Noble Rot | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

very good
338 Reviews
Noble RotNoble Rot

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by paulozanello on 02-20-2011

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Reviews: 338 | Ratings: 1,570
Photo of nickthetick
5/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: pours an absolutely clear and crisp looking straw yellow with a lot of bubbling forming a half finger of snowy white head in my "La Fin Du Monde" tulip glass. The head hangs for a good while. Some spotty bubbles cling to the glass till the finish.

S: the nose starts very musty, extremely wine like. I'm not a wine connoisseur and couldn't tell you what type of grape is in it if it were not for the label. There is a little malty notes but the must and white wine come out first and foremost.

T: unlike the nose there is a bit of malt first on tongue and some subtle hop earthy ness. The wine comes in the middle of the taste and overwhelms the palate and leaves a bit astringent and acidic.

M: it's medium bodied, almost light on the tongue. Extremely effervescent like a champagne, acidic and astringent. It's just barely dry. Very well balanced and pleasing.

O: this is an amazing beer, an extraordinary experience. I would buy this again in a heartbeat, I could see pairing this with many, many different foods. Defineatly a one of a kind experience.

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Photo of yuenglingfan101
5/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into my trusty pint glass. Nice clear looking beer reminds me of a moscato di asti and it tastes like a white grape wine. overall appearance is perfect and smells perfect tastes perfect and overall the perfect beer for a white wine lover cant say enough about this beer

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5/5  rDev +26.9%
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 Oakenator
4.97/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Off the charts excellent but not your typical beer. As indicated it is borderline wine - a great bubbly Chardonnay like white. Nose is white grape, sour and some citrus. On the tongue beer is not the first thing present - you almost have to search for the beer. For fans of wine and beer with an open mind this is a great surprise. Texture up front is excellent fading only slightly through the back with a lingering white grape and lemon flavor. Could be considered in the sour class but i think its actually in a class by itself. Excellent pairing with sushi. Thank you DFH for going outside of the box.

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Photo of DestinyRidge
4.83/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Brilliant color... Crystal Clear with a lot of carbonation. Nice lace

S - Some wine notes. Almost a spice but some Citrus that reminds me of the Viognier

T - Tons of Wine notes. Crisp and Clean, almost creamy. I Like the malt Awesome finish. VERY Nice

MF - Great Mouth feel.. I'd say medium body with nice carbonation. very wine like though

Overall - Great Beer/Wine?...and a definitely a "sorta" saison. maybe the most interesting beer I've had in a long long time... I'm interested to try and pair this with some different foods. Very drinkable, and i will be having this again.

Serving type: 750mL bottle

Reviewed on: 02-16-2012 5:30pm

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Photo of Ryanm1
4.82/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Was given a 22 ounce bottle of this as a gift. Poured it out into a pint glass about a month after recieving. A mediocre amount of white head.

Very golden in color. Transparent which differs from some Saisons which can be cloudy. Served very chilled. Grape effervescence in the bouquet. Fruity, floral smell.

The first sip sweetness was dectected. You can tell that belgian yeast was used for the fuity taste that had a hint of grapes. Upon research pinot gris grapes were used in the fermentation process. High 9% + abv.

One of the best beern I had in months.

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Photo of BWarrington
4.77/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tulip at 45 maybe 40. found this gem at whole foods

a- clear and gold with a white 2 finger head.

s- almost like a nice riesling wine. oak, citrus, and grape (very sexy)

t- has a nice grape flavor with some great citrus and oak tones(just as it smells)

m- farmhouse ales would be my favorite type of beer if they were not so dry. this is dry but not as bad as some others

o- im a huge saison dude and i would put this up in my top 5. ipa and stout guys will crush this beer but if you like sweet beers this one is for you. Its almost like a summer shandy except its a riesling instead of lemonade. if you see it buy it! and enjoy

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Photo of montelyo
4.77/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Viognier is my favorite white wine so I had to try this beer. The Viognier presents in both the aroma and taste. Like the wine, Noble Rot has a dry finish and is not overly sweet. The Saison fermentation comes through in the finish quite nicely. Whatever hopping was done does not interfere with but only complements the Viognier or Saison aspects, which is exactly what the drinker should expect.

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Photo of nate_nate_nate
4.74/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

If you're a saison/farmhouse lover, Noble Rot is a must have. A pleasing, refreshing sour grape taste from the must. The wheat and yeast are bright on the tongue. Has a remarkable finish that makes my mouth water. One of the few beers I always buy when I see it at the store. Perhaps my favorite domestic saison-like beer (and I like just about all of them).

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Photo of sailorastro
4.71/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Overall: DFH had me surprised with this one, a saison that is more or less billed as, "Grapes... with more grapes." Despite my pre-opinion, Noble Rot happily proved me wrong. It's much more than a saison or farmhouse, something I could see blazing its own clarification as a "dessert beer".

Appearance: Clear, golden color like molten gold. Mild, attractive carbonation rising to a thin, cludy head.

Smell: Grapes; wine; oatmeal; cane sugar.

Taste: It's hard to tell that you're drinking beer, because it has a Riesling flavor made rich and sweetened with the grapes. Flavors of oats, strawberry, and a tinge of bitters balance the beverage.

Mouthfeel: Light and crisp--this finished as clean as it tastes.

Sampled from a snifter

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Photo of chakadrum
4.7/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this at a festival at some point in the last year or two - I never expected they'd bottle it. When I saw it in the store, I had to grab a bottle (750ml).

I think you could convince a lot of people this was some unique style of wine rather than a beer. The taste reminds me very much of champagne and is much cheaper than something like Deus so that is a huge plus for me. It is a little tart, a little grape, a little barn.

Nice lacing and an incredibly clear crystal-yellow color.

Good sour/wine nose.

I have no doubt I will buy this one again. A fun unique saison.

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Photo of Tripel_Threat
4.68/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Served in a goblet at Ashley's Westland. Two fingers of bubbly head sat atop a pale gold/yellow brew, filled with carbonation. Head dissipates quickly. Smell is sweet, floral. Taste is much the same, sweet grape, with a dry, sort of metallic undercurrent. Pleasant and refreshing. Mouthfeel is much like champagne. Happy I had it, would try again.

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Photo of pat61
4.66/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Light hazy straw color under a quickly dissipating soft ½” foam collar that produces splotchy lace.
S: Grape, over ripe fruit, citrus herbs.
T: Starts with fruit – grape and melon balanced by a light lemony tartness and traces of funk. Goes from slightly sweet to dry. Grape aftertastes linger.
M: Medium body to a little less with champagne like carbonation.
O: A light refreshing saison that straddles the line between wine and beer.

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Photo of Crackblind
4.66/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From tap at the brewery. A very interesting blend of ale and sparkling wine. Nose is overwhelmingly wine based but predominantly ale in mouthfeel and flavor. I was very pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this.

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Photo of Gajo74
4.62/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Looks like a white wine; especially Chardonnay. A small head dissipates into a hint of lace is the only visual element that allows you to identify it as beer. Fruity, lemon like and honey like aroma. Delicious! Taste is fruity, like grapes. There is a slightly dry white wine like finish. Had it with fish. If you love white wine, this is the beer for you! Feel is low carbonation, light to medium bodied and refreshing. I love this one as I love all to most of Dogfish Head's products!

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Photo of drpimento
4.62/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent beer! Poured at a good temperature with fizzy, small, off-white head that quickly settled and a bit of lace. Color is a clear, light yellow with plenty of racing bubble trails. Aroma is yeast, grapes, and beer. Flavor is absolutely outstanding! This is the best grape beer I've ever had!! The grapes add a bit of sweetness but that is perfectly balanced by the fresh tart style of the beer and robust carbonation along with the yeast bitterness and of course, hop. Body is bang on perfect; ditto carbonation. Finish is like flavor, quite long, and extremely drinkable. Wish I had more.

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Photo of Paymygasbill77
4.6/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml into a snifter.

A: This beer poured a crystal clear light amber color with champagne like carbonation. The head started out about 2 inches and dissapated into nothing. This looks and pours more like a sparkling wine than a beer.

S: Dry fruit and funk.

T: Out of this world! Sam has done it again with this one. Very little to no hops. This reminds me more of a not so sour Geuze than a Saison or wine. It starts off with a bit of Dry white grapes and moves to a slightly sweet and funky flavor and finishes bone dry with funk and a carbonated bite. This leaves me wanting more.

M:Light and refreshing.

O: Fantstic! I am buying a few more bottles to hold on to. I bet this ages very well!

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Photo of AdamBear
4.59/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-one thing about a saison is you'll never know what color it pours out. this is light transparent golden with a stable white head

S-smells...amazing. pale belgian malts with a great earthy tone to it. some spices as well. not getting the grape must. strong aroma.

T-comes in with an unusually tart taste of grapes and pale belgian malts. its a complex and decent flavor. it still keeps that earthy tone to it. the after-taste is matching with a good taste of grape skin. keep in mind, this beer is not fruity. the grape adds a nice but subtle complement to the flavor. this is complex and balanced.

M-high carbonation with a dry finish

O-this is definitely a different saison, if thats what you call it. it has some really great flavor to it. not as funky or as spicy as i like my saisons to be, but very enjoyable nontheless. i guess you can't truly rate this as a saison, but instead as an off centered ale. in that respect, it's great and extremely easy drinking for the ABV. i will enjoy all 750 mL of this.

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Photo of VaRy
4.58/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a tricky one. I do not see where exactly the "Noble Rot" can be placed on the beer map, and I therefore can not judge its conformity to any particular style. It certainly not brewed in Belgian tradition, so I would not label it as "saison". This beer is not aged in wine casks or what not, it is actually brewed with viognier must.

The result is stunning. The look is classic straw-colored pale pilsner (or should I say sauvignon blanc?) with very little head. Smell is certainly fermented grape and light hops. Taste... Well, it gets weird here. A mixture of pilsner and white wine does not sound appealing, but this one is absolutely superb. Bone dry, delicate, floral, fruity, ever so slightly spicy. Amazing!

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Photo of jwhancher
4.56/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Bought a 750-mL bottle down at the brewpub back in early May. Bottled on date reads 12/9/2013. Pours perfectly clear gold with fluffy white head with some lacing. Light carbonation present. Smells like a saison with Chardonnay. Some real interesting fruity characteristics in the nose like strawberries. No real hop aroma but maybe some light spicy noble hops. Tastes initially sweet with perfect beer-wine hybrid complexities. Dries out with a wine like aftertaste- like a dry white wine. Such an interesting beer. At times, I get waves of beer then wine then beer then wine, etc. demonstrates great complexities yet subtle all the same. Awesome job and definitely an innovative beer. Cheers to Dogfish for pushing the craft beer boundaries with this one!

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Photo of mattkoon
4.54/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

i read an article about this beer a few months ago and i was really interested in trying it. then this past weekend i was at a beer tasting in charleston sc and there it was. my wife was with me and she is a wine drinker. she fell in love with this, and i really liked it so it was kind of the perfect drink for my house.
the color is a light yellow- like chardonnay. it smells like an earthy sassion and white wine mixture. which also sums up the taste- a great earthy light sassion paired with a sweet-dry white wine.
if you have wino friends and you want to drag them into the beer world this is a good start. this one will be a staple at my house whenever i can get it.

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Photo of larryi86
4.53/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Notes from 2/22/2012
750 mL, 2012, poured into a snifter

A- Clear light yellow with a two finger white head and lively carbonation.

S- Earthy spices, pepper, light funk, lemons, hint of white wine/grapes, but really smells like a normal Saison.

T- Sour grapes, white wine, light pepper and earthy notes. The sour grapes and wine really stand out again a nice saison base.

M- Light to medium body, smooth.

O- This is a great unique beer from DFH and I feel that they did a great job with this beer. I really hope that they make more of this, I will be buying more!

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Photo of Bobheed
4.52/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Very clear golden color, almost like a white wine with a fat bright white head

S: Getting a lot of typical saison types of smells. Get the earthiness and spicy notes at first. I also smelled some really pungent sourness in it

T: Unbelievable. For it being brewed with grape must, I really get a lot of apple in it more so than the grapes. A very sour green apple. Also got little bits of spicyness and the grapes played well with that

M: Very carbonated and very dry. Drinks almost like a champagne. This is the mouthfeel I was hoping Infinium would've had.

Overall I loved this. I really hope they continue to make more of it. This is one of those crazy DFH experiments that went totally right!

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Photo of jester5120
4.52/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Served from the tap into a brandy snifter.

A- light golden color with a cloudy haze.

S- strong sweet citrusy smell. smelled like a cross between a pale ale and a white wine.

T- sour flavor similar to a lambic. sweet wine like taste with very little hop presence.

M- average medium bodied beer

O- great take on a saison style beer. a hazy golden beer with sweet citrusy smell. Had a very unique sour flavor that had hints of white wine and lemongrass.

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Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into tulip. Clear yellow with fizzy bubbles, looks like champagne. Fizzy but thick head that doesn't stick around, visible carbonation. Smells like champagne or white wine combined with belgian yeast. Taste is like a champagne, but with the belgian yeast sneaking in at the end to finish. If it weren't for that, you could tell me this was a sparkling white wine and I'd believe you. Incredibly drinkable, alcohol very hidden for 9% (which admittedly would be less than wine, however). This would be an excellent dinner or celebration beer, or a great starter for wine/champagne lovers who want to get into beer but can't.

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Noble Rot from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.94 out of 5 based on 1,570 ratings.
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