Au Courant | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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Au CourantAu Courant

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
A remarkable, strong Belgian Pale Ale brewed with French Pilsner malt and pale Belgian Candi Sugar. Pureed currants and our house Belgian Ale strain are added to the fermenter to create a unique beer.Brewed to bolster your bluster in the colder weather!

Added by Todd on 12-04-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 170 | Ratings: 187
Photo of rodbeermunch
1.93/5  rDev -46.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.75

A mix of light copper and yellow color, white head, 1/2". Aroma was berries, tart, currants, a little bit weird.

Taste was brutal, how something can be so bitter without much from the hops, but then a sweetness that doesn't play with the bitterness. Dark fruit bitterness, harsh alcohol mouthfeel. Hot stuff.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.97/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle split and poured into a Duvel tulip.
7% ABV, no date (Bottle from 2004!)

A big sloppy wet kiss-thanks to bnieman for sharing this aged bottle from his cellar!

A - Not pale in the least, but oh well, what's a (style) name good for anyway. Blood red and cloudy, Au Courant isn't topped by much head. Thin, loose bubbles cling around the outer edge.

S - Slightly funky yeast notes give way to a fruity underbelly of currants and black cherries. Notes of lactic acidity forewarn of light sourness to come.

T - Merlot-like in flavor, currants and grapes blend nicely with a smooth malt balance. Not totally nuanced, but good regardless.

M - Lightly tart and minimally sour on the finish with a medium-light body and wine-like dryness to the back end.

O - Interesting blend going on in this brew, it's pretty unique but probably much better fresh. Still, Au Courant has hung on very well for it's age!

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
1.93/5  rDev -46.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Notes from camping trip, Wisconsin 2004. Copper and bright golden color, white head. Aroma was tart berries and I guess the offputting part would be currants.

Taste was just horrible. Nasty currant sweetness with fruit bitterness of shitty berries birds won't even eat. Struggled to drink just 1 of the bottles myself. Hoped to pawn the rest of the 4pack off on the girls. Rotten fruit with acid. No hops. Tastes like a boilermaker of rotten fruit and rubbing alcohol + currants.

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Photo of brew3crew
3.22/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle is from 2004.

A-murky read with almost no head whatsoever
S-really weird. Can't quite put my finger on it. I like it though. Courant smelling perhaps?
T-very sour tasting. Courant maybe? Well past its prime
M-medium bodied and not so crisp
D-ok at best. Not the worst out there

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Photo of udchemist
3.64/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 2~23~2011. This is a 7yr old beer, and for its age is really good.
Appearance - cloudy, orangeish red. Little bit of carbonation remains, but not terrible amount
Smell - sour, maybe a hint of grapey goodness
Taste - sour, grapes, it has a winey aftertaste, little bit of off flavors there but not too bad.
Mouthfeel - medium mouthfeel, sour aftertaste
Drinkability - I'm not a huge sour fan, so was hesitant to drink it but after getting over the initial sourness, it has a decent drinkability.

Thanks to Urbancaver - great night of tasting and tickers! :)

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Photo of Urbancaver
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pour a murky reddish brown. With a good amount of head. Well carbonated. Smells sour and tart. Certainly past it's prime but intesting to try. Tastes like courrant. The tart and sour kicks hard. I would be curious to see how it is in another 2-3 years. Decent mouth feel. Well carbonated and pretty drinkable

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Photo of ekardz
4.1/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

based on some other reviews, you'd think this bottle didn't hold up well to age. i personally think it is has aged/changed very nicely. It pours a reddish purple with a one finger head, very hazy and cloudy, thick/syrupy looking, not much carbonation. Smells of currants, wine, grapes, resiny, floral, sour/tart smell. If I didn't know any better I could've sworn this was something Vinnie brewed. There is a lot of flavor in the taste. Sour, malty, mellow grapes and bitter. There is a very dry finish with a great overall medium bodied mouthfeel. Superb drinkability after all these years. Wish this was brewed again, and would love to have one more!!!

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Photo of corby112
3.04/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark golden orange color with burnt orange hues when held to a light source and a frothy, pillowy two finger off-white head. Very god retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap. Large chunks of lacing left behind.

Very sweet dark fruit aroma with subtle hops, caramel malt and sweet alcohol. Slightly spicy with a bit of pepper that accompanies the apple and currants.

Medium bodied with slight oxidization up front. It's still very sweet with lots of caramel apple and vinous dark fruit. Unfortunately the alcohol hasn't mellowed much, adding heat and more sweetness. Stale hop profile which is understandable considering the age. Hints of grape, currant, apple and grape along with spicy pepper. Dry finish.

I was glad to try this beer but it kind of tastes like spicy, alcoholic apple cider.

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Photo of hoppymcgee
3.28/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 2004 vintage bottle into a wine glass.

A: Dark, murky, eggplant color with a decent fizziness and white ring of carbonation.

S: Prunes, grapes, and a little rum raisin. A little mustiness in the background too.

T: Currants! Grape skins shine as well providing the tartness. A little booze still comes through believe it or not.

M: The best feature of this beer. Very dry and crisp. Still has the bubbles!

D: This beer held up pretty well for being 6 years old.

Overall, I miss old Dogfish Head beers like this.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.92/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Beer poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a standard pint glass. Beer is yellow / dark yellow with a white head made up of a small bubbles that collapse into medium bubbles. Carbonation is moderate to low but steady of medium bubbles that rise slowly through the beer. The beer is mostly clear. There is a faint pinkish coloring to the head. The head falls away leaving some lacing on the glass as I drink.

Kind of tart smelling with a strong acidic component to it, lots of fruit notes (I suppose those are the currants). No hop aromas to speak of but that's fine, I am expecting this to taste like grapes.

Yep, grapes. Definitely some acidic presence as well, tastes a little bready which is a surprise and I don't think its adding a whole lot to the overall beer. Beer is light to medium bodied and slightly dry. Overall drinkability is good. They should reprieve this beer, it was a more successful use of currants in a brew.

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Photo of Deuane
4.02/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One from the vaults! It is funny what you can find looking through old notes.

A-Golden copper with a medium white head that vanished to a thin ring and left spotty lace.

S-Sharp fruity acidity, some white wine notes and a nice dose of biscuit.

T-Grape and a tang of fruity sourness. Some balancing biscuit but this one is all about the fruit.

M-Light bodied very sharp and a fruit spritzer. Dry finish.

D-I remember having this on tap at the brewpub years back and was impressed. Glad they bottled it and am pleasantly surprised at how nicely it came out. A pleasant and easy drinking fruit beer for sure.

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Photo of MMAJYK
3.69/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A. Bright golden color with a little bit of head which lacks retention.

S. Honey, white grapes, lemons.

T. Just exactly like the mouth. Very rich and the currants are dominating. Complex.

M. Medium in the mouth with medium carbonation.

D. Great experience! Never heard of this beer before my buddy brought this one up.

Cheers, hurleymanvw for this one!

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Photo of doho95fu
2.88/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Wow - some beers are not for me and this is one of them. Some experiments are doomed to failure and in my mind the strength of the inclusion of currants was overwhelming to point of the beer being unrecognizable.... as a beer. Color is cabernet. Smell was again currants, with some maltiness and oak. The taste was where the wheels fell completely off. Tasted like a bad diet grape soda with a splash of Hoegaarden. Way too much grape. The mouthfeel was odd as well with a thinness not usual for an ale in my experience. No alcohol burn at all. The tartness and flavor strength make this a low drinkability beer.

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Photo of brentk56
4.12/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brewed in 2003

Appearance: The color must have settled down over the years as the color is honey colored with just a hint of garnet; very cloudy with a decent head for its age that settles to a ringlet with lots of splashy lace

Smell: Tart currant aroma - bold and rich, with just a hint of biscuity malt underneath

Taste: Opens with a hint of the malt but jumps to the tart currant flavors; by mid-palate, the tartness has really built and there is just a bit of almost woody malt flavor upon the swallow; the tartness returns afterwards, with an underlying wheat beer character, with hints of almonds, banana and clove

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Looking through some reviews, I think the age has really benefited this beer; I was impressed by the complexity and some of the surprising elements; a lot of wine character, too

Thanks, aerozeppl, for an opportunity I had just about given up hope of getting

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.17/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2003 bottle

A: Poured with 2 fingers of white head that quickly went down to a half finger. Looks almost like a dark heff in the glass. Cloudy around the edges but the center light has a hard time getting through.

S: Grapes. A little bit bready as well. The obvious wine comparison must be made but it really does not smell like wine at all.

T: Damn I thought the grapes would fade but they are right up front. Grape bonkers! Holy shit. They made this beer taste like that awesome artificial grape using real grapes. Where is there Nobel prize? Little hint of the yeast in the back. Few other things I really cant get down.

M: Very carbonated which cuts it down a touch. Light to medium body. Dry finish.

D: Don't remember what this tasted like fresh but not bad with 5 years on it. I was expecting the worst. Again very Dogfish very good.

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Photo of mhewes
4.32/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2003 bottle served at room temperature

A : Pours a light brown/golden color with some red tint to it. Not too much head

S : Very nice sweet aroma mainly consisting of currants with a hint of malt

T : Very nice currant flavor with some nice sweet malt flavors in it also. Not much else going on.

M : Medium-bodied, very little carbonation

D : Easily drinkable. I really enjoyed it and was surprised at how well it had held up over the years.

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Photo of Portertime
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An interesting brew from our friends at Dogfish head. Poured a dark, black cherry color. Nose had an upfront currant smell as well as a hint of blackberries and plum. Tastes of mighty currant that alternates between tart and sweet with an off dry finish.

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Photo of blakesell
4.27/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2003 bottle, poured into standard pint glass.

Appearance- A dark maroon red with a pillowy pink tinted 3 finger head. Lacing clings to the glass and froth is mildly belgian in style.

Smell- Sweet syrups. Grapes, plums, and currants as the name implies.

Taste- Deep sweet cherries with a wine flavored aftertaste. A malty sweetness with a fruit balance that is very similar to a lightly sweetened biere de garde. A great many flavors that didn't come out when the beer was fresh.

Mouthfeel- Creamy candied berries flavor in the finish. Clings sticky on the lips. sherrylike butternuts also lingering. Creamy with a sharp bite.

Drinkability- I'm on the fence on the drinkability here. It's sweet like a desert beer and is light enough to enjoy. But fruit beers aren't something I really enjoy drinking in succession. I enjoy more beers similar to beer. I could see a wine and malternative audience going for this one, or a big cider fan.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.77/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, must be from 2004 or earlier since this beer hasn't been made lately (as stated on Dogfish's website). Served in the "new" Sam Adams Lager pint glass, the beer pours a weird purple/red/brown color with a half inch white-pink head. The aroma is very fruity, it smells like currants, cranberries, grapes and just tart fruit in general. The taste is pretty much the same way it smells. It tastes like tart cranberry/grape juice with some currants thrown in there. Mouthfeel is medium with a slick, coating mouthfeel. Drinkability is good, but I don't know if I could have more than 1 of these at a time or not. Overall I think it's decent. I just wonder how it would taste if I would have been able to try a fresh bottle of this.

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Photo of weeare138
3.45/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to egajdzis for breaking out this aged, vintage, '04 bottle.
Appears a reddish, cranberry juice-toned, purple color with an off white head that slowly fades out. Scattered streaks of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of raisins, cranberries, courants, gooseberries, and other tart fruit.
Taste is of tart fruit, pasty, play-dough infused courants, along with a vinous inspired flavor.
Mouthfeel is tart, vinous, sweet, and sour.

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Photo of CardinalBrewing
2.16/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

This doesn't know if it wants to be a beer or a wine. From the first sip, I was intrigued. I cannot compare the taste to any other beer I have had. The closest comparison I could make was to a cabernet (although more watery). There is very little carbonation, and almost no head. The color is very interesting. It could almost pass for a brown ale until held up to the light, when a slight purple color comes through. The sweetness of this beer is a bit overpowering. As far as drinkablility, I could not ever imagine having more than one of these at a time. I have to give Dogfish Head credit for creativity, but they have the tendancy to take "creativity" to the extreme. I'd give this one a pass.

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Photo of cabsandking
2.52/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

This one is simply all over the place, a conundrum of sensations if you will. Upon the poor you cant wait to dive in. Its a deep crimson with pink carnation fizzy head that fades quickly. Sour courant flavor is very strong and pungent like grape skins. Medium body that coats the mouth well. Very dry in the back and sour like wine. Its malt characters work to subdue some of the sourness but the hops seem to collide with it. The courant is such a strong flavor that its difficult to appreciate the beers style characters. Not necessarily bad, I just couldn't get into it.

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Photo of beefytee
4.17/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

All of the reviews this far have been pretty accurate, but I would like to lobby a suggestion.

Try it warm. I don't mean room temperature warm, I mean WARM. Maybe around 90 degrees warm.

I found the best way to bring it up to this themerature was in a glass on the stove with the oven at 450 or so. I have an old inefficient gas oven which leaks heat like a mother. It took about 30 minutes to get it up to the perfect temperature.

assuming you can't do this, maybe a double boiler over medium low heat. you don't want the water to boil though...just to warm up.

If anyone actually DOES take this suggestion, I'd love a beer mail telling me how it worked out.

it REALLY opens the beer up, bringing out more of the sweet and mellowing some of the tart.

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Photo of Vancer
2.68/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Didn’t read the reviews before sampling – quite a surprise. If this was a fruit or lambic, it would rate well for the style. As Belgium strong PA, it fails for me.

Sangre red pour, pink head. Notes of sweet strawberry in the nose.

Tastes of sour strawberry, and finishes with a slickly sweet finish. Fizzy carbonated, reminiscent of red soda.

This was just not a drinker or enjoyalble. The tastes were just not right – too sour & fizzy. Everyone I gave a taste to ended up with the <sour face> look.

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Photo of Imstillthegman
4.17/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lucked into a four-pack from 2003. Pours a deep maroon with lighter red edges that has a thin pinkish-purplish (is that a color?) head. Lacing is almost invisible. The aroma is mostly fruity...courants, grapes, and berries. Sweet and sour at the same time. The taste is almost the same as the smell. Sweet courants and grapes with a tart finish to it. Not sure how this compares to a fresh one, since this is the first time I have tried this beer, but this is pretty tasty. Mouthfeel is a bit syrupy with light carbonation. I only wish the store I found these at had more.

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Au Courant from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.58 out of 5 based on 187 ratings.
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