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: 160 | 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
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 DrDemento456
4.07/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Got another Goblet fill of this at the Beermuda. Quite a steal for $4.50 since bottles of the stuff were 12+ dollars.

A - Bright golden in hue clear with a 1/2 of head that settles to some excellent lacing.
S - Smell is sweet but not getting any apples. Mostly dominated by wheat and Belgium yeast that gives way to candied sugars which may also be the apples.
T - For so much apples I only got a mild sweetness from them and no pepper flavor. Just tasted like an imperial Witbier with again strong wheat and sweet Belgium sugars and yeasts. I am sure the apple process does attribute to how smooth the flavors are so the beer is exceptional.
M - Wow no freaking way is this 9%! So smooth and refreshing but not overly bubbly like a champagne. Dangerously drinkable.

Overall I was impressed with this beer for how tasty the flavors were and how well the ABV was hidden. Wish the bottles were not so expensive I would have grabbed a few.

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - a slight haze to an otherwise golden straw colored beer. A nice pillowy head of white foam with plenty of creaminess and stick.

Aroma - not much going on. A pilsnery kind of grain smell, a touch of cayenne. Interesting but very light.

Taste - very Belgianesque. A yeasty predominance on the first sip, slightly sweet, which I presume is the cider because I'm tasting no apples. A little abv strength. Like an imperial wit would taste. Interesting aftertaste, I think I'm picking up the farro, an unusual roasty flavor I'm not familiar with. I don't taste the cayenne but I feel it. A nice blend not only of taste but also of sensation. Ends cleanly with some warming in the belly.

Mouthfeel - pleasant smoothness and crisp carbonation makes for a refreshing brew. Big body, sort of like a malt liquor but not so slick.

Overall - pricey but a tasty bottle. Very easy to drink and enjoy.

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Served on tap in a chalice glass

Appearance – The beer is served a golden orange color with tons of carbonation bubbles seen streaming through the brew and a one finger white head floating atop the brew. As the brew sits, the head fades very slowly fades leaving a good level of streaky lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the brew is very sweet of fruit, with the aromas heavy of apple cider, pear and some tropical fruits. Along with these aromas are spice smells of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and cayenne A little bit of an herbal smell as well as a little bit of a bready malt smell are there as well to round out the aroma.

Taste – The taste begins with a sweet apple cider flavor mixed with some spice flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg. As the taste advances some yeast and a little bit of clove and coriander come to the tongue. The sweeter flavors loss a little bit of ground as some light tart apple cider flavors come to the taste. Some grassy and herbal flavors work there in as well as a little bit of wheat and a moderate cayenne spice toward the end to leave a nicely spiced cider flavor on the tongue.

Mouthfeel- The body of the brew is average to a little on the lighter side for a brew of 9 % abv with a carbonation level that is a bit on the higher side. The higher carbonation is rather nice for the cider characteristics of the brew making it a rather refreshing brew even in light of its higher abv.

Overall – A rather tasty take on a strong wit beer/cider hybrid. Rather refreshing and a good one to give a try to.

Photo of brentk56
3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color with a modest foamy head that leaves some splashy lace behind

Smell: Fuji apple and sweaty feet with a soapy aspect

Taste: Apple cider flavors, up front, with the cayenne adding heat in the middle; soapy flavors, after the swallow, though the cider flavors linger underneath

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: This is one of the Dogfish "misses" for me; really don't care for what the cilantro brings - normally I like cilantro but I am certainly not picking it up in this beer

Photo of mountdew1
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Color was a golden amber, almost like a apple juice. A few small streams of carbonation rose from the bottom. The head was a 1 finger fluffy white that only last 2 or 3 minutes. Initially poured similar to a sparkling apple cider. Aroma was like a sweet apple cider. Not as sweet as a juice, but the apples were definitely noticeable. A small bit of banana in the back as well. Flavor was sweet, but still a bit dry. A little bit of peppery yeast as well. Coated nicely. Not overly stickey or chewy. Not as much carbonation as I would expect on the style notes. Overall a unique beer. Not necessarily true to style notes, but well balanced with a very unique flavor.

Photo of 12ouncecurls
3.42/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - 2 fingers head, very fine bubbles with good lacing, color was slightly opaque being a bright, orange and honey mix.

S - sweet and fruity with a spicy, yeasty tinge to it.

T - well balanced considering the components, first reaction is dry for a cider and sweet for a beer, I do taste that banana/clove sensation that other reviewers have mentioned, did not taste any heat from the cayenne, but did notice the slightly soapy taste coming from the cilantro.

MF - pretty shapeshifting, I thought very creamy up front, but finishing pretty dry and bitter

O - I think it's a pretty well executed beer considering the components, however not a beer I would add to the list to remember, skip the cilantro and I would try again ( usually hate the taste unless the peppers have enough heat to overpower it)

Photo of MistahBeah
3.96/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a light orange hue with a thin bubbly head and patchwork lacing. Looks bubbly. Hazy

Smells of fresh apples and oranges. Spicy yeast

Tastes first of crisp wheat and zesty oranges. Sweet juicy apples with moderate spice follow on the midpalate. Remains sweet for the majority of its stay. Finishes spicy and slightly herbal. Fairly complex and very tasty especially for a witbier which aren't my favorite

Feels light and effervescent. Goes down smooth with a lingering spiciness that plays on the tongue

Overall a very nice example of what can be done to make a witbier stand out. Its not my favortie but it certainly stands out. The 9% is well-hidden and its very tasty. The price is a little high but it certainly wouldn't be an all-the-time beer for me. Give it a shot

Photo of philbe311
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Three fingers worth of slightly whimsical ultra fluffy head comprised of big chunky bubbles with a very rocky top that is bone white in terms of color... Rock solid retention utlimately gives way to a full rocky lacing... The color is a pale straw color with a hint of orange mixed in that has a bit of an unexpected light green hue when back lit... A moderate bit of moderate paced carbonation... A very limited bit of lacing clings to the glass...

S - The cider component is first... It leads with the warm sweetness of Fiji apples. There is also a very light granny smith tartness... There is a light candied sugar sweetness... Next come the Witbier components in terms of wheat and light Belgian yeast... The cayenne pepper is present, but muted and buried way beneath the surface... The light kiss of assorted spices on the finish adds a world of depth and complexity... Excellent aroma...

T - Opposite the nose, this one starts with the Witbier components at the forefront... Wheat, orange peel, and Belgian yeast... Next comes the sweetness of the apple cider... The sweetness is pleasant and refreshing and far from overpowering... Next, their is a wave of spices on the finish... The cayenne is muted, but it liners on the tongue post finish for quite a while...

M - Medium bodied... Dense... Somewhat sleek... Limited carbonation... The finish is somewhat dry and the spices work their magic...

D - Dogfish is known for the "off centered" ales and fearless experimentation... This one may be the most "out there" and it comes with surprising results... While this is not something I would drink with regularity, it really is something that anyone looking to challenge their palate and experience something should check out... A Witbier + Cider + Cayenne Pepper = WTF??? But you know what, it oddly works and makes for a refreshing and enjoyable brew...

Photo of Labeorphile
4.44/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from large bottle into a pint glass. Cloudy pale straw color with thousands of streams of bubbles supporting a huge fluffy head.

Spicy smell from the cayenne pepper mixed in with the traditional scents of a Witbier. Can also find the Full apples.

Some cilantro comes through in the taste. Spicy with well-hidden alcohol. Still warming on the back of palate. Mouth feel is a bit different.

All in all a great beer. May be too much going on to really get it all, but I like it.

Photo of mfnmbvp
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle (1 pint 9.4 fl oz.) with no apparent bottled on date present. Exponentially excited to finally have this beer, as I have been looking forward to it for a while now.

Poured into a Firestone Walker pint glass.

A - Pours a fluffy doughy white head on top of a golden yellow colored body with plenty of sediment suspended in the glass. Some thin scattered cavernous looking lacing.

S - Smell is of fruity bubblegum malts and yeast & a sweet apple cider scent. Some cloves and other spices present as well.

T - Taste is of bubblegum malts, some cloves, herbal notes of cilantro, miscellaneous herbal spices, sweet Fuji apple is definitely present. Bit of sweet tart apple cider on the finish, but I wish there was more.

M - Feel is dry and tart, with lots of sweet apple skin tartness lingering on the palate. Bit of spiciness lingering on the finish, also.

Overall, a nice albeit strange combination. I'm a fan of the cider half of this beer, and it blends in nicely with the witbier half, but I wish this beer was more cider and less witbier in all honesty. Extremely well-hidden big 9.00% abv, this is definitely a beer to try out at least once for any reason. I'm not a big witbier fan in the first place, but I'm glad to have tried this beer, and I look forward to future Dogfish Head collaborations with music artists.

Dogfish Head Positive Contact ---4/5.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really like this beer- in fact, I'm surprised by how much I like this beer. I was pretty sure that the cider addition was going to be over done and it would be too tart and thin, or it would be over spiced and taste like potpourri. Luckily, you don't get either of those. What you do get is a perfectly balanced beer with a lot of apple flavor, but not sourness, a noticeable hint of bubblegum (particularly in the aroma), a rich nuttiness- which I'd assume is from the farro, and a substantial body. Very nice.

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a clean pale yellow color with a white head. In the aroma, a dryer malt, and almost pils like. In the taste, a dry fruitiness, with a small dry nuttiness. A small hop like bite and a medium bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry fruitiness in the aftertaste. Decent, fruity and quite lager like.

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

The beer itself is an amber that is reminiscent of apple cider. The head is white and slightly creamy and lasts a long while.

Spices and cider with a hint of what appears to be pineapple.

The taste consists of a mixture of apple ciders. The difference between the ciders is slight but noticeable. One is a little tart while the other is sweeter. The spices mix well and the cilantro is barely noticeable but certainly manages to add to the flavor.

Minimal carbonation and medium bodied, yet still somewhat refreshing and dry.

A pretty imperial witbier and a lot better than I thought it would be. I think that Dogfish head did a great job with this beer and will probably get another one.

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

Pours a two finger head that fades slowly to a thin layer leaving some lace. Crystal clear amber/straw color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Spicy yeast nose, flavor is spicy and herbs, not tasting any cayenne but late sweetness from the Fuji apples. $14.99 for a 750ml bottle from Julio’s Liquors Westborough, MA.

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.3/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Split with Bilco.

Appearance: Bright, slight chill hazed, gold. Head is bright-white and pillowy. Big, soft, and creamy. Decent retention from a solid, but not high carbonation. Nice streaks of lacing. Head drops to a small cap and collar.

Smell: Loaded with a deep fruit character. The cider really comes through, pushing apple flesh and even some mealy pair. Light, soft spiciness increases as the beer warms. A touch of alcohol in the back. Earthy and herbal. Juicy. Big yeast presence adds another layer of spice. Cooked and slightly caramelized malt sweetness.

Taste: Cider and Belgian yeast. Spiciness derives more from the yeast, but there's a small hint of cayenne on the back. Nice and earthy with a big punch of apple flesh. Biscuit dough and even a lighter, almost crackery snap. A ton of apple. A bit rough, grainy, around the edges. Malts are sweet, but not too sweet, which is a nice change for DFH. Some caramel malt sweetness. Herbal and a bit leafy. Yeast becomes more pronounced as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly dry finish. Mediumish body with a slightly above average carbonation. Not perfectly clean on the finish.

Overall: We have neutral contact.

Definitely not the worst beer DFH has ever churned out. Surprisingly complex, but it missed the mark a little, and ended up too sweet/close to cider. The yeast helped a bit, but just seemed to muddle things a bit.

Photo of jopezu
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

smell is apple cidery wheat beer. tastes like a traditional wheat infused with a small apple cider juiciness. peppery notes from the cayenne, and a slight cilantro on aftertaste. interesting wheat beer.

Photo of ktblue22
4.09/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a bubbly yellow-golden color, with a small head.

Smell is strong but in a pleasant way, getting a lot of cider! Which doesn't necessarily translate into the taste but its still nice

Taste - Very saison-esque for me, lots of nice spices. The cayenne comes through after a few sips.

Mouthfeel - also pleasant - can't taste the high ABV at all which is a huge plus for me.

Overall a very nice beer! I think they did a great job with it. Lots of flavor without one characteristic being too overpowering.

Photo of AgentMunky
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a DFH IPA glass. Bottled on 2013A.

A: Topped by two fingers of gorgeous white head. The beer is white-coloured, hazy, and effervescent. Great lacing.

S: Belgian yeast and apples. Nice, but rather soft/faint.

T/M: Interesting, but underwhelming. The apples are evident, but the cayenne is not, save perhaps a lack of sweetness on the very end. Belgian yeast is the largest contributor to the flavor, offering a spiciness to complement the wheaty-smooth mouthfeel. The strength is apparent and appreciated.

O: I'm not really sure what the appropriate drinking situation is...It's super-refreshing, but also quite strong. Proceed with caution.

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 Krakistophales
4.42/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours straw colored with a two finger fluffy white head

S: Apple, caramel, spices. Honestly, I can't smell cilantro or cayenne, and Im glad I can't, the spices blend very well with the smell. Basically apples, caramel/candied sweetness, and spice.

T: Again, lots of apple and sweetness up front, some aromatic spice in the middle, and honestly this thing burns just a little bit on the back end. Im not sure if Im just sensitive to cayenne, but this thing actually lights up my mouth with some residual heat. Quite nice.

O: A fine cider offering from DFH. If you're interested in something sweet, spicy, and hot, this is one for you.

Photo of mtomlins
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 750 ml bomber into a tulip glass

A: Straw in color and very clear pouring to a creamy white head dropping to a nice white collar and leaving a bit of lacing.

S: There is a nice fruity nose dominated by the fuji apples. There are slight hints of spiciness and high floral notes from the hops or perhaps the cayenne and cilantro.

T: At first, the taste is dominated by sweet apples and lemon spiciness, followed by that classic Belgian yeastiness and finishes dry and slightly bitter (cayenne?). As the beer warms however, the sweetness and spiciness enhances and becomes heavy and much less drinkable.

M: Bubbly (medium-high carbonation) and light in body at first but ‘thickens’ as it warms.

O: A very interesting beer; a complex mix of fruit, bitterness and spice, very enjoyable at first but turning heavy and cloying as it warmed. While it was not my favorite witbier, I found it complex and challenging and worth trying to find a bottle.

Photo of ONUMello
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a xxxx glass
A: Golden color with a two-finger head that slowly settles
S: Wheat, apples, a bit of spice
T: Matches the nose but more pronounced. Wheat, apple, pear, herbs, spice, Somewhat sweet but nice complexity
M: Light-bodied, good carbonation
O: Solid, enjoyable, but won't necessarily be memorable. Hides its 9% abv very well

Photo of Suds
4.17/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A tempest of bubbles violently race to the top of the glass, contributing to a crown-like white head. This is a pretty beer. The smell is enticing...sweetness...blossoms and yeast, a but of malt, candy, and spice. Wit-like, but powerful and perfume. The taste is complex, sweet, warming, and spicy. Fruit is very present, but I don't know if I would have identified cider. Exceptional smoothness, and just a touch of warmth. Exceptional.

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.

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