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.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 187 |  Reviews: 170
Photo of GRG1313
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%

Photo of BEERchitect
3.67/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2002 release: Doesn't have the interesting purple color or the lavender colored head. Instead, a hazy golden color with lots of fizz. Flavors and aromas aren't as bold as in more recent versions. It has a similar body and level of souness, but older versions are better balanced with sweetness. Still, quite tart and sour--almost astringent. A friend said that the difference between the older golden versions and recent purple versions are that the older ones were brewed with white currants and recent ones with black currants.

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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 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 DrBier
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of zestar
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%

Photo of oberon
3.67/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium golden color with a head that doesnt last to long,aroma is pretty sweet like 10x sugar with some slight fruity notes.Taste is a little soapy with some sweetness with a late malty finins thru the aftertaste.You know i dont pick up much courant flavor maybe lightly in the finish but not much,but it is a pretty decent tasting brew nontheless.Not bad glad I tried 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 rab53
1/5  rDev -72.1%

Photo of Billolick
3.82/5  rDev +6.4%
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 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 JAHMUR
3/5  rDev -16.4%

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.08/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, bright peachy color, large, active, creamy head, a lush downy pillow that bubbles and pops as it drifts down...boisterously crackling, too, put one to your ear and hear!
Aroma: fresh and sweet, wide open and airy, but very vague, suggesting nothing too significantly, sweet fruits, strawberries, grapes, banana.
On the tongue, smooth, creamily, so, light and luscious. Very brisk and fruity! Hops are mild, and malt is sturdy, great texture, too. Medium body, almost light, with a sweetly lingering finish. Damn, this is good stuff! Doesn't possess enough complexity to really rate, but the taste is top-notch. Definitely bound to be a hit with the fruit-beer crowd. Put down those wine coolers, ladies, Dogfish Head to the rescue! Yum!
Nice, nice brew, and big, phat thanks to cokes for sneaking it over here for me!

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Photo of Gavage
3.71/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an orange color with a thin head that disappears quickly. The aroma is very nice as malt and berries are predominant. The flavor reminds me of drinking a berry syrup. The malt is thick on the tongue but not in the taste.

The mouthfeel is smooth and syrupy. Barely a bubble of carbonation is seen. A very different and unique brew, but the berry flavor is a little too dominant.

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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 drabmuh
3.92/5  rDev +9.2%
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 WesWes
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a nice gold color with a thin white lace head. The aroma is good. It has a spicey, tart scent that boasts of pale malts and berries. It is quite refreshing. The taste is good as well. It has a sour berry flavor that goes down easy with a dry finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a low bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a damn fine beer. It is a nice change from regular lineup of choices. It has a lambic type flavor with excellent drinkability.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.67/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2004 Bottling, Sampled January 2006
This beer is a lightly hazy, purple-tinged amber color that is most definitely colored by the currants. The head is quite thin and only manages to form a pale, wispy ring of foam around the edges of my glass. The aroma is fruity and sweet and smells a bit like concord grape jelly and a sweet red, sparkling wine I once had. Even though the carbonation is slight, the beer smells carbonated to me. The deeper one smells of this beer the more it smells like currants and the less malt one can detect. Initially the malt is subtle, but is evident with notes of caramel and a hint of toasted malt character.

The taste is not nearly as sweet as the nose suggested. The finish seems to be where the currants are most in evidence (though they are found throughout); here an acidity develops as well as a white-wine-grape fruitiness. The beer is only lightly carbonated, but it does help to cut through some of the sweetness. The beer has certainly seems to have thinned out over time, the malt is perhaps less in evidence. This beer is definitely close to tasting like a lightly carbonated/ sparkling wine; the currant notes dominate this beer with only a touch of malt character here, playing only a supporting role. This is definitely an interesting beer. I like the acidity that is found here (which seems to be all fruit derived); it adds a much needed balance to the sweet fruit character.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of jdhilt
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a one-finger head that fades quickly to a ring leaving some lace. Cloudy amber color. Good carbonation. Nose is not distinguishable. Looking for the currant taste but it isn't there. Sweet, fruity and different from a Belgian strong pale. Medium bodied. $2.50 for a 12oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.77/5  rDev +5%
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 -3.9%
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 corby112
3.04/5  rDev -15.3%
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 rhoadsrage
3.23/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

(Served in a Pilsner glass)

A- This beer pours a deep rusty-purple body that is clear with a dense hazy of tiny bubbles. The head is a creamy light purple cloud that settles to a thin creamy film.

S- The smell is a slight tart odor with a bit of musty fruit note.

T- The tart flavor of currants is bold at the beginning with faint hints of dark cherries and green apples and a slight hop note in the finish. The taste of pale malt is a nice base for this subtle fruit. The finish has a very faint tart currant quality that hangs on.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a slight fizz in the texture. There is no alcohol warmth and no real astringency but a tartness hangs in the mouth.

D- This beer has a good very pale malt beer that support the flavors of the currants. I didn't find it sweet and it wasn't over-the-top tart either. This beer is currants first and ale second but it is nice and crisp without the cloying sweet fruit flavor.

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Photo of Suds
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Golden liquid, maybe with a little peach hue, and a puffy but quietly disappearing head. Aroma is a mix of malt and berries with a distant background of alcohol. There is certainly a currant theme that runs through the beer. Refreshingly, it’s flavor seems genuine and authentic…it doesn’t have that artificial edge that a lot of fruit beers carry. Taste is a pleasant mix of malt and currants. Very minor hop aftertaste (afterthought?). Slightly spicy in the hind-taste, which mixes nicely with alcohol. Moderate carbonation. Well done.

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