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 | website

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: 2,064 | Ratings: 5,708
Photo of AmeriCanadian
4.29/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Outstanding beer that, when compared against the general American Brown Ale population (how it's categorized here at Beer Advocate), really stands in a league of its own. Pours almost black with a thick, sticky, mocha head that laces well. Smell is molasses, booze, dark fruits, a pleasant oak (or a darker wood?), and appealing vanilla. Taste is baker's chocolate, brown sugar, the perfect amount of oak and darker wood, caramel, and vanilla. Feel is thick, rich, and sticky. Alcohol is definitely there -- pleasant boozy burn -- but not in any way overwhelming. Again, comparing this beer to normal browns is just unfair. But it also stands out among more comparable wood-aged browns that end up over-oaked or lacking in congruity. This beer is fantastic.

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Photo of benjamminjones24
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle (bottled 4/21/15) - was able to buy this as a single while visiting family in Washington State; especially nice since she only charged me $3 for the bottle : )
Syrupy pour, jet black color, nice mocha head
smell of licorice, alcohol, malt
sweet taste, malty, very smooth for the abv
thin mouthfeel, dry finish.
Glad I finally got a chance to try this one but not one I would search out again; prefer a heavier mouthfeel on a beer that has this level of alcohol.

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Photo of McFlorida85
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent. When poured, it was dark, thick with a slight reddish brown froth. It's taste complex, as the first, second and third sips revealed different tastes. The smell was woody and welcoming, reminding me of drinking beer in an old German bar. Very much a sip and relax beer.

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Photo of Dragginballs76
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours jet black good mocha colored head that lasts for awhile excellent lacing head leaves and clings a little to the sides.

Smell big boozy smell right off the bat I get some vanilla some dark fruits as well.

Taste the alcohol is not hidden in this you can taste it I get a little oak flavor some spices a little dark chocolate.

Feel pretty thick and a little like syrup get a little burn from the alcohol.

Overall I really like this beer this is a beer you sip on and enjoy and I will have it again.

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Photo of vickersspitfire
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Pours out a black color with only a few hints od red and brown hues if you shine a bright light behind it. The head is thick, dark tan, dense and thick, in fact the beer even pours out thicker than most ales, which helps create the thick dense head. There’s a patch of small fluffy bubbles gathered in the middle, and all of this is rounded up by a nice dense lacing.
Smell: Caramel, apples, toffee, roasted malts, mild fig and grapes and dates. Mild spices can be detected.
Taste: heavy on the roasted malts and the alcohol is up front. As it hits the middle of your mouth, it gets a little nutty and the spices come out just a bit.
Mouthfeel: Full bodied, creamy and it just envelopes your entire mouth with nice warming alcohol and finished just a bit dry.
Overall: This is the best brown ale I’ve had so far, if you see it you have to buy, don’t miss out!

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Photo of stevoj
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Absolutely loved this! Deep, dark and rich, velvety smooth. Nutty, smoky , woody, some chocolate notes. Warmth without burn. I’d like to get my hands on more of this

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Photo of Marraybay
3/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Look: Dark; Basically black. No head at all. Glass soapiness apparent.

Smell: Grape - plain and simple.

Taste: Sweet Red wine and alcohol in front and middle; tart and puckery at the close.

Feel: Syrup warmth.

Overall: Very different. Thick and vinous and lot's of booze. Enjoyed the uniqueness
of it, but wouldn't repeat.

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Photo of KevCan
4.96/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

My dad bought me a 4-pack of 12 oz. bottles after our tour at the Dogfish Head brewery. Bottled on 9/1/15. Poured into a tulip glass at just below room temperature.

Look: Very dark reddish brown with dark tan head that quickly dissipates, leaving a bit of lacing around the edges.

Smell: Smells outstanding. Explosion of spices. Dark fruits: plum wine, sour cherry. Similar nose to some bourbon barrel aged beers.

Taste: There's so much flavor and complexity here. Definitely a sipping beer. Pretty hot from the alcohol.

Feel: Coats the mouth. Velvety. Nice carbonation.

Overall: I love it. One of my all-time favorites.

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Photo of Ikeithbot
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

A:very dark brown

S: really nice smelling beer, smells more like an american Belgian to me, than a brown.

T: heavy dark, tastes like a dubbel to me, caramel flavored, pretty good

M: carbonation on the tongue when just opened, smooth on the tongue,slightly bitter. Sticky

O: pretty good, it's a real heavy brown, i'd say it is somewhere in between a Belgian dubbel clone and a brown ale that is woody

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Photo of GreatStoutman
4.26/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Brown ale is probably a little misleading, as I found this to be dark as night. Smells nice and is a very complex flavor. I'll need to come back and re-evaluate this soon, because my casual drinking of it wasn't adequate to evaluate this one.

Briefly, its very complex, great nose and feel.

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Photo of jimboothdesigns
4.71/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured in a snifter. Light quickly disappearing head with a thin lingering lace. Very dark mahogany to almost black. Thick scent of vanilla, chocolate, caramel and malt. Taste is very similar with hints of brown sugar. Mouth feel is medium to thick with very nice carbonation. Why have I waited so long to try this beer? It is truly fantastic.

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Photo of MacMalt
4.31/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into tulip glass. The color is a dark mahogany-black with a thick, creamy mocha-colored head and some really impressive lacing. IThe smell is amazing: chocolate, vanilla, molasses, raisins, and woodsmoke. It's one of the best smells I've experienced in a brown ale. It's absolutely delicious! Chocolate, caramel, and dark fruit. There is a strong alcohol burn; you really notice the 12% ABV. This ale drinks like a stout; it's thick, rich, and creamy. It's flavors blend very well. Overall, it is a very fine brown ale. It truly deserves its excellent reputation. I'll most definitely drink this one again!

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Photo of Sabtos
4.74/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is mind blowingly delicious and unbelievably unique.

Seriously, there is nothing else on the market anywhere close to capturing the cedary scent and flavor that this does, while still seeming like a consumable product.

One of the best beers around.

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

12 ounce bottle into a tulip glass. About 17 months in the bottle.

Pours near black, opaque, almost a two finger head of thick foam, with a good amount of foamy cling. Looks great. Smell begins with malt, chocolate, raisins, dates, a slight wine aroma, plums, some wood, a little burnt sugar. Smells pretty good, too. Taste also leads with light roast malt, less chocolate than the nose, caramel, raisins, figs, some wine, more wood than the nose. Light alcohol, a little bitterness on the back end. This is good stuff. Smooth, full bodied, well carbonated, a little creamy.

One hell of a beer. The Palo Santo wood adds a great, unique flavor. So much going on here with both the aroma and taste. This is one everyone should try, well worth a purchase.

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Photo of BlushingMonk
4.16/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This would be better labeled a porter in my opinion. Brown ale is too broad a term to give much indication of what's really in the bottle. It pours almost black and smells of must and wood. The tastes brings forward brown sugar, roasted coffee, dates, and vanilla beans. Truly a delish porter. I'll keep more of these around

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Photo of jasonpeckins32
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep, dark brown (basically black) in color with a rich tan-colored head on top. Nice looking beer.

Aroma is full of activity with brown sugar, molasses, alcohol, roasted dark malts, leather, raisins, figs, dry red wine, and something sharp and sweet comes out the more you keep your nose in it.

Big roasted flavor pairs with dark chocolate, raisins, alcohol, and acidic coffee. The moment I notice something smoked in the flavor, it quickly morphs into something tart and an onslaught of alcohol warmth takes over the party.

One tough-as-nails brown ale here! This is an intense beer. Not for the meek.

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Photo of EMH73
4.21/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Almost black in color, with a small tan head that was not well retained. Tastes of dark, bittersweet chocolate, caramel, vanilla and coffee. I did not particularly enjoy the woodsy quality to the beer although I know that is what sets it apart from almost all others. Although high ABV, this was not really noticeable while drinking.

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Photo of Czarkazm
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 12/5/2013. Pours a very thick, muddy looking-brown color with a toasted khaki head. Aroma has a good amount of roast and sweetness to balance out the barrel characteristics. I get chocolate, hazelnut, roasted malt, burnt caramel, leather, brown sugar, molasses, vanilla, raisin bread. Full, creamy mouth feel and nicely carbonated to make it feel lighter. On the taste, I get a bit of the booze, dark caramel malts, chocolate covered raisins, an earthy woodiness, smoked grains, rum, and some vanilla.

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Photo of the_awesometeer
3.68/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

This brown ale is almost black. Tan head that lasts and laces the glass. Smells of sweetness of caramel, but also a smokey and coffee scent to it as well. Toasty and coffee flavors with a strong alcohol punch with the 12%ABV. The beer has a nice smooth thickness to it.

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Photo of Glanzman
4.73/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 ounce bottle served in a pint glass.

Pours a darn near jet-black color with a 1-finger, tan head with a bit of lacing.

Smells of dark roasted malts (chocolate and coffee) with an "woodsy" aged scent.

The wonderful aged, alcoholic taste hits you immediately and is prevalent throughout. Also taste of the same dark roasted malts that the aroma provides with a slight bit of vanilla added to it.

An awesome beer and worth buying and having on hand.

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Photo of Mike_Aguirre
4.91/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours deep brown, coffee-like color foam head. Smell is amazing, malts and palo santo wood are dominant, almost no hops. Taste is complex and rich, very good. Malts and palo santo wood are also dominant in flavor, bitterness is very mild. Rich creamy body with low carbonation. Overall one of the best beers I´ve tried.

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Photo of HopHunter19
4.74/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - dark brown-black colored beer with a nice mocha had that leaves nice lacing
S - Big caramel, chocolate, smokey notes. Some oak and vanilla in there too. Roasty. Pretty damn amazing.
T - Smoky, leather, tobacco, caramel, toffee, oak, chocolate, roasty. Much smoother than expected.
M - Heavy mouthfeel. Alc present but expected at 12%. Aftertaste is oak and chocolate malt.
O - This is a damn good beer. Not appreciated enough in my past. Next time I have the chance to buy a ton of this I'm going to do it.

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Photo of jeranbrews
4.26/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

a - Thick viscous syrupy body. Dark opaque, Worcestershire sauce color. Very very low head. Some minor continued carbonation. 4.25

S - Wood, leather, rawhide, chocolate, liquorice, dark bread dipped in thick mistroni - like stew. Bits of corn. 3.75

T - No noticeable ABV despite the 12%. Delicious! More like a baltic porter than a brown ale. Very very faint spicy hints like anise, cinnamon, or nutmeg, nondescript but present. 4.25

M - Smooth thick like a millk stout but rich and slightly effervescent. Only the tiniest tinge of the ABV is present. 5

D - Much better than I expected and I was already expecting good things. Too strong to be sessionable, but fantastic flavors and smells. 4.5

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Photo of chrishiker1409
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L; Pitch black. Some white head which dissipates quickly.

S: Toffee, caramel,

T: Toffee, caramel, raison, some spice A little heat, but at 12% it's hidden well.

F: Fullbodied, moderate carbonation.

O: This is not a brown ale. It's an imperial stout. The categories that some of these beers fall in to are laughable. This is definitely one of them.

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Photo of thepenguin
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed 2/22/12

L: Pours a very dark opaque brown with a dark beige head.

S: In some respects it smells like a cross between a barleywine and an imperial stout. It’s roasty and very malty with hints of prunes, raisons, and coffee. Very rich, with some perceptible alcohol, and just a touch of woodyness. Really interesting, really complex, really different.

T: Very rich and malty upfront, with some roastiness, following the nose. A good deal of hop bitterness with a sweet and somewhat bitter finish. Also fairly woodsy with hints of raisons. Dark malts take dominance in this one.

F: A medium-full mouthfeel (a bit lighter than expected) and moderate-low carbonation. Some warmth from the alcohol, but still surprisingly tame for a 12% abv.

O: Such a cool beer! Complex, delicious, and frankly, different. A cross between a barleywine and imperial stout, this is a real nice sipper with nice woodsy, roasty, and malty character. Probably my favorite year-round DFH brew.

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Palo Santo Marron from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 2,064 ratings.
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