Poppaskull | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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317 Ratings

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
This time around we brewed at our brewery in Milton, DE and made a deep, golden ale spiced with cardamom and fermented using a robust Belgian yeast strain. One third of the volume was then aged for 6 months in oak brandy barrels. Spice, esters, and sweet brandy dominate the aroma. A robust 10% abv is rounded by caramel and vanilla notes from the wood with a slight spiciness coming from the yeast.

20 IBU

Added by KickInTheChalice on 11-17-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 317 |  Reviews: 165
Reviews by UMNbeerhunter:
Photo of UMNbeerhunter
3.67/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Town Hall stemware on 6/15/11.

Pours a light clear golden straw color withy a fluffy white head that dissipates leaving no lacing at all. I would like to see some more head retention and lacing for this brew as well as a deeper color it looked like I poured an adjunct lager into my glass.

Smells of yeast and spices as well as some hints of fruit. SOme lemon zest and orange peel. While there are some nice aromas it was somewhat subdued. I would like the smells so have been more powerful.

Taste has a lot of booze to it. It also has that belgian yeast flavor as well as lots of spices. This is not my favorite tasting beer.

Mouthfeel is medium in weight. It has some nice carb bite on the tongue.

Overall this beer is a one and done for me. It really missed its mark on the the taste and the pour appearance was not what I was expecting.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Marc33
1/5  rDev -73.8%

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to someone for sharing this at the most recent Freetail bottle release party. Sorry for not remembering who provided it.

The beer pours a golden-orange color with a white head. The aroma is full of herbs and spices. I get a ton of rosemary as well as some sage and coriander. There is also a little bit of citrus in the aroma.

The flavor is also very complex. I get a lot of wheat and biscuit notes with the same herbs that I found in the aroma. The oak-aging also come through and I get some tannins in the flavor. The beer is fairly dry and very spicy and herbal. The Belgian yeast also comes through in the flavor, adding to the overall complexity.

Medium to high carbonation and medium mouthfeel. Very easy to drink.

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Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of 1Adam12
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of Ceej1978
3.89/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a chilled mug.

Appearance - Nice cloudy golden color with a 2 finger head. Decent retention. Eventually gives way to a creamy ring around the sides.

Smell - Fantastic! Very interesting. It has a yeasty, bready smell along with some toasty notes mixed with fruit. Also a hint of cinnamon.

Taste - Here's where you understand this craft beers complexity. The taste is very close to the yeasty, bready smell but you also get a bit of old barrel aged bourbon, but not so much so that it becomes boozy. All that is covered slightly with a floral spiciness. The oaky aftertaste lingers just for a few seconds. Very nice.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with decent carbonation. Seems like it would be heavier with all the complex tastes and smells but it's surprisingly smooth.

Drinkability - For a Belgian with a 9.5% abv I think it's very drinkable. It's not something that I would casually do though, this brew needs your attention. I will definitely have more of this but I will probably split a bottle with a friend. Maybe two. Overall I think it's a fantastic and interesting beer.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.93/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Came out a darker fuller bodied gold color. Why did I think this was going tobe a brown ale? Aroma, a weird funky wood to it, belgian style yeast aroma, lemon, saisonesque.

Taste, tons of wood, that palo whatever stuff. Definitely leaves a distinct taste. Seems very much like chardonnay aged oak. Can't put my finger on it, but seems like it was aged in a non bourbon spirit. Obscure wood flavor really buries a lot on this beer. Definitely qualifies as different, even for two breweries renowned for being different. Cardamom is definitely in there. Alcohol too pronounced for me, all the lesser desireable flavors seem to be large and in charge here.

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Photo of chinchill
3.16/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poppaskull 750 ml bottle served in a Green Man snifter after the RNWG-2014
Hazy golden color with an irregular appearance. The head was thin and short-lived.
Aroma: heavy cardamon; vague additional spicing; moderate funk; bright fruitiness.

O: Over the top. Two great breweries join forces to produced a weak product? No small batch trial run for this one, I bet.

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Photo of jeonseh
3.12/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - cloudy, a bit hazy, with light carbonation. Color is dark yellow with a brown tint. Small white head sitting on top.

S - the main scent is banana with a hint of bubblegum and clove. A hint of cinnamon mixes in there that is a bit unique fir the style

T - taste is banana with a hint of bubblegum; bit of malty sweetness dominates the flavor with a hint of oak of the end; bit sweet for my taste and much sweeter than the noise led on to

MF - bit thick with a hint of syrup; light carbonation on the back end that attempts to break down some of the sweet, stickiness of the beer but fails

D - Happy this was a one off since that is about the only time I would drink it. Too sweet for my taste especially for the style

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Photo of girllovesbier
5/5  rDev +31.2%

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.37/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

(Served in a chalice) bottled 2010E
A- This beer has a light hazy light orange body with a sticky white film of head and a gentle carbonation of microbubbles.
S- There is a dry yeasty phenol that takes on a sweet musky aroma of men's calonge as it opens up. This is followed by a dry green grapefruit aroma and a soft bright but musty cardamom finish.
T- The flavorful yeasty flavor blends with a green earthy bite of hops and cardamom blended. There is a slightly sweet finish that rounds out the flavor nicely.
M- The medium-light mouthfeel and soft fizz compliments the flavor and there is no alcohol heat noticed.
D- This beer has a nice triple base with good yeast character that supports the green cardamom flavor without it becoming overpowering. The brandy barrel notes are very subtle and only add a dryness to the background but it adds a nice compliment to the rest of the beer. This is a creative twist on the triple, and it is very interesting to drink.

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Photo of curtiswvu
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into red wine stem.

A- Pours a nice carmel orange with a light bubbly haze. Thin pure white head, slight alcohol feeting. A pretty beer, could use a touch more head. Reminds me of a lot of other beers in look.

S- Grapes, Citris, light French Oak. Very fresh.

T- The brandy stands out but is kept in check by the fruit. Fades to all i can describe as a citrus bitter and cereal taste. Sweet yet sour. I can put my finger on it but this reminds me of some belgian i recently had at Hopleaf.

M- light almost like champagne. Probably the best attiribute.

D- I could session this but the high ABV will probably nail me as I finish this bottle. I can just foresee the hangover.

I didnt think I would like this one going into it, not my typical style but another solid offering from DFH.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Came in a snifter. Cloudy yellow/orange with a one finger head. Decent retention leaving a ring of bubbles around the top.

S: Has a nice spice aroma, some pepper, clove, and lemon. There is also some cinnamon and apple. I also get some bread and yeast.

T: A nice spiciness up front and some lemon/lemon zest and some apples. There is the distinct belgian/yeast flavor and a touch of wood from the palo.

M/D: Great carbonation with a nice light body considering the higher abv. Overall I like it, don't love it.

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Photo of thomismydad
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of BriPete
2.75/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

750 into a tulip glass.

Light copper color, good clarity, two fingers of off-white, long-lasting head.

Complex aroma; lemon, spices, Belgian yeast, no hop aroma.

Decent mouthfeel, medium-high carbonation.

Taste: not a fan. Cardamom was overbearing and masked whatever other flavors were trying to emerge. In spiced beers I like the spice to subtly add to the whole, like coriander does in a well-made witbier. In this beer the spice, overpowered everything.

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Photo of alamode
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of cokes
3.3/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Lightly hazy daffodil yellow with a quick ivory rise that settles quickly towards the collars of the glass. Patchy lacing.
Sweet, lightly doughy nose, suggesting powdered sugared doughnuts, rock candy, and h-test of resiny, floral/minty/sweet cardamom. Some lime-y citrus peel teases out as it warms.
The mouth follows suit, bringing a template of a Belgian Strong Golden Ale: doughy, sugary sweet, and phenolic yeastiness suggestive of clove, and/or other spices. Here the cardamom overrides everything. It's fucking huge, and basically obnoxious, but I don't hate the flavor because it's fairly dynamic with it's floral, miny, sprucy, peppery, resiny, shiftiness. The Brandy barrel oak-aging doesn't even show up. There is a bit of woody, cinnamon/cedar nuance late, but had I not know better, I'd have credited it to the nuclear cardamom blast. This is a one note beer, and that note is C(ardamom)-Major. I almost like it, in a curried sort of way, but I'll even say "when". Too much, and not enough of other things.
Syrupy full bodied, with a fizzy up-front carbonation that dwindles with time. It's pretty much in line with most U.S. Belgian interpretations. A little heavy sweet, and a lot undercarbonated.
There is not much depth here, especially given the Dogfish/Three Floyds collaboration. A very basic Belgian-esque ale, spiked with a motherlode of cardamom.

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Photo of secondtooth
4.09/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Golden appearance here, with substantial lacing.

Nose is sweet, with accents of grapes, honey, and yeastiness. Already impressive and unique!

The palate is an explosive mix of fruitiness (like wine) with a swift kick of peppery spice at the finish, and a nice alcohol burn to follow it all up.

As the brew warms, the coriander spice becomes even more prominent.

Unique, ambitious, and a sensory experience that will remain in memory for some time.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.47/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

At first glance I thought this would be a collaboration with Ska Brewing, given the skull on the label and what not. I also thought it would be dark. I was way off, but pleasantly surprised.

It pours a deep golden orange body beneath a two-fingered head of creamy white foam. Massive amounts of protein can be seen in suspension, giving it a hazy appearance; and the few fine bubbles seen rising travel fairly slowly, obviously working a bit to make their way through. Not much carbonation is indicated, but the head remains intact. As I tilt the glass back and forth it forms fairly thick, solid sheets of bright white lace; but if I hold it in any one position for even just a few seconds they fall apart rather quickly - odd for a beer that appears fairly viscous.

The nose is malty sweet and floral, and/or I'm guessing woody. I find it kind of like cedar but softer. It has a delicate, very gentle spiciness to it. The label states that it was "aged in oak brandy barrels" - Ahh, I find the brandy; and wait, it also mentions green cardamom and (pulling one from the spice rack) I see that that's exactly the floral/cedar aroma I'm finding. It's not nearly as full blown as the actual green cardamom seed pod, but it's certainly interesting.

The flavor is more sugary sweet than simply malt based, and that same floral and woody flavor is present along with some citrusy fruit. There's a subtle tang to it, and it takes on a grassy edge towards the finish, which simply seems to soften and fade away. It's smooth and elegant straight across without much variation, although it does dry nicely at the end. There's definitely a kind of floral component to it, be it from green cardamom and/or a combination with the yeasty fruitiness or not. Regardless, as it warms the actual yeast flavor becomes more apparent. It becomes a touch chalky, but still floral, and gently fruity like orange or tangerine, and some minor spiciness becomes apparent at the back of the throat in the lingering finish. Hmm, perhaps there's a drop of brandy as well; but otherwise the alcohol is not really apparent as it's masked by delicate spiciness.

In the mouth it's medium-full with a lightly viscous feel. There is some carbonation there, and it gently bristles the palate. Nice. That's needed with all of the gently syrupy malt.

Overall I find it a really unique beer that seems to find great focus in the spice and wood and floral character that it generates. It's not widely complex, but it's compelling. With a touch more dryness and a bit more carbonation you could call this a saison and no one would argue it - but why bother? It is what it is, and apparently it's a new style all its own.


 2,701 characters

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

750ml bottle, split and served with some curried cauliflower. consumed once before, but not rated

appearance: served in my great lakes chalice - hazy straw orange body, light beige foam with a nice ring of lace

smell: clean and medicinal, herbal, chamomile, notes of oak, brandy, cardamom

taste: interesting offering - a bit heavy on cardamom which makes this quite a bit herbal, notes of chamomile, orange peel, sugary sweet, white pepper, fresh cut flowers.

mouthfeel: medium body, nice moderate carbonation

overall: i like this better the 2nd time around, it paired quite well with the curry

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Photo of Nickfellow007
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

Photo of thecheekybrewer
4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a beautiful deep amber color with about a finger or so of soapy head that recedes pretty quickly. It's quite clear and it looks (and sounds) quite carbonated. Lacing is prominent and watery.

Smell: Smell fresh fruits like apple, pear, a little plum, on a bed of citrus. Smells a little musky or bready. There's a little bit of a flowery aroma, possibly mixed with some vanilla or caramel. Smells sweet and deadly.

Taste: A very complex brew. First taste is extremely fresh and crisp, like biting into a juicy orange or tangerine. There's definitely a syrupy, cloying quality to it, but it doesn't hang around long enough to be annoying. Quite hoppy but not bitter - a very well balanced beer. Finishes sweet and tangy, like a citrus cough-drop might. It's quite good.

Mouthfeel: For as daunting as the label is, this brew drinks really easily. The carbonation bubbles dance on the tongue and add a fresh quality to the beer. Finish is syrupy and hangs around a while - sort of coats the tongue.

Overall: Wow, this is a good beer. Perfect for a hot day when you need a kick in the pants. At 9.5%, this pint is going to be with me for a few hours. Might be a little irritatingly sweet for those who hang around higher IBUs, but still a very enjoyable beer. Bravo, DFH & 3F.

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Photo of cjacobsen
3.72/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750 into a snifter. Poured a golden color, clear and with a bit of white head on it.

Smelled sweet and malty. Had a spice aroma to it lent by the cardamom.

The taste was sweet. The candi sugar was very brilliant in the flavor. The cardamom was pretty potent in there, almost overspiced the flavor a little. Didn't get much of the oak barrels in the flavor which leads me to the question of why even bother with putting 35% of it into barrels?

Had a nice balance for the most part. At first the carbonation was a little forward but after airing out a little it was nice.

Doesn't seem like a strong pale ale, it's more like a strong belgian golden ale. A bit heavy on the spice and sweetness for my liking. I think this was a decent brew to give a go at and I enjoyed drinking it, but seems like a lot of effort went into this brew for not that much of an outcome.

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Photo of Gonzoillini
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

Photo of blknikon
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

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Poppaskull from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 3.81 out of 5 with 317 ratings