Positive Contact - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Positive ContactPositive Contact

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,067 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,067
Reviews: 219
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 13.09%
Wants: 88
Gots: 161 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Brewery visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
Witbier |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: THECPJ on 12-28-2011

Positive Contact is the second batch of the Imperial Belgian-Style Wheat beer that Sam and Ben brewed a couple months back. For this batch, we stepped up the spice and cider additions. Instead of 200 lbs of apples, Ben pressed 300 lbs of organic Fuji apples for a total addition of 25 gallons of fresh pressed cider, which was added to the whirlpool in order to really bring out the cider character. The amount of cilantro was nearly quadrupled with 4 lbs total, which was pureed with a portion of the cider and then added after the boil was done. The cayenne was doubled, but added directly before the beer was transferred from the kettle to the fermenter in an effort to minimize the burn while increasing the flavor and aroma contributed. A different type of wit yeast was used and then fermented slightly cooler to keep the yeast character minimal and act as a supporting role to the main players the cider and spices. Lastly, this batch was boiled for less time than the original batch, leaving the beer with a lighter straw color than the amberish hue of batch #1.

Overall, Positive Contact is characterized by its bright spritzy cider character and autumnal herbal quality derived from the cilantro, cayenne, and yeast.

19 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,067 | Reviews: 219
Reviews by BeerAdvocate:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #67 (August 2012):

LOOK: Golden, slight haze, incredible mountainous foam head

SMELL: Phenolic (gummy and mildly medicinal), nutty, cilantro, floral, Belgian-y

TASTE: Incredibly smooth and creamy, semi-viscous, fresh, sweet apples, candy, alcohol, cilantro, grass, light cayenne pepperiness, grain, nutty, lingering phenols

Food meets beer. Literally, but no chewing required. Brewed with Dan the Automator (Deltron 3030) using Fuji cider, slow-roasted farro, cayenne and fresh cilantro, and fermented with a Belgian yeast strain. Except for being bit too sweet, this is an incredible display of collaboration and creativity.

More User Reviews:
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.96/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter, the beer was a clear gold color with a medium-sized white head. There was a bit of lace.

The aroma was mostly that of apple cider. There was some peppery spice and some grassy hops.

Mostly cider in the taste. Grassy hops. The pepper showed up late, and left an aftertaste which was not unpleasant.

Crisp and light. An easy drinking beer.

Photo of Jason
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml brown bottle with no freshness date

LOOK: Bright yellow color, tiny bubble head, great lacing

SMELL: Asian pear, earthy, grassy, crackers, cider, alcohol, mild spice, Chinese parsley

TASTE: Smooth, slightly bitter, grainy, cider twang, spicy, warming alcohol, lemongrass, rose water, fresh biscuits, very dry finish

Very drinkable, careful now! So many layers to this brew, you think you've tasted it all until you take your next sip and then it peels away another flavor or goes back to one you tasted on your first sip. A lot of fun drinking this beer. Thanks DFH!!

Photo of jondeelee
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Positive Contact opens with an aroma that bears a distinct apple cider note, but not overly so, the sweet apple blended nicely with fresh wheat, banana, coriander, pepper, lemon, and an almost sarsaparilla earthiness. The fruit notes here are predominant, but underpinned nicely by earthy, spicy tones. Some touches of brown bread, caramel, and brown sugar add further sugary textures, these being darker and a nice counter to the bright banana, apple, and lemon. As a whole, the nose is very interesting, smelling much like a Belgian cut with apple cider, with a few funky earthy notes thrown in for good measure. My only qualm is that one of these funky earthy notes bears, at least to my nose, a strong resemblance to dry dirt, and doesn’t mix well with the other fragrances.

On the tongue, the beer opens with strong banana, clove, coriander, and pepper notes, bearing much resemblance in this respect to a Belgian. The differences are made more apparent by the presence of a spicy cayenne pepper burn on the soft tissues (the flavor itself hardly noticeable, however), and a good apple cider undercurrent. It’s important to note that the apple cider blends extremely well, and in fact might not be recognized as apple cider were it not printed on the label; it could be easily mistaken for malt-based apple fruit esters. Some brown bread notes lie just below, joined by brown sugar. The aftertaste is a continuation of the main flavors, with a slight increase in the cayenne pepper burn, and lingers for a good while. Very late in the aftertaste, however, a stale apple cider flavor coats the tongue and soft palate, leaving--at least on this reviewer’s tongue--a slightly waxy feel. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is good beer, and represents the masterful blending of strange ingredients typical of Dogfish Head’s brews. The results is a nicely balanced beverage that bears only slight reminders of the 9% ABV, and includes an excellent series of fruit and spice flavors. The tail end of the aftertaste is strange and, in some ways, unpleasant, marking one of the beer’s few weaknesses. Still, this is worth trying.

Photo of Franziskaner
3.76/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Rich golden color with excellent clarity. There's an inch of tightly knit bright white foam and some light Brussels lacing. I get a lot of spices within the aroma but I think the cilantro and cider stand out the most. The flavor is powerfully spiced and you really get the cilantro which is a bit refreshing and gives it a vegetal edge. The cider gives a light sweetness. The cayenne gives a slight warmth and and the cider offers some dryness in the mouth.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.06/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful golden ale brought forth from a cider base of pressed Fuji apples, cilantro, cayenne, and roasted faro. Hazed just slightly glowing golden body with a bright white head, forms fine lacing around the sides of my glass. Aroma has tart apples freshly sliced in the forefront with hints of herbal spice with a peppery cayenne kick in the nares....really complex well brewed offering from one of my favorite brewers and rappers Dan the Automator aka Deltron 3030 aka Del the Funky Homosapien. No overt sweetness on the palate just tasty sliced apples, spicy cayenne and cilantro interplay, a nice mix of flavors bready yeast biscuit malt and cracker dough added to the spectrum. Nares are lightly kissed with the spice additions of the cayenne and cilantro, a really well done carbonation level effervescent fine ale carries the beer just right across my palate. It works really well for me, the type of beer I can drink by myself, with friends, or with food it's a triple threat great tasting complex and drinkable you can't hate on that. Toward the end I paired it with a spicy Nicaraguan cigar Ortega Wild Bunch series #4 Tony the Boss Churchill great spicy smoke leather in the tobacco pairs well with the spice and light apple sweetness, I'm diggin' the combo it works together so nicely.

Photo of chinchill
3.69/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle (2013?) served in a Belgian snifter.
Pours a clear, deep golden color with a thin, weak head.

Aroma: There's a lot going on here. Spicy and interesting with a clear presence of apples, but the total is not entirely appealing to me, due in no small part to the occasional hint of cider vinegar.

Flavor: again complex with some ephemeral nuances. The Belgian Wit style and the use of apples do come out clearly. The warmth from the cayenne pepper is rather subtle.

M: Medium body and tinglingly carbonation.

O: This unusual, creative beer is a success, with a nicely crafted use of cilantro, apple cider, cayenne pepper and other unusual beer ingrediants producing a complex, interesting, fruity and distinctive blend that is well balanced (given the goal of creating a cider/beer hybrid) and still lets the underlying Belgian Wit character shine thru. Recommended.

Photo of ianjsullivan
3.82/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

ST: 750 poured into a wine glass.

A: Dark gold with a thick two-finger white head. The head reduces to half within a minute and leaves spotty lacing.

S: Lots of apple and cilantro with a spicy smoky edge.

T: Creamy apple with citrus from the cilantro meets the smokey spice from the cayenne in the finish.

M: Medium and creamy

O: A very interesting beer. The apple and citrus is complimented well by the spice of the pepper. I was surprised at how creamy the beer is; I was expecting crisp. It reminds me of the heavier cider (without alcohol) I buy in the fall. The flavors are subtle rather than aggressive, which is not always the case for Dogfish Head beers. I would recommend trying this beer.

Photo of rdilauro
3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours like a a light American Lager, except this one is somewhat more brilliant and you almost see some body in this beer. The head was a nice but short white creamy head.

I had a hard time picking out one assertive bouquet. There were several different noses going on, all nice. At the first sip, the apple taste can right through. It was a crisp , not to tart of an apple taste along with some very complimenting spices.

At each sip, I discovered more apple and spices. This is a soft big round beer that you will enjoy keeping in your mouth a bit. The aftertaste trails away gracefully and I always hope beers do.

A good beer for the Spring time

Photo of mdaschaf
3.57/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes.

A: Served in a goblet, the beer was a dark orange color with a very small off-white head on top, just covering the top, with extremely thin lacing that does not last.

S: Definitely get the cider and apple on the aroma. There is a slight grassy component and a hint of heat, probably from the cayenne.

T: An apple forward witbier for sure. There is a little bit of pear and an herbal flavor. There is a little bit of hot spice at the back and as the beer goes down.

M: Medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, probably could have been a bit higher.

O: A different take on a witbier and a nice change of pace from the normal offerings at DFH.

Photo of RockyTopHeel
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden color with a fizzy white head. Aroma of honey, apples and wheat.

More apples and sweet honey on the tongue with a touch of spice (I'm not able to pick out the cayenne and cilantro immediately), a big bready biscuit character and a slightly cloying finish. Reminds me of a lot of tripels I've had. Very warm in the finish, where the cayenne begins to come through. I think I can pick up the cilantro in the aftertaste, but I might just be talking myself into it. As I drink more, the distinct apple character fades a bit and I'm left with a solid, tripel-like beer.

Really interesting, really enjoyable.

Photo of DrewShal9
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL poured into an Ommegang rose tulip.
A: slightly hazy golden body that initially poured a 3 finger white head. Tiny bubble are constantly escaping but maintaining a thin white head that has left a foamy lacing.
S: faint alcohol, banana and clove from the yeast, spices, hints of apple and cayenne
T: apple, banana and clove as the nose depicts. Maybe a hint of some cilantro? Not really pronounced and tastes more like a tripel to me.
M: almost like 1% milk but the alcohol thins it out. Very smooth which helps the drinkability and some hints of cayenne come out as a tingling sensation on the tongue.
O: I was expecting bigger things from this as I had waited about 4you months to this be released and distributed. Would definitely drink this again though as I feel this has grown on me as I neared the end of the bottle.

Photo of CanuckRover
3.79/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a near-straw, not the colour I was expecting from a witbier. Nice dense head though with great retention.

Really nice aroma. Wheat, plenty of yeast, a good hit of cilantro.

Fruity start, leaning towards banana. Nice bit of coriander, coupled with a good wit yeast. Cider kicks up in the finish, bringing on tartness, sugary sweet, at times just a bit much. Missing the Cayenne.

Good enough, but lacks the follow-through you might expect from the description. At times it drinks more like a Belgian pale than a witbier.

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dogfish Head "Positive Contact"
750 ml, corked and caged.
$13.99 @ Wegmans market, Malvern, PA

Appearance: Hazy golden/straw-colored body. Short-lived bright white head. Minimal to average lacing. Looks like a glass of Champagne.

Smell: Pepper. Chalky/herbal. Sugary wheat/vanilla. Yeast. Spice. Apple. Sugar. Soft Phenol. Mineral.

Taste: As the flavor suggests with the addition of some white grape, alcohol, and candy sugar. Interesting. The combination of the tartness of the cider and the phenols from the yeast gives me an impression not unlike that of a wild ale. It's complex, and yet everything's on the surface (as opposed to a heavy barleywine where the complexities lie within layers of malt). Refreshing.

Mouthfeel: Medium and spritzy.

Overall: Unique. Easy to drink and refreshing, but also surprisingly complex.

Photo of zaphodchak
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big fluffy white head, amber color body with slight haze.

Smell drips with Belgian yeast and banana-like esters, very much like a hefeweizen or a sweet tripel.

The spicing here works really well to keep it from being too sweet. Not particularly appley, but a bid of dryish cider. The cayenne in particular you can kinda feel on the finish. Cilantro is not really forward, but kinda lends a bit of extra vegetal quality to it.

The spice gives a little tingle, otherwise kinda standard.

Kinda straddles the definition between wit and tripel at 9%, and it's good. Nothing about it is bizarre, but it's well balanced, considering the ingredients.

Photo of WoodBrew
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Boulvard's in Johnstown, PA in a tulip glass. Pours a cloudy amber color, fruity nose to it. It is essentially a high powered Heffe. Medium bodied, nice mouthfeel. Actually don't get too much of a cider taste at all, but just a well balanced tasty brew with an assortment of fruity flavors and hops. Surprisingly smooth, finishes clean... was pleasantly surprised at how good this beer was... try it out if you can.

Photo of prototypic
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Positive Contact pours a lighter gold color. It’s rather hazy and looks a little more yellow-ish or straw colored when held to light. It’s topped with a soft white head that stands under a finger tall. It falls back to a surface covering quickly and holds there for quite a while. Lacing was stick and moderate in volume. Looks good!

The nose is good. It features a strong earthy, grainy scent up front. Apple is definitely noted early on. It definitely smells a little sweet and sugary. There are some light spicy notes, but they seem subdued amidst the apple. I’m getting a little coriander and perhaps some orange peel. Seems like there are some white grape notes at the secondary level. Alcohol is a little noticeable, but is blended quite well for 9%. All in all, it smells good.

The flavor really is pretty darn good, as well. I wasn’t expecting much, but it is. The base is a little sweet and sugary. It’s definitely earthy and grainy throughout. Apple is very noticeable in each sip. It works quite well into the mix. Spicy notes of orange peel and coriander are noted. At the secondary level, white grapes and an herbal flavor emerge. Alcohol is actually more pronounced than I’d like. It’s not warm or hot, but it’s slightly boozy tasting. Finishes with a mix of apple and spicy flavors.

The body is on the lighter side of medium. Carbonation seems active, but the bubbles are soft. It goes down alright. If not for its size and alcohol flavor, I could probably finish a 750 with ease. As it is, I’m splitting it. Not bad though.

Positive Contact is an interesting beer. I’ve come to expect no less from Dogfish Head. It’s good beer, but it’s not great beer. The alcohol flavor comes through a little too strong and it just seems too big for the style. Definitely worth checking out though.

Photo of tempest
3.66/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Lots of cider, only a little wit spice. I'd prefer it a bit more dry and drinkable.

Photo of boesesfleisch
3.96/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Hazy, more of a golden color than a typical witbier.

S: Apple hits you right in the face, followed by a citrus resembling the classic witbier style. Slight pine on the back of the nose.

T: The first taste follows the smell; apple and citrus being most prominent, with a hint of cilantro. The lingering flavor is cayenne without the heat.

M: Initially, it was very hard to believe that it was a 9% ABV; it drank much closer to a 6-7. After warming up, the alcohol became more palpable. It has a mild prickliness at lower temperatures similar to a hard cider.

O: A very good beer that is an interesting take on the witbier style. pick it up.

Photo of hooliganlife
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours a slightly dark golden yellow with hints of burnt orange. thick white creamy head.

apple cider and belgian yeast. some light spice.

rather funky with a strong belgian yeast presence. the cider is also very noticeable. i would never know there was cayenne pepper or cilantro had i not see the ingredients. a bit one dimensional.

thick, full, and creamy. slightly sticky finish.

overall, nothing i was blown away by. not for the price.

Photo of sjones5045
3.62/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This pours a yellowish orange with a nice white head. Kind of lighter than a cider and darker than a whitbier. The smell is nothing remarkable. Reminds me a little of a farmhouse ale and a little like a Belgium strong. The taste was also a lot more ordinary than I was expecting. I really pick up no cilantro or cheyann or really not a whole heck of a lot of cider either. It does have a Belgium spice to it with a nice finish but was hoping for a lot more. Most disappointed in the missing cheyann since I was wishing this would have a little bit to it. Overall, very drinkable and clean. Not what I was expecting at all though. Just another me too kind of beer. Still love Dogfish Head though.

Photo of DonDirkA
4.62/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The nose has some similar notes as other pepper-infused ales I've had. Yeasty wheat, apples, lemon and a sharp spicy kick. The fruity notes and spicy notes blend together in a very interesting way. Taste is very strong of apple cider, which is actually surprising. I expected the cider flavors to be muted. Sweet, apples, breadiness and the cayenne kick is really relegated to being a feeling in the back of the throat instead of hotness up front. There's a very slight hint of flavor from the cilantro, but not as much as I'd hoped. The cayenne kinda creeps up in your throat as you wait. Its like a surprise gift (if you like spice). This is one of the best new DFH specialties I have had in a long time. It'd be better if I was listening to the Deltron 3030 remix album with it though...

NOTE: The cayenne heat crept up a lot later. It made my stomach warm up a lot, but not uncomfortably. My only real wish is slightly more apple taste (even though I know they stepped it up) and considerably more cilantro taste (but not enough to be overpowering). Overall though it was very good.

Photo of thagr81us
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared by myself during BRoss242’s send-off party before he moves! Will miss you man! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured neon yellow with a half finger white head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, apple cider, wheat, grain, and fruit. The flavor was of sweet malt, fruit, banana, apple, and wheat. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty decent brew. Apple cider in a beer… Hmmm, this is a big bottle of Woodchuck. Wait, shit! This isn’t my Woodchuck Cider! But seriously, I’m not really sure how I feel about this one, but the rest of the beer helped to carry it through as a decent representative for the style. Not sure if I would drink this one again though and I really feel sorry for those who bought a case of these unless you only wanted the vinyl collection.

Photo of inandon
4.07/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Positive contact has a light pour with a bubbly light head. The second you open the bottle, a strong cider smell hits your nose. Despite it cider smell it does not taste as sweet. It is more of a beer twist on cider.

One consistent flavor with no after taste.
I would describe it as a light pale ale with some cinnamon apple flavoring.
Not heavy but light and bubble feel similar to a sparking cider.

I was hoping that it would have more cayenne undertones to it. I feel it just needs a kick extra to put it over the top as a dogfish head beer

Overall I would recommend this as a summer beer and I would pick up a second bottle if it wasn't soo limited.

Photo of nimrod979
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750ml Bottle poured into a DFH snifter.

Appearance: Pours a lovely golden orange with a slight haze. Two fingers of thick white frothiness. Amazing retention and thick lacing glued to my glass.

Aroma: Interesting apple cider, fruity and yeasty, trace aromas of some spice. Hints of a banana/clove hefeweizen type aroma.

Taste: Same as nose. Apple and pear fruity flavors, wheat, and some spice quality, though not anything that is clearly detectable.(Not getting a defining cayenne or cilantro)

Mouthfeel: A bit lighter body, soft carbonation. A bit dry in the finish. 9% is not detectable. Not a bad offering.

Another off-centered-ale from DFH.

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Positive Contact from Dogfish Head Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 1,067 ratings.