Liquor De Malt | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

145 Reviews
Liquor De MaltLiquor De Malt

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States

Style: American Malt Liquor

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
The world's only bottle-conditioned malt liquor, Liquor de Malt is brewed with red, white and blue gourmet corns. These 40-ounce bottles come in a hand-stamped brown paper bag.

Added by Todd on 05-14-2004

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 145 | Ratings: 181
Photo of Ieatlambfries
4.02/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at Joe Canals in Princeton, NJ. Sans paper bag to my dismay :(

A loud audible pffftttt could be heard as I unscrewed the red plastic cap. Classy!

Amazing amount of carbonation. I would have thought it to be artificial if I didn't know better. Poured a dark clear gold with a foamy white head of large bubbles. The true head left pretty quick but a small 1/8 inch layer of suds remained the whole time.

Very fruity smell. This may sound odd but I almost got the Belgian banana smell when I swirled this in my glass to agitate it. A bit peachy also.

Taste is fruity. Almost peachy with a detectable hop presence. More so than I expected. Sweet malt flavors are obvious. Also a definite detectable alcohol flavor lingering throughout the whole experience. I would not say this is the most complex beer, but I will say compared to the style (In my limited experience with malt liquers) it is #1.

Mouthfeel is very carbonated, medium bodied. A bit more filling than I expected.

Pretty darn drinkable. Not as light as I would have expected, but tastes great. The 7% is nothing to scoff at, in fact I don't believe it. I drank my first glass from a pilsner. A pretty well measured 12 oz. Let me tell you, this beer felt like at least a 9% abv. Any one else feel that way? IMO this is the only deterrent from scoring it any higher than 3.5 in this category.

All and all a nice offering from DFH. Perhaps a bit gimmicky, but in a way it has it's own style. I will not be tipping this 40 to the memory of any of my homies. It's too darn good for that.

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Photo of taez555
4.59/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gotta start by saying I completely dig the cheap red soda bottle cap and nice hiss when you unscrew it.

Poured this baby into my rapscallion snifter and savored over the coarse of an hour or so. It poured a very fine white head with a thick somewhat cloudy orange body.

The nose was a big fruity, corn, malt smell. Alcohol and biscuit malt also fight their way through. Basically, it smells like Bud if it were actually amazing, or what bud tasted like before it was mass-produced.

The taste was very full-bodied and extremely thick right off the first sip. A very fine intense carbonation. Big chewy coarse corn and malt flavor. The alcohol sneaks up on. This is a lot of beer to drink. It starts soft but actually ends with a nice sharp bitter punch. In the finish though it ends chewy and pretty mild.

I hate saying this but damn; this is an awesome beer. Maybe I’m the only one who likes it, but I could sit and drink this baby all day long. This is beer to just sit and savor. One key note is that you must drink the entire 40 yourself in one sitting. It’s truly an experience, a challenge if you will, sort of like climbing Mount Everest. When it comes to malt liquors I’d give this beer 5.5 if I could. Nothing like any malt liquor you’ve ever had before.

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Photo of Dantes
2.28/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Package: 40 oz., brown-glass, red-plastic-capped, classically-shaped “forty.” Typical DFH buff-colored, spare “parchment” label with the legend, “The bottle-conditioned, handmade malt liquor.” “Bottled in” year codes for ‘04, ‘05, ‘06, ‘07; notched at ‘04. Included stamped brown paper bag and the humorous instructions (I notice not too many people seemed to get these). I was surprised by the plastic cap, but even after being transported in a hot car and shaken a bit, this had lots of carbonation. I will say 40 oz. is a good size; 2 imperial pints or 3 shakers.

Cost: $6.99 per 40 oz. bottle at Gary’s in Madison

Presentation: 16 oz. Shaker pint at ~40-45º

Appearance: Generated a large, ivory-colored head, which did not last very long, leaving a thin skim. Body was a murky, brownish-amber color, with large bubbles along the bottom of the glass and some smaller ones rising through the beer. I did not notice any substantial lees until the last glass (I got almost 3 full pints out of this with the large heads); in which there was a cascade of brown flecks and large clumps of yeast at the bottom (which I didn’t drink). (I gave bonus points for packaging.)

Smell: Hard to describe. Definite volatile, alcohol fumes that brought to mind day-old, sticky pools of Genny Cream and Brador. Sort of a sweet-and-sour nose, but not particularly “corny.” “Beery.”

Taste: Immediately sweet on the palate, followed by a sourish curdling taste. The thick sweetness coated my lips with a sweet, sticky glaze that I kept licking off. I kept getting that bitter-sour sensation that one experiences after eating bad candy or drinking really bad, cheap “champagne” (a memory which kept returning). Flabby, with little hops or structure. The finish, as mentioned, was in turns, sweet, sticky, and then almost acrid.

Mouthfeel: Quite dichotomous. There was almost a syrupy thickness that seemed to turn into a somewhat harshly carbonated thinness. The carbonation, as exhibited in the head, seemed tight but then became strong and harsh.

Drinkability: Not very. Too sweet, more alcoholic-seeming than the 7% ABV would suggest, and pretty expensive for what one gets. See below.

Backwash: I can’t claim great expertise with Malt Liquor, but I’d say that based on my college experience with Molson Brador (which was definitely stronger than 6% in the day), this is pretty damned authentic...including the college, cheap-beer headache it provoked! No, this was no hangover. By the time I’d finished the second pint, the headache had come, much like the ones I used to get at college “champagne brunches” while drinking copious amounts of fine sparkling wine from J. Roget et al.! I can’t guarantee it was from this, but I’m pretty sure it was. An interesting novelty, but ultimately a “glorious failure.” Do yourself a favor and go out and buy a “regular” malt liquor!

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Photo of ppoitras
3.44/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

40ozer bottle from Austin Liquors, Shrewsbury, MA, with Dogfish Head commemorative bag. I will note bag not crumply when bought, had to adjust before using.

Poured (first pint) into an imperial pint glass (used the bottle/bag for the rest), formed a rocking (can you say kind of cascade action?) 1 1/2" white head over the amber hued brew. Bubbles slowly rise from the bottom, almost indicating a high viscosity liquid. Scary. Excellent foamy lacing. Aroma is pretty much non-existent. Taste is not surprisingly indicative of the corn base, and the alcohol warms at the end, not the burn I was expecting. Mouthfeel is smooth, and good for a malt liquor, I have to say. Drinkability is good for a malt liquor as well. Each beer has its place, and this one's is with the upclass bums, I guess.

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Photo of Hefe
3.72/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasted straight from the 40oz prior to the Liverpool - AS Roma matchup at the Meadowlands on 8/3/04.

Appearance: Large 40 oz wrapped in a stylish brown paper bag stamped with the dogfish logo. The first pour goes to the ground in proper fashion to those that have fallen.

Smell: A not unpleasant sweetness with a (corny?) overtone, and a touch of hops on the nose.

Taste: Pale malt, citrus, alcohol, and an underlying sweetness. Solidly hoped, not aggressively so.

Mothfeel: Fairly full mouthfeel, with active carbonation.

Drinkabilty: Surprisingly drinkable, though 40oz's at 8% would get you where you're going in a hurry. :-)

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Photo of MediocreatBest
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

6.99 for the 40 oz, with the bag. even though it is a 40 i poured it into a glass. the vast head quickly errupted, though most of the head quickly ran away a thin layer stays lingering on top of the liquid. light golden almost clear in color.smells hints of grainyness, though not the normal malt smell but also doesn't smell corny like you would think, but there is a general grain smell along with hints of alcohol. maybe i am stretching it hear but also a slight banana odor with in even slighter hint of lemon. tastes like a 40 of malt liquor. given a better malt liquor, but it is true to style, which is usually considered a good thing but this time around i was hoping for a whole bunch of varition. very grainy, with a slight hop kicka slight burn of malt liquor in my chest area.well carbonated and kind of a stinky poor quality 40 aftertaste that even in dogifh heads interpretation can't get away from.

notes: i was hoping for better, but i guess i can't be really surprised it is malt liquor. but word up to my homies at DFH for being ballsy SOBs and giving this a try. i think there is true artistry and irony in the whole red white and blue corn bit while trying there hand at a 40.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
3.36/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Hazy dark peach & white foamy head with slight lace down the glass. This one was poured from one of the red plastic cap bottles. Of course, with instructions. BA Brownie points for the instructions.

No surprise in the nose. Typical malt liquor corn scents in the nose.

Soft pillowy feel with plenty of strange corn adjunct flavors. Malty and notes of malt liquor awl-kee-kawl, especially when warmed. Dry finish. Full bodied, foamy brew.

Last swigs: If Rolls-Royce made a Yugo, that would be like DFH offering a malt liquor. Hmmm...must be french tho' thus the Liquor de Malt moniker. If you want to be serious about malt liquor, eschewing any oxymoron references, St. Ides has this beat by a mile. I can't figure out how DHF managed to get their house flavors into this oddity. Ha!

Beer is good. Happy beer-in-a-bag beering.

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Photo of shapudding
3.72/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of the treats at the tasting from the General Lafayette!

Poured a cloudy medium golden with a decent amount of head full of creamy, tiny bubbles. Very fresh scents, clean and light citrus. Fresh cut grass and sweetness. Highly carbinated with tonsa bubbles rising. Bit of bit from the carb, but then foamy smooth.

Lots of corn taste, highly malted, not very hoppy. Sweet, but not overpoweringly so. Leaves alot of flavor in your mouth. Decent drinkability, not too sweet and not too strong on the alcohol flavor. Surprisingly nice.

Sucha great marketing design, loving the plastic 40 w/the paper bag for it. I mean, it comes with freakin' instructions to bag and twist! Brings me back to my teen days of drinking in the woods with my buddies, but this is not like the crud from my youth thank god!

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Photo of xgrigorix
3.13/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Fourty ounce brown screw top bottle. Year of bottling notched on label.

Hazy shade of medium gold. Topped by a fluffy white head that retains quite nicely.

Solvent aromas burn nose hairs. Yes, this thing is loaded with alcohol. Hints of grain & corn lurk in the background, but cannot overcome the intensity of the alcohol vapors.

Initially quite sweet, and then the big bang of tongue warming alcohol washes over, and takes out everything in its path. Leaving behind an aftertaste of corn. Surprisingly smooth. Medium bodied, moderate carbonation.

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Photo of RocketWidget
3.46/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

After some talk in the BA forums, I grabbed what looked like the last bottle from Marty’s in Newton, MA. Seven bucks? For a fourty? FOOODY! Say it with pride! Anyway, its tough to turn down a limited availability, 300 cases edition beer, no matter what it is…

Is corn the enemy? The Dogfish Head website advertises this as a “bottle-conditioned malt liquor brewed with Apache Red (red), Hickory King (white), and Taos Blue (blue) corns”, which makes me wonder. In any event particles of yeast are clearly evident in this brew. The, ahem, plastic red twist-off top, ahem, creates a burst of carbonation. Pours with big thick creamy white head. Pale golden on the outside and ruby on the inside of my glass, with good carbonation. Smells surprisingly hoppy-like, but still a little skunky-like. Taste is not as wretched as I thought it might be. Sharp and sour, this isn’t a very complex drink, yet their were no excessively foul tastes causing the need to serve ice cold. For a beer fan, I would strongly recommend picking this up if you see it, if not for the laughs, than maybe for the surprise. But this is not a conversion drink, and for someone who drinks forties on a regular basis will probably freeze the stuff and not notice a difference.

P.S. Huge props to Dogfish Head for releasing a drink that says, “We don’t give a fark what people think, we are going to be inventive and experiment!” I hope they alter the status of this from limited release to summer seasonal.

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Photo of IrishRedRock
3.93/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First of all, props to Sam and the boys at DFH for making this. Even before tasting it, I love the idea of it. DFH always seems to be ahead of the craft beer game concerning creativity. Now I'm a man of tradition and I do my 40 swillin straight from the bottle, but for educational purposes I did pour a pint first. I'm getting all this too, not pourin' shit out for my homies.

Golden color with a thin white head, and the nose is actually quite nice. I could smell it the moment I opened the bottle. This doesn't smell like any other 40 out there. Sweet and malty yes, but it has a lingering hop character too. I cant really smell much alcohol.

The alcohol is definitely present in the flavor though. Sweet and bready at the same time, with an alcohol presence that warms the chest as it goes down. Smooth, creamy mouthfeel that is in no way offensive or over-carbonated. Leaves a coating, lingering aftertaste in the mouth that I am really enjoying.

I have a feeling that some may pigeonhole this beer as a silly gimmick, or maybe people will give it a bad rap due to the "malt liquor" label and the 40 oz bottle. But look at it for what it is; in addition to being creative, this beer is actually quite good. An over-the-top brewery like DFH could easily pass this off in a 12 oz bottle under a different name, as a craft beer and not as a malt liquor. Seriously, its good. Ignore the image and just try some of this, I think you might be pleasantly surprised. I certainly am. I really hope DFH makes this a permanent offering.

Now I must go sit on the stoop and enjoy dis shit yo, as I give mad props to them homies at Dogfish fo' creatin the fiiinest 40 on this side of da hood. Fo' real shizzle my nizzle, this stuff da shiznit. Holla.

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Photo of Jason
3.96/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Big brown 40oz bottle with a bottled in 04' freshness date. Nice long Pssst ... when I cracked the red plastic cap off. Awesome touch in the brown paper bag.

Appearance: Hazed bubbly tawny gold hue, decent head from the active carbonation. Great retention with a trail of lace.

Smell: Wicked solvent-like fusel alcohol (roses?), Jesus did someone drop a jigger of Mr. Boston Vodka in my mug? Light grainy malt and sweet corn in the back.

Taste & Mouth Feel: Viscous smoothness in a full body, perhaps the thickets malt liquor I have ever had. Layered sweetness from the corn, with a staunch grain character middle to end. Juicy in the middle as well. Touch of yeast and spicy warming alcohol in the end. Lots of alcohol on the breath … almost too hard to swallow yet unlike other malt liquors this one has a good flavor.

Drinkability & Notes: This is a “sippin’ brew” … and that is how I tackled this brew, sippin’. It grew on me quick … still in sippin’ mode. Went well with some basic cheddar cheese and Triscuits.

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Photo of beergeek279
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in the 40 oz. bottle with plastic screw-off cap, into a pint glass. The color is copper, with a foamy white head. The smell is sweet malt and alcohol. The taste is malt sweet, with a tad bit of adjunct sickly sweetness, and a good deal of alcohol. Mouthfeel is average. As for drinkability, I'd probably be able to finish a 40 and not much beyond.

Fa shizzle!!! I poured this review out for my dead homies and wanna go put on my bling-bling. But seriously, I suppose this is the best malt liquor out there. Now I know that's like the Miss Congeniality of beers , but it's something. I definitely appreciate DFH and Sam's completely insane creativity, and though this is good but not great, I'd still have a 40 or so at a time.

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Photo of crookedhalo
3.32/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tee hee. When I knew this one was coming around I had to pick one up for shits and giggles. Got one for a friend, too. He said he was just going to "take it to the head". I wondered why he wanted to take it to the bathroom with him. Oh, he wanted to down it in one gulp. Not a good idea, I talked him out of it. This 40 oz. pours out a slightly clouded golden color with a generous, fluffy off-white head. Grainy, alcoholy aroma with footnotes of esters and some yeast. Mostly on the malty sweet side, with a noticable alcohol punch, even at 7%. The last pour had lots of thick sediment. Then again, I guess Sam could have pasteurized it like other bastardized versions of malt liquors. Overall, pretty enjoyable for a cliched ghetto-style beer.

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Photo of stirgy
3.11/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Found this @ State Line Liquors in MD.

Makes me laugh to think that I poured this beer into an elegant stemmed glass. Poured a glowing golden yellow color and was pretty hazy. A very large and frothy head topped it off. A generous amount of carbonation filled the glass – no signs of any problems in that department. Good head retention. Sticky and creamy.

The aroma is pretty much a slap in the face, especially when the spicy vodka-like vapors hit the nose. Hot stinging sugar alcohol fires up the senses.

The taste is very strong and has a sweet hot malt bite. Strong, full-bodied and flavorful, although I can’t really distinguish any hop characteristics. (Are you really supposed to with this style?)

Overall, this is pretty much high-powered nitro glycerin. I like it. Bold and fun. A nice recreation and a step above everyone’s favorite liquid ghetto blaster.

What’s next, Sam... Shelter Champale Ale?

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Photo of Scoats
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After a visit to the brewery (man it's impressive but that's another story), a buddy and I scored one each.

We drank them on the beach later that night (we were bad boys ignoring the no alcohol sign! woo hoo 40 ounces of rebellion!). Sam recommended same day drinking due to seal issues. They were planning to rebottle all of it (though I wonder if they will have the time to get around to doing that). Sam was dissatisfied with the level of carboniation but the ones we had definitely were not flat, not particurally active, but not defintely flat.

The beer is highly drinkable, very smooth with a Yuengling Lager-like corny sweatness with no discernable high-alcohol taste. Other than that it didn't really register for me in any particular way. This may be because I drank it straight from the bottle (it's a 40!), not really a way to get subtlties from a beer. Anyway it is a nice novelty, highly drinkable and 100% fun. Perfect for drinking on the beach at 3am with your best friend yakking about women and other dude stuff.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.35/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got to sample at the Penn Brewfest, but I also bought a bottle to take home. I don't understand why they are using these plastic twist off caps on the forties that can't hold air, on the way home we lost some carbonation drank it later that night and noticed some difference compared to the earlier samples I had at the fest. Honey amber gold tone at the fest a white frothy head formed but dwindled rather quickly leave thin lacing around the sample glass. Aromatics grainy sweetness and alcohol with a mild dose of corn somewhat husky but not wretched smelling, actually smells nice with the strong sweetness and alcohol. Taste consists of a sugary malt and adjunct deriven flavor with alcohol eivdent pretty clean and very stomachable especially compared to most forties. Mouthfeel was light to medium mildy sticky with a soft syrup texture. Drinkability, yeah you could get folded off a couple of these they are easy to drink and pretty tasty, not worth all of the hype but it's awesome to see a micro brew a forty.

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Photo of HappyHourHero
3.15/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bright white head faded fast. Strong sweet corn aroma with a pinch of alcohol. Mildy sweet, slightly bitter corn flavor. Mellow mouthfeel, easy drinking. Damn screw top didn't hold, I heard it hissing a couple times on the way home from DFH, and then I stuck it in a cooler for the long haul up to NY and a quarter of it leaked into the cooler, what shit. The lack of carbonation didn't seem to effect the drinkability though, plenty of kick for this sweet malt liquor.

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Photo of mschofield
3.21/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the AOBF:
Pours a pale orange-gold, thin bit of a white head. Well carbonated.
Sweet aroma, corn and apple.
The taste is corn and pale malt.
Medium bodied, crisp and smooth. Great as a malt liquor - it's not a complicated beer but it won't make you ill or have to be served at 20 degrees to be palatable.

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Photo of konabrewer
3.11/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I guess I'll be the first...
Allen from DFH brought me a sample at my booth at the AoBF
Thanks for the glug bud...

I like corn so this will be easy.
The beer was bright but with little to no head. However, had plently of carbonation
A nice bouquet of corn and hust with a hint of earthy hop aroma
The taste was of malt and a hint of corn, no over powering
Quite enjoyable for a higher alcohol malt liquor
The carbonation was perfect or the style. uggg
the beer was quite drinkable and left me thinking that these guys are brilliant to do this as a hoot.

This is a great gift idea to any unsuspecting beer lover or future beer lover. Quite a novel approach to craft beer

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Liquor De Malt from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.63 out of 5 based on 181 ratings.
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