Sah'tea | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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1,844 Ratings

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States

Style: Finnish Sahti

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
This Ancient Ale is a modern take on a 9th-century Finnish beer.

The wort for Sah'tea is caramelized over white-hot river rocks, and the beer is fermented with a German weizen yeast. In addition to juniper berries foraged from the Finnish countryside, Sah'tea is flavored with black tea, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and black pepper.

The spicing is subtle and balanced, and Sah'tea is a highly-quaffable, truly unique brew with a full mouthfeel.


Added by DarkerTheBetter on 09-28-2008

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,844 |  Reviews: 605
Reviews by RandyKemka:
Photo of RandyKemka
5/5  rDev +28.9%

More User Reviews:
Photo of Das_Reh
4.44/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.75

2012 bottle. Poured 2/15/2015 into a tulip.

A = Dark gold hue with fervent carbonation. Lots of free floating sediment in the mix, forming a silty pile at the bottom of the glass. Head dissipated quickly. Minimal lacing.

S = Intense aroma of gingerbread, cinnamon, nutmeg, and other sweet spices. Juniper, spiced tea, bananas and rum.

T = Follows the incredible aroma with boozy gingerbread, sweet spiced Chai tea, bananas, brown sugar, and sweet pine. Would be a wonderful beer to have on Christmas and would be great in a baked dessert. Then again, that's what this beer is to me, a dessert in a bottle.

F = Medium, almost syrupy. Definitely a slow sipper, but that's not a bad thing.

O = This beer defied all my expectations. Heavily spiced and aromatic, sweet and warming, a perfect beer for Christmas time (there's even a reindeer on the bottle). Too sweet and heavy to be sessionable (not to mention the 9% abv), more of a dessert beer. HIGHLY recommended.

 979 characters

Photo of Overlord
1.48/5  rDev -61.9%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

Thanks beerloco! Sometimes, it's delightful to be able to rip into something. I've been too kind of late.

Pours a beautiful orange amber, with a thin white crust that clings to the glass. The attractive appears belies the fact that it is a loathsome substance not fit for a beer lover's consumption.

Smells like rotting medicinal tea, a sickly sweet honeysuckle-ish aroma. Smells like corpses dipped in some sort of treacle substance.

Taste is even worse. Like some sort of witch's herb concoction. Why was this even made? I'd tried to see if I could pick out the various flavors, but it's just an abhorrent, sweet, medicine-chest pile of offal.

Dogfishhead can push the envelope. Sometimes it really works out great, sometimes ... not so much.

Nice mouthfeel though!

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Photo of t2grogan
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of SuqMadique
2.75/5  rDev -29.1%

Photo of Tiernan
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of wesbrownyeah
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

x2 Dogfish Head Sah'tea... 9% alcohol.

A- Pours a crisp golden fluid with a spritzed clarity that is flawless in constancy. Beautiful active ring remains around glass with massive lacing sticking to walls.

S- Sweet like cider. Also scents of fresh honey and chai tea. Very strong presence of all spice... nutmeg, clove, and cinnimon.

T-M- Metallic front with massive tart sweetness. Fresh taste of juniper berries, chai tea, cinnimon, ginger and cloves upfront. Light but present hop bitterness with small malt backbone. Mouthfeel is great with mild carbonation that tingle the tongue making the tart of the beer smoothly fall back. Leaves a lasting fruity presence on the mouth... almost like wild berries.

D- Very drinkable beer that has a complex flavor to think about as you drink. I'm still thinking... Will buy again...

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Photo of weatherdog
3.49/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Evan1023 for this one.

75cL bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. Bottle date read 'Bottled in 2009'

It pours a hazy golden orange with a 3 finger pillowy frothy head. Minimal lacing ran down the glass as it emptied.

At first whiff I'm getting some nutmeg and clove smells but when I stick my whole nose in I'm getting a distinct chai tea smell. It seems like a great marriage of malty sweet beer and black tea.

Taste is just like someone mixed in some chai tea with a light crystal malt heavy base beer. I'm also picking up some orange taste. I'm not sure if this is from any citrus hops or if they used orange peel in the process. It finishes a little too sweet.

It is very full bodied malty spicy beer. The drinkability suffers from how spiced and heavy it is. I drank the whole 75cL but was rather tired after the first half.

I am a chai tea lover and average about one a day so I really was looking forward to trying this beer. It does satisfy me in that the flavor components are there but I was kind of wishing for a more bold tea flavor from something coming from DFH. I am glad I tried it and enjoyed it but would recommend having no more than about 8oz. at a time. After that it becomes too filling and kind of a chore to drink.

 1,250 characters

Photo of SkiBum22
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of Firefox13
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of newk340
4.79/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: a hazy burnt gold, thin foam ring coats the surface.

S: a wicked explosion of various flavors, a stew of hops, malts, berries, chai teas, and a plethora of other flavors that defy description.

T: what doesnt this beer have? hops, malts, cloves, coriander, berries, chai tea, spices, citrus... and the list goes on. what in the world just happened to my tastebuds?

MF/D: epic. smooth, bitter, carbonated, dry, sweet... all at once. a symphony on the senses. thank you sir, may i have another?

 497 characters

Photo of Kjanisch7
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.54/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice attempt, could have been better. In a mug the beer was an orange color with a small white head. Sweet malt aroma, tea, juniper. The taste was lacking, all I could get was sweet tea. Where's the rye and juniper? On the bland side. I really like DFH and applaud their outside the box thinking, but this was a miss for me.

 324 characters

Photo of gregmoscetti
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer was yet another surprise from the good guys over at DFH. When i hear the run down on these big beers of theirs, I never even know what to expect out of the bottle let alone from the beer. I split a bottle into two New Belgium Worthy's and watched the show as the carbonation created a sort of spring in the middle of the beer.

Upon tasting, I decided that this was an awesome Biere de garde/mars. The spice character gave it a perfect play of pumpkin pie spice that I associate with NB's biere de mars and LA's Avante Garde. The juniper berry added a pleasant but not over powering sweetness. The mouth feel was light and airy. I could have drank the whole bottle over a lunch of fresh bread, sopressata and tallegio... or maybe just with some homemade vanilla ice cream?

 783 characters

Photo of csmartin6
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of heddar33
4.5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of marvin213
3.49/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An aggressive pour from the big bottle leaves me 3/4 full of beer with 4" of foam. By the time I can write this sentence, however, the foam dissipates to a thin layer. The liquid looks light in color, but opaque nonetheless. I always think minimal light passage adds an appealing dimension of mystery to beers like this.

The smell is kinda weird. I definitely smell the rye and, honestly, that's not one of my favorites. I can't identify the juniper berries, and that's disappointing. I do smell what must be the hot rock smokiness. Still, it smells more like a tea than a beer.

It tastes like a hot tea served cold. It's got an herbal feel to it, and a sweetness I attribute to the juniper berries. It's also got a Belgian feel to it, in both the taste and smell--maybe that's the rye?. Oddly (because I hardly ever drink them), it reminds me of a Hoegarden. Like a tea (and perhaps a Hoegarden), you could serve it with a lemon. This is the Dogfish big bottle for girls. It's light and crisp, and almost tastes good for you. I really wonder what it'd be like served pipin' hot like hot tea. It's really difficult to judge because it's so in a class by itself (how many sahti-style beers are there, really), a characteristic of Dogfish Head I really appreciate. It's too weird, though, for me to call it a good beer, but I like it more than your average tea.

The Dogfish beers seem to always offer good mouthfeels. They're appropriately carbonated, and maybe the novelty of their ingredients makes them more fresh. It's a light, lemon-like, tea sort of effect. I call it a rye beer only after that. Its sweet juniper berries mesh with rye and chai tea. Where its weirdness might hurt it elsewhere, I think it really makes the mouthfeel. It's really neat to just sit and hold this one, furrowing your brows as it piques your curiosity.

Drinkability is good because it's so unique and light. It's not exceptionally good because the beer is so weird. Though you could certainly wonder about and enjoy this beer all the way thru a serving, I don't think this is one you pound in one sitting to discover (like you might an Abyss or some other complex RIS). It's no doubt another extraordinary DFH concoction worthy of any craft brew collection.

 2,246 characters

Photo of dieBlume
4.5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of Beaver13
3.57/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle. Pours a hazy yellow orange with a small fizzy white head that quickly disappears.

The aroma is lots of spices - ginger, tea, a little fruitiness and some floral notes. Some yeast comes out as it warms.

The flavor is sweet melons and citric fruits with some tea spices (ginger), leading to a bit of bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and syrupy with light but sharp carbonation.

Overall, an interesting beer. It is a bit much on the sweet side.

 482 characters

Photo of generallee
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of iemailjack
3/5  rDev -22.7%

Photo of Jason
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of psujorge
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of merlin48
4.17/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Never had this style so don't know what to expect, especially with a DFH version. The bottle pours a slightly hazed yellow golden body with a tall vanilla head. Good retention and some curtains of lace are left on the glass.

Perfumey aroma! Sandalwood incense, floral hops, juniper berries, and nutmeg are all I can hope to nail down. Lots going on with the bouquet but it is pleasantly floral and herbal.

Mouthfeel is light and airy, though the body is what I would call a light medium. Spritzy carbonation works well.

Taste has a prevailing astringent bitterness that may come from the chai tea but the juniper berries certainly contribute. A gin-like presence caught me off guard midway through, but the alcohol is not noticed even at the 9% abv. Lots of enigmatic herbal notes and a definite note of nutmeg add to the complexity. By the end of the bottle I really liked the odd flavors going on here.

Another adventurous beverage from Dogfish Head. I would definitely have another one of these.

 1,002 characters

Photo of Perkyanda
4.36/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Smells JUST like chai tea, and tastes like a beer, but with a total hit of cardamom.

It's a gorgeous opaque tawny gold, orange where it's thick, yellow where the glass is thin.
The smell IS chai--its smell is both creamy and full of cardamom. The fist sip is refreshing, a hit of orange and clove. I can also taste the cream and the tea--the beer flavor is in the background, with the tea dominant. The mouthfeel is smooth and bubbly--there isn't much of a head, but the carbonation is definitely noticeable. The spice to it has a touch of a ginger flavour, but the most dominant flavour is cardamom, with a touch of clove.

I absolutely love this beer; it's probably my favorite from Dogfish Head. A touch pricey, but completely worth, and will keep buying as long as it's in stock.

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Sah'tea from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 3.88 out of 5 with 1,844 ratings