1. Introducing the Respect Beer® Society. Upgrading your account to a Society membership entitles you to more than a dozen awesome perks, from discounts, to add-free browsing, extended users stats, and much more. Join today.
  2. BEER FEST ALERT: Don't miss FUNK Boston: A Wild & Sour Beer Fest on June 14-15!

Chateau Jiahu | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Chateau JiahuChateau Jiahu
Very Good
1,448 Ratings
Chateau JiahuChateau Jiahu

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States

Style: Herb and Spice Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 1,448 |  Reviews: 570
Reviews by zoso1967:
Photo of zoso1967
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chateau Jiahu pours a deep golden color with a beige head. The beer itself is very clear and the head, while not overly large, has very nice staying power and leaves some decent lace.

The aroma is extremely vinous with the fermented grape character blending with a slightly bready malt character. Overall the fruit dominates the nose, but there are also some nice honey notes.

The flavor is quite sweet with three main components. Component number one is a pale malty beer flavor. Component two is a sweet white wine flavor, and finally the third component is a mead like character. All three of these flavors are very well balanced and create a taste that is very refined. This beer really drinks more like a dessert wine with carbonation than it does a beer.

The mouthfeel is on the lighter end of medium. It has low carbonation that gives it a nice smoothness and lends even more to the wine like presentation. The finish is mostly sweet, but it is tempered with a bit of bitterness.

This is a fairly drinkable beer and I have to say I am impressed. The ancient ales are often times hit or miss, but this one is very well put together. It reminds me a lot of a more drinkable version of Midas touch. Also, after looking at the ABV on the BA page I cannot believe this is 10%. This beer does not drink like a brew with that much firepower. This is surely a beer that I would consider purchasing again.

 1,407 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Mellow in Greensboro.Poured into a goblet a medium to darker golden with a thin quick to fade white head,white grap juice aromas along with sweet honey,a little leafy heb in there as well.Sweet white grape skins and honey flavors dominate,there is enough of herbal dryness in the finish to keep it from being overly sweet.Its pretty good,its not nearly as complex as I would have thought,nice to try it but one and done is good enough for me.

 456 characters

Photo of stewfnrocker
3.37/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

it came out an unfiltered light tan orangeish color. a slight head. The nose I caught a very sweet smell of honey, lighter fruits like grapes, apples, and pears. The taste was pretty much spot on, very sweet to the palette. Lots of honey and fruits, a slight alcohol flavor underneath which was expected with a beer that has 10% abv. The mouth feel is a bit full to medium body. I guess having such a sweet taste, but sort of balanced out by the carbonation. Overall, I like what Dogfish Head does, but this wasn't one for me. A bit to sweet for me, almost like a mead. To say the least it wasn't a bad beer, If you like sweeter beers in the style of a mead you will like this, no you probably will love this.

 709 characters

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Cloudy to the point of not being transparent even through a small glass. Light amber, honey color. Thin white film clings to the head and small white bubbles skip on the surface.

Aroma: Sweet honey and light malts. Very braggot like. Just faint touches of sweet, purple grapes.

Taste: Very mead like. The honey has a large impact on this beer. Grape flavors are much more pronounced than their aromas. The chrysanthemum stands out too and reminds me strongly of the wine that is so ubiquitous in Guilin, Yangshoa, and the surrounding Karst region of China. One also gets a vinous tropical fruit sensation from this beer.

Mouthfeel: Mellow and low carbonated. Faintly sweet with a light back palate bite. Honey sweetness lingers for sometime after each sip on the tongue with touches of grape skin tartness revolving around the entire mouth for quite some time. Very pleasurable.

Drinkability: Very good. This is certainly quaffable in mass.

A wonderful beer. Many thanks to DFH for making this.

 1,011 characters

Photo of t2grogan
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of MadScientist
3.69/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: A golden beer with good clarity. The head is made of fine white bubble with a decent retention time and leaves a light lacing on the glass.

S: A medium-strong berry aroma that is a mostly grape blended with something that is part way between a strawberry and a peach. There is a moderate honey aroma and a light malt sweetness along with a light alcohol sweetness.

T: Flavors of honey, grapes both fresh and vinous, along with another fruity flavor. No perceived hops flavor and very little bitterness, most of the balance is coming from a fruity tartness and the alcohol. There is a light bit of spice from the yeast and some fruity esters.The balance is somewhat sweet with a medium sweet finish. The aftertaste is of berries, honey and a touch of peach.

M: A medium-full bodied beer with moderate carbonation that has some of that weight that honey brings.

O: A fruity and slightly spice sort of a braggot with a good amount of honey character.

 955 characters

Photo of wesbrownyeah
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another strange Dogfish offering with Chateau Jiahu a spiced beer brewed with honey and hawthorn fruit and fermented with grape concentrate. 750 ml bottle poured into pint glass.

A- Pours a golden fluid with perfect clarity and some haze when looked at in light. Beautiful is the word. Has a nice frothy head that leaves rings of thick lacing on glass.

S- Very sweet and pungent scent of over-ripe sweet white grapes come to mind on first thought. Second is honeysuckle flowers.

T-M- Taste is one of a kind with heavy doses of a white grape infused flower/fruit... must be hawthorn. Definite honey sweetness is obvious. Nice overall taste and a spicy and astringent feel make this a good choice in the fruit and spiced beer slection.

D- Its suprisingly drinkable with all the strange flavors it packs... Cheers!

 816 characters

Photo of poibag808
5/5  rDev +32.3%

Photo of SkiBum22
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle pours into my glass a hazy orange color with lots of particulate floating around as well. A half inch of light bubbly foam sits on top. Aroma is an interesting mix of sweet honey notes, floral qualities and a light fruit aroma. Somewhat spicy with quite an evident vinous grape aroma to it as well. Quite enjoyable overall.

First sip brings a crisp honey sweetness upfront, almost has a mellow mead like quality to it. It flows into light fruity, juicy accents (I can't say I have ever had hawthorn fruit, but that might be it). Grape concentrate makes itself known with spicy accents throughout. Floral notes weave in and out of each sip and the brew finishes with a lingering sweetness and spice.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium bodied with a nice mellow carbonation. The beer goes down easily and is refreshing. Overall, apart from being a tad too sweet, this is a tasty brew and the fact that it is recreated from an ancient recipe is pretty cool as well. This one is worth checking out.

 1,017 characters

Photo of chOAKbarrell
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Currently on tap at the Dogfish Head alehouse in Gaithersburg, Maryland. $9 per snifter. The best way I could describe this is a cross between a whitbier and Dogfish Head's own Midas Touch ale. It's a shade lighter than Midas, but it has head (unlike Midas). The spices and slight fruitiness remind me of a whit, but the flavor and feel of the beer is complex and hard to describe, much like Midas Touch. The waiter rattled off a long list of spices that are used in making the beer, none of which I remember. At the finish of the beer is a pleasant little kiss of hops. Very interesting and quite outstanding. Much more drinkable than the aforementioned DFH beer, and possibly the next-best-thing to DFH's red-and-white whitbier, which I never got to try.

 756 characters

Photo of lordofthewiens
2.96/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Single bottle for $7.99 at Tully's. It was a hazy yellow color with a medium head. It had a sweet aroma, with a noticeable alcohol presence. The taste was pretty much all honey. I thought this beer was a little too sweet. Plus, it needs to be drunk cold; it loses flavor when it warms.

 285 characters

Photo of DaftPatrick
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of pengs68
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of marvin213
3.92/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

It looks like an IPA. It's a dirty brown color with a thin yet solid layer of foam. Considering the unique ingredients that comprise this production, it looks oddly normal.

The smell is like a bouquet. It smells as it's designed--a Dogfish Head Flower Beer. It's cool and alluring...mysterious, even. I guess chrysanthemums are indigenous to this area because I see them everywhere--this is like an IPA filtered thru a Randall in which a prom queen left her corsage. I smell a little of the grapes and muscadine-type qualities I expected, but the smell is profoundly flowers. Everybody likes flowers, right?

It tastes ancient as it is less a blend of ingredients, and more a heterogenous mixture of pot-pourri. It's like a beer made from mom's basket of leaves by the front door...a feng-shui beer. I look back at the label and see no mention of chrysanthemums. I don't know how/where (or even if) I came up with that, but it's definitely what I taste. As the beer warms, I taste more of the grape and wine qualities. Still, I'm surprised by the reviews I've read about how much this beer's like a wine--I disagree with that assertion. Maybe it's the honey or the rice components, but I detect a nice balance between sweet and sour. Hops play less a role, but it's interesting that so many distinct flavors evidence themselves in this concoction. In my humble opinion, it's another well-done experiment by Dogfish Head.

The sweet hawthorne fruit provides a post-swallow pucker. As I've already mentioned, many individual flavors manifest to the surface of the whole beer. Honey, grapes, fruit, rice.... Interestingly, the flowers so much a part of the smell seem to diminish as I sip thru the session. I feel like no matter what you make of each individual characteristic, the feel of this beer is incredibly neat and unique.

I really don't think these DFH brews are meant to be drinkable in the usual sense of the word; for example, I don't think any group freely sharing beers would need to open two of these. You get a sample and it's complex enough for you to appreciate it sip by sip. Still, this is the only one I've ever had...and I'm eager to get another.

 2,168 characters

Photo of dieBlume
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of generallee
4.12/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 1pint 9.6oz bottle into a tulip glass. The label has a nice description but no abv or freshness date.

Appearance: The body has a brilliant clear and deep golden color with tons of carbonation streaming up from the bottom of the glass. The head is light and fades to just a ring of creamy lacing. Glass lacing is very slick and slides right down the glass as I drink.

Smell: Right from the pop of the cap I notice some wine like notes. I get some white wine and Concord grape like notes with a very light malt presence with hints of apples, wild flower honey and floral melon like notes.

Taste/Palate: The flavor has a sweet white wine and mead like taste up front with some hints of cantaloupe like melon and mellow alcohol creeping in. This is quickly followed up by a short flash of bitterness and then a short semi-dry finish. The body has an easy medium fell with a light sticky sweet feeling and mellow carbonation.

Notes: Overall a very interesting beer and a good pairing to Chinese spring rolls with duck sauce.

 1,068 characters

Photo of SmellsofMahagony
3.25/5  rDev -14%

Photo of ScottieByNature
4.55/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a champagne bottle into a tulip glass.

A - Beautiful light golden color, plenty of effervescence. The light head left a bit of lacing and made almost a marbled pattern on the surface.

S - Hints at a Belgian, with aromatic notes that reminded me of a Chardonnay or a Pinot Grigio. Also thought I caught some strawberry and banana notes in there, made me think of a tropical Starburst!

T - Beautifully clean and crisp with the honey and fruit flavors contributing nicely. I half expected this one to be cloying and have a strong alcoholic heat to it, but quite the opposite. It was just the right amount of sweet, and the 10% abv is hardly detectable in the taste. Very tasty!

M - Medium to light body.

D - Surprisingly drinkable for the abv, goes down very easy.

Overall, an excellent bottle of beer! Was sad when the bottle was empty. It's no wonder this was the last bottle left at the store! Would probably go well with some spicy stir fry.

 960 characters

Photo of TimoP
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of iemailjack
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of merlin48
4.35/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a sparkling golden amber body that is slightly hazed. Skimpy white head lasts several minutes and leaves some delicate patch lacing.

Aroma is floral and spicy, very exotic. White grapes, apple skins, lilacs, and a cabinet full of exotic spices that I can't identify with any certainty. Very pleasant.

Mouthfeel is excellent. Soft and caressing, with a solid carbonation.

Taste is complex to the max. Notes of sake, lilacs, rose water, fresh white grapes, honey, green apples, earthiness, all driven by the myriad spice profile. Very tasty.

Definitely a winner, but somewhat of an enigma. This reminds me of the excellent Baladin Nora in its unique floral and spice profile. Very complex and a pleasant challenge to identify what's in the recipe. I look forward to my next adventure with this excellent replication of a 9,000 year old Chinese recipe.

 868 characters

Photo of kaneel
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a golden orange color with white head. The aroma is very complex and I am sure I am missing some aspects of it. I get some flowers, orange citrus, bready malt and alcohol. The flavor is also complex. I get a lot of toffee, but I also get some nuttyness, flowers, perfume, orange citrus, maple, sugar and apples. I also get a nice dose of alcohol in the flavor, but the beer is still very easy to drink, although it does get a little bit cloying at the end due to the high sugar content. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A very interesting beer with a very interesting back story. Of all the ancient ales brewed by Dogfish Head, this is one of my favorites.

 679 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
1.5/5  rDev -60.3%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Chateau Jiahu from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 3.78 out of 5 with 1,448 ratings