Chateau Jiahu
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Chateau JiahuChateau Jiahu
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Herb and Spice Beer
Ranked #25
Ranked #29,657
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
Reviews by BobbyOlson:
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BobbyOlson from Michigan

4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

Mar 29, 2014
More User Reviews:
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Franchise from Oregon

4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This offering from DFH pours a cloudy dirty blonde that leaves a thin lacing that disappears leaving a spotchy thin head on top. The aroma is sour grapes, lemon, herbs that are hard to define in this nose. The taste starts very sweet, almost fruit juice quality grapes, lemon, herbal bitterness that finishes tart like a "sweet tart" almost. The feel on the palate is syrupy sweet refreshing with a slight carbonation that helps balance the overall beer as not to make it overly sweet, but it is still dominatly sweet. Overall great job DFH, if this is what they drank in ancient time then pour me another!

Dec 11, 2006
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glid02 from Georgia

4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Porter Beer Bar in Atlanta.

Pours a clear golden color with a half-finger white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of sweet light malts with good amounts of candi sugar. Also present are moderate amounts of honey and lighter hints of indistinct light fruits.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Crisp light malt flavors kick things off and are joined almost immediately by smooth and subtle honey flavors. Midway through the sip the malt flavors sweeten even further with the addition of medium fruit flavors and carry through to a crisp ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with active carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass without any problems and could have another.

Overall this was an interesting beer but the flavors weren't quite distinct or smooth enough to make it anything more. Still, worth a shot, especially if you're a fan of DFH's other experimental beers.

Oct 01, 2010
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NORM4 from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +5.5%

Apr 24, 2014
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wo87810 from Florida

4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Mar 07, 2012
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zenmaster298 from California

4/5  rDev +5.5%

Jul 11, 2012
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Nat1975 from Indiana

3.67/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

May 29, 2015
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DrJay from Texas

4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy gold/caramel colour with a thin, white head off the pour. Good retention with a bit of lacing. Mild aroma, fruity, with green grapes, honey, and some spice. Pleasant flavour with low bitterness and plenty of fruit character, mostly fresh grapes which lingered in the finish. It also had a light acidity that brought the fruit forward. A little bready with some peppery spice in the finish and some earthiness. Moderate carbonation with a medium body - soft mouthfeel overall. This was a super easy drinking beer, very tasty and refreshing.

Dec 25, 2006
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JDV from Texas

2.83/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Cloudy orange pour with a quickly fading head. Smell is corn and rice like malty sweetness with notes of grapes as well. Taste is fairly sweet, notes of corn, rice, again along with a slight hint of grape too. Light bitterness in the finish, but sweet beyond that in the aftertaste. Interesting, but slightly cloying and very lagery corn like. Good for sharing but probably not in large amounts.

Mar 20, 2008
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brwnchrstpher from Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

Aug 10, 2012
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kylehay2004 from Illinois

3.33/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Single finger head with excellent thick lacing on a golden amber murky body. Aroma of orange juice, candied fruits, honey and caramel. As Is the case with so many dogfish head brews the initial taste is strong, complex. A few more sips one can pick out orange blossom, honey, candied fruits up front finishing very sweet and floral. Oily, medium body and light to moderate carbonation. This one is pretty boozy and too sweet for me. Complex and worth trying. I would share the bottle with a friend or three.

Dec 25, 2012
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mattsucks from Ohio

3.84/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Apr 10, 2015
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Wizzle32 from Pennsylvania

3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aug 14, 2015
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OStrungT from California

3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a slightly pale golden yellow color, with a decent sized off white colored head. The head fades sort of quickle, leaving very little lacing.

This beer has a strong flowery aroma. It smells of earthy yeasty muskness. It has a sweet honey aroma as well. It has a slight clovey aroma. Some citrus aroma is also present.

This beer tastes very complex. It has a flowery flavor. It tastes very sweet. It also has a slightly grainey taste that reminds me of a saison. I think that there are a lot of flavors, and they are all strong, and that makes this beer a little hard to drink.

This complex beer leaves a very sweet, flowery aftertaste. It is highly carbonated.

I doubt this beer would make a great session beer. It has a very aggressive flavor that would become very hard to drink after a few. The alcohol content is a little high also.

Overall: Thanks go out to ggaughan for hooking me up with this beer. Thanks again for a great trade.

Apr 21, 2007
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endincolorado from Ohio

3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Very hazy. Deep gold with a bright haze. Almost no head to speak of. Lots of floaty sediment.

Smell- Strong aromas of fruit. Apple and grape. Yeasty spice. Some honey and herbs (maybe hawthorne fruit?) Reminds me almost of an apple cider.

Taste- Nice fruity character. Honey, apple, grape, and a slight yeastiness. Little to no traditional malt or hop character. Slight citrus aftertaste.

Mouthfeel- Medium body. Extremely low carbonation. Reminds me of mead.

Drinkability- A little much on the fruit and spice, high ABV make this a tough one to down. I think one bomber's enough.

Apr 12, 2009
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thegrifter from Florida

3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Aug 28, 2012
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BlurryVisi0n from New York

3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Sam Adams signature (pint) glass.

Appearance: Amber but not your basic amber, sediments floating head is somewhat thin and to the point that I cant give you a measure meant. No Head at all if poured correctly.

Smell: Has a smell of cheap wine and I cant complain. It feels sweet before even tasting it.

Taste: Honey, no not the girlfriend type but this beer should be called some type of "honey brewed ale". Listen just because this beer is a awkwardly sweet beer should mean you should turn it away.

Mouth: Medium carbonation, unsurprisingly smooth.

Overall: Grab it, honey, wine-ish and alcohol, mix the three and you get this beer. I honestly could not complain. Sometimes you need a beer like this to remind you what else is out there. Salud!

Mar 12, 2012
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3.52/5  rDev -7.1%

Oct 12, 2014
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hozersr from Pennsylvania

3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Aug 14, 2015
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connecticutpoet from Connecticut

3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer was a hazy amber color with a one finger fizzy head made of big bubbles. It was hazier than I expected. Actually, I had expected a clear brew, but I guess in ancient China they really didn't filter their brew.

The aroma was fruity and a lot like champagne, slightly more vinous, with definite white grapes and a touch of honey. There was also a subtle smokiness. Didn't smell grainy at all, although I expected it, wince there is rice in it.

The taste was initially tart, with a quick burst of honey followed by a blend of slightly smoky malts mingled with white wine. I have had sake once before, and I thought there would be a bit of that in here, but there wasn't.

Mouthfeel was good. It felt like a champagne, with that hint of carbonation, but it was also smooth.

Drinkability... well, I have to give it a little off for that, since it is a bit strong and expensive. And it had a little more wine character than I would have liked. But it was interesting and worth the experience.

Sep 21, 2006
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drtth from Pennsylvania

3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a stemmed Tulip glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As served the beer is a totally clear reddish gold color with a ΒΌ" (or less) thin head that is light tan in color and that recedes quickly leaving a small ring and no real surface foam. Sipping early leaves minimal lacing and the lacing is gone well before the beer.

Smell: The aroma has some white grapes and honey sweetness with soft floral notes.

Taste: The white grape flavor comes through clearly and the sweetness from the honey is there but less prominent. The fruity, floral part of this is hard to describe, probably because I've never had hawthorn fruit or chrysanthemum flowers, but there is clearly something there that modulates the flavors of the grapes and the honey.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel medium light-bodied and smooth with light carbonation through out. The finish medium in length and lightly sweet throughout, but there are some dry notes appearing here and there.

Drinkability: For me this is a slow sipper and a one a night beer. I was pleasantly surprised at enjoying this a much as I did because I usually don't care for honey flavor in beer. I certainly would drink this one again.

Aug 10, 2009
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AdamBear from Pennsylvania

3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-cloudy orange with a thick off white colored head

S-smells almost like a champagne with some funky belgian yeasts. a bit malty, a bit tangy, and maybe even some caramel. very strong scent

T-initial reaction is very impressive. i went in with low expectations but came out presently surprised. comes in with very sweet and caramelesque malts. ends with a similar taste and a hint of belgian malts as well. even a small roasted feel to it as well. its very smooth

M-good medium carbonation but with a very dry finish

D-well, the tastes start to blend more together but it still tastes decent and it does go down quite easily, this isn't something i'd buy a lot of.

Jan 18, 2011
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Texasfan549 from Texas

4/5  rDev +5.5%

Nov 17, 2011
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carlitos92 from Texas

4/5  rDev +5.5%

Dec 01, 2012
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trickynicky from Maryland

2.43/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I'm not a fan of anything to do with grapes, which is probably why I did not care for this. I am a fan of Dogfish Head, though, so this did nothing to change my opinion of their brewery.

Feb 15, 2015
Chateau Jiahu from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 1450 ratings