Au Courant | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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Au CourantAu Courant
187 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 187 |  Reviews: 170
Photo of HopStoopid120
5/5  rDev +39.3%

Photo of FFudnam
4.57/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A revelation. The brew arrives in my glass, commanding attention to its shapely hazy apricot body and minimalist head. The scent has tremendous power. Apricots, oranges, plums, grapes, spice. Medium-heavy mouthfeel. Perfect carbonation. Tart, spicy, fruity. More apricot. Not much in the way of bitterness, no hops make their appearance here. Warming! Wow, nearly Belgian in its potency (well, I suppose it IS a Belgian Style Strong Ale) Absolutely delicious, a unique, MUST TRY beverage. Excellent candidate for conversion of a non-craft drinker.

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Photo of dannyfayy
4.5/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of taez555
4.42/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a hazy tan body with chunks of hops, or at least I think it’s hops, it was a lot of dark specks, floating around in the body. There was a lovely pillow white head.

The nose was a firm fruit, currant smell. Basically fruit, fruit and a little more fruit. Almost a fruit juice smell if you dare call it that.

The taste was light to medium bodied. Fruit juice right off the bat. Mellow fruity currant flavor. Some nice touches of golden ale as well, a mild caramel and bread quality. Beautifully soft bubbled carbonation. But overall, VERY fruity with a very fresh tart currant flavor. A bitterness that was hard to distinguish between bitterness and tartness. Surprisingly very clean and extremely drinkable.

I was surprised how much I liked this beer. I have no urge to try it right now, but when I was drinking it I loved every sip. It’s so odd yet so familiar at the same time. I think I’d have another.

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Photo of clvand0
4.41/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, what a color. Totally not what I was expecting. Pours a dark red/purple color. Really weird. Has a moderate pink-colored head that sticks around for a while and leaves some lacing on the glass. The aroma is very sweet and has a strong essence of the courants. The flavor is very similar to the aroma. Lots of courant flavor and some residual sweetness. Has a very slight sour character, but it blends very well. I really enjoyed the flavor on this one. Drinkability is good and the body is right where it should be. Very well crafted beer. For 7%, this one drinks incredibly well.

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Photo of UnionMade
4.41/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a gorgeous, autumnal peach. A thick crop of white bubbles form in the pour, dropping quickly into a tight, even film brdering a small island of denser white. Amazing clarity, with a steady plume of carbonation bubbles rising from the bottom of the tulip glass. Spattered blobs of lace cling to the glass, the head never dropping the misty coating. Altogether very impressive, and the color is just sublime.
The aroma is surprisingly delicate. A soft white grape feel is immediately apparent, cushioned by a warm malty sweetness. A bit of a nilla wafer feel to the malt, with a cookie-like, slightly vanilla hued texture. Plenty of fruit, aside from the currant, with a distinct, slightly sourish apricot, as well as lighter notes of plum, strawberry, raspberry and pear. The barest touch of clove, as well as a brush of flowery hopping.
The flavor starts with a sweet, subtle, cookie-like maltiness, I'm guessing at least a small portion of it is wheat, with a soft touch of candi sugar boosting the sweetness. The currant is immediately apparent, lending a mild, white grape sort of flavor that lingers throughout the sip, almost vinous. Not dominating, but adding complexity to the malty sweetness. A rush of fruit presents itself in the middle, with generous helpings of plum and blueberry. Lighter notes of pear, strawberry, and a touch of banana. Some sourish, tangy apricot and raspberry ushers in the (very long) finish, meeting a slightly phenolic clove spiciness. Very soft floral hops, with just the softest nuance of medicinal, phenolic astringency. A bit of wheat sourness. Slight pepper from the yeast, with a moderate wash of alcohol sweetness as you swallow. A lingering warmth on the back of the throat. A generous, active carbonation moves the lightish body easily across the palate, with a crisp, well attenuated mouthfeel. A pleasant dryness in the finish, accentuating to the tartness.
A surprisingly gentle beer from the brewery known for it's over-the-top brews. I'm actually really shocked at how well done this is, packaged in a masterfully presented appearance. The fruit is in perfect proportion, as to not overpower any other flavors, and allow the malt to speak for itself. The hopping in the finish is very mild, mainly there to add to the gentle nature of the beer. It's almost like one of those american fruit-flavored wheat beers, in the light crispness and feel, but actually done well.

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Photo of FormatKid
4.38/5  rDev +22%
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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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.35/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An aged, refrigerated bottle of Au Courant pours a sparklingly clear amber robe with an orangeish cast and brilliant golden highlights. Tiny bubbles can be seen steadily rising to the surface against the side of the glass; and the creamy white head above it is short but holds well; leaving some nice splashes and spots of lace as it goes. Fruit appears in the nose, although it's not decipherable as to what it particularily is; alongside a delicate, somewhat doughy maltiness and some sublime, background hops. It's surprisingly creamy and smooth across the palate with a medium-full body and delicate, natural carbonation. A combination of malt, yeast, and fruit appears upfront in the flavor, and just behind it comes the clearer impression of just slightly tart currants! It's very interesting (but not particularily complex), and the malt seems to simply slide away as the tartness leads into a drying finish. Some sticky malt does linger in the aftertaste, but it's splashed with delicate fruit and a slap of tartness that rounds it out. Underneath, some hop character is present in both bitterness and flavor, but it's well kept in check. Intriguing, satisfying, and drinkable!

Note: I remember this being a little bit sharper back in the day, but since this is all that's left of it I've got to review it as is. But, I actually think it was better fresh, with a little bit more tartness and fruit in its character. Still, it's delicious.

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Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.32/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Translucent, soft orange in color with a thin film of white, bubbly lace atop it and a strong effervescence of carbonation.

Aroma is slightly sour, with obvious hints of currants, yeast, and a tartness that makes me think I'm really going to enjoy this.

Tart and crisp in the mouth, with only the slightest currant influence balanced with a nice, traditional BSPA backbone. Alcohol shows through a bit, but more than anything, the currants' tartness arches over everything else that's going on here.

Being one with a weakness for tart brews, I really, really like this. I wish I hadn't waited so long to crack it open.

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Photo of mhewes
4.32/5  rDev +20.3%
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 blakesell
4.27/5  rDev +18.9%
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 matjack85
4.25/5  rDev +18.4%

Photo of TastyTaste
4.25/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Bright hazed medium gold, nice big white head, forms a dome over the top of the glass, fading i a symmetrical pattern, leaving a donut shape on top of the beer.

Smell: Very vinous, lots of tart grape character, yeast and a touch of alcohol.

Taste: Champagne, anyone? Taste is tart, fruity, and slightly sweet, this, combined with the effervescent mouthfeel, make this the closest beer i have had to sparkling white wine. A very unique beer, the courrants give it an added dimension.

Mouthfeel: Good efferescent mouthfeel, necessary for this beer to be what it is, I don't think it would be nearly as good.

Drinkability: Not your standard BSPA, Au Courant is a reasonable facsimile to a champagne style of beer. High Life has nothing on this. Props to LuckySevens82 for the bottle.

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Photo of jnelson54
4.25/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured redish purple much like the label fine white champagne head, tastsed of courants/rasins as the name implies. sour. the taste was almost wine like good beer for someone who says they dont like beer. very nice. The finish was nice and neat with a slight sour after taste

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.2/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Rich golden amber honey tone with a beautiful off white cream head great amount of full even lacing nice brew. Aroma: Courant grape like tones fill the air honey tinged rich alcohol infused profile slightly musty but oh so nice can't be let down by this beer. Taste: Grapes are much more prevelant here in the flavor rich courant tones give a honey bread with nutty malts blended in to the overall flavor profile great beer. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied high carbonation belgian style golden ale this is excellent stuff. Drinkabilty: Quaffable a bit one dimensional with the courant leading the way but it's a nice strong golden ale in my opinion.

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Photo of gueuzegeek
4.2/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a very appealling copper reddish color. It was very clear with an average head. I could immediately smell a sweet aroma, but did not immediately pick up on the currant. The first taste was just some sweetness, but then after a bit (and after eating some mild cheese), the total fruitiness of the currant started to appear. It was a bit slow to develop, but then all of a sudden I could really taste it. The aroma also developed and the fruit was definitely present. I am not sure how much was the cheese acting as a palate neutralizer or simply that as it warmed the fruit came through. The beer just got better as I continued to enjoy it. Of course, when tasting, eating food is not always advised, however, I will definitely say mild cheeses had no ill effect, but do not serve this beer to anyone while they are eating anything spicy or they will really miss out on its beauty.

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Photo of Hefe
4.17/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tasted from 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

The appearance caught me off guard, is this beer or Hawaiian Punch? Red/purple, I guess you'd call it currant, whatever it is it's bright. Lightly reddish thin head. Beautiful aroma of slightly tart currants. Clean malty flavor, with the currant flavor almost meshing perfectly. A little more time and I think this will be money. Finishes clean and fresh with that nice currant zip. Mayhap a touch sweet for excessive drinkability, but very pleasant nonetheless.

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Photo of Imstillthegman
4.17/5  rDev +16.2%
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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Photo of beefytee
4.17/5  rDev +16.2%
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 aerozeppl
4.17/5  rDev +16.2%
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 SixpointJMH
4.15/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

two cases of this stuff arrived at a local store today (seemingly), so i ripped one open and grabbed a 4-pack. different, but tasty nonetheless. it pours a nice orange/amber colour, perhaps the most orange that i've ever seen a beer. very bright and inviting. there's about a 1/2 inch thick white head that leaves a minimal stickiness behind on the glass. the smell is sweet as can be, yet not overpowering. it of the sugar/candy type with hints of orange and berry (from the currants, i presume) and alcohol in the background. the taste is quite similar to the smell, but surprisingly (and pleasantly) more subdued. due to the minimal carbonation here, it almost seems a bit watery at times, but the flavour keeps pressing through. threre is a bit of a hop kick at the finish along with some nice warmth from the alcohol. whilst not earth-shattering, this is a solid, and very drinkable brew that's a nice alternative to the more 'standard' winter brews.

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Photo of Higravity
4.15/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured it into a tulip glass and I got a decent head of white foam that lasted through a few sips. It has a copper color leaning toward amber. It smells of courant tea and a faint likeness to some Shiraz wines. I like courants and the beer delivers the balanced edge of light caramel-maltiness sublimely coated in courant and a little bitterness in the finish. After getting used to what I was tasting and finding more by the sip I think this could be a good poker beer.

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Photo of 99bottles
4.13/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thin orange-gold body with an inch tall head of white lace that dissipates into a weak lacing of miniscule bubbles. An interesting but overly weak smell dissapoints, as it has scents of freshly cut hay, Lindeman's Framboise (and yes, that's the first time I ever used a beer to describe a smell), ripe berries and some weird things going on. I need to taste this and...hmmmm. I like it. There is some serious beer flavoring going on here. Black currants? I've never had any that were so sweet. This has an insanely ripe berry flavor that covers everything else about this ale. It's awesomely drinkable. It hardly tastes like anything except rasberies, blueberries, boysenberries and 200 pounds of pure sugar in each individual bottle. Yeah, it's sweet beyond belief, but not beyond deliciousness. Yum, yum yum. Damn. Why'd I wait so long to try this?

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Photo of brentk56
4.12/5  rDev +14.8%
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 SheepNutz
4.12/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter. It pours a medium pinkish red color with one finger of light pink head. There is just a little bit of lacing. The smell is sweet and fruity, and a bit tart as well. Almost a cherry pie aroma, nice. The taste is very sweet and first, and contains lots of fruity characters. There's some red grapes and cherries. The finish is a little puckering, with a hint of alcohol too. The mouthfeel is fairly strong and thick, and the drinkability is good for 7% abv. Thanks to Chris (clvand0) for sharing this one.

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Au Courant from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 3.59 out of 5 with 187 ratings