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Noble Rot - Dogfish Head Brewery

Noble RotNoble Rot

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

1,102 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1102
Reviews: 282
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 13.77%

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: 1,102 | Reviews: 282 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Rhynes2


3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Very interesting beer here. Pours a light yellow color with very little head retention, very similar to a champagne/sparking wine. you can smell the white grapes in it right off the bat. The taste is dry and tart. Grapes mix well with the light malt flavor it gives off. i get a sort of apple flavor that is very pleasant and crisp. It's unlike any other beer I have had before. I great beer all around and something i would buy again though it is a little bit over priced.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2012 16:19:25 | More by Rhynes2
Photo of Swim424


3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from bomber into chalice

A-a very very clear yellow. nice head. slight carbonation bubbles

S-smells of some corn and malt. slight fruitiness.

T-very sweet/tangy. like a mild sour mixed with with a mild pilsner. hard to describe

MF-very smooth. light body. nice aftertaste

O-this is interesting. great mix. I can definitely taste the grape/barely mix. wouldn't mind having this on occasion. very over priced though.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2012 04:09:53 | More by Swim424
Photo of stampfler07


4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Very light golden in color with a substantial frothy head and good lacing, some small bubbles rising rapidly through the glass

S- White, tangy grape aroma almost like a white wine, some green apple and a touch of lemon

T- Very white wine like on the front with plenty of dryness, in the middle the tartness fades somewhat with just a touch of bitterness, finish of sweet green apple and a tingling alcohol warmth

M- Moderate carbonation and very light in body

O- Quite enjoyable and complex, I very much enjoyed this beer and the marriage of wine and beer flavors and textures. Definitely will seek this out again in the future

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2012 02:11:59 | More by stampfler07
Photo of ColForbinBC

New Jersey

3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750mL bottle poured into a HF stemmed tulip

Pours a clear golden color with a huge, fluffy paper white cap. Chunky sheets of lacing coating the glass. A large amount of bubbles are present.

The aroma is of white wine, fresh peeled grapes, and an earthy must. Nothing too deep or overly complex.

Tart white grapes carry you through to a finish of white wine and earthy must. The flavors are all overlapping. Clean, tart, and dry. It is almost like a blend of sparkling white grape juice and white wine.

Light, tart, dry, and crisp. Light body, loads of carbonation. The finish is musty and tart. Almost juice-like.

I really don't know what to think about this beer. I'm not a wine drinker, but I appreciate the attempt at marriage. I have a hard time grading this as a saison so I am going on mostly personal taste with a bonus point for originality.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2012 20:24:44 | More by ColForbinBC
Photo of ckollias


3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours a hazy amber hue with a 2-finger white head that quickly dissipates into a wispy lace.

S: Fairly thin nose that is sort of musty with a mildly hoppy aroma.

T: More sweet than bitter with a faint malty background. Goes down very smooth and finishes slightly hoppy.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Just a so-so pale ale. Nothing really special or anything I would remember.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2012 05:52:15 | More by ckollias
Photo of Stinkypuss


3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
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 atr2605

New York

4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-poured into oversized wine glass, pour a crystal clear pale straw color with a white head with good retention
S-lemongrass and spice, no malt aroma
T-lots of lemon up front followed by the hop spiciness, finishes dry and a bit sour
M-Light bodied, especially for 9%, with high carbonation
O-I think it is a very well crafted beer, the grapes definitely add alot to the beer without hindering the style. One of DFH's better experiments

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2012 03:40:35 | More by atr2605
Photo of Darkmagus82


3.25/5  rDev -15.6%
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 Brad007


4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a straw gold with a two-finger head into my glass. Very nice presentation. Lots of lacing left.

Lots of clove to go with a spicy yeast and slight hints of grape must.

From here one, this ale takes on a strong dose of grape. Very wine-like at some points.

Clean, wine-like finish clashes a bit with the yeast. Otherwise, the grape must adds a new dimension to this style.

Check it out. With some age, the grape essence will likely strengthen.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2012 05:05:32 | More by Brad007
Photo of zaphodchak


3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A finger of frothy white head that dissipates, light slightly amber white-wine looking body.

Nose is pretty intense, I get a lot of metal, and some kinda stanky (rot?) smell.

Taste is incredibly wine-y (to be expected, it's 49% wine), like a dry chardonnay. Tart, but with some sweetness to balance.

Mouthfeel is smooth but with a dry, wine-like finish.

Given the must that's supposed to create extra sweetness, this remains very citric and tart, and in fact quite dry.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2012 02:14:07 | More by zaphodchak
Photo of snaotheus


4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into large snifters

Pours very clear with lots of carbonation and no real head. Smell is sweet and fruity with some hay. But I have a cold right now.

Taste is sweet and juicy, it makes me think of cider but with more of a grapy flavor, nice mildly sour turn to it. Just a hint of breadiness to make it seem a little beerier.

Mouthfeel is light and airy and slightly gritty, very fresh and pleasant. Overall, I like this beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2012 23:45:37 | More by snaotheus
Photo of larryi86


4.58/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Notes from 2/22/2012
750 mL, 2012, poured into a snifter

A- Clear light yellow with a two finger white head and lively carbonation.

S- Earthy spices, pepper, light funk, lemons, hint of white wine/grapes, but really smells like a normal Saison.

T- Sour grapes, white wine, light pepper and earthy notes. The sour grapes and wine really stand out again a nice saison base.

M- Light to medium body, smooth.

O- This is a great unique beer from DFH and I feel that they did a great job with this beer. I really hope that they make more of this, I will be buying more!

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2012 22:54:56 | More by larryi86
Photo of BluBeers


4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Noble Rot had a clear body with a white inch thick head. It had the smell of almost a white wine. Tasted of light grapes and and just like the smell almost of a white wine. The feel on the pallate was that of a light beer easy and smooth. Overall was a great beer and glad i got to have it.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2012 22:00:44 | More by BluBeers
Photo of Arithmeticus


2.78/5  rDev -27.8%
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 justintcoons


3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip.

A: Pours a pale gold with 3 fingers of fluffy white head and spotty lacing. Clarity is crystal clear with moderate carbonation.

N: Honey, coriander, white pepper, doughy bread, faint lemon and hints of clove. There are some potential white grape aromas lurking underneath. The nose is similar to DFH Midas Touch.

T: Sour lemon, Sweet Tarts, white grape and perhaps some tart cherry upfront. This continues through mid-palate picking of flavors of Lemonhead candy, cereal grains and honey. Finishes like a dry white wine spiked with Brett and sour dough bread. Subtle spices linger comprised of nutmeg, white pepper and coriander.

M: Lighter side of medium bodied, crisp, tart, clean and dry.

O: I wasn’t expecting this to be sour. Tastes like Jolly Pumpkin and Midas Touch had a baby. White grape, sour lemon, honey and Brett are the dominate flavors. The 9% abv is well hidden. Very unique but I'm rather indifferent on this one.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2012 18:37:32 | More by justintcoons
Photo of dtivp

West Virginia

3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a bright clear light gold, very bubbly, small bright white head that faded quickly, no lacing.

Aroma was dominated by sweet white grapes and a hint of yeast.

Taste was initially sweet with white grapes, sugar and then a slight apple tartness, citrus and spice.

Mouth Feel was light body, high carbonation, very light, sweet with a tart ending, tinkly and refreshing.

Overall a you think your drinking a wine with beer characteristics. Its refreshing, very champagne like, maybe the Champagne of beers, oops...I think someone uses that one already.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2012 01:06:14 | More by dtivp
Photo of mdfb79

New York

4/5  rDev +3.9%
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 +1.3%
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 DaBubs


3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've found these Dogfish Head one-offs to be pretty hit or miss, but this one was actually neither. I didn't love or hate this lab experiment of a beer, but I did appreciate the creative effort.

A - Deep golden color and a nice creamy head. Completely clear and obviously filtered.

S - This is where you notice the grapes. And boy do you notice the grapes. Green grapes, golden apples, and biscuits.

T - Not quite sour, and certainly not puckering, but it has an interesting sweet and sour characteristic. Too sweet for me, this strikes me as closer to Dogfish's take on berliner weisse than saison (a la Festina Peche), but those yeasty, Belgian clove and banana notes are there as well. I'd love to taste a little wood, or a little funk, or something else to make this beer more interesting.

M - Heavy carbonation and crisp, very champagne-like bubbles allow an otherwise viscous and somewhat syrupy brew go down easy.

O - As I said, I respect the effort. This is clearly a product of Dogfish Head's we'll-try-anything attitude, and lives somewhere between beer and wine. The problem is, it is neither a good beer nor a good wine. It is a fun experiment, but one bottle was plenty for me.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2012 06:19:08 | More by DaBubs
Photo of BEERchitect


3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dogfish Head's introduction of Noble Rot is an exciting and refreshing choice that's ideally suited for hotter summer days. So why is this a dead-middle-of-winter release?

The beer pours as authentic Belgian Saisons should- bright yellow in color and carrying a mild hazed that allows for a diffused glow to emit. A fluffy white head caps the beer and retains well but eventually sucumbs to the acidity yet to come. The lighter color could suggest Berliner Weisse instead.

A spirited and tangy nose brings about the spicy fruity notes that make Saisons so wonderful. Crabapples, white grapes, under-rippened berries, and lemons offer a bright and refreshing scent with 0only a modest background note of light bread and yeast. The focused aromas are very direct and all about the grape.

Certainly lovers of white wines would appreciate this beer as the taste is simplistic and dedicated to chardonay flavor along with raw white grapes and must. Accented by the fermentation notes of tart apples, berries, lemons, and with the balance of white pepper and lactic acidity- the beer borrows Saison-like characteristics to add layers of complexity to the dominant grape flavor. Tartness boarders on sour notes and also make me think of Berliner Weissbiers as much as it does Saison. The supple support of pilsner malt comes across much more like wheat for a slightly elevated bread flavor and feel.

Bone-dry from start to finish, the beer's early and terse creaminess falls just as soon as the carbonation subsides. The dry-fruity, spicy character seems to disolve into the surfaces of the mouth and avoids feeling weighted in finish and aftertaste. Refreshing tartness allows a pleasant powdery tannic texture late and seems to dry the mouth.

Remarkably, the 9% alcohol is nowhere to be found. The alcohol warmth is surplanted by sharp acidity and making this beer much more drinkable than it should be. This is not a typical Saison. The brewers went and Dogfish Headed it up pretty well. Anyone seeking this beer should expect a lot of grape character and Berliner Weisse tartness to dominate.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2012 18:00:15 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of beerhan


3.03/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

To preface, this is one of the few dogfish beers I choose not to revisit. Simply not worth the price tag and fails to deliver in so many ways.

A-Pours a very thin gold color with lots of bubbles. 1 finger head and has a very champagne-esque look to it.

S-very strong grape notes with the stereotypical bubble gum/belgian yeast scent.

T-This is the part where I was really confused by. I felt like I was drinking a solid quad blended with sparkling white wine. Lots of grape and candied sugar with a very yeasty taste. I just felt like I was drinking an overcarbed quad.

M-Heavily carbonated with a fairly pleasant mouthfeel that just does not compliment the taste that well.

O-This beer is not worth it to me. I had high hopes for it as I do enjoy grape in beers when done correctly or if the wine notes are more subtle or if the beer was aged in barrels that once held wine. I feel if this was just made not as a saison but as even a stout it would have been so much better. The flavors do not mix right for my palette.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2012 07:22:41 | More by beerhan
Photo of homebrew311


3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: bright pale gold, cascading bubbles, no head whatsoever, no lacing

S: nose is chock full of white grapes, tart notes, some Belgian yeast, notes of must

T: somewhat sweet with grape character at front, flashes of crisp tartness, well balanced, a bit of bubble gum

Mf: light body, effervescent, high carbonation

O: I think oak would really add a dimension to this beer that would increase the enjoyability. This is very champagne like and has nice flavors, abv is well integrated

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2012 03:04:50 | More by homebrew311
Photo of ferrari29


3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Beer poured from bottle into a stemmed Stella Artois tulip-shaped glass

A - Beer body pours with a very light, almost pilsener style looking yellow straw color; thick and heavy white foam about one finger in size; stringy level of lacing formed around the edge; well-carbonated and clear body

S - Champagne-esk; white wine; dry straw smell; yeasty and slightly cheesy smell

T - Champagne, Brut taste; sweet sparkling white wine flavor; straw malt; nothing more than that; unique

M - Flat and thin body; astringent alcohol aftertaste

D - Different, but I like this one; goes great with a light meal or a pasta dish; could definitely have again; crosses the fermentation line between a beer and wine

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2012 00:44:28 | More by ferrari29
Photo of peabody


4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a clear yellow with tons of suds. Very white creamy suds! Beautiful head and some retention.
Aroma is very spicy just as a farmhouse should be. Not much alcohol present in the nose. Some yeast burn though.
Taste is sour like a white wine with spices.
Mouthfeel is very clean and the alcohol only comes to light at the very end when you can feel the phenols come up the back of the throat.
Overall this is a really nice Farmhouse Ale.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2012 06:19:50 | More by peabody
Photo of n2185

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a lovely clear yellow-gold with three fingers of white head that fades into a thin cap with good lacing.

S: Belgian spices, candy sugar, and bubblegum up front. White grape and pear aromas follow with a faint tart aroma.

T: Some Belgian spices and bubblegum flavors at first followed by tart and slightly sour white grape flavors. The finish is of tart fruit and sweet breads.

M: Light body with lively carbonation in the mouth, this beer is very light and refreshing despite being 9%.

O: I like this beer, overall. It's like a dry, sour white wine with a very light and refreshing body that makes its abv dangerous. Quite impressive.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2012 23:55:34 | More by n2185
Noble Rot from Dogfish Head Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 1,102 ratings.