Palo Santo Marron | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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Palo Santo MarronPalo Santo Marron
5,935 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,935 |  Reviews: 2,135
Photo of JRod1969
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of dnh2
5/5  rDev +19.6%

Photo of wyatt
5/5  rDev +19.6%

Photo of YaKnowBrady
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

5/5  rDev +19.6%

Photo of WMEugene
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of seanwhite
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of SaintJonah
5/5  rDev +19.6%

Photo of Rollzroyce21
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of mikecharley
5/5  rDev +19.6%

Photo of mater
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of Jspriest
5/5  rDev +19.6%

Photo of sjstraub
5/5  rDev +19.6%

Photo of brown2cu
4.44/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: looks more like a RIS; light cannot penetrate this beer. There was, initially a 2 finger chocolate head, however, it died down to an iceberg of foam.

S: Incredibly complex! Initial notes of vanilla, whiskey, chocolate, all are apparent. The booze is prevalent.

T: This is where it is obvious that this is not a stout but a brown ale. There is no bitterness or burn quality in the taste. Vanilla and wood notes stand out most notably. The alcohol isn't as noticeable as one would think, however, there is a slight numbing of the tongue and warming in the belly.

M: Thick and viscous with carbonation that diminished what would be otherwise overwhelming. It makes this beer deceptively drinkable.

O: A wonderful beer. Probably wont buy this as a four pack again though; one goes a long long way.

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Photo of divineaudio
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bottled on 5/27/09, consumed 11/8/11.

a - pours a deep dark brown, nearly opaque. forms only a thin cap of chocolate brown head that dissipates almost immediately. left only a single little leg of lacing on the side of the glass.

s - big dark fruit aroma. cherry, blackberry, raisin, notes of brown sugar and vanilla. faint alcohol presence.

t - starts off roasty with a strong brown sugar sweetness. big dark fruity flavors follow and provide a pleasing vinous quality. hop bitterness makes an appearance before a lingering, sweet finish. slight alcohol presence.

m - full bodied, medium carbonation, chewy, significant but not overpowering alcohol warming.

o - a pretty fantastic brew. definitely not drinking more than one bottle a night at 12% though. seems a bit hot when it's fresh, but at about a year and a half old, it has mellowed out just fine. more beer should be aged on palo santo wood. highly recommended.

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Photo of JustinAniello
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours pitch black with a one and a half finger cream colored head. Dissipates to a minimal cap and lacing.

S - Dark chocolate, coffee, and caramel take up the forefront. A light vanilla and some of the wood from the casks moves in and out of the background.

T - Heavy chocolate with a light coffee when it goes down. A light wood shows up in the aftertaste, slight smokiness. Moderately sweet at first turning into a mild bitterness.

M - Heavy body with moderate carbonation. Lightly creamy, coats the mouth, great for the style.

O - This is an excellent beer, which goes through a multitude of flavors while not failing on any of them. Lightening on the sweetness would improve this, but not much. Another great DFH to add to the list.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.53/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a $20 12oz bottle from 2008 poured into a huge snifter. almost no head on a melted chocolate velvety sludgy soil colored liquid from the heavens. smells of booze right away, vanilla, and some kind of sappy wood. one of the most alluring aromatic impressions ive ever come across in any beer! taste is magnificent, strong, definitely wood aged, not sweet as i thought it might be, earthy, possibly raisins or even dried black currants in a nonfruity way. so many subtleties here, need more of these to dissect it better. wow. awesome mouthfeel, perfect after a big meal as a slow sipper, warming up to room temperature is a must for this baby. i wonder if the vintage makes much difference here? only one ive ever had, but wow is this good. big alcohol warmth in the finish, and almost caustic if held in the mouth for awhile. 12% all the way. would love to get my hands on some more of this one!!!

edit: drank a 2009 edition last night, almost 6 years old. wow, its maybe only a touch oxidized, but mellow and mature like no other, almost like a liqueur. thats maybe a little too long in the cellar, but this one ages with the best of them. be in no hurry to drink this!!!

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle to a tulip glass. Bottled date 09/13/2010 served on 11/06/2011.

Appearance: Ridiculously dark brown (pitch black) with a 1/2 inch dark tan head which is slight bubbly but settles after the first sip.

Smell: Aroma of a strong alcohol...similar to port wine. This shouldn't be called smell it is a god damn aroma. Simply amazing but yet very scary because it is not for the faint of heart.

Taste: Molasses and the essence of bitter sweet vanilla. Goes down very easy but beware will hit you so take your time. I wish I could go higher on the taste points but I factor in how many I could have in a row. Unless your in love with wheat soda (ie. Malta Goya) this guy is tough.

Mouth: Very malty, but easy to drink. Flavor sticks to you like black on a tire....bad analogy but wanted you to get the idea that this tastes like nothing else. Slight sweet meets a hint of bitterness.

Overall: I truly love this beer...but drinking too many in a row will definitely cloud your judgement. DFH has done a incredible job with this beer, maybe it's lust or love doesn't matter you will find a winner with Palo Santo Marron.

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Photo of woosterbill
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass at the Owl Shop.

A: Pours a black body with a thin, light brown head that settles into a ring. Ok.

S: Pure, solventy alcohol up front; very sweet, syrupy, and nail-polishy. I enjoy it, but it's pretty simplistic (and indistinguishable from other big DFH beers).

T: Boozy, sweet, chocolatey, and a little spicy + woody. Long, sweet, woody finish. Very tasty, if a bit over the top with the alcohol.

M: Thick, viscous, and well-carbonated. I like it.

O: This one was nowhere near as good as I remember it being when I first tried it on tap a couple years ago, but it was still enjoyable. I definitely appreciate the boldness of such a take on a brown ale, and the palo santo wood gives it an undeniable touch of distinctiveness. I just wish they could rein in the heat a tad.


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Photo of pattermj
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Chimay from a 12 oz bottle.

A- Dark dark brown, poured like I have seen many lighter stouts and stronger porters, very impressed.

S- Oak, fruits, dark grains, alcohol. Very nicely mixed but alcohol rules in the end on it, wish it didn't

T- Dark Fruity, woody (oaky?), chocolate grains. Alcohol again hits in the end, thinking aging could help

M- Alcohol hits it here, not looking for that feel from a brown ale, otherwise well carbonated and smooth, just kick from alcohol.

O- I think I need to age a case and it might become an amazing beer.

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Photo of Doshkin
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a - smooth looking very dark almost black with some deep red undertones. this looks like red wine mixed with used oil, in the best way, of course. small amount of mocha head that settles and leaves a thin layer.

s - the alcohol presence is quite strong. the oak comes through next. almost smells like theres a touch of chocolate in there. again with the red wine - like there are some dark and heavy fruits.

t - tastes match smells, each with the same amount of strength as described above. alcohol is definitely the strongest with this beastly 12%er.

m - pretty heavy. very smooth with a good carbonation complementing the heavy flavors.

o - this is truly a treat for a beer. i tried my hardest to take tiny sips while reviewing so i didnt drink it all right away. only half remains though... and im feeling the kick that this beer delivers already. if you are up for a 12oz glass of wine (in terms of ABV) disguised as a beer, look no further.

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Photo of Dubber55
3.38/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottled on 7/9/11
Poured into a Founders snifter

A viscous, dark black with some burgundy highlights. 1/2 finger of reddish brown head that settles into a thin collar around the glass.

Smells very woody with some savory spice. I think I am also getting some vanilla, possibly some dark fruit, and booze. Smells a little like a Belgian dark ale.

Taste starts off extremely malty with some cherry and vanilla. In the mid palate, the flavors change to coffee, leather, and tobbaco. The finish is booze and savory spice. Its an interesting flavor combination- not complex though. I don't know if I really taste much of the base beer though.

Carbonation is low and the mouthfeel is kind of syrupy.

I like all the flavors of this beer individually but as a whole, I don't think they really meld together. The wood aging is also way too strong. I'm not a fan

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Photo of aorloski
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours an incredibly dark brown, pretty much black color. Very much like an imperial stout, even the same consistency. I have no idea if i should be rating the appearance on brown ale standards or on its own. It looks like no brown ale i have seen more like a stout, as state. About a half fingers worth of khaki head that disappears quickly. decent alcohol legs, expected at 12%

Smell - Warm vanilla right up front followed by a light hint of oak, very subtle which is surprising. As it warms up you get more of the woodiness.

Taste - Dark fruits right up front, especially dark cherries, raisons and figs. A very sweet beer and the wood characteristics do not shine through as much as i would hope. I might add this is a relatively fresh bottle too. Just like the smell, the taste opens up a lot more as it warms. A nice vanilla oak character in the back of the tongue which is very nice.

Mouthfeel - Silky smooth and moderately carbonated, coats the mouth.

Overall - This is one of my favorite Dogfish Head beers, not only is it pretty widely available but it is one of the best they brew. This is the kind of innovation you would expect from them but nothing over the top like other things they have done. That being said i had no idea how to review this one, it deserves a category all of its own, definitely not a brown ale. Great brew!

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Photo of tony223366
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: very dark brown/black with a slick brown head of 1 finger that quickly turned into a thin layer. Another coke looking beer! Nice lacing saves the aesthetics of this beer in my opinion.

S: smoke and molasses up front. Whoa, something is mildly acidic in here. Wasn't expecting that. On a third sniff I get cocoa powder.

T: on my first sip I get dark chocolate and roasted coffee. Really smoky. Rich dark fruits. Burnt sugar hides all 12 abvs on the finish. Not truly bitter on the finish.

M: full to medium body. Good carbonation. Very creamy

O: exceedingly rich and delicious. Absolutely a sipper. It's bold and beautiful. One of DFHs brews that knocks it out of the park for me.

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Photo of Scotchboy
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from MarcatGSB poured into a New Belgium globe.

A: Pours nearly black, opaque and brown head has consistency but dissipates quickly. Nice lace.

S: Smells of sweet wood, vanilla, booze, roast...hints of coffee, molasses, and brown sugar.

T: Very oaky and vanilla forward with a huge roasted barley presence...the notes of wood mix with an intrinsic sweetness and complement each other like a rich red wine or scotch whisky...there is definitely some alcohol burn but its not overpowering.

MF: Nice dry bitterness and fuller mouthfeel, cut slightly by the alcohol. Viscous.

O: Very pleasant beer, reminds me a lot of the Dragons Milk from New Holland...definitely the most unique 'Brown Ale' I've had to date.

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Palo Santo Marron from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 4.18 out of 5 with 5,935 ratings