Chateau Jiahu
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Chateau JiahuChateau Jiahu
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Herb and Spice Beer
Ranked #22
Ranked #30,781
3.79 | pDev: 13.72%
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States
Very Good
Chateau JiahuChateau Jiahu
Notes: Let's travel back in time again for another Dogfish Head Ancient Ale (Midas Touch was our first foray and Theobroma our most recent). Our destination is 9,000 years ago, in Northern China! Preserved pottery jars found in the Neolithic villiage of Jiahu, in Henan province, have revealed that a mixed fermented beverage of rice, honey and fruit was being produced that long ago, right around the same time that barley beer and grape wine were beginning to be made in the Middle East!

Fast forward to 2005. Molecular archaeologist Dr. Patrick McGovern of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology calls on Dogfish Head to re-create another ancient beverage, and Chateau Jiahu is born.

In keeping with historic evidence, Dogfish brewers use brown rice syrup, orange blossom honey, muscat grape, barley malt and hawthorn berry. The wort is fermented for about a month with sake yeast until the beer is ready for packaging.

10 IBU
Reviews: 572 | Ratings: 1,450 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of MikeWard
MikeWard from Pennsylvania

4.17/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

1pt 9.4oz bottle into a pint glass. bottled 1/12/15, so 3 1/2 years old here.

looking pretty good. faintly hazy golden amber body with small bright white head which persists in some form leaving very nice lacing. good consistent light carbonation.

somewhat of a dry white wine aroma.

elements of dry white wine in the taste. also, some sweetness from the honey, and has a bit of a saison feel to it. the diversity makes for an interesting enjoyable drink.

mouth close to full. manages to be both slightly dry and slightly sweet on the finish.

overall, love the idea of Dogfish Head's ancient ales. this one is a very worthwhile drink. Started to feel the abv about halfway through, so some respect is advised.

May 04, 2018
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drdiesel9483 from Ohio

4.21/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Got this in a flight of 4 aged beers at dogfish head
Bottled 2013 drank 2017
Look - golden color
Smell - smells like mash
Taste - like I'm brewing beer and I try it before I add any hops but honey has been added
Feel - medium body and no real carbonation
Overall - I'd say this is like a beer from a long time ago. I wouldn't expect china, don't really taste the sake

May 04, 2017
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Blackop555 from Michigan

3.79/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours gold. Foamy, medium, white head lasts shortly.

Smells sweet fruit,, light fermented fruit, honey and caramel.

Tastes grape, Honey, citrus hints, light pepper and alcohol. Finish is semi sweet with a honey and fruit linger. Medium body and lighter bubbly carbonation.

Apr 28, 2017
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Libeertarian from Montana

4.67/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

From notes taken 04/12/17:

Honey-amber, a little orange in appearance, barely clear with swirly cloudiness and plenty of specs and chunks. Head is a delicate, off-white foam, film-forming but with otherwise lower retention. Smells at first like white grape juice and honey, which are two of the ingredients so no great surprise. Mellows a little to something slightly more grassy and herbal, close even to citrus and coriander like a white ale. Maybe a few fumes from the booze in there as well. Palate is at once more well-rounded and all the more boozy for it. Dark honey, alcohol, vinous qualities ranging from fresh grape to artificial grape candy to dry and sweet wines or vermouth, semi citric/spicy notes from I have no idea what, and also some berry-like notes you might expect from something involving grapes and fermentation and then, in this particular case, aging (it was bottled in January of 2015, and I am enjoying it more than two years later, although it has been almost exactly two years to the day since my actual purchase). Moderately dry and fairly clean finish as a result of the mouthfeel more so than the flavors. Overall, tastes about halfway between a Braggot (especially if it has fruit in addition to honey) and a Tripel, it’s quite good. Medium-bodied, extremely effervescent (very fine, somewhat sharp) but not at all overactive (it fizzled crisply when I cracked it open, but certainly didn’t explode), making for deceptively light drinking. The booze is a double-edged sword here. One the one hand, the heat of it serves to balance the otherwise light qualities of the mouthfeel, but then those qualities make for high drinkability so self-control is required. It feels more like a Tripel than a Braggot, I suppose, in spite of it’s relative closeness in design to the latter. Not as syrupy, but that could be the aging. I really love this beer. I’m sure I’m going to “overrate” it but I really do not care! Okay, I do, but it can’t be helped, I like what I like!

Apr 19, 2017
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chinchill from South Carolina

4.07/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottles (2nd in July 2018).
Pours with a hazy light copper body. Fine textured white head with good retention and excellent lacing.
A lot of effort and trouble went into making this beer which I was eager to try out of curiosity. To my surprise, it's a pleasant beer in every respect, with a particularly good mouthfeel. Lively, medium-high but soft carbonation. Refreshing, lightly spicy and fruity but without musty grapes.

Feb 26, 2017
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q33jeff from New Jersey

1.95/5  rDev -48.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Bottle to tall glass. Aroma is very light. Grape, grasses, . Appearance, Golden clear color. White head. Taste; pilsner esque, with a funky aftertaste. Sour fruit. Staleness. A touch soapy ? Feel is vibrant, good balance. Overall , not so hot. Love the history lesson in a 9000 year old recipe, but we’ve come a long way since the Yellow River Basin tribes.


Dec 16, 2016
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Dragginballs76 from South Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours - Golden yellow with decent white head good lacing.

Smell - Smell of fermented fruit, grapes, some orange and pineapple. Nice sweet fruity smell.

Taste - Nice grape, orange peel, mango. Similar to grape wine. Little warmth from the alcohol.

Feel - good carbonation little dry.

Overall - An ok beer, slightly sweet and boozy.

Jul 06, 2016
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Emersonio from District of Columbia

4.93/5  rDev +30.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pour: Bomber bottle into a tulip glass. Appearance: Light gold with white head. Aroma: Very musty. tannic like aromas. Flavor: Sweet. Malt forward palette. Spices show up in abundance. Light bite. Aftertaste: Malty and musty all the way. Overall: Very similar to Sake given the ingredients. I love the ancient ales series and Jiahu is one of my favorites. Its really cool how DF Head re-created these ancient recipes with Archaeologists from the University of Pennsylvania. Loved it. Unique! Excellent: 5 out of 5.

May 07, 2016
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Zythophile from District of Columbia

4.28/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle Date: 1/12/15
Palate Contaminants: a quality pizza an hour earlier

Yet another Ancient Ale. After having had a few, I have expectations of something good.

Appearance is slightly opaque gold with particulates. There's a fine head on it, but not much lacing.

Smell is nice and sweet, with honeysuckle and candied orange. There's some pineapple and strawberry scent in there, as well.

Taste is very smooth and moderately sweet. There's dried fruit like bananas, apples, and yellow raisins. And the honey carries over from the smell. There's also a bit of... almond, maybe? Some slight nutty flavor. It's as close to mead as I've had out of a brew. A good dessert beer.

Feel is moderately carbonated. Apparently, it's a 10% ABVer, but I'm not getting any alcohol until I'm into the aftertaste.

Maybe I'll end up with another bottle somewhere down the line.

Apr 17, 2016
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WoodBrew from Ohio

3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I was not a big fan of the Chateau Jiahu. It poured a copper color with slight haze and a thin white head that did not lace. The grape was present in the scent and very present in the taste.....very close to white grape juice. The mouthfeel was lighter in body with good carbonation. Overall it was ok.

Jan 09, 2016
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Sabtos from Ohio

3.05/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

This had a little funky must to it, but it was also a sweet and sour sort of beer, with unusual herbal notes and maybe touches of phenols here or there.

Dec 16, 2015
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sjdevel from Utah

4.86/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hazy and light gold color. Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Dogfish Head Goblet. Only about a 1 finger head when poured. The head fades, but I was left with very interesting swirling bubble patterns and lacing.

Smells of sweet and only slightly tart fruit. Has a nice hint of white wine. Some citrus/floral hops are faint, and there is a bit of caramel hints.

There is a minimal hop bitterness right at the beginning. Then there are very interesting fruit notes that are unlike anything I have tasted in a beer before (may be the hawthorn fruit?). There are notes of white wine, apple, caramel, slightly toasted nuts, wood, and some herbs. Among all of the swirling flowery flavors, there is a nice sweetness throughout. The finish is sweet and there are yeasty/bread notes at the end.

This is a fairly light beer but there definitely is a fuller mouth feel. Medium -> Full. It just goes down like a darker ale.... slightly thick and oily.

I loved this one. There are so many beers out there to try and I rarely pick up another specialty beer like this (mainly because of cost) but I am looking forward to grabbing another one of these soon. I am a HUGE fan of Dogfish Head's brews and have never been disappointed. This one is at the top of my favorites list.

I am an off-centered person and I love their off-centered beers!

Nov 08, 2015
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Urk1127 from New Jersey

3.3/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

-hazy orangish gold.
-Yeast, rice, booze
-Honey, orange, alcohol, yeast, some cooked rice
-Heavy, boozy, low carbonation

-did not enjoy and had a huge amount of sediment

Oct 17, 2015
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Hsolorz1 from New York

4.84/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Incredible reconstruction of a lost and ancient Chinese recipe. Light and fruity with a slight Asian twist. The honey, grapes, barley, Hawthorne, and chrysanthemum are blended and balanced by the Sake yeast culture. The resulting beer is liquid gold. Marvelous. Congratulations Dogfish!

Sep 27, 2015
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303beer from Colorado

3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a bubbly yellow with a bubbly head that turns rocky. Leaves a nice amount of lacing. Has a sweet fruity taste. I have been waiting for it to change but it hasn't. A presence of grape.

Sep 04, 2015
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ThierryBeer from New Jersey

4.74/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Incredible beer. Beautiful Amber color. Fairly light for a 10%er and easy to drink. Intriguing smell and tasty fruit and honey, but that said, doesn't over do anything with a smooth dry finish. Definitely pick this up if available around you.

Jul 26, 2015
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RickS95 from Indiana

3.24/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

A really clear pour. Peach in color, but again it's a very light color. There is a brilliantly white head up top, just under a finger thick, but it's got no legs. Subsequent swirls liven the head, now an off white color with better retention. Thinnest of lacing left behind.

The scent is pleasant and full of fruit. You pick up the grape juice and though I have no idea what hawthorn fruit smells or tastes like, I think it's noticeable as well. I couldn't pick up any hops presence or honey, but it's got a pilsner malt nose.

It's not a bad tasting beer, just nothing special. The honey and fruitiness are mostly evident, but so is that Pilsner malt taste and that ruins it for me. Reminds me of a macro too much to score high.

Macros have destroyed anything with pilsner malts in it and this beer falls into that category. I appreciate the sweet fruit and honey, but I can't get past the grainy, bitter pilsner feel to it. Not sure of the ABV in this, but there's an alcohol feel in the finish. Honestly, the beer starts off fairly nice, but it ends poorly.

Overall, it reminds me of most Dogfish Head beers...overrated and way over priced. I don't see the fascination with this brewer. I keep buying their offerings waiting for something I'll like, but it's few and far in between. This is no different.

Jul 06, 2015
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HattedClassic from Virginia

3.94/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice head that dissipates quickly but leaves a nice looking residue around the inside of the glass. The beer itself is a clear medium gold color that is fairly nice in its presentation.

The beer smell is very good. The beer has strong sweet honey notes and hawthorn fruit. Those notes work well against the grape juice backdrop. Also, there appears a bit and almost unnoticeable hint of hop bitterness that keeps the beer from being too sweet. In addition to those notes, the beer smell has a fruity note that comes from the sake yeast and a little bit of rice on the nose.

The taste has the same notes as the smell but not as awe-inspiring for some reason. The taste still has fruity notes from the yeast, and honey with hawthorn fruit notes among the back drop of grape juice. My guess is the slight alcohol note and the sake taste is throwing things off. However, it's still pretty good overall.

The mouthfeel is nice but a little thick. The beer has some carbonation to keep it from becoming thick and makes the beer a lot lighter than it would be normally.

Overall, a very unique beer and worth getting at least once. I like how the notes and ingredients are something that you don't see and the use of sake yeast to add more notes is cool.

Jun 07, 2015
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TruePerception from California

3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Dogfish Head's Chateau Jiahu, ale brewed with honey and hawthorn fruit, and fermented with grape juice. 10% ABV.

A: About a finger of fluffy white head. Peach orange in the glass. Very slightly yellow-tinged clear in the dimple. Slight sheeting. Very slight lacing. Now that the head has died down, their appears to be a thin, clear, and slightly oily meniscus. I almost didn't notice, but that rainbow effect caught my eye.

S: Green grape must. Dry honey. Slight biscuit.

T/MF: Fairly acidic (though not in a tart/fruity way). Dry honey, and some kind of dry berry flavor. Slight lime peel and black tea notes. The overall taste brings to mind "elegance". Mouthfeel is rich, yet slightly bubbly.

Interesting. Not fantastic, and it likely needs food, but interesting. And, fairly light for a 10%-er

Poured from a 750mL bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass.

Jun 01, 2015
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DrSchnitzengiggle from Illinois

4.79/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottled in 2012. Drank in 2015.

I loved this beer. It has a very intriguing smell. Lots of fruit and honey. The fruitiness carries over to the flavor, and the finish is smooth. Even with some age on it, the alcohol is still present, but it's mild. Definitely worth your money.

May 24, 2015
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BoljaBoy52 from Texas

4.64/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful Amber color. Smell is of a citrusy wine. Taste is notes of citrus, juicy grapes and alcohol. Finishes tart and dry. Mouthfeel is explosive. Incredible beer and ancient recreation!!

May 20, 2015
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Franziskaner from Missouri

3.74/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Brilliant golden color with excellent clarity. There's a fingernail of white around the rim of the glass and a third of the rest of the beer. I smell white grape juice and a hint of sweet honey. The flavor is an intense burst of white grape juice and sweet honey. The mouth is thick with sweet malt and plenty of sugar from the honey, hawthworn fruit and grape juice.

May 19, 2015
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ARoman from Illinois

3.72/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap, poured into a sampler glass as the American Beer Classic. The aroma has a potent ammonia note to it with undertones of citrus, grapes, and alcohol. The beer is clear yellow amber with a white, dense soap head that has good retention and lace. The taste is highly sweet with a medium bitterness. The beer is waxy with a fuzzy carbonation and a medium body. The flavor is not too dissimilar to a white wine with flavors of white grapes, an alcohol warmth, honey, bread, and a mellow spice that heighten at the finish with a zip like a champagne or crisp white wine along with some bread flavors. The aftertaste is fairly long with warm alcohol, spice, and citrus.

May 11, 2015
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Slack from Virginia

3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Light gold in color with a minor amount of head. Clear. Minor lacing.

Smell is dominated by sweetness. Am getting some fruit and floral notes. Also there is a bit of a musk.

Taste is sweetness again but more in line with honey. Equally present is white wine. A dry and sour note appear too. No hops.

Mouthful is medium with light carbonation.

Overall the beer's back story in conjunction with the beer itself lend to trying. I found that towards the end of the beer, the cloying nature was beginning to detract.

May 04, 2015
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Crossbreed29 from New York

4.58/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my first ever review on BA. Just want to preface this by saying, I've been drinking "craft beer" for 7+ years now. Dogfish Head is a well respected brewer in the industry. This beer has a straw color appearance. It is light on the tongue in terms of mouth feel but is very full of distinct flavors. The beer itself is low in carbonation... It is very delicate. At the same time you can notice the notes of honey. There is no alcohol flavor whatsoever. Probably the most impressive of the Ancient Ale Series that DFH has been brewing over the years. I've tried them all. This on draft is exquisite. For 10% I could drink it all night. Easy 4.5/5. World Class.

May 02, 2015
Chateau Jiahu from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 1450 ratings