Positive Contact
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Positive ContactPositive Contact
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Belgian Witbier
Ranked #40
Ranked #19,365
3.85 | pDev: 12.73%
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States
Very Good
Positive ContactPositive Contact
Notes: Positive Contact is the second batch of the Imperial Belgian-Style Wheat beer that Sam and Ben brewed a couple months back. For this batch, we stepped up the spice and cider additions. Instead of 200 lbs of apples, Ben pressed 300 lbs of organic Fuji apples for a total addition of 25 gallons of fresh pressed cider, which was added to the whirlpool in order to really bring out the cider character. The amount of cilantro was nearly quadrupled with 4 lbs total, which was pureed with a portion of the cider and then added after the boil was done. The cayenne was doubled, but added directly before the beer was transferred from the kettle to the fermenter in an effort to minimize the burn while increasing the flavor and aroma contributed. A different type of wit yeast was used and then fermented slightly cooler to keep the yeast character minimal and act as a supporting role to the main players the cider and spices. Lastly, this batch was boiled for less time than the original batch, leaving the beer with a lighter straw color than the amberish hue of batch #1.

Overall, Positive Contact is characterized by its bright spritzy cider character and autumnal herbal quality derived from the cilantro, cayenne, and yeast.

19 IBU
Reviews: 216 | Ratings: 1,105 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of MikeWard
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a tulip. Bottled 3/11/14, so 5 years old.

Pours very nicely. Dull slightly hazy deep amber body. Good white head which persists in some form until about half way through the drink. Good carbonation.

There is a light pleasant apple aroma.

The apple cider comes through pretty well. The spices have completely faded. It's a little sweet. You can feel the abv.

Mouth closer to full than medium. Finish is a cidery wash.

Overall, a nice enough drink, though it does die off about half way through. Maybe the spices would have added something, maybe not. It has a saisony feel, and I'm not sure why it's listed as a witbier, not that Dogfish head has worried itself with style classification.

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MikeWard from Pennsylvania, Jun 07, 2019
Photo of LeRose
3.84/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours from a bottle dated 2014 a cloudy cider color with a pure white, dense foam head that lasts a good while. It falls to a spritzy ring and detached chunky rafts. So far, so good. No floaties!

The smell is apple cider sweet/tart, a little green grassy and slightly metallic note that must be the remains of the cilantro. There is a fruity pepper smell and an earthy herbal quality. It is not noticeably spicy on the nose. so somewhat lacking in Belgian identity. The apple...Fuji is a favorite of mine and that is certainly what I am getting. Inviting in a cider kind of way.

The taste follows, and it is actually quite well blended. There is a remnant of cilantro, but the apple flavor rules the roost here. There is a cayenne flavor that starts fruity but builds some heat as more sips slide down. The apple sweetness keeps the pepper nicely tamed. You know it is there, but it's a tingle only.

This is bright, almost sparkling. Light touch for a 9% beer. A mostly dry finish, the pepper and apple sweet linger for a bit.

Dogfish is understandably polarizing. This one is enjoyable even with appreciable hair on it, but I would have to try it fresh to see where it really sits. Interesting, tastes good, easy drinker for a moderately hefty ABV, this is a nice autumn refresher. Whether it is truly a Belgian beer - well, it doesn't have the spicy character but maybe the cayenne and cilantro were supposed to be surrogates, plus they used a different strain of Belgian yeast and fermented at a different temperature - I think it lacks the typical Belgian notes by intent.

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LeRose from Massachusetts, Nov 05, 2018
Photo of russpowell
3.74/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hyper-effervescent & slightly hazed gold with 3+ fingers of pearl colored head. Good lacing & average lacing

S: Apple, pears & white grape

T: Grassy, pears & a little white pepper & coriander up front. A little pepper heat once warm, more white grape & grassyness, a touch of phenols as well, and golden delicious apple. Finishes a little dry, with pear skin & with a wisper of alcohol

MF: Medium body, firm carbonation

Drinkable enough, but these flavor combos are not in my wheelhouse, I like my beer to be mostly malt, end of story, this seems almost like a fancy snakebite. Interesting, not compelling

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russpowell from Arkansas, Nov 29, 2016
Photo of TomMorris
3.94/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I'd be curious to try a fresher bottle of this; mine was bottled in March of 2014 and I didn't get quite as wide a flavor profile as I was expecting given the description. Still though, this was quite delicious and extremely drinkable for a 9% beer. Very strong, fresh apple flavors with some lingering spices and very faint cayenne in the finish. I'm expecting that if I had a fresher bottle, the cilantro would have been much more noticeable. Tastes like a slightly spicier and yeastier cider.

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TomMorris from Connecticut, Aug 05, 2015
Photo of Critter1594
4.48/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Look: who cares
Smell: fresh, lots of cilantro
taste: hard to describe, but I really enjoyed it
Feel: appropriate

Very interesting, never had anything like it. I usually drink DIPAs but very much enjoyed this one.

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Critter1594 from Missouri, May 22, 2015
Photo of smcolw
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light amber color with a haze. Good starting head with decent lasting time. Some large spots for lace.

The apple cider comes out as the predominant smell. A bit of wheat and cream as well. I note some raisin after the third whiff.

Smooth, sweet cream flavor up front. The swallow brings forth some hotter spices (the bottle says cayenne, but it isn't obviously that spice). I don't taste any cilantro, which is something I have a sensitivity to. The body is very rich and the carbonation doesn't show up until the end through the swallow. The aftertaste is more cream, a bit of heat and raisin. No wheat presence in the taste as far as I can tell.

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smcolw from Massachusetts, Apr 26, 2015
Photo of jprivott
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a room-temp 750 that was about a year old - the top flew off.
Deep amber/honey color. Thin head that fades lacey.
Definite smell/taste of wit yeast and fuji. The cayanne presents itself after a few sips, sitting on the tongue and fading away in the throat. The 9% ABV likely helps this. Cilantro was the last note I discerned, as a distinct vegetal tone in the glass as I took a sip, and fading quickly on the palate as the fuji taste took over.
Overall, worth trying!

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jprivott from Virginia, Mar 01, 2015
Photo of DIM
3.24/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Clear, bright golden yellow; not cloudy as a wit should be.

Apple cider in the nose and not much else. Some band-aid like Belgian yeast maybe. Lots of sweet apple cider on the tongue as well, that's all there was up front. The finish was odd. Plastic-y yeast and some hints of what could be called cilantro;no cayenne pepper to be found.

As a cider this was okay. As an experimental wit this was a miss.

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DIM from Pennsylvania, Feb 10, 2015
Photo of Beer-Revelry
1/5  rDev -74%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This is the biggest waste of money I think I've made yet on beer. NONE of the Flavors promised on the label are in this beers taste, aroma maybe, but it tastes like a sweetened, weak Duvel. NOT WORTH THE MONEY! WOULD GIVE A ZERO IF I COULD!

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Photo of hughesjbailey
3.89/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Tasty saison-like beer w/a noticeable cider peel smell. Pleasant combination of spice (coriander everywhere) and lingering apple sweetness with clean, medium-dry finish. This would be lovely with a stinky- soft cheese (brie, soft blue, goat...).

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Photo of DuffmanCanNeverDie
5/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I loved this beer. It tasted a lot like a saison to me. Really light & crisp. Very easy to drink considering the alcohol content. It's a really good summertime beer.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.66/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"Ale brewed witrh apple cider and spices. A positive combination of Fuju cider, slow roasted farro, a bit of cayenne and fresh cilantro." Brewed in the style of an Belgian Golden Strong Ale. Available in a 750 ml. bottle and on limited draft.

Poured from a 750 ml. bottle to a Dogfish Head Signature glass. Served above 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a crisp, foamy golden white head over a medium hazy medium amber body with plentiful flecked sediment in tow. Retention is average, lacing is light and streaked. 3.5

(Smell) The notes of cider are very straightforward, and joined by a curious blend of spices, lends a soft curious twist to the more predictable notes of this beer. Soft wheat and pale biscuit malts with a touch of coriander, peppery and earthy yeast character, mild fruitiness, moderately juicy. Potency is medium/high, effervescent and perfumey. 3.75

(Taste) The flavor is very similar to the aroma, with soft notes of apple cider and pale malt combining with a potent blend of earthy and effervescent spices. Somewhat saison-like for the strong fruity yeast-borne flavors meets a Belgian strong ale for the depth of body and alcohol. Cilantro surprisingly does not come through in the flavor, although Coriander seems a more predictable addition, I suspect the two share similar flavor qualities. I could notice the potential for cayenne contributing to the depth of pepperiness of the beer. Finishes moderately dry. 3.75

(Mouthfeel) Texture is mildly sticky, juicy and moderately dry. Carbonation is modest, generating a moderate frothiness to a very mild crispness. Body is medium+ for the style, medium/heavy overall. Balance is spicy and earthy dry over sweet. Alcohol presence is mild, there are no off characters to note. 3.5

(Overall) A very curious blending of ingredients into a beer isn't hardly anything out of the ordinary for Dogfish Head, although the flavors they impart into this beer come through as relatively transparent compared to what one should expect from the style by itself. Thus, the cidery and spicy notes are all fairly par for the course, which places this beer as enjoyable but not phenomenal. 3.5

Dogfish Head Brewery's
Positive Contact

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Jadjunk from Georgia, Dec 30, 2014
Photo of johnnnniee
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

On tap at Granite State on tap.
Lightly hazy golden color with a minimal head. Spicy earthy fruity flavors with a Belgianesque character. I'm surprised how little of the ingredients I found in my sample, but I was at a brew fest. I must try this beer again.

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johnnnniee from New Hampshire, Nov 16, 2014
Photo of flipper2gv
4.06/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Well, this is a good looking beer, which isn't surprising since it's a belgian style ale. Pours a really nice light orange/golden color with tons of pure white fluffy head with super good retention and lacing.

S: When I looked in the ingredients (cilantro, apples, cider and cayenne) I was sure it would very similar to something made by Unibroue (they do have quite a unique yeast strain that brings those flavors) and I'm right. This is a very Unibroue-esque smelling beer (think "Fin du Monde") with tons of notes of apples, cilantro and pepper (duh!). But above that, there is a nice underlying acidity (thanks to the wheat) and sweetness with notes of candi sugar and honey. Finally, light notes of cinnamon, green cardamom and banana are there. Very complex and very good smelling beer.

T: This is a confusing beer, it doesn't taste much like what I expected. First, it's much sweeter than expected with a very strong presence of residual sugars that shows in a massive amount of candi sugar, especially considering the style. The cilantro and apples are there and fit well together, but those flavors actually clash with the other spices (cardamom and cinnamon). I also feel like the acidity is not as strong as expected. It's a good beer though, don't get me wrong, the individual flavors are great, but there isn't much synergy between them.

M: Well, in true American fashion, they took a genre that is supposed to be super light and fluffy to a very heavy, but very smooth beer. Mixed feeling about this.

O: This is definitely a really good beer. It is VERY drinkable and no alcohol is noticeable even considering it's a pale ale at 9 ABV without much strong flavors that could hide the alcohol. But, like I said, it doesn't have much synergy (like la "Fin du Monde" has with approximately the same flavors in it).

EDIT: Forgot to say, this is supremely drinkable. I know, am drunk.

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flipper2gv from Quebec (Canada), Oct 10, 2014
Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Bottle: Poured a clear bright golden color ale with a medium size white foamy head with medium retention and some lacing. Aroma of apple cider with some coriander notes is quite refreshing. Aroma of cider is quite dominant with some medium sweet notes. Coriander notes are also noticeable and are well-balanced against the sweeter malt base. Body is light with good carbonation with no apparent alcohol. Very nice experiment and I could see myself drinking this again on hot summer days.

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Phyl21ca from Quebec (Canada), Oct 03, 2014
Photo of allengarvin
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: 3.75 - Very pale gold color with a large initial head, though it fades fairly quickly. Not much glass lacing either.
S: 3.75 - Grainy malt with a pleasant sour tartness.
T: 3.5 - Flavor is ... interesting. There's a light capsicum spiciness, very low hop bitterness, rather heavy malt sweetness. There's a lot going on here, but ultimately, it's just not to my tastes.
M: 3.75 - Big bodied, heavy
O: 3.5 - "witbier"? There's not a thing in here that resembles any wit I've ever had. I guess they just needed someplace to stick it. It's a complex beer, but it's not very drinkable, and I can't imagine ever wanting to try this again.

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Photo of Boto
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle: This one pours a slightly hazy golden color. There was a thin white head that doesn’t linger or leave much lacing. It has a nice nose. Some apple, spicy and earthy. The taste is very good. It has a touch of bitterness, earthy, apple and spices. Nice!

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Boto from Connecticut, Oct 01, 2014
Photo of kemoarps
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

My first review under this new format. Neither here nor there but I am vehemently against it, and it's made it more difficult to review and come to a number rating without just blindly choosing an arbitrary number. ANYWAY...

Pours a very pale yellow, almost throughs a tinge of chartreuse into things. Actually, coincidentally enough (ok, it’s just my willful belief) it’s almost hte same colour as the album cover (in the year 3030...). Finger and a half of white driven snow fades soon enough. You really get the cider on the nose. It’s sweet and crisp up front. Round pears and a bit of Belgian yeast. Minor light spices, not picking up much depth behind that. The cider takes front court again, spicy Belgian yeast brings pear to the party, and the Belgian spice segues nicely into the light cayenne heat at the end. The finish is surprisingly earthy and bitter; a characteristic that was not necessarily present earlier in the profile. Dunno if the cilantro and farro could be contributing to the earthiness, or if I’m just making hte connection because I was looking for them since I’d read the description, but at the very least it’s not completely without the realm of believability.

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kemoarps from Washington, Aug 24, 2014
Photo of KYGunner
3.94/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours with a radiant wheat yellow color and a thick foamy head.

The nose is a bit wheat, a little bit of Apple cider, with a spicy tone of chili powder and paprika.

The flavor is strong on the front palate with Apple sweetness. The middle shows substantial wheat grain and I got caramel malts. The spicy cayenne is more a spicy nutmeg or cinnamon and it reminds of some Christmas beers. The great thing is that the complexities of this beer seem to change with each sip.

The feel is light and crisp and disguises the higher ABV.

I enjoyed this beer immensely, it's complex, it's different and it kept me guessing.

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KYGunner from Kentucky, Jul 17, 2014
Photo of mrfrancis
4.09/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear gold with a thin, quickly receding white mousse.

S: Aromas of wheat toast, vanilla creme, roasted grain, pepper, apple cider, and cilantro fill the nose.

T: Sweet notes of Fuji apples, vanilla, wheat bread, and roasted farro fill the mouth on the entry, while hints of grass, orange rind, and lemon linger in the background. At mid-palate, the cilantro and cayenne pepper notes make their presence known, providing a mellow swell of herb and spice flavors. The finish is simultaneously sweet and spicy with a combination of wheat bread, roasted farro, and Fuji apples mingling with cayenne, cilantro, and a not entirely unwelcome touch of warming alcohol.

M: Neither light nor medium in body. In the mouth, this ale is very, very dry with airy, delicate carbonation. Alcohol is noticeable, but restrained.

O: A super unique imperial witbier with a superb layering of flavors. Very much worth checking out.

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mrfrancis from Kentucky, Jul 02, 2014
Photo of Franziskaner
3.76/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Rich golden color with excellent clarity. There's an inch of tightly knit bright white foam and some light Brussels lacing. I get a lot of spices within the aroma but I think the cilantro and cider stand out the most. The flavor is powerfully spiced and you really get the cilantro which is a bit refreshing and gives it a vegetal edge. The cider gives a light sweetness. The cayenne gives a slight warmth and and the cider offers some dryness in the mouth.

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Franziskaner from Missouri, Jun 22, 2014
Photo of bnes09
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Transparent, yellow, honey color. Thick, soapy foam with exceptional retention. Coats the glass in a blanket of lacing with each sip.

Bright and fresh citric aroma. Grass and lemon rind. Soft yeast and cloves.

Apple flavor. Lemon grass. Mild honey sweetness with hints of apricot. Live yeast. Hint of clove spice. Very complex yet well balanced.

Medium bodied. Slick feel. Light on the palate but with hints of yeast, fruit-like texture. Lots of tiny bubbles bring the flavors to life.

Awesome brew. It's nice to try something new and fresh.

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bnes09 from Illinois, Jun 19, 2014
Photo of jwc215
3.79/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours golden with a frothy head. Lacing sticks.

The smell is of apples with yeast , grain and hint of pepper.

The taste is of apples, grainy sweetness (some bubblegum?), a touch of sour yeast. Light cayenne spicing balances the sweetness, though remains sweet in character.

Creamy smooth, the alcohol is very well-hidden.

An interesting beer. The apple is balanced - not powerful, but enough to give it character. Sweet, but the hint of spicing balances it.

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jwc215 from Arizona, Jun 05, 2014
Photo of Lemke10
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This pours a mostly clear, golden yellow color with a slight foamy head. There is a decent amount of wheat, citrus, and banana in the aroma among other hints. The taste is an interesting take on the Belgian Wit beer as you get the bold yeasty, banana taste but an interesting group of spices. Don’t let the cilantro or dried cayenne pepper turn you off as you wouldn't even know those ingredients were in there.

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Lemke10 from Wisconsin, May 29, 2014
Photo of WhiteHillsStore
3.81/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A very interesting beer. The appearance was hazy yellow with a thin fizzy head. The smell was mostly apples with a little bit of herb. The taste is mostly apple, but there's a lot of great subtle flavors. Earthy herbs and a nice medley of spices mixes with the citrus hops and makes a very interesting flavor. I like the finish, very clean and refreshing. If you're a fan of spiced beers and ciders, this is probably a great fit for you.

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WhiteHillsStore from Connecticut, May 13, 2014
Positive Contact from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 1105 ratings