Festina Lente
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Festina LenteFestina Lente
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Wild Ale
Ranked #993
Ranked #8,766
4.02 | pDev: 16.42%
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States
Very Good
Festina LenteFestina Lente
Notes: Locally grown hops and malt, fermented with both Brettanomyces and Lactobacillus, aged for 18 months in freshly emptied chardonnay barrels, and then finally finished on over 2,700 pounds of fresh Delaware peaches from Fifer's. Yes … 2,700 pounds. The result is a tart and delicate American wild ale with a bright and effervescent carbonation. Perfect to enjoy now, or several years down the road.
Reviews: 85 | Ratings: 144 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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MikeWard from Pennsylvania

4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.7oz bottle into a tulip. 2019 bottling.

Looks very good in the glass. Lightly hazy yellow body with a small white head. This fizzes out to a ring, only a trace of lacing.

Pleasant slightly musty fruit aroma.

On tasting, tart and sour, very dry, hint of peach throughout the drink.

Mouth medium, finish dry and tart.

Overall, enjoyed this one. Dont find many american brewed fruit lambics, so happy to have tried it.

Oct 04, 2020
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2beerdogs from California

4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A thousand thanks to larryi86 for sending me this in NBS BIF #11
Release #008 This bottle shows ABV of 6/5%.
Pours a brilliant gold. White effervescent foam leaps up and quickly dissipates to a thin film.
Nose begins with a crisp blend of peach, slightly acidic vinegar notes, and dry white wine notes cut by some earthy funk.
Bright Brett laden peach leads, but tapers off before getting too funky. Sour notes seem firm in the beginning as well, but retreat just enough to let the peach share the spotlight.
Feel is crisp, a little bit of a tongue scraper from the sour notes. All good. Active carbonation throughout.
Overall, a solid peach wild. Thanks @larryi86!!!

Apr 27, 2020
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aasher from Indiana

4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2019 batch. A phenomenal beer that lived up to the years long journey to acquire one, even if from a fresh batch. This beer is incredibly clean with buttery oak with loads of fresh peach. It's fantastic.

Mar 01, 2020
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larryi86 from Delaware

4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

375 ml bottle, 2019, poured into a flute

A- A slightly hazy light gold with a small white head.

S- Sour, peaches, some white wine, touch of vinegar, some peach skin, mild funk.

T- Sour, peaches, peach skins, mild funk, oak, chardonnay.

M- Smooth, light body.

O- A nice peach sour, easy to drink.

Jan 18, 2020
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VABA from Virginia

4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-Pours an amber color with a nice head and lacing
A-Aroma has various tropical hints
T-The taste follows the nose with a generous tart tropical flavor
M-A medium bodied well carbonated beer
O-A good Lambic

Aug 28, 2015
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

wow, this is a stunner. i wish they would fourpack this one instead of the base version. this is ten times the beer, and i like festina peche. this has way more peach, riper, less candy-like, and the oak takes it to the next level, blending subtle vanilla and sap into the fold. the beer is also much more sour than the base berliner beer we all know. its way more lactic, puckery as anything and super dry. carbonation is equally aggressive as it is in peche, but in lente the beer is bigger, so its more in demand. im not sure if the grain bill is bigger, the peaches added that much more fermentables, or if its just a more patient brew. perhaps some combination of all three. but i love the wheat weight to this, its got body but its also really light without sacrificing flavor. the peach is so forward, i love how intense it is, driven home by effervescent carbonation too, very cool palate on it. not often a beer this dry can retain so much fruit flavor, but somehow it does. i also like how the oak brings it all together, its only minimally oaky, not weighty and mature, its still young and clean, but it helps. maybe just as a vector for the bugs, but this has the perfect mix of carbonation, fruit flavor, sourness, and alcohol. one of the best dogfish beers i can recall, and its ones like this that keep me a loyal supporter through the less impressive musings.

Oct 21, 2014
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Camjmorton from Virginia

4.41/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Back story: I went to the Dogfish Head brewery on the 4th of July, three days ago for a free tour. As my girlfriend and I were leaving, we saw Sam Calagione walking in. We instantly turned around and went back in, and I got another beer just to sit around and talk to Sam, the owner and founder of Dogfish Head. He said he was there to unveil the first ever "Vintage Beer Thursdays" at Dogfish, and to stick around to try some of the beers he had brought in. Of course we agreed. Some more people showed up (I guess this was an event, but we were just at the right place at the right time) and then they started pouring some old brews.

The one my girlfriend and I decided on was called Festina Lente, and was from 2004. Sam told the story that they brewed this beer back then, and a lot of it was essentially recalled because so many buyers/distributors were complaining that it was too bitter to even drink. Sam saved a few cases of bombers until now. Nearly a decade later, I guess this beer was ready for some more open-minded people.

It poured a bronze/peach sort of color, and smelled overwhelmingly tart. I took one sip, and it reminded me of putting a bunch of Warheads in your mouth as a kid. Extremely tart! However, it was very enjoyable. We sipped on this beer for a while. The mouthfeel was puckering, and it had little carbonation at all. I guess after 9 years this makes sense though. Overall, it was a very enjoyable experience. I know I'll probably never get to taste this beer again, but what a treat it was.

Jul 07, 2013
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vfgccp from New York

4.58/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

9 year old bottle, opened June 2013.

A - Opaque peach juice. Low white head with ok retention.

S - Awesome nose. Strong, sweet peach nose.

T - Unbelievably sour; straight lemon juice with a shot of peach puree.

M - Brisk, medium body with a clean, bracingly acidic finish.

O - This evolved into an unbelievably sour american wild; stelar for what it is right now.

Jun 15, 2013
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SpeedwayJim from New York

3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml corked and caged bottle into a Cantillon tulip. Shared with capra12 and schen9303.

Pours a .5 finger foamy white head with poor retention. Beer is crystal clear goldenrod that reveals ample carbonation. Spotty lace with oily legs. Not great head, lacing, or legs but the color is amazing.

Nose is sour peaches, acetone, lemon rind, and vinegar. Decent. Lets you know you're in for a sour experience.

Opens with huge peach notes. Acetone and vinegar in the middle. Mild fruit sweetness comes through a touch as it lingers in the mouth. Finishes super sour peach skin and vinegar. Aftertaste of sour peach skin. Solid considering the age. Amazing that the fruit character is still so prominent here.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Slick with a touch of bubbles in the mouth. Filmy and slightly dry going down. Finishes messy with a long, lingering aftertaste. Very good for the style.

A decent beer overall, again considering the age. However, this is a touch too sour for me. Amazing that the fruit characteristics are still very prominent. Worth seeking out for the experience but don't expect flavors or body that will blow you away.

Dec 28, 2012
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russwbeck from Virginia

4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Opened at Monk's Cafe Beers of the Cellar event. Pretty sure this is from the first year. It pours out hazy yellow with no head. The aroma is really focused on the peaches, which I'm pretty impressed have remained this prominent. It hints towards sour and funky. The taste is delicious, why did they stop making this? Peaches and funk, very fruity overall. Very well carbonated still and nicely drinkable. It smells exactly like the taste. One of my favorite from DFH.

Apr 11, 2012
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aerozeppl from New York

4.55/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Finally...2003 Bottle

A: Poured almost still. When the cork came out it barely made any noise at all. Color was very clear with no carbonation or head. Really nice bright orange color. Little bit of gold thrown in as well.

S: I was shocked there was still this much peaches in the nose. It smelled fresh. Quite a bit of sourness as well. Not really and bret or funk smells but plenty of lactic acid. Overipe peaches.

T: God damn this is a sour beer. A friend at the tasting said he had this beer in 2007 and remembered it being the most sour beer he had ever had and declared this more sour then he remembered. Again I was shocked at the amount of peach that came through. Lots of lactic acid. Just a touch funky but it again came across as overripe fruit.

M: The beer was almost still. Just the slightest hints of carbonation after an extremely aggressive pour. Medium body. It could have used a bit more carbonation.

D: This beer is doing just fine. The peaches have held up amazingly well as this is SOUR. When you poured the bottom of the bottle in it became even more sour. From what we could all remember they let this spontaneously ferment with unwashed peaches. The level of fruit and sourness is something to behold. A real treat.

Dec 07, 2010
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mrmanning from Canada (ON)

4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to IMTHEOPTIMATOR for sending this one my way! Pours no head, flat and still looking. Cloudy orange body.Apricot, sour brab apples, and yeasty esters fill the nose. Flavours are sour fruit, semi-tart apricots, and lemon jiuce. Tart aftertaste. Alcohol no noticable. A well made American Lambic that keeps up with most of the belgian ones I have had. 04' Vintage.

Feb 15, 2010
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tuckevalastin from Delaware

4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2003 Bottle

A: Translucent orange with no head to speak of

S: A strong sour peach smell dominates

T: It's like drinking a not yet ripe peach. Sour, acidic, and dry. The peachiness is obvious but it hides behind the sourness.

M: Feels alot like drinking a dry wine. No carbonation on this one.

D: For a sour it's very easily downable. Although the sourness makes it lean towards a sipper.

Overall it's a great representation of a sour beer. Wonderful summer beer or dessert beer. Can't speak for the taste of a fresh bottle, only had this aged one.

Jan 14, 2010
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LilBeerDoctor from New York

4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed on 6/11/08. 2004 bottle at Spuyten Duyvil. Pours a light orange with no head. Aroma of sweet peaches. It tasted just like biting into a sour, juicy peach. Very smooth, extremely drinkable, and quite delicious.
Aroma: 9/10
Appearance: 4/5
Flavor: 9/10
Palate: 4/5
Overall: 15/20

Dec 28, 2008
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weeare138 from Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brewed in 2004...
Appears a hazy, orange toned amber with a spritzy, white head that quickly fades away. Scattered spots are left around the glass. Small streams of CO2 slowly rise to the top.
Huge aromas of brett, vinegar, sweaty clothes, horseblanket, peaches, and citrus.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a mouth puckering vinegar smack that reminds me of a hand full of sour patch kids. Very tart up front with some candy sweetness that is buried way in the background.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, spritzy, finishing thin and dry with my lips still smacking together at the thought.

Sep 02, 2008
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MuenchenerKindl from Germany

3.75/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a mag by beerbeing after DLD 07 in the hotel. The liquid was a light pale yellow with very fine carbonation. The head was small and fizzy very wine like.

The smell was strong, sour and peachy.

The taste was no suprise, a puckering sour peach brew, acidic and dry. The taste was good to be sure as the bottle did not last long.

The mouthfeel was light and airy like a sparkling wine

The drinkability was tough. Eventhough the brew's taste was interesting and drew you in for more with each sip, the acidicness and the sourness made it hard to have a lot.

Thanks again to BB for the taste of this rare brew. MK

Nov 25, 2007
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morebeergood from Massachusetts

3.57/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Wow, this beer is sour. I bought a corked bottle in 2004 and just opened it this past weekend July 22, 2007. Poured it into 2 oversized red wine glasses. The first thing you notice is the lack of carbonation, not fizz at all and a very very minimal head that disappeared in an instant. It has a great peachy lambic smell to it. The first sip almost knocked me out, though. One of the most sour beers I have had in a long time. I expected this from a Belgian perhaps, but not from DFH. Kudos to them for taking a chance and making a beer true to its style. There was no way I'd be able to drink the whole bottle, so it was nice to split. Lente was quite a nice treat and went well with some nectarine cobbler we had for dessert.

Jul 24, 2007
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OStrungT from California

4.7/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a cloudy straw yellow, with almost no head. What head is present, is white. It leaves a surprising amount of lacing, considering the fact that almost no head is present.

This beer has a pleasent spur aroma. I smell some fruit. Peaches and pears. It has a slight citrus aroma as well. Although that is pretty much all the aroma, it smells great.

This beer has a sour flavor. It tastes great. Some fruityness is also present. As with the aroma, I taste mostly peaches. It has a slight earthy Belgian yeast flavor to it also.

This beer goes down smooth leaving a crisp sour aftertaste. It has almost no carbonation to it at all.

I think this beer might make a good session beer, but it might get a little overbearing after a while since it is so sour.

Overall: I really liked this beer. Thanks so much to ggaughan for this great beer. I owe you. Hats off to Dogfish Head.

Mar 11, 2007
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Bighuge from Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An aged version. Label says it was brewed in 2004.

This beer has a light golden tone that is ever so slightly hazed. Bubbly head, but not much of it. Lacing is nearly absent. The aroma offers smells of peaches and barnyards and acidity. The tartness hits my palate first with a refreshing blast of peaches following. Almost a residual sugar coated fruit sensation after the swallow. But just for an instant before the acidity washes it away. Some definite Brett character here. This is a dry beer. But not as dry or mouth puckering as the lambics I've tried from Cantillon. I'm no expert in this area of beerdom, but this seems to be a pretty damn good representation of the style.

Gotta give props to my man in Long Beach for setting me up with a nicely cellared beer like this. Thanks much Darren.

Jan 10, 2007
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barknee from New York

4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Festina Lente pours a slightly cloudy 14 K gold with a light head and micro carbonation.
A splendid nose of sweet & sour peaches and apricot, with a magnificent stewed sour peach compote aroma that soars from the glass. The taste is slightly sour with some wild yeast elements; sour peach teamed with citric fruits makes for exiting drinking. Wonderful light fizzy carbonation easily detected in the mouth, not unlike a bottle of Riesling wine. Very refreshing on the palate; this is a romantic-sexy brew perfect for a summer picnic, to share with a loved one, or simply to bogart all by yourself!
DFH does it again with a unique and wonderful beverage. Bravo!!

Aug 14, 2006
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TheLongBeachBum from California

4.27/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 750ml flat bottomed brown glass bottle, sealed with a plain thumbed cork restrained with a black steel cap and a gold colored wire cage. Label clearly states options “2003 2004 2005" with the words "Year Brewed” on the right hand side and the “Packaged in” code is left blank and free of nicks. So no markings at all, as such it is hard to say how old this one is, I suspect 03 or 04. Listed as “A right musty ale made with honest to goodness peaches”. 7% ABV.

Appearance: Hazed body with an unnatural bubbling head which very quickly rescinds to nothingness. Very low carbonation, yet this exhibits a striking look which has a very reminiscent aura of a straight lambic.

Nose: Fresh peaches, and lots of them, with a ‘just cut’ sweetness which melds with a hint of apricots and some sourness to offset the sweet flesh of the peaches.

Taste: Lots of peaches, sharp with a sweetness that crushes the sourness. As you work your way through the sweetness from the fresh peachy flesh soon fades and the sourness builds. Light on the funk, which could be a nit-picking comment, but I like the fact that this is high on the acrid fruity aspects rather than the funk. Gentle Brett tickles but never forces itself out of hibernation, yet it contributes to overall lambic character that this exhibits.

Mouthfeel: Refreshing crisp with a soft light body which adds a ‘sessionable’ quality to this sharp fruity-beauty. The lack of carbonation does not really detract from this one, though a little more oomph in the conditioning would have been a bonus.

Drinkability: Incredibly refreshing, it exhibits this single aspect of lambics incredibly well. Soft, yet sharp, with a tart twist in the finish. Biting satire licks the ending whilst a sarcastic introduction has you begging for more. I had a 750ml but it still didn’t feel like enough.

Overall: I have been lucky to try this one several times, from the first time at the 2004 BA Extreme Festival in Boston to sampling some recently this year at the Mondiale in Montreal. It is always an enjoyable libation and a favorite tipple. But until recently I never managed to snag a bottle of this all to myself, that was, until now. Thanks to BA Erica for snaffling a few of these for me. Much appreciated.

Jul 31, 2006
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Gueuzedude from Arizona

3.97/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled July 2006
Pours virtually flat with a almost brilliantly clear, orange-tinged, copper color. There is a wan, ring of a head that cannot even be described as wispy; more a collection of large bubbles around the sides of the glass. Interesting the aroma still smells of apricots; a light fruity note reminiscent of fresh peaches and apricots. A light tart notes amplifies the fruit aspects of the aroma. The aroma is quite pleasant, there is perhaps a hint of oxidation adds some complexity to this brew. Surprisingly after all this time in the bottle, the peach and fruit notes are the most noticeable thing.

Definitely tart, even causes my mouth to pucker up just a touch. It is also quite dry, but still has a nice fruit character to it. I wouldn't necessarily guess that the fruitiness was from peaches, but it certainly leans in that direction. Notes of tart plums and perhaps some green apple notes join the apricot and peach like notes. There is perhaps a touch of oxidation character as well, but it is fairly muted and seems to add a richness to this brew. The sourness, though omnipresent, is quite smooth and definitely more lactic than acetic. In fact I would be hard pressed to pick out any acetic acid character.

I am quite impressed how pleasant this is to drink, while it is certainly missing the funky complexity of a good Lambic, it certainly makes a good stab at a still aged Lambic straight from the barrel. It is unfortunate that this did not carbonate at all, it would have added some liveliness and would have made this that much more refreshing. Carbonation really would have kicked this beer up to another level, it is still quite enjoyable (admittedly, with all of the rumors about this beer, I was expecting it to be lacking in carbonation). I would love for Dogfish to brew this again, at least to get the carbonation right.

Jul 03, 2006
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DaPeculierDane from Wisconsin

4.28/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazed yellow with light carbonation and no head, none what-so-ever. Smells like the funk, plus a couple rotten lemons and peaches. Tastes like melted wax, piss, muriatic acid soaked limestone, a donkey’s ass, my feet after a hike on a humid day, and lemonade. This stuff is awesome!!! Extremely acidic. Absolutely not for the faint of heart. Extreme as beers get. Perfect for capping off a long day of Barley Wine drinking. This stuff is just awesome. Geuze like. Sour as beer gets. It can match up head to head with a lot of Belgians and take home the prize. The best part is, it only gets better with age, much better! I fell in love with a three year old bottle of the stuff. Now if only I could get my hands on some more…

Jun 13, 2006
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Beersignal from Canada (QC)

4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this over and over and over again at the Mondial V.I.P booth as I pimped it to all who would listen. This, to me, was the most memorable beer of the Mondial... I will enumerate why.

Lovely veiled peach flesh (fitting isn't it) tones with minimal carbonation from the pour. Looks almost muddy but the sunshine from within just lights up the glass.

Aromas are simply exquisite. A fully developped tartness that displays firm notes of peaches, vanilla and orange skins rises from the glass and kisses the nostrils. This is not in-your-face like 3 Fonteinen but much more subtle and doesn't proceed to scare you off.

Flavours are a cinch for a well blended gueuze. If it wasn't for the peaches I would have pegged this as a Frank Boon Geuze. Not overly aggressive but a punchy tart mouthfeel followed by firm notes of peaches, apples and a drying finish where hints of vanilla, oak and fungi meld to provide one of the most pleasing finishes I have ever experienced.

Was served from a 75 cl bottle, which I could easily have finished by myself as the drinkability of this offering by Sam Calagione is without fault. One of my ten best for sure.



Jun 03, 2006
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cubedbee from Maryland

3.87/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle at the Alehouse in Gaithersburg, poured into a pint glass, hazy golden yellowish orange, almost no head and no lacing, harldy appears carbonated. Nose is is a nice tart peach and not much else, fairly assertive and natural smelling. Taste is peach, peach, and more peach, nice tart, a restrained sourness that makes if fairly drinkable. Medium bodied with a medium/high carbonation for a fairly crisp beer. Overall, this is a pretty decent tasty beer, but it's a one note peach beer, and by the end of the bottle it was getting a little old.

Apr 29, 2006
Festina Lente from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 144 ratings