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Noble Rot - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Noble RotNoble Rot

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,436 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,436
Reviews: 312
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 13.25%
Wants: 104
Gots: 172 | 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:
Beer added by: paulozanello on 02-20-2011

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,436 | Reviews: 312 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ng85
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A Total pils color, head thin and crisp not overbearing or lingering.

S Hints of pinot not strong but light and refreshing aromas.

T Sour grapes but yet delish! Just the right carbonation.

M Can taste the Belgian yeast yet tart not smooth

O This was served with a green salad topped with olive oil and pepper and the tart taste off set the flavor of the greens....yum! Love Saisons

Photo of billab914
3.42/5  rDev -11.2%
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.

Photo of CypherEnigma
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Krakistophales
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours golden colored with lots of filtration and a bit of a white head that disappears almost instantly

S: Grapes, spice, berries, herby grassy notes

T: A really nice grape flavor up front, slightly grassy hoppiness in the middle, a sort of sweet champagne freshness and bubbliness, and a slightly tart berry flavor in the finish. Quite nice.

O: I quite like it, but Chateau Jiahu will always be my go to grape ale.

Photo of korguy123
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into tulip.

A- Super clear straw yellow pour with a two finger snow white head. Lacing is sticky and chunky.

S- Belgian(ish) yeast aroma with a touch of spicy pepper quality. The wine aroma is there but not popping out.. It's a nice mix between white wine and and grape juice.

T- Holy juicy wine batman. White wine with a dry finish. Slight yeast spiciness.

M- Light to medium bodied, good carbonation.

O- This is really agood mix, the dryness of the saison base is complimented by the juicy wine addition.

Photo of BierAdvoNikk
3/5  rDev -22.1%

Photo of PeteRiz
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of b2rade2n
3/5  rDev -22.1%

Photo of Brewmeist
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into sniffer glass.

Appears as a yellowish pilsner or light lager. Lots of nice little micro bubbles with little to no lacing and about zero head retention. Smells slightly of a Belgian blonde or ipa but airy and slightly bitter. Agressive carbonation topped with a winey sweetness. Sour and present. Pinot grigio like finish. Somewhat dry but has wet hoppiness to it? Balanced in a way. Wouldn't classify it as a gulper but I would say this would pair well with something peppery or salty. A better exclusive craft from dogfish. Reminds me alot of the mélange e trois from Nebraska but much more drinkable.

Photo of silentjay
3.82/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

clear pale straw color that is almost pilsner like in appearance with a nicely sized pure white head that quickly recedes yet laces very well.

sour, grape juice, very wine-like with some soft, sweet malts behind that.

sweeter than tart, but still plenty tart. definite white wine or a tart champagne. finishes very dry with a bit of tartness.

definite champagne type feel. sticky, with a very effervescent carbonation.

meh. its hard to rate this to style. definitely strays from a saison. a touch of earthy hay flavors, maybe. I'm not a wine fan, so I guess this one isn't something I'd never seek out, but they definitely achieved what they were trying to.

Photo of prototypic
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Noble Rot pours a very light straw color. It’s crystal clear. Looks a little brighter and more yellow when held to light. A white head tops it and rises to nearly two fingers in height. It recedes to a surface covering somewhat quickly and holds there. Lacing was spotty and lighter.

The nose is good. It’s interesting. It has a relatively strong grape scent. It is reminiscent of white wine. It’s also grainy and earthy. It is a bit Saison-esque. It definitely smells rather sweet. Perhaps that’s a product of the malts and the fruit notes. Belgian yeast is noted and is a nice touch. There are light lemon and herbal notes. Alcohol is blended very well and is not very noticeable. All in all, it’s interesting and smells good.

The flavor is likewise pretty impressive. It definitely kicks off with a strong grape flavor. It’s a little sweet, but isn’t offensive. It does have a rather strong white wine vibe to it. It also features earthy, herbal, and grainy Saison qualities. It’s a nice mix of flavors that work extremely well together. Other fruit flavors of apple and lemon are noted. Belgian yeast is very flavorful and a tad spicy. Alcohol is a little noticeable, but isn’t warm or hot. This is rather tasty! Who knew?

Noble Rot has a body that’s on the lighter side of medium. Carbonation is active, but it doesn’t feel buzzy. It’s smoother than you’d think. For a 9% beer, it goes down easy. I’ll finish off this 750 with ease.

Dogfish Head never shies away from blazing a trail. Noble Rot is probably as good as a collision of white wine and beer can be. It’s actually good stuff. It’s very interesting and the mix of flavors is impressive. If you’re up for an interesting beer, grab a bottle. It’s surprisingly good!

Photo of Ralphs66
3/5  rDev -22.1%

Photo of TheRuss9585
3/5  rDev -22.1%

Photo of Slatetank
4.42/5  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

Photo of Kopfschuss
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of Swervine44
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of Hojaminbag
3.82/5  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.

Photo of DSlim71
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of webmanspidey
3.85/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of bentonquest
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Photo of rlee1390
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

Photo of stakem
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

Photo of drabmuh
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of harrymel
2.96/5  rDev -23.1%
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.

Photo of GrindFatherBob
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Noble Rot from Dogfish Head Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 1,436 ratings.