Sah'tea | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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1,838 Ratings

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States

Style: 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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,838 |  Reviews: 605
Photo of hoptualBrew
4.45/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml poured into oversized wine glass. Pours a hazy orange with nice layer of head. Lacing is micro fine that sticks to sides as consumed.

Smells crazy! Smells a spicy mint bubblegum, thats what I can relate it to - never smelt/tasted juniper berries. Very unique scent, had me smiling in anticipation!

Malty refreshing spicy cinnamon chai bubblegum flavor with a nice little citrus zest bite. Carbonation is not too much, not too little - fits the style & flavoring just right I think.

750mL bottle for $12. I would definitely purchase again for this price, well worth the $$$ in my opinion.

Overall, very nice! Unique, never tasted anything like it before. I kept thinking throughout consumption how the brew lent to the feminine side of taste, will be buying a few more bottles to split with my girlfriend & at 9% abv, I suggest you do the same.

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Photo of phantomwyse
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: This is sun, squeezed like and orange, and deposited into my glass. Bright, effervescent, it pours out like distilled honey. Big two finger head of pure white crowns briefly and then recedes.

S: The aroma of Chai is most prevalent – ginger, cardamom, cloves, touch of cinnamon – overall very warm. Nothing else gets through the spices.

T: Honey sweetness up front with a hint at those juniper berries. Cinnamon comes in the middle with an alcohol warmth accompanying the finish. However, the sweetness and the texture surround the alcohol and take a bit of the kick away.

M: Medium bodied with a syrupy viscous quality.

O: This is the hot toddy of beers.

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Photo of Interfectus
4.11/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

With Dogfish, you never really know what you're going to get. That's part of the fun! This beer was an exceptionally FUN beer to drink. It's a perfect "2 o'clock in the afternoon" beer, assuming you have no qualms about drinking early! The juniper berries shine through, along with the various spices, but this beer is not at all overwhelmingly sweet. The brewing processes is rather untraditional, and I think that might contribute to the well balanced nature of this beer. It's warm, light, smooth, and maybe even a bit creamy. It's different to be sure, the juniper does come through. As someone who tends to favor darker, warmer, and richer beers, this is a bit out of my comfort zone. But I'm very happy I tried it.

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Photo of Wadsey
2.73/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5


Served in DFH signature glass. 

A: Pours clear pale gold with minimal effervescence, head and lacing. 

S: Course, grainy malts, black pepper, a little lemon zest and what I can only describe as a cacophony of spices. 

T: Begins fairly sweet, then above characteristics exert themselves in taste profile. Honestly, Sahtea drinks like a poorly executed Saison whose brewer attempted to cover its flaws with a rack of spices. Moderate bitterness. The finish, however, is where the beer "shines." It actually tastes like chai tea. 

M: Medium-heavy body and medium-light carbonation. The beer is somewhat syrupy and almost cloying. The spices cause my tongue to tingle/go a little numb. 

O: The label is pretty awesome. 

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Photo of jmeyers78
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Glassware-Dogfish wine goblet

A-Orange/red/yellow. Thin white head. Some yeast floaties

S-Chai tea. Spices. Faint citrus

T-Chai, spices, very herbal and earthy. Get a little coriander and

M-Light body but smooth and creamy

O-Very different beer. Interesting mix of spices. I would definitely try this again. Would be good on a hot day. Doesn't drink like 9%

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Photo of mjgooner13
4.09/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Light tangerine in color with a 1 fingar white head. lots of bubbles streaming up from the bottom.

S- Def getting the sweetness of the juniper berries that its brewed with. THat is followed up by a nice hop and some orange as well

T- Same as the smell, with some spice/peppery notes in the middle. Very well balanced between the the sweet berries up front, the spice and some dry hop bitterness to finish things off..

M- a light-medium bodied beer, thats pretty easy drinking, not too much carbonation which is good for this beer i feel..

O- I really enjoyed this one, a crisp feeling beer with loads of flavor. I enjoyed the orange i got in the nose, and wished it turned up in the taste, but all in all I enjoyed the flavors of this drink..another successfull brew from dfh!

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Photo of GreenJetta912
4.74/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a 2 finger head in a goblet with a vigorous pour.

Smells straight up like Banana nut bread.

Taste is amazing and complex. Bread, bananas, grapes, apple, pear are all balanced in there. Spice bomb. Warming quality. Very earthy.

Finishes off bready and slightly dry up front but a sweet end with a nutty finish.

As you continue to sip on it you pick up on more flavors that you didn't before. I wish I bought another bottle.

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Photo of ShanePB
4.07/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've had this beer many times in the past, both on draft and bottled. Reviewed from the 2011 bottling, 750 ml bottle poured into a DFH signature glass.

A: Glimmering golden orange and cloudy, with a creamy & bubbly white head. Dissipation was steady and the retention was really amazing, as are with most of their beers. Some lacing is present but not really a lot at all.

S: Cinnamon, cloves, vanilla, chai tea and some white grapes. A really prominent nose here with a truly wonderful blending of flavors that are extremely inviting and invigorating of the senses.

T: All the flavors in the nose come through in full force: vanilla and chai notes are the most dominant, with some secondary flavors of clove and spice. The finish is all bubblegum and slightly minty note, that of wintergreen. Really nice flavor profile here. Deep, rich, complex and tasty.

M: Pretty creamy but the carbonation is a bit high and spritzy. Easy drinking with a medium body.

The excellent bottle artwork coupled with the outstanding nose and taste is another win in my book for the Ancient Ales series. Dogfish Head didn't just replicate an ancient Sahti recipe here, they took it one step further and introduced chai tea leaves which gives this a truly unique layer of flavor.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.77/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Neat bottle art of a gypsy riding a reindeer. Cloudy honey color with a few floaties. Amber says that the head looks like a marshmallow and it kinda does. Good lace and fairly retentive.

I'm surprised to find an aroma of banana pudding. I wasn't expecting that. I can't pick out anything else in particular so I'll go with floral honey smokey dry champagne-ishness. That sounds about right.

Taste is again banana pudding. Upon further research I found out that DFH used a hef strain so I guess that makes sense. Sugary and drying like a heavy tripel. Spruce and ginger.

A DFH beer that works.

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Photo of drpimento
4.16/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lovely odd duck this is. Pours with a small, off white head that mostly fades, and a little lace. Color is a hazy medium amber. Not all that much to look at. Aroma is exquisite - spices, yeast, malt, fruit, herbs, in an exotic blend that is beguiling. So I drank some. Flavor's not as intriguing as the nose, but still pretty good. Reminds me of a good saison. Maybe just a touch too sweet. Anyway, most of the aroma characteristics but muted. Body is decent, perhaps could use a little more carbonation; however, still good. Finish is short to medium in length with a little booziness.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled in 2011, clean new label to prove its recent shelf occupation. I have only had this beer once before, and this one didn't last too long in my fridge before I had to consume it.

Golden orange-amber with a thin white head that quickly disappeared. This beer is not clear, but there are no particles either. No lacing. Light and summery in appearance which pairs nicely with the long, hot week we've had.

Heavenly sweetness that is not overpowering and laden with unusual spices. I gather subtle notes of ginger, licorice, golden raisin, and of course yeast fruitiness and a faint alcohol. There is a lot going on; a very intriguing aroma.

Golden honey sweetness with the same unusual spices I smelled. The spices are very upfront with this beer, which is very refreshing and dangerously hides the beer's staggering abv. The beer's aftertaste is a light vanilla spice with a slightly bitter, dry finish. Lots of spice lingers in the back of the throat as if this beer has medicinal qualities, but still doesn't taste like cough syrup.

Light and refreshing beer is both sweet and spicy. I like the beer cold, but wonder how good it would be heated on a cold winter morning? My palate thrives on the opportunity to consume this tea and spice infused Finnish hybrid. The alcohol leaves a slightly raw feeling making it starkly obvious that I'm consuming an organic solvent. I would have given this beer a slightly higher score, but the strong alcohol began to slightly mimic a cardboard box.

Terrific beer that was quite the crowd pleaser. It was light yet complex, like a good hefeweizen can be, but so distinctly different from any other class of beer. I like its ability to provide strength and spice effortlessly so it could be both a summer light beer, but also a sipper. Unfortunately, given all the redeeming qualities of this beer, it was $12 for a 750mL bottle. I don't think it was necessarily worth that type of premium considering a bottle of Squall goes for $7.50....

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Photo of ReelBigwigFish
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased 750 bottle, or 757, whatever size this bomber is, came in off shipment today. Only hint at date is: "bottled in 2011"

a: pours a brilliant golden color with a thin cream looking head, and lots of yeast particulates floating about.

s: smells strongly of chai, coriander, cloves, also bits of lemony citrus notes. smells somewhat of an off-hefeweizen.

t: explosion of spice flavors, with some slight fruitiness, with yeast and alcohol flavors sticking a bit. the chai flavors are very pronounced (ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, etc.). the fruitiness i would either lend to the juniper berries or the wild yeast, but it adds another delicious dimension to this beer.

m/o: somewhat creamy and medium bodied, with mild carbonation. the alcohol adds a bit of heaviness to it, but it's still pretty darn drinkable, if you like chai flavors in your beer. i do; that being said, this beer is definitely not for everyone. but it's one of the few super experimental dogfishhead brews that i thoroughly enjoy.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Taken from notes on 4.19.11

25.4oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a murky pale orange with a thick bubbly head consisting of large bubbles.

S - Teas and spices.

T - Cinnamon, and Christmasy?

D - A bit thin, with mild carbonation.

O - very interesting, but I wouldn't seek it out.
Bottle dated 2010R

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Photo of ktrillionaire
2.32/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I have never had a Sahti before (it isn't like there are a plethora on the market), so I am excited to try it. On-tap at Ale+Witch.

A - t pours a tawny copper hue, a bit hazy, and is capped with a short-lived bone-colored head.

S - The nose is very Chai-forward. Cardamom, star anise, cinnamon, clove, ginger and nutmeg are prominently suggested atop a mild pale wheat-ish beer. I am not terribly fond of the nose, it reminds me of any number of the mediocre ginger wheat beers out there.

T - The flavor is more of the as the nose, but stronger in intensity; I am not pleased. Chai is inherently cloying to me, so the strong suggestion and impact of it is not working here. The vanilla, cardamom, cinnamon, black tea, orange-curacao-bergamot, and pale-adjuncted-tasting malt are just shy of a trainwreck. The taste is beginning to remind me of hand soap as well, so I am going to dump this.

M - Relatively thin and with short-lived carbonation.

O - I am let down by this beer, though I am not sure why I'd have expected it to be any good in the first place, as I'm in the camp who generally dislikes DFHs special projects.

Bottom line: flat-out, it is not good.

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Photo of fdkayti
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Clear and goldenrod in color. Tiny bubbles keep floating the top.

S- Earthy and tangy. A formidable scent. I can already taste it.

T- I don't even know where to start. Chai tea right out of the gate. Honey and lemon notes follow. Herbal and wet-earthish at the finish. Insanely complex.

M- I can't stop sippin'. Silky smooth and tingly. It awakens all of your taste buds. Almost wakes you up.

O/D- Wow. Unique and way enjoyable. Alcohol is hidden well. Ill have another glass if I'm feeling dangerous. This one is a challenge, and I still can't figure it out.

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Photo of Duff27
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Half-inch white head on top of a murky light amber beer. Plenty of flakey looking sediment floating around. Above average lacing and head rentention.

S- Smells of tea even though I'm no tea guy. Sweet(!) syrup.

T- Overly sweet chia tea, and bananas...Laffy Taffyish?? Juniper...don't know if DFH used any hops (can't detect any)...more props to them if they didn't. Well hidden 9% alcohol.

M- Deceivingly smooth. On the low side of carbonation bite. Creamy.

D/O- My second dabbling into a sahti. This style continues to excited me because it seems that it has a wide range of interpretation as long as the process is similar. I really enjoy the route DFH took on this one. Recommended to anyone who has an open mind to a harder to find style, one that I think could take off someday.

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Photo of patreely12
3.54/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a murky orange with golden highlights. minimal soapy head. spotty lacing.

S - fresh and mildly sweet. floral chai tea, citrus and a hint of the juniper berries. there are spicy notes of cloves and nutmeg.

T/M - reminds me of a saison. wheat malts and crisp citrus up front. I can barely make out the juniper berries but they are there. the chai and spice really pack a punch on the back end leaving the beer with a dry, earthy finish. medium bodied and low carbonation.

Overall this beer isn't really my style. I don't really like the autumn spices playing such a large role in the flavor, but it's to be expected. It's interesting to say the least, and I'd recommend it for any chai lover.

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Photo of Chaney
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 version... sitting in my cellar for some unknown reason. Many have rated this one rather low. Maybe most don't like spiced beers?

Golly gee. I'm an East Coast guy rating an East Coast beer. Bring it!

A: Golden color, with a rather large 1-2-3 head that withered away before my very eyes.. Clear and beautiful!

S: VERY strong spices! I've had Juniper tea several times and I definitely detected that. It almost smelled something similar to a pumpkin ale...

T: Spicy, but definitely not without a fruity disposition. Chai tea? Black tea? Whatever... My wife is a big tea fan and she tasted this one and didn't like it.

M: Low carbonation, not sweet at all (due to the over-the-top spices) and the lacing fell back into the glass upon pour.

O: This is one DFH brew that I totally look forward to every year. I sampled a spiced beer with ginger yesterday... and this one was 10x better than that!

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Photo of speter
2.49/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Hazy gold with flakes of proteins and yeast. The head was fluffy, off-white and fairly persistent, eventually fading to a thin layer.

S: Ginger, cinnamon, pepper and tea.

T: Dogfish Head rides the thin edge of the wedge, and when they nail it (Palo Santo Marron, for example), it's amazing, but when it's a miss, it can be pretty bad. In this case, this is a 9% abv chai, bearing little resemblance to real sahti. Clearly, they've tried to do something interesting here, with using hot rocks to boil the wort, but the addition of the chai at the end completely obliterates the good previously wrought, as it is the dominant taste.

M: Smooth, good body with full carbonation.

O: Maybe if you're a huge fan of chai.

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Photo of SubpoenaDeuces
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

ahtea, Dogfish Head, 9% ABV, spiced ale/Sahti

A: Murky orange with some yellowing at the edge, no head to speak of, middle body carbonation throughout with small bubbles

S: Lots of cinnamon, tea, juniper, with an overrriding smell of nutmeg

T: Go bite into a piece of pumpkin pie and chase it with a refined gin, now we are on the same level. This has a bizarre sweetness that tastes like holiday treats, pumpkin, yams, cinnamon, but then a strangely hollow sweetness to it that feels like a synthetic sweetner. It is not bad, but it is difficult to explain to someone who hasn't had an autumnal festival all up in their dome piece.

M: The taste is surprisingly thin for all of the leaves falling and equinox shift that is taking place. Not a lot of coating just a wafting sweetness that lingers like a poltergeist, haunting your mouth with sweet aparitions.

D: This is not a very drinkable beer. I didn't find myself wishing for more of it, more than anything it was fun to try and explain the experience to someone. It felt a little bit like Samhain, in liquid form. I can see this beer having a place around a certain season, I just cant think which one, the pumpkin and candy notes make it difficult to place.

Narrative: Papers, TPS reports, zoning regulations: WHO THOUGHT THAT BEING THE PUMPKIN KING WOULD BE SO MUCH WORK. You didn't ask for this, being the dauphin of several regal seasonal bloodlines, but yet here you are, in your ostentacious orange house, your burnt yellow desk, sipping on eggnog wondering where it all went wrong. Well I guess Pumpkinonia could have used more regulation of its chief export, rubber, but who are you to interfere with the Pumpkinonian's laize faire commercial structure? The seed tarrifs, the middle road tolls, cleaning up constant pumpkin guts from the country side was just far more than you bargained for. Then the sweet juniper potion starts to call your name, you are a flawed ruler, to be sure, but who can fault the Pumpkin King for being a raging alcoholic. After all, you smell like a warmed over holiday party 364 days out of the year, but on Flag Day you rest. DING, time to take the PUMPKIN PIE OUT OF THE OVE- BANG!

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Photo of schmoopsbeer
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into snifter

Color: A honey orange with hints of gold at the core. It forms little to no head and leaves behind minimal lacing.

Nose: explodes with rye followed by waves of subtle juniper berry. Hints of honey flow up the nose if you really sniff.

Palate: gentle and clean. Definitely a medium bodied beer, but lacks complexity. The black chai tea sits on the tongue nicely, but not long enough to enjoy. The rye and honey also present.

Finish: Medium to short finish, really can't tell, but either way ,this beer lacks the most here and this is where this beer falls apart for me. Most Dogfish beer's end with a flair this one sort of falls flat and looses flavor.

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Photo of axeman9182
3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the DFH brewpub in Rehoboth Beach, this one was served in a tall, thin glass.

Sah'tea pours a crystal clear orange, with absolutely no head or lacing to speak of. The nose is very reminiscent of a hefeweizen, big banana notes up front, with a spicy background presence. Unlike a traditional hefe though, that spice isn't straight clove, but a bit more peppery. The flavor is a bit more balanced and complex. Some fruity berry notes join the banana to create a base that supports the spicing. The black pepper definitely comes through clearly, as does a certain herbal quality that I'll attribute to the black tea. The other spices aren't nearly as pronounced, but instead act as a bridge between the tea and pepper. The body is pretty much middle of the road for a beer that's up at about 9%, but the carbonation is just a little bit lacking, a little bit more would make the beer seem a bit more lively. The first of DFH's Ancient Ales line that I tried was Theobroma a while back, and that one kept me from trying another until now, but Sah'tea has made me much more eager to check out the rest. An interesting and tasty brew.

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Photo of ToAzwethinkweizm
4.24/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Date: 30 April 2011
Glass: Standard 10oz snifter
Type: 750ml bottle, capped. Vintage "2010B"

Beer flight, taken from notes:

Appearance: Slightly cloudy orange-yellow, 1-finger head reduces to hazy film, average lacing, small bubbles.

Smell: Starts with a hint of banana, tons of chai, heavy spiciness, Belgian-yeast strain, mild juniper.

Taste: Starts with sweet fruity banana, into spicy sweet chair, and a Belgian wheat crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Not overly sweet, touch of bitterness but brief, lots of banana left on palate.

Overall: Can I drink this back to back? No, but I can't stop drinking idea. Overall, share this with newcomers and experts. DFH wins again.

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Photo of nukem5
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Golden murkey mysterious as to what on Earth Dogfish Head could do with this combo of items.

S: Yeasty ,sweet, a citrusy/spicey somewhere poking around.

T: Awesome creation great blend of spicey / peppery hops and black tea. Shades of maltyness, yeasty yet juniper berries come thru sweet yet tart.

M: Very nice mouthfeel, good carbonation level.Rolls off tongue.

O: Very drinkable and very different.

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Photo of zaphodchak
4.07/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Goldenrod bod and thinnish whitish head that recedes quickly and laces adequately.

Nose is pungent bright fruits, very Belgian-ish and yeasty (characteristic of a Unibroue).

Quite mellow with a bit of black pepper, sort of vinous, some possible grapefruit here, but it's hard to pin down. Somehow, there's some bitterness to balance it out, but sahti suggests juniper rather than hops, or possibly tannin from the tea.

Mouthfeel is pretty standard, not watery, which is good.

Sahti probably shouldn't be this high of an ABV, but a worthwhile try nonetheless.

Edit: Tasting again, the chai is slightly more evident. It's kinda like the spice of a saison meets the body of a wheat doppelbock.

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Sah'tea from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 3.88 out of 5 with 1,838 ratings