Chicory Stout | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

very good
1,376 Reviews
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Chicory StoutChicory Stout

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Chicory was one of the first beers we started brewing at our pub back when it opened in 1995. It's a dark beer made with a bunch of roasted chicory, organic Mexican coffee, St. John's Wort and licorice root. We use whole-leaf Cascade and Fuggle hops, as well as pale, roasted and oatmeal grains.

21 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-06-2001

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Reviews: 1,376 | Ratings: 3,375
Photo of ChadQuest
1.79/5  rDev -52.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Oh no. Chicory.

I had a co-worker who always brewed this terrible ground coffee that was 50% chicory, and it was awful.

Body is opaque black, not much light getting through, some lacing on the sides.
I can smell the chicory signature aroma that resembles stale coffee and wet cardboard. I know someone is going to say oxidation, but no, it is just the chicory, i know it well.
The flavors are equally offensive, and brings back memories.
There is some chocolate malts fighting to regain control of this sinking ship. Faint lactose and cheap coffee.

Sam, i know a thing or two about coffee. Ask me first next time.

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Photo of telecomz
2.04/5  rDev -45.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - Dark brown with a beautiful thick brown head.

S - Vegtal. Almost 'beef-stew-like'. Not appealing.

T - Flat, dull with little discernible flavors outside of a bit of coffee.

M - Feels and tastes watery.

D - One is enough.

My first DFH disappointment. I purchased Old School today so the world will be right again with DFH.

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Photo of largadeer
2.06/5  rDev -45.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Dark reddish-brown, very clear when held to the light. The tan head quickly recedes to a collar. Smells light; roasty with earthy coffee notes, a bit bready. Watery on the palate, dry and very thin. Chalky mouthfeel. Roasty, earthy flavors up front; a bit herbal and minty toward the finish with an odd Alka-seltzer note. This is thoroughly unimpressive.

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Photo of HeckYeah
2.17/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

A: pours from a bottle into a pint glass with a deep caramel color, but looking through the glass, this beer settles into a dark, slightly reddish color, almost like a cola. A head is present, but it is a mild tan, unremarkable, and full of larger bubbles as if you poured a budwiser, foamy not frothy.

S: you get the malts, some coffee, maybe a hint of orangy sweetness, but not much else.

Taste: some roasted malts hit you upfront, but they are weak and quickly become drowned out by a rice-y taste, slightly nutty. the back end emulates more coffee...but not that rich coffee taste I love in a beer, more like week-old burnt coffee ground taste with the accompanying acidity. after taste reminds me of eating anise and waterlogged wood or leaves--poorly pronounced grain and more of a dirt taste.

M: washes over the tongue without viscosity, or any body remotely close to a stout. Feels more like a light brown or ESB. thinner, bubbly texture, far from smooth or silky.

O: Dogfish Head's worst beer that I have tried. I am a huge fan of DFH from their beer to their story, but this beer was almost undrinkable. This beer lacks the structural texture of a stout, completely lacks any sort of pleasant complexity, and tastes like burnt leaves. Such a disappointment for a beer that has been a long standing seasonal from on of my favorite breweries, and one i've been looking forward to for a long time. Sorry Sam Calagione, but you gotta do better than this.

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Photo of mbatley
2.23/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Get Back! You really have to be in the right mood for this unique stout. Don't get me wrong I love stout. All kinds. But this one caught me off guard and when I get to try a new stout I want to like it. Chewy, bitter, and high alcohol all gave this one a real "off" taste and bad aftertaste. I've had coffee stouts before and really liked them as I'm a coffee nut as well, but maybe it was the chicory as well. Yuck, I'll pass on this one in in the future.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
2.36/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I was really surprised to find this in Ontario. I was expecting great things considering the quality of all the othe DFH brews Ive tried.
This was a dissapointment.

It pours an obsidian black with a shortlived tan head and zero lace. The aroma is somewhat bitter with acidity from roasted malts really evident. Theres also a nasty sweetness in the nose. The taste is very astringent. A sickly bitterness thats not from hops (I think) permeates this brew. Theres some coarse and thin coffee flavor and maybe some chicory. Theres also some graininess. The mouthfeel is very thin and unpleasant from the sour astringency.

A flawed stout at best. The sourness really detracts from the taste. Its pretty overwhelming. This beer needs way more balance.

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Photo of BostonTheseus
2.37/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

I found this to have a very harsh alcoholic taste. At first blush, I enjoyed the the scotch-like character such a strong alcohol presence gives, but I found it overwhelming by the third sip on. The feel is very flat. No head, no lacing. Maybe this was just a bad bottle but I found it prohibitively boozey, grainy on the backend, and not at all what I'd expect from a stout.

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Photo of GimpyCane
2.38/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

appearance: Poured dark brown with a small off white head that disappeared quickly.

smell: Very mild in coffee, small hint of vanilla and licorice

taste: sweet cola upfront, ending with a noticable coffee bitter or astringent.

mouthfeel and drinkability: light to medium body, on the watery side and lively carbonated. Could be a good sesson brew if not for the astringent taste in it.

Overall, I love DFH brews but, I'll have to pass on this one.

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Photo of Wolf410
2.46/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass

A- very dark with an almost amber head

S- heavy coffee with hints of vanilla and a very small amount of chocolate

T- very light...very very light for a stout. Had a small hint of citrus at the end which is probably from the chicory. Past that was typical taste for a stout

M- Smooth and slow...drinks like a normal stout

Overall- after all the hype I had heard over this beer I was very disappointed in it. It's a very light stout and doesn't take a lot of flavor from the chickory. Overall it's easy to drink but I was expecting a lot more from this beer

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Photo of boogles
2.48/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This looked interesting--how can they take garbage and make a good garbage stout out of it (chicory is nasty stuff)? They couldn't. The beer was thin and offensive, like when I roast my coffee beans past dark and brew charcoal espresso. None of the good. In fact, it's hard to find the decent stout buried under the additions. At least it isn't vanilla flavored.

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Photo of chugalug06
2.5/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A - Soapy mocha head rises, quickly. It the settles into a foamy light mocha color. Brew is jet black with slight purples and is also very thin. No lacing.

S - Yum. Lots of coffee. Some light chocolate. Chalky. Light smoke too.

T - Very bland for a DFH Stout. Light coffee, molasses, and chocolate. Not one to age. Nothing stands out.

M - Good carbonation, no heat, no bitterness. Very watery.

O - I'm very glad I only bought a single of this brew... Disappointing at $3/12oz. There's no hop, whatsoever. No bitterness, and overly sweet. Not recommended.

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Photo of craytonic
2.5/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Appearance: Not completely opaque, but near. Very nice oreo-cream head.

Smell: Chicory, coffee, roasted malt, and chocolate. Much better than the taste.

Taste: Disappointing after the wonderful aroma, heavy coffee upfront, wich chicory, roasted malt, blackstrap molasses, and chocolate.

Mouthfeel: A little bit of an unpleasant lactic element to it. A bit oily. Acidic.

Drinkability: You could finish it if you really wanted to. I didn't.

Such a letdown, the appearance and smell are amazing, but the taste and feel are unbearable.

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Photo of Gehrig
2.51/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Black with tan trim, supporting two fingers from an aggressive pour that rapidly recede; nice color, though.

Alas, that's about the best part of this beer. The nose is strictly coffee, and tepidly so. The chicory is mild, and the advertised hint of Mexican coffee should be hit-over-the-head obvious to salvage this. Equally weak taste, honestly somewhat watery because the flavor is embarrassingly thin, with a sourness that borders on annoying. I was hoping this might be more viscous, even resiny, but would have settled for substantive in taste and texture. I am sorry to say that, on both and other fronts, I was left wanting.

I genuinely enjoy DFH overall, and think some of their beers such as Palo Santo Marron are brilliantly conceived. Chicory Stout needs to go back to the drawing board and get heaping helpings of coffee--and I would recommend equal doses of caramel and chocolate malts--to salvage what I consider a train wreck. In the meantime, this is one to avoid.

Big disappointment.

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Photo of Tim2000
2.56/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

355 mL brown bottle.

Pours an inky black with a thin tan head that dies down to a collar pretty quickly.

Aroma is of roasted grains, burnt toast and an unfamiliar smoky, woody smell that I assume must be the chicory.

Coffee dominates the flavour, along with some smokiness. This is a very dry stout with an acidic, sour finish and a burnt bitterness. Body is quite thick, with a fairly high level of carbonation.

I've heard great things about Dogfish Head, but this is a big disappointment.

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Photo of PrAndo
2.6/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I generally consider myself to be a "stout" guy, but this beer does very little for me. To be truthful, I'm a little spent on coffee flavored stouts at the moment and so perhaps I'm responding emotionally to an objective experience. None-the-less, I cant' shake it and so here's my review.

Appearance: black, poured "thinly", not much head retention. Head is light brown/tan color, and there's not much to it.

Smell: not full coffee bean smell, you can tell it's not the real deal. I don't get much beyond that.

Taste: reminiscent of coffee but clearly not. Whatever that flavor is, is what I taste most and I don't find it thrilling in the least. Quite one-dimensional.

Mouthfeel: like I'm drinking a low-carbonated brew that's not a stout. It feels flat.

Drinkability: you might be able to knock a few of these back, but I wouldn't. I just don't like this one and that bothers me, because I love stouts, and I love DFH.

 926 characters

Photo of TerryW
2.6/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Decent looking beer - even if the head isn't bone white. Closer to craft paper brown, but then that's marketing guys for ya. Big head that settles to a heavy film and leaves good lace. Dark, strong coffee brown.

Also has the flavour of overbrewed coffee. The kind that's been sitting on the burner for an hour or so. It's got that same bitter, metallic, burned tang to it, along with a sour black licorice flavour. While I like the look and smell of this beer (heavy dark fruit, coffee, herbs, alcohol) it's just too off-base for me tastewise. Yup, just too astringent, as a previous reviewer put forward.

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Photo of mmmbeer
2.66/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

The guy at the store told me someone returned this six-pack because it was bad, so he gave me a bottle to see if I thought so too. Bottled May/04. Pours black with red peeking through and a 1 finger tan head. There is rust on the bottle where the crimped part of the cap was touching the glass. Some coffee and chocolate aromas with a little bit of hops. Almost no taste. Carbonation and hops with malt coming through as it warms. Feels average. Tastes like a macro version of a stout (and this is Dogfish Head we're talkin' about here). Definitely a bad bottle - I've had this before and remember it tasting much better. I'll have to re-review sometime.

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Photo of EspressoGuy
2.68/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: head dissipates to nothing very quickly.
S:black licorice, very appealing, some coffee, dark molasses
T:very little flavour, touch of bitterness at the end; not much body; thin
M: thin,
O: nothing in the finish, nothing lasting, boring; thin and forgettable.

It started out with such a nice aroma that I was expecting so much more in the taste. Certainly not worth buying again.

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Photo of Jacobob10
2.68/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

On-tap @ Fire Waters in Atlantic City, NJ

Pours out very dark brown. As put by the extremely cute bartender, "That's one of the darkest beers I've ever seen." And she couldn't have been any more right. Aroma consists of burnt and smoked malts. The hops were almost not present at all, this is a very malty beer. The taste was just overwhelming. It is not a terrible taste, but it is extremely smoky. The best way I can describe it is my uncle makes these smoked baby back ribs, and they're really good, but you can only eat a few before the smoky taste gets to you. I will not be having this beer again, but I'm glad I tried it. It was a struggle getting thru one of these.

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Photo of RenoZymurgist
2.68/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured a nice Tan head which made me laugh as it says right on the bottle "...beneath a bone white head." Anyway for a stout a tan head is acceptable though I thought the brown hints of this brew made it a little unappealing visually even though it was very black and completely opaque. The aroma reminded me of dirty wood with a slight roasted grain finish. Not very pleasant but not indicative of any fault in the beer so I gave it a 2.5. The taste was very smooth and there was a very nice finish to this beer. That woodyness is present in the beginning but only as a background to the upcoming blend of light sweet malt and a very smooth, clean roasted malt flavor. This beer has a lighter body than I like in a Stout and the carbonation detracts from the flavors making the carbonic bite take away a lot of the in the initial rush of flavor. This beer is one that is worth trying but not one worth mentioning to anyone unless you are trying to dissuade him or her from brewing with chicory. The chicory taste is like a woody, dirty coffee flavor that is only semi-pleasant as I appreciate the attempt that the brewer made and I also appreciate the diversity on the shelves this ale presents.

 1,196 characters

Photo of Winter
2.69/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a promising nearly opaque with a brown creamy head. The aroma primarily consists of chocolate malt and creamed coffee. Mouthfeel is way to thin for a stout. Taste consists of roasted malt with coffee undertones. Bittersweet throughout and lacks smoothness. Finish is very dry. Flavors seem to be balanced between themselves, but they don't really make a lasting impression. Taste just seems to fall apart on the palate. Oddness in the overall flavor also, don't know if that's the chickory. Over-rated in my book.

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Photo of hdofu
2.7/5  rDev -28%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Has a heck of a head to go with it black body and a smell of what I guess is chicory. The taste is overwhelming of chicory too, blocking out all the other tastes. I can honestly say it wasn't the tase I was expecting and its not a taste I enjoyed personally, I guess I don't like the taste of chicory. The mouthfeel was medium to lite bodied. I couldn't drink more then one, but mostly because of the taste, not the mouthfeel or alcohol content (at 5.2% this isnt one of their heavier beers). I'll be sticking with stouts minus the chicory from now on.

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Photo of cameraman
2.7/5  rDev -28%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Poured a black opaque color looks like used motor oil as it rolls from the bottle to the glass. A thick beige/caramel head, about two inches high, forms on top. The head then dissolves away slowly to a thin layer on top. Chocolate and coffee fragrances strike the nose at first scent, followed by a sugar syrup scent and ending with a twang of licorice. The malt comes out at the front of each taste with the expected chocolate and coffee flavors. Then the flavor just seems to fade away, a slight touch of burnt bitterness, but nothing comes forward to stand out. The feel is a big disappointment, it starts across the palate like a heavy water and it thins out very quickly. This beer started out great, beautiful color and thick look. A solid and fragrant aroma, then it all went to hell. The flavors were there but it never brought any strength with and faded way too quickly. The feel left me in a WTF mode for some time. This was a big let down of a beer, from a brewer that I usually enjoy beers from.

 1,008 characters

Photo of hendecatope
2.7/5  rDev -28%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Not my favorite Dogfish. Poured into my Dogfish glass from a bottle.

Appearance and smell were fine, but taste and drinkability were lacking, for my tastes.

Taste wise, there was a lot going on, but it just did not seem to mesh into a complete experience for me.

 264 characters

Photo of Crosling
2.7/5  rDev -28%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Fresh bottling. Dark brown color with a small and quickly diminishing white foam. Not bottle conditioned. Flavor and aroma are very similar, both lacking in elements besides coffee. I know it's a 5% stout, but come on. This beer has so malt depth and no body. Very dry and off balance.

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Chicory Stout from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.75 out of 5 based on 3,375 ratings.
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