Oak Aged Noble Rot
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Oak Aged Noble RotOak Aged Noble Rot
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Fruit and Field Beer
3.92 | pDev: 10.2%
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Oak Aged Noble RotOak Aged Noble Rot
Notes: Oak-aged ale (“sorta-saison”) brewed with Alexandria Nicole Cellars grape must from botrytis-infected Viognier grapes.
Reviews: 44 | Ratings: 123 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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rootwyrm from Ohio

4.76/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2015 batch, so yes, this has been aging in a chiller. For four years. 750 poured into a clean tulip.

L: Very slightly cloudy pour, about a quarter inch of head that quickly dissipated to a fine but dense ring.
S: No funk. No overpowering hops. Very strong tannins, some hop-like presence, but nowhere near overpowering. It smells like, well, like somebody mixed beer and wine.
T: HOLY. CRAP. One tiny sip and IMMEDIATELY you realize, Dogfish should aged it themselves and charged twice as much. (Dogfish, not a suggestion. Please don't.) It is SHARP on the tongue, but immediately fades to grapes in a very pleasing fashion. It does not touch like a 9.3 - it is only comparable to a 12%+! - but that stab of alcohol blends into the must just so perfectly, with just the right amount of oak note. Swallowing, that character changes again, giving you strong must and oak, but mercifully no aftertaste. Good grapes mixed with a good 'farmhouse' vibe.
F: Bubbly. It is bubbly. Let it sit and it's like a party in your mouth for a few seconds. It drinks very light, very smooth. For best comparison, it's a lighter, more effervescent Traquair.

Overall? I'm a 'dark beers only' sort generally. I tried this when it came out because "hey, it's different." I got this bottle because "hey, it's been sitting years and nobody wants it, have a discount." And I remembered that I actually somewhat liked it last time. So, $9 for a 750ml? Hell with it. I'll chance it. Worst case, I drink beer I don't like.
If this was the one I'd tried first, Dogfish would have ALL my money. I mean seriously. I like this beer enough to review it here. I don't even do that for the locals. The initial look and the cold pour scent might be off-putting but give it time to hit about 50-55F and you will be rewarded with a beer experience you have never had before (and sadly, are unlikely to ever be able to have again.)

Oct 28, 2019
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JackRWatkins from Alabama

3.71/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours up a clear, well attenuated gold, with a quickly receding two finger head with a fine bubble formation.
S: Immediate white grape, funk, tartness, and tannic notes, the depth of the grape really comes through.
T: Much more malty than I would have expected, somewhat reminiscent of a French Biere de Garde, some tartness, and a very puzzling, clean sourness that is quite pleasant. The funk is subtle but present, but I don't think I would even call this a fairly tart beer. A subtle cheesy quality and hits of red apple. There is a distinct flavor to the funk that is quite unique and a bit dirty in a good way. This is a somewhat earthy beer but not in the traditional sense of the term.
M: Fairly dry with a medium body.
O: This is an interesting beer, albeit one that is much more conventional in taste than its label would have you believe. It isn't really a saison in the traditional sense of the word, but it is an interesting experience and even though I doubt it will blow anyone away, it is definitely worth your time.

Dec 08, 2018
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EMV from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a Duvel tulip

L: Clear light golden pour. Thin white head. Nice ring of lacing.

S: Funk and oak... mild citrus and fruit. Grapes and white wine.

T/F: Follows the nose. Light... not feeling the 9% ABV at all. Chardonnay... white wine and grape must. Strong oak character with mild funk. No significant tartness. Summer fruits and hay. Zesty carbonation.

O: A super beer... different... and with strong white wine character and lots of oak presence. Really enjoyed this one.

Mar 07, 2018
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bluejacket74 from Ohio

4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, bottled on 12/17/15. Hope this aged well, this is what happens when I don't pay attention to what all is in my fridge. Served in a DFH signature glass (chalice-type glass), the beer pours a mostly clear gold color with about an inch white head. Head retention and lacing are both good. The brew smells like apples, white grapes/wine, peppery spice, bready/grainy malt and earthiness. Taste is similar to the aroma, but with the addition of some oak and mustiness. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's smooth and a bit slick. Easy to drink with a good amount of carbonation. I liked this, although at the same time I wish I would have tried this fresher (I know it's my fault for putting it in the back of my fridge for so long). I think it's still drinking good now (if you're into white wine and/or musty/earthy type brews) so if there are any bottles still lying around, might as well pick one up!

Feb 23, 2018
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ThePold from Virginia

4.19/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gotta hand it to DogFish Head for experimenting. No head, this looks and smells like an apply wine. Not really a beer, more of a mead/wine thing. Still, a good bouquet and nose feel. Tardiness on the tongue. Carbonated like Apple juice. It is like a beer with wine mixed in. Really kind of grows on one.

Sep 08, 2017
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Blackop555 from Michigan

3.89/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pale gold. Fizzy, bubbly, short, white head fades fast.

Smells white wine, oaky, grape, pepper.

Tastes white wine, grapes, pepper, musty, oaky and bready malt hints. Finish is dry with a peppery white wine linger. Alcohol not hidden very well at all. Medium light body and fizzy higher carbonation.

Apr 29, 2017
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Benjolovesbeer from Michigan

4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip:

L: champagne, cloudy gold pale pilsner look that also resembles white wine. Thin lacing and has a beer like head with white wine appeal just as I hoped from it is supposed to resemble white wine.

A: white grapes and white wine

F: scotch yet thin and bubbly carbonated but would like it to be dryer in taste, so not a dry as expected and no sour or tart feel.

T: beginning taste is like white wine mixed with beer that leaves with an oaky cider scotch after taste. It's almost like drinking white wine, beer, cider, and scotch all mixed in one.

O: almost too much going on, it's good but it's over power by the oak and whiskyflavors that it's hard to detect the fungus coated grapes of noble rot. But interesting nonetheless.

Apr 02, 2017
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mwilbur from Minnesota

2.92/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Poured from 750 mL bottle into cervoise.
A: Pours a clear pale yellow with moderate carbonation producing a fizzy 1/2 inch white head that quickly dissipates.
S: White wine, oak tannins, faint citrus, and a musty earthy note.
T: White wine, grape juice, oak tannins, and an off musty note.
M: Light body. Watery and weak. Disappointing.
D: Honestly, a waste of thirteen and a half dollars. The further I got into this one, the less I liked. I like the brewery, but this was a DP.

Jan 19, 2017
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orangebison from New Jersey

3.66/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear, pale gold in color. Strong aromas of grape, oak, vanilla and white wine. Medium-to-heavy oak influence in the taste, with lots of vanilla and drying, woody character, as well as sweetness evoking grapes and melon. Less of the grainy malt character than in the original NR. Light bodied and easy-drinking. Could have passed for white wine in a blind tasting, in my opinion.

Nov 28, 2016
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SHODriver from North Carolina

4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a Duvel tulip to a clear and pale yellowish gold topped by a finger and a half of dense white head that fades to a small pool with minimal lacing
S: Smells of spicy yeast, oak, grapes and honeydew
T: Taste is grapes and melon, spice from the yeast and a little oak influence that gets a bit more tannic as the drink goes on. Swallow is more grapes, oak and melon with some lingering grape skin on the finish.
M: This one is fairly light in body with active carbonation that is slightly prickly. The beer also has a dry finish.
O: Overall this one is pretty interesting. I've always enjoyed the regular Noble Rot and the time in oak has added a nice layer of complexity to the base beer. This one seems a lot more like wine than beer which isn't a bad thing. Definitely one to try if you like things that are pretty different.

Sep 07, 2016
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HorseheadsHophead from New York

3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

L: Clear straw with some sticky beige head with good retention and lacing.

S: Exactly like white wine. White grape must, dryness, oak, vanilla, grains, alcohol warmth.

T: Tastes just like white wine. White grapes, white wine, mustiness, cracker, clove, oak, vanilla. Finishes very dry with some light warmth.

F: Medium bodied, subtle, prickly carbonation, very dry on the finish.

O: A really good beer. Perfect imitation of white wine.

Sep 04, 2016
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brentk56 from North Carolina

3.81/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours clear and almost golden in color with a fluffy white head; plenty of lacing squiggles

Smell: Very yeasty, with a musty, vinous character; the honeyed undertones of botrytis merge with apricot; oaky, as well

Taste: Crackery, at the outset, the honeyed apricot tones underpin; tart, green apple and grassy hops add contrast to the sweeter aspect; oak and yeast dominate the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Like too many Dogfish beers, this one appeals more to the brain than the palate; I enjoyed dissecting the flavors more than I enjoyed drinking it

Aug 14, 2016
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Franziskaner from Missouri

4.01/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Gold to yellow in color with excellent clarity. There's a fingernail of bright white covering the top. The aroma is of a white wine, definitely a pinot something or other. The taste a nice blend of those light and refreshing white wine grapes and woodsy oak in the back of the palate. The mouth is very dry and the oak amplifies it, providing a bit more depth.

Jul 17, 2016
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OrangeMen from New York

4.06/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2016 release (bottled end of 2015)
~6 months from bottling date

Appearance- Pours a pale yellow color, clean and transparent in the glass. Finger thick, soapy, white colored head. Touch of alcohol legs, not much head lacing.

Aroma- White wine grape, pear, lemon zest, sweeter and slightly sugary, a bit of tartness as well. Vinous notes, dry, spicy, oaky. Belgian yeast, clove, grassy, earthy, peppery spice.

Taste- Dry oak, spice, clove, pepper. Belgian phenols, funky, grassy. Mild sweetness, white wine grape, apple, pear, touch of citrus zest and vanilla.

Feel- Lighter feel, very dry and crisp. Higher carbonation, refreshing and palate cleansing.

Overall- Oakiness and yeast characteristics really take center stage, provide a very dry taste and feel. Grape must comes through towards the finish, with some residual sweetness and tartness. Yeast adds some funkiness and earthiness, with lots of spice. Really well balanced and flavorful.

Jun 26, 2016
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JohnGalt1 from Idaho

3.34/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

SteveoJ provided this one at a recent tasting.. Thanks buddy! Pours clear golden.. No real head.. Thick fruitiness in the aroma and flavor... the wood helps balance the sweetness.. vanilla and pear and white grape juice..

Beautiful brew and the aroma is right on pint, but it is pretty sweet for my palate.. Dig the concept, not the execution.


Jun 20, 2016
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stevoj from Idaho

3.49/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from brewery. I was hoping for something a bit bigger, a bit more wow. Instead, it was a little underwhelming . I actually preferred the normal version. Barrel aging isn’t as prevalent as you would think.

Jun 13, 2016
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beerbully from New Jersey

3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into HF snifter

L-light straw color, 1/2 head that was gone before I could sit down.......decent lacing with little retention......faint carbonation

S-strong white grape/wine smell, tart, sour, some musty funk, faint oak

T-more oak less white wine than is in the nose........not nearly as sour/tart as the nose....oak is the dominant flavor, followed by, in no order, vanilla, green apple, pear, lime, light honey, pepper, earthy spices (sage, thyme)

F-Thin bodied......Mild to little carbonation, dry finish, a bit tart / sour...........slight alcohol presence which should be expected given the ABV

O-Best to drink at just above room temperature, nice oakiness, better than I was expecting given I am not a white wine drinker but this had enough oak and earthy notes to overcome the sweetness/ tartness of the grapes......nice brew.......

Jun 12, 2016
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Gregaroo from Pennsylvania

3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

5-24-16 - Poured from a large bottle that I picked up from Rehobeth last weekend. Poured super clear straw color with a white head. Tasty and tart. Very drinkable, if you can enjoy the tart. Very crushable as well, even at 9.3%. Glad I tried this one from DFH.

May 25, 2016
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superspak from Ohio

4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into signature tulip glass, bottled on 12/17/2015. Pours fairly crystal clear pale golden yellow color with a 1 finger dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of big lemon, lime, pear, green apple, white grape, pepper, clove, oak, white wine, light vanilla, wheat, cracker, light honey, herbal, straw, grass, light musty funk, and yeast/oak earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast, grapes, oak, and moderate pale malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big lemon, lime, pear, green apple, white grape, pepper, clove, oak, white wine, light vanilla, wheat, cracker, light honey, herbal, straw, grass, light musty funk, and yeast/oak earthiness. Moderate yeast/oak spiciness and light fruity/tannic tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon, lime, pear, green apple, white grape, pepper, clove, oak, white wine, light vanilla, wheat, cracker, light honey, herbal, straw, grass, and yeast/oak earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/spicy yeast, grapes, oak, and moderate pale malt flavors; with a great malt/tart/spiciness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Moderate dryness from tart/spiciness as well. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately crisp/acidic/tannic, and light grainy/bready balanced mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is an outstanding experimental fruited saison. All around awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/spicy yeast, grapes, oak, and moderate pale malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

Apr 17, 2016
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Wiffler27 from North Carolina

4.06/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

pours a sparkling straw gold with a solid head. looks full of carbonation.

smell is grapes and tons of champagne. lots of champagne notes in this.

this beer is heavily carbonated. reminds me of champagne. very wine like aroma and taste. not bad though.

this is certainly a new style of beer for me. has a champagne style to it that is unusual for me. nonetheless it has a good taste for what it is.

this beer is VERY much like wine. i might buy additional bottles just to age like wine/champagne but this is unlike any beer i've ever had.

Apr 08, 2016
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HattedClassic from Virginia

4.16/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Poured into a Brooklyn Brewery Saison glass.)
The look is absolutely beautiful but not very saison-like. The head is a white bubbly that dissipates quickly but leaves a nice ring around the inside of the glass. The beer itself is a very solid medium gold.. It actually strongly resembles more of a white wine than anything else.

The smell and taste are absolutely wonderful and very interesting. Both the taste and smell seem to fix the problems with regular noble rot by having much stronger wine notes while the original hinted at it but did not quite completely deliver. The smell has a nice apricot note from the grapes that mixes well with the beer and barrel notes. The hops are bitter and earthy but get a little lost in the apricot smell. The yeast gives it a slightly bread note that is moderate but can be overshadowed by the grapes. The taste is actually a bit more bitter than the smell with the hops a little stronger and on par with the grapes. The barrel notes show themselves early with a light vanilla note and a hint of oak. Those notes aren't super strong but subtle enough to accentuate the grapes and hops.

The feel is also different from the original. It's drier and thinner but still medium bodied. The biting carbonation is also a really nice feel.

Overall, this is a pretty crappy saison but it's a fantastic beer/wine hybrid and worth getting. The oak aging definitely changed noble rot towards more of a carbonated viognier than a beer and brings out more of the wine grape notes. This is absolutely perfect for those looking to get into wine from beer or the other way around. Dogfish Head definitely earns its rep with hybrid beers. Go for it.

Apr 03, 2016
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ONUMello from Ohio

3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle dated 12/17/15 poured into a tulip
A: Dark yellow with a one-finger head that quickly settles
S: Malt, yeast, a bit of grape, grain and oak
T: The malt, grape and oak all show with nice balance, a bit of yeast towards the finish
M: Light-medium bodied, light carbonation, crisp with a hint of tannins
O: Almost as much wine-like as beer. Oak is a nice contribution to both so is a nice addition to this bottle

Mar 31, 2016
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DaverCS from Arizona

4.36/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pour a crystal clear, champagne color. Very little head retention with very little head to begin with.

Aroma reminds me exactly of a white white. Dry white wine character, you can detect the alcohol... I mean just think sparkling white wine and your there.

Again, this is nearly indistinguishable from a sparkling wine. It varies in terms of the carbonation and the feel. This is a bit thin and under carbonated bridging between a white wine and a sparkling wine. Nice citrus, oak, green grape, slight tang, nice and buttery.

Overall, this is a insanely unique beer. Wine drinkers will like this for sure. Is it a beer or is it a wine? Who knows! It tastes good; I enjoy it, so who cares. I wish there was more of a fine carbonation though. I see it pairing with a more high-end dinner -- preferably scallops, beurre blanc, maybe some orzo. It gets a 87/100.

Mar 22, 2016
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StraightNoChaser from Georgia

4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: A bit darker than i remember Noble Rot. Still a clear, light yellow with white full head on the pour.
smell: Tart citrus and yeast and pear. a little vanilla to the bright fruit and you have here a seriously nice nose.
taste: The taste is just as I remember Noble Rot, not getting anything from the oak. No matter, i really dug the taste. a nice dry and tart finish.

Mar 20, 2016
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NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery "Oak-aged Noble Rot"
25.4 fl. oz brown glass bottle, "BOTTLED ON 12/17/15"
$14.99 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Notes: There's very little head retention and lacing. It looks like white wine in the glass, it wasn't like that before. It's different in mouthfeel as well, but not so different in flavor. There's some oak but I'm not sure it's a beneficial attribute as it doesn't seem to elevate the beer, it's just an added component. Or is the aging simply to dry it out a bit? In any case, it doesn't detract, and therefore gives it just that much more complexity. There's a bit of higher alcohol to it as well, but that could simply be the one batch that I happen to be drinking. All in all, I don't think the oak aging has helped it.

Mar 20, 2016
Oak Aged Noble Rot from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 123 ratings