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 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 GreenWBush
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

After some thought, I decided to pour this into a red-wine glass.

It came out of the bottle a charming 'robotussin red' with panty-pink lace and cling.

Intensely tart on the nose with vague suggestions of the Flemish Red persuasion. Cherries, cranberries, grains. Wisps of catsup, cough drops, cherry pie filling. A wee bit 'artificial'.

The taste leans strongly towards cranberry juice, with suggestions of cherry cordials, gooseberries, wine coolers, vinegar, and of course courants.

Tart on the palate with high carbonation, this beer is a worthy experiment. It proves that fruit/vegetable beers can be accessible, eye-opening, and also full of character.

DFH is once again solid as a rock.

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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 DarkerTheBetter
3.01/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I’m not a huge fan of fruity beer, but I’m a big fan of DFH, so you can see my dilemma. The only way to resolve this impasse was by drinking the darn beer.

All right, the pink head has got to go! This is a comically red beer with a good deal of murkiness to it. The best vegetable beer I’ve had looked this color, but it tasted more like a lambic than a beer so I can’t discount credit based on style. It also leaves some pretty good lacing.

Smells like coffee and cough syrup. I suppose there’s a little Flemish sour smell there, but it's slight. I predominantly get the dirty smell of coffee.

For the flavor, there's a brown ale/ porter flavor that’s obstinately refusing to cooperate with a currant flavor. There’s so much chaos, it’s hard to pin down flavors. Well, If I really concentrate, I can see how they go together, but that definitely takes this off the “sippin’ beer” list. These are not bad flavors, just awkwardly paired. To be more precise, the sourness of the porter-like qualities doesn't agree with the sourness of the courant-like qualities. Fortunately, it finishes well with a smooth lambic like fruity sourness.

The mouth feel is very nice. It’s slightly creamy with sharp little bubbles.

Over all it tastes pretty good actually, but this beer is a little too complicated for its own good.

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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 patrick16o
3.18/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

It poured a deep cranberry red hue, very little head, some lace, very little bubbling, mostly clear. The aroma was not very strong, only a slight hint of berries/fruity. The berry flavors were subtle, but the beer had a strong tang at the end. The beer was somewhat flat, very tangy and crisp. As my first Belgian Strong Pale Ale, I didn't know what to expect. The high alcohol content was not noticable by taste, and it wasn't too filling. It was a light crisp, refreshing beer, although I think the tang was a bit too much at the end. Worth a try.

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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 Bumpon10s
3.43/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a foggy amber with small head and nice lacing, similar to a dubbel in look.

S - Touches of light fruits, but not sizing up to be a belgian strong. A very light nose.

T - Very, very weak. Only a touch of fruit and yeast, not befitting of the "strong" ale term.

M - As in all DFH brews, they are smooth as silk. Very little carbonation and that lets it glide across the surfaces.

D - At 7% ABV and the ease of drinking, it makes it good, and it being so light you will want a few. BUT, we grade per style, and this just doesn't so much work into the style.

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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 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 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 mntlover
3.43/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a lightly chilled looking red/pink/purple mixture with a finger and half pinkish/purple head. Wild looking punk beer, leaves some light lace behind. Very diffrent so giving it a 4.

Aroma is watered down red wine can pick up some sour currants mingled in, not very complex just dry currants mostly sour hints of a sweet malt base but not making it thru.

Taste is tart dry sour currants some other fruits sneak in rminds me some of tart cherries but probably just the currants not much malt to be tasted. Again a one sided thing going on not bad really but not good.

Mouthfeel is on the light side dry sourness is felt through out the mouth.

Drinkability well not going to have this one again but hell worth a try if I crave currants I will be drinking Canadian beer.

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Photo of DrJay
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ruby red with a bit of haze topped by a thin, pink head that leaves a bit of lacing. Mellow aroma with plenty of fruitiness and a hint of alcohol. Malt seems to be mostly buried beneath the currants. Syrupy and quite tart. Fruitiness carries through to the end, where a bit of malt and hop bitterness peek through. Tart and dry at the end as well. Low carbonation and slightly viscous body. Overall, a very straightforward and well-crafted fruit beer.

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Photo of ILiveOffHops
3.23/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A purple reddish concoction with a deep purple head. Sweet, tart berries, currants, grapes...tart, sour...This brew is a little too syrupy and not carbonated enough IMO. I would also have liked this to be more tart less sour. Overall still an interesting beer to have 1 of. If you are feeling adventurous give it a try.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
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 packetknife
3.2/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A purple-maroon color with a blueish-purple frothy head that held for a while. Good sour berries on the nose but not currant as in currant juice, not that strong. A bit of acidity in the nose too. OK taste but nothing notable. Tart through and into the finish. Good mouthfeel with good carbonation.

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Photo of donnebaby
3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
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 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 Brent
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a striking plum-red/dark cherry. Aroma was candy fruity and sweet. Not even to the first sip and already I'm thinking this is going to be some syrupy-sweet fruity mess. I was happily proven wrong. Well moderated berry flavor and a carefully balanced interplay of berry sweetness and a bit of wheat beer-like tartness. Dries a bit at the finish. In my experience there are fruit-flavored beers, and fruit beers. The latter revel in the fruit component, rather than throwing it in as an element of the overall flavors. This is a fruit beer, and one of the better ones I've had. Take it for what it is, and it is a very nice summer evening quaffer. 7% abv? Is that right? I didn't detect any alcohol flavors.

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Photo of Jacobier10
3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours out cloudy golden colored with a nice fizzy off-white head. Very sweet aroma to it. The taste was a little too tart for me. Sweet, tart, and sour consisting of mostly berries and currants. I could really taste the alcohol in it as well. For some reason as I was finishing my beer, I looked to the bottom of the glass and saw what appeared to be little grains or seeds or something. They were very tiny and ball shaped. Must have been from the currants because I have never seen this before. Pretty interesting stuff.

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Photo of apintofknowledge
3.06/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep red, like the color of cranberry juice with very little head. Something this deep in color had to be made with real fruit, not just syrup or flavoring. The aroma is malty with a faint smell of tart berries. Now for the taste... Tart and sweet at the same time, much in the same way real (unsweetened) cranberry juice would be. Reminds me very much of cranberries (I guess that's what currants taste like... never had one other than in this beer). It has a tart, somewhat sour finish, which is refreshing in its own way. No real hop flavor present, and actually, there's not much in the flavor that reminds me of beer. More of an alcoholic fruit beverage, but not syrupy sweet like those fruit-flavored malternatives. In some ways, this makes it better than a number of other fruit beers out there...

Nice mouthfeel... lots of tiny bubbles make it very refreshing and a good match for the tartness. In the end, one bottle is enjoyable, interesting and different, but doesn't rate high on my drinkability scale since I really couldn't see having more than one.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
3.16/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked up this single while in KY visiting my buddy kmpitz2. Pours a very deep pink/purple color with hints of red when held up to the light along with a small bubbly pink head. This is one crazy looking beer for sure...I'd except this from a fruit lambic...but I must say I was caught a bit off guard here. It makes quite the impression sitting in my glass. Aroma is big on the currants with some underlying grainy malty notes. Fruity and sweet and tart..but not all that appealing to my nose.

First sip brings a big bold flavor of currants (tastes a bit grapey as well) along with a crisp, pale malt background. As I sip it moves from a fruity sweetness upfront to a bit of tart/sourness on the way down. Hints of yeasties are there with a splash of acidity throughout. An interesting brew no doubt...but it comes of a bit one dimensional to me overpowering grapey currant flavor. The acidity is a bit much on the stomach as well.

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied with a good flow of bubbles. While this bottle is enjoyable..I can't see myself having more than one in a's just too much to stomach. Worth a try, but that's about it...even though I'm not a huge fan I still give kudos to Dogfish for their continuous experimentation!

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Photo of JackTheRipper
3.76/5  rDev +4.7%
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 ken3c
3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very red. Reddish red with pink foam. The pink foam subsides to a wispy layer and laces a little.

Aroma is dark cherries with a sense of malt.

Slightly sweet but mostly Tart. Quick finish but a lingering aftertaste of cranberries. n.b. I'll give anything a half point boost if it reminds me of cranberries.

Feels and looks quite viscous on the order of medium-heavy. This also feels slightly foamy. I think it might feel better if it were a little more foamy.

Starting with the pink foam and ending with the cranberry aftertaste, this is definately an odd beer. I can see it going well with turkey, like for thanksgiving or Christmas.

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Photo of DrunkMcDermott
3.3/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at the Southside Beer Expo. Frankfort, Illinois. Oddly, it tastes to me like it was built on a hefeweizen base, but that just may be the leftovers in my sample glass. Fruit character also gives it a Belgian note, with matly sweetness followed by a winey driness.

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