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Sah'tea - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

595 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 595
Hads: 1,793
Avg: 3.95
pDev: 14.43%
Wants: 180
Gots: 238 | FT: 3
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 595 | Hads: 1,793
Photo of StaveHooks
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Hopswagger for this one!
750ml bottle served in a Duvel tulip
Bottled in 2010

A - Burnt orange color with a tight knit head. The head sinks into a collar while finally vanishing.

S - Lactic sourness and lavender salts are the first thing that jumps out. Smells like this will be quite tart. Dried plantains, strawberries, peach, apricots, spicy, ginger, pepper, nutmeg, lavender, rye bread, heavy dose of cardamon. Salty savory and sweet biscuit/bread malts.

T - Peach, apricot, and plantain puree, a soft lactic tartness is there but not as pronounced as the nose described. Lemons, pepper, cardamon, nutmeg, honey, ginger, salty, you can really taste the chai in there. Very yeasty with sweet and indulgent and earthy pale malts. A steady herbal note right through the middle, woody, I'm guessing the juniper? Finishes with a fruity tartness and notes of salt, spice, and mint left on the aftertaste.

M - Hefty body makes for a thick feel, semi-dry finish.

The aroma is bigtime! Acidic fruit, spices, sweet and savory, very aromatic. The flavor follows but doesn't quite live up to the aroma.Very good mix of sweet and salty flavors. Big malt presence with lively yeast esters. Various spices that show up at different times. This would obviously pair excellent with Indian food or other curry dishes.

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Photo of RollBounce
4.17/5  rDev +5.6%
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!

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.26/5  rDev +7.8%
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, 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.

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Photo of mattkoon
4.17/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

this shatea has a pretty amazing flavor- the juniper berries and black chai really push through this beer. the smell is super packed with the chai smell. it does have chunks in it, and i know that some beers have chunks-but personally im not usually a huge fan, however the flavor of this beer is so exotic and complex that ill take em. this beer is the reason i love dogfish- crazy beers that when they hit the mark are a hug success.

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Photo of gtermi
4.23/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Beer pours a golden orange body with a thin white head that quickly fades away quickly.

S: The smell is absolutely amazing! Tons of spice, like clove, cinnamon and syrup.

T: The beer has tons of clove flavors with some cinnamon and tea.

M: There is a bit of carbonation on the back of the throat and tip of the tongue.. Has a thin body too

O: This is a fantastic beer all around! I would love to get this year round if I could

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Photo of Hopswagger
4.51/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

P: A vivacious apricot body housing a multitude of floaters. A nice off white bubbly thin head that has decent retention. Wet bubbly lacing that sloshes the sides but doesn't stick.

S: Cinnamon, chai, vanilla, toasted rye bread, spicy booze and juniper berries. Aroma is a cross between pumpkin pie and a chai latte.

T/M: Cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, clove, juniper berries and rye bread create a cornucopia of lavish flavors. Toasted grains, chai, musty wood, dank yeast and boozy fruit follow. The aggressive effervesce leaves a tingly peppered palate. Saison like.

O: This reminds me of gulab jamun but with more natural earthy essence and a dialed down syrupy sweetness. Super complex brew that has layers upon layers building an ever evolving flavor profile.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.89/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

"Our Sahtea is based on the traditional 9th-century Finnish recipe for Sahti in that we brew it with rye and juniper and heat the wort with wood-fired rocks. We break with tradition by adding an exotic Black Chai Tea at the end of the boil." Brewed in the style of Sahti. Date on bottle is 2011 1103.

Poured from a 750ml. bottle to my Dogfish Head glass. Served north of 48º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a frothy white head over a golden amber body with thick sediment in suspension. Retention is average at best. Pretty standard for the style, not a bad appearance. 3.5

(Smell) Aroma consists of a pale biscuity malt, a tart juniper berry aroma and a mild spice blend of clove, banana, coriander, nutmeg and allspice. Aroma is herbal and a bit vegetal, a common expectation for the style. Overall the balance is pretty good, there's a lightness and drinkability to it but it's chock full of character. 3.75

(Taste) Up front a biscuity malt presence with a tart juniper berry midsection, finishing with a robust spiced bread finish. As far as beers go, this one is yeasty and mildly tart instead of malt-forward, but it manages a decent body and thickness. Some mild booze on the finish. A pretty enjoyable Sahti overall, it doesn't hit all the notes right-on but comes awfully close. 4

(Mouthfeel) Mildly spiced profile with a subtle dry bready finish. Carbonation is very low. Body is medium+ for the style and medium overall. Alcohol presence is low-medium. A good light carbonation presence and an appropriately balanced body makes for an enjoyable mouthfeel. 4.25

(Overall) This is a fairly well-done version of the style- I'm not certain if it's as good as it can get but there aren't too many commonly available versions of this old world style, and I was impressed enough by it, so I recommend giving it a try. 3.75

Dogfish Head Brewery's

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Photo of patre_tim
4.74/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Light amber, tones of large floaties that whitish all through the glass. Little to no off white head. Some carbonation evident.

S: Exotic spices like cardamon and nutmeg, along with an additional white wood glue scent, and a Belgian yeast scent. Its lively and bright.

T: Follows the nose and gets even more intense with a sour and slightly bitter limburger like bite, and the spices which are many linger in the mouth. The drying tannic quality of the black tea is also present, perhaps the alcohol adds to this drying nature. Other than this, the alcohol is very well hidden. Exotic and spicy.

M: Medium, drying yet syrupy, medium carbonation.

O: I really like this one and find it redemptive of many of Dogfishead’s history based brews which I found disappointing This one is packed with taste and leaves me wanting to drink more.

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Photo of secondtooth
4.36/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Note that this bottle had been cellared for well over a year, and had sat in the shop who knows how long, as well. That said, this is a great beer.

Pours a murky golden amber, with average carbonation and no real lace to speak of. Much chunky sediment, too, but I'm not counting against that.

Nose is spectacular! I get some fruity esters and some chai spiciness. Really unusual.

Taste is bold, spiced, and malty sweet, even almost syrupy. There's a clear-cut chai tea spice finish, with relatively little dryness or heat at all. Very smooth and complex, this is a real treat and very enjoyable. High marks here!

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Photo of Maxwell
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours a hazy yellow gold, almost muddy water brown, with a lovely little fourth of a finger’s width head of tight small eggshell-white bubbles. The beer’s body is very hazy and opaque with some chunks floating in it, though the carbonation bubbles can clearly be seen racing to the surface. The lacing on the beer is spotty and thin, leaving haphazard patches across the glass. The smell is tremendous on this beer. It starts with a huge banana bread bouquet, clearly showing the beer’s weizen yeast, but then the smell spices up with peppery notes and a lovely milky herbal-spice from the chai. This beer smells big and complex, there are even hints of souring lactic acids, and maybe even a slight tart cherry fruit leather note. On the tongue, this beer tastes soft, sweet, and spicy. The beer begins with big banana flavors of a weizen beer and, strange enough, the lactic cherry sour flavors of a Flanders Red before it opens into spicy notes, and then hits the palate with light cinnamon, ginger and cloves. The finish is stronger with the chai and herbal notes, while green pepper flavors hint at the tongue. The aftertaste returns to a sweet banana linger alongside the lactic tart cherry while all other flavors fade off the tongue. This beer is dangerously drinkable for its nine percent rating, but you definitely feel it in the face after a glass. On the mouth, the beer feels medium and fluffy in body, with a nice jelling as it washes over the tongue, and a slight cloying nature from the sweetness of the drink. The mouth is left dry on the tongue, but wet on the sides, leaving the mouth confused, but asking for more. Overall, this is a hugely complex beer. I’m actually curious if I got an infected batch or if the beer is supposed to have an almost Flanders Red style taste in its opening and in its smell. The beer is hugely tasty for its high alcohol percentage, and quite complex. A winner for sure!

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Photo of BuffaloBill91
3.91/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this one under the tree for Christmas because I homebrew and the wife heard me taking a long time ago about "stein beer" ---she went to the local beerstore and asked them and they told her this was made with rocks... im glad she cares enough to listen to my beer talk anyway...

A- Cloudy golden color... had a nice 2 finger head that lasted for a minute and went away just in time for me to stop smelling and start drinking.

S- fruit and I can smell the spices from the Chai Tea.

T- Starts off sweet and malty fruit and finishes with spices and tart of the juniper. I taste the black pepper in there, maybe that's because im not use to tasting pepper in a beer. I actually like it but I like chai tea too... I would have liked to see what it tasted like without the addition of the chai, just using the Finnish 9th century recipe--but I suppose there are many sahtis out there to try---I just never had one before and obviously dogfish head wanted to make this one their own.

M- This is a smooth and thick heavy beer, you can tell they used a ton of malt and it totally hides the high alcohol percentage in it...

O- Just like everything that Dogfish Head makes--this was unique. Great sipper, was too heavy to drink more than a couple glasses full, so 1 big bottle was absolutely perfect... I would get it again some time.. probably after having a basic sahti to compare it to.

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Photo of Jonada
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml 2012 bottle, poured into a Dogfish Head signature glass

Appearance: Dark golden honey color. Extremely cloudy. Not much head other than a slight ring around the edge of the glass. Minimal lacing.

Smell: Chai Tea, apple cider, gingerbread, clove, spice.

Taste: Starts of sweet with a slight tartness. I'm getting notes of gingerbread, lemon, banana, clove, slight pepper like spiciness. Finish is more of the same. No bitterness. Aftertaste is more gingerbread, almost like one of those ginger snap cookies.

Mouthfeel: Body is on the fuller side of medium. Moderate carbonation. Really smooth, easy drinking beer. No alcohol presence apart from a slight warming sensation in the back of the throat.

Overall: Another extremely interesting brew from Dogfish Head. Can't say I've really had anything comparable to this one. Really enjoyable stuff. It's not something I would want to drink all the time, but I'll definitely pick this one up again in the future. It would be a great Christmas/Holiday beer.

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Photo of BlackBelt5112203
3.97/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a wine glass at cellar temperature.

L – Pale amber color with a 2-finger bubbly cream-colored head. Decent retention but not much lacing. Originally clear, some floaters got into my glass as I got toward the end of the bottle. There’s a lot of carbonation appreciable as the floaters keep dancing up and down in the glass.

S – The German weizen yeast is definitely noticeable with the tell-tale clove and banana aromas. Some juniper and black tea are also noticeable. I don’t get much in the way of the other spices that are listed on the bottle.

T – Starts off sweet with bready malt and banana esters. Spicy juniper, cloves, black pepper, and a little bit of coriander along with astringent black tea start to creep in at mid-taste. I don’t really taste any rye here or any of the barnyard funk that can be found in some beers of this style.

F – Medium-bodied with good carbonation, a somewhat creamy mouthfeel, and a spicy and dry finish. A little bit yeasty black pepper spice lingers.

O – I’m not really sure what a sahti is supposed to be like, but I think this may come close. As a matter of fact, all the stuff that’s listed on the bottle would have brought it farther away from the mark if I could taste or smell them (by that I mean the cinnamon, ginger, and rye). That’s the gripe that I seem to have with most Dogfish Head beers – they list a ton of ingredients and I can only appreciate a few of them. Nevertheless, this was definitely a drinkable beer as the 9% ABV was nowhere to be found. This is an interesting introduction to sahtis, a style that I think I’d like to explore more.

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Photo of Braz
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy but vibrant gold color. Thick pure white rocky head. Looks alive. Aromas of oranges and alcohol with just a touch of resin. Very inviting clean smell. Starts with a sort of tart orange juice type flavor. Then the alcohol flavor makes itself known finishing with spicy pepper notes. Not really sweet but not bitter at all. No hops flavors, have read that sahti is not traditianally hopped at all. Very smooth and fairly refreshing. Dry finish. Light to medium carbonation. I don't really pick up the juniper which is too bad. I think juniper would be delicious in some beers but I haven't been able to taste it in the beers that advertise it. Enjoyable and interesting for sure.

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Photo of brewskifan55
3.92/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a New Belgium chalice at cvm4's afternoon tasting

A: Light orange with a white half finger head that dissipates quickly. Thick foamy lacing. Lots of floating sediment after the first pour.

S: Like the bottle says: Chai tea and juniper berries. Pungent.

T: The tea aspect really comes on strong. Rich, sweet with a funky aftertaste.

M: Medium with decent carbonation.

O: Nice. Sweet. Tea. Yummy. Very drinkable.

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Photo of cvm4
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours very light, almost like a tea or caramel color.

S - Definitely spices along with tea and oranges. Seems wheat beer to me.

T - Very sweet, with spices dominating the show. Comes off with a lot of orange and other spices.

M - Medium bodied and the carbonation really ups it a notch.

O - Man what a beer! It really comes across with a lot of spices.

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Photo of Oakenator
4.17/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber yellow in color with a good amount of sediment in the glass. Head is good at pour but disappates quickly to almost nothing and little to no lacing on the glass. Doesn't impact the mouthfeel which is still quality - a pop of bitter on the front, sweet throughout most of the body to the end and a good amount of carbonation to boot. Taste is sweet with the tea detectable but not over the top. Almost could be classified in a strong witbier category.

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Photo of Amalak
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A. It pours a beautiful caramel color. A good cloudiness. A light opaque. It has some bubbles rising to give a small bubbly white head and limited lacing.

S. Apple scent and lemon. It's a chai tea scent indeed, as the bottle indicates.

T. The chai tea and lemon taste really come through to make it almost have a pumpkin ale feel. It has a hoppy flavor underneath. A bit of spice. Has a puckering effect in some ways. A hint of alcohol.

M. Spicy tingle and full bodied.

O. It's an interesting taste. Not for everyone, but I like it in moderation.

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Photo of mooseo
4.39/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into tulip.

A - Clear yellow gold with a bubbly white head. Small clumps of yeast and other particles float freely.

S - Light bread, herbal spices, yeast, cinnamon, tea, black pepper. Very exotic and inviting.

T - Lots of herbal spice up front mixed with lemon grass, earth, and berries. Cinnamon, clove, ginger, pepper, and black tea are evident and blend perfectly with a light bready malt backbone. Finishes with a sharp earthy hop bitterness and more herbal spice.

M - Light-medium bodied, crisp, and refreshing. Medium carbonation with a dry finish.

O - An enjoyable, tasty offering from Dogfish Head. I love the combination of spices mixed with the Chai tea and berries. Alcohol is masked well - lending a high drinkability to this brew. This is one of the most memorable, unique and flavorful beers I've had this year.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.91/5  rDev -1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's a big bottle with a high alcohol content, but I was lucky enough to split this bottle with two other lovers of beer. Consumed at Beer Revolution, on to the beer:

Even halfway into the bottle, chunks of visible yeast were getting into my glass. It's a paler orange color with okay head retention and no lace. The nose brings a lot of juniper berries, honey, and even tea. The taste feeds off the aroma, which again is led by juniper berries, tingles of orange, tea, and there's even a slight tartness to the beer. The alcohol is hidden well to this low carbonated, medium bodied beer. A surprise for me, as this sahti is relatively easy to approach.

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Photo of TheMultiYeast
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Much lighter than I expected. Pours hazy dark yellow with little head. Lots of sediment

Smell is loaded with chai tea notes, spice, cloves, bread, sweet malts

Equal amounts of chai in taste. Spicy, warming, almost no alcohol, sour dough bread.

Very nice feel. Warming, big body.

Definitely interesting and rated based on my level of enjoyment. Sometimes these Dogfish Ales are hit or miss but this one is a HIT

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

I really enjoy this beer. It is simply a great combination of beer and tea. The spices are strong but in no way overpowering. I would like to try it on draft as I have only had the bottles. The color is a rich amber, and the nose is personally my favorite part. If Yankee Candle would make this scent I'd have one in every room.

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Photo of Canuckkim
3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - This beer pours golden orange with a medium firm head, SRM would be between 10-11. Has small bits of spice (?) and other things floating about in the glass.

S - Tea, spices, oranges, weizen-like yeast

T - This beer tastes like an Imperial Weizen (a style I am not sure exists yet; like a Weizen with double the ingredients and taste), oranges, spices, with a secondary taste of orange tea

M - Medium bodies mouthfeel, thicker than I expected for the amount of carbonation

O - I would recommend this beer as a special treat to beer drnikers that like orange flavors and citrusy weizens, hefeweizens, and flavorful wheats. A sweet treat, indeed.

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Photo of outdoor7or24
4.42/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Mountain Fresh Grocery in Highlands, NC, $13.50 for 750ml bottle. Poured into pint glass. Very excited to try this brew, once I saw chai tea and a brew style I have never had "Sahti", I was hooked right away.

A: pours a golden sunshine orange, one finger off white head, bubbles everywhere from the bottom to the side of the glass.

S: The aroma of this brew starts off with some sourness like a lambic and then leads towards a wheat; scents of lemongrass, hay, some chai tea, then banana seems power in followed by a slight hint of juniper

T: slightly sweet up front, fresh cut hay first hits the palate with coriander being a dominating flavor, slight peppery-banana, chai tea spice, juniper finish just like gin

M: Surprisingly smooth, the carbonation is not quite as strong as I thought it would be, medium to light body, the peppery finish leaves the tongue with a 'pop' and you wanting more.

O: This brew would be great from spring to fall, hot days, very easy to drink. As one reviewer mentioned if you like chai tea, you need to try this one. Will consume more of these for sure.

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

Poured from 25 oz bottle into Pilsner glass. Bottle says "Bottled in 2012."

A) Quick pour results in 2 finger sudsy head that lingers a bit, but leaves little lacing. Beer is light golden with clear particles in suspension (hope that's how it's supposed to be). Much carbonation evident.

S) Clear scents of chai tea and cardamom, some spicy pepper and ginger, some sweet fruit like apple.

T) Lots of chai tea flavors, especially the cloves and cardamom. Some sweet fruit. Spicy ginger and pepper kick in later. A bit of alcohol at the end (hard to hide 9.0% ABV)

M) Pretty full-bodied, quite carbonated but very lightly-hopped, still pretty dry on finish.

Unique beer, basically an "avoid" if you don't like chai tea or a "must" if you like it like I do. Another wacky idea Dogfish Head successfully pulls off.

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Sah'tea from Dogfish Head Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 595 ratings.