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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 PeterIngemi
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%

Split with a few buddies @ dirties... Poured into a
Shipyard tulip.... Don't know what to expect from this one.

A- pours a light golden with about 3/4 of multi sized bubble white head, very light lacing, looks good. Very clear.

S- white wine and a slight Belgian funk, almost reminiscent of oak, a very wine like aroma, I can deffinatley pick out the viognier. Deep inhales detect a whiff of almost peppery musty alcohol, I am assuming is the funk of the grape must. Almost sour smelling.

T- very white wine like, deffinatly, and the strange funk reminds me of oak notes, melon, and other light fruits, faint apricot, or peach.

M- very nice tight medium carbonation , creamy through the middle with a dry finish, the finish lasts but in a nice way, kinda like a palate cleansing white wine.

O- very good, and honestly much better then I expected, very white wine like, creamy and dry and the way the rot and slight belgianyness intermingle leaves almost oak like notes of complexity. Deffinatly enjoyed this.

PeterIngemi, Feb 10, 2012
Photo of ohtheguilt
3/5  rDev -22.1%

ohtheguilt, Feb 09, 2012
Photo of caseyf
4/5  rDev +3.9%

caseyf, Feb 09, 2012
Photo of lpotter
4/5  rDev +3.9%

lpotter, Feb 09, 2012
Photo of PacNWDad
3.35/5  rDev -13%

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.

PacNWDad, Feb 09, 2012
Photo of pirmannt1
4/5  rDev +3.9%

pirmannt1, Feb 09, 2012
Photo of neobob187
3.85/5  rDev 0%

Poured from 750ml into a DFH Snifter.

A: Very pale golden color. The lacing on the glass is great though. Retains a nice white foamy head. The carbonation is really noticeable when you hold it up to the light. Great beads of bubbles from the bottom of the glass, all the way to the top that don't let up.

S: The smell isn't very crazy. I get a slight musty pinot nose. But it's very subtle. Maybe a bit of lemon too.

T: This is where the beer is standing apart for me. It has a really nice pinot grigio flavor. It starts a little tart and lemony but ends with a rather sweet and dry finish. Reminds me of a champagne or possibly a dry cider.

M: Nice carbonation but not crazy for a saison. A light body, very easy to drink. The 9% doesn't really overtake this beer. It's well balanced.

O: Overall I really like this new offering. The PJ Faithful Ale and the new Tweason'ale aren't really my bag. But this beer I personally really enjoyed. I feel like it'd be a great beer to pair with cheeses or meats, especially with the significant amount of vinous wine flavors present.

neobob187, Feb 08, 2012
Photo of craigdb
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

craigdb, Feb 08, 2012
Photo of WMEugene
4/5  rDev +3.9%

WMEugene, Feb 06, 2012
Photo of Yvaithe
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Yvaithe, Feb 06, 2012
Photo of Knapp85
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%

This beer poured out with a very beautiful clarity to it. The beer was clear yellow in color with a fizzy white head on top. The smell of the beer has a little bit of funk on the nose but remains pretty soft. The taste of the beer bites the sides of the tongue. It's got an interesting amount of sourness to it but it's not strong enough to make you pucker up. It tastes more along the lines of a white wine. The mouthfeel is light, with moderate carbonation. Overall it was an enjoyable Saision.

Knapp85, Feb 06, 2012
Photo of nickhiller
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

nickhiller, Feb 05, 2012
Photo of akorsak
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%

A snifter at Al's.

A: The lightest, clearest, stillest saison on record. A light yellow, watered down apple juice (or maybe white grape juice would be more appropriate) hue that is devoid of carbonation. Really, it just sits there like a newborn baby, unable to move itself.

S: The first sniff delivers a very white grape aroma, juicy with a fleeting sweetness. General mustiness, thank you yeast, also leaves an imprint (especially near the finish). The grapes and their wine-like zest are the driving force, leading the ale somewhere unusual.

T: The saison base, perhaps just a catch-all for this Belgian-styled creation, is lost behind the vinous character. Sweet white grapes, juicy with an edge, lead into the Belgian yeast finish. At the end, mustiness wins out with a soft funk (I hesitate to use the work funk here, it's not a sour). The body is very light, nicely carrying the grape flavors. Interesting.

M: The mouthfeel has plenty of sweet white grapes without the dryness that comes with the wine - a sweet-bodied ale.

akorsak, Feb 05, 2012
Photo of garrisonp
4/5  rDev +3.9%

garrisonp, Feb 05, 2012
Photo of Proteus93
4/5  rDev +3.9%

I always enjoy Sam's experiments, even if the beer isn't one of my favourite things.

A: Pale blonde topped with more head than I might have expected. Maybe it's the connection with wine, but I didn't really give the head much consideration. It recedes fairly quickly, but since it was poured into a Delerium Tremens snifter with a nucleation point, the bubbles continue to rise and leave a light mist over the top of the beer.

S: Musty, vinous, with a little bit of a yeast 'funk.' It all works fairly well together, and quite delicately. I can certainly appreciate the nose on this... it's one of the more unique scents from a beer that I have experienced.

T + M: The flavor is very vinous... pinot gris really stands out, but quite sweet--as far as wines go, that is. It's certainly not cloying. A little hint of citrus, and a little bit of barnyard-like yeastiness adding some interesting characters. All the while, the beer is quite dry with a sparkling body, somewhat reminiscent of champagne.

D: I found this to be one of the more fascinating brews I've experienced, and one of the better experiments from DFH. I certainly plan on picking up more to experience it again. While I am certainly no wine connoisseur, I do know that much of what is acceptable (and even encouraged) in beer can ruin a wine. This rather significant difference between the two makes this an unlikely marriage, and I'm pleased to see that the potential negative could be avoided to create an intriguing hybrid of the two... now if it could be done with a red varietal,!

Proteus93, Feb 05, 2012
Photo of bbeane
3.85/5  rDev 0%

A- Poured into a snifter... looks almost like white wine with a fizzy white head that appears and disappears quickly. Little activity

S- Has an interesting aroma. Sweet smelling like that of a white wine with some light notes of yeast. Almost smells more like a cider

T- Starts a bit tart, eventually turning more sweet. You can definitely taste the attributes of the grapes. Again, very reminiscent of a cider

M- Light body with light carbonation

O- Nice easy to drink beer with an interesting taste profile. Probably not something I would ever spend the money on for a whole bottle of again, though I could definitely see myself springing for a draft should I come across it


bbeane, Feb 04, 2012
Photo of 2dogbrew
4/5  rDev +3.9%

2dogbrew, Feb 04, 2012
Photo of wesbrownyeah
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%

Dogfish Head Noble Rot Saison style beer 9% as stated on the bottle. Poured from 25.4oz bottle into a pint glass.

A- Crystal clear yellow fluid with a huge one and a half inch white head that falls slowly to a quarter inch of frothy head leaving the thickest patchy lacing i've ever seen on a Farmhouse beer.

S- Sweet white grapes with a little yeasty funk come to mind upfront. Dusty cellar lemon and grape musk is noted with citrus like rot scent as well.

T-M- Taste is one of a kind with a bite of unripe white grapes straight off the vine flavor and a musky over rippend rotten grape finish... nice mixture of Saison flavor. First off the taste is some what wine like with slight yeasty undertones to make it beer. Funky after taste of very overdone yeast almost makes its flavor a over fermented apple cider.
Mouthfeel is a watery medium carbonated sweet juice like fluid with a lingering musky film on the palate.

O- Looks like its a joke but one sip will leave you wanting more. For the style i'm not sure its there with the Farmhouse but its a sweeter version... OK in my book.

wesbrownyeah, Feb 04, 2012
Photo of jacewg
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

jacewg, Feb 03, 2012
Photo of smakawhat
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

Lots of fizzy sounding noise, simple white head makes about a finger. It doesn't last very long, but a collar seems to remain while drinking throughout. Body color is super crystal clear, gold, very lager in appearance, some rising carbonation in the middle but just a little.

Bouquet come like a standard Belgian Ale, but some sweet cream with some vinous action, sweet fruit, not tart, little bit of bread. Fairly nice but very light.

Taste brings extremely wine forward sensations. Classic dry white table wine, malt hitting in the aftertaste quite nicely, dry almost ripping. Interesting. Gets into champagne/sparkling wine territory, slightly flattened though, which is not a bad thing for this (this is beer after all). Carbonation high but nothing overboard.

Overall lemon and grape in the palate, and a real interesting take that matches for a beer. I would love to give this to my wine friends. This would be great for a wine person (not unlike myself). Botrytis and classic dessert wines this is not, but a good marriage of wine and beer nonetheless, I am not sure why they used Vigonier but no complaints. This is also a bit of a style blur, it probably deserves its own category.

smakawhat, Feb 03, 2012
Photo of WorldWideStout
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%

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.

WorldWideStout, Feb 02, 2012
Photo of Jimbeezee
5/5  rDev +29.9%

Jimbeezee, Jan 30, 2012
Photo of MalReever
4/5  rDev +3.9%

MalReever, Jan 23, 2012
Photo of gafferjohn
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

gafferjohn, Jan 16, 2012
Photo of BelgianBeerHog26
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

BelgianBeerHog26, Jan 10, 2012
Noble Rot from Dogfish Head Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 1,320 ratings.