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 rab53
1/5  rDev -72.1%

Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
1.59/5  rDev -55.7%
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 Beerandraiderfan
1.93/5  rDev -46.2%
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 rodbeermunch
1.93/5  rDev -46.2%
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 CardinalBrewing
2.16/5  rDev -39.8%
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 nomad
2.18/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours a dead-clear pale orange with no head or lace. Nice color, though. Smells of a small amount of currants, more sharp white grapes, and a gueuze-like sour. Wondering what's going on...

Taste is strange. Currants? Somewhat, but not really. Pale Ale? A little bit of light malt underneath, crisp but fighting. Its losing to the distasteful tart-gone-creamy flavor with oily under-ripe hops that dominate the end and finish. I pass over the middle of the profile because it passes over with nary a note besides a weak and undistinguishable fruit flavor.

Once again, Dogfish Head's experiments equal fahgetaboutit. File it next to Aprihop. No thank you, I'll take their IPAs instead.

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Photo of faernt
2.19/5  rDev -39%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bathroom deodorizer!!! I started off badly with this one. The smell reminds me of room freshener. As a disclaimer, I don't like rose water in my Indian desserts either. It's a reasonably crafted beer but I actually had to drink two quickly to get past the dangling pine tree symbol in my head. I have a lot of DFH in my beer closet but this won't be living here long. Try again Sam. I'm still a believer but, this one blows.

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Photo of PaleAleHater
2.25/5  rDev -37.3%
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 cabsandking
2.52/5  rDev -29.8%
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 BuckeyeNation
2.57/5  rDev -28.4%
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 quasimoto
2.65/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A- pours a bright cranbery color with a frothy pink head. A little hazy.

S - Smells of malt are mixed in with a tart fruity smell.

T - This has the tartness and fruity flavors of a begian pale ale, but it comes along with the fruity flavors of currants. Definitly different.

M - It has a the tartness feeling that cranberries bring out along with biiterness of hops. Not the easiest thing on the tongue.

D - This is a one a night type of thing. Great for a warm summer night. Another hit for Sam and his brewery, too bad it its not my Cup of tea. Maybe it will grow on me.

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Photo of Vancer
2.68/5  rDev -25.3%
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 santoslhalper
2.73/5  rDev -24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Appearence: What? It's purple!! With a respectable pink head on top. Is this beer or soda or wine or what? Hmm... It's a fruit beer I'll let it slide.

Smell: Smells like a red-ass wine. Balls out fruits with a huge alcohol back. I'm still not convinced this is beer in my glass.

Taste and Mouthfeel: I'm dissapointed. Looks and smells crazy, but tastes entirely too tart. Nothing really hits my taste buds other than the monstrous amount of tartness. And it's not enjoyable. The mouthfeel is fizzy but clean, appropriate for a fruit beer.

Drinkability and Overall: This is a very unique beer, but not necessarily a good one. The taste of the beer with the huge tart feel to it really kill the drinkability. Too much going on to enjoy another. Fans of raspberry may enjoy this, but I'm not one of them. I set a few back to age for some time, and I'm hoping age will do this one well. But I gotta say, hats off to Dogfish Head for pushing the limits once again.

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Photo of kmcnair
2.74/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep blood red and makes a sudsy pink head.. woah! Aromatics are very barnyard... almost too barnyard, my first impression was that this smells alot like fertilizer, can't say that I like these odors, sulphury.. yuck. Flavor is very tart, currant/sour cherries are dominant here, peppery spice, tangy bitterness. Either way, its not a favorite. Mouthfeel is pretty thin and finishes very dry. Hats off to Dogfish Head for their ever lasting creativity in brewing, however this one isn't exactly my favorite. I don't plan on consuming again.

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Photo of mattcrill
2.78/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours like liquid grape jelly with a foamy raspberry head. Cloudy in the glass with minimal carbonation noted.

Smell: Malty sweetness, a little bit of raspberries and blueberries, a touch of chardonnay grapes, and a touch of yeasty funk.

Taste: Some non-descript tartness, a yeasty, slightly bready middle, and then a watery, nothing finish. What a bummer. It starts out like there should be something with some character and then it just fades away into dry nothingness.

Mouthfeel: Light and pleasantly carbonated.

Drinkability: Seems more appropriate for summer than winter. Either way, it's nothing to get excited about.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
2.83/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one was the most unusual-looking beer I've had to date... the damn stuff actually looked purple when I poured it, and purplish red in the glass... with a thin layer of fizzy purple head that died away immediately. No lacing.

Aroma was of mild hops over dark currants... smelled like juice gone slightly bad. But interesting. I've smelled worse.

Taste... another thing entirely. There was some malt, but the fruit was predominant. A deep currant taste, tart, sour, slightly acidic, and rather carbonated. Again, I have had worse. But this one I just didn't like too much.

Sorry guys... I don't think this one was a major success.

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Photo of Dogbrick
2.85/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

To quote Mr. Horse: "No sir, I didn’t like it!". Not sure what this is supposed to be but it didn’t do much for me. Pours the color of cherry cough syrup with a thin pinkish beige head. Thin lacing. The aroma consists of sour fruit (cranberries mostly) and a bit of yeast. Medium-bodied and bubbly with an overpoweringly sour character. Cranberry, banana and yeast flavors dominate, and frankly the one-trick-pony aspect of it got old pretty quick. The finish was more of the same, sour fruit (cranberries and grapes). I won’t bother with this one again.

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Photo of Ninjaworm
2.85/5  rDev -20.6%
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 erica
2.85/5  rDev -20.6%
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 Dewey0603
2.88/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A great looking dark beet red appearance,but the head was small.A fragrant fruity wine smell.A very sharp crisp taste thats dry and yet full of flavor.Not bad,but, I'm not a fan of this style.I really can't see myself ever trying this again.My girlfriend who doesn't like the taste of beer loved this.This may be a good beer to give to non beer drinker.I do love dogfish head,but I think I'll stick to there other beers.

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Photo of doho95fu
2.88/5  rDev -19.8%
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 crookedhalo
2.91/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a burgundy wine color with a great perriwinkle and pink colored head. Some musty, muted, raw Belgian pale ale smells with underlying whiffs of currant, like jam. A lot of vegetal smells, which is slightly off, I think. Currants give the addition a slight tartness, which cuts the overall syrupiness of the beer. I don't know what it is, but I just can't seem to find anything good to say about this beer. It's kind of wine-like, but the quality of wine I'd be comparing it to is certainly not noteworthy.

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Photo of shapudding
2.96/5  rDev -17.5%
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 malty
2.99/5  rDev -16.7%
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 TheLongBeachBum
3/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up in NYC during a rummage around New Beer Distributors. The usual Dogfish Head presentation, bronze DFH crown cap, dark blue and purple label per the BA Database Avatar. The 12 ounce single cost $2.00.

Appearance: Slick golden body with an light marmalade hue. A smallish head when poured disappears to a thin white halo with some dispersed covering. completely after a very short time, and it leaves hardly any trace of its former existence behind. Average but fine conditioning.

Smell: Strange nose, hard for me to describe at first. Like a fruity golden ale with some bananas and red berries. Sweet at times.

Taste: Grain malts, smooth and yet incredibly sand dry, talcum powder and flour texture. Sweet fruits, bananas, red berries, black berries, strawberries – but no currants though.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth in the mouth, medium body, some malts and mixed red and black berries in the back end in the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: A nice one-off brew that was relatively easy to drink at first, straight from the fridge its fine, but as it warmed it became sickly and sticky and quite unbearable at times.

Overall: Not bad, but nothing special, not something I would buy again but worth trying. Nice idea - but it fails for me.

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