American Beauty | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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American BeautyAmerican Beauty

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
An Imperial Pale Ale brewed with granola & All American hops. 55 IBU

Collaboration with the Grateful Dead.

Added by slvrmon82 on 10-09-2013

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Reviews: 166 | Ratings: 1,147
Photo of smanders
3.06/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: clear copper w/ a fluffy, off-white head. Tons of intricate lacing.

Smell: nothing really stickin' out here. Maybe a little sweetness, but nothing really "Imperial Pale Ale" about it.

Taste: Meh...not bad, just meh. A hint of sweetness from the honey, but very little piney/bitterness from the "American" hops. Reminds me of a German pils.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied w/ medium carbonation.

Overall: Not real impressive. An interesting idea, though.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.79/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a three finger cream head that fades very slowly leaving a good lace. Crystal clear, amber color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Grapefruit hop nose and flavor follows - grapefruit hops, hints of honey in background. Light lingering bitterness. $14.00 for a 750ml bottle from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, Me.

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Photo of dd43
3.59/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the 750 (7 weeks old) into an IPA glass. So Dogfish went ahead and built a granola IPA, which delivers a nutty, more malty, and slightly more boozy version of a traditional IPA. I suppose they delivered, but I'm not ready to call it a winning concept. Pretty drinkable for 9% and the flavor improves as it warms, but this beer [literally] feels more experimental than what I was anticipating.

Looks great from the pour, nice fat head and moderate lacing, perfectly translucent and deep orange in color. Looks like carbonated bourbon. Flavor wise I get some muted honey and bitter peanut/almond skin, combined with a run of the mill hop profile. Caramel malts seem to be fighting with the granola like in laws rather than getting along like a happily married couple.

I guess I was thinking the granola would yield more of an oatmeal-esque smoothness, but instead the mouthfeel is more grainy than that. Perhaps my expectations were off in this regard.

Worth sharing with a friend, you won't have a bad time with this beer but you aren't going to be transported back to a Dead show either.

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Photo of barczar
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Caramel malt dominant, with notes of resin. Slightly nutty and oaty. Flavor is malty, as well, with a bitter, resiny finish that's a little more than I prefer.

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Photo of cyclonece09
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured on tap in a snifter. Pours red orange with a small white head. Smells of piney and citrus hops. Tastes of earthy hops with a nice bite and just enough maltiness to keep it interesting. Beer is very smooth and extremely drinkable for abv. Overall, a very good beer.

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Photo of avalon07
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a clear texture. There was an inch and a half of foamy, fairly long-lasting head. Great lacing.

S: A surprisingly sweet aroma of light, tropical fruit, malt, and hops.

T: Tasted of a good amount of hops, malt, a nutty quality, honey, and light fruit (mango?). An unusual flavor (it wouldn't be a DFH beer if it wasn't) that succeeds in most ways. Light, sweet and sharp.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a slick finish. Medium-bodied.

O: On the whole, this is an enjoyable beer. Not really classifiable in terms of style, but worthwhile.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

"Inside this bottle, your miracle ticket awaits. It's called American Beauty, an Imperial Pale Ale inspired by the Grateful Dead. The best way to capture 30 years, more than 100 live albums, 2,300 shows? Let the loyal fans drive the recipe. Among thousands of suggestions, granola was tops. It was the main course in millions of parking lot meals and is a sweet and toasty complement to the all-American hops and barley. There was something different about a Dead show. Whether you saw one or 100, you felt it. If only you could have bottled it..." Brewed in the style of an American Imperial Pale Ale with granola added. Available as a one-off release in 750 ml. bottles and on limited draft.

Poured from a 750 ml. bottle to a Dogfish Head Signature glass. Served above 51 degrees Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a frothy foam head of a caramel cream color over a maple amber body with plentiful assertive carbonation and chunks of pulpy sediment in tow. Retention is very good, lacing is light and streaked. 3.75

(Smell) Tropical fruit hops forward, with lesser notes of juicy citrus and floral subtleties, very aromatic. The malt profile consists of a simple caramel bread malt with a light syrupy sweetness, very clean. Potency is moderate. 3.75

(Taste) Up front, soft caramel malt with a subtle touch of honey-like sweetness, the greatest impact of the granola. Some faint nuttiness and moderate graininess. Finishes on a moderately bitter note with fruity hops and creeping husky grain. Fairly simple with not a ton of notable impact from the granola, but enjoyable. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, mildly grainy, moderately dry. Carbonation is medium-high, generating a smooth medium crispness across the palate. Body is medium for the style, medium+ overall. Balance is slightly bitter and grainy over sweet. Alcohol presence is moderate, and a moderate graininess does slow drinkability somewhat. 3.25

(Overall) American Beauty is a decent American Imperial Pale Ale, but a bit rough in spots, perhaps as an unintended side effect of the granola, or just the combination of flavors. Drinkable but about as familiar as the style itself, and thus not very impressive. 3.5

Dogfish Head Brewery's
American Beauty

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Photo of zac16125
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750mL bottle into a tulip
Bottled on: partially rubbed off but I think 11/14/14

A: Pours a crystal clear dark copper with 2.5 fingers width of light tan head that has good retention and leaves lots of lacing. 4.5

S: Pale malts, some hop spice, malt sweetness, a bit of citrus rind, very subtle booze. Nice, but straightforward and nothing crazy. 3.75

T: Lots of hop spice, a noticeable booze, significant bitterness on the finish. Citrus rind, pine. Lots of floral notes. Interesting hop profile, that grew on me as I continued to drink. Quite enjoyable. 4

M/D: Fuller side of medium body, carbonation appropriate, somewhat dry finish, ABV is noticeable but its not hot, drinkability is very good. 4

O: Its a nice thought, throw some granola in there to appease us hippies. Unfortunately I didn’t get any of the “almond honey granola” notes in either the taste or aroma. Oh well. Still a solid brew, but definitely not worth the price tag. Dat bottle label though… 3.75

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%

Shared at the BFD Christmas Party, thanks to who ever brought it.
Earthy pine hops, lots of sweet malt with an overbearing honey flavor and sweetness. Nice to try but I wouldn't seek it out again.

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Photo of jman42
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%

A = CRYSTAL clear. Beautiful light orange color with a nice white head. Too bad this would be my favorite part.

S = Fruity and honey aroma, but not overpowering.

T = Not sure what I'm tasting. Sometimes I get a wine vibe from this. Nothing really stands out.

M = Smooth and creamy.

O = Interesting. Glad I tried it, but once is enough. Glad I split the big bottle with a friend.

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Photo of travolta
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Appearance: Clear golden honey in color. A frothed up egg white head with nice rocky form and sticky lacing.

Nose: Sweet bread, candied fruits, tropical fruit, fruit cake.

Taste: Citrus and honey. Alcohol heat at the end. Carbonation is light, with some crispness in the middle. Some tropical fruits leading in to that alcohol heat. Grain in the middle which melts away.

Notes: Totally worth a shot. Not a ton of activity here, but very, very well executed.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.96/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a hazed orange color with a white soapy head.
Aroma is sweet and malty with floral notes.
In the taste, fruity and sweet, some chewy sweet malt notes. Very agreeable and approachable. Sugary, with a light piney hop presence.
Medium bodied, smooth and even carbonation. Overall quite tasty, really drinkable strong ale. She is an American Beauty. Roll away, adieu

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Photo of philbe311
3.99/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - A fairly standard pour yields three plus fingers worth of rich creamy whipped densely packed frothy goodness with a number of big chunky bubbles mixed throughout... Excellent retention... The froth turns creamier as this one continues to settle... Much paler than expected... The color is a very light caramel that displays some pale straw when back lit... A limited to moderate bit of slightly sluggish carbonation... A good bit of carbonation clings to the sides of the glass...

S - A strong malt base at the forefront... Caramel... Cereal grains... What I'm assuming are notes of the granola... Some light mentholyptus noted buried way beneath the surface... Very little or no hop presence...

T - Malt, malt and more malt... Loaded with cereal grains, biscuit, granola and light caramel... Surprisingly, that is enough to adds layers of rich complexity with each and every sip... There is a slightly medicinal presence on the finish which is rather refreshing and really pleases the palate... Again, little or no hop presence...

M - A completely luxurious and smooth experience... On the fuller side of medium bodied... Rich and creamy throughout... Smooth and sophisticated... Limited carbonation...

D - A really enjoyable American Strong Ale... It's like every beer you've ever drank, but it's also completely unique... I don't have a single complaint... Also, while I have no superlatives the unique dimensions make this one completely memorable... I would drink this on a regular basis if I were able to... A job very well done by DFH...

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Photo of tmbgnicu
4.72/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bought a case when this dropped thanks to a cousin who lives close to the Dogfish head headquarters. I am not as sophisticated as so many others on this site who can review a beer with such detail and eloquence, but I will say this:

This beer is excellent, it is strong, but not too strong. It has a very pleasant aroma and despite its high alcohol content, it finishes very smooth. The granola, which was the ingredient voted in by deadheads, really adds a nice note to the end.

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Photo of SHODriver
3.89/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: poured into a snifter to a deep orange with a finger and a half of dense off white head that slowly fades. not a lot of lacing
S: smells of clean bitterness with a bit of fruity sweetness
T: tasting brings floral hop flavors, with some citrus notes, slight fruitiness, honey sweetness, some sweet berry flavors. swallow is more fruity and honey like sweetness
M: heavier side of medium on the mouth with slightly prickly carbonation.
O: Overall it drinks well. I don't really know how to categorize this beer and BA's definition fits it well. It's worth a try.

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Photo of BuckeyeSlim
4.19/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle poured into a NB snifter.

A - Pours a soft, subdued pale straw yellow. A two-finger head of dense, eggshell-white foam sets up immediately and then takes its sweet time slowly collasping, leaving a generous ring of lace around the sides of the glass. After awhile, the surface is left with a large circle of loose, sudsy bubbles and a very fine sheen over the rest. Held to a full-spectrum light, the beer is a soft, muted sunset orange and somewhat cloudy, with a broad column of bubbles rising from the bottom center of the glass.

S - Gently toasted wheat crackers, oatmeal, and dry roasted nuts. Richer toasted malts in the background along with hints of caramel sugars and honey. Floral and herbal hop notes sit atop a faint trace of the ABV at the top of the glass. Overall, the nose is rich and is what communicates the imperial strength of the beer.

T - Toasted light whole grains touched by honey/light caramel sugars immediately balanced by herbal bittering hops. Individual taste components are nuanced, and make the labeling as an imperial pale ale rather than an IPA quite appropriate. The ABV is very well hidden - this glass is not the least bit hot - but the residual sugars in the profile suggest its there. As a bonus, they match the toasted malts exceptionally well. Finish offers echos of a honey-nut granola bar surrounded by light herbal hops - it's a great effect that encourages additional tasting. At times, it even drifted toward peanut butter. Big props to executing the original concept very well.

M - Rather fizzy, with good, pronounced carbination. A bit fuller body than expected, and components complement each other without being tightly integrated. Nice structure across the taste profile, offering each its own moment at the mic. Finish is moderately dry, but provides a sweet spot on the back of the tongue to savor.

O - A delicious creation that captures the spirit of those crunchy granola tripsters who worship The Dead. Give the finish some time to settle on the tongue and you'll swear you just ate a Clif Bar. Judged solely as a beer, I can see how some would want a stronger hops profile in order to better clean the sugars, but doing so would turn this into an IIPA, and would drown the taste the recipe has successfully achieved. Because of that, I recommend tasting this alone rather than attempting to pair it with food.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.2/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle as an extra from trade. 10/1/2013 bottle date so this has been sitting around a bit but I don't care. Pours deep orange colored with a big creamy 2-inch off white head. Lots of lemon peel in the aroma, grass and hat, orange, and some sweet malts. Flavor is super sweet orange-lemon pinesol. Flavor is a bit watered down with some sweet orange blossom honey and orange marmalade flavor in the background. Just under medium mouthfeel, low to medium carbonation, slightly slick on the tongue. This one is a bit funky for me, and don't really get any granola flavor so not sure what that added here. Not a big fan overall, really had a soapy floor cleaner characteristic to it.

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Photo of u2carew
3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle serving.

A) Pours with a two finger head. Sticky lacing as the head settles. Amber in color with a mostly clear body.
S) Bright, floral notes. Subtle peach and orange aroma.
T) Hop bite throughout. Peppery. Hints of pine and spruce. Some underlying notes are nutty and grainy.
M) Crisp. Clean. Medium body.
O) A good brew. I'd definitely would drink more of this, if I had more on hand.

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Photo of humuloner22
4.55/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I like the band, I will have to admit, I have seen them a few times over the years and the offshoots as well. That is what got my attention in regard to this one. But I will have to say that it is very good I have been enjoying IPA's lately and I have to say that of the Dogfish Head beers I have tried over the years I do think they make a damn good IPA style wise over some of the other offerings. Although this could also be me. Anyway, I thought the color was good and nothing surprising about that, typical of the style. It did have some head that settled into a nice lacing after a few minutes. The smell was fruity, with that hoppy pine smell I love. But there was a sweetness to it as well. That is where the granola enters I would assume. It does have that cereal grain impact to it that kind of mellows out the hoppy bitterness in the taste. The taste was not unlike the smell, I detected grapefruit, graininess, with some evergreeen presence. It had a sweetness to it that cuts through the hops and makes for a really balanced IPA. I would recommend this one and if I could find another one around I probably would pick it up again. I hope this is something Dogfish Head does more than once. My one complaint is that it was pricey to begin with and that seems to be an unfortunate trend overall in regard to good beers. I guess we will just have to get used to it.

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Photo of mactrail
3.15/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Clear amber, bubbling, and topped with a nice white foam in the tall Kolsch glass. I smell Kandy Korn and lemon cookies, which is not unpleasant.

All I can think of is "malt liquor." So it's a hoppy one, but the sweet taste and the hot alcohol burn make this one front-stoop ready and cue up "40 oz. to Freedom." Perfumey, bitter orange peel, lemon drops. The tangy citrusy aftertaste saves this somewhat, but the woody, bitter aftertaste with more than a hint of a cheap cigar makes me want to spit.

Okay, I'm officially tired of these endlessly silly flavored beer-like brewing experiments from DFH. I don't see them going in interesting new directions. It just seems like silliness, but for the fun-loving this is a flavored malt liquor with a story. And hey, it's the perfect pour for your morning bowl of Cap'n Crunch. From the 750 ml bottle bought at Bottleworks in Seattle.

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Photo of mountdew1
3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a goblet. A nice medium golden amber color with a 1 finger white head. Plenty of carbonation rose from the bottom to keep a nice thin layer on top. Aroma was slightly sweet malty, a bit of hoppy bitter, a tad of grainy bread as well. Flavor was a sweet up front, but had a hit of tangy hops as well. A bit of floral as well. Felt good in the mouth, coated nicely with bit of tingle. Overall, not a bad beer. Nothing really stood out from the granola profile, but it didn't hurt it either.

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Photo of BeerandWhiskeyHQ
3.39/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: pours a medium sized, light tan head, clear amber color

S: caramel and light malt, smells sweet with a slight citrus/orange/lemon scent

T: honey and a little bit of malt a slight alcohol taste at the end

O: unfortunately I was expecting much more after trying some of their other “specialty” beers. I think it is a cool idea, but something from their ancient ales line or Bitch’s brew, Palo Santo Marron ect would be a better choice. I wasn’t upset that I bought it, I still enjoyed it but I won’t be spending that kind of money on this beer again.


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Photo of Willytee3
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this one in tap and found it unremarkable but then had a bottle and liked it a lot more. Review from bottle.
Pours a glowing orange with yellow highlights, slightly opaque, bubbly foam 3 finger head that's well granola in color. Fluffy doily like lace. Head of tiny bubbles with large bubbles in top recede slowly. Some nice yeast action here.
Smells of dank wet pine with candied tropical fruits like in trail mix, mango, pineapple, dates, ginger. Earthy granola like grain in the background balances the soft fruits.
Tastes of dry wheat flakes up front with granola, nicely balanced by soft round fruit, earthy bitter pine sap in the middle mixes it up with the dry earthy fruit and oatmeal like grain. Finishes cleanly.
Feel not impressed but definitely not bad, oatmeal wheat dryness kind of kills the frothy feel one expects from a DIPA and kind of of out of balance with a prolonged hops bitter. Still has a nice roundness though. Not much trace of the 9% alchohol but I kept it real cold.
Overall unusual for the style but delivers as advertised.

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Photo of jlindros
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

I do love me some beer named after albums, such as Bitches Brew also from this brewery, and the Zappa ones from Lagunitas, etc. I was planning to share this with cousins at the holidays, but one was hungover and the other on low carb diet, so I guess I'll enjoy this solo.

Pours a nice creamy rich 1+ finger head as it chugs out the opening of the bottle with slimming neck effect, it fades pretty slowly too with nice soapy and big bubble lacing, bubbles streaming up from the bottom through the clear nectar orange colored beer.

Nose brings hops to start, somewhat floral, a bit of citrus and some mild pine, bit earthy as well, and seems like a big spicy hop presence as well, and a bit of candied orange peel. There is a semi sweet malt base as well, little candy like, little biscuit and grainy, and a touch of an estery booze profile.

Taste starts a little creamy thanks to the oats, into biscuity malt flavors, little toasty mild caramel and some candy like flavors. Quickly into some fruity esters and green apply light chemical phenolic flavor, a bit medicinal even, but none of that is too strong. That eventually transitions into big earthy hops, spicy too, with mild candied orange peel and pine, some herbal tea like grassy and leafy, with mild overall bitterness though (at first that is). The booze warms a bit with the phenols, and slightly tingles as it dries on the finish, the evaporating booze seems to tingle the tongue and dries off quite a bit, gets a bit more bitter, with more lingering herbal tea and earthy hops, more chemical phenols, and little bubblegum.

Mouth is med bod, semi creamy oat effect, nice fluffy carb.

Overall interesting but not great, hops are interesting as well as the creamy oat feel, not sure if I like how the ester and phenol profile come through with the booze, not sure what yeast they used but I'm not a huge fan of it, at least in this style although it would probably be good in a big Belgian tripel or something.

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Photo of Chickenhawk9932
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a golden amber with an off white head.

Smells of grass, citrus, and floral.

Taste is herbal resinous hops up front backed by a round malty mouth - biscuit in the back. It has a nice dry finish - oak and char notes. A very nice IPA, not many citrus notes but a nice earthy resinous flavor.

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American Beauty from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.85 out of 5 based on 1,147 ratings.
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