Au Courant
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Au CourantAu Courant
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Belgian Strong Pale Ale
3.64 | pDev: 15.66%
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Au CourantAu Courant
Notes: 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!
Reviews: 170 | Ratings: 187 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by sprackops:
Photo of sprackops
4.12/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle poured into a nonic imperial pint glass. '03 edition.

Appearance: Dark gold to amber in color with very little head - more of a thin film with loose white bubbles around the edges.

Smell: Non-specific fruity aroma with hints of honey. Single dimensional, but pleasant nonetheless.

Taste: Sweet malts up front, slowly giving way to the tang of sour currants. While there seems to be a floral ghost of hops past here, there aren't any other specific subtle flavor components to the brew. Still, what's here is pretty tasty.

Mouthfeel: Rather full body with soft carbonation.

Drinkability/Comments: Overall, what Au Courant lacks in complexity it makes up for in a simple, yet very appealing fruit character. Quite quaffable, and one of the better flavored beers I've had.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of frazbri
3.2/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Purple body with short, pink head, but good lacing. Grape aroma, sacramental wine, and no noticable hops. Tart, grape juice, and sweet tart candy. Medium-light body with fairly high carbonation.

This beer stands somewhere between grape juice and wine. It is interesting, but it doesn't excite me. I find this one hard for me to review. I think I know what the brewers were aiming for, but I'm not sure they hit the target.

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Photo of donnebaby
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark purple brown opaque body and thick drifts of purple cream. Nose is full of cassis flavor with some booze in the background. Puncturing flavor and minimal muscat grape sweetness.

Taste follows suit with the nose -- cassis tart and sweetness, mild and controlled. Dry enough to be tasteful. Like a lambic in feel and reminiscent of rodenbach in tartness and flavor. Alcohol nicely hidden. Not wildly interesting but well-balanced and well-made.

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Photo of Ninjaworm
2.85/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: A faint golden hue.

Smell: Faint sweetness that concentrates as the liquid warms over time.

Taste: Very strong currant flavor that creates a sour finish.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation with a very light body lends this beer to being very unexciting.

Drinkability: This beer is an interesting experiment but nothing very special.

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Photo of Skidz
3.94/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out pale yellow and sits a gloriously bright orange in the glass. A small, a forcefully poured white head sits on top, but is soon gone.

Smells of tart cherries and grapes, some good malts and overall an estery nose; it's quite sharp and pungent.

Tastes of currants dominate the front but smooth malty hues come out from behind. Not too much in terms of hops here, hardly any bitterness follows. Good clean taste.

Decent body, smooth and clean, good carbonation. Easy to drink, very pleasant tastes and warms the stomach. A good brew for hot summer days.

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Photo of erica
2.85/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I drove in the big bad snow and got rear-ended (no damage done, thank god) for this one (among others)...
The color was nice, i'd almost have to call it bright amber, there was a brightness to it. It was pretty. It smelled grapey, maybe berry-like but not too strong. A nice aroma indeed.
Then the taste- honestly, it tasted very grainy, the currants were not in the taste for me, and it just really tasted like corn to me, which I didn't like too much- too overpowering. The mouthfeel was ok, but because of the taste, I just couldn't see myself drinking this one again anytime soon.

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Photo of CRJMellor
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours golden color with amber hints. Decent sized white head fades quickly leaving very little.
Aroma is absolutely dominated by courants, little bit of a chardonnay-like aroma with some light citrus fruits and maybe a hint of honey. Flavors of grape, cassis, minor malt and little bit of back end bitterness. Slight alcoholic hit at the end. Feels smooth and easy in the mouth, sweetness gives it a little bit of a pucker factor. A litle bit over the top as far as courant dominated (this DFH) but much better than my expectations.

Thanks to beerluvr for this one.

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Photo of PaleAleHater
2.25/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I loved the 2003 Au Courant. I hate this. If I wanted to drink uncarbonated cranberry juice I'd buy some oceanspray. Dogfish used to be my favorite brewery but I don't know anymore.. it seems to be one flop after another. Like most experimental DFH brews this has little to no carbination and tastes like puke (similar to aged raison d'etre).

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Photo of Foxman
3.2/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

It pours a pretty orange-gold, crispy clear, with a small white head that dwindles quickly to a star of thin foam in the middle. There's no lacing.

The aroma delivers a strong whiff of dried fruit, with apricot coming to mind, and a citrusy mandarin orange background from the hops. A dry metallic tang draws away from the overall aroma.

First the dried fruit makes it's appearance, delivering again apricots, perhaps currants, and even berry. There's a distinct malt sweetness as well. The malt finishes with a biscuit character, and the hops are more felt than tasted. There's a musty under-bracing to the flavor, and the finishing sweetness borders on artificial in nature.

It's light to medium bodied, and doesn't so much coat as wash the mouth. The malt is slightly chewy, a nice surprise, and there's little evidence of hops in the mouth after a taste.

It smells sweet, and it tastes sweet. The metallic element is a turn-off, and the busyness of the taste and aroma is not an altogether good thing. The cloying sweetness makes multiple undertakings unlikely. If you enjoy fruit flavored beers, try it, you may like it, but I've never been the biggest fan, and this beer does not change that. Still, there's enough structure here to make one wonder "what-if" the negatives were a little less poignant, making it interesting in its way. It's just that other beers interest me more.

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Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
1.59/5  rDev -56.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Wow is this a miserable brew! The appearance is actually a nice, raspberry red, with a pink head. I was actually imagining I was about to indulge in a Kreik or framboise. The smell is very dry with a barnyard staleness. Grape skins seem to be present, or is this possibly the infamous courant showing up for the party. The taste follows the aroma in terms of nastiness. The dryness in remarkably cloying and makes you second guess the next sip. Now this is not gueuze dryness, this is just bad. It is so sour and dry up front, that you have a hard time detecting the true flavors in this beer. The tongue is parched more and more with each sip. Now as bad as this beer is, I can honestly believe that there is some hidden beauty in this that some people may find satisfying. A 4-pack is way to much to handle of this. Ickkk!

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Photo of filabrazilia
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear pale copper with a near non-existen off white head. The lace is very nice as it coats the sides of the glass.

A delightfully sweet fruit aroma rises to the nose and is joined by a good bit of malt. THe sweetness is pleasant and not at all overwhelming.

A sweet winelike fruitiness is the dominant flavor of this interesting beer. However, it is a bit one-dimensional for such a promising beer. I want layers of flavor not just one.

The beers sweetness is balanced by a dry finish. The sweetness comes back after the last sip and lingers like a good memory.

A good beer that is flawed by its singular flavor. Otherwise a good offering from dogfish head.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.57/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Fluorescent raspberry... electric fruit punch... passionfruit juice cocktail. This is, without a doubt, the most amazing beer color that I've ever seen. Not the best (since it doesn't even look like beer), just the most amazing. Providing bright backlighting is even more of a treat. Belgian Strong Pale Ale? I think I hear side-splitting laughter coming from across the Atlantic. The rapidly diminishing, powder pink head doesn't bother to leave any lace.

The nose is odd, and not in a good way. How can something that looks like a raspberry slushee smell like this? Let's see... stale, musty, musky, borderline rancid hops and other assorted effluvia of a vegetal nature. While it isn't quite bad enough to be considered repellent, off-putting isn't far off the mark.

If Dogfish Head Craft Brewery brings anything to the craft beer table, it's eccentricity. Au Courant is eccentric in spades. After my first sip, three words came to mind: what... the... hell... ? I can't believe currants are the only thing present other than malt, hops, yeast and water. I know what currants taste like and this ain't it.

I'm at a loss when attempting to describe the flavor profile, as if none of the usual rules apply. That's how strange this beer is. I hope the bright red color isn't coloring my impressions, but I taste a certain fruitiness that reminds me of sour cherries and assorted berries that have had the sugar sucked out of them and have been sprinkled with some bizarre, exotic spice. I keep hoping the beer is going to grow on me, but it doesn't.

BSPA? Not even close. Not even in the same solar system, much less the same area code. The finish is my least favorite part of the mouthful since that's where the various flavors are best defined. I prefer them to stay as blurry as possible. The mouthfeel is light-medium with a spunky, Belgian ale-like amount of carbonation.

Dogfish Head either brews great beer or less than good beer. This offering is definitely the latter. The appearance is wacky in a good way and the flavor is wacky in a bad way. Since flavor is king, Au Courant gets a vigorous 'thumbs down'.

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Photo of counselor
3.43/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

It is what it is, a courant flavord beer. Pours a nice shiny pale color with a fair head. Smells of courants, deep and fruity. When I drink it, thats all I taste, no real malt, no real hop, just that berry flavor, bordering on juicy juice. The beer itself is easy drinking in terms of balance, but I couldn't set back more than 2 of these at a session. A nice diversion beer with a neat angle, but not one I'd seek out again.

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Photo of benmiliron
3.74/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Paid $7.99 for a 4-pack.

It pours out reddish purple, more like wine than beer. The foam is purple. I love it. Smells of fruit, sour, and a hint of medicine (not good.) Taste is sour fruit, almost grapefruit without the citrus. Sharp carbonation. Berries that you'd regret eating in the woods. But somehow it kind of works. Like a less-sharp lambic. Nice, but I wouldn't buy it again.

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Photo of sideshowrob
3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It took me quite a long while to locate a four-pack of this little beer. I think the beer distributor in my part of Maryland has a personal vendetta against Dogfish Head. I have no real proof of this, other than the fact that Dogfish Head beers routinely show up in DC and Virginia long before, if ever, they appear in Maryland Liquor stores...

The beer, nice pour, good golden amber color, little creamy white head, which dissipated quickly. Very inviting smell, clean and crisp, just a hint of berries. Taste matched the smell - this is a very clean and well finished beer - almost has a "Pete's Wicked" finish to it. Very drinkable. I could go through a 4-pack of this in one evening.

I'm glad I was able to finally locate this latest Dogfish Brew. Unlike some of their other recent releases, this one does not dissapoint. It does seem to lack some of that distinctive Dogfish character that makes people do things like drive an hour out of their way to find beer; I'm not sure if this beer will be seasonal or a year-round, and I'm not sure that I care either way.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First comment: Almost had a heart attack when this pour hit my tulip. This year’s DFH Au Courant is dark lilac. Now that my chair hasn’t been keeled over, this is a dark hued purple pour with solferino this collar head cap. No more freshness dating on this bottle.

Earthy organic stiff aromatic nose with some grainy juniper berry scents. Some light berry, dandelion and hay airiness jump into the weave, which as warmed, are surprisingly pilsner-esque.

First swigs: Berry with the vine flavor. This is like the garden dirt was chucked in with the courant. Vegetal notes are accentuated to a recognizable degree. The more this warms, the more that it approaches Welches grapefruit juice middle that warms straight towards an ephemeral dry red wine vinous aftertaste.

Crisp attentive carbonation. Firm, medium body.

Last swigs: Earthy red grape dry vinious. The new Au Courant falls on a sharply defined flavor. This is not your father’s Au Courant. After hearing that the recipe changed, this was a shock from last year. Quite a side track from what DFH put out last year. Sleeker label ta boot. Reminiscent of the Cragmill offerings. Daring, and enjoyable. Admittedly, the prior batch was just overall more drinkable.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

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Photo of malty
2.99/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz. longneck - no freshness date.

Almost clear - ruby red with a pinkish head that quickly dissipated.

Musty cranberry-like scent that was very fleeting.

Taste was very dry yet juicy. Sour/bitter/tart cranberry with not much else besides an interesting (very faint) dark chocolate covered cherry flavor to support the finish.

Highly carbonated - belched right from the get-go. Light body that was very lively/fizzy.

Drinkability wasn't the greatest. I'll stick to a trusty belgian lambic when I get the hankerin' for a well constructed sour beer experience. Gotta love DFH for their creativity though.

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Photo of LuckySevens82
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle.
Pours a hazy orange color with no head at all. I am somewhat disappoined. Usually DFH brews I've had score higher on appearance.
Smell, light fruity malts, courants.
Taste is very much the same as it smells, very fruity, some alcohol, a very little bit of hops. Courants balance out this beer, but perhaps dominate the flavor a little bit too much. This is a fine golden ale, but I do believe that the experimentation aspect of this beer perhaps goes too far.
I have had much better DFH brews than this.

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3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of BCMan
3.38/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Has a nice copper color w/ a dry scent. Very light, smooth taste w/ the courant coming as an after taste. Didn't have as strong of a fruit flavor as I expected. The fruity aroma and flavor grew as it warmed. The bottle presented well even though Dogfish Head has a very simple logo. Add another D H to list of good beer.

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Photo of Billolick
3.82/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, "packaged in" date of 03. Pours clear golden amber, not much head and no lace left. Nose is raisiny, suprise, and grainy, touch of hops. Medium bodied, warming and again notes of raisins, figs, leather, vanilla. Not sure if I'd call this one a strong Belgian, tastes more like a fruit ale. Anyway, tasty, interesting stuff from DFH. Worth a try.

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Photo of JackTheRipper
3.76/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a neat garnet color. Clear, but the beer is pretty dark to see through. Initial head was now about 1/2 inch, now it's just a memory.

S: Faint tart fruity aroma, some malty smells but the typical "beer" smells (hops, malts) don't seem to be too abundant. Smells could be a little stronger.

T: Semi-sour, I thought this would be fruitier based on the color but it doesn't taste too over the top sweet. Not much bitterness. Seems to be a nice taste of the currants. No real aftertaste.

M: Dry, a bit of a pucker factor, but not nearly as much as a lambic, medium CO2, alcohol is very nicely warming.

D&N: I really didn't know what to expect of this one. I thought it might either taste like a sweet lambic or those currants made from raisins. Gladly, it's neither. As a fruit/vegetable beer, this is pretty darned good, I don't know if I'd rate it as highly if it were still considered a strong belgian like the previous years. Interesting and quite drinkable for someone who likes fruit beers. Hopheads probably won't like this one too much, but I do.

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Photo of necoadam
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured out an amber/orange color that looked almost like iced tea to be honest with you. Not much of a head to speak of. Smell was a little subdued. There's a nice dose of courants that hit the nose though. Taste was pretty good I thought. Courants mixed in with some caramel and malts come ot mind. Aftertaste was a little dry. Too bad this is a seasonal, I wouldn't mind see this brew all year around on shelves.

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Photo of shapudding
2.96/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

No dating but this is the 2004 lambic version. Beautifully clear and rubied with just a touch of mauve froth that laid in a dusting and ring with some medium and large bubbles. Odd... the first sniff I take I am expecting a berry blast, but I am getting more of a gentle aroma. Took me a while to place it, then I realize it is slightly darkened toast with currant jelly (my Dad alway had that for breakfast when I was growing up, and I actually called while drinking this to ask him if he still does -yep, he does!) Not very intense, you can barely catch the aroma when it is chilled. But it is kind of interesting. Smooth and medium bodied, the carbonation feels full but is not explosive. Tastes of very fresh currants. Makes me think of when I was a kid and we would pick the gooseberries from a neighbors plantings. A lot of fruit flavor stays in your mouth. Interesting taste, bit of that dark toast and currant jelly. I would enjoy it more if there was a bit more body to it maybe? Not one for a session, but interesting. Thanks Ev!

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Photo of FormatKid
4.38/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this beer out from a 12oz bottle into my La Trappe goblet. The body of this beer is an absolutely beautiful, crystal clear shade of light amber. It is highlighted by thousands of tiny carbonation bubbles all over, almost has a champagne like look to it. On the down-side there is really no head to speak of at all, a thin crust of bubbles is the most I got out of it. The nose has a lovely, musty, doughy belgian yeast presence, it’s also fruity and I pick up a smattering of white pepper. It’s a little flat and dry across the front of my palate but absolutely erupts mid-palate with an explosion of fruit flavor, currant being the most dominant. I cannot imagine how somebody drinking this beer could miss it. It’s tart and absolutely juicy. After my socks get rocked mid-palate things mellow out, rye bread, dough, pepper, and attic must finish things out. The mouthfeel is light and lively and almost a little bit like champagne itself. A brilliant beer.

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Au Courant from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 187 ratings