Palo Santo Marron | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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Palo Santo MarronPalo Santo Marron

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
An unfiltered, unfettered, unprecedented brown ale aged in handmade wooden brewing vessels. The caramel and vanilla complexity unique to this beer comes from the exotic Paraguayan Palo Santo wood from which these tanks were crafted. Palo Santo means "holy tree," and its wood has been used in South American wine-making communities.

50 IBU

Added by Imstillthegman on 11-19-2006

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Reviews: 2,088 | Ratings: 5,803
Photo of Biggiekrock627
4.06/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aging this beer is the way to go. Really makes for a much more complex, nutty and well balanced beer. Had it poured from a bottle aged 3 years and new and way better in the 3 year old

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Photo of Kriztofuhr
4.64/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Look - Pours black with dark brown highlights on the bottom, short ring of tan head flattens out with a few lingering bubbles.

Aroma - Fudge, caramel, vanilla, as it warms some sweet alcohol.

Taste - Loads of chocolate, caramel, malt is creamy and mellow, vanilla towards the middle, alcohol is gentle, light coffee towards the end. Just enough bitterness to offset the sweetness. Aftertaste is long and with lingering toast and coffee.

Feel - Full bodied, creamy, mild alcohol warmth, slightly oily.

Overall - A real treat to drink, loads of flavor and complexity that only improves as it warms. One of my all time favorites.

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Photo of JacobusFavier23
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L- Stouty, dark, dark brown. Almost black.
S- Tobacco, mollasses, sweetness, stone fruit.
T- Roasty, malty and savory flavor. Sweet. Almost an imperial soy sauce flavor. Wonderful
F- Thick, thick thick.
O- Wonderful beer. Thank you to my friend Jack for giving it to me. T

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Photo of Lahey
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle dated october of 2015, so theres a year and a half of age on it.

Beer pours inky black with tan head,
looks more like a stout than a brown. Light lacing

Smells like coffee and maybe light tobacco.

Flavor is what i would call wood aged imperial porter(or stout). Most brown ales dont touch the abv or darkness this beer has. Very enjoyable to me as I love high abv dark beers in general.

Mouthfeel isnt thin, but surprisingly drinkable for a high octane brown. I could see drinking more than one if offered the opportunity.

Next time I buy these, I'll get one 4 pack to drink and one to age. It's that good. If you like high powered stouts, give this a try (even though it's labeled as a brown) At least try a single, dogfish head don't mess around.

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Photo of andrewh995
4.37/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful pitch black color. Smells of milk chocolate, wood, and coffee. Getting coffee, tons of chocolate and vanilla, as well as some spices and barrel wood on the palate. Very thick and syrupy for the mouthfeel. Not an easy drinker but sure a good one.

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Photo of q33jeff
2.57/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5


Bottle to snifter.

I had this 6-7 years ago before I started recording most of my ratings, but I remember thinking it had an odd taste and I did not like it. Trying it this time, I think it's not as off-putting as before, but I still don't love it. I appreciate the strength and also the experimentation with the Brown Ale style which I like. Glad I tried it again

LOOK: very dark brown (almost black). Medium head fades quickly into some minor lacing.
AROMA: the wood dominates, maybe some vinegar or strange oils. Some roasted malt.
TASTE: a touch of raisin comes through, but otherwise it is the wood and strong oily taste which I can only imagine comes from the Palo Santo wood.
FEEL: Medium to Full bodied. Light carbonation due to thickness. Smooth mouthfeel, but some astringency from the wood characteristics.


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Photo of spursfaninla
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This beer brings the flavor, with the barrel aging setting it apart from most browns I have had. Honestly, it tastes closer to an imperial IMO. Gaudy flavor for a brown, closer to stouts, which may be good depending on what you are looking for.

Color, smell are standard for a brown; good. It is a great beer for your 3rd of the night; you can still taste it, strong, memorable.

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Photo of Brian_in_Baltimore
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Great dark beer. It's a whole lotta mouth feel and not a light easy drinker, but wow.
Look: dark, thick, syrupy in appearance
smell: great aroma of malt and carmel
taste: reminds me of the goose island bourbon county stout. complex tastes, a little chocolate a little vanilla
feel: thick, big body, boozy beer. I'd get it again.

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Photo of captaincoffee
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours like a imp stout...near black with short but thick and creamy brown head with good retention and lace. Nose is sweet roasted malt, a bit like brown bread and some woody notes. Taste is on the sweet side like a barleywine. Not overly boozy for 12%, although I've had this mellowing in the cellar for a year. Vanilla, chewy raisin, and again a light woody note. Overall, a good beer, but I was hoping for a bit more complexity rather than just going big on the malt and ABV. I'd certainly call this a barleywine and not a brown ale.

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Photo of Blackop555
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark brown. Ten, short, creamy head that fades quickly.

Smells caramel malts, light coffee, light vanilla, brown sugar and light alcohol.

Taste is sweet caramel malts, light vanilla and coffee. Hints of dark fruit. Semi sweet finish fades to a lightly bitter lingering dark fruit

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Photo of KTCamm
4.07/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1/25/17....pours deep dark brown, fast tan foam that settles out. Woodsy red wine nose, backed by a roasted stout aroma. Rich thick stout taste, with a whisky like complexity. Vanilla cinnamon throughout, and with a chewy oaked flavor. Quite potent and unique. And technically a Brown Ale at that!

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Photo of sjdevel
4.59/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! Very dark and solid / opaque black. 1-finger head that was very dark tan/brown. The head flattens quickly. There is a small foam ring that is left. Pretty thick beer.

Rich and malty. Caramel, chocolate, coffee, and some earthiness (wood).

Heavy hitter. Huge flavors of chocolate and coffee. Very rich caramel... like an extra thick Porter. Some spiciness (possibly Rye?). Hints of vanilla and bourbon. The bitterness upfront is surprising. Some from hops, and some probably from the dark roasted grains. Very complex!! and woody beer. Hight ABV - decent alcohol burn. Different flavors with every sip.

Very thick and full bodied.

Amazing beer. Can't imagine the flavor being better for this one. Lacking some carbonation maybe. So complex and it only got better as it warmed and got closer to room temperature.

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Photo of SHDoyle
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Description: Deep brown color with very little head or lacing. Almost looks like a brown stout. Smell is a big hit of wood...which I guess is palo santo wood? Spicy, cinnamon, caramel aroma follows. Taste is similar with caramel, wood, vanilla and smoky/woody finish. For a beer with this high of an ABV, the alcohol isn't very noticeable. There's a spice element on the taste as well with a little bit of heat. Moutfeel is think and velvety. Very smooth and stout like.

Suggested food pairing: Enchiladas with mole sauce

If you like this beer then you should also try: Founders Imperial Stout

Overall: 4.25 (This beer is good and I would likely have it again) When I hear "brown ale" I usually envision an unhopped, boring, uninspired beer. This was anything but. Full of flavor and flavors that you don't find too often. It really reminded me more of a stout than a brown ale. This beer is a good representation of pushing boundaries without going crazy or overdoing it. A pleasant surprise all around.

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Photo of Umdrunner
3.99/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured 2013 vintage into snifter. Poured very dark brown with khaki head that dissapreared quickly. Scent is sweet and woody. Flavor is quite complex and hot for being 3 years old. Drinks a lot like a RIS.

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Photo of JAck199
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Lots of flavor, at 12% yes it drinks a bit hot but balanced with plenty of rich manly flavor of malt and the woody goodness. Unique fora brown, more like a R I S, a great beer!

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Photo of iridius
4.01/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

It's a brown ale? God it looks like a stout and feels like a stout to me. Either was it's quite good. Ithe has a little bit of a nonbeer bite like liquor that I am not a fan of, but it is still a nice beer, one bottle would be my limit for a night. Probably because it's 12% that's a good thing. I think it would be great with a cigar.

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Photo of DovGibor
4.64/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bottle dated 8/5/16 into a tall snifter glass. Forms a thick brown head that lingers for a few minutes. Color is dark brown to black. Not completely opaque, but close. Aroma is rich malt sweetness and distinctive wood notes. It's not oak (obviously), but it's difficult to describe the difference. Less tree sap aroma more sweetness maybe; closer to applewood. I do not detect anything I would attribute to hops.

The flavor is rich and smooth. Light roast and dark wood without significant bitterness. Reminds me of a rich mole sauce, minus any heat spiciness. I had expected some sweetness based on the malt and wood aromas, but this is dry. Not bone dry, but drier than other high ABV brown ales I've had. And drier than many of Dogfish's other big beers. Mouthfeel is great. It coats the mouth and tickles the tongue, and it lingers a bit, but not more than I'd want it to.

Overall, I'm not sure I'd call this a brown ale, but I definitely call it a great ale. It does unique things, and it does them well. I don't get to pick this up often, but when I do I kick myself for not buying more. Highly recommended.

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Photo of chinchill
3.79/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap in Greenville, SC.
Opaque dark brown body with a decent beige head.
A generous amount of dark roasted grains helps this achieve partially hidden alcohol.
Alcohol is obvious, but not quite harsh, in the feel, and the flavor is more than a touch boozy: just enough to hur my ratings on both dimensions.

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Photo of spacecake9
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I heard this beer can be hot so I let it sit 1 year.
A - Pours black with a thin head that disappears quickly and leaves a thin ring.
S - Aroma is coffee and vanilla.
T - Flavor is oak, vanilla, a little coffee. A very woody flavor.
M - More carbonation than I expected for this big beer. A little sticky.
O - The more I drink the more I like. Definitely a sipper, and a very enjoyable beer.

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Photo of matthiasbrau
4.04/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Reviewed 9/25/16, from notes; 12-ounce bottle purchased at Eataly, NYC.

A: brown in color, opaque; 1finger espresso mousse, receding to a thin cap
S: earthy aroma of coffee, chocolate and vanilla, a touch fruity and, oh yeah, boozy
T: flavors of caramel, nut, oak and vanilla, no hops
M: delicate carbonation, medium mouthfeel, spicy and warming as I drank;
O: vanilla, chocolate, oak, this one's got it all; definitely an after-dinner sipper, and be sure to let it warm before pouring; outstanding strong brown ale

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Photo of rodbeermunch
2.97/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

I like the pour, brown from the wood, decent lighter brown lace around the glass. Forms a delightful smoky woody and vanilla vibe. At this point, I thought all my DFH jokes were blowing up in my face, this is a nice beer to start out thus far.

The taste though hits like a shot of cheap whiskey. Hot. Like that water sealant you use on your wooden deck. Just really the alcohol cuts through this one hot and heavy, the viscosity of the beer doesn't seem to be enough to hold up. I like the aroma and what it shows you can do with barrel aging, but beyond that its a rough one.

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4.44/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorites from Dogfish Head .
If you love a rich, dark and heavy brew with tons of flavor then this is one of them for sure .
Poured into a chilled snifter with a nice foamy head .
As it warms it's just as tasty as when chilled . At 12% alcohol content it's one of the strongest available and at a reasonable price .
Highly recommended to those who love dark and flavorful brew :)

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Photo of sokol_1993
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: totally black, with a very small amount of head.
Taste: maltiness, with a large presence of hoppiness. However, it's balanced by oak taste, very piney and spicy. Quite well hidden amount of alcohol.

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Photo of bmeehan
4.41/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer is a deep, deep brown color, like a coffee beer, but tastes so much different than one. I give it high marks in smell because its caramel notes are really easy to identify, and its taste is smooth as hell. It's a LITTLE heavy, but nothing that takes you out of it. This beer is very, very good.

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Photo of BCad
4.29/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Dark, very dark in fact. Thin white head, decent lacing.

S: Smells phenomenal. Deep woody caramel sweetness with a hint of booziness. Almost characteristic of a light roasted coffee bean. (And i'm usually not the kind of guy that cares about or ever notices smells in a beer, so this is saying something I suppose.)

T: Lots of complexity here. Deffinitely a forward biting chocolate malt flavor, but the first thing you taste really is what I would imagine aged wood would taste like, very similar to how I described the smell. Earthy, deffinitely boozey, and very malt-forward though there is a good amount of bitterness.

F: Thick, rich, and creamy. Plenty of carbonation despite the thin look of the head on the pour.

O: If you like malt-forward dark beer that is boozy and off-character or unique, grab yourself a couple of these and go to town! These guys are deffinitely sipping beers, and the flavor profiles more bordered along the lines of a smooth scotch in complexity. Honestly, brown ales are not my favorite, but I still really enjoyed this beer for the novelty and it really is quite smooth despite the crazy high ABV.

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Palo Santo Marron from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
4.16 out of 5 based on 5,803 ratings.
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