Noble Rot
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Noble RotNoble Rot
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Belgian Saison
Ranked #958
Ranked #15,223
3.88 | pDev: 12.89%
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States
Very Good
Noble RotNoble Rot
Notes: This saison-esque science project gets complexity and fermentable sugars from two unique wine grapes sourced with our friends at Alexandria Nicole Cellars in Prosser, Wash.

The first addition is unfermented juice, known as must, from viognier grapes that have been infected with a benevolent fungus called botrytis. This noble rot reduces the water content in the grapes while magnifying their sweetness and complexity. The second is pinot gris must intensified by a process called dropping fruit, where large clusters of grapes are clipped to amplify the quality of those left behind.

Noble Rot is brewed with pils and wheat malts and fermented with a distinct Belgian yeast strain. It has a spicy white wine body and a dry, tart finish.
Reviews: 341 | Ratings: 1,582 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of MikeWard
3.59/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into a tulip. Bottled on date has worn away, but this is several years old at least.

Clear yellow body with a small white head leaving a little lacing. Decent carbonation.

A very faint light malty aroma.

Initial bitey on the tongue, this quickly fades away to reveal a slightly dry and somewhat sweet grapiness. The Saison base is merely a suggestion.

Mouth between medium and full. Finish a grapey wash.

Overall, and I freely admit to not being a big fan of grape must in beer, the grape factor dominates, and I got tired of this beer pretty quickly.

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Photo of 60sFolks
4.06/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: very light golden color being a dark Beer Drinker I am not very enticing by the color.

S: distinct fruity smell.

T: I can taste the grapes all right but it is that peachy flavor that is the most distinct.

F: a very light feel but one must not forget this is a 9% ABV

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Photo of colts9016
4.17/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A frothy white head that has fair retention. The color of the beer is a pale yellow with a lot of carbonation bubbles.

A strong fruity esters, citrus, earthy, grass, oranges, a slight farm funk, and toasted malt.

A very rich earthy, oranges, and floral notes. A slight sour note with some funk. A nice toasted malt, grass and yeasty.

The mouthfeel of the beer is clean, crisp.

A very nice crisp easy drinking beer with a slight alcohol warming. The beer is a fizzy goodness in a bottle.

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Photo of barczar
3.92/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Definitely white grape must dominant, sweet, floral, with grainy undertones and a bit of yeasty funk.

Flavor is very vinous initially, tart, with a light biscuit malt sweetness that turns dry in the finish. Would be great for a wine drinker.

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Photo of EvoRich
4.06/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look: Pours very fizzy. Head fades to nearly nothing. Pale straw yellow in color.

Smell: Grapes, and yeast. Almost like a grape, but dry wine.

Taste: Upfront a slightly sour taste. Grapes, citrus, dry finish. Once again, similar to wine.

Feel: Light and fizzy. A lot of carbonation.

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Photo of stevoj
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at brewery. Light golden straw colored pour, airy head. Wine/grapes come forth in the aroma, blend well for a nice tart, fruity taste. Clean but short finish. Solid Saison throughout.

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Photo of JJKBeerLvr
3.84/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 22oz can into pint glass in January 2016. Brewed date on the can was 9/17/2015.

Appearance: Golden with white head. Beer color is a little hazy, and some carbonation. Head is thick, and leaves a thick film on the glass.

Smell: Aroma a mix of sweet aromas and some bitter hops. typical Saison sweetness.

Taste: The fruity flavor is very forward. There is some tartness from hops, along with some earthy tones. The fruit dominates, but it is not overly sweet.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and smooth. Strong alcohol, which confirms the 9.0% listed.

This is a sweet Saison, and tastes sweet. It is not too sweet, and is interesting to drink for something different. I would drink this again, but not more than 1 at a time.

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Photo of Sabtos
3.04/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Gah, really thought this was going to be a competitor to some other wild grape sours out there but it was kind of musty and stale tasting with weird darker toast flavors.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.99/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Noble Rot pours a hazish golden color with a nice larger lacing head. There is a musty wine, grape aroma. The taste has a musty wine/grape flavor, with a slightly tart but crisp aroma flavor. Nice body good flavors. Overall its not too different from their 61 min. IPA, bigger must grape flavors.

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Photo of VABA
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-Pours a light golden color with a nice head and lacing
A-Aroma has various spice hints
T-The taste follows the nose with a generous spice flavor
M-A medium bodied well carbonated beer
O-A good Saison

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Photo of Antg8989
4.09/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear straw colored with an off white head. Lacing is minimal. Aroma is estery and random hints of watermelon?? Taste is also estery and grainy with hints of lemongrass. There's a slight spiciness to this one, but it is very minimal. Tastes like a sparkling white wine. The feel is light/medium bodied with a high carbonation. The finish is dry. Overall, the beer tasted like it matured well. It's a solid example of the style but strong in aspects I'm not a fan of and weak in aspects I would have preferred more of.

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Photo of erconn0r
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I made Norther Brewers home brew, "Saison Du Vin" and it is now 1 year old. Compared to this home brew, the Dogfish's Noble Rot was sweeter. The ROH content for me is a little high as I enjoy the session component of a beer. I also watered it down w carbonated water & it was still great. The noble rot element, is very subtle when compared to a non rotted grape extract.... Still an excellent sipper.. I was surprised it did not blow past my home brew.... My home brew is better than I expected! Anyone know what yeast Dogfish used? I used belle saison....

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Photo of BeerDawgs
3.64/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

L - Pilsner yellow, with clarity and not much head

S - Slightly fruity and sweet, grapes for sure. Not much else.

T - It tastes like a fruit beer, not getting much saison or strong ale. Grapes. ABV definitely hidden.

F - Light bodied and thin.

O - It tastes like a spiked grape juice.

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5/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Nice very nice
Great beer.
Lots of bubbles and a fluffy white head like sparkling wine or champagne. .
Taste is very winey like if for example. . beer and champaign had sex . This would be the love child.
Was very similar to goose island Sofie.. but not a elegant.
Over all i very much enjoyed every sip..
This would be the baby. .

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Photo of dcotom
4.42/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750-ml bottle into wine glass. This self-described "sorta-saison" pours a light coppery color with a slight purplish tinge, with a brilliant white head that dissipates rather quickly. Aroma presents elements of both beer and wine, with some light malts, yeasts, and green apple. These elements are prominent on the palate as well. Finishes dry and crisp, with some lingering tart cider notes. Unique concept, very well executed.

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Photo of Budlum
3.96/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The body is a clear straw yellow showing tons of bubbles and a fluffy white head. Smell is sharp wine on the nose which certainly makes sense for the theme - lots of sour apple. The flavors are dry and tart like a spicy white wine, no surprises, but a certain pleasant sweetness opens as the beer warms. An interesting experiment that I'm glad I tried, but wouldn't go out of my way to get this again.

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Photo of jzlyo
3.49/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Aroma is citrus, grapes and mild earthy notes. The flavor is grapes, grainy malts, citrus, medium to full body, musty notes and a tart/mildly sweet finish.

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Photo of OrestesMethuon
4.39/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Fresh, dry, musty pinot gris nose; very nice pure-yellow pils colors; extremely clean, clarion-tart sweetness, ultimately mild yet concentrated and piquant. A very tasty, refreshing experiment, with a hint of wildness but a very hemmed-in—almost, dare I say, "normal"—amount of experimentation. Good reverence for dry, bright whites—never thick enough to feel like a wit—ensconced in the flesh of a pale pils.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"We brew this unique, sorta-saison with a little help from our friends at Alexandria Nicole Cellars using botrytis-infected Viognier grape must. This "noble rot" magnifies its complexity and long finish." Brewed in the style of a Saison with grape must added. Available in 750 ml. bottles and on seasonal draft.

Poured from a 750 ml. bottle to a Dogfish Head signature glass. Served above 56 degrees Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a crisp, fizzy ecru white head over a pale straw amber body with ample, lively carbonation and high clarity. Retention is poor and there is no visible lacing. 2.5

(Smell) Aromas of fermented white grape juices, cracker malt, a touch of peppery spice and a moderate acidity. Some delicate sweetness from the malt and fruit profiles combined although the overall aroma is fairly dry. Potency is moderate. 3.75

(Taste) Sweet fermented grape juices, lightly vinous with a light alcohol presence, sweet pale and cracker malt body, clean with light yeast character. Finish is moderately dry. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, residual, silky and medium dry. Carbonation is high, generating a moderate frothiness and a full crisp finish. Body is shy of medium for the style, medium overall. Balance is moderately sweet over dry and acidic. Alcohol presence is light and there are no off characters. 3.5

(Overall) I was hoping that the use of grape must would not be singled out in this beer, but unfortunately Noble Rot suffers from a considerable limitation on flavor profile. The grape must generates a full juicy white grape profile with little accenting from the malt body nor from the yeast character, which is very mild for a saison, creating little to no perceived spiciness, barnyard or funk character. Arguably a halfway decent crossover beer to and from wine, notably for the very limited crowd who favors sweet dessert wines with little to no fermented character nor acidity. I found that Dogfish Head did a better job of utilizing grape must in their Sixty-One Ale. 3.5

Dogfish Head Brewery's
Noble Rot Ale

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Photo of Mehinaman
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is very good. Sweet, tart and refreshing. My only gripe is that maybe it is just a tad bit to sweet, but at the same time I expect it would taste great on a really hot summer day. Almost tastes like champagne more than beer

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Photo of jeffjeff1
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this a while ago but still had my notes and never put it in here.
Appearance- pale yellow color, thick foamy head, very nice lacing
Smell- citrus fruit(lemon), wheat
Taste- white grape, lemon, wheat
Mouthfeel- medium bodied
Drinkability- I thought it was very good. I loved it.

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Photo of Jonny41
4.01/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

unique brew the closest wine/beer cross over i have found.
This would be a great one to get your wine friends to try or to share a beer with the wife that doesn't drink beer.
Well paired with food, wouldnt want more than one pour with out pairing,, sips well.

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Photo of J-Rye
4.19/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750mL at Cloverleaf in West Caldwell, NJ, into a snifter. Very interesting beer that developed complexity with each sip. I bought a second bottle at a good shop and was able to cook with it, making a french-style butter sauce with the beer. I paired the meal with the beer. Very nice and interesting beer. I will get it again, I think.

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Photo of HattedClassic
4.04/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice white and foamy head that dissipates quickly but looks nice if kept alive by a glass with a nucleation point. The beer itself is a clear pale gold bordering on a golden straw.

The beer smell is absolutely wonderful. The smell has both the qualities of a saison and a white wine (pinot gris and viognier). The saison smell comes from a nice bitter hop smell and earthy wheat smell. The wine grapes add a nice fruit and tartness to the smell. Instead of working against each other, the smells combine quite nicely to give off a tart and sweet smelling saison.

The beer taste is also pretty good. Even though the beer has the same notes as the smell, the tartness from the grapes seem to be pretty strong. However, it complements the hop and wheat rather than overwhelming it. The taste also has a slight alcohol note.

The mouthfeel is decent. The main issue is that it feel heavier than a saison should be and the experience suffers a little. The beer has very little carbonation to it but enough to give it a little texture. The beer seems to be somewhere between a wine and a beer. Too smooth and heavy for a beer but too much carbonation to be a wine.

Overall, a fairly good offering and a nice saison for the colder warm days.

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Photo of dbl_delta
3.54/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle dated December 2013 (!) so more than a year old. Poured into pint glass. Straw color, with a fine white head. Moderate carbonation. Interesting blend of wine and beer. Reminds me of champagne in some respects, but with a lot of other stuff going on. I'm not a big fan of Belgian style beers, so my review probably reflects my own personal preferences. Light and refreshing. Quite dry.

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Noble Rot from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 1582 ratings