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Noble Rot - Dogfish Head Brewery

Noble RotNoble Rot

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,105 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1105
Reviews: 282
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 13.77%

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Brewery visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: paulozanello on 02-20-2011)
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Ratings: 1,105 | Reviews: 282 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of nickthetick


5/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: pours an absolutely clear and crisp looking straw yellow with a lot of bubbling forming a half finger of snowy white head in my "La Fin Du Monde" tulip glass. The head hangs for a good while. Some spotty bubbles cling to the glass till the finish.

S: the nose starts very musty, extremely wine like. I'm not a wine connoisseur and couldn't tell you what type of grape is in it if it were not for the label. There is a little malty notes but the must and white wine come out first and foremost.

T: unlike the nose there is a bit of malt first on tongue and some subtle hop earthy ness. The wine comes in the middle of the taste and overwhelms the palate and leaves a bit astringent and acidic.

M: it's medium bodied, almost light on the tongue. Extremely effervescent like a champagne, acidic and astringent. It's just barely dry. Very well balanced and pleasing.

O: this is an amazing beer, an extraordinary experience. I would buy this again in a heartbeat, I could see pairing this with many, many different foods. Defineatly a one of a kind experience.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2013 03:39:40 | More by nickthetick
Photo of Oakenator


4.98/5  rDev +29.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Off the charts excellent but not your typical beer. As indicated it is borderline wine - a great bubbly Chardonnay like white. Nose is white grape, sour and some citrus. On the tongue beer is not the first thing present - you almost have to search for the beer. For fans of wine and beer with an open mind this is a great surprise. Texture up front is excellent fading only slightly through the back with a lingering white grape and lemon flavor. Could be considered in the sour class but i think its actually in a class by itself. Excellent pairing with sushi. Thank you DFH for going outside of the box.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2012 23:26:00 | More by Oakenator
Photo of DestinyRidge


4.85/5  rDev +26%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Brilliant color... Crystal Clear with a lot of carbonation. Nice lace

S - Some wine notes. Almost a spice but some Citrus that reminds me of the Viognier

T - Tons of Wine notes. Crisp and Clean, almost creamy. I Like the malt Awesome finish. VERY Nice

MF - Great Mouth feel.. I'd say medium body with nice carbonation. very wine like though

Overall - Great Beer/Wine?...and a definitely a "sorta" saison. maybe the most interesting beer I've had in a long long time... I'm interested to try and pair this with some different foods. Very drinkable, and i will be having this again.

Serving type: 750mL bottle

Reviewed on: 02-16-2012 5:30pm

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2012 01:37:33 | More by DestinyRidge
Photo of Ryanm1


4.83/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Was given a 22 ounce bottle of this as a gift. Poured it out into a pint glass about a month after recieving. A mediocre amount of white head.

Very golden in color. Transparent which differs from some Saisons which can be cloudy. Served very chilled. Grape effervescence in the bouquet. Fruity, floral smell.

The first sip sweetness was dectected. You can tell that belgian yeast was used for the fuity taste that had a hint of grapes. Upon research pinot gris grapes were used in the fermentation process. High 9% + abv.

One of the best beern I had in months.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2012 19:22:43 | More by Ryanm1
Photo of BWarrington


4.78/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tulip at 45 maybe 40. found this gem at whole foods

a- clear and gold with a white 2 finger head.

s- almost like a nice riesling wine. oak, citrus, and grape (very sexy)

t- has a nice grape flavor with some great citrus and oak tones(just as it smells)

m- farmhouse ales would be my favorite type of beer if they were not so dry. this is dry but not as bad as some others

o- im a huge saison dude and i would put this up in my top 5. ipa and stout guys will crush this beer but if you like sweet beers this one is for you. Its almost like a summer shandy except its a riesling instead of lemonade. if you see it buy it! and enjoy

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2012 23:35:01 | More by BWarrington
Photo of sailorastro


4.75/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Overall: DFH had me surprised with this one, a saison that is more or less billed as, "Grapes... with more grapes." Despite my pre-opinion, Noble Rot happily proved me wrong. It's much more than a saison or farmhouse, something I could see blazing its own clarification as a "dessert beer".

Appearance: Clear, golden color like molten gold. Mild, attractive carbonation rising to a thin, cludy head.

Smell: Grapes; wine; oatmeal; cane sugar.

Taste: It's hard to tell that you're drinking beer, because it has a Riesling flavor made rich and sweetened with the grapes. Flavors of oats, strawberry, and a tinge of bitters balance the beverage.

Mouthfeel: Light and crisp--this finished as clean as it tastes.

Sampled from a snifter

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2012 22:33:20 | More by sailorastro
Photo of chakadrum


4.73/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this at a festival at some point in the last year or two - I never expected they'd bottle it. When I saw it in the store, I had to grab a bottle (750ml).

I think you could convince a lot of people this was some unique style of wine rather than a beer. The taste reminds me very much of champagne and is much cheaper than something like Deus so that is a huge plus for me. It is a little tart, a little grape, a little barn.

Nice lacing and an incredibly clear crystal-yellow color.

Good sour/wine nose.

I have no doubt I will buy this one again. A fun unique saison.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2012 03:22:56 | More by chakadrum
Photo of drpimento


4.66/5  rDev +21%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent beer! Poured at a good temperature with fizzy, small, off-white head that quickly settled and a bit of lace. Color is a clear, light yellow with plenty of racing bubble trails. Aroma is yeast, grapes, and beer. Flavor is absolutely outstanding! This is the best grape beer I've ever had!! The grapes add a bit of sweetness but that is perfectly balanced by the fresh tart style of the beer and robust carbonation along with the yeast bitterness and of course, hop. Body is bang on perfect; ditto carbonation. Finish is like flavor, quite long, and extremely drinkable. Wish I had more.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2013 05:39:12 | More by drpimento
Photo of Paymygasbill77


4.63/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml into a snifter.

A: This beer poured a crystal clear light amber color with champagne like carbonation. The head started out about 2 inches and dissapated into nothing. This looks and pours more like a sparkling wine than a beer.

S: Dry fruit and funk.

T: Out of this world! Sam has done it again with this one. Very little to no hops. This reminds me more of a not so sour Geuze than a Saison or wine. It starts off with a bit of Dry white grapes and moves to a slightly sweet and funky flavor and finishes bone dry with funk and a carbonated bite. This leaves me wanting more.

M:Light and refreshing.

O: Fantstic! I am buying a few more bottles to hold on to. I bet this ages very well!

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2012 06:48:58 | More by Paymygasbill77
Photo of VaRy


4.59/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a tricky one. I do not see where exactly the "Noble Rot" can be placed on the beer map, and I therefore can not judge its conformity to any particular style. It certainly not brewed in Belgian tradition, so I would not label it as "saison". This beer is not aged in wine casks or what not, it is actually brewed with viognier must.

The result is stunning. The look is classic straw-colored pale pilsner (or should I say sauvignon blanc?) with very little head. Smell is certainly fermented grape and light hops. Taste... Well, it gets weird here. A mixture of pilsner and white wine does not sound appealing, but this one is absolutely superb. Bone dry, delicate, floral, fruity, ever so slightly spicy. Amazing!

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2013 13:32:50 | More by VaRy
Photo of larryi86


4.58/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Notes from 2/22/2012
750 mL, 2012, poured into a snifter

A- Clear light yellow with a two finger white head and lively carbonation.

S- Earthy spices, pepper, light funk, lemons, hint of white wine/grapes, but really smells like a normal Saison.

T- Sour grapes, white wine, light pepper and earthy notes. The sour grapes and wine really stand out again a nice saison base.

M- Light to medium body, smooth.

O- This is a great unique beer from DFH and I feel that they did a great job with this beer. I really hope that they make more of this, I will be buying more!

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2012 22:54:56 | More by larryi86
Photo of AdamBear


4.58/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-one thing about a saison is you'll never know what color it pours out. this is light transparent golden with a stable white head

S-smells...amazing. pale belgian malts with a great earthy tone to it. some spices as well. not getting the grape must. strong aroma.

T-comes in with an unusually tart taste of grapes and pale belgian malts. its a complex and decent flavor. it still keeps that earthy tone to it. the after-taste is matching with a good taste of grape skin. keep in mind, this beer is not fruity. the grape adds a nice but subtle complement to the flavor. this is complex and balanced.

M-high carbonation with a dry finish

O-this is definitely a different saison, if thats what you call it. it has some really great flavor to it. not as funky or as spicy as i like my saisons to be, but very enjoyable nontheless. i guess you can't truly rate this as a saison, but instead as an off centered ale. in that respect, it's great and extremely easy drinking for the ABV. i will enjoy all 750 mL of this.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2012 19:48:48 | More by AdamBear
Photo of Bobheed


4.58/5  rDev +19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Very clear golden color, almost like a white wine with a fat bright white head

S: Getting a lot of typical saison types of smells. Get the earthiness and spicy notes at first. I also smelled some really pungent sourness in it

T: Unbelievable. For it being brewed with grape must, I really get a lot of apple in it more so than the grapes. A very sour green apple. Also got little bits of spicyness and the grapes played well with that

M: Very carbonated and very dry. Drinks almost like a champagne. This is the mouthfeel I was hoping Infinium would've had.

Overall I loved this. I really hope they continue to make more of it. This is one of those crazy DFH experiments that went totally right!

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2012 01:48:29 | More by Bobheed
Photo of mattkoon

South Carolina

4.56/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

i read an article about this beer a few months ago and i was really interested in trying it. then this past weekend i was at a beer tasting in charleston sc and there it was. my wife was with me and she is a wine drinker. she fell in love with this, and i really liked it so it was kind of the perfect drink for my house.
the color is a light yellow- like chardonnay. it smells like an earthy sassion and white wine mixture. which also sums up the taste- a great earthy light sassion paired with a sweet-dry white wine.
if you have wino friends and you want to drag them into the beer world this is a good start. this one will be a staple at my house whenever i can get it.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2013 23:57:06 | More by mattkoon
Photo of jester5120


4.55/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Served from the tap into a brandy snifter.

A- light golden color with a cloudy haze.

S- strong sweet citrusy smell. smelled like a cross between a pale ale and a white wine.

T- sour flavor similar to a lambic. sweet wine like taste with very little hop presence.

M- average medium bodied beer

O- great take on a saison style beer. a hazy golden beer with sweet citrusy smell. Had a very unique sour flavor that had hints of white wine and lemongrass.

Serving type: on-tap

03-21-2011 17:18:20 | More by jester5120
Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead


4.51/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into tulip. Clear yellow with fizzy bubbles, looks like champagne. Fizzy but thick head that doesn't stick around, visible carbonation. Smells like champagne or white wine combined with belgian yeast. Taste is like a champagne, but with the belgian yeast sneaking in at the end to finish. If it weren't for that, you could tell me this was a sparkling white wine and I'd believe you. Incredibly drinkable, alcohol very hidden for 9% (which admittedly would be less than wine, however). This would be an excellent dinner or celebration beer, or a great starter for wine/champagne lovers who want to get into beer but can't.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2013 03:16:27 | More by BurgeoningBrewhead
Photo of NeroFiddled


4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I had this on tap at the brewpub on 4/30/2011.

Served in a snifter glass it was a hazy golden color with a creamy off-white head. The retention was poor but that might have been from a dirty glass, and it didn't leave much lacing behind at all.

The aroma was stunning. It was bright and full, and fruity and sweet and somewhat tart. It's made with Botrytis- infected Viognier and Pinot Gris grapes, and I could really smell the Viognier.

In the mouth it was medium bodied with a smooth, fine-bubbled median carbonation that gave a gentle caress to the tongue. The slight tartness accentuated that a bit, leaving you with a gentle zest.

The flavor was very much as the aroma suggested it would be, but fuller and richer. It was sweetish with a somewhat tart zing and some slight funk within a golden and lightly-bready "Pilsen" malt base. It was mineralish, like crushed granite dust; and along with a bit of grassiness, a mild underlying bitterness, and a spritz of alcohol it balanced the very grape-like fruitiness nicely. It finished with a note of sweet fruit, funk and tart dryness (like wet-straw and chalk-dust), leaving behind a mild astringency.

Overall it was unique, refreshing, and interesting. Well worth seeking out!!!

Serving type: on-tap

05-01-2011 13:59:41 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of Brent


4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Okay, I'm sucker for inventive (a/k/a wacky) beer experiments, but this one really works. Great dry character - amazing drinkability for the abv. Up front a typical saison funkyness, but close behind is a reserved but distinctive apple cider vinegar note that harmonizes with the beer in a way that I found surprising. Finish was clean with a lingering touch of vinegar acidity. Quite an interesting experience.

Serving type: on-tap

03-02-2012 15:01:55 | More by Brent
Photo of dfillius


4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.
A: Moderate pour yields 1 finger of fizzy white head with poor retention but a nice layer of foam remains and redeems it. Slightly hazy faded straw-yellow liquid is inviting on a hot day.
S: Citrus, slight Belgian funk, very complex. Slight bleu cheese, sauvignon blanc fruitiness. Pineapple, some honey.
T: Lemon citrus, tart barnyard. Like a hybrid shandy/radler and kolsch or lager. Very mellow and tasty. Restrained but complex and refined. Wine-iness increases as it warms. Sauvignon blanc-esque. Is this a braggot? I like it a lot. Honey is noticeable in the finish.
M: Very effervescent. A tad too much, which makes it a gut filler. Smooth, tart, expectorant from the tartness. Dry finish is similar to a sauvignon blanc.
O: Very high drinkability. Great for fancy meals or hot days. Priced for fancy meals! Would love another and will buy again. Only negative is the price!

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2012 21:44:02 | More by dfillius
Photo of NoleDoc


4.48/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from tap to glass. At first glance it has a light pale yellow color. Looks like a Belgium style and tastes like one too. Has a nice white head to it at first but dissipates rather quickly. Has a Belgium mouthfeel with slight apple and tart finish. You can taste the wheat too. Great beer.

Serving type: on-tap

05-17-2013 00:45:12 | More by NoleDoc
Photo of JMScowcroft


4.48/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Dogfish Head Brewery - Noble Rot

Shared this brew with da_beers while having a family get together, best time to enjoy a good brew!

Look - Pours a clear pale yellow with a smaller fizzy head. Some good lacing, heavier carbonation.

Smell - Aroma is sour grape syrah and champagne with a hint of malt. Crisp, mouth-watering.

Taste - Fruity and crisp like green grapes and sour apple. Feels like a rich, hearty champagne. Belgian yeast is definitely present and gives it that sour kick.

Mouthfeel - Feel is a little boozy warm, similar to white wine or champagne, throat hot. Very drinkable despite.

Overall - Great Saison fusion, a little hot but it is 9% and it makes up for the heat with good drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2013 15:10:09 | More by JMScowcroft
Photo of TBoneJones


4.46/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

An unappetizing name, yet creatively oxymoronic..let's try this great brewery's ale.. Pours sort of hazy yellow, light body in appearance, small white head. Looks refreshing enough.
Funky musty smell, barnyard, hay, antique furniture, grass, a pilsner malt aspect in there too. Nice
Tasting now and The grapes up front! And a nice odd leathery taste, and oily feel here, yet bubbly and refreshing but with a tart lemony burn. Like a white wine married to a saison, which makes sense given the bottle description. Overall, a DFH success and certainly the best (albeit only!) grape-centered ale ive ever tasted.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2013 00:15:56 | More by TBoneJones
Photo of twperman


4.46/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Much better than anticipated. Much less sweet than my expectations for a Digfishhead beer. The grape must adds a lot and it reminds me of some of the best "wine-like" beers. Dry and refreshing. I'd definitely drink it again. NOw I'm just adding words...

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2013 15:22:46 | More by twperman
Photo of mscottjohnston


4.44/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours super pale yellow with a one finger head that disappears immediately with faint lacing. Aroma is strong white grape juice, malt and slight citrus. Taste supports nicely; grape juice, white wine, malts, citrus finishes with some light yeast. Medium body with a long lingering aftertaste. Very very impressive.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2013 23:34:18 | More by mscottjohnston
Photo of Kranders


4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I really enjoyed this beer. Had this right after a big test. Poured a super clean, light golden color with minimal head. Very complex aroma, full of fruit and sour, with hints of wine in the backdrop. The taste falls somewhere between a sour and a white wine. Clean, oaky, with a bit of sour that rounds it all out into something fantastic. Lasts just a little bit on the tongue for an overall awesome beer.

Serving type: on-tap

02-17-2012 19:12:57 | More by Kranders
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Noble Rot from Dogfish Head Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 1,105 ratings.