Palo Santo Marron | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
2,071 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 2,071 | Ratings: 5,730
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.

 272 characters

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.

 454 characters

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.

 320 characters

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.

 512 characters

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

 709 characters

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.

 359 characters

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.

 990 characters

Photo of jhartley
4.24/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Cuvee tulip glass. Bottled on 04/21/15.
Pours much darker than I was expecting. Dark brown to black body, no light shines through the glass at all except on the edges which shows a maroon color. Light khaki tan head.
Aromas of vanilla, cola and a slight charred wood.
Tastes fantastic. Vanilla, cherry, spice and some of that woodiness with a lot of fruitiness that I wasn't expectin.
Full mouth feel with that 12% alcohol hidden well.
Overall this is a well crafted beer with that wood aging adding quite a bit of spice and complex flavors to enjoy. Reminiscent of a barrel aged stout. Planning on picking up a few more and holding on to them to see what else may come out of some added aging.

 736 characters

Photo of slusk
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: pours a dark brown with a dense brown head

S: Dark fruit, toffee, coffee with a mild earthy hop

T: Dark chocolate, burnt toffee, dark fruits. Big alcohol.

F: THICK, full mouthfeel. Syrupy, milky consistency. low carbonation

O: Wow, this is a BIG beer with a strong flavor. Mostly dark fruits and big malty chocolate, toffee, coffee with a big alcoholic warming. Very nice but not for every taste. You have to be a fan of stouts to even consider this brew. Quite possible the heaviest beer I've ever had, almost to the point of being off-putting but not quite. I like it, but I'd only by this a bottle at a time.

 619 characters

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

Delightful aged brown ale poured from a bottle into a Teku glass. Tons of molasses and brown sugar that is immensely satisfying. I hadn't one in over a year and realized just how much I missed this beer!

 203 characters

Photo of L0ne
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

In fridge for an hour and then poured into a snifter. Bottle dated 6/15.

Pours almost black, with a creamy, tan, .75" head.

Smell is warm and inviting. Molasses, vanilla, alcohol, almost reminiscent of dark rum.

Taste follows, molasses sweetness, dark fruit, vanilla, chocolate, warming, dry and pleasantly boozy finish. Feels thick and coats the mouth with a lot of lingering flavor.

Overall a really tasty sipper, took me upwards of an hour to drink, enjoying every bit.

 476 characters

Photo of Buck89
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the brewery. Mahogany brown color with a smallish tan head. Enticing smells of oak, roasty malt and chocolate. Beautiful taste with generous heavy roasty malt with hints of coffee, oak, vanilla and chocolate. Full bodied but not overly sweet. Alcohol hidden dangerously well.

 285 characters

Photo of qcghost
4.34/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured on tap. Wonderful dark brown appearance. Strong alcohol aroma with notes of vanilla, brown sugar, and mild smoke. Tasted like a mix between a typical brown ale and bourbon. Oak, dark chocolate, caramel in the finish. Fantastic beer.

 239 characters

Photo of jeffdr123
4.29/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark porter look with very little head and some mild lacing.
A toasty smell with chocolate and fruit. Smells lighter than it tastes.
Thick and a little syrupy, more like a porter than a typical brown ale.
All sorts of flavor going on here. Layer after layer makes it a sipper. You can taste the wood barrels and higher alcohol. Some flavors reminiscent of Jack Daniels. Plus malt and dark fruits. A good late night beer for relaxing by the TV.

 443 characters

Photo of Bonis
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 12/18/12, consumed now. Has a very stout-like appearance with a small caramel colored head, spotty lacing. Aroma is of chocolate covered raisins/figs and a hint of vanilla. Tastes like booze soaked fruits and dark caramel malt; slight wood and bitter chocolate roast. Tasty stuff, but still pretty much a sipper at over two and a half years. Have two more bottles with the same date, so I'll try one again here in a year or so.

 435 characters

Photo of m_hall
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip. Deep, dark coffee brown, almost black, completely opaque. Head is thin, chocolate-brown, and falls quickly to a film. Lacing is sparse.

Nose has prominent woody notes, vanilla, toasted malts, and alcohol, with smokey/spicy highlights. A very aromatic beer.

Flavors are very bold... big oak-like woody notes right up front from the aging in exotic Palo Santo wood vats. Beneath that there are deep roasted/bittersweet chocolate malt flavors, molasses, dark fruits and dried berries. Alcohol follows in, but not in an overbearing way. Finish is a lingering mix of spicy tones, almost like some red wines; smoke, blended with subtle earthy hops.

Mouthfeel is very rich, chewy, viscous and mouth-coating. The heaviness in texture combined with the high ABV (12%) places this one firmly into the category of a "sipper." The decent level of carbonation does give it just a touch of tingle on the palate.

A somewhat experimental beer from a company known for such things, this DFH offering was quite a discovery. It's classed as a brown ale here, though that's perhaps a bit misleading... think more along the lines of a Belgian Strong Dark or even an Imperial Stout and you're getting a better idea of what this is like. With the high ABV, this one should age well; I'm planning to put a few up for a while and see how it evolves. As it is, this is already a great beer for people looking for a big ale.

 1,449 characters

Photo of Barracudas
5/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Another excellent beer from Dogfish Head brewery! Palo Santo Marron has a very deep complex flavor, a big aroma, drinks smoothly and has a wonderful taste!

 155 characters

Photo of GerryPendry
4.68/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pitch black, very little tan head. Smells like fruit, wood, and alcohol. Complex flavors: roasted barley, cherry maybe? Dark chocolate, a little vanilla, boozy. Thick, viscous mouthfeel. Reminds me of a barleywine. Wow, what an "in your face" beer. There's a lot going on here, and in typical Dogfish Head fashion it makes no attempt to reign in any of it. The 12% abv is noticeable, but it works very well with all the other assertive flavors. An outstanding beer that defies classification, and one of my favorites in the Dogfish Head lineup. Highly recommended.

 566 characters

Photo of October
3/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Booze, booze, followed up by some more booze. I got some slight dark fruity notes, but overwhelming just tasted like booze. I consumed about two months after bottling. Someone suggested that I age one, as the alcohol flavor fades over time. Will try that and re-visit.

 272 characters

Photo of Dufmandinga
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A little boozy (obviously) and slightly syrupy so had to dig it a lil for feel. Tons of rich flavor. Made for sipping but 2 bottles go down easy enough

 151 characters

Photo of beergoot
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Deep, dark brown hued body, nearly black; thick, creamy, dense light brown head; lots of clinging sheets of foam on the glass. Chocolate and cocoa aroma; vanilla; a touch of cinnamon. Rich milk chocolate flavor; mocha; roasted grains; boozy with a mellow bitterness. Thick, velvety mouthfeel; oily; and chewy; mostly sweet finish.

Eye-popping lusciousness imbued with mouthwatering chocolate sweetness makes this one incredible beer. The high ABV is hardly noticeable until the finish. Depth, balance and complexity all combine in making a very approachable, heavy hitting beer that is pure liquid wonder.

 606 characters

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

A: Great opaque color although the head is a bit lacking.

S: sweet smell some booze and vanilla scents

T: Dark fruit and boozy sweetness.

F: great mouthfeel slightly boozy but not excessive.

O:Excellent beer would buy over and over again

 244 characters

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

12oz bottle into a tulip.

A: Pours what I'd call dense opaque black with 1"+ cocoa colored head that recedes pretty slowly. Retention & lacing are both quite nice.

S: First up is pure oaky sweetness. I notice that as it warms, more of baked fruit aroma takes over- fig, apricot, maybe red raspberry. The booze is masked well.

T: Cocoa up front with a bit of a coffee touch. Mid palate reads as more candied fruit, black cherry, red raspberry. The finish is slightly more bitter with a much more pronounced oak character. It lingers heavy, but in a pleasant way.

M: Fairly moderate carb. The body is ever-so-slightly silky stickiness & overall creamy character. It drinks fairly heavy, which I'd say is fitting.

O: This is a very well done, truly unique ale. Throw out everything you know about Brown Ales with this one, yet at the same time, it's undeniably a Brown Ale. I love that about this brew.

 919 characters

Photo of rpjterp
4.66/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

An exceptional drink.

Beautiful dark beer without the heavy dark beer weight and feel as you drink. Has good head when poured but bubbles do not interfere with your sip.

Complex flavors that keep this beer from getting boring.

 231 characters

Photo of alexanderplatz
3.33/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Scant head. A little on the heavy side. Malty, sweet. In some respects similar to strong dark Belgian ale, in others similar to a porter or a stout. Not very balanced, too malty and cloying. Syrupy.

 238 characters

Palo Santo Marron from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
4.16 out of 5 based on 5,730 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!