Faithfull Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

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Faithfull AleFaithfull Ale

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710 Ratings
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Ratings: 710
Reviews: 244
rAvg: 3.38
pDev: 17.16%
Wants: 33
Gots: 188 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Brewery visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: THECPJ on 10-19-2011

Faithfull Ale is a celebration of Pearl Jam's 20th anniversary as a band and its extraordinary debut album, "Ten." In recognition of these milestones, this Belgian-style golden ale is delicately hopped to 20 IBUs and fruit-forward from 10 incremental additions of black currants over a one-hour boil. Faithfull clocks in at 7% ABV.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 710 | Reviews: 244
Reviews by MrDanno96:
Photo of MrDanno96
3.05/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours golden with about a finer of white head and some foamy lacing on the sides of the glass. About par for the Belgian SPA course.

S: Currants and earthiness, with notes of Belgian yeast in the background.

T: The currents really dominate the flavor, especially as the brew warms. Fruity sweetness, lemon, a slight spiciness from the yeast in the finish, along with a hint of bitterness. I don't really care for how the currants blend the Belgian characteristics of the brew.

M: Medium bodied with some crispy carbonation in the finish.

O: After Bitches Brew, I had high hopes for this release, but it was definitely a let down. The addition of currents was an odd choice IMO. Pearl Jam deserves better.

More User Reviews:
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.2/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer was a light gold color with a tiny white head.

It had a fresh, outdoors aroma. Some sweet malt and a little bit of fruit.

It tasted fruity (I think currant, because that's what the label said) with a kiss of citrus hops.

On the light side, but kind of refreshing.

Not a beer I would want to drink a lot of.

Photo of Beaver13
3.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle. Pours a clear straw yellow with a medium creamy white head that goes to a thin film that laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet honey wheaty malts with some earthy yeast and a little fruit.

The flavor is sweet honey malts and fruits with an earthy dry finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with slightly spritzy carbonation.

Overall, a nice belgian with honey and fruit (currants, I assume).

Photo of jondeelee
3.88/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Faithfull Ale--brewed to celebrate Pearl Jam's twentieth anniversary and their album Ten--opens with a rich, yeasty nose, smelling of fresh baked wheat breads, mixed with toast crusts and wet wheat stalks. The nose is almost entirely grain and bread, but thin threads of sugar do come through in the form of light grapefruits, touches of brown sugar, and the faintest hint of currants, the latter lending a barely perceptible currant jam overtone to the aromas. As a whole the nose is decent, but not necessarily revelatory or enticing in the way that many Dogfish Head beers are, and is perhaps overly-heavily grain-based.

On the tongue, the beer opens with the same grain-based flavors as were present in the nose--fresh wheat breads, toast crust, biscuit--but a better blend of sugars comes through, providing touches of brown sugar and wildflower honey to the brew. The currants are so intricately blended into the flavor profile as to be hardly noticeable, and instead of standing out as overpowering monoliths, add a subtle berry sweet/tartness to the brew. Had I not known that currents were added, in fact, I would have attributed these flavors to the hops and malts. Late in the mouthful, as the sugars die off, the beer becomes more grainy, tasting like fresh wheat stalks and hay straw, though enough sweetness remains to counter the earthiness. The aftertaste is a continuation of these latter flavors, and lingers for a decent time, becoming more grain-based as it ages. Mouthfeel is medium-light to medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, while this is good beer, it's just that: "good" beer. It's not "great," largely because it lacks any remarkable or distinguishing characteristics, such as many of Dogfish Head's other offerings. Even the currants, despite the fact that they were added in "10 incremental additions" during the one-hour boil, don't make a marked presence, and simply blend with everything else. This doesn't mean that the beer is not worth trying, but it does mean that you shouldn't approach this expecting the same revelatory mindbending experience that was Pearl Jam's Ten. Instead, it's just a decent brew.

Photo of ehammond1
3.7/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Clear golden, small white head, that doesn't leave much behind in the way of stick. This appears rather ordinary.

Bread, yeast, and very mild, interesting funk are present, along with the sweet, juicy aroma of black currants. Mild overall, but pleasant.

The flavor is quite nice, and the fruit is able to shine through, as there is hardly much bitterness to get in the way. There's also some grass and bread and a very mild, farmhouse funk.

Medium bodied with high carbonation. Crisp and drinkable.

Much better than I was anticipating.

Photo of alexkeil
3.23/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I like the story of how this beer came to be: DFH asked Pearl Jam what they usually drink and the answers they got back were cheap mexican beer and sweet pinot nior. What do you do with that? I was always confused how a belgian golden with currants would represent Pearl Jam, I would expect something with aggressive hops, but the backstory helps.

This is a nicely made beer with a nice creamy mouthfeel and a refreshing quality from the nice belgian malts and sweet fruit. Its very drinkable and doesn't seem like 7% abv which is a compliment.

The price tag on this one, and availablity, do not make it a frequent drinker but I'm glad I tried it.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.26/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Big glowing apricot bright orange body with an off white creamy colored head with a fluffy billowing texture. The body was slightly clouded and the head formed fine even lacing as it dwindled. I remember Au Courant never quite taking off, and all of a sudden we have a new 7% abv currant beer. The nose has a dry powdered yeast note that falls flat, a bit of a mineral character with some mild earthiness. The nose isn't very expressive with the currant fruitiness/tartness I was expecting. Flavor is actually pretty nice with a mix of sweet malt and tart fruit currants mixing together, with a wave of warmth in the alcohol and a dry Belgian yeast finish. Not much in the way of spices or yeast spiciness. There is a texture/flavor that I just don't care for amongst the currant jam sweetness that almost has a milky powdered crushed calcium tablet note about it. Mouthfeel is medium bodied moderate carbonation, something in texture weighs on the palate between each sip making it more and more difficult to quaff on. Overall this beer lacks cohesive flavors that would be expressive of such a great and timeless band like Pearl Jam. Maybe they were going for a currant jam, but I feel this beer was a rehash of an old release with less creativity behind than their other album releases like Bitches Brew or Hellhound on my Ale.

Photo of nickthegun12
3.68/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

wow, don't quite know what to say about this one!

usually i start by going down the list appearance, smell, taste, etc. but this one i think i'll review it a little differently

i like the smell of this ale nothing screams out belgian strong pale to me though....the fruitiness from the currant is a little forward in the the taste is where i'm stumped on where to place this beer...the currants hit you a little at the front but the back is very light, not much flavor...and salty!...yes salty. now thats not saying i won't like drinking the whole bottle...because it is an extremely drinkable beer....ESPECIALLY for a 7 percent abv beer...i'm really impressed by that. excellent body to this beer too!....very creamy and smooth in the i guess overall i really like this beer...but to grade it as a Belgian Strong thats a little hard to do!

Photo of mdaschaf
3.41/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Grabbed a bottle at the brewery on the day of the release.

A: Pours a surprisingly light golden color with a foamy one finger white head on top. Pretty good retention with it lasting for a few minutes until reducing down to a thin white layer on top. Lacing forms all around the glass.

S: Very faint fruit aroma, which I assume is the currants. There is a bit of pale malt and a good bit of bread present. Not much Belgian yeast or spice aroma at all.

T: Very similar to the aroma. There is some very light currant flavor as well as some pale/grain malt, and a little bit of bready malt. There really isn't much else to pick out here. I was hoping for a much stronger currant flavor, especially considering there were 10 currant additions during the boil.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Pretty smooth with no sign of alcohol.

O: A bit of a disappointment, I was hoping for a much stronger currant presence. It comes off like a rather generic BSPA, with seemingly very little of the Belgian spices even shining through.

Photo of dacrza1
3.42/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

glassware: Infinium flute....occasion: the deck is officially framed...appearance: bubbly white head that rises on a hazy gold body...aroma: fruit-fortified--the currants are sour and stronger than some reviewers have stated; not a turn-on or a turn-off, but abrupt...palate: light and spritzy--not as strong as Pearl Jam's early or late catalogue--and easily drinkable (a.k.a. little character--decidely not Eddie Vedder!)...taste: slightly pungeant, sour fruit flavors....overall: like Pearl Jam's better songs, the subtle power (alcohol) of this beer is best served in an easily drinkable package...

Photo of Metalmonk
3.58/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1500th review. Figured I should make it Faithfull to celebrate this personal milestone, not because it's my favorite DFH beer (it's not) but because DFH are hugely responsible (along with a handful of Belgian brewers) in showing me the light, beer-wise. That was a long time ago now. And I remain a faithful Pearl Jam fan, so there's longevity in common. Oh, and it can't be said enough: later Pearl Jam albums like 'Binaural,' 'Riot Act,' the self-titled and 'Backspacer' are absolutely terrific. Now for the beer...

The pour produces something very lager-ish looking, like a strong Euro lager or a Dortmunder or something...just really slight of head (which is snow white) and a sunny golden/yellow color with good clarity. Head disappears quickly.

Aroma isn't promising. There's a bit of mineral/coin underneath a honey-like sweetness, a fairly limp hop personality, and a lot of white grape. But it doesn't shine. It don't shine at all...

The taste is what counts most, and we basically get a near-fascimile of Midas Touch. Has that abundant and clean white grape/raisin at the forefront, the lick of honey, and the overall breezy, easy-drinking simplicity of that elder beer. Faithfull is less sweet than M.T. probably, and with a thinner body. Slight bit of alcohol warmth creeps in, especially with warming, but 7% is never enough to threaten dominance. A lot of pear and pear juice follows in the warming. Crisp and well-carbonated, there's a nice mineral/honey/white grape character hanging around in the finish, as well as a slight hop bitterness.

Don't it make me smile? Yes, it does, but that's all it makes me do. It's nice. It's even nicer if you like Midas Touch (I do). And especially nice if you wanted this bottle for your personal Pearl Jam collection (I did). But really, Pearl Jam deserves a way better, more exciting, more complex beer, but hey, it's the thought that counts.

Photo of beerfan99
3.7/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2011 - 750ml bottle

A: Gold in color, clear, thick white head, and appears to be quite. Very nice bottle label design, I should probably increase the score here.

S: Immediately detect yeasty and sour aromas, almost like a Berliner-Weiss aroma. Very faint fruit smell comes through, I never would have guessed currants were responsible.

T: Matches the faint fruit aroma, the fruit flavor is in the background and tough to detect. Definitely not a Berliner-Weiss, those aromas did not carry over to the taste.

M: Light on the palate, good carbonation, alcohol is masked well, and pretty drinkable.

O: A little disappointed, unfortunately. I don't think this beer matched the hype and does not do Pearl Jam justice as the official beer to commemorate their 20 years as a band. I might pick up another, but primarily for the bottle, not the beer.

Photo of Sammy
3.41/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer itself was rather ordinary. Something funky in the aroma, and farmhouse in the taste. Clear golden bodied with a generous retained head. Wasn’t getting the current taste too strongly.Average mouthfeel.
Not super drinkable or particularly worth seeking out.

Photo of tdm168
3.58/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pearl Jam's Ten and VS albums are among my favorite albums of all time so I was pumped when DFH signed on to make an anniversary ale for the 20th anniversary of Ten.

This beer pours a medium gold color with a 1/2" of white, foamy head that has great retention. The nose is simple with faint notes of Belgian yeast and fruity aromas. The taste is simple; faint lemon grass, crystal malt and some faint fruit. It's medium bodied, very smooth, and has good carbonation.

I have to say I'm disappointed. This is more or less a typical Belgian Ale. It's simple and leaves me wanting more. For an anniversary ale I was expecting so much more. This definitely wasn't worth the $15 price tag.

Photo of zaphodchak
3.22/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Finger of white head. Retains decently. Deep golden body, clear. Some lace.

Bizarre smell. Like burnt popcorn kernels?

If there's currant in here, I don't get it. Kinda stanky/horsey/funky. Traces of spice like a saison, I guess. Significant coriander presence. Maybe some currant on the aftertaste.

Decent feel, smooth with some fluff.

Well, this is slightly underwhelming, but no real complaints. I've got a second bottle, we'll see if it does anything with age.

Photo of socon67
3.08/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle generously shared by Ed at my first hosted tasting event.

A - Pours golden with a white foam. Some carbonation is visible. Slight lacing.

S - Smell was of fruit, but hard to say currants. I got more of a dried apricot scent.

T - Taste was.... kinda bland. Got some notes of fruit and a slight tangy vibe from belgian yeast. But overall I found it on the weak side.

M - Easily drinkable, but felt watery.

O - I'm usually a big fan of DFH, but this one didn't do much for me. Not bad, but so far from memorable.

Photo of dirtylou
2.71/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

750ml bottle, split

appearance: cool Pearl Jam "twenty" theme, pours a slick clear golden straw body, 1/3" foamy white head, very light ring of lace

smell: bread/dough, stale fruit, lemon peel

taste: DFH lost me years ago unfortunately - their experimental stuff is commendable but always seems to fall flat. the currants in this beer are found in the aftertaste, musty, bread, stale, lemon peel, spiced yeast. Sam is very gifted, but does he really think this tastes good?

mouthfeel: a bit dry in the finish, somewhat of a spoiled-milk aftertaste

overall: Miss.

Photo of prototypic
3.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Faithfull Ale pours a lighter yellow color. It’s crystal clear. Backlighting gives is a very light gold look. It’s capped with a soft white head that rises to about a finger in height. It recedes somewhat quickly, leaving a very light, spotty lacing behind. Eh. Doesn’t look bad. Not very good either.

The nose is rather average. It’s not very strong and needs more muscle. It does have a grainy, earthy scent that lingers throughout. There’s a bit of Belgian yeast and perhaps some derivative clove and pepper scents. Light fruit notes of apple and pear are present. They’re very subtle though. I’m not getting any currants. Alcohol is a little noticeable, but doesn’t seem offensive. It’s just okay. Needs more strength.

The flavor is easily a notch better than the nose. It kicks off with some light malty notes. There’s a touch of a sweet flavor, but not much. Belgian yeast is noted and has a nice flavor. It adds some spicy clove and pepper to the mix. Light fruity notes of apple and pear work well in the mix. There are some other fruity notes I suspect are attributable to the currants. It is earthy and grainy throughout. Light grassy hops emerge on the tail. Tastes like noble hops to me. Alcohol is there, but is relatively mild. Finishes earthy, grassy, and a tad fruity.

Faithfull Ale has a body that’s on the lighter side of medium. Carbonation is active, but isn’t buzzy. It feels somewhat smooth. It goes down alright. I won’t have any problem finishing off this 750, but I would’ve preferred a smaller bottle.

Faithfull Ale is alright beer, but isn’t great. I had hoped for a little better. Frankly, it just seems to be a little lacking in every department. It could use a little more of everything. The flavor really needs a bit more pizzazz. A bit more fruit flavor or more hops might do the trick. It’s alright though. Definitely worth a try.

Photo of Heatwave33
4.4/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle to a Dogfish Head shaped Pint.

Color: Clear gold with a white head.

Smell: Fruits (peach, mango, lemon), hops, malts and yeast.

Taste: Fruits (peach, mango, lemon), hops, malts and yeast.

Mouthfeel: Great carbonation, slightly coarse and dry on the palate.

Overall: Turned out to be better than I anticipated. I got a nice Fruit aroma and taste which was great. Definitely will drink another one. Cheers!

Photo of Doppelbockulus
2.21/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Disappointing. Why did I pour this into my graffiti special edition Duvel Glass?

This looks like a standard golden ale, not anything bad.

The smell seems kind of faint, only a little alcohol and yeast, I don't get any fruit or malt out of this.

The taste, seemingly the most important part of the beer, is limited and not really pleasing. It isn't horrible, but it is below par on the taste scale that I use, in which Bud Light is par (and about 2.5). Flavor profile seems to be a combination of clean refreshing water and malt liquor with dust. Oddly reminiscent of Colt 45 or Olde English 800, not what you want in a special offering from Dogfish Head, unless it is their brown bagged 40... which this is not!

Feels like...water with a small bit of tannic acid and some carbonation.

My advice is only get this if you really like Pearl Jam or are trying to collect everything from Dogfish Head.

Photo of Alieniloquium
2.98/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

750 mL bottle shared with some Pearl Jam fans. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Crystal clear yellow. Nice white head and some good lacing. But really, it looks flavorless.

Smell - Musty dry smell. Somewhat yeasty and sweet smelling. Fruits, but I couldn't possibly identify it as currants.

Taste - Sweet light malts and a slight acidic tinge to it. Mildly bitter finish and just a hint of, again, unrecognizable fruit. Apparently it's currants.

Mouthfeel - Thick. Really thick for something so light in flavor. Very musty finish.

Overall - A very average BPA, if that's really what it is. Lacking complexity and fruit. Just about nothing exciting about this beer.

Photo of Kegatron
3.58/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle into a couple of tulip glasses.

Pours a clear gold, with 1 ½ fingers of rich bright-white head. This maintains a solid ½ finger of sudsy froth, which slathers the sides of the glass with robust spotty lacing. The aroma smells festive in the nose, with a mix of spice, currants, green citrus, and a honeyed sweetness, which is all propped up in the nostrils by a little alcohol thickness. The spice and currants really stick out here in the aroma.

The taste is similar, with dark currant flavor that is prominent but not overbearing, thanks to an equally strong malt backbone of honey sweetness and toasted bread. There is a decent bit of earthy bitterness present as well which in turn helps offset some of that sweetness, while a fairly lively spice presence lingers into a dry finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, possibly a touch fuller, with a firm and prickly feel on the tongue that segues into more of a rigid creaminess across the back of the palate. The overall body on this is actually pretty drinkable considering the amount of warm chewiness that is present from the alcohol.

This wasn’t bad. It might not have been the most complex beer I’ve ever had but what is here is pretty well balanced and worked well enough together. The currant flavor and spice were probably the highlights of this for me. It’s probably worth checking out if you still see it out there.

Photo of seedsofchaos
3.41/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared this bottle with my wife, paired with a meal of tomato-bacon linguine and freshly steamed green beans with garlic.

Golden honey in color, Faithfull pours with a big, fluffy white head. Great clarity, active carbonation throughout and a light body highlight this brew's appearance.

With a bouquet mostly of fruity esters, this delicate Belgian is fairly simple overall. Lots of yeast and fresh, undercooked bread in the nose. A touch of pear is in there as well.

Oddly, the only fruits I get from this ale "brewed with currants" is that from the yeast. The pear echoes in the aftertaste as well, but overall currant flavor is absent. Very mild with a sparkling-esque mouthfeel, Faithfull complimented our clean meal very well. Alcohol is well hidden but is quite warming. Just a touch of spice for good measure but a delicate beer, all in all.

Dogfish Head does quite well when taking fairly common and contemporary styles and jazzing them up just a bit. I think they did fall a bit short in this rendition, however, simply due to the lack of noticeable traits from a primary ingredient listed on the beer's jacket. The wife and I enjoyed the dry finish but were hoping for just a bit more complexity from added fruit.

Photo of hdelavega
3.73/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured to a tulip from a 750.
Pours a clear golden color with about a finger of white head that dissolves in a hurry down a thin film with a decent collar, very light sporadic spotty lacing.
Pretty aromatic nose. Currants are present with a little malty sweetness, and some other fruits.
Taste is sweet with a somewhat dry finish. I get currants, honey, some sweet maltieness, with just a little bit of hop at the end.
Mouthfeel is a bit sticky, medium light carbonation, medium body.
Alcohol is very well hidden, and the finish is pretty clean leaving a nice lingering sweetness on the palate.
I have read a lot of people stating that this beer was a disappointment. I honestly don't know what they are talking about. This is a pretty interesting and flavorfull view on a Belgian strong pale ale. I don't care if DFH is a "sell out" or if this beer is not good enough for pearl jam or who ever, I'd say it is worth a try if you can find it for $14 or less.

Photo of Vonerichs
3.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Crystal clear golden body. The head is short-lived and thin.

It smells like a sweet tart and young, unrip pear.

Sweet and tart, flavors of white fruits. I presume currant is one of the flavors I pick up along with white grapes and pear, and grainy malt.

Mouthfeel is soft with prickly carbonation.

Overall, it's a pretty typical and average belgian pale ale. It's a decent beer, but for $14.99 I feel completely ripped off.

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Faithfull Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
77 out of 100 based on 710 ratings.