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Noble Rot - Dogfish Head Brewery

Noble RotNoble Rot

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

1,110 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1110
Reviews: 283
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 13.73%

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: 1,110 | Reviews: 283 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of MNishCT77

District of Columbia

4.09/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

10 oz. pour into a snifter glass at the Falls Church Alehouse; unknown brewing/kegging date; drank over 30 minutes

A: 3/3 - pale yellow-to-golden coloration; crystal clear (can both read and see through); received with an initial frothy white head that settled into a subtle glass lacing; no visible bubbles

S: 10/12 - predominately white wine/Chardonnay notes; some background Belgian yeast, pils and wheat with some alcohol

T: 16/20 - bright, refreshing vinous flavors immediately hit on first sip and continue to develop on the palate; as the flavor profile expands; the Belgian pils and yeast rear up - slightly peppery, estery and coriander; some alcohol but doesn't taste like 9% ABV; finishes dry and invites subsequent sips

M: 3/5 - much lower carbonation for style (and major reason for point detraction); light body

O: 8/10 - nice admixture of vinous and saison qualities; it's not as good as I remember it being, which, unfortunately, is my typical DFH experience as my palate has developed, but it remains an enjoyable Spring/Summer offering and is dangerously drinkable; $10.50/10 oz. snifter is craziness though

TOTAL - 40/50

Serving type: on-tap

04-05-2014 20:38:55 | More by MNishCT77
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.54/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks, CA.

Pours a clear light yellow with a foamy white head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, yeast, spice, and slight grape aromas. Taste is much the same with sour fruit and spice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is easy to drink but nothing all that special.

Serving type: on-tap

06-09-2013 02:31:55 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of NoleDoc


4.48/5  rDev +16.1%
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 Kooz

New York

4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Looks crisp, pours pale yellow. Could almost be mistaken for a Bud. Taste sweet with an overall boozy feel, almost like a port. It's very nice. Mouthfeel is good; it's foamy and creamy, and really warms everything up. Smell sweet and slightly boozy. Overall, this is one of my favorite offerings from one of the best breweries on the planet.

Serving type: on-tap

05-06-2013 03:01:33 | More by Kooz
Photo of dgilks


3.64/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Clearish pale straw cour with no real head. No lacing.

Davison through and through. Lots of clove and wheat. Touches of tartness. Very nice.

Tart and light. Wheat and clove dominate but there is some grape. Interesting butt dull for my tastes.

Medium light body with moderately high carbonation. Good.

Not bad. It seems a little insipid at times but could be much worse.

Serving type: on-tap

04-13-2013 05:40:22 | More by dgilks
Photo of Billolick

New York

4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Birdsall House, in Peekskill, NY. At least a few months ago and reviewed from notes.

Pours near clear, light and yellowish. Also a near white delicate head, that leaves dense sheeting and ample fine lace.

Fruity wine like nose, grapey, dry and acidic.

This is a bittingly dry and at the same time quite fruity and flavorful creation. Wine like, crisp, complex and yummy in general. Nice job here by DFH

Serving type: on-tap

12-18-2012 15:42:14 | More by Billolick
Photo of BuxMontBeerLover


4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Found this on tap at the TGI Friday's in Rehoboth Beach, DE

Served and enjoyed from a goblet glass.

A - The beer is a nearly translucent, pale yellow color. Beer was delivered to the table with a one finger, white, fizzy head. It fades away to a light skim. A small amount of lacing left on the glass.

S - A slightly sweet, almost wine-like smell.

T - The initial sip totally reminded me of drinking a white wine. A very distinct, tart and sour taste. The grapes and juice used in the brewing process really shine through. Very smooth. As the beer sits a bit and the sampling went on, more of the yeasty, Belgian-style tastes came through(spicy and banana-like taste). The alcohol is slightly noticeable but this is really a highly drinkable beer.

M - Medium consistency. Moderate carbonation.

O - This beer really surprised me. I don't know what I was expecting but what I got was a fantastic beer from DFH. This beer, more than any other beer I've tried, would easily be enjoyed by both wine and beer lovers alike. Another great creation from DFH. Recommended.


Serving type: on-tap

05-29-2012 13:09:01 | More by BuxMontBeerLover
Photo of BARFLYB


3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On Tap at Whole Foods Plymouth Meeting.

The Noble Rot sports a nice golden yellowish color coming from the glass. A firm inch of off white bubbles that form like voltron. Nice stick towards the sides coating the glass. Retention is there. Smell is of the vinious/wine quality with underlining Saison traits.

The addition of whatever grapes used are bold and light rather than those purple type grapes. Wheat in the background with some earthy quality as well. This tastes fairly decent and the more sips that go down, the more I am digging this.

White wine character up front with some juice quality, some wheat mixing in with pale malt flavor with some twang on the finish. I thought this would be one of those syrup rich DFH beers but the lightness and non over sweetness bring this down to earth. While the 9% is quite high, this goes down easy like with no intrusion of the alcohol.

If this were 2 percent lighter, this would be even easier to take more gulps from quicker. Body is a sturdy medium with spritzy carb and a tart finish. Alive with flavor, Noble Rot is a nice step away from the overly extreme beers that make DFH a hit or miss brewery with me. This one is a hit, I just wish it came back in 4 packs.

Serving type: on-tap

05-18-2012 01:51:37 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of Jwale73

Rhode Island

4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a DFH goblet at the Brick Store. Pours a beautiful straw gold hue with a fluffy, two inch, bright white head. Clarity is translucent and the nucleation point at the bottom of the glass produces a cascade of tiny bubbles that effervesce to the undersides of the cap. Thick curtains of textured lacing are revealed during the tasting. Nose expresses candi sugar and light, fruity esters - I don't get a lot of complexity here, but I think that is partially due to the coldness at which the beer was served. Taste expresses white grapes, a grassy character, some spiciness and a trace of candi sugar. There is also just a hint of wine vinegar. The effect I get here is somewhat akin to a white wine spritzer with some saison-esque qualities. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body (but closer to light), with a bright, lively carbonation and a slight acidity. Overall, I have to say that this is one of the large format DFH offerings that I really enjoyed. It is interesting and complex but definitely closer to a sparkling wine than a saison; quite a nice hybrid however. One recommendation - if you are opening a bottle, I suggest having one or two friends on standby to help. The flavors are a bit intense.

Serving type: on-tap

04-07-2012 23:12:16 | More by Jwale73
Photo of skatonic


3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap, not bad. Very different than I thought it would taste. It was light but strong. Had a champagne type of taste initially. Turned out to be quite nice. i would purchase as a pack. i liked it because it was different. Disliked it because it was very outside the norm. hard to explain.

Serving type: on-tap

03-26-2012 03:51:57 | More by skatonic
Photo of Rifugium


3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at TJ's, Paoli, PA

I happened to kick the keg on this one and didn't get quite a full pour, but here we go anyway. Served in a tulip glass, a mostly clear golden liquid with a huge, four-finger, white head that didn't relent until the last couple sips, leaving a bit of doily lacing on the glass. Definite wine character in the aroma, pale malts, lemon pith, wet grass. Taste was a bit underwhelming, but followed the aroma, with vinous notes, white grape and apple skins giving a small sourness, light citrus, a bit of grassy funk, and leafy in the finish with some bitterness. Light-medium mouthfeel, pretty crisp and dry, fairly drinkable, but not really one of DFH's best creations.

Serving type: on-tap

03-21-2012 19:58:20 | More by Rifugium
Photo of GarthDanielson

North Carolina

4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on-tap and served in a snifter, the beer is a bright, vibrant, almost clear yellow coloring with a healthy, white, fluffy, frothy head. Aromas are rich in vino characteristics, with a white grape and boozey blend that is light and effervescent. Flavors are also wine-like, as is the body. This is borderline pinot gris. Sweet, smooth, and slightly dry grape characteristics with a rich, sugary body that avoids cloying. It really is like drinking a glass of carbonated wine. Slick, loose film along the glass as you drink. The aftertaste is tart, and slightly drying. A sweet, heavy finish that is slightly tart, leaving a bit of a pucker feeling in the mouth. Very unique, that is for sure.

Serving type: on-tap

03-15-2012 17:57:00 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of Slatetank


4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at Shady McGrady's-served chilled in a snifter.

A very pale golden color with great clarity and thick fluffy white cap with tiny bead lace sticks well. The smell is very vinous up front with light tinge of tart white grape and subtle spicy yeast odor, mild hints of tropical fruit with a gentle grainy accent, but mostly pear and light apple odor. The feel is good with tangy fruit and spice from the yeast with an overall dry body with mild alcohol and slight creaminess in the middle.

This saison is dominated by the grape must used in the beer which gives a lot of tangy white grape flavor yet it is spicy too which could be the yeast or the fruit, mild sweetness from the grape which seems to blend well with the light sweetness of the malt which also has a slight toasty and wheat flavor. The mild acidity is nice which contrasts with the malt and there is a nice amount of alcohol to add complexity but not very apparent in the taste until midway into the glass. Overall I was very excited to try this and it lived up to my expectations. This is the most wine-like beer/wine hybrid I have ever tasted a very interesting and flavorful beer

Serving type: on-tap

03-09-2012 14:59:38 | More by Slatetank
Photo of Hojaminbag


3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Noble rot has a thin white head that lacks in both retention and lacing, and a hazy, yellow body.

The aroma is super fruity, which comes in part from yeast, but mostly from grapes.

Noble Rot really tastes like a white wine. Up front there is just a bit of bread from the malt, and the yeast expresses itself as well, with a dry, pepper flavor to it. Those flavors are quickly overpowered by the flavor of white grapes. The grape flavor brings other fruit flavors with it, as well as an earthy flavor. The finish has a noticeable bite of tartness that is quite nice.

A little tart in the end. The body is fuller than I would expect, but it works well.

Noble Rot basically tastes like a sour white wine. Although I did enjoy my one glass of this one, I'm not a huge white wine fan and will probably steer clear of this in future. With that said, this is certainly an interesting and well-made beer that hides its relatively high ABV quite well.

Serving type: on-tap

03-08-2012 21:59:15 | More by Hojaminbag
Photo of stakem


4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft pour into a tulip. The brew appears a perfectly clear color of golden yellow. A finger of white head site atop and as it fades, leaves some webby patterns of lacing on the glass.

The smell starts off with Belgian phenols. Clove, pepper, banana, apple skin, bubblegum and sweet smelling white grape juice. All of this comes together with an enjoyable mixture that is quite deep with almost a light tannic touch of an oaky quality towards the back.

The taste is spicy with Belgian yeast character. Clove, bubblegum, banana, and some wheat-like grain sweetness. This brew has quite a zip to it with tangy white grape juice elements. The aftertaste is earthy with again, some tangy wheat flavoring that mixes perfectly with the saison yeast character.

This is a light bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. It is quite spicy with a good mixture of flavoring. It is a solid take on the saison style with a pleasant grape twist. As it warns up, the alcohol produces a nice warming effect all the way down. This is a brew I will enjoy again the next time I see it available.

Serving type: on-tap

03-07-2012 14:59:56 | More by stakem
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 alexkeil

New York

4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one on tap at the Dogfish Head tap takeover at Coles in Buffalo, NY.

I wish I knew more of the backstory on this beer before I tried it: they used grapes from the west coast and shipped them carefully keeping them at a certain temperature to keep the wild yeast from becoming active. DFH's use of ingredients is always inventive and impressive.

This is a bit of a different drinking saison as the spicyness is subdued and a bit more of the sweetness comes through; however, this finishes with a nice tartness and drys up from that 9% abv.

I would love to try this one again so I can appreciate some of the care that went into making it.

Serving type: on-tap

03-03-2012 12:01:50 | More by alexkeil
Photo of Brent


4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
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 Stinkypuss


3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dogfish Head
Noble Rot

A hybrid ale brewed with grapes. Pours a bright, clear golden color. Aroma of sweet cider, phenolic yeast and a touch of malt. In the taste, some vinous qualities with lemon, citrus rind, mild Belgian ale yeast and faint hop. Gets progressively sour, which was the highlight of this brew. Almost as if aged in an old bretty barrel, there's a nice tang to this one. Strong comparisons to wine brew are well founded. Light to medium bodied, crisp, yet slightly syrupy. Overall, I like this ale alot, the sour component made it really work well.

Serving type: on-tap

02-26-2012 04:52:22 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of Darkmagus82


3.25/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a 10 oz chalice glass

Appearance – Served a sparkling clear straw gold color with a light head. The head faded very fast leaving just a slight film on the top of the beer and a very mild amount of lacing on the glass.

Smell – Smell of grapes and a bit of sourness meet the nose. There is some yeastiness that mixes in as well.

Taste- The taste starts out a little bit sweeter; like a sweet white wine; Moscato like. They consist mainly of grape flavors mixed with a bit of lemony citrus and some other lighter fruit flavors. As the taste progresses it gets a bit more sour and bitter and turns more dry white wine like.

Mouthfeel – Rather thin body with a moderate level of carbonation. Very white wine like and fitting for the taste profile of the brew.

Overall – It was an alright beer, but a bit too much on the side of wine. If I want wine I will drink wine thanks.

Serving type: on-tap

02-26-2012 02:49:05 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of Arithmeticus


2.78/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on draft at DFH restaurant in Gaithersburg

A: clear, light yellow; creamy thin head; nice lacing
S: malt, grapes; relatively thin smell
T: carbonated, dry chardonnay; sour and sharp; bold, abrasive; few hops, little body or complexity

The experiment is wild but not offensive; I won't return to this one, though

Serving type: on-tap

02-24-2012 20:38:18 | More by Arithmeticus
Photo of mdfb79

New York

4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 02/18/12 notes. Has this on tap at The Ginger Man in NYC. Served in a 10 oz. snifter.

a - Pours a pale, murky bond color with one inch of fluffy white head and moderate carbonation eivdent.

s - Smells of sour grapes, white wine, pepper, spices, some yeast, light citrus, and light earthy/musty notes. Smells a lot like white wine, pretty nice.

t - Tastes of of white wine, sour grapes and fruity malts, yeast, spices, light pepper, and light citrus again. Taste is a little more sour then the nose, but still not super sour. Very nice and interesting.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Crisp.

o - Overall a pretty good and interesting beer. I remember having this on tap at EBF last year (2011) and not really caring for it, but a year later I liked it quite a bit. I think the nose smells a lot like a white wine, while the taste is a slightly sour white wine. My girlfriend, who drinks wine but normally doesn't like sours, liked the nose a lot, but wasn't a fan of the taste as she foudn it too sour; I didn't think it was overally sour though. Very nice experiment, might pick up a bottle now.

Serving type: on-tap

02-21-2012 21:50:09 | More by mdfb79
Photo of kylehay2004


3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Frothy three finger head with excellent retention and nice lacing on a clear straw with light gold hues body. Very crisp aroma with strong fruity ester presence mostly lemon and Belgian spice. Flavor is more on the sour side than sweet. More lemon mostly with an herbal note to the finish. Light to medium body and high carbonation with a moister finish than many other sailings out there. Overall a nice offering from dogfish. Little too sour for my tastes when it comes to saisons.

Serving type: on-tap

02-21-2012 13:05:01 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of Kranders


4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
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
Photo of Chaney

District of Columbia

3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Man o man... If this is a saison, then I'm a male canine's bitch.

I had this on tap at the alehouse in Fall Church.

Served in a snifter.

A: This poured a crystal clear, slightly darker than straw color, with a substantial 2 finger head.

S: Sort of like a fruit cider, and this was totally hard to put my finger on. I got some honey and bright fruit, but that's about it.

T: Okay, the wine side of this one really came at the end. When the liquid finally hit my throat and esophagus, the fruit/alcohol component coated it hard... much more so that beer does. Think hard apple cider.

M: Measly carbonated and totally in a wino's wheelhouse. The lacing was nothing to write home about.

O: A fine white beer-wine, for sure. If that's you thing, then you'll enjoy this one.

Serving type: on-tap

02-15-2012 04:46:31 | More by Chaney
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Noble Rot from Dogfish Head Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 1,110 ratings.