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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
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Ratings: 1,250 | Reviews: 294 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Ralphs66

New York

3/5  rDev -22.3%

03-09-2012 22:06:42 | More by Ralphs66
Photo of TheRuss9585


3/5  rDev -22.3%

03-09-2012 16:52:42 | More by TheRuss9585
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 Kopfschuss


4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

03-09-2012 03:56:51 | More by Kopfschuss
Photo of Swervine44


4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

03-09-2012 02:24:48 | More by Swervine44
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 DSlim71

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

03-08-2012 13:30:28 | More by DSlim71
Photo of webmanspidey


3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter, this is a clear light golden color. It is very fizzy with a decent amount of head. Smell is very sweet with a lot of fruit juice elements: pear, apple, white grape. There is some light spiciness, mostly clove. The taste is pretty unusual, with a tart and sour flavor being the dominating factor. There is still a lot of fruit presence, headed up by white grapes and apple. The alcohol is disguised very well. The mouthfeel is very unusual, a kind of silkiness I wasn't expecting from the beer's appearance. Pretty quirky, but I like it.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2012 01:29:33 | More by webmanspidey
Photo of bentonquest

New York

4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

03-07-2012 16:50:00 | More by bentonquest
Photo of rlee1390


4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Clear pale yellow, good deal of carbonation, two finger fluffy white head that leaves some lacing

S-Wheat spice, spices, yeast, clove and grapes

T-Spices some acidity (I would assume from the white wine grapes) grapes and wheat.

M-Light to medium bodied carbonated and a slightly dry finish similar to wine.

O-A nice beer? it does have many wine characteristics. An interesting hybrid.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2012 16:30:13 | More by rlee1390
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 drabmuh


3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish head goblet, check my twitter feed if you don't believe me. Beer is yellow, light clear with big bubbles, lot of carbonation, white bubbles, bright white, lots of lacing, decent retention. Looks good.

Aroma is grapes and wood with this sort of tea-like spiciness to it.

Beer is light in body, a little grainy on the finish, astringent but the grapes are the star of the show here. The must comes through quite well, I enjoyed it but it go slow going by the end of hte bottle, probably not a likely repeat.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2012 14:24:34 | More by drabmuh
Photo of harrymel


2.95/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Noble Rot - Reviewed 21FEB12
Bottled: early 2012
Pours a surprisingly light yellow ale with just a drifter of a white soapy foam top. Smells of grain and saison yeast and really, nothing else. Flavor falls into the berliner-weisse area for me - a slight tart and quite dry ale with little semblance to an average beer. Thin and moderately carbed, the beer is actually drier than I would anticipate.

With a beer brewed with so much must, the liquid is palatable, and even appreciable on some level. The botrytis is lost in this format however, as the sweetness, mouth watering and earthy character in botrytized dessert wines is much different than is presented here. Although decent, I would argue that it is maladvertised for the ingredients. This is simply a saison style beer with a shit ton of grapes.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2012 06:51:32 | More by harrymel
Photo of GrindFatherBob

New York

4/5  rDev +3.6%

03-07-2012 04:45:58 | More by GrindFatherBob
Photo of DavoleBomb


3.55/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter.

3.5 A: Very slightly hazed golden wheat color. Two and a half fingers of frothy white head. Retention is at least average and a moderate amount of lacing is left.

3.5 S: Clean, lightly biscuity malts. Quite earthy and outdoorzy. Apple orchard, rotting wood, the forest in spring after a rain. Then there's the vinous grape component. Interesting addition to this type of beer and it totally works. Good, but not overly impressive despite being quite unique.

3.5 T: Whatever botrytis is, it seems to be the source of the easily apparent tanginess in this. It's like an earthy variant of lactic acid. Next the grapes present themselves. If I didn't know better I'd have thought this was some sort of champagne. (As an aside, I might try to trick a wine snob with this, if I can find one.) Anyway, apple and apple orchard funkiness, woody, earthy, vinous, and lightly musty.

4.0 M: This even feels a bit like champagne. Lighter medium body. Good moderate carbonation with an almost champagne-like spritziness. It works.

3.5 D: I never had Infinium, but it seems like this is what they should have been going for. Interesting as usual from DFH.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2012 02:18:10 | More by DavoleBomb
Photo of KAP1356


3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle purchased in March of 2012. Unsure of the correct and accurate bottle date. Poured into a DFH snifter...

A - Pours a bright yellow, gold color that carries a slight haze with it. This beer really glows quite golden when held to the light. A foamy, bone-white head forms about 3 fingers thick. The head retains well, but slowly recedes to a cap leaving some nice lacing.

S - Sure this is beer? Comes across more like a crisp, white wine. Sweet notes of grapes, pear, apple and lemon shine through along with a yeasty note that reminds me of a nice saison. Interesting mix. Wheat like notes come next along with strong pilsner malts. Really interesting to try to discern which part is beer and which is wine.

T - Taste starts sweet and grainy all at once. Flavors of white grapes, pears, apples, and some lemony notes come through along with the pilsner malts, wheat and some grainy flavors. Some elements of a nice saison shine through. However, in the end, it really tastes like a glass of white wine with how vinous and tart it is in the finish.

M - Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Dry finish makes this one seem more and more like a glass of white wine. The carbonation reminds you that it is indeed beer.

O - Overall, I feel like this was one of the more successful "off-centered ales" that DFH has produced. I feel that this could be a great craft beer for any wine enthusiast to try. A really interesting mix of the two styles and one that I'd likely try again sometime.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2012 00:00:03 | More by KAP1356
Photo of bradleyjay34


2.5/5  rDev -35.2%

03-06-2012 17:58:57 | More by bradleyjay34
Photo of brewandbbq

New Hampshire

3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle.

Pours sparkling clear yellow with a trace of quickly dissolving sprity white head.

Aromatics lead off with sweet grapeskins, apples, bubblegum, honey, and cloves. Wine-like and sweetish but no oak.

Light bodied with a crispy mouthfeel.

Sweet malt, spicy wheat, cut grass, and honey-drizzeled grapeskins start the palate. A wine-like vineosity follows through with some warming alcohol.

Finishes sweetish with some lingering spiciness and honey-steeped apples.

Another interesting beer from DFH, but too sweet for me and not that complex. Dry it up with some oak aging and bottle conditioning and this beer would be improved.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2012 01:12:01 | More by brewandbbq
Photo of sharpski


3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

03-05-2012 21:11:18 | More by sharpski
Photo of sideshowe


4/5  rDev +3.6%

03-05-2012 13:30:37 | More by sideshowe
Photo of travMI13


4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2012 vintage. 750 mL bottle, shared with family, poured into a red wine glass.

A: Pours a transparent straw color with a finger of fizzy, faint white head the dissipates very quickly. Leaves behind very minimal lacing, but there is some nice pitting.

S: Musty and funky with the grapes and hints of wood present. This smells pretty good.

T: What an interesting taste. The sweet grapes are very strong, giving it a strong wine flavor, but the musty, funky tones are that of a saison. There are hints of wood present as well. Light, crisp, refreshing. You really are getting a combination of a white wine and a beer, with a touch of champagne in there as well. I don't know that I've had anything like it.

M: Sweet and dry, much like a dry white wine. The flavors linger, which is nice.

O: I think Dogfish Head did a fantastic job of executing a beer/wine hybrid. Instead of a wine, I brought this to a family dinner to share, and everyone was very impressed with this. I would certainly have it again. This was a great conversation and crossover beer, and it is certainly well-executed. I would be interested to see if DFH could do the same type of thing with some red grapes to make a red wine/beer hybrid.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2012 03:35:34 | More by travMI13
Photo of Naugros

New Jersey

3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first impression, when tasting this, um, beer, was, "Great...Sam's made a wine cooler. Didn't Bartle and James go out of style when the '80s mercifully ended?"

But then I really took some time to explore the tastes and aromas in this concoction. It IS a tad sweet for my liking, but they're going for that. The grains used really only come out in the wash and it really tastes like a sweeter white wine than a beer, but they were going for that too.

This is a hard one to grade (and I refuse to give extra points JUST BECAUSE it's DFH, c'mon people!) since it's both a beer and a wine. There are grains that have been fermented as well as grape juice. But I have to admit, if wine coolers were this good in college I would have drank more of them.

This beer shows a remarkably massive and foamy head that leaves meringue-like lacing behind. The color is that of pinot grigio and is too light to compare to anything in the beer world other than Coors Light (and I don't usually consider that beer).

The taste and aroma is mostly that of a sweeter, white wine like sauvignon blanc or a reisling, but it is exceptionally drinkable and the 9% ABV goes almost unnoticed. A touch of lemon makes it refreshing and there's a bit of an herbal essence behind it all. I wish I could nail down which herb, but I've drank the whole bomber and I can't quite get it.

Still, this is nothing I'll get again. It was novel, but I really need a true beer now...maybe a nice, hearty stout. God, I hope I don't get a headache from this the way I did from wine coolers.

Incidentally, this review had the most references to wine than any other I've ever written...understandably I guess.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2012 00:55:22 | More by Naugros
Photo of BWarrington


4.78/5  rDev +23.8%
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 TheHoppiest


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

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into two oversized wine glasses. Pours a light honey yellow color, clear and brilliant, with a 1/4" white head that redues to a fizzy head. The fizziness continues as you swirl the beer in the glass.

Has a funky herb aroma, with cardamon, allspice, grassy greens, lemon, and corriander. Aroma is pretty typical for a saision.

Starts and finishes tangy and tart, with pinot gris grapes, light honey, oak, lemon, and a thin malty finish.

Light bodied, this is a tart wine-like brew that packs plenty of tang.

DFH is the only brewer I've found so far that finds that sweet spot between beer and wine. While Midas Touch gets you most of the way there, this one truly occupies that tart, malty and tangy place that you'd expect a wine/beer to be. That all said, however, this is not a particularly favorite style. Still, it is good as a once-in-while brew, especially when it is done as well as this.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2012 23:05:11 | More by TheHoppiest
Photo of jondeelee


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

Noble Rot opens with an almost Flemish nose, full of sour and tart aromas that tingle the nasal passages. Lemons, oranges, limes, and pink grapefruit dominate the profile, along with a good backing of the kind of sour funk that goes well with Flemish sours (though nowhere near the potency). A good layer of baguette lies just beneath, joined by brown sugars and touches of caramel. Overall, the nose is intriguing, and obviously bends toward the citrus and sour profile, though is balanced enough by sugars and grain aromas to not smell like sour citrus candy.

On the tongue, the beer is more sour than the nose let on, beginning with a huge dose of fresh-squeezed and unsweetened lemon, lime, and grapefruit juices, mixed with a sour flavor that nicely complements the tartness, much like eating just the skin of a peeled grape or kiwi, without the sweet center to offset the tangy rind. These opening flavors make up the vast majority of the flavor profile, making the beer taste somewhat like sour candy. Some brown sugars and toast crust lie beneath, but can get easily lost against the sour/tart blast. The aftertaste is more sour/tart, perhaps even strengthened by the dying off of sugars, and at least for this reviewer is mixed with an overtone that reminds me of accidentally biting into a grape stem, or gnawing on a fresh-cut green tree twig, being heavily woody and plant-like. This latter flavor doesn't quite fit with the rest of the brew, and makes the aftertaste moderately unpleasant. Mouthfeel is medium-light to medium, and carbonation is medium to medium-high.

Overall, once I got used to the sour/tart combo, I found the beer quite good, especially after I noticed that the flavors were strong enough to mask the 9% ABV. I do wish something could be done about the tree twig aftertaste, but luckily another mouthful of beer quickly solves that (admittedly, this is a very dangerous solution). Certainly an interesting brew, and like almost everything Dogfish Head makes, is worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2012 22:11:05 | More by jondeelee
Noble Rot from Dogfish Head Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 1,250 ratings.