1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Noble Rot - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Noble RotNoble Rot

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

1,250 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,250
Reviews: 294
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 13.47%
Wants: 90
Gots: 140 | FT: 5
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Noble Rot Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,250 | Reviews: 294 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of speter

New Jersey

3.46/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Clear gold with a massive fluffy white head that leaves an incredible amount of lacing. This is perhaps the most carbonated DFH beer I've had.

S: For me, the saison yeast comes through, with biscuity overtones and just the faintest trace of white wine. I was expecting the grapes to be the star here, but it smells like a solid saison.

T: Now here's where the grapes kick in. This tastes like a blend of a pinot gris with a Belgian beer (not too surprising, given the ingredients). If I were to review this strictly on the basis of the first sips, I would give it 4+, but there is something that actually becomes a bit much as you drink more of it, and I suspect it's something from the grape side of the equation. (Don't get me wrong, I love viognier and pinot gris can be good.) There's something oddly tannic in the finish that doesn't quite please nor match what I expect from a beer/white wine experience.

M: Very refreshing. I had it with an oily dish, and the carbonation worked perfectly. The finish I mentioned above does have a coating quality (maybe they need a lower alpha acid hop?), which detracts from an otherwise great mouthfeel.

O: I was quite excited when I read about the plans for this beer, and in wine-like servings, this is a wonderful achievement for DFH. I would recommend splitting a bomber among three people.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2013 18:30:25 | More by speter
Photo of tripledbrew


3.45/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a very pale yellow, kinda of like the color of a white wine. Saison? Really. Weak,thin mouthfeel. Nothing realy complex about this concoction. Pleasant enough to drink, but if I want a white wine,I will drink a white wine. Its cool what DFH attempts in the beer realm, but this isn't my favorite and I will not revisit.

Serving type: on-tap

03-04-2012 04:09:08 | More by tripledbrew
Photo of garuda


3.45/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear bright golden body, thick white cap that has great retention with some lacing.

S - Nicely complex with grape juice, white wine, a little earthy funk, hay, floral hops, candied sugar.

T - Kind of a let down here, with the grape juice, white wine aspects taking over, ending up on the sweet, acidic side. Vinous, but without the oakiness. Sweet acidity dominates by the end. Abv is hidden extremely well, though.

M - Medium to light in body, lively carbonation, mostly smooth across the palate, but the cloying sweetness doesn't allow a clean finish. No bite, no dryness.

O - Starts out pretty well, but ends up too sweet and acidic for me. White wine-like, without the oak.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2012 13:57:33 | More by garuda
Photo of WorldWideStout


3.4/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A transparent, yellow body with a golden hue and a small amount of bone-white head that dissipates fairly quickly.

S: A lot of tartness and green grapes. No aromas from yeast.

T: Also features lots of somewhat sour grapes. A bit of grapefruit and lemon are present as well. There is a bit of sweetness in the middle, but the end and aftertaste are decidedly bitter. This is not as sweet as Midas Touch or Chateau Jiahu.

M: Carbonation starts out at a medium level, and around halfway through drops down to a fairly low amount. Rather low levels for a saison.

O: This tasted like a mix between Midas Touch and champagne, which is not surprising, considering it is 49% wine. I thought the taste could have been more complex, especially as there were no detectable flavors from the yeast, and the carbonation was a bit low for the style. Having a sweet tooth, I did not enjoy this as much as the two other ancient Dogfish beers which use grapes, but if you have always yearned for a more tart Midas Touch, then you'll probably like Noble Rot a lot. A beer worth trying, and certainly more successful than most of DFH's newly bottled brews.

Serving type: on-tap

02-02-2012 20:15:10 | More by WorldWideStout
Photo of billab914


3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Southern Tier glass. It poured a light golden yellow color with a thin white head barely covering the top of the beer.

The aroma shows a lot of the grapes and white wine qualities to it. I get a little spice along with some zesty citrus flavors to it as well.

The taste also has a lot of white wine characteristics to it. I get a the grapes coming out especially in the dry, crisp finish. Just a touch of the citrus and spice is noticeable. The grapes seem to dominate the flavor to the point where it's a little like a carbonated white wine.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with carbonation being high. Overall it was a decent tasting beer but it was a little too close to white wine for me. The aroma had some decent beer qualities to it, but the taste was dominated by the grapes. It was a cool experiment but not something I think I'd purchase again. If I wanted a drink that tasted like white wine I think I'd just buy a good white wine.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2012 22:39:17 | More by billab914
Photo of RuckusDu


3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Not expecting this one. I mean I knew I could see through the brown bottle with beer inside, but this is light. Poured a big 3ish finger head of white foam. Body is dead clear and straw yellow - BMC light.

S - Very effervescent. Floral and a little sweet. Smells a lot like BMC.

T - Interesting. Definitely winey. Some white wine tartness. I only pick up the saison when I think about it. It is really a straight up mix between wine and beer. Even if you average a 5% saison with a 13% white wine, you get 9%. Not sure I'm all that impressed with it.

M - Strong carbonation and light body. Just as it looks.

O - There have been a lot of these wine beers coming out recently and I just can't really get into them. The wine kind of overpowers and is just not that good. I might try aging it for a bit, but right now it is not worth the $.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2012 01:42:38 | More by RuckusDu
Photo of puboflyons

New Hampshire

3.35/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

From the 25 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on April 5, 2013.

The pour is pale yellow with constant and active carbonation building up to a fluffy, white light head that floats across the top at all times.

Aroma of wheat mainly and not grapes as I expected. Some pale malts and light hops on the nose too.

Medium body.

The taste brings out the grapes that they talk about with a zingy bitterness at the end. A likable enough beer but not one that I would go for regularly.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2013 00:23:45 | More by puboflyons
Photo of PacNWDad


3.35/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 25.4oz bottle into an ale mug.

Very pale and clear. Liberal amount of head quickly dissipates into a thin film. Not much lace on glass - just a few dots persist. Aroma is kind of funky like a Belgian blonde. Definitely some citrus and a bit of apricot. The taste is predominantly sour. There is not much bitterness from any hops. Some sweet maltiness comes out on the back end, along with a winey/alcoholy character. Robust body, with medium carbonation. Surprisingly rich for a beer with such a light color. Overall, I enjoyed it - a nice experiment with grape must.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2012 03:13:48 | More by PacNWDad
Photo of rdilauro


3.29/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I have been waiting to taste this one.. Just the thought of combining a beer with the 'noble rot' associated with grapes. The excess aging of the grapes to produce a sweeter and more intense sine had my interest from the start. Just the thought of having a brew that adds the excellent grape style that makes the famous and expensive Sauternes from France, the Trockenbeernaualuse from Germany and some of the Ice wines. How could anyone not be excited.

Thie beer was light, lighter than I had expected. A pure Pils style lightness. But now add the complexity of the wine grape/must and you have an interesting beer. . My first sip from this beer, and I just found it very light with a grapy after taste. Then after a few additional sips, I picked up the fresh spirit of the Pilsner, and then the intriguing style added by the grape must.
Then to finish it, was a amount of tartness that you might only expect from fresh fruits.
The yeast came through at the end and was quite evident.

I love the creativity of DogFish head beers. This is another one that is very worthy and should be tried.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2013 03:02:16 | More by rdilauro
Photo of kojevergas


3.29/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 2 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cost was $14 at my local SoCal beer store. 1 pint 9.4 fl oz brown glass bottle with branded pressure cap served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; I'm not big on Dogfish Head, but I have strangely high hopes for this one based on the marketing. Say what you like about Dogfish Head (and I frequently take jabs meself) - their label art is great and they know how to intrigue you with the descriptions of their beers. It's too bad the brewing is so often less appealing than the marketing, but I digress. 9% ABV confirmed.

Served straight from the fride and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Not paired with food.

A: Pours a fizzy thin white head that quickly dissipates within about 5 seconds. We're left with a clear pale yellow coloured body. Translucent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. It's looking pretty downright awful for a saison, but I'm not going to judge it as a saison because Dogfish Head doesn't identify it as such per se (I always prefer to go with what the brewer considers a beer over what beeradvocate's imperfect categories consider it). Regardless of style, it doesn't look that great, though I guess it's somewhat vibrant. Meh.

Sm: Clear pale malts. Actually, I get some corn adjunct. Some white wine notes. Crystal malt. Honestly, if you poured this and had me smell it and told me it was an adjunct lager, I'd believe you. Maybe that's my broken nose, but I don't find this impressive at all. Clean and weak. A mild strength aroma. Unimpressive.

T: White wine notes. Clean pale malts. Pear-like sweetness. Lightly cider-esque. Clean barley. A bit acidic. Not very musty at all, actually. Clove from the yeast. Clean apple. Balanced - the best thing going for it. And it needs that, because it's awfully simple. I wouldn't say it lacks subtlety, but it's unimpressive.

Mf: Remarkably fizzy, with a pleasant underlying coarseness. Refreshingly wet. The mouthfeel here is a highlight, actually. Clean and enjoyable. It does dry a bit towards the climax. Carbonation is just a bit low.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable, but lacking anything interesting enough to warrant another purchase. In fact, it certainly seems overpriced for the lack of quality. Hides its ABV well. I think it's fair to call it wine-like. To its credit, it'd make a fantastic table beer for pairing with food. I like the cidre-like and wine-like qualities, but at some point, it seems to depart from being a beer. It's tough to settle on an opinion of this one as a result. This is definitely one to get again (hopefully at a better price) if you're looking to convert wine people to beer over dinner.


Serving type: bottle

03-04-2013 04:47:35 | More by kojevergas
Photo of csmartin6

New York

3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

07-08-2012 16:17:20 | More by csmartin6
Photo of dertyd


3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

04-12-2013 08:54:23 | More by dertyd
Photo of jburns301


3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

07-11-2014 03:44:07 | More by jburns301
Photo of grahuba


3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

05-02-2014 21:22:37 | More by grahuba
Photo of ninner00


3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

03-28-2012 18:45:26 | More by ninner00
Photo of rowbow


3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

06-06-2014 17:01:52 | More by rowbow
Photo of waddellc2


3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

01-28-2013 00:58:43 | More by waddellc2
Photo of Cloaked_Phantom


3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

07-19-2014 05:20:37 | More by Cloaked_Phantom
Photo of DerrickW


3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

11-05-2013 13:37:47 | More by DerrickW
Photo of Zaphog


3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

03-14-2013 18:51:39 | More by Zaphog
Photo of JohnK17


3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

03-15-2012 02:56:15 | More by JohnK17
Photo of anhigdon


3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

12-29-2013 02:18:25 | More by anhigdon
Photo of sweemzander


3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

03-26-2013 02:34:18 | More by sweemzander
Photo of DennisDullea

New York

3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

06-22-2014 19:45:30 | More by DennisDullea
Photo of Vylo

New Jersey

3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

03-31-2013 20:21:31 | More by Vylo
Noble Rot from Dogfish Head Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 1,250 ratings.