hints of fruitiness peak around.

I'm glad I was sharing this pint, as I'm not a huge fan of Chai and/or spiced beers. Credit where it's due, this is a fun brew.

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.37/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dogfish Head Sah'tea:
appearance - hazy golden.
smell - after a few pumpkin's recently I couldn't help but notice some similarities...cloves, cardamom, spicy. But something else, a sweetness, maybe the juniper berries?
taste - nice balance between the spices, malt and sweetness. This is nice. Thank God for DFH.

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

The beer pours a hazy gold color with a 1/2" white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a mild pale malt scent along with a very nice Chai tea and juniper berry aroma. It's dry with an excellent herbal character. The taste is good as well. It has a really smooth taste that boasts of pale malts and herbal tea. It's rich with some floral character as well. The alcohol is well hidden in this one. The mouthfeel is great! It is a full bodied beer with adequate/good carbonation. This is a unique brew and a style I'm not too familiar with. Two thumbs up to Dogfish Head for this tastey brew!

Photo of ffejherb
4.01/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into snifter on 9/24/09.

A - Poured a cloudy orange-colored body with a slim, bubbly off-white head that reduced to a wispy film and a thin ring of retention, yielding sparse lace that slid down the sides of the glass.

S - Quite an aromatic nose with juniper berries at the forefront. The berries impart a fruity character, while leafy, tea-like hops offer a hint of bitterness. Orange peel, black pepper, clove and herbal notes all mingle together quite nicely. Malt character is doughy and cookie-esque.

T - Initial flavor is sweet and spicy with hints of black tea leaves and plenty of fruity sweetness from the berries. Malt takes on a sweet, caramely charcter with a faint burnt sugar aspect. Finishes with a spicy kick that suggests black pepper and earthy herbs.

M - Medium bodied with a syrupy texture and bristly carbonation. Finishes with a lingering spiciness that camps out on the palate forever.

D - I liked this more than I thought I would. This is quite an aromatic brew, and very flavorful as well. Sah'tea is yet another DFH creation that pushes the boundaries of what beer can be.

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

On-Tap in a tulip glass. Been waiting to try this one. The appearence has a muddy yellow color or burnt gold if you will. Kind of looks like some fruit juice. Not much of a head just some fizzing bubbles. No lace either. The smell is interesting with alot of spice factor. I'm getting some tea which is apparent and juniper. I got some chai tea from the cabinet later on to compare. There are others I just can't place. The taste is similar, if not mostly resembling the nose. The tea flavor rules while the juniper and additional spices in the back. Just a touch of malt with no hop presence. Doesent taste like beer, which is fine by me. The mouth is smooth with great carb from the tap, this one is not dead, the bottles could be a different story though. I remember hating a theobroma bottle, but loving it on tap. A medium feel. If it was not for the high ABV I would drink alot of this stuff.

Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 750ml bottle purchased at Abe's in Bethlehem for about $10. Uncapped and poured into my Selin's Grove wine glass. Appears a hazed bright straw yellow color with about a finger of bubbly bone white foam. Nose and flavor consist of spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, clove, star anise, ginger, spicy black pepper, sweet pine. Alcohol is well hidden. Slick mouth feel with almost moderate carbonation. But, the high carbonation works quite well here.

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

Pours a slightly cloudy deep golden color with a smallish bubbly white head that fades to a cap. Smells of pepper, cold tea, nutmeg, and sweet malt, spicy aroma to be sure. Slight phenolic in the nose as well but not to dominating. Taste is a bit sweet with a spicy rye and pepper tone to it. Reminds me a lot of a Saison only with a spicy sweetness. The phenolic is in the taste as well, but subsides a bit as it warms. Taste is a little on the sweet side but I think that plays real well with the spices. Light carbonation, medium body, slick almost creamy mouthfeel. 9% alcohol is barely noticeable. This is yet another DFH extreme brew and I really enjoyed this one. Thanks Sam for always pushing the boundaries.

Photo of drabmuh
4.29/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer purchased at a local beer store, big 24 ounce bottle, served in a Chimay goblet. Beer is slightly cloudy, light yellow, moderate carbonation, almost no head. Smell is obvious and juniper berries. Nice flavor. Good mouthfeel. The juniper berry was not overwhelming. The chai spices are clear and build as the beer is drank. I don't have a lot to compare this beer to but its really nice. Another good (and odd) beer from DFH. Nice. Go try it.

Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - appears similar to flat ginger ale, wispy globs of mini bubbles are the only remnants of a pure white froth originally kicked up and dissipated rapidly

S - can definitely smell the juniper berries, they add to a spice amalgam that seems to also include saison style clove and nutmeg aromas, cant discern the chai tea that is added

T - the tye comes out in the flaovr, and mellos out the spiciness that i could smell, some background amorphous sweetness, probably from the rye

M&D - neither smooth nor active on the tongue, spicy and curious, each sip seems to beg for the next, its a "why does this taste so good" feeling, unique and flavorful, what else would you expect from DFH

Photo of beabear
3.13/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance: Pours a lot like a typical hefeweizen, which is interesting given the style and amount of alcohol. The color is somewhere between yellow and orange, with a heavy amount of haze. Carbonation looks heavier than expected, but that may be a result of the light color. Decent-sized head.

Smell: Nowhere near as strong as expected. I picked up some small hints of the tea and some spices, mostly nutmeg.

Taste: Very complex and sweet, with the warming alcoholic taste of a strong Belgian. There are many different tastes here to pick up, but the chai tea and juniper berries stand out the most.

Mouthfeel: Feels like gargling maple syrup.

Drinkability: It tastes interesting, but I can't see myself drinking more than one bottle due to the syrupy mouthfeel and high alcohol.

With my lack of access to Finnish beers, I doubt I will have anything like this ever again. Given the disgusting mouthfeel, I'm not sure if that's a good or a bad thing.

Photo of magnj
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a - Poured into a wine glass this concoction has a golden body and a thin white head. The clear body reveals some mild carbonation.

s - For me the Juniper dominates what seems like an otherwise standard Belgian style beer. Slightly spicy and funky, I would never guess tea but knowing it is there, I can identify it pretty easily.

t - Here the tea really shines, complimented by the Juniper berries. Quite funky but not offensive, citrus and spice mask a highly alcoholic brew very well.

m/d - Big silky body, low in carbonation. A sipper for sure but refreshing and inspiring, definitely pushes the boundaries of beer.

Photo of nick76
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The appearance is hazy gold with an average head. The aroma is sweet and funky with a bit of a wild fermentation element. It does have enough malt to make it recognizable as a beer and enough juniper to make it a Sahti but the yeast makes it more like a Belgian style Lambic. I don't get much in the way of tea however. The taste is like the aroma with maybe a bit more of the tea that is not detectable in the aroma. The finish is earthy. The palate is smooth. Overall this is a very interesting beer but not one that I want a lot of.

Sah'tea from Dogfish Head Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 1,735 ratings.