Noble Rot - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Noble RotNoble Rot

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

326 Reviews

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Reviews: 326
Hads: 1,493
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 9.05%
Wants: 105
Gots: 198 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 326 | Hads: 1,493
Photo of Cresant
3.54/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. poured from a 25.4 oz bottle. Bottled in 2012. The body was a weak golden color and the head was small and bright white made of dense bubbles. Sticky lacing.

The smell was powdery. Fruity. Apple peels and grapes.

The taste was basement-y. Dry and Belgian yeast chalkiness. Fruity.

The mouthfeel was medium with a fine carbonation. Not really one that I would seek again. (396 characters)

Photo of mscottjohnston
4.4/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours super pale yellow with a one finger head that disappears immediately with faint lacing. Aroma is strong white grape juice, malt and slight citrus. Taste supports nicely; grape juice, white wine, malts, citrus finishes with some light yeast. Medium body with a long lingering aftertaste. Very very impressive. (315 characters)

Photo of twperman
4.47/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Much better than anticipated. Much less sweet than my expectations for a Digfishhead beer. The grape must adds a lot and it reminds me of some of the best "wine-like" beers. Dry and refreshing. I'd definitely drink it again. NOw I'm just adding words... (253 characters)

Photo of tkdchampxi
3.94/5  rDev -1%

When fresh, there are nice saison notes on this beer with subtle bitterness and earthy flavors. The spice character is also very pleasant - more like a Belgian Strong Pale Ale than saison. The grape must adds a superficial fruit character to the beer. Overall, nicely complex with an assertive Belgian-style mouthfeel.

I would prefer if the mouthfeel were actually subdued somewhat, but aging this beer does not have a noticeable effect on the carbonation. At the same time, unwanted bitterness is added to the beer over time as the other pleasant qualities of the beer fade. (579 characters)

Photo of Jonada
4.21/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013 release. 750ml bottle served in a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a bright light yellow color with one finger of a white soapy head. Body is almost crystal clear with a fair amount of visible carbonation.

Smell: White grape, spicy saison yeast, pepper, lemon rind with some slight grassy notes.

Taste: Follows the nose pretty closely with a shot of slightly tart white grape upfront followed by some peppery saison yeast, lemongrass, pear, spices (maybe a hint of coriander) with a slight underlying breadiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and crisp with medium levels of lively carbonation. Drinks super easy for 9%.

Overall: Subtlety isn't usually Dogfish Head's specialty, but this beer is the exception. The addition of the grape must works perfectly with the base beer without one overwhelming the other. Complex, flavorful and very easy to drink. This is one of my favorite offerings from Dogfish, and I really hope Sam and the crew continue making this in the future. (978 characters)

Photo of msturek
3.64/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I approached this beer with a little trepidation as it seemed sort of a forced hybrid. But Dogfish has never disappointed me before.

The appearance looks like a pilsner - very light and very carbonated. Looks a lot like champagne but with just a bit more yellow. Nice finger-sized white head.

Smell is all grape as expected. Again, much like champagne but a bit more grape scent then I've ever smelled in one.

Mouthfeel follows the appearance - very light and very carbonated.

Taste gets disappointing based on my expectation. I was expecting a spicy, hoppy saison with grape notes, but instead it tasted more like a grape-infused pilsner. Now I don't mind a good pilsner, but it wasn't at all what I was expecting. The grape got a bit overbearing as it went on and for the first time, I struggled a bit to finish a Dogfish.

Overall it was still very enjoyable, but it didn't meet the expectations I had and the grape got a bit too much by the end. I'd drink it again if I was offered, but I wouldn't seek it out. (1,018 characters)

Photo of GrizzleFist
3.6/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bought in a 1 Pint 9 oz Bottle

Appearance: Okay, nothing amazing. For a fairly heavy beer, it was very light and see through. Very interesting.

Smell: Very light smell, smells like a light beer with no real provoking smell coming through for me.

Taste: Very different taste, taste like a combination of a light beer, champagne and white wine after taste; if that makes any sense.

Mouthfeel: Feels okay, decent carbonation and a spreading taste throughout back on tongue.

Overall: I love Dogfish head, not necessarily because they make "amazing" beer. Because a lot of their beer isn't that great. But they constantly make new beers that have taste that are so different from other beers. I can't help but try them whenever I see a new one, I don't regularly buy the same beer from them twice, but I'm always glad I gave their beers a try; just to see how else a beer can taste. (886 characters)

Photo of rdilauro
3.3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I have been waiting to taste this one.. Just the thought of combining a beer with the 'noble rot' associated with grapes. The excess aging of the grapes to produce a sweeter and more intense sine had my interest from the start. Just the thought of having a brew that adds the excellent grape style that makes the famous and expensive Sauternes from France, the Trockenbeernaualuse from Germany and some of the Ice wines. How could anyone not be excited.

Thie beer was light, lighter than I had expected. A pure Pils style lightness. But now add the complexity of the wine grape/must and you have an interesting beer. . My first sip from this beer, and I just found it very light with a grapy after taste. Then after a few additional sips, I picked up the fresh spirit of the Pilsner, and then the intriguing style added by the grape must.
Then to finish it, was a amount of tartness that you might only expect from fresh fruits.
The yeast came through at the end and was quite evident.

I love the creativity of DogFish head beers. This is another one that is very worthy and should be tried. (1,093 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
3.89/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a crystal clear pale yellow in color with heavy amounts of active visible carbonation streaming from the bottom of the glass and some faint golden yellow + lemon yellow highlights. The beer has a finger tall fizzy head that reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer with a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of pale malts + spicy saison yeast (black pepper), and moderate aromas of white wine grapes.

T: Upfront there is a light to moderate flavor of pale malts with moderate flavors of white wine and oak. Light amounts of white grape sweetness and a light to moderate flavor of saison yeast with some hints of black pepper.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Slightly prickly with some light to moderate amounts of dryness int he finish.

O: There is quite a lot of flavors and aromas of white wine in this beer - similar to a sauvignon blanc or a pinot grigio. This is a good beer to share with someone that is more of a wine drinker than a beer drinker and is a nice change of pace (not being all that similar to most of the other beers on the market). I would have this one again. (1,240 characters)

Photo of fdig23
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the bottle.

Appearance: Really vibrant, light gold body with a big bone white head.

Nose: Really interesting. Musty, moldy, intensely grapey. There's a lot of earthiness balanced out by intense honey sweetness. It smells like the vineyard and the wine cave at the same time.

Taste: Comes off a bit sweet. It actually reminded me a lot of a dry session mead. A bit reminiscent of a decent sparkling white wine and a sweet white wine blended together. Grapes are at the forefront, with some sweet raspberry and floral notes mixed in.

Mouthfeel: Dry as a bone, pleasantly effervescent. It's 9% ABV, but it drinks like its 4%.

Overall: An interesting experiment indeed, and one of the better Dogfish 750mL offerings I've had in awhile. Also, way too easy to drink. If this was in 4 packs of 12oz bottles it could be a dangerous summer refresher. (851 characters)

Photo of TBoneJones
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

An unappetizing name, yet creatively oxymoronic..let's try this great brewery's ale.. Pours sort of hazy yellow, light body in appearance, small white head. Looks refreshing enough.
Funky musty smell, barnyard, hay, antique furniture, grass, a pilsner malt aspect in there too. Nice
Tasting now and The grapes up front! And a nice odd leathery taste, and oily feel here, yet bubbly and refreshing but with a tart lemony burn. Like a white wine married to a saison, which makes sense given the bottle description. Overall, a DFH success and certainly the best (albeit only!) grape-centered ale ive ever tasted. (611 characters)

Photo of SebD
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From notes

Appearance: It has a nice clear straw yellow color to it. It has a thin white head that dies down somewhat fast and leaves some lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of slight Belgian yeast, some grapes, lemon and grainy malts.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has some Belgian yeast, lemony/grassy notes, sweet grapes and faint bready/grainy malts.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavors and aromas. (543 characters)

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.77/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750ml brown bottle purchased from BevMo in Sunnyvale, CA. Shared with @tobeerornottobe.

Pours a clear, extremely pale yellow with a fine and relatively steady head of white. Lacing is messy and streaky. Fine carbonation, although the body looks rather thin, so it doesn't stick around much.

Nose is indeed white vinous, and I can believe viognier, with a clean crisp acid coming through strongly. Some slightly earthy characters come through as well, more like oak though than botrytis. Dusty, dry and quite crisp throughout. It's a very well put-together aroma.

Taste is lighter, and without much acid, which is a bit of a shame. In fact, the back palate doesn't have much of anything, besides a musty grapeskin character and a hint of metal. Most of the roundness comes on the front, with a slightly fruity Belgian pale sort of basis that sets sweetness against the very light and rather dry body. It's a little bit disappointing after the aroma.

Overall, it's pretty decent, and the 9% is masterfully hidden at least. It promised a bit more than it delivered though, and it ended up being less exciting than I thought it might be. Lower your expectations, and you'll probably have a great time with it. (1,210 characters)

Photo of usechopstix4soup
3.84/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I grabbed this beer while browsing through a local beer supply store. Dogfish head brewing company is one of my favorites so naturally I was gravitated towards their section. I had never heard of Noble Rot before so I figured, why not.

Appearance: I poured the beer into an American Shaker Pint and was surprised to see the coloring. I don't know what exactly it was I was expecting but it certainly wasn't this clear, crisp color that poured out.

Smell: The smell was strong of fermented grapes and wheat. Personally, I am not a fan of the smell.

Taste: The taste is light enough that it is not completely a beer but heavy enough to not be a wine either. It is a pleasant in-between that I think many people will find pleasant. I bought a pint bottle and could easily polish it off because it is so easy to drink.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is reminiscent of a sparkling wine, a kind of crisp bubbly feel to it

Overall: If you are into the light, crisp saisons, this beer is a definite must try. Personally, I walked into this blind and was taken by surprise, but I appreciate the beer for what it is and what it is trying to do and I would give it a solid 4/5. Cheers (1,173 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is crystal clear light yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with quarter finger high bright white head that quickly died down, leaving a patch of bubbles in the center of the glass surrounded by a thin film of bubbles covering the remainder of the surface.
S: Light to moderate aromas of white wine grapes are present in the nose.
T: Much like the smell, the flavors taste a lot like white wine. Hints of spicy yeast are detectable towards the finish. Considering the beer's strength, surprisingly no alcohol is perceptible.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation with some notes of dryness towards the finish.
O: I found this to be a very interesting beer that's also quite drinkable—it's like sipping a "light" version of a pinot grigio white wine that isn't as full-bodied or dry and also hides its alcohol a lot better. I would definitely consider getting this again, especially if I was sharing it with a friend that really liked wine and was open to trying something different for a change. (1,098 characters)

Photo of secondtooth
4.09/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clean pale golden, with thick, quickly-dissipating head of fine white foam. Lace is attractive and detailed.

Aroma is fruity with touches of citrus and spice. Very appealing and different.

Tastes brisk and light-bodied, with a definite grape and champagne vibe. Goes down easily with a light effervescence. Finishes with a solid fruit and spice tone. I get a distinctive wine-like vibe here, and this is a superior hybrid beer that I'd easily enjoy again. Very good and a unique experience. (500 characters)

Photo of tdm168
3.79/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - bright golden yellow with a soft, short, pure white head that fades to a thin lacing

S - white grapes, some faint peppery Belgian yeast, maybe some apple and pear

T - pear, apple, peppery, Belgian yeast up front; white grapes, viscous, winey in the finish

M - crisp, well carbonated, finishes very dry, light bodied

This is an interesting beer. As far as a beer/wine blend or crossover it shows off both nicely. The saison characteristics come through up front with a typical, dry, white wine finish. Because of the lightness of the saison and the intensity of the grapes, this comes across as more wine than beer. Nonetheless, I enjoyed. This is worth trying. (668 characters)

Photo of LambicPentameter
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed out of a brown 750 mL bottle with no discernible dating for freshness or bottling. Poured into a Boulevard Smokestack Series tulip glass.

Appearance - Pours a golden amber color with good clarity and lazy carbonation bubbles drifting up to the sudsy two-finger head. Good, prolonged retention and sticky, intermittent lacing. Body also seems to have kind of a syrupy look to it, like white dessert wine or olive oil might.

Smell - The winey characteristics of this beer are fully on display in the aroma. Notes of white grapes and faint peach, with clean, cracker-like grain as well. Yeast provides a bit of spicy phenolic element that is very aromatic. Seems to compete a bit with the wine components.

Taste - Again, the wine must is a heavy presence on this beer. White grape juice, nectarine, green apple and perhaps some light citrus--lemon zest--with a drying finish. Really makes me think of what a carbonated Chardonnay might taste like.

Mouthfeel - Viscous body on the heavy side of medium, with a moderate amount of carbonation. The "heaviness" of the liquid is clearly winning the battle with the solid amount of carbonation. Dry, crisp finish.

Overall, it makes me think more of wine--or more accurately--sparkling wine, than it does of beer. Like a heavy champagne. I'm not sure if I would have this again, but I might give it to a wine drinker to help open their mind to the wonders of beer. (1,417 characters)

Photo of jrenihan
3.79/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Beer is a clear golden colour with a smallish white head. Decent retention, head fades but not entirely. Some lace.

White grape juice, yeast and some lemon. Does smell a bit "musty".

Taste is also heavy on the must, a real white grape juice flavour. Yeast, very slight funk. Lemon.

Medium bodied, low carbonation level, a bit acidic.

Overall, not bad, but I can only take the grape juice flavour for so long. Would be nice if that was toned down and the yeast ramped up. (476 characters)

Photo of ADZA
3.89/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Looking forwards to this and pours just like a Chardonnay the lightest straw yellow hue with a wispy one finger head and sporadic lacing here and there,the smell is feint barnhouse funk with white grapes and sherbet,the mouthfeel is light bodied with nice carbonation and the taste is like hybrid of an ale a cider with a wine and has tastes of apple,white grapes,a touch of light bready malts,a slight mustiness and finished bone dry and fruity just like a fine wine and although this ain't for everyone I love it and pushes the boundaries between beer and wine and also shows the similarities in these two arts one for the wine lovers cheers. (644 characters)

Photo of StaveHooks
3.56/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle served in a pint glass

A - Pours a pale shiny yellow with a thin white cap.

S - Earthy, spoiled grapes, minerals, dry yeast, salty,

T - Sweeter than the nose describes, crisp white grape juice, has a soft lemon tartness to it along with a dash of salt. Peppery yeast and earthy minerals in the middle along with some herbal hops adds dryness and continues to a dull grape tartness on the finish.

M - Moderate spritzy carbonation, creamy at first but thins out quickly. Dry finish.

An odd beer for sure. Like a white wine and beer mixer. It has snappiness upfront but develops into a dull chardonnay like finish. I can't believe that this is 9%ABV! It doesn't show at all. It was unique but I didn't love it as much as I thought I would. (755 characters)

Photo of jopezu
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

very pale straw, thin soapy head that poofs. nose; light biscuit & sweet white wine. taste; acidic and sweet white grape that finishes dry and tart. very one dimensional to be listed as a saison, but rounded out decently enough with a yeasty cracker flavor to the body. highly carbonated and would make a great dessert beer, or perfectly substitute a champagne for a beer drinker. (383 characters)

Photo of nickthetick
5/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: pours an absolutely clear and crisp looking straw yellow with a lot of bubbling forming a half finger of snowy white head in my "La Fin Du Monde" tulip glass. The head hangs for a good while. Some spotty bubbles cling to the glass till the finish.

S: the nose starts very musty, extremely wine like. I'm not a wine connoisseur and couldn't tell you what type of grape is in it if it were not for the label. There is a little malty notes but the must and white wine come out first and foremost.

T: unlike the nose there is a bit of malt first on tongue and some subtle hop earthy ness. The wine comes in the middle of the taste and overwhelms the palate and leaves a bit astringent and acidic.

M: it's medium bodied, almost light on the tongue. Extremely effervescent like a champagne, acidic and astringent. It's just barely dry. Very well balanced and pleasing.

O: this is an amazing beer, an extraordinary experience. I would buy this again in a heartbeat, I could see pairing this with many, many different foods. Defineatly a one of a kind experience. (1,066 characters)

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in an over-sized tulip, my favorite Duvel glass. Vintage bottle from date from 2012.

Appearance: A pale gold with medium bubbles on the body, white head maybe 1/3" off the body dropping to nada after a two sips.

Smell: Freaking potent, yeast with a big hurt of grapes and lemon. You sniff and you still keep smelling the scent.

Taste: At first sip, feels like most saisons...give it a little time and you will feel a unique sweetness to it that makes you think of grapes (like the label says) or in my opinion more like raisins but still awesome.

Mouth: Alright when taking the first few sips you want to say heavy but in reality it is medium with a sweet finish.

Overall: When I originally grabbed this I knew nothing about it, let it sit in and once I cracked open the bottle I knew right away to pour this into a tulip. I originally thought it was a "fruit" beer looking at what I red on the label but after taking a sniff I was already going to indulge into awesomeness. Built for those in love with Belgian ales...all you need is a glass, Salud! (1,066 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.55/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks, CA.

Pours a clear light yellow with a foamy white head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, yeast, spice, and slight grape aromas. Taste is much the same with sour fruit and spice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is easy to drink but nothing all that special. (573 characters)

Noble Rot from Dogfish Head Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 326 ratings.