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Positive Contact - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Positive ContactPositive Contact

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

1,046 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,046
Reviews: 212
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 12.83%
Wants: 85
Gots: 155 | FT: 3
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: 1,046 | Reviews: 212 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of letsgetstoked
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.34/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into my New Belgium globe glass. The bottle itself is a bit different, so it actually almost forces the beer to pour outin waves and really aerates the beer; causing nice thick head. Im not sure if thats the intention, but thats what I think anyway...
Pours a crisp lightclear golden with good foamy head; although it is gone quick, leaving a thin ring of head. Smell is really refreshing belgian meets german hefe. Banana, clove, and fruity apple aromas. Taste is really nice banana and clove again...the fruit is subtle but present and leaves a bit of heat from the cayenne pepper in the finish. Its refreshing and easy. Overall its a great brew and deff worth seeking out, especially if you are a wit fan; although I dont think id ever buy it as they intend; a six pack of bombers for ~%70...I got mine "illegally" as a solo bottle.

Photo of claspada
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear light golden color with a small white head, good retention and lacing.

Aromas of cider apples with a lot of Bosc pear, yeasty with a hint of white pepper. As it warms I get something else I can't put my finger on, smells rustic/earthy (label says it was brewed with cilantro, so that makes sense now).

The tastes begin with a great deal of apple and pear upfront. As it warms the Belgian Yeast esters show up more as well as the herbal additions once again.

The mouthfeel is medium-bodied with medium, frothy, soft carbonation. Finish is a bit heavy and thick as are most DFH "off-centered" offerings.

Overall this was a nice beer, but I feel the heft/ABV hindered the enjoyability and drinkability of this beer. Beers of this style aren't meant to be this viscous and heavy on the palate. Drinks more like a Wheat Wine than a Witbier. Regardless I was glad to sample on draft over having to take the plunge and consume a whole 750ml.

Photo of Magery
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

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

A: poured a orangish golden yellow in color with pale yellow highlights and a nice half finger of head that left some good spotted lacing sticking to the glass.

S: lots of belgian yeast character popped out on the aroma, not much cider qualities but did have spice, slight grains, and I didn't really sniff out cilantro either.

T: the apple cider was a little pronounced on the taste alongside spices, lots of sweet belgian yeast character, no cilantro notes to speak of but had a touch of vinous flavor.

M: the brew was medium in body with a fair amount of carbonation which had a sweet, yeasty, spice, mild fruity, and prickly finish.

O: pretty intersting beer overall and was tasty as well. I thought it was worth the try.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.14/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

With fruit flavors amplified, firmer body, dry crispness, and heightened spices to balance; this inquisitive ale only narrowly resembles the witbier style that influenced its overhaul. Yep, they dogfished it up pretty good!

Not all in all different from the appearance of standard witbiers, this imperialized version carries a firm hazy gold appearance with a thin creamy head that dissipated evenly to a film before residing as a lace around the glass. Light on lace, this is the only deviation from the look of Hoegaarden or Wittekerke.

Where the original aromas call for a apple ester complement, a stronger than normal note of dry cider steers from apple juice and favors the winy character to inform the already present bready wheat and spicy counterparts. Corriander (celery seed), oranges, tea-like dried herbs, dandilion, chamomile, and peppercorn round out the alluring scent with complexity and balance.

But there's no mistake in the sway in attitude that gives the flavors of Positive Contact its true identity. Big on fruit and spice, the balance of dry cider offers just enough sweetness and bread taste to keep the beer from becoming overly tart. Complements of coriander, fresh orange zest, herbal teas, and slight vegetation of pepper, grass, and and a tinge of soap that gives a mild perfumy sense.

Much drier than imperial versions usually give, this zesty and sprite ale offers much the same drinkability as softer and milder versions. Backed by a dry bread texture, the beer soon favors firm acidity of Zinfandel and prickling carbonation to carry the dryness toward a combined warmth of capsaicin and alcohol.

The overall effortless in drinkability of this imperial witbier is remarkably clean, refreshing and crisp despite its high alcohol values and the seemingly challenged spices and fruit added to the brew. But the premiere restraint of these additions give the finished beer added layers of complexity without disrupting the balance of the witbiers that we know and love. Those additions inform the usual taste but without quite being able to pinpoint its source. Putting those additions on the label takes much of the fun out of it for me.

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

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a tulip glass, in 2012. This pours a slightly hazy, light golden color with a massive tight bubbled white head which has good retention and a slight lacing. The smells are of Belgian yeast esters, some banana, apple, coriander. The feel is medium decent carbonation. The taste is different, some apple, pepper, coriander, spices.

Photo of AlMarzo
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of CampusCrew
2.86/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Well i was expecting more of a cider, not an average wheat beer. Love the color and fast rising bubbles. The was acutally head rentention. I was like thats amazing for a cider. Aromas were weak. Some fruit aromas and some earthy spice. The taste was disappointing. Cilantro added to the bitterness, zero sweetness and no to little apple flavor. Loved the cayenne kick. Well balanced heat. But the body and flavor of the base beer was weak and the cider aspect just wasnt there. This was nice paired up with some fish and veggies but not my favorite dfh brew. I guess expectations can ruin your thught process. I was expecting a spicy cider.

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of Nickfellow007
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%

Photo of jwat
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of barczar
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden color with a solid half inch ivory head that lingers.

Aroma is green apple and wheat, with a yeasty, bready backbone and a bit of coriander.

The flavor is a bit more wheat dominant, with undertones of muted apple. There's a bit of hot pepper at the finish. Coriander and belgian yeast character add complexity. Bubble gum surfaces as it warms.

Body is moderate to a touch heavy, creamy, with fairly high carbonation and a bit of alcohol bite and warmth.

Overall, a complex brew, but I was surprised the cider character wasn't more prevalent. Definitely worth a try!

Photo of justinlaz
4.75/5  rDev +24.3%

Photo of raffy313
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of GaryMarkle84
3/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of Gambrinus1184
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into an imperial pilsner glass. Thanks oneguyonecup!

A: Poured a slightly hazy, clean, pale yellow color with golden highlights and rather fierce carbonation that built a three-finger head of dense carbonation bubbles that left some decent lacing. Bubbles roll and wisp as if champagne yeast were used.

S: Very interesting, spicy, fruity aroma with clean, clear hints of tart apple, grainy pears, mild tropical notes and a spritzy, spicy aroma of herbal hops, yeast and added spices.

T: Dry and fruity up front, the tart, apple cider flavor kicks in around mid palate before being seized up by the complexity of spices and yeast flavors. The herbal, fresh tasting cilantro piles together with white pepper and clove which bounces off of the sour apple flavor left on the tongue. A mellow, spicy cayenne finish distracts you from the boozy burn.

M: Light, flavorful and bracing on the tongue, the beer gains some viscosity as the alcohol settles into the spicy finish, cloying just a bit with the cider juice.

O: A very complex and fun beer to drink. Like many a DFH ancient golden ale, I immediately though "Midas Touch" when I initially saw, smelled and tasted Positive Contact. However, this 9% ABV hybrid combines the refreshing tartness of a cider with the complexity of an imperial wit.

Photo of Gatordaddy
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of nh2032
3/5  rDev -21.5%

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

750ml bottle into Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Free pour yields a 1 inch fluffy white head that dissipates slowly leaving a tight ring of lacing. Pours a hazy yellow and leaves a few small lacing streaks.

Smell: Smells like a sugary, peachy Belgian Strong Pale Ale. I laughed out loud at how pedestrian a BSPA smell it was after reading the label's talk of "fuji cider, slow roasted farro, a bit of cayenne, and fresh cilantro."

Doesn't get any whackier with time, but the base BSPA aromas are quite nice.

Taste: Whoa, there's the additional ingredients... surprising, but not brash or even altogether that weird. Tastes like a BSPA / strong witbier hybrid with a distinct flavor of cayenne and some underlying umami that I can only assume comes from the roasted farro. The blend is actually really good.

A typical sip has a full, yeasty (clove-y) and peachy flavor up front with a quick hit of cayenne, then a pepper heat finish (noticeable but not bold) with some mild boozy heat and a fruity aftertaste. Not tasting much apple... there's some apple notes, but no more than an average Belgian tripel really (not that this tastes like a tripel, but the average tripel doesn't have 300lb of Fuji apples in it either). Well hidden ABV for 9%, even though it's a little boozy at the end.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Creamy. Neither sugary nor dry finish. High side of moderate carbonation.

Overall: What a surprisingly well balanced, sensible beer. Tastes great too. A worthy experimental beer.

Pairing note: Once I started eating some (vegetarian) breaded "chicken" tenders and roasted pepper slices with Schlotterbeck and Foss Texas BBQ Sauce (I specify the brand because I highly recommend it), the flavor of this beer really took off. A lot more apple flavor appeared, along with the distinct impression of biting into a really juicy pear. It's uncanny how much pear gets into each sip, and delicious. Plus, the mild heat in the beer plays well with the heat of the BBQ sauce.

Very much recommend pairing this with BBQ that has some kick.

Photo of squidrobot
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of Lantern
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

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 ahuckk
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Dromeda
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Positive Contact from Dogfish Head Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 1,046 ratings.