Chateau Jiahu | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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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

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Ratings: 1,437 |  Reviews: 569
Photo of dashmartino
3.41/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

This stuff is meh. Had it on bottle down in ocean city md one night after buying it at a singles shop. Poured it into a tankard. Chunks of little stuff floating in the beer. Grape chunks? I dunno. Sweet, but very strong taste. Tastsed more like a wine than a beer. Definitely not a chugger.

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Photo of czfreeman
4.7/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have been looking foward to this beer for quite sometime. I start Cuisines of Asias tommorrow at Culinary School, so I thought it would be a good one to drink tonight.
Pours out a golden lemon accented orange color, light foamy head, leaves light lacing.
Aromas of white grapes, honeys, oranges, chrysanthemums definatley come through, peach like notes in there, as well as an unfiltered sake-like creaminess.
Flavor is lightly spicy, notes of white grape first, light peppery notes, raspberry-like fruit sweet-tartness, peach again, lemon-juice, very effervecent floral bouquet, with a creamy finish I would assume comes from the addition of rice flakes in the mash. Tastes like a stellar chardonnay.
This beer is yet again another mind-blowing-how-did-they-do-it? What labourous research went into this recreation? It is really amazing to think of drinking the same beverage as people 9000 years ago in the Ancient Middle East. Depite being extremly well-balanced and highly drinkable, this is an example of Mr. Calagione's extreme level of talent and ingenuity he applies to his craft.

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Photo of blakesell
4.29/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Found at the Dogfish head event at Bodega in Columbus on 9/17/08

Poured into a taster glass although the beer is a mere 8% ABV. Which was fine with me, I do a lot of drinking and a little less won't hurt me.

Appearance- Beer pours cloudy and orange. If I didn't know better I would say that's orange juice with a little lemon mixed in. Pulpy and cloudy, it hardly even looks like beer. No lacing, no head, very slight carbonation. Looks like some kind of a spritzer or carbonated juice at best.

Smell- Smells like orange juice or tangerine as well. Orange and many exotic spices, but seems like it has cinnamon and coriander as well. They don't list that as aningredient so I'll have to guess that this is some other scent that I'm not so familiar with. Hints of tobacco and caramel malts linger in there as well. This smells nothing like the Jihau I remember. This seems to have Ginger as well, I'm mistaking a lot of flavors and it could be my lack of experience with chrysanthemum flowers and hawthorn fruit.

Taste- Citric, but not orange, more like a papaya, and pomegranate, the juice flavor here is quite strong and refreshing. It really tastes more like a wine than a beer. This would be a great one from the Dogfish catalog for Sam to take to the woman in his book and argue the point of beer's multitude of flavors that can be found. There is a light fruit punch flavor and a hint of wheat, which is also not listed in theingredients. No hints of malt and absolutely no hops.

Mouthfeel- Creamy, juicy, medium-high in carbonation, and medium light in body.

Drinkability- I like juice, and this is amazing for something to have with breakfast in place of orange or some other juice. I love it, what can I say?

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Photo of paytoplay
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Somewhat sweet nose, crystalized fruits, banana, smooth texture. Light carbination. Somewhat like a Midas Touch, toned down sweet and funk though. This beer can age, best shared with friends. An interesting brew and not a lot of others that are even somewhat similar. Hats off for that. Not one of my favorite brews but good marks for how different it is.

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Photo of abedenbaugh
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had it in a 750mL bottle.

A: Average to medium carbonation with a light amber color. The head was short lived and white.
S: Had some chardonnay and white grape juice aroma.
T: It has lots of wine flavor in it, which feels reminate of a white wine. Also there is a little bit of a cider flavor (maybe from the hawthorne fruit?). It is dry with a little bit of fruitiness
MF: Medium to high carbonation with a light body.
D: I really enjoyed this beer. It does have a lot of chardonnay character to it but still retained some beer qualities to it. It was very easy to drink at 9%ABV (which is what was printed on the bottle).

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Photo of SteveO1231
3.2/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Picked up a bottle at Manchester Wine & Liquors Bottled 07/11/07

It's a 750ml bottle with an interesting illustration of an asian chick with a tattoo on the lower back "might as well be a target" holding a brew.

The beer pours a hazy grapefruit skin color with a white bubbly head, not much lacing, lots of rapid carbonation.

Aroma is very sweet, fruit juice, candi sugar, honey. I'm not sure what the hell Hawthorn fruit is but I detect hints of ginger as well. I can also smell that musty yeast like a belgian tripel.

Saying that this beer is sweet in an understatement. It's very sweet.

Initially I get a sweet belgian candi sugar sweetness with a snap of ginger on the roof of my mouth this beer makes me think of root beer soda.

As the beer warms I get flavor of canned pears complete with metallic tang.

There is very little bittering in this beer if any at all and no real aftertaste.

I really enjoyed the first half of my glass but by the second half I was pretty much sick of it.

I am always interested in trying the strange brews from Dogfish and possibly a bit of brewing history.

I would only partake in this beer in beerfest size samples. Anything more than that is overkill.


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Photo of Slatetank
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up when on a trip to State Line Liquours in Elkton MD. Share w/ octopus87, poured chilled into a flute and siedel.

A - A beautiful gold + amber like peach nectar w/ haze and visible effervessence. A frothy white head appears after a vigorous pour and leaves smatterings of lace

S - A fragrant mix of berry, honey and subtle creamy malt odors. The scent has tinges of grape juice and a dash of spice

M - A brisk juicy sweet note followed bby a honey texture that is light and dampens the carbonated tingle of the first sip. The malt is brisk and it has a nice complemenary note to the grape's earthy sweetness. There is a slight warming from 8% abv as it goes down

T - A pleasant fruity flavor which is like currants -sweet and earthy/slightly juicy in flavor. There is a light rice flavor which marries well and makes a tasty sake/mead hybrid of flavor. A berry taste w/ light tartness and creamy floral honey notes roll over the taste buds. The rice lightens and gives the texture a lift w/ gentle grainy malt flavor and slightly champagne like w/ a sour-sweet finish.

D - A great ale w/ very unique flavors--refreshing, yet strong crisp and malty w/ sweet and spicy elements. A definite A beer inspired from ancient times w/ sake aspects. An intriguing work by a pioneering brewery w/ an off-center 'tude. The drinkability is very good w/ flavor that is bold, yet graceful and blends almost seemlessly.

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Photo of daftafne
4.16/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured golden drink into a tulip glass which supported the very small, white head for about a half minute. Low clarity. Smells overtly of grapes. Fairly light body fizzes with grapes on the tongue leaving a distinct taste unknown to me (maybe it is the hawthorn fruit). This after taste - slightly bitter and acidic lingers and encourages frequent sips. The alcohol warmth is mild - mostly in my throat. Really, not what I was expecting. I was expecting something sweeter. Though it is sweet, it is mild enough to enjoy a few glasses. A unique beer worth a try - I just wonder how close dogfish head got the recipe...I'd like to think its the same as it was 9000 years ago.

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Photo of msgraves
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy orange color with a very nice white head.

Plenty of complexity in the aroma. Notes of pear, green apple, and white grape interlaced with floral notes. Smells reminiscent of some sweeter white wines.

The taste is big on honey with a good addition of florals, interesting spice, and plenty of complexity. Again reminiscent of a mead or desert wine.

Very unique beer.

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Photo of RomanW70
3.79/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours hazy gold with a minimal white head. Aroma of honey and rice. Tatse is honey sweet up front to a alcohol/citrus/cereal grain finish. Has an old ale feel to it, but I ouldn't call it an old ale. More interesting than good. Not bad at all, but not worth the price.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

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Photo of Portertime
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was a unique brew from Dogfish Head. I enjoyed it chilled in my Duvel bubbler. Poured a light golden color. Smelled of honey and tart white grapes, couldn't really detect the rice though. The taste was good, I noticed the muscat grapes because I have had muscat wine before. There was a hint of honey and a slight tartness in the finish.

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Photo of tpd975
3.11/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a nice light golden yellow hue with lots of tiny bubbles. The bubbles continue to explode like champagne in the glass. It is almost as if I poured pop rocks into this thing. Once it settles down there is no head to speak of and no lacing.

S: Nice sweet aromas with hints of grapes and fresh cut flowers.

T: Very unique. There is lots of honey right up front which is kind of overtaken by a green grape type flavor. The grapes linger a bit before being washed back out by more honey. A slight metallic flavor kind of lingers after each drink.

M: Nice carbonation and slightly dry.

D: This one is to be shared, I had a tough time drinking it all by myself. That being said it's not a beer I think was intended to be comsumed by one person in one sitting.

Overall: Pretty unique, but no where near DFH best offering. It has a light mead type character which is nice. It's a sipper that should be consumed in small quantites. I would have probably rated it a bit higher in taste had the metallic taste not been there. The combination of sweet and metallic just didn't sit right with me.

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Photo of wiseguy142
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Was served to me with no head, very little carbonation, a flat, gleaming, thick orange. Smells of fruit: melons, apricot, apple. The first sip immediately hit me as "apple juice" but via further tastes I really got a lot of honey, apple, and floral notes out of it along with just enough of a feeling of alcohol to remind you you're not just drinking apple juice, if maybe a little weak. Mouthfeel is a light to medium body- very refreshing and nice for spring/summer. I'd probably have another one of these but the dominance of honey and fruit flavors doesn't really make me think I'm drinking a beer... more like some exotic mellow wine. Very interesting though.

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Photo of kurtissellen
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm impressed with the label without even trying the beer yet, nice attractive topless woman with a beer in hand what more could you ask for. But back to the task at hand, the first pour into an oversized wine glass produced a moderate amount of head and had an aroma of white grape juice. Nice light golden orange color to it that was very clear and could see the carbonation thru it. When it touched my lips I got hints of honey and at some points in time I got a Budweiser kind of taste which might have been due to the rice that was used in the brewing . The second pour yielded a very fine sediment from the bottom of the bottle and the color looked different and had more of a translucent orange look, not as crystal clear as the first pour. Taste changed a little too and I got some sort of spice to it but I cannot describe it, only that it left sort of a powdery feel in my mouth. As I was drinking this one it was interesting to think that thousands of years ago someone could have been enjoying a similar drink. Once again I am impressed with the unique brews that Dogfish Head comes up with. Never been disappointed yet!!

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

Sort of an Imperial Hefeweizen! A great beer to try!

Poured into a snifter, I noticed some red floaties - probably the hawthorn fruit. Still, quite a nice brew but a bit pricey. Deep, rich orange in color, and cloudy.

Substantial mouthfeel, and very citrusy.

Overall, a fine brew.

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Photo of Stoneman78
3.67/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Purchased at Tops Liquor in Tempe last winter, consumed in Scottsdale last week

Appearance is a super-clear bright orange hue, white layer of light head dissipates quickly, minimal lacing

Smell is light fruits (apples and pears) with sweet honey, grassy/earthy tones, range of spices (cinnamon, allspice, vanilla)

Taste is very sweet, initial dominated by sugary sweet honey and fruits, grassy hops linger with spices, finishes dry and sweet

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, thick and viscous texture, prickly carbonation

Drinkability is fair, this tastes like a hybrid between a mead and a cider with the focus on honey and fruits, interesting in small doses, better suited for after-dinner sipping than social drinking

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Photo of jwc215
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 08/26/06:

Pours clouded honey golden with a thin white head. Some trailing lace slides down the glass.

The smell is of honey with fruity and herbal notes. Some grapey/vinuous notes enter in as well. Interesting, unique and pleasant.

The taste is of honey - and plenty of it. Yet, there are subtle complexities. Hawthorn fruit adds more sweetness to honey and malt, but also some sour. Tartness/dryness of grapes lends balance and a deeper complexity. Sweetness in the forefront enough to make it taste like liquid candy. Grape dryness is just enough to lend balance to the sweetish finish.

Light-bodied, in a good way. The sweetness lingers without being sticky.

An "experimental" brew that is unique and tasty. This is one to have if in the mood for "something different" and candyish.

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Photo of JDV
2.83/5  rDev -25.7%
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.

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Photo of mully
3.43/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

a -- yellowish/gold lots of bubbeling -- thin head creamy in apperance

s -- grape, slightly sour scent interesting

t-- dry with some grape sweetness - interesting in a good way - some mead and wine like qualities not like anything else I've tried.

m-- clean dry fine carbonation

d-- its good - you would have to adjust to drink a lot of this to become accustomed to this

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Photo of churchillps
3.27/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz Bottle poured into a Duvel glass.

A: Looks like ice tea (and kinda tastes like it too). Medium head when stirred/poured vigorously, but poor retention. Lacing lingers throughout drinking in my glass, I don't know why so many people said no lacing at all. Color is sunfire yellow, mixed with a lot of orange.

S: A ton of honey, little bit of grapes, and some herbs that I couldn't decipher if I didn't already know it was hawthorn.

T: Reallly sweet. Way too sweet. Tastes like iced tea with honey and herbs infused. Little bitter, but not a hop like taste in the least.

M/D: Smooth and light. Like iced tea, but not beer.

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Photo of Avryle
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I'd been wanting to try this for a while and managed to hit up the bevy a couple days after they rec'd a shipment of Dogfish...

A- Light, clear yellow-orange. Minimal head with no lacing

S- Sweet & floraly- Roses & apples? Weird. Must be the mums.

T- Honey, right off the bat, finishing with grape concentrate. Not nearly as complex as I'd expected coming from Dogfish... but then again, it is based on scrapings from Neolithic Chinese pottery sherds and they probably weren't doing anything too crazy.

M- Thinner than what I had anticipated from something brewed with honey; not a bad thing though. This sucka still has plenty of body, leaving a sweet coating on the mouth and throat.

D- Sit back & put your feet up, 'cause you aren't going anywhere for a while. This one's too sweet to drink down quickly especially if you're working the bottle solo.

As an archaeologist, I fully appreciate what Dogfish is doing here (and any attempt at historifal recreation/adaptation) & can't wait until the Aztec cocoa beer they're coming out with.

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Photo of ballewblake
4.32/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel glass from the bottle.

Aggressive pour barely gives a head, what it does give goes away within minutes. Lacing is non existent. Color is light orangish, small amount of carbonation bubbles floating to the top. Smell is amazing, fruity, honey, spices. Taste is sweet and then bitter as it goes to the back of the tongue, but not overly. Slightly carbonated on the tongue, after taste is a little warm. I'm having no problems finishing the bottle. A tasty beverage fo shizzle.

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

750ml wine bottle style, capped (not cork), bottle fermented. dated 07-11-07

light orangey amber, hazier with each pour as yeast gets in. decent head but fades to almost nothing. no lace. i will not mark this down for such, because supposedly this is a hop-free brew.

lots of estery, fruity, and freshly crushed grape aroma, plus some flowers. whiff of honey.

light grape flavor, and if you've had hawthorn fruits before (sometimes used in chinese cuisine and in a candied street snack common in beijing and northern china), you can pick that out too. definitely notes of honey and a trace of floral, chrysanthemum tea. if indeed there are no hops, how they also managed to get a gentle almost hop-like bitterness is a mystery to me. but that's what's there - a mild bitterness that even helps round out the finish.

feel is smooth, almost slippery. mild carbonation reminds you this isn't rice wine or sake.

quite drinkable despite the sweetness, very interesting and inspired. ...well, other than the gimmicky naked asian woman on the bottle label ::rolleyes:: =P

note: were there muscat grapes in late neolithic china?

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Photo of 51mmz0rz
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an imperial pint from a ~750mL bottle dated 08/28/06 (so about 18 months).

A: Small loose foamy head fades to lacing quickly, the cloudy golden yellow body reflects the light; seems strangely appropriate, and does intrigue.

S: Smell is floral, a little fruity, and sweet. Seems enticing, though I still don't know what to expect in the taste.

T: Quite good for an experimental beer. It has those floral notes from the smell, and a slight sourness. It seems closest to a wit, but sweeter.

M: Full, maybe a little sticky, but I wouldn't say it's off putting.

D: I don't think I'd go for another, but I'd finish this one. It's not something that amazed me so much I want to come back to it, but it was definitely interesting and tasty. Worth a try for sure.

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Chateau Jiahu from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.81 out of 5 based on 1,437 ratings.
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