Noble Rot - Dogfish Head Brewery

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Noble RotNoble Rot

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

324 Reviews

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Reviews: 324
Hads: 1,490
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 9.05%
Wants: 105
Gots: 197 | 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: 324 | Hads: 1,490
Photo of ruckus232
4.34/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

25.4 ounce bottle poured into a goblet

Appearance: Clean, clear and light yellow in color with a little bit of white head that fades away fairly quickly.

Smell: Very much like sparkling wine but there is a little bit of a sweetness to it that almost seems more like sparkling cider.

Taste: Pretty sweet almost like white grape juice. It finishes clean and more like a light lager style beer. I really like the amount of carbonation and the refreshing feel is has and for having a high alcohol content, there is no evidence of that. (534 characters)

Photo of Doc_Hops
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- Pours a very pale greenish yellow that actually resembles Sauvignon Blanc. Head is bright white; fluffy at first and then slowly disappears.

S- Very sweet and yeasty to begin. Definitely indicative of a saison but with a big hit of green grapes and a faint hint of green apples.

T- The best way I can describe it is like a wine gone a good way? Really interesting here. Almost like I poured a basic saison with a basic white white and this came out. Lots of grape notes and citrus notes paired with some interesting yeasty/ spice notes. Very complex and very different.

M- Very light bodied. Not much weight to it at all. Goes down quite smooth.

O- I like this beer. Very different than anything I've tried before I can say that. I think this beer might do better with some more time. I've got a few more bottles that I'm going to let sit for a while. If it chemically is anything like a wine, that leads me to believe it will definitely get better with age. But overall, very cool, very interesting.

Serving type- 750ml bottle poured into a wine glass. Thanks for reading. (1,093 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale yellow golden hue with a bright white head flowing thick...slightly clouded with a brilliant white head flowing thick. Aroma tart grapes with a fruity heirloom note, wild funky notes, bittering hops are minimal but explosive. Flavor has great white wine notes, including sugary notes of tart grape funk and wild hop notes especially deceiving considering the type of beer. I like how they call it a sorta-saison kind of a catch all terminology. Body isn't cloying at all, medium bodied with a dry finish. Mellow carbonation for sure, drinks much like a white wine. Overall as creative as beer ever gets using mainly infected grape juice to make a saison that doesn't suck. I just think it's more mead or wine like than anything related to a beer. (751 characters)

Photo of threeviews
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a 13.5oz Libbey Tulip glass.

A- Pours a crystal clear golden with a white, frothy 3-finger head. Carbonation streaming up from the bottom of the glass. Beautiful lacing remains as the brew is consumed.

S- Sweet/Tart/Sour fruits (Granny Smith apple, green grapes, pear, peach, lemon zest) and cloves are all represented.

T- Sweet up front with a moderate dry finish. Much like the aroma, Granny Smith apple, green grapes, pear and lemon zest are all detectable. Additionally, I am a tinge of sourness as the brew warms.

M- Very light and refreshing thanks to the high carbonation. Perfect to enjoy this on a hot summer day shared amongst friends.

O- This beer possess traits of a Saison (Hennepin), Belgian Tripel (La Fin Du Monde) and a sparkling wine. However, the extremely light body and delicate carbonation makes this concoction unique. Highly drinkable and a must for all fans of any of the aforementioned libations. Personally, I wish that the sourness was a bit more pronounced...something a bottle with some age might reveal. Very worthy. (1,084 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.36/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled in 2012B. Pours almost crystal clear golden straw color with a nice 1-2 finger white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice small cap that lasts. Some very nice soapy lacing clings to the glass, with a good amount of carbonation streaming up. Aromas of big grape, pear, lemon, grass, herbal, bread, floral, earth, clove, and light funkiness. Very nice and well balanced aromas with good complexity. Taste of big lemon, grape, pear, apple, herbal, floral, earth, bready grain, grass, funk, and light spiciness. Light tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of grape, lemon, tart apple, earth, herbal, bread, and light spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic complexity and balance of flavors; with a nice funky tartness in the background that compliments the flavor profile perfectly. Zero cloying sweetness. Medium carbonation and body; with a slightly slick and quite crisp mouthfeel that is very nice. No cloying sweetness at all. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an absolutely outstanding experimental saison from Dogfish Head! Incredible balance of flavors with great complexity; and extremely smooth to drink. Really loved this one. (1,267 characters)

Photo of buyBinboaVodka
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured from a 750ml bottle into a tulip glass. This beer pours a golden yellow with a slight haze in it. The lucious white head reatins sticky lacing around the glass and there are little carbonation bubbles noticable.

S - The nose is much more subdued than I had expected. I get some yeast notes and without a doubt wine smell. Don't ask me the grapes, I am no wine expert.

T - The taste was just what I might expect from a beer that I heard was a cross between a wine and beer. Some yeasty flavors up front followed by citrus notes and finished off with a crisp dry wine like finish.

M - Spiritly carbonated with dry finish and flavor that seems to evaporate off the palate.

O - This was an awesome beer. I had it paired with a nice flank steak, mushroom risotto and carmelized onions. I wish I could get my hands on some more of this beer. (851 characters)

Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Rutager for this one.

A: 3/4" white bubbly head that dissipated quickly and left a nice lacing over straw coloured liquid with excellent clarity.

S: It smells like a funky saison and old dried out red wine bottles. Kind of strange.

T: Saison barnyard funk meets white grape juice. Some wheat in the background.

M: Medium viscosity and a medium level of fine carbonation. Somewhat dry finish.

O: The best American Saison I have tried. Very drinkable, and very much in the style of Fantome Saison. (510 characters)

Photo of OrestesMethuon
4.39/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Fresh, dry, musty pinot gris nose; very nice pure-yellow pils colors; extremely clean, clarion-tart sweetness, ultimately mild yet concentrated and piquant. A very tasty, refreshing experiment, with a hint of wildness but a very hemmed-in—almost, dare I say, "normal"—amount of experimentation. Good reverence for dry, bright whites—never thick enough to feel like a wit—ensconced in the flesh of a pale pils. (419 characters)

Photo of davey101
4.39/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012B 750ml poured into a DFH signature glass. Uses a new bottle which is wider and shorter with 2 dogfish head logos molded into the glass.

A - Extremely clear. I held the bottle up to the light and could see right through it. Light amber body with rising carbonation. Initially the head had large frothy off-white bubbles which died down to a neat cap. Nice lacing and retention.

S - Wow. Very complex and interesting. I'm a total wine noob, but I'm picking up strong white wine notes. Intensely sweet and dry grapes followed by some Belgian yeast and biscuity malts. Crisp and lightly alcoholic finish. If I didn't know what this was I'd swear it wasn't beer.

T - I can actually tell its a beer now. Starts off with very wine like qualities. Dry and crisp grape which leads into some spice and yeast. Finish is dry with some lingering biscuity malts. Less complex than the nose, but still very interesting and unique. Mouthfeel is crisp, effervescent and super refreshing.

O - Ta Henket, Faithfull, and Hellhound made me question buying these large format limited DFH beers. Not since Bitches Brew have I felt that one of these beers is worth $15. This beer was. Its crazy how it has wine and beer notes. Very complex and unique while still remaining refreshing and delicious. (1,285 characters)

Photo of da_beers
4.39/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

My folks sent me this when they had dinner with the co-owners of Alexandria Nicole Cellars in Prosser, WA. I was more than happy to taste it!

A - Pours light golden like a dark champagne, white fizzy head of about a finger. Crazy carbonation bubbles coming up.

S - Smells of champagne and grape and a light malt. Sourness of grape tickles nose.

T - Very unique, appley mix with white grapes. Its heavier than champagne, but the carbonation is spot on. Sweet and tart all together, nice balance.

M - Carbonation tickles the palate, light body, finishes very cleanly. Finishes a bit winey and warm.

O - So unique, good saison, very drinkable. (645 characters)

Photo of dasenebler
4.39/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL, 2012.

Pours a crystal clear, effervescent yellow-gold. Spotty lacing, decent retention.

The aroma is full of grape, melon and a funky yeast character reminiscent of fine cheese. A semi-sharp acidity also comes through.

The flavor is incredibly wine-like at first, and I feel like I'm drinking a dry, sparkling white wine. Then the bitterness kicks in on the finish, which is bone-dry but haunted by bready malts, reminding me this is beer. Acidic, with vinous notes and also sour apple and melon. Pretty funky as well, with a behind-the-scenes Saison character. The mouthfeel is well carbonated and medium-light.

A great attempt at fusing beer and wine, and also one of the best offerings, if not THE best, I've had from Dogfish Head. (745 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 Greywulfken
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Dogfish Head are masters of beer innovation and experimentation - and one of my top 5 American brewers. It also makes their beers hard to classify and review in a style-specific way, so I just have to go with my reactions to the beer as a stand-alone style of beer.

A: clear pale gold in a tulip glass, a moderate white head of fizz; motes of lace speckled the glass; tiny bubbles streamed endlessly from the bottom of the glass

S: pinot grigio and pilsner - white wine grapes and pale ale hops and yeasts - floral, bright, tart

T: if the goal here was to meld white wine and pale ale: mission accomplished. Crisp, tart grape flavors; slightly bitter, bright hops, and wild yeasty flavors

M: light bodied, effervescent; again, wine-like, but with a beery feel, too

O: this guys are sure-fire - I loved it - would buy it again, and it must pair brilliantly with food - this is a great (white) wine substitute for the beer drinker. Want to buy a beer for a wine-lover? Want to buy a wine for beer-lover? This is it. (1,018 characters)

Photo of Krakistophales
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
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. (421 characters)

Photo of Kranders
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I really enjoyed this beer. Had this right after a big test. Poured a super clean, light golden color with minimal head. Very complex aroma, full of fruit and sour, with hints of wine in the backdrop. The taste falls somewhere between a sour and a white wine. Clean, oaky, with a bit of sour that rounds it all out into something fantastic. Lasts just a little bit on the tongue for an overall awesome beer. (407 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
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 (1,167 characters)

Photo of ngeunit1
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a clear golden-yellow with a finger of frothy white head atop. The head fades down fairly slowly leaving behind some nice lace.

S - Aroma is a mix of farmhouse yeast and spices with some lemon zest, grape, with a bit of wheat and grains.

T - Starts off with a mix of grains, pilsner malt, white grapes, and a bit of tart lemon. Through the middle, some Belgian yeast comes through with a bit of spice and some more tart lemon peel. The finish is a mix of tart lemon, Belgian yeast, white grapes, and a bit of light yeast.

M - Medium bodied with moderate-plus carbonation. Feels smooth with a tart and dry finish.

D - Very drinkable. Really nice flavor added by the white grape, and the base saison is really nice. Good balance. (741 characters)

Photo of danedelman
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-very clean filtered yellow with slide shade of copper. Smaller head.

S-Lactobacillus strong, grapefruit, lemon and white wine.

T-Lacto up front with a lemony taste then following is a strong chardonay/white wine flavor. Very well done!!

M-light crisp and clean.

Overall I am very surprised at how awesome this is. I love the sweet and the tartness going on here and feel that DFH once again is a top brewer!! (414 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 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 NoleDoc
4.47/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from tap to glass. At first glance it has a light pale yellow color. Looks like a Belgium style and tastes like one too. Has a nice white head to it at first but dissipates rather quickly. Has a Belgium mouthfeel with slight apple and tart finish. You can taste the wheat too. Great beer. (295 characters)

Photo of JMScowcroft
4.48/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Dogfish Head Brewery - Noble Rot

Shared this brew with da_beers while having a family get together, best time to enjoy a good brew!

Look - Pours a clear pale yellow with a smaller fizzy head. Some good lacing, heavier carbonation.

Smell - Aroma is sour grape syrah and champagne with a hint of malt. Crisp, mouth-watering.

Taste - Fruity and crisp like green grapes and sour apple. Feels like a rich, hearty champagne. Belgian yeast is definitely present and gives it that sour kick.

Mouthfeel - Feel is a little boozy warm, similar to white wine or champagne, throat hot. Very drinkable despite.

Overall - Great Saison fusion, a little hot but it is 9% and it makes up for the heat with good drinkability. (712 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.49/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I had this on tap at the brewpub on 4/30/2011.

Served in a snifter glass it was a hazy golden color with a creamy off-white head. The retention was poor but that might have been from a dirty glass, and it didn't leave much lacing behind at all.

The aroma was stunning. It was bright and full, and fruity and sweet and somewhat tart. It's made with Botrytis- infected Viognier and Pinot Gris grapes, and I could really smell the Viognier.

In the mouth it was medium bodied with a smooth, fine-bubbled median carbonation that gave a gentle caress to the tongue. The slight tartness accentuated that a bit, leaving you with a gentle zest.

The flavor was very much as the aroma suggested it would be, but fuller and richer. It was sweetish with a somewhat tart zing and some slight funk within a golden and lightly-bready "Pilsen" malt base. It was mineralish, like crushed granite dust; and along with a bit of grassiness, a mild underlying bitterness, and a spritz of alcohol it balanced the very grape-like fruitiness nicely. It finished with a note of sweet fruit, funk and tart dryness (like wet-straw and chalk-dust), leaving behind a mild astringency.

Overall it was unique, refreshing, and interesting. Well worth seeking out!!! (1,239 characters)

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into tulip. Clear yellow with fizzy bubbles, looks like champagne. Fizzy but thick head that doesn't stick around, visible carbonation. Smells like champagne or white wine combined with belgian yeast. Taste is like a champagne, but with the belgian yeast sneaking in at the end to finish. If it weren't for that, you could tell me this was a sparkling white wine and I'd believe you. Incredibly drinkable, alcohol very hidden for 9% (which admittedly would be less than wine, however). This would be an excellent dinner or celebration beer, or a great starter for wine/champagne lovers who want to get into beer but can't. (629 characters)

Photo of Brent
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Okay, I'm sucker for inventive (a/k/a wacky) beer experiments, but this one really works. Great dry character - amazing drinkability for the abv. Up front a typical saison funkyness, but close behind is a reserved but distinctive apple cider vinegar note that harmonizes with the beer in a way that I found surprising. Finish was clean with a lingering touch of vinegar acidity. Quite an interesting experience. (411 characters)

Noble Rot from Dogfish Head Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 324 ratings.