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Sah'tea | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

very good
598 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States | website

Style: Sahti

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

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.


Added by DarkerTheBetter on 09-28-2008

User Reviews
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Reviews: 598 | Ratings: 1,808
Photo of treehugger02010
3.35/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I Bought this as a single at Capone's in Norristown, PA. I poured it into an oversized water glass.
A: The body is a cloudy dark orange color. The head is one finger tall, a white color, poor retention, no lacing and small size bubbles. This beer is very carbonated.
S: The aromas are orange, honey and spicy flowers, cinnamon.
T: The flavors are honey, flowery and fruits.
M: The mouthfeel begins smooth but turns crisp very fast.
D: This is an off centered beer. I dig it.
Don't drink and review.

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Photo of neenerzig
3.77/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I split a bomber of this recently with my good friend Passow (iamaguitargod). Poured into a pint glass. Is a cloudy, orange gold color similar to apple cider. The fizzy looking white head was about an inch thick when poured, settling to nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, 5 minutes later. No trace of a head or that any foam was present. Well there might have been an extremely thin white ring lining the inside of my glass at most, but even that might be a stretch. Has a nice sweet aroma of juniper berries and honey, followed by a slight bit of spice. Has a sweet malty flavor along with the juniper berries and definitely some chai tea. I have to say though that this was more like drinking some iced chai tea than beer, at least compared to most other, if not all other beers I have had. Has a smooth, medium bodied mouthfeel with light carbonation. This is the first time where I kind of feel like DFH let me down. This was good, but not worth the $11.99 price tag for the bottle IMO. I was expecting more.


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Photo of foggylovesbeer
4.95/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Split a bottle of this last night. Poured a soft white head which quickly faded, which was expected. Big aroma, can definitely smell the Chai in this beer, but it is not overwhelming. The spices from the Chai give it an almost pumpkin ale-like quality to the smell, but the taste is thinner. The 9% abv is hardly noticed on this, good blend of flavors on this one. I enjoyed this beer thoroughly and will be picking up a few more bottles to share the joy.

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Photo of jgasparine
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Cloudy amber, poured with a thin head that quickly dissipated.

S- The nose is reminiscent of SUN TEA I had as a child... sweet honey notes and black tea... with a bit of Juniper.

T- Sweet chai tea notes up-front intermingle with the flavor of Juniper berries (the Juniper is definitely there, but not overpowering) and cinnamon. I get continual orange-blossom honey notes throughout each sip.

M- A surprisingly full and chewy body... oily... coats the mouth for extended gratification after each sip. Subtle carbonation.

D- Extremely drinkable. If it weren't 9% abv, I'd call it a great summertime social pint!

(Enjoyed in Baltimore, MD at Max's on Broadway)

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Photo of bbeane
3.82/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured into a 16oz tumbler... Yellowish orange in color, light head, not much lacing

S- Not real strong smelling, but noticeable hints of chai spices, citrus, maybe corriander

T- Very light bodied... not too carbonated. Sweet with chai tea and citrus overtones... maybe some cinnamon in there as well

M- Very light and smooth... little carbonation

D- Very drinakable and refreshing. Probably good for just any old time, but exceptional for a hot summer day


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Photo of MbpBugeye
3.29/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- A bright orange clouded beer with little to no head and no lacing.

S- The nose is very unusual. Sweet, syrupy and honey-like. The juniper is perceivable.

T- Very sweet with a little bit of underlying farmhouse muskiness. Chai tea shows up on the finish.

M- Very little carbonation. Very full syrupy body.

D- Quite sweet and syrupy but not too sticky. This beer is full bodied and pretty heavy.

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Photo of Onibubba
4.14/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Honey orange pour with minimal white head. Leaves no lacing. Smells like chai spice and honey. Taste is the same. Not as sweet as the nose, but sweet. The juniper comes out more in the taste too. It gives this a slight burn in the aftertaste. Not much carbonation in the mouth, fairly smooth.

This is the second very sweet beer I have had tonight. Odd. Anyway, if you like spiced tea, you will like this.

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Photo of JRed
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Glowing orange-yellow in hue. Berries, sour notes, oranges in the nose. Ginger, floral, citrus, and a sharp turn leading to berry, dull booze toward finish. Light bodied but packs a punch to the palate. Definitely worth trying and it went very well on a hot day. A sweet, fruit-filled treat.

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Photo of Proteus93
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle of this from Beer Run in Charlottesville... that's got to be one of the best labels I've seen all year!

A: Golden blonde in hue, with a modest, but pretty head of white. Some haziness to it.

S: What an intriguing scent... some nice yeast qualities to it. I was introduced with a bit of a black pepper scent. Slightly woody, and some very nice fruity scents, nothing too distinct.

T: Equally intriguing! A soft blend of spices, bitter juniper, and a bit of banana. A nice tea flavour comes through the more settled point of each sip.

M + D: Starts with a little sparkling snap of carbonation, giving a rather clean feeling... then it fills out, becoming rather chewy and rich. It is listed as 6% ABV here, but the bottle states 9%. If the latter is the case, it's a well hidden profile. This is a very easy to drink beer, and it makes me more intrigued about the style.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Listed at 9%

A: Really hazy golden color with a half finger of bone colored head. Head quickly dissipated No lacing at all.

S: The smell is of a bit of juniper. A touch of wheat in there as well. The yeast smell is weird but much better than any other example of the style.

T: The taste is huge but light at the same time. Usually this style is thick in body and taste. The tea really comes through nicely and I think it was a great idea to depart with tradition there.

M: Very light and refreshing especially for the style.

D: The most drinkable example of the style that I have ever had. Just a great beer. It is hot as hell today and this was totally refreshing.

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Photo of TheFightfan1
4.06/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this little dousy into a pint glass. Pours a cloudy iced tea color with a white heading that kind of reminds you of sprite or 7up. Dispates very quickly a looks very flat.

Smell is of smoked wood followed by a touch of lemon and then the heavy tea aroma hits you a mile a minute. A slight spicey hop note as well.

Taste and Mouth kind of threw me off from the smell. A smokey wood taste again that sticks to the tongue and dosen't go away.A nice tingle on the tongue as well to go along with that smokiness. Medium bodied and kind of undercarbonated for my liking whatever class of style this beer falls under.

Drinkability is good a little on the sweet side.Not a heavy hitter but a 9%ABV this isn't no wuss.

A definite must try and very unique.

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Photo of porterwoobie
3.43/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

from tap into a tulip shaped glass.

A: orangish amber color. slightly hazy. thin, white head. minimal lacing.

S: floral, spicy aromas. kind of a mix between belgian style and christmas holiday beers.

T: cloves, spiciness, chai tea, and lots of cinnamon. really, there are a ton of flavors involved.

MF: medium body, moderately high carbonation.

Drinkability: drinking this was like a chai tea and a christmas holiday beer got it on. not really something that shouts summer beer, but more of something you would see around the xmas holiday. interesting, different. glad i tried it, but i won't be making special trips to purchase this beer.

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Photo of BZero007
4.39/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Recieved this bottle threw a friend who was in DE for a vacation. TY Shawn!

Pours a great golden yellow color with a very minimal head formation. The aroma was actually strong and contained a very floral,spice, and hopyness to it. The flavor reminded me very much of a belgian style pale ale but the brew had allot of floral taste to it with a nice spice kick to it. This was a very interesting brew that contained a medium body with a 6% alcohol to it. This particular brew I will try to pick up again as it hit's the spot on a warm day.

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Photo of matty
3/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Cloudy orange colored beer with a slowly fading head.Aroma is citusy.Taste is cinnamon,nutmeg,citrus and many other spices.There is just too much going on with this.Way overspiced and way overpriced for a 750ml bottle.Something that I am sorry I bought but will not make the same mistake again.

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Photo of thekanna
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at Pizzeria Paradiso in Georgetown, Washington DC.

A: Nice orange-amber hue with a slight haze, and no head.

S: A clean scent of apricots, nectarines, coriander, (maybe a little cardamom?), and vanilla extract. A milk tea flavor (not too unlike Boba tea or Thai iced tea) is also present, underscored by a general honey-like sweetness.

T: Fermented tea spices reminiscent of thai iced tea with some Belgian yeasts and funk. Apricots are also present, with a slight citrus aftertaste. Rounds out with a jackfruit-like sweet tropical fruit finish.

M: Medium-bodied with a slick finish.

D: Definitely an interesting beer; somewhat like fruit juice mixed with a wild ale and the texture of a Belgian IPA, without the hops in the taste. I found myself sipping more and more just to figure out the complex flavors that pervade this brew, but this definitely isn't something that I'd want to have much of often.

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Photo of CWiggins
3.87/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

How the heck do I perform a comparative analysis of this beer to other sahtis? I've not sampled another! My ratings are subject to this one and only example.

My 750ml bottle lists the ABV as 9%.

It pours a light amber/cloudy golden hue, with little-to-no-head to speak of. It's carbonated to the point of soda-like consistency--not a bad thing, but merely descriptive. The boozy aroma is very complex; hints of chai, cinnamon, nutmeg, and honey are front and forward, while black pepper and a quality I can only describe as "tree bark" lurk in the background. Taking a sustained whiff of this liquid gives me the same feeling I had as a child breathing in "laughing gas" through a plastic mask whilst awaiting a dental procedure. The flavor follows the smell, but with a more pronounced sweet character overall. The chai and sweet honey dominate. I imagined the finish to be sweeter as well, but it is nuttier and with a good deal of spiciness. What a treat! I don't

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.65/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Sunset Grill. Pours a cloudy gold with no head. Aroma is very spicy with spruce and pepper and lots of other spices I couldn't recognize. Flavor is also nice and spicy with lots of sweet malt and honey. Interesting but the sweetness is a bit wearing.

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Photo of rye726
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

'09 750ml

Pours a golden brown with a silky tan head. Nose is quite herbal and piney with some nice bready grains, spices and tea. Taste is earthy with a variety of spices, citrus and rich candy malt. Medium body is well carbonated but a little thick in the finish. Would be more drinkable if it had a larger pine presence to balance out the sweet malts. Dogfish can be a bit spotty with their more exotic offerings, but this is a well made ale.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750ml bottle served in a standard pint glass. Bottled in 2009 indicated on the bottle. Poured a hazy orange-gold with a half inch bubbly, off-white head the quickly dissipated into a few pools of foam; no lacing on this one. Nose reveals chai, nutmeg and cinnamon. Taste follows nose; however a citrus quality comes out - maybe a bit of orange peel at the back (not sure what juniper is supposed to taste like). Mouthfeel is between light- and medium-bodied with the perfect amount of carbonation - lively throughout without any burn. A very interesting beer, but not something I'd drink a lot of - a 12oz. would have been sufficient; however, you have to hand it to DFH for always pushing the boundaries.

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Photo of joepais
4.32/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I split this bottle among 4 friends and Let me tell you I was glad. The bottle poured into a Portsmouth snifter produced an extremely short lasting head that faded away to nothing. The color of the brew was hazy golden yellow to brown.

The first thing that you experience after you crack open the bottle is the aroma of chai it is that predominant. The nose and the flavors make this brew. The chai eventually followed by some other wonderful spices and then juniper as it warms. Flavors on this brew follow the nose to a "T" but it is also very complex. Like I said I was glad I split this one It would have been way to much to finish the 750 but I enjoyed every drop of my glass. The mouthfeel is great and there is a light carbonation to this one as well. I will pick up another bottle the next time I see this I was that impressed

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.37/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle. Served in a nonic pint glass, the Sah'tea pours a hazy gold color with about an inch and a half frothy off-white head. Head retention is good, not much lacing. The aroma is very sweet and spicy with a bit of tartness too. I can smell chai tea, coriander, cloves, ginger, honey and some lemon peel. The taste is similar to the aroma, with chai tea, honey, ginger, bananas, apricot, clove, lemon peel, smoke and ginger all noticable. This brew is full of different flavors. To me it seems like a mix between a Belgian Triple, a Witbier and Chai Tea. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit heavy/rich in the mouth and has good carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good, it's very smooth and quite enjoyable to drink. The 9% ABV isn't noticable at all in the flavor or aroma. Overall I liked this beer a lot. It's very unique, as a lot of Dogfish products are. It's definitely worth a try, and I know I'll buy this again.

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Photo of Maction
3.25/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: This is a glowing tangerine color with a gold background. The big bubbles stay on the bottom of the chalice, with tiny ones throughout. No head to speak of, but a bit of haze on top.

S: I mostly smell chai spices, clove, vanilla, honey, and a little lemon and ale underneath.

T: This follows the smell very well, which was disappointing. A little bit of Belgian double, quickly obscured by all of the chai spices and creaminess.

M: Thick, not quite chewy mouth feel, stinging carbonation, and semi-viscous.

D: This reminds me of soured orange juice: sweetness, acidity, and spicy flavors that don't seem to belong. If there was less chai flavor, it would be more drinkable.

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Photo of rhinos00
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a hazy golden straw color. Produces two fingers width of white head.

S- The chai is really dominant in this one, still very pleasant. Also getting wafts of other herbal type plants, such as ginger, coriander and juniper.

T- Much milder taste than the aroma. Has a steady herbal flavor up front with the chai shining through. There is a very welcoming sweetness in the finish. A little too one dimensional at times.

M- Medium to light bodied. Some carbonation.

D- I always enjoy these beers, but in small doses. The flavor is so unique that too much can dull the senses. The alcohol is pretty well hidden.

Overall, a unique beer that I highly recommend sharing with someone.

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Photo of marvin213
3.49/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An aggressive pour from the big bottle leaves me 3/4 full of beer with 4" of foam. By the time I can write this sentence, however, the foam dissipates to a thin layer. The liquid looks light in color, but opaque nonetheless. I always think minimal light passage adds an appealing dimension of mystery to beers like this.

The smell is kinda weird. I definitely smell the rye and, honestly, that's not one of my favorites. I can't identify the juniper berries, and that's disappointing. I do smell what must be the hot rock smokiness. Still, it smells more like a tea than a beer.

It tastes like a hot tea served cold. It's got an herbal feel to it, and a sweetness I attribute to the juniper berries. It's also got a Belgian feel to it, in both the taste and smell--maybe that's the rye?. Oddly (because I hardly ever drink them), it reminds me of a Hoegarden. Like a tea (and perhaps a Hoegarden), you could serve it with a lemon. This is the Dogfish big bottle for girls. It's light and crisp, and almost tastes good for you. I really wonder what it'd be like served pipin' hot like hot tea. It's really difficult to judge because it's so in a class by itself (how many sahti-style beers are there, really), a characteristic of Dogfish Head I really appreciate. It's too weird, though, for me to call it a good beer, but I like it more than your average tea.

The Dogfish beers seem to always offer good mouthfeels. They're appropriately carbonated, and maybe the novelty of their ingredients makes them more fresh. It's a light, lemon-like, tea sort of effect. I call it a rye beer only after that. Its sweet juniper berries mesh with rye and chai tea. Where its weirdness might hurt it elsewhere, I think it really makes the mouthfeel. It's really neat to just sit and hold this one, furrowing your brows as it piques your curiosity.

Drinkability is good because it's so unique and light. It's not exceptionally good because the beer is so weird. Though you could certainly wonder about and enjoy this beer all the way thru a serving, I don't think this is one you pound in one sitting to discover (like you might an Abyss or some other complex RIS). It's no doubt another extraordinary DFH concoction worthy of any craft brew collection.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
4.23/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from 750ml bottle with cap. Glass was a wide snifter.

A- Orange with no head. Looks very light in color (but is not transucent at all). Looks viscous, like oil in water. Strange.

S- Fruity spices invite a deeper sniff. Very nice. Clove and cinnamon.

T- The juniper is here. Orangey notes as well. Tart and playful on the tongue. Very well done, and the alcohol is nowhere to be found, save for a little warming at the end. The chai aftertaste is a very nice final note. Spiced perfectly. A very unique and special beer.

M- Full-bodied, this beer imparts a very nice aftertaste and flavor that sits with you.

D- This beer is a special brew, not an everyday sipper. The alcohol is COMPLETELY hidden, too. DFH is really blurring the line between craft beer and wine. Very cool stuff.

DFH, your 750s are amazing... I've got a couple stored away and will keep doing so if they keep being this good...

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Sah'tea from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 598 ratings.