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 kylehay2004
3.33/5  rDev -11.9%
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.

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Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Story Tavern in Burbank, CA.

Pours a clear orange with a foamy bone head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, honey, fruit, and slight herbal and spice aromas. Taste is much the same with a fruity flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with an interesting back story but the flavor is quite sweet.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.74/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I love this series, and I was stoked to see this on tap at the new renegade tap house on university. it pours a hazy orange tinted thicker color, with a colossal three inch white fizzy head on top with fine retention. the nose is very unique, and I think I smell sake yeast, although im not a big sake guy generally. lots of interesting fruits as well, and a grain blend only dogfish head could come up with. the first sip I notice the feel more than the flavor, its denser than it looks, not very carbonated despite the head, and has a bit of honey type sugars on the back end, a funny feel that I don't totally love. the flavor I do love though, floral and sweet, bright, and decidedly eastern in vibe. there are ingredients here that I am entirely unfamiliar with, but much like etrusca, midas touch, and some of the others, I like the way it all comes together in an approachable but challenging way. overall a very impressive beer, especially now that I have learned this is 10% abv, a strength one would never detect from drinking this beer. I hope these archeological brews continue, they are always a lot of fun to sit down with.

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Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -20.6%

Photo of Knapp85
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as an orange color, expected red for some reason. The head fizzled away pretty quickly just leaving a white ring. The smell is sweet and has a good herbal aroma to it. The taste gives off a wine like flavor, along with some floral and fruity flavors. The mouthfeel is on the lighter side here and it's pretty smooth also. I'd like to try this one again sometime because it's been a while. This deserves another taste for sure.

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Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3/5  rDev -20.6%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of t0rin0
3/5  rDev -20.6%

Photo of metter98
3.82/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: It pours clear golden yellow in color with a nice frothy head. A moderate level of carbonation is visible.
S: There is a moderate smell of grapes in the nose.
T: The taste is relatively sweet, complex and has a good balance; the grapes and honey flavors really stand out but are nicely balanced by the underlying malts and the other flavors.
M: It feels medium-bodied and rather smooth on the palate.
D: This is a good beer to sip as the interesting flavors will continue to hold your palate's attention. The alcohol is relatively well masked, so I think I would try this again.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.52/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I just saw the Dogfish Head Variety Show, uh, I mean Brew Masters, episode where they had to dump a batch of this, which makes me wonder how on Earth I'm able to procure a bottle of this locally. Oh well - count my blessings...and nice Chinese tramp stamp imagery on the label...

This beer pours a hazy pale golden hue, with one finger of soapy white head, which settles quickly, leaving very little in the way of lace around the glass. It smells of honey and sweet white grape juice, very much of the fragrant Concord or Muscat type. The taste is very sweet musky young white wine, a bit of citrus, sake, more wild honey, and, oh, what the hell, I'll say there's some kind of grain in there too. The carbonation is moderate, the body smooth and weighty in that sugary grape juice manner - read: on the low end of cloying. It finishes still sweet and somewhat musky, the honey and white grape juice still front and center.

I know this has barley in it - it's just that I can't really tell by drinking it. If you told me this was a mead/late harvest white wine blend, then I'd be sold. The 8 points of booze are well obfuscated by the strong sweetness, and thoughts of beer are generally subsumed. It's cool that DFH is trying to revive lost beer styles - but they are also blurring the border between actual beer and other alcoholic beverages.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.47/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Newly distributed to Central Kentucky, this is a warm welcome. The orange / straw, murky look promises honey sweetness, fruity flavors and a firm body. The beer doesn't disapoint. Tremendous honey sweetnees without cloying. Very fruity with pears, peaches, and ripe apples. Very wine-like with a satisfying malt base. Spices of giner, clove, nutmeg and corriander give the beer an added complexity and compliment the beer well. An earthy, herbal quality persists. The beer, though viscous in the start, finishes with a drinkable tartness and dryness. Quite clean for such a sweet and varying beer; sorta Midas Touch-like, just better. Dogfish just won me over again.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.27/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Begrudgingly picked up at the Cap N Cork in Los Feliz. Cost was $14.29. Reviewed live. I've never been a big Dogfish Head fan, and this one seems as gimmicky as any of their offerings, so expectations are about average. 1 pint 9.6 fl oz brown glass bottle with tired label art and standard branded copper pressure cap served into a Mitchells of Lancaster flared stem-tulip in me gaff in Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California.

Served cold, straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger head of beige colour. Horridly thin. No cream at all. Retention is poor (~45 seconds). Head is kind of pathetic overall. No bubble show. No lacing.

Body colour is a dull murky yellow-copper. No yeast particles are visible.

This beer isn't much to look at. I imagine the aroma and taste will be far better than the appearance.

Sm: Pale malts. Pilsner malts. Honey. Clove. White grapeskin. Fresh orange. Flowers. Vague hints of buried pear. A mild strength aroma. Clean. No yeast or alcohol is detectable.

T: Sweet honey is surprisingly nectary and good. Love the honey here. Clove. Sweet orange. A biteen of grapeskin. Neutral spices complement the dominant honey. No alcohol is coming through, which shocks me considering the high ABV and the light overall flavour of the beer. Surprisingly well balanced. Nicely built. It's not complex or subtle, but it's nice for what it is. I like it. On the sweeter end. No idea what in fuck hawthorn fruit is, but I do get a pleasant fruitiness which seems well executed. Well put together. I'm pleasantly surprised. Shallow depth of flavour.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Light and refreshing. Lightly quenching. Suits the flavour profile well. Pretty good presence on the palate. Slightly overcarbonated. Good body. Fizzy.

Dr: A surprisingly tasty brew from Dogfish Head. I wouldn't buy it again at this price point, but I expected it to be far worse. It's not incredible, but it's very approachable and likable, and the 10% ABV will likely get me in a good place. Extremely drinkable for the ABV; this is its best feature. For this reason, it'd be a good starter beer for beer novices. The whole backstory is all well and good, but I can't believe this tastes anything like what was brewed in Jiahu.

Gimmicky marketing, surprisingly drinkable beer.

Wouldn't recommend it to friends. Might get it on-draught at a good price.

Low B-

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Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.74/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of brentk56
4.37/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden color with a modest head that quickly declines to a film but leaves some splotches of lace around the chalice

Smell: Bananas and honey with subtle undertones of one of the more expensive sakes I have tried; fortified grape aromatics as well

Taste: Starts with a rice pudding flavor that is quickly joined by the banana and honey aspects; all of those flavors blend nicely by mid-palate; after the swallow, the grape flavors kick in and are joined by a subtle herbaciousness that creeps in that I cannot identify but must be the hawthorn and chrysanthemum

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and creamy with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: I approached this with some trepidation as Dogfish Head has been hit or miss with me; but this one knocks it out of the park; well-blended with tremendous complexity

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

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled in 2012. Pours lightly hazy golden amber color with a foamy 1-2 finger white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Good foamy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of honey, pear, grape, clove, herbal, apricot, bread, earth, bubblegum, pepper, light banana, and yeast spices. Damn nice and unique aromas; great balance and complexity. Taste of honey, grape, pepper, herbal, pear, apricot, floral, clove, earth, bread, banana, orange, and yeast spices. Lingering notes of light fruits, herbal, floral, clove, earth, and light yeast spices on the finish for a good bit. Very nice flavor balance and complexity; with zero cloying sweetness for a 9% beer at 10 IBU. Fairly clean finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a fairly creamy and slightly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is extremely well hidden with hardly any warming noticed at all after the finish. Overall this is yet another damn nice experimental ancient ale from Dogfish Head. Tons of flavor complexity and balance; very smooth to sip on for a 9% beer. There are also a lot of interesting flavors and aromas I cannot describe, but they work well. Very impressive.

 1,215 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.23/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of Plucier: Poured a golden yellow color ale with a nice white head with average retention and not much lacing. Aroma of malt is weak with some sweetness probably coming from honey. Taste is quit sweet with honey dominating and some light spices also noticeable. Body is about average with some good carbonation and no alcohol was noticeable. Overall, I thought this lack complexity and was slightly too sweet for my palate. Definitely not the best from this great brewery.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of DrBier
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of zestar
3.25/5  rDev -14%

Photo of chinchill
4.07/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle.
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.

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