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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Ratings: 5,836 |  Reviews: 2,099
Photo of bierguru
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A -
IMPRESSIVE looks like a stout black thin brown head laces out for the most part and hands around well

S -
alcohol up front along with a deep coffee malt and a woody smell overall the smell has a mellow sweetness to it

T -
big caramel malt vanilla on the back end alcohol tastw is smooth

M -
heavy-ish feeling on the tongue smooth bite from the alcohol on the back end what i didnt like was that it dried my mouth out

D -
very enjoyable but no more then one do to the dry mouth

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Photo of Tabni
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought 12oz bottle at the Stop n Shop in the Gables. Freshness date is unreadable. Who cares? This gets better with time!

Appearance - Dark black malt color with a nice brown head.
Smell - is kinda woody.
Taste - is just a strong alcoholic vanilla. You can even "taste" the barrels. Sweet malt after taste. Malt beverage aged on Palo Santo Marron Wood.
Mouthfeel - After taste reminds me of drinking wine, due to the notes, perhaps Vanilla?
Drink-ability - Great for sipping

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Photo of wordemupg
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into tulip nov2 2010

A near black with a thumbs width of dark tan has pretty good retention and leaves a couple specks of lace, not bad considering I expected nothing from a brew this strong

S bruised banana with plenty of wet wood and chocolate covered raisins with a little apple

T a little molasses, licorice, and chocolate on top of what I smell with some vanilla, 12% ya say well prove it, OK after standing up I'm convinced but other then that I'd never believe this beer is as strong as it is

M thick, syrupy and silky upon entry and then the carbonation creams it up a bit, no complaints here

D everyone should take a few steps sideways for every step forward every once and a while, this would be a good example of that, I just hope I don't injury myself going to bed (the floor) or the bathroom (my balcony)

earthy big ass beers often work well for me and this is no exception, other then the triple vision and my inability to convince my girlfriend that I'm cool this ones a winner

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Photo of danielplainview
4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A. Pours a dark brown, almost black with a one finger creamy coffee colored head that dissipates leaving small dollops of residual lacing.

S. ok sorry but this smells like adderall to me. certainly unique.

T. Roasted malt flavors - dark nuts, dark chocolate, espresso with some light acidity. At/after swallow some oak and some spiciness come out.

M. Medium bodied; nice carbonation

D. I love this beer. I love the creativity of Dogfish head. sometimes they fall flat other times they hit a homerun. This is a winner!

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Photo of greenmonstah
3.51/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Gaithersberg Alehouse. 12 oz snifter

A - Black as night with a tiny brown head.

S - Nose was strongly cherries, and a hint of roasted malts.

T - Cherry twizzlers, really. Roasted malts and some booze then follow. Not as much going on as I expected, and really don't pick up the vanilla I thought I would. Disappointing but not bad.

M - Light body with a little carbonation. Leaves the mouth a bit dry.

D - Less booziness than expected from a 12%. Certainly would not cal it quaffable, but enjoyable nonetheless.

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Photo of jlindros
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Dive Bar in Worcester.

Big rich creamy head fades slowly with nice thick lacing dark mahogany molases brown color.

Nose of lots of dark malts almost like an old ale, plenty of crystal, little roast, brown sugar and molasses but all wit re gentle aged malt aroma. Also some light oak aromas, the unique Palo Santo wood.

Tastes is fairly sweet with lots of malts again, some creamy even, brown sugar and light molasses, toffee, slight chewy malts and little roast. Again the subtle gentle aged malt flavor. Very light warming booze. Some light bitterness and very mild grassy hop character. Again the unique oak flavor with some interesting nutty qualities as well. Finishes creamy and little drier but mildly sweet with lingering malts and oak and a bit of bitterness.

Mouth is fairly full bodied with a creamy texture and good carbonation.

Drinkability is pretty good for 12% abv as it drinks like 7% and some mild light sticky finish but mostly clean and bit of lingering hops.

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Photo of JizackFH
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown with a brown head. I had no idea this was such a dark beer. For some reason I thought this was going to be an amber colored ale. I had no idea what type of beer this was when I got it. Smells dark, hints of caramel, and some alcohol notes. You can definitely taste the alcohol. There are really nice tastes of dark malts, caramel and toffee notes, a little hop presence, and it tastes surprisingly creamy. Mouthfeel is good, like I said, creamy, medium-heavy bodied, with nice carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good for this beer. I drank this surprisingly fast for a 12% brew. Good job DFH you never disappoint.

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

12 oz bottled 4/20/10

Pours a very dark brown with a good size reddish tan head.
The nose is boozy at first with hints of caramel malts, sweet vanilla and a typical brown ale smell; also woody.
The taste is a very deep complex blend of dark fruits. Incredibly smooth to drink! Finishes hot, has a medium bodied mouthfeel.
The Palo Santo Marron has a high drinkability for a 12% beer. Great for pairing with food. A canidate for one of my top ten all time brews.

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Photo of KYFriedChildren
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Pinocchio's in Media. (Seems like I have pretty much everything there at this point.)

Appearance- Showed up at the old table in a glistening tulip with a fluffy little white head. I know it's classified as a brown but it doesn't particularly look like one. It's mighty dark for a brown.

Smell- WOOD! (with other random smells pitched in such as a tantalizing vanilla, and warm booze)

Taste- Pretty gosh-darn delicious. It has the wood taste of the barrels but what really pops is the delicious vanilla. It hides the alcohol uncommonly well. Truly tasty.

Mouthfeel- The alcohol content (although masked well with the taste) feels a little hot on the tongue and going down the chute but that's to be expected. The perfect amount of thickness, not watery but not oily either.

Drinkability- It's scary how drinkable this beer is. I could probably drink enough of this delicious ale to put me into a very, very deep coma. I will be on the lookout for this on tap pretty much anywhere.

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Photo of adam42381
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a nonic pint glass. Bottled on 06/21/10 printed on bottle.

Pours an extremely dark brown, almost black, color with a 1 finger creamy light brown head. Minimal lacing.

Smell: Dark fruit, chocolate, wood, alcohol and a light hint of something I can only explain as the smell of grocery store produce department.

Taste: Toasted malt up front followed by a complex mix of chocolate, dried fruit, spices, pepper, smoky oak and burnt toast in the middle and ending with caramel malt and alcohol. The alcohol is kind of similar to cheap vodka. The aftertaste is mostly dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied with a decent amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Good drinkability. The alcohol isn't overwhelming, though you wouldn't want to drink too many considering the ABV.

Overall: This is a very good beer. It's not what I would consider a brown ale but Dogfish Head doesn't fit within typical categories most of the time anyway. I would recommend checking this out if you have the chance.

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Photo of Landfill21
3.32/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

I tried this beer as a recomendation from a friend.

Poured into a pint glass. Poured into a dark dark brown color with a small head.

The wood overpowered the smell. Hints of vanilla and mocha can be picked up as well.

Again the wood overpowers the taste. All I tasted was wood. It was tasty the first couple gulps but after that it was just too much, it wasn't even fun to drink after a while.

Has a med. to med. full mouthfeel.

I was not impressed with the drinkability as it was just wood tasting for me.

At the price this sells for I would not recomend this to a friend.

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

Pours an EXTREMELY dark brown with a nice medium brown/tan head. Scent is lots of wood, vanilla, light espresso, slight alcohol, and cherries. Tons of aromas coming outta this beer. Taste is quite delightful. Initially I get strong vanilla and cherry flavors followed by some great wooden flavors. Then it end with a bit of molasses, espresso, and chocolate. The booziness is pretty noticeable in this beer though, which isn't necessarily always a bad thing to me...but I would like this one a bit more well-balance with the rest of the tasty flavors. Mouthfeel is creamy and not too thick. Drinkability is fairly high due due how tasty it is.

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Photo of thain709
3.48/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - A deep, chestnut brown body...the head was very small, almost non existant but there was a decent amount of lacing

S - The nose was pretty heavy on the was saved by roasted malts and vanilla

T - Again the wood dominates...I understand this was aged with Palo Santo almost gives it an oak aged it warms up the sweeter side starts to show...a roasted malt presence adds another level to it...vanilla and dark fruits (dates and raisins) are there for the sweetness level

M - Medium bodied...boarding on full bodied...smooth, rich, creamy

D - I remember trying this a few years ago and I really liked it...maybe the bottle was aged because this keg was pretty fresh...really strong wood aroma and flavor with minimal sweetness...alcohol is there but somewhat hidden in the flavors...but watch out

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Photo of nataku00
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap poured into a tulip glass. Really dark brown with very minimal half finger of brown colored head initially that quickly dissipated into no head. Couldn't see the carbonation in the glass.

Nose was woody, vanilla and biscuit malts. Wood did dominate the aroma. Since I knew this is palo santo wood, I can't say it's oaky, but the vanilla notes makes it very close to oak, those not as strong.

Tasting, the beer is very well balanced. Some pine hops and wood dominated initially, it quickly transitions sweet malts and vanilla. Only a light sweetness left on the tongue after the swallow. Surprisingly well hidden 12.00% ABV on this on. It enhances the flavor profile nicely, without the alcohol burn, so the time aging really balances out this beer.

Full bodied beer drinks very easily, but the nice flavor profile encourages sipping. Would definitely look to have this again.

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Photo of righthereisay
2.55/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

OK, after seeing all of the reviews I thought I was ready for a real treat.

I was rather dissappointed. I don't know, maybe it was a bad batch or something. I guess at 12% my expectations should be different than an 8%. I gave it a little higher grades just for the fact that they fit 12% alcohol in there. Otherwise, it would have been much worse.

The beer was really strong. Lots of alcohol taste until I was about 3/4 through the bottle. I enjoy 8%, but this may have just been too much. Not much wood aging taste either. Maybe the plum and raisin, I really don't know.

I had it ice cold, as cold as they come. Although I'm not a huge fan of this brewery, I did enjoy thier pumpkin. Not worth the $3.75 I paid for the bottle, but I guess since it is triple the alcohol, I guess it was a deal.

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Photo of BaronRVH
4.54/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark, dense body that sucks sunlight like a black hole. The head is creamy and a half to three-quarters inch. Nice lacing.

S - Outstanding aroma toasted coffee, rich caramel with the vanilla notes offset with molasses.

T - Excellent front with complete support for the expected aroma. The complexity fills out with notes of chocolate coming through and finishes with a slight bitter, anise ending. Lingers and lingers.

M - Excellent, luscious mouthfeel. Great balance.

D - Just outstanding to drink. Great with food and you don't feel too much alcohol at all.

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Photo of ocelot2500
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a near black with a tight mocha head that leaves plenty of lacing.

Smells of roasted malts and a touch of vanilla.

Tastes of deep roasted malts. Notes of coffee, molasses, brown sugar, and dark chocolate. Some fruitiness makes an appearance adding touches of cherry and fig. Notes of vanilla come through from what I assume is the wood. A little roasted bitterness, but this beer seems to be a little sweet for me. Alcohol comes through with some warmth.

Mouthfeel is full with a creamy amount of carbonation.

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

Nice deep brown pour with some tan head. Aroma is sweet malts with a hint of vanilla. Flavor follows the nose closely - very very tasty. Smooth and creamy - this is amazingly easy to drink considering the 12% ABV... you really don't even notice the alcohol. Very very tasty. Will definitely be drinking more of this.

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

Pours a dark brown color with a thin dark tan head which fades quickly as expected with the high abv. Nice lacing that lasts a while. Aroma is not too strong, but noticeable raisin and a slight hint of the alcohol. Prominent vanilla aroma.

Taste is surprisingly smooth for the high abv. Sweet dark fruit taste with vanilla and caramel notes in small amounts. Goes down easy.

Nice mouthfeel as the alcohol is well masked with very little carbonation. The flavors come through nicely as it warms up a bit.

Unique offering to me and I like to sip one regularly. Pairs good with a mild cigar.

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Photo of jbriggs7036
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Looks aweomse. Thick pour leaves a dark brown head that laces the glass till thee end.

S- Smell is amazing, the good kind of overpowering with hints of chocolate and coffee with caramel and maybe raisins.

T- Double dark brewed/burnt black coffee. Maybe a touch of vanilla and lots of sweetness and booze.

M- Feels like a mouth full of thick chocolaty alcohol.

D- Only one per night. #1- Sweet spot #2- Dancing on a bar #3- Puking in toilet
#4- Graveyard

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Photo of geryeb624
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into my DFH Signature Glass. Bought this about 2 months ago at the Brewpub, and been saving it since then.

A- Pours a dark brown, almost black, with a half finger of tan head. It settles to a nice thin layer of foam that hangs around, and leaves decent lacing.

S- Pretty boozy in aroma, with a fairly serious alcohol presence. Also some dark fruit , some roasted malt, and some vanilla and woodiness.

T- Again, fairly boozy, as alcohol dominates the beginning. Some creamy vanilla notes and bitter roasted malt in the finish. Wood flavor is pretty apparent as well.

M/D- Very smooth and creamy, which is nice. But really present alcohol and bold flavors make this a sipper.

Good beer, but a bit too boozy for me. I like this as a sipper, but not my favorite DFH offering. Nice flavors and a good brew just the same.

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

A: rich dark brown the color (and consistency) of molasses. No head or lacing, looks more like liquor than beer.

S: intensely sweet notes, raisins and brown sugar, combined with spicy notes, leaves your nose tingling a bit, minerals, red meat, nail polish even.

T: sickly sweet taste of dates, raisins, figs, apricots, so many dried fruits at once, then molasses, burnt sugar, some black coffee and semi-sweet chocolate, then chipotle spice, and savory meat aftertaste lingers in the mouth like char grilled steak.

M: little to no carbonation, thick and oily. Surprisingly faint warming alcohol belies the whopping 12% ABV.

D: a deeply intriguing brew from Dogfish. It really sticks with you, there is so much going on there it's almost hard to sort it all out. It's definitely for sipping only, I can't imagine having more than one of these a sitting.

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Photo of liamt07
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of TMoney2591, via the Support Your Team BIF, into a footed pilsner glass. Bottle dated May 21, 2010.

A real dark brown appears in the glass, a few shades of black. Shit is deep. Finger or two of chesnut head, settles to a think collar and an even layer of head rests on top. Retention is real nice here. Nose is nice an complex, tons of nuts, vanilla, wood, some brown sugar sweetness. A quick whiff brings some alcohol and dark licorice here too. Loads of chocolate, some coffee notes, roastiness, and some dark fruits. Maybe a slight hint of smoke? Some vanilla and wood flavour lingers on the tongue, as the alcohol pops his head in to say what's up. Mouth is silky and smooth, full bodied with some moderate-low carbonation. Relatively filling and quite a sipper. Alcohol is somewhat masked, and makes this one dangerous.

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

pours dark with one finger carmel color head, depending on how you pour it. there is a slight hint of alcohol on the nose. aroma is a nutty vanilla with hints of carmel. Taste is clean, hint of citrus and spice. its quite different than a traditional oak aged brew. malts seem to dominate, as there is only a slight hop's bitterness on the finish. this is a great brew but at 12% ABV, its quality over quanity.

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Photo of BeerAndBourbon
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 7/30/09

A. Pours a dark brown, almost black with a one finger creamy coffee colored head that dissipates leaving small dollops of residual lacing.

S. Lightly roasted coffee with dark chocolate. Some rum and figs come out of the woodwork as it warms.

T. Lots of roasted malt flavors - dark nuts, dark chocolate, espresso with some light acidity. At/after swallow some oak and some spiciness come out. Good, but a bit of a let down after the incredible nose.

M. Medium bodied with medium level of creamy carbonation.

D. With a year on it, it's not surprising that it hides the 12% pretty well - still detectable but not overly hot or boozy. I'd definitely accept this if offered, but I'm not sure I'd pick it up myself.

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Palo Santo Marron from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
4.16 out of 5 based on 5,836 ratings.
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