Sah'tea | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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1,841 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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Ratings: 1,841 |  Reviews: 605
Photo of Slatetank
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle shared with tb 69 and later w/ abru17. Poured chilled into a goblet.
A - A light golden w/ amber highlights, mildly hazed w/ ½ inch of cream colored head. The cap falls to a ring after settling leaving no lace , a minute beading forms

S - Lots of juniper, mild tea and malt aroma w/ plenty of herbal odors which are fragrant and the juniper is the dominating scent which is sweet not bitter and not overly woody more berry-like

M - crisp and lively carbonation which has plenty of creamy effects on the palate. The feel has a mild fruity sweetness w/ subtle nutty textures and a lightly spiced finish.

T - A flavor that is both creamy/ mild malt nuttiness and herbal w/ a subtle spice from the juniper w/ a mellow warmth of alcohol. Sweet notes come through but the herbal quality is most prominent w/ a mild juniper woody element that has a sweet berry tea like flavor and the chai seems to give a vanilla like toasted bean flavor.

D - A slightly creamy/malty example w/ plenty of spiciness of chai and earthy seed like qualities. A very quaffable brew, quite a tasty version of a Sahti - I am glad I got the bottle which I preferred over the draft version.

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Photo of nrbw23
2.31/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A- Pours a hazy light orange color with a thin white head.

S- Smells of spices and quite a bit of tea. A touch of malts not really any hops here.

T- Lots of the chai. Could also pick up some spices and bready tastes. Again, chai seemed to dominate this one.

M- Fairly light to medium in body and same with the carbonation.

D- Did not like this one at all.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.19/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at Armanetti's a few day ago - first time in a long time that I've been stoked about a new Dogfish release. Shared with friends over dinner - served in a red wine glass (limited options at the restaurant).

A - A dime of quick-dissolving egg-white foam that leaves a ring and minimal lacing. Hazed golden apricot color with no obvious carbonation.

S - Chai! Tastes like more traditional Sahti (well, like the two other kinds I've had - neither of which was Finnish), but with Chai. The combination works really well strangely enough - I think there's enough overlap in the spices (cloves, cardamon, etc.) that the flavors blend seamlessly into one another. The medicinal herbs and juniper character starts to take over a bit as the brew warms up. I'm not getting any of the rye promised on the bottle.

T - The taste has less of the awesome chai notes, and more of the traditional herbal and juniper flavors. Not bad, just not nearly as interesting as the aroma. A bit of rye sourness comes out in the aftertaste.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation tingle, otherwise pretty smooth and satisfactory. Reminds me of the other Sahti that I've tried, so I guess it's style-appropriate.

D - For a 9% brew this is super drinkable. None of the taste aspects ever get out of hand (sweetness, medicinal, spice, etc.) and the ABV is incredibly well hidden, which is hit and miss with other DFH brews. While the carbonation is a little burning it never gets bloaty. I think all of us were sad when the bottle was emptied, and I strongly considering walking over the Armanetti's to get another one (until I realized it closes early on Sundays).

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Photo of ATPete
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

capped 750ml bottle

Cool label, as is expected from DFH. Pours a hazy orange brown color with a large fluffy peach colored head. Nice, lively aroma, chai tea, corriander, clove, honey, banana and a unique bitterness. Very sweet, honey notes again, some low laying smokiness, some spice, slightly bitter and herbal on the late finish, viscous but soft in body with no alcohol heat. Nothing screams Juniper except for that late bitterness, and its more twiggy than fruity. Not sure if this one was worth the hyped up waiting period, but a damn fine beer none the less. Better have friends with you if you're not a fan of sweet beers, more so picture a sweet hefe, with 9% abv.

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

Ahh.. after months of waiting, Sah'tea is finally here.. By far one of the most creative, unique (though, of course, something is unique or it isn't, there isn't a gradient of uniqueness), and interesting beers from Dogfish yet.. To the extent that, assuming you've done just a basica level of research into the beer before trying it, the level of anticipation is fairly huge. The pout is a surprisingly vibrant orange with a slight whitish head. Looks sort of like orange soda (moreso than, say, dayquil) with some deeper hues in the center. The aroma is spicy, very complex. The chai has a strong presence. There is a hint of maybe smoke (from the hot rocks?). The flavor is also extremely complex. Strong chai presence (though I don't like chai tea really, and I do like the beer). A bit of fruitiness from the juniper, and a lot of complex spices in it. NOT spice like black pepper in a belgian style, just a strange tea-like spice complexity. Mouth and Drionkability are typical of dogfish ales.. Mouth is on the lighter side of full-bodied and is somewhat reminiscient of a hefeweizen (as is its drinkability). It is very, very easily drinkable. I could see drinking 2 bottles and it hides the abv quite well. All around it isn't mind-blowing but it is very good and extremely interesting. Certainly not like anything else I've ever had

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Photo of WorldWideStout
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Just had on-tap at the Dogfish Head Alehouse in Gaithersburg.

First off, the abv is 9%.

Appearance was a bright yellow, a little cloudy but fairly bright.

Smell contained many spices, cardamom and orange being the most predominant.

Taste - despite the very interesting way it was made and the rare ingredients, it tasted like a pretty standard hefeweizen to me. Very well-balanced, in fact, which is rare for Dogfish Head. Spices did not dominate. I could tell it was more complex than most hefeweizens, but it was hard to distinguish why.

Mouthfeel was fairly light, normal for its style.

Drinkability - fairly good because of its balance.

Overall, I was slightly disappointed. Dogfish Head is my favorite brewery, but this and the Theobroma, despite the unique ingredients and history behind them, have not had the punch that their other rarer beers have. Sah'tea is definitely worth a try, especially for hefeweizen lovers, but the taste wasn't anything exceptional.

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

On-tap at the brewpub, served in a small pilsner glass. Appeared a bright, but hazy, yellow with a white head. I know Sam put a lot of work into this, but to me it really just tastes like an over-spiced wit. There's a hit of sweet, fruity berries and juniper spice plus a not of black pepper, but this beer comes off like a mess and its hard to understand the layers that were put into it. For what it's worth, I'd suggest dialing the recipe back a bit and letting more individual flavors standout.

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Photo of Casey10
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I found this to be a good beer the ABV is listed as 9.0 ABV on the bottle. I have submitted a update to BA.

This beer reminds me of a alot of some Belgian beers while I can say I have never had this style before.

A - is a light orange haze with small head of foam when poured.

S - Can smell the berries maybe faint citrus, earthy.

T - better as it warms up taste a lot like some belgians I have had in the past. again very earthy.

M - Dry mouthfeel almost wine like.

D - I can tell this is good. I am not sure if it my stlye but good.

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Photo of IBUnit63
4.02/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

So...Chai tea and juniper berries, huh? Only other Sahti I've tried was from Nogne Ø so don't confuse me with any maven of the style...the Duvel tulip seems like it'll work just fine for this one. Mild "pffft" of the cap.

Pours a very cloudy, farmhouse-ish flat and ultra viscous honey gold with a fair amount of lemon pith. Relatively translucent - active yet sparse carbonation is visible from the bottom up. One downer is really no head to speak of - just a couple of yeast wisps. This is really almost gelatinous, it's so thick.

Well, I can definitely make out the juniper and a little honey with a lot of deep sweetness. Can make out the spicing of the Chai tea very nicely. Not sure of the style guidelines but this smells pretty damn good to me. Just a little bit of mild yeast electricity here.

As comforting and viscous as it looks and smells, it rolls down the gullet the same way. There are all of the nice elements of juniper, Chai, clove and a light note of honey sweetness. A bit of dryness from the yeast clearing everything out keeps everything pretty clean, even with the gravity of it all. Quite good. It's not the shock to the system that the new(er) world Nogne Ø offering was - this seems more subtle and mellow.

I really enjoy the palate feel of this one. It has a heavy quotient at first but the yeast and spiciness really dry it up well for the weight class while also keeping it very clean and refreshing on the finish. Almost spritely from the juniper (which is not overstated...its own blessing) and the mild Chai tea spicing. Very even-keeled and excellent.

First Sammy C. digs out the Old Odense Ale in a collaboration with NB. Now this. Nothing like playing old B-sides people haven't heard in a while...or ever! This is a fine offering that drinks quite well - maybe the heft and viscosity make it at least somewhat of a sipper, but it's enjoyable all the way through. Nice job.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cloudy yellow body with a thin white head.

There are lots of spices in the nose here backed up with some fruitiness that is both yeasty and actual fruit-like in its origins.

I probably would have guessed this was some sort of wit. Spices are everywhere and rather varied in their flavors; I only really pick up coriander and cammomile. Next comes a slight berry-type flavor and a yeasty bannana flavor. Overall, I would describe the overall flavor profile of this beer as a wit mixed with some sort of tea.

Mouthfeel is thick, full, almost creamy. Slightly coating like a toned down braggot.

I liked this beer, and it is rather easy to drink. However, at ten bucks a pour it is not easy to afford.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draught @ BTAH.

Pours cloudy yellow with a slight orange tint, small white head.

Nose is very wit like - citrus, clover, yeast, bit of banana.

Taste is yeast, citrus, spicy, dry, round. Just a bit of smooth, tart fruit presence from the juniper berries, but otherwise very similar to a Wit, and a good one at that.

Light body, creamy but crisp carbonation. Very nice.

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Photo of HopDerek
4.42/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a hazy straw gold with thin bright white head. Good retention and some nice sticky lacing. Smells of fruits, citrus, wheat, honey, yeast, spices, and some musty attic. Tastes of oranges, melon, and pears up front then honey, wheat, yeast, banana, and clove along with some other spices like coriander and ginger. Some funky earth notes make an appearance before some lemon zest finishes off the flavor palate. Medium in body with great carbonation, very light but poppy. Smooth and crisp, very easy to drink, well balanced, and unique.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.51/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a fully clouded orange yellow with a thin white head. Nose is interesting. It's like a mix of a hefeweizen and a touch of fruit. Flavor is extremely smooth. Not really sure how to quantify it. It's like a hefe with it's earthiness. But there is another level of earthiness to it. Fruits, flowers, and all the nice pretty things Mother Earth has to offer. Just absolutely smooth. Feel is very slick and smooth on liquid. Carbonation is low and noticeable but doesn't interfere with the liquid feel. I have to say, this is a damn good and drinkable beer. Dogfish delivers again, but with something I could drink 4 or 5 of. Really an excellent beer.

Bottle this and put it in the right hands and you've got a great rival to wine for something to drink alongside food.

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Photo of extremelybland
4.97/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed 2 pints of this at the brewpub alongside some of the best calamari you'll find anywhere. I had zero expectations on this one, since I had never heard of it, never seen it, and knew nothing. One never knows what to expect from Sam and the boys.

Poured a cloudy yellow with an orange tinge, thin white lacing remains intact.

Aroma bright banana and lemon; sour... obviously a wheat yeast doing the work on this one.

Taste.. thick rolling mouth-feel meets perfect carbonation to form an almost neutral feel. Becomes more and more quaffable with every sip. Flavor hits with a barnyardy orange with an amazing clean finish of lemon and gentle spice. DFH says we've got india black tea in here.. and indeed the finish reminds me of a sip of clean hard water black tea. Hops barely show in the background but provide a most perfect balance. Amazing!

Drinkability will rival anything you can think of, and sitting there with their buttermilk calamari made for a near euphoric experience.

PLEASE somebody tell them to put this in a champagne bottle and let us all have some more of what might be the most well-balanced thing to ever flow from our friends at Dogfish Head!

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Photo of dashmartino
4.72/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This stuff is great! Bartender poured it for me, kind of looked like a weizen at first. Smelled like a weizen, kind of tasted like one. I've never had a saison before. This one is really drinkable, wonderful sweet taste. Drink this one before it's gone, or tell dogfish head to make this the beer that makes it out of the Rehoboth Brewpub into production!

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I found this on at the DFH pub.

This beer came a rather foggy honey-peach color with a light collar of white.

Smells of sour, juicy oranges, watermelon and fresh tomatoes. The veggie character of this one on top of the fruit caught me off guard.

Tastes of a similar cocktail of fruit that's quite busy in my mouth. There's also a flavor that reminds me of the sweeter smells of an old decomposing log and a dryer musky yeast. To round things off, there's a buzz of coriander and a lot of other spices that make me want to call this one a wit. This makes me think of some cross between the backbone of DFH's blood orange hefeweizen, and a wit beer.

Feels quite thick and resistant with a little swarm of bubbles. This leaves a little film in my mouth. Checking the style guidelines, I guess that's the way it ought to feel.

This one was really heavy, but again, that seems to be par for the course. I couldn't help but keep thinking that this was just another permutation of the BOH.

-Here's what the DFH website has to say.

"A modern update on a 9th century Finnish proto-beer. Brewed with rye, we caramelize the wort with white hot river rocks, then ferment it with a German Weizen yeast. In addition to juniper berries foraged directly from the Finnish country-side we added a sort of tea made with corriander, caramamom, lemon grass, Indian Black Tea, and ramps leaves. The spicing is subtle and balanced and Sahtea is a highly-quaffable, truly-unique brew with a full-mouth feel."

I guess I wasn't that far off.

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Sah'tea from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 3.88 out of 5 with 1,841 ratings