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Noble Rot - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Noble RotNoble Rot

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

1,463 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

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Ratings: 1,463
Reviews: 322
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 13.25%
Wants: 105
Gots: 183 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Brewery visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: paulozanello on 02-20-2011

This saison-esque science project gets complexity and fermentable sugars from two unique wine grapes sourced with our friends at Alexandria Nicole Cellars in Prosser, Wash.

The first addition is unfermented juice, known as must, from viognier grapes that have been infected with a benevolent fungus called botrytis. This noble rot reduces the water content in the grapes while magnifying their sweetness and complexity. The second is pinot gris must intensified by a process called dropping fruit, where large clusters of grapes are clipped to amplify the quality of those left behind.

Noble Rot is brewed with pils and wheat malts and fermented with a distinct Belgian yeast strain. It has a spicy white wine body and a dry, tart finish.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,463 | Reviews: 322
Photo of J-Rye
4.19/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750mL at Cloverleaf in West Caldwell, NJ, into a snifter. Very interesting beer that developed complexity with each sip. I bought a second bottle at a good shop and was able to cook with it, making a french-style butter sauce with the beer. I paired the meal with the beer. Very nice and interesting beer. I will get it again, I think.

Photo of HattedClassic
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice white and foamy head that dissipates quickly but looks nice if kept alive by a glass with a nucleation point. The beer itself is a clear pale gold bordering on a golden straw.

The beer smell is absolutely wonderful. The smell has both the qualities of a saison and a white wine (pinot gris and viognier). The saison smell comes from a nice bitter hop smell and earthy wheat smell. The wine grapes add a nice fruit and tartness to the smell. Instead of working against each other, the smells combine quite nicely to give off a tart and sweet smelling saison.

The beer taste is also pretty good. Even though the beer has the same notes as the smell, the tartness from the grapes seem to be pretty strong. However, it complements the hop and wheat rather than overwhelming it. The taste also has a slight alcohol note.

The mouthfeel is decent. The main issue is that it feel heavier than a saison should be and the experience suffers a little. The beer has very little carbonation to it but enough to give it a little texture. The beer seems to be somewhere between a wine and a beer. Too smooth and heavy for a beer but too much carbonation to be a wine.

Overall, a fairly good offering and a nice saison for the colder warm days.

Photo of dbl_delta
3.54/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle dated December 2013 (!) so more than a year old. Poured into pint glass. Straw color, with a fine white head. Moderate carbonation. Interesting blend of wine and beer. Reminds me of champagne in some respects, but with a lot of other stuff going on. I'm not a big fan of Belgian style beers, so my review probably reflects my own personal preferences. Light and refreshing. Quite dry.

Photo of pat61
4.66/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Light hazy straw color under a quickly dissipating soft ½” foam collar that produces splotchy lace.
S: Grape, over ripe fruit, citrus herbs.
T: Starts with fruit – grape and melon balanced by a light lemony tartness and traces of funk. Goes from slightly sweet to dry. Grape aftertastes linger.
M: Medium body to a little less with champagne like carbonation.
O: A light refreshing saison that straddles the line between wine and beer.

Photo of jmw4437
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L: Pours a fairly light, clear golden color with an initially thick head of very small bubbles which dissipate very quickly; almost akin to a champagne.

S: Smell is slightly musty and dusty with a mix of fruits.

T: Taste is better than the smell eluded to. Hints of sweet fruits, and must like would be expected from a white wine.

F: The mouth-feel is similar to that of a champagne with the small prickly feel of carbonation.

O: Overall, very drinkable, but not something I'd rack back to the store to buy. Good, not great.

Photo of B-Finnegan
2.26/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Though it looked great and smelled fine it tasted awful. To me it was like a bad white wine. My wife loved it but this one was really not for me.

Photo of beerbully
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into Weyerbacher Cuvee

L-Light straw yellow, clear, 1/2 inch head little retention yields to a slim whitecap, some noticeable carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass

S-White grapes are noticeable immediately along with some saison yeasty funk, some sour tartness, mild lemon notes, shares similar characteristics with white wine

T-Somewhat follows the nose with a bit of a refreshing punch that is not revealed in the nose.......taste is better than the aroma.........taste has some champagne like qualities, sweet tartness some yeasty esters, grape and lemon

M-Lots of crisp carbonation, light, dry, very refreshing

O-refreshing crisp beer that has a balance of tartness from the grapes and funk from the yeast.......both sweet and sour at times.......probably the perfect sunday brunch beer

Photo of DaveBar
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Purchased at Champagne's in MI for $12.00. Served at 4deg C in a tulip

A- Opens well and pours a nice 1" high white head that is gone within a minute. Very pale yellow filtered clear

S- Oodles of grapey goodness. Rather sour note.

T- Touch sour. Medium sweetness. Lots of grape notes. Not much yeast here but some hops.

M- Light yet a bit of sugary stickiness.

O- Very nice break on beers. Good blend overall and would like to try in cask. Will buy again

Food Pairing

This nice little brew went well with..... Spicy salmon roll sushi!

Enjoy

Photo of Tripel_Threat
4.68/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Served in a goblet at Ashley's Westland. Two fingers of bubbly head sat atop a pale gold/yellow brew, filled with carbonation. Head dissipates quickly. Smell is sweet, floral. Taste is much the same, sweet grape, with a dry, sort of metallic undercurrent. Pleasant and refreshing. Mouthfeel is much like champagne. Happy I had it, would try again.

Photo of montelyo
4.77/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Viognier is my favorite white wine so I had to try this beer. The Viognier presents in both the aroma and taste. Like the wine, Noble Rot has a dry finish and is not overly sweet. The Saison fermentation comes through in the finish quite nicely. Whatever hopping was done does not interfere with but only complements the Viognier or Saison aspects, which is exactly what the drinker should expect.

Photo of do_ob
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 12/16/2014. Sampled and reviewed on February 20, 2015.

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into two pilsner glasses (shared with the wife).

Poured a nice, clean pale gold with a foamy, 2 finger white head. Smells of wheat, fresh flowes, grapes, and hints of hops. Mouthfeel is dry like wine but with the weight of an ale or lager. Quite sweet, with a slight tartness. No taste of hops whatsoever. Definitely has the dry feel of a red or white wine. Hardly any aftertaste - just slight traces of sweetness.

This is one of the most unique ales I've tried and it was a nice deviation from the traditional saison. I'm not much of a wine drinker, but my wife is. Conversely, she isn't much of a beer drinker. Somehow we both came out enjoying this quite a bit.

Photo of trickynicky
2.58/5  rDev -33%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer was just too sweet for my taste. I'm also not a fan of grape flavors, so I'm biased in my review.

Photo of DrinkinBoy
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L - Great bright gold in color. White head, which would was hard to get big as it was very light. However, a small amount retained very well.

S - Very light with faint notes similar to champagne/sparkling wine. Very light grain and cereal notes.

T - Very little sweetness or bitterness throughout. Works very quickly into sour/acidic like feel, again similar to champagne, which is felt mostly of side of tongue. Finish is lingering which highlights grape-ness.

F - Light/medium feel with a large amount of carbonation which fits the style.

O - This is a very interesting beer, although not extremely complex. Like most DFH brews it is efinitely worth a try, not many products our there to compare it with.

Photo of StevenNebulous
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A great saison for people like me that are 'saison'd out.' Its unique flavors to keep me interested enough to buy it again.

Photo of Crackblind
4.66/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From tap at the brewery. A very interesting blend of ale and sparkling wine. Nose is overwhelmingly wine based but predominantly ale in mouthfeel and flavor. I was very pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this.

Photo of jngrizzaffi
3.96/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden color with a thick foamy head. Higher than normal carbonation. Head retention is not great. Lacing is moderate. Has a sour fruit aroma that is almost sweet towards the end. Typical Belgium yeast funky aroma. You can taste a little coriander and Belgium yeast. More sour fruit, ending in a sweeter grape taste. Almost tastes like a sweeter wine at the end with a little more of a hoppy aftertaste. Good beer, but not the best saison I have had. It is definitely different.

Photo of Gajo74
4.62/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Looks like a white wine; especially Chardonnay. A small head dissipates into a hint of lace is the only visual element that allows you to identify it as beer. Fruity, lemon like and honey like aroma. Delicious! Taste is fruity, like grapes. There is a slightly dry white wine like finish. Had it with fish. If you love white wine, this is the beer for you! Feel is low carbonation, light to medium bodied and refreshing. I love this one as I love all to most of Dogfish Head's products!

Photo of mchegash
3.59/5  rDev -6.8%

Date: 8/27/2014
Other notes: From the DFH website: "This is the absolute closest to equal meshing of the wine world and the beer world thats ever been done commercially,"

Appearance - 4.2/5
Pours an extremely clear yellow. I said about the beer that I last reviewed that it was the clearest beer I remember seeing, but this beer is even clearer. A moderate amount of head. The clearness helps one to see lots of carbonation flowing up. Looks appetizing.

Smell - 3.9/5
The smell is a good balance between fruitness and saison spiciness/breadiness.

Taste - 3.4/5
Extremely sweet. Fruitiness, maybe a hint of tartness. Saison spiciness/breadiness. Fairly balanced between those two tastes, but ultimately the sweetness is the move (over?)powerful element of the beer. So basically tastes like it smells, except when you taste, you also experience the sweetness. Supposedly this is supposed to taste somewhat like white wine. I am not an experience white wine drinker, but from what I remember, at first I didn't really think it tasted that much like white wine. But after sipping for a few minutes, I started to get more of a wine feel from the beer. Definitely an interesting taste.

Mouthfeel - 3.5/5
Fairly crisp, light in body. Good level of carbonation. Nothing special here.

Overall - 3.5/5
Overall, this was an okay beer. It was a little too sweet for my liking. Plus I was not a giant fan of the taste in general, though it was definitely interesting. Probably won't pick up again (at least for a long time), but it was a nice experience.

Weighting: Appearance 15%, Smell 15%, Taste 35%, Mouthfeel 15%, Overall 20%

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 11/9/2014 at Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub, in Pawtucket, RI served in a snifter glass.

A: The beer is a light yellow color, with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains Belgian yeast, wheat, citrus and light caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts out with some mild sweetness from flavors of citrus, fruit and spice which then transitions into a bit of tartness as the esters come in from the Belgian yeast. The malt character is on the thin side and there is very little hops presence, but still a good balance. The after-taste is slightly tart.

M: Crisp and smooth, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

O: Tasty with good complexity, goes down easily, not too filling, well-disguised strong kick, good representation of style, this is a decent beer to drink for a long time if you’re in the mood for the style.

Photo of DaneBramage
3/5  rDev -22.1%

I shouldn't even rate this beer, because it's very carbonated/fizzy with a strong white wine mouthfeel
and I don't have the taste for wine. Not my cup of tea, so to speak.

Photo of jellikit
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Bottle.
Appearance: light yellow. Crystal clear. Fizzy. Thin head. Almost non existent.
Smell: Chardonnay.
Taste: bubbly Chardonnay.
Mouthfeel: high carbonation. Medium-light body. Dry.
Overall: tasty beer? Looks like, smells like, tastes like wine.

Photo of chinchill
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Large shared bottle.
A: Good clarity and lots of carbonation. Durable white head.
Aroma: fruity, musty, yeasty with more than a hint of white wine.
Flavor: a reasonably good cross of white wine, champagne and Belgian pale ale.

Photo of JayQue
3.42/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

An unusual beer. I must have got a bad bottle as far as appearance goes, because there was absolutely no head or lacing. The beer poured a hazy gold color that looked Saison-like. The aroma and taste were pretty good though.

The aroma and flavor both featured sweet white grapes. There is a yeasty flavor and a little "funk" but not as much as most saisons.

Mouthfeel is tart and crisp. The flavor and mouthfeel make this a pretty enjoyable beer. Could be a bit more carbonated, but that may also be a symptom of a bad bottle.

I would like to try one with a big head and lacing, like so many reviews mentioned, but the bottle I had wasn't bad either.

Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Very light yellow color, small white head with slight purplish cast, and signficant lacing.

S - Funky sour notes typical of certain Belgian yeasts, a slightly sour fruit odor coupled with mild maltiness and grain elements.

T - Follow the nose, but the clean pils and wheat malts are front and center, making for a wonderful combination of wine and beer. Delicious banana and bubble gum flavors pop up out of the yeast esters, proving the Belgian yeast is alive and well here. The close is a subtle wine sourness, that fades slowly.

M - Clean, crisp, and no sign of the serious ABV for the style.

O - Not a standard saison or farmhouse by any stretch, but a delicious and clean rendition that makes for a real surprise. I picked this one up on clearance, and now I wish I'd grabbed a couple more.

Photo of one_young_somalian
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

tastes like a west african

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Noble Rot from Dogfish Head Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 1,463 ratings.