Au Courant | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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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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Reviews: 170 | Ratings: 187
Photo of mattcrill
2.78/5  rDev -22.3%
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 +5.6%
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 Jacobob10
3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
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 -14.5%
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 -11.7%
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 +5%
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 +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 -7.8%
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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Photo of SheepNutz
4.12/5  rDev +15.1%
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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Photo of malty
2.99/5  rDev -16.5%
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 shapudding
2.96/5  rDev -17.3%
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 clvand0
4.41/5  rDev +23.2%
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 kmpitz2
3.83/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to clvand0 for sharing this with me. Last years was really nice, so lets see what we have here. CRAP, the beer is pouring out a nice bright red color with a finger of pink head hat falls to coat the beer. Interesting. Black courants I guess in this years batch. The nose is well dominated by the courants. Wow. The flavor is interesting as well. The courants give the flavor a biting sour, but not heavy. It is slightly fruity, but damn...just so different. The feel is moderate, with a decent carbonation. Wow. I really don't know what to make of it. Its growing on me, but its strange.

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Photo of sprackops
4.12/5  rDev +15.1%
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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Photo of Hefe
4.17/5  rDev +16.5%
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 cerevisiaephilus
3.05/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Looks artificial. Or maybe like grape juice. Intense red/pink/purple color. Fleeting head. Just a bit of head persists on the edges. Head its purple. Kind of disconcerting.

Smells like currants I suppose. Don't think I've ever had one but this doesn't smell like beer so I figure it's currants.

Not very tasty. Kind of weird. I don't think I like currants. Kind of nasty. I don't know how to describe it. Just not very appealing to me. But quite clean. All I can taste is the currants. Quite tart. Not very sweet.

Thin mouthfeel. Quite thin.

I think I'm going to have to pour most of this out. It's just not very good. I need to try a currant and see if I like them.

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Photo of BurghBrewPSU
3.89/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark purple with a light pink head. Upon first smell, sour grapes consume you. At first sip, once again, sour grapes consume you. This is a fairly carbonated beer, but the taste is different. I truely enjoyed it, not your everyday fruity type beer. The creaters at Dogfish Head came up with something special here.

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Photo of Quaffer
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not available here in Wichita.

Appearance: This was a glowing, golden-amber beer with a very strong bead. The white head rose up to about a finger and dissipated quickly. A layer of bubbles was left behind, though, being powered by the multitude of rising bubbles. Quite a bit of foam remained for the entire time, but the lacing was minimal.

Smell: Very sharp, sour, and almost herbal right after the pour. It quickly lost its edge, though. There were hints of hops and cracker-like malt aroma, but these were both very light. The main component was red grapes, though it was more like watered down grape soda than juice or wine.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied, with a strongly carbonated, fluffy feel to it. The excessive carbonation did not make the beer feel rough, just very airy and soft.

Taste: A very stong, tart sour grape flavor dominated from start to finish. A touch of sweetness was underneath, helping to balance things out. Possibly some hints of hops, but these were extremely light. A flowery component appeared in the middle, and an old, musty yeast flavor rose up in the aftertaste.

Decent and definitely different. Thanks, Rob!

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Photo of medic25
3.43/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a raspberry red/ribena juice sort of color, with a short-lasting frothy pink head. Odd, fruity odor. The initial taste is somewhat tart. It really comes off as a carbonated cranberry drink, with a hint of beer hiding somewhere in the background. Goes down fairly easily. I could see enjoying this cold on a hot summer day, but it's not something I'd go out of my way to pick up again.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.35/5  rDev +21.5%
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 +20.7%
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 frazbri
3.2/5  rDev -10.6%
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 connecticutpoet
2.83/5  rDev -20.9%
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 -20.4%
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 Hibernator
3.56/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I recently picked up a 4 pack of the 2004 Au Courant. I had this out of a 12 oz brown bottle and served in a goblet. The label lets you know that this an ale brewed with currants.

Pours a darker shade of red, almost like cranberry juice. Very unique looking fluffy pink colored head. There are some great rings of sticky lacings clinging all over the glass.

The smell is not so appealing... its not bad though. Whiffs of stale vegetables, grains and berries.

There is a sweet and sour thing going on here. Juicy rasberries and tart cranberries blend together. The flavors in this beer are mainly bitter and sour. The 7.0% ABV is very, very well hidden. This tastes more like Ocean Spray cranberry juice and flat seltzer water more than anything.

Very interesting....I can't say that I've ever had anything like this before. I'm surprised this is a winter seasonal from Dogfish Head. It doesn't make sense. Overall, a creative beer that's pretty good. I don't know that I would buy a 4 pack again at $8.99. There are much better DFH options out there, but this was nice to try.

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Au Courant from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.58 out of 5 based on 187 ratings.
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