Noble Rot | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

very good
1,575 Ratings
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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,575 |  Reviews: 338
Photo of spoony
3.79/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From a 750 ml into a tulip.

A-The color is very light, golden-yellow (like white wine) and mostly clear. There is about one fat finger of white, shiny foam. Some nice lacing is left on the glass.

S-Smell is a pleasantly tart (though not sour) mixture of lemon, straw, and white wine scents. Touch of funk, too.

T-The taste follows the smell with some sweet lemon drop flavor and a mild tartness being the dominant components. There is a funky undertone that fades to an herbal, warming alcohol flavor on the finish.

M-This is a light-weight brew. Carbonation is fine. Easy to drink.

O-The wine character is very noticeable and makes for a unique brew. Flavor is not as complex as some, but the beer has a pleasing, drinkable tartness and feel. I'm not sure that I'm completely sold on the wine juice/must concept, but I have certainly tasted worse beers.

 859 characters

Photo of MarkyMOD
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of JRed
3.87/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright, transparent golden with champagne bubbly white head. Aroma of lemon skin, white grapes similar to fruit juice, vague vanilla, and floral notes. Tastes of spiked apple juice, grapes, sour notes, floral notes, slight funk, wine-like towards the finish. Light and bubbly. A champagne beer. The 9% is there but easy to handle. Sweet but reserved.

 350 characters

Photo of bradfordjohnson
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of KiMiRaiK
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of mattafett
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of JDizzle
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of mkennedy119
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of ESPNman
3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served in a Stone IRS Snifter

A - Pours a white wine-like (shocking, huh?) straw yellow. It looks like an extremely pale pils, but more like white wine mixed with a pale cider. A vigorous pour results in two fingers of thick, pure white, fluffy head. Some spotty lacing.

S - Plenty of wine, funk, barnyard, and a bit of pale malt. There's definitely a musty funk smell there, but plenty of wine character shines through, giving this a sweet juicy aroma. The yeast lends a bit of extra fruit character to the nose.

T - Definitely an interesting and complex flavor to this brew. It starts out with some sweet grape juice notes mixed with some malt. It transitions from there into the musty, funky, mouth-puckering sour notes that this brew is best known for. It finishes tart and quite dry with a lingering barrel funk flavor... and a bit of cheese-like taste.

M - Medium carbonation, but very champagne-like in how it looks in the glass. It really feels like a sparkling wine in the mouth. Very dry on the finish.

O - Solid brew, and a successful experiment to be sure. It's sweet, it's tart, it has some solid yeast character, it retains all of the characteristics of its ingredients, and yet doesn't come across as muddled. Recommended.

 1,242 characters

Photo of dan027
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of frontalot
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of NickG1202
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an over sized wine glass from a 750

Appearance was a soft, hazy, yellow with high carbonation with slight to no real lacing.

It smelled of a musty fruity concoction that quickly fades into a wine laden flavor fest. The taste is just as musty as the smell and has a super long finish. I still taste my first sip three minutes in.

They mouth feel is light and delicate. Truly seems like the champagne of beers.

Overall an other solid beer from Sam and his crew in Delaware. For me a tad sweet and a little too much must but hey...some find that irresistible. I would drink again perhaps on a warm summers eve. Be warned, at 9% it'll get ya. Cheers!!

 663 characters

Photo of waddellc2
3.25/5  rDev -17.5%

Photo of dcguitar
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of FishFrank
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of aorloski
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #62 (Mar 2012):

LOOK: Very pale, bright, clear, Pils-like, active, big frothy white foam head

SMELL: Vinous, Pinot Gris, cheese, fruity, musty

TASTE: Light, vinous, concentrated white grape juice, fruity, slightly acidic, dry, spicy, cheesy, musty, tannic

This Saison (of sorts) was brewed with botrytis (noble rot) infected juice from Viognier grapes and Pinot Gris must, which was intensified by “dropping fruit” (cropping the grapes). It’s then balanced with Pilsner and wheat malts, and finished with a Belgian yeast strain. Although its wine-like flavors dominate, Noble Rot tastes just as interesting as it sounds; demanding a “must” try for adventurous palates.

 715 characters

Photo of BeerzMcKenzie
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of TheBrewo
4.09/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

We pour a brew of pale yellow coloring. It holds a fizzy half finger tall head of tight white bubbles, showing okay retention. Thick rings and spots of lacing are seen around the glass. There is utter clarity to the beer, with no haze or sediment noted, while carbonation appears fast and active, much like champagne. The nose gives pale and chalky malts, with sweetness of their own that matches plastics and stark and souring green grapes. This gives an aroma comparable to the base notes of champagne, as noted in the look as well. The yeast gives metallics, and with warmth, almost borders on Brettiness, mineral, and barnyard grassiness. Hops give bitterness and sweetness in the form of lemony citrus. Our first impression is that, in very much the same fashion as the rest of the beer, it is much like champagne, but with a more soured, yeasty finish. As we sip, metallic malts, green grape skin dryness, white sugar sweetness, soured Bretty and Belgian yeast muskiness, and that pale malt base. The middle peaks with more chalky pale grain, metallic yeast, musk grapes of champagne, soured grape skins, and juicy citric sourness. The final wash comes with the juiciness of sweet grapes, souring citrus, cellar musk, pale and wheaty malts, mineral, white sugar sweetness, and the balancing bittered starkness of drying yeast. The aftertaste breathes of green grape skin, chalky wheat, metallic yeast, alcohol, soured lemon rind, and chalky, puckering pale graininess. The body is medium, and the carbonation is higher, with big froth and cream to the lip. Each sip gives nice sip and smack, with a good finishing pop. The mouth is coated with bubbles and foam, but quickly dries with grapey astringency. The residual sugariness gives the stickiness to the lips of a much more syrupy brew. The abv is appropriate, and the beer drinks easily.

Overall, what we liked best about this beer was the juiciness of the flavoring via the grape, while keeping so much musky dryness, and qualities of champagne. This beer truly is the champagne of beers. The look, the nose, the flavoring, and the feel all overlap significantly with that beverage, all while keeping a distinct funky sourness to it, and enough seriousness to keep the flavoring appropriate, and the beer drinking smoothly. This is an impressive beer, and we might have to employ it every year now to ring in the New Year.

 2,384 characters

Photo of Savage51
2/5  rDev -49.2%

Photo of iemailjack
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of chefduff2
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of hockeyfighter19
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of Charlie_Hoss
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Noble Rot from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.94 out of 5 based on 1,575 ratings.
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