Chateau Jiahu | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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Chateau JiahuChateau Jiahu
Very Good
1,441 Ratings
Chateau JiahuChateau Jiahu

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States

Style: Herbed / Spiced 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

Added by marburg on 06-15-2005

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,441 |  Reviews: 569
Photo of faucd531
1/5  rDev -73.5%

Photo of chippo33
1.25/5  rDev -66.9%

Photo of olradetbalder
1.5/5  rDev -60.3%

Photo of Coorsy
1.5/5  rDev -60.3%

Photo of Dirty25
1.75/5  rDev -53.7%

Photo of q33jeff
1.95/5  rDev -48.4%
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.


 377 characters

Photo of Raynae
2/5  rDev -47.1%

Photo of TomG2751
2/5  rDev -47.1%

Photo of drowninginhops
2.24/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Served in a tankard.
A: Nothing special. If you had not known it was a higher end beer it could be mistaken for a macro very easily. Darker straw with white 1 finger head that quickly recedes.

S: Interesting. The bottle informs that it is brewed with honey, hawthorn and grape juice so I am going to assume the top-note to be the hawthorn. Hops and malt are not present to my smell.

T: No honey, hop or malt notes on my palate. Different, not something I can put my finger on yet.

M: Good, not too thick or thin. Good amount of carbonation.

D: Not beer I will be returning too based on this bottle.

I do own a second bottle and will be aging it to see how it changes. I hope it was a bad bottle based on what I had heard.

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Photo of bsm80x
2.25/5  rDev -40.5%

Photo of jadler16
2.25/5  rDev -40.5%

Photo of deadliest
2.25/5  rDev -40.5%

Photo of coz
2.25/5  rDev -40.5%

Photo of mmsimmons
2.25/5  rDev -40.5%

Photo of phishbone23
2.25/5  rDev -40.5%

Photo of beernads
2.25/5  rDev -40.5%

Photo of Vendetta
2.28/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Original Rating Date:
October 4, 2008

Pours pale yellow with a fizzy, active head. Fizzy carbonation. Sour, malty aroma. Taste is bitter sweetness, some honey notes, a little sour. Overly carbonated. Points for a unique idea, but not a great beer. DFH could do better.

 269 characters

Photo of claspada
2.3/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured an auburn color with a cloudy headlessness (is that a word), anyway, it looks like an orange tinted wheat beer in the glass.

The aromas are of sweet malts maybe, or just sweetness. The taste follows suit with various gross syrupy sugar flavors. Also has some off sour flavors and there are no hops to be found even if you search for them.

Overall, this is just not a winner or repeatable.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.33/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

A - Hazy brew with a straw to gold color and a very small head. There are flecks of lacing all over the thing.

S - A very strong vinious character, somewhere between a chardonnay and a reisling. A clear presentation of hawthorne fruit . . . of course I'm kidding since I have no clue what hawthorne fruit smell or tastes like (or even looks like). There is also a potent rice backing (actually this probably is also enhancing the chardonnay aroma. There are hints of some fruit with a lot of sugar and an unpleasant aroma flavor. Also a heather-esque herbal aroma. It has an alcohol smell typical of a white wine.

T - The most dominant flavor is rice, I know this flavor well for it is the flavor of a typical malt liquor - only concentrated. Next, I get a potent reisling and light malt sugars. The aftertaste is strangely herbal, almost like heather, along with a strong, slightly bitter rice aftertaste. Not great, but not awful

M - A bit thin and harsh like both a cheap chardonnay and malt liquor (I am thinking King Cobra here). Ther is a bit of drying to it as well.

D - This says it is fermented with Sake yeast, but I thought Sake was fermented with Aspergillus? Oh well. Honestly, I think this drinks like a crappy white wine. I am glad I didn't live in ancient China. Interesting . . . yes. Worth purchasing . . . no. It isn't worth trying, it seems like it is, but the flavor are not exotic, they are mundane, mix of cup of cheap reisling with a Colt 45 and you are pretty much on target. I definitely won't buy this again. The only way anyone should try it is if they buy it with some freinds.

 1,618 characters

Photo of JeffV
2.36/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

In case you didn't figure this out on your own, a lot of innovation in brewing has taken place in the last 9000 years.

I was in the mood for something different when I picked up this brew and that is exactly what I got.

I poured from the 750 ml bottle into my glass and discovered a auburn colored, cloudy headless brew. It looks like an orange tinted wheat beer in the glass.

Jiahu lacks carbonation and that is one of the biggest drawbacks of the beer. after 30 seconds in the glass it seems lifeless.

It is syrupy in the mouth and very sweet. It reminds me of the kind of swill 17 yr olds drink. With that said it actually smells really inviting. When I initially sipped it I was surprised by the sweet and sour flavor. There is no hops whatsoever in this beer and really not much malt either. The taste reminds me of cantalope a little.

Overall, this would be a terrible session beer but is an interesting change up.

The bottle art might be the biggest clue on how to drink this beer. The woman on the label is sipping it out of a champagne flute. Perhaps a small dose in a narrow glass (for a toast or something) would be optimal for this beer.

This was an interesting experience that I liked but not one that I care to repeat any time soon.

 1,255 characters

Photo of trickynicky
2.43/5  rDev -35.7%
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.

 187 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.43/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy, pale gold body with a teeny, tiny white head.

Smell: Faint aroma of pears, white grapes, and honey.

Taste: Weak, meandering flavors of thin strawberry juice, dusty grapes, subtle spices, and sweet grains. Finishes with a tangy-sweet zip.

Mouthfeel: Thin-bodied. Low carbonation.

Drinkability: Thanks, but no thanks. So far, I haven't been a big fan of these "residue beers".

 414 characters

Photo of Vaison
2.43/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

750ml bottle poured into a DFH signature glass.

I had this brew during a tour of the brewery and liked it most of the four they allowed us to sample. I bought a bottle and brought it home. I decided to share it with my wife since it was very sweet. After dinner, we opened the bottle was nothing like the brew I remember from the brewery. It reminded me of a Miller Lite with honey thrown in. It was very light, highly carbonated and had that corn brewed taste. The sweetness was not nearly what I remembered it to be. If I were to rate this during the tap pour, it would have probably gotten much higher scores. I love DFH brews, but this one that I will pass on next time.

 684 characters

Photo of Faxmesomehalibut
2.44/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Typical dogfish fashion, making things weird for the sake of being weird. I'm sure some people like this, just not for me.

122 characters

Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
2.48/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle poured into a tulip

A: Pours a very light but pleasant golden yellow with a small amount of white head and large bubbles.

S: Aroma is very subtle with sweet, light fruits and some citrus, a bit of nutmeg spiciness, and an extremely pleasant tropical pomegranate.

T/M: Taste is a little more strange; honey sweetness is apparent along with more tropical fruitiness, some white grape and a low amount of carbonation, but there's a little bit of something mildewy in the finish. I can't tell where it's coming from, but I'm starting to feel like this bottle is going to end up in the drain.

In reality, the beer as a whole is just unusual. Dogfish likes to blur the lines of beer brewing convention so I totally expected something strange, but I'm starting to wish they'd come out with something more conventional and I refuse to give a beer a high rating just because everyone else does. I've never wanted a Miller Lite so bad. What the f***.

 974 characters

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Chateau Jiahu from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 3.78 out of 5 with 1,441 ratings
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