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Noble Rot - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Noble RotNoble Rot

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

1,320 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,320
Reviews: 296
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 13.51%
Wants: 98
Gots: 154 | FT: 4
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: 1,320 | Reviews: 296 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SpdKilz
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%

Picked up at my local shop.

Appearance – Pours into a tulip with a clear straw color and about two fingers of bright white head that dissipates relatively quickly leaving decent lacing.

Smell – Bready grainy malts, apple juice, slight white pepper, and that’s about it.

Taste – Actually pretty tasty. Tastes like a white wine mixed with apple juice. Definite grape skin, astringent qualities, must, grainy biscuits, a big earthy quality. Overall honestly nice.

Mouthfeel – Spritzy carbonation, medium to lighter bodied, finishes dry.

Overall – Way to go DFH. Not bad, not bad at all. Will pick another up to age. Enjoyable for sure and the alcohol is hidden extremely well.

SpdKilz, Mar 24, 2012
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%

Another interesting beer from dogfish head, although I'm not sure I'd describe a beer (or even a wine) made using botrytis as merely a white wine. It's not what the average consumer would expect. Botrytis wines are known as desert wines, because the rot concentrates the sugars in the grapes and lends a (sometimes ethereal) sweetness. This wine certainly exhibits that sweetness, but not in a concentrated way. Since the must is used instead of the wine, you get more of grape juicy sort of sweetness rather than a botrytized sweetness, albeit one with a fair number of tannins providing some grip, particularly on the back end. There is also a nice amount of acidity here providing some balance, which is nice, along with some floral and stone fruit notes. Since we're not talking about a wine, but a beer, I'd be remiss if I didn't also say that there is a fairly luscious creaminess from the grain providing a nice mouth feel and the hops contribute some bitterness that marry well with the tannins. I love the creativity of this brewery. Sometimes it works and sometimes not so much. This time, it works.

Georgiabeer, Mar 23, 2012
Photo of zoolzoo
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%

zoolzoo, Mar 23, 2012
Photo of jaidenjb
2.75/5  rDev -28.6%

jaidenjb, Mar 23, 2012
Photo of dgfishhead36
3/5  rDev -22.1%

dgfishhead36, Mar 23, 2012
Photo of mikeg531
3/5  rDev -22.1%

mikeg531, Mar 23, 2012
Photo of JedediahK
2.5/5  rDev -35.1%

JedediahK, Mar 23, 2012
Photo of Metalmonk
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%

Interesting looking beer...the liquid is a very pale yellow color with total clarity...looks like any average Asian pils or something. The head is a crazy fluffy and creamy thing, very thick too, although it dwindles pretty quickly leaving a dishsoap-like scum on the surface and edges of the liquid.

Having recently gotten into white wine styles such as Chardonnay, Prosecco and Pinot Grigio, this smell captivates. It's as much like a good dry Pinot Grigio as it is an earthy Belgian saison. Everything's well-behaved and balanced, revolving around the white grape personality, and plenty of earth and crisp green apple.

Feel and taste link up in the mouth, and again it's all very much like drinking a white wine, this time I'm reminded of an Italian sparkling white. It's crisp, dry, fruity (white grape, of course, also pear, tart green apple and a hint of grapefruit), earthy, some SweetTarts (somewhat sweet, very tart!), has a pils-like sulfur sort of slant, and shows just a bit of the yeast underneath it all. The 9% ABV is hardly noticed.

Wow. I've had vinous beers before, but this could totally impress a wine aficionado who might swear off beer. Definitely as much a white wine as it is a saison-style beer, for all intents and purposes. This brewery continues to impress in their gusto for trying new things. Hail!

Metalmonk, Mar 22, 2012
Photo of casualfan
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

casualfan, Mar 21, 2012
Photo of Rifugium
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

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.

Rifugium, Mar 21, 2012
Photo of brettski
4.75/5  rDev +23.4%

brettski, Mar 21, 2012
Photo of OneDropSoup
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Poured into a stemmed tulip: Clear, pale gold body with moderate nucleation under two fingers of standing white foam that drops to a thin coating with & leaves a few trails of lacing. Looks pretty vinous in its color & clarity.

Aroma gives off some semi-sweet grape notes, somewhere btw. wine & jelly, with a bit of lemon, some pilsner-like, crackery malt notes. There's a little bit of sulfur, again like dry whites, that kind of slightly eggy, buttery smell. A little bit herbal. This thing keeps growing, & the smell is really interesting & complex.

A tart, champagne-like citrus note shows up initially in the taste, builds in sweetness, & then recedes & lets a bracing dryness in. Ends with some green apple & a pleasant drop o' honey, as well as a hay-like, crisply bready malt taste. Again, very interesting & like no other beer I've tasted.

Active, tart jab at first with some real carbonation, dries out in the middle drastically but leaves a little sweetness on the tongue in the finish & aftertaste.

Again, really interesting beer here. I feel like I've tasted a lot of it before in some bolder saisons, but then there's that extra push of fruity sweetness AND dryness that gives it an additional edge. At times, it seems like the wine characteristics play more than their fair share, which can be a little tiring, but certainly doesn't ruin it. I'm only dropping the Overall score some b/c I think this is a lot to take in at once & can be cumbersome, but still very enjoyable. Can't say I'd rush back to try it again, but I really liked what I got here.

OneDropSoup, Mar 20, 2012
Photo of Ray7233
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Ray7233, Mar 20, 2012
Photo of nh2032
4/5  rDev +3.9%

nh2032, Mar 18, 2012
Photo of Yoda22
4/5  rDev +3.9%

A- Pours a fairly clear straw yellow with 1 finger white head that lingers a bit, pretty good lacing. Very bubbly.

S- Smells very nice...reminiscent of a hefeweizen mixed with a pinot grigio; Spicy, grape, and a little citrus (maybe lemon).

T- How to describe this...not quite like a wheat taste because a sort of grape acidity really takes over. There is a little lemon in there like I thought I detected in the nose. It isn't knock your socks off amazing but it's definitely good.

M- Pretty light body edging slightly towards medium with medium to high carbonation; There is also some mouth tingle giving it almost a champagne like body.

O- A very interesting unique take on beer with wine/champagne characteristics. Something everybody should try, especially if they like wine. I gave it 4 out of 5 across the board because I really liked all aspects (but didn't LOVE any one particular area). With a name like Noble Rot you aren't sure what to expect but this was surprisingly good.

Yoda22, Mar 18, 2012
Photo of dankness3
2.5/5  rDev -35.1%

dankness3, Mar 18, 2012
Photo of Suds
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%

Super-clear, this pale yellow beer has an ultra-white head and light complexion. It's aroma is reminiscent of tart apples, lemon juice, and dry white wine. It has a bit of lambic-like funk in the smell, but very sublet. The initial taste is sweeter than expected. It's got a grape-juice and pale malt flavor. Grape skins, apricots, and watermelon rind. It's quite wine-like. The finish is a little dryer, with a lingering tartness. Light in body, this beer is drinkable and would go well with many cheeses.

Suds, Mar 18, 2012
Photo of KnightRider
4/5  rDev +3.9%

KnightRider, Mar 18, 2012
Photo of jpbebeau
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

jpbebeau, Mar 18, 2012
Photo of zoso1967
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

zoso1967, Mar 17, 2012
Photo of Bouleboubier
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Bouleboubier, Mar 16, 2012
Photo of nrs207
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

nrs207, Mar 16, 2012
Photo of tjeppaint
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

tjeppaint, Mar 15, 2012
Photo of GarthDanielson
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%

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.

GarthDanielson, Mar 15, 2012
Photo of muletrane
4/5  rDev +3.9%

muletrane, Mar 15, 2012
Noble Rot from Dogfish Head Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 1,320 ratings.