Positive Contact | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

very good
214 Reviews
Positive ContactPositive Contact

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States

Style: Witbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by THECPJ on 12-28-2011

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Reviews: 214 | Ratings: 1,097
Photo of DuffmanCanNeverDie
5/5  rDev +29.5%
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 themind
4.7/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Well this is the new prince of Dogfish beers in my opinion, Wow! the drinkability is amazing and the aroma and taste are fantastic! really this beer is put together right.

I dont like the fact that you have to buy a case to try it but after you try it your glad you bought a case!

Bottom Line-You gotta try this its special!

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.65/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Celebrator pokal glass. Pours golden amber with two finger fine white head with excellent retention and massive lacing. Aroma of wheat, coriander, sweet malt and Belgian yeast, smells nice. Flavor is delicious, integrated malt, wheat, sweet cider. Finishes slightly hot (cayenne?) and lightly hopped. Spicing is present but not assertive. Perfectly balanced and tasty. Nice medium to heavy creamy body. I liked this more as the second glass slowly warmed. the only negative is that the alcohol in this 9% beer is well hidden, it's way too quaffable. I sincerely hope that DFH makes this beer again.

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Photo of DonDirkA
4.62/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The nose has some similar notes as other pepper-infused ales I've had. Yeasty wheat, apples, lemon and a sharp spicy kick. The fruity notes and spicy notes blend together in a very interesting way. Taste is very strong of apple cider, which is actually surprising. I expected the cider flavors to be muted. Sweet, apples, breadiness and the cayenne kick is really relegated to being a feeling in the back of the throat instead of hotness up front. There's a very slight hint of flavor from the cilantro, but not as much as I'd hoped. The cayenne kinda creeps up in your throat as you wait. Its like a surprise gift (if you like spice). This is one of the best new DFH specialties I have had in a long time. It'd be better if I was listening to the Deltron 3030 remix album with it though...

NOTE: The cayenne heat crept up a lot later. It made my stomach warm up a lot, but not uncomfortably. My only real wish is slightly more apple taste (even though I know they stepped it up) and considerably more cilantro taste (but not enough to be overpowering). Overall though it was very good.

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Photo of lancecenter
4.6/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Pale orange/golden color with three fingers of thick, white head. Superb lacing.

S - Peppery, a little bit of citrusy hops and bubblegum, Belgian yeast. There's a lot going on here, and it works.

T/M - Funky, earthy, full of pepper, and slightly tart. Silky smooth mouthfeel.

O - World class; must try.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.52/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

consumed on 6/29, while I was "on Hiatus." picked up locally. enjoyed from my DFH signature glass.

a - brew poured a transparent orange with a finger plus of white creamy head that dissolved leaving a thin film on the surface, but never fully exited the glass. as the head vanished, it left pretty thick lacing on the glass. visible carbonation could be seen racing from the etching on the bottom of the glass, but sadly no DFH logo in the head on this one.

s - very nice witbier. soft and subtle. balanced orange peel. subtle spicing and the apple cider seems evident. some clove and vanilla. some pear. really smooth and creamy smelling.

t - the flavor is really quite nice. one of, if not the best witbier i've ever tried. the booze is extremely well hidden. big creaminess with soft spicing, balanced orange peels, somewhat apple juice like and like the nose, soft clove and vanilla and even some sage-like flavors. even a bit chive-like.

m - the feel is phenomenal. SUPER creamy and rich.

o - overall, i was pretty blown away by this beer. i didn't have high expectations since the reviews of the first batch were relatively lackluster and even some of the reviews for the newer batch aren't the greatest...that and you have another gimick beer...but all that gimicks isn't bad. DFH hasn't had the best track record with me with all the gimicks. some have blown me away (like Bitches Brew), but others left me feeding my drain (like Faithful), but Positive Contact is a winner. i am, however, thankful that I didn't need to buy a full box set for a taste of this one, but wouldn't be devestated had i done just that. really top of the line witbier - which is a style i don't always love.


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Photo of thespaceman
4.52/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a DFH signature class:

Appearance: Pours a very nice medium gold in color. Hazy with tons of bubbles flowing up the glass. Thick white head rises up and slowly dissapates leaving behind thin lines of lacing. Good head retention.

Smell: Very spicy when it hits the nostrils. I get hints of pepper, and some alcohol ester as well. Has almost a belgian like yeast aroma to it, most likely from the yeast strain used in this one. I get a bit of the cilantro in the nose here as well, very earthy smelling. Nice!

Taste: The cider properties appear evident up front here, this is almost like a cross hybrid of a beer and cider and done perfectly. Spice notes up front are subtle, hints of pepper blend nicely with the cider here. Sweetness is very minimal and that's why this beer impresses me! DFH is known for having a very sweet beer especially when the ABV hits around 8.00% but this beer contradicts that! Finish rounds out with some more spice (tasting the cayenne now) and a nice hint of alcohol burn.

Mouthfeel: Light on the palate, bitterness is minimal. This one rolls around the tongue nicely without breaking up and getting watery.

Drinkability: One of the stand out beers in DFH's portfolio. The best of the music inspired series since "Bitches Brew". This beer is really enjoyable because of how at one minute you taste those fruity, cider properties.. then all of a sudden you get that peppery, yeasty beer quality to bring you back down to the ground. Outside of the box is a understatement for this beer, and I also liked that Sam toned down the sweetness on this to make it more drinkable without too much alcohol burn in the finish. Excellent beer all around!

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Photo of jtierney89
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pretty clear orange glow with lots of visible carbonation. big fluffy white head with lots of sticky lace. Smells funky and sweet like saison with a bit of cider on the nose too. Applecores, clove, and a rustic earthiness.

Really unique. Light airy/fluffy mouthfeel that starts with appleskins. rolls into complex belgian saison flavors of banana and clove, touch of bubble gum sweetness. Finishes with a tart apple cider like flavor. pretty good and unlike anything i've ever had.

bit of alcohol heat but its pretty well hidden for such a strong wit.

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Photo of Critter1594
4.48/5  rDev +16.1%
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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Photo of davey101
4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into a DFH signature glass. Bottled in 2012A.

A - Very clear golden amber body. Frothy three finger high soapy white head. Settles down a thin cap with massive amounts of lacing and retention.

S - Smells pretty wit like (bready and spicy Belgian yeast, banana esters, bubble gum) with some creative edges. There is a nice note of sweet and slightly tart Fuji apple juice. Can't say I pick up any cayenne pepper, but the slightly vegetal and herby finish points to cilantro. Very balanced and inviting.

T - Again, the usual witbier notes of bananas, cloves, yeast, and wheat. Apple juice sweetness with just the faintest hint of pepper which is present mostly in some warmth. Finishes with a bit of an herbal vegetal quality but still remains quite sweet.

M - The mouth feel is actually pretty damned amazing. Perhaps its from the addition of apple cider, but it works really well with the flavors. Medium bodied with a creamy mouth feel. Its not slick or coating, just silky smooth. Finishes dry with some spritzy carbonation.

O - I was really impressed by this beer. I do get the Fuji apple cider, but the cayenne and cilantro are really hidden. Still makes for a crazy delicious and refreshing beer. Call me crazy, but a six pack of these along with some awesome music sounds perfect.

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Photo of Labeorphile
4.44/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from large bottle into a pint glass. Cloudy pale straw color with thousands of streams of bubbles supporting a huge fluffy head.

Spicy smell from the cayenne pepper mixed in with the traditional scents of a Witbier. Can also find the Full apples.

Some cilantro comes through in the taste. Spicy with well-hidden alcohol. Still warming on the back of palate. Mouth feel is a bit different.

All in all a great beer. May be too much going on to really get it all, but I like it.

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Photo of fank2788
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1 pt 9.4oz bottle served in two pint glasses
Hazy pale gold with some floaters in the glass along with huge white head and tons of lace, I'm not a huge fan of the yeast which even a slow pour wouldn't leave in the bottle. The smell is quite typical of a good/great Belgian golden ale with the peppery spiciness which is backed by lemon and clean wheat bready character. The additions of cider, cilantro and cayenne may be just noticeable in the smell but they are subtle. The taste too is all Belgian ale with some additions. First you are hit by lemon and pepper. This is followed by great pale malt, biscuit and warming alcohol characteristics. The cider adds to the complexity of the fruity esters of the yeast and maybe it is just because I've read the label and I'm looking for it but it does seem as though the pepper and cilantro are also evident but only just and again to add an additional layer of complexity to a beer that is already quite impressive. The carbonation is relatively high and the peppery tingle makes this beer quite lively in the mouth. Overall this is a great twist on a great style using some interesting ingredients proving again that the guys and DFH have redefined what brewing and beer can be.

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Photo of Krakistophales
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours straw colored with a two finger fluffy white head

S: Apple, caramel, spices. Honestly, I can't smell cilantro or cayenne, and Im glad I can't, the spices blend very well with the smell. Basically apples, caramel/candied sweetness, and spice.

T: Again, lots of apple and sweetness up front, some aromatic spice in the middle, and honestly this thing burns just a little bit on the back end. Im not sure if Im just sensitive to cayenne, but this thing actually lights up my mouth with some residual heat. Quite nice.

O: A fine cider offering from DFH. If you're interested in something sweet, spicy, and hot, this is one for you.

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Photo of bnes09
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
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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Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.34/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into my New Belgium globe glass. The bottle itself is a bit different, so it actually almost forces the beer to pour outin waves and really aerates the beer; causing nice thick head. Im not sure if thats the intention, but thats what I think anyway...
Pours a crisp lightclear golden with good foamy head; although it is gone quick, leaving a thin ring of head. Smell is really refreshing belgian meets german hefe. Banana, clove, and fruity apple aromas. Taste is really nice banana and clove again...the fruit is subtle but present and leaves a bit of heat from the cayenne pepper in the finish. Its refreshing and easy. Overall its a great brew and deff worth seeking out, especially if you are a wit fan; although I dont think id ever buy it as they intend; a six pack of bombers for ~%70...I got mine "illegally" as a solo bottle.

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Photo of alpinebryant
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into my Duvel Snifter, a beautiful clear blonde yellow with a light orange hue. Very heavy lacing and a strong white head of two fingers on the top.

S: Crisp Fuji Apple, with an herbal presence from a blending of cilantro, cayenne and farro. Good witbier doughy yeast presence, not overdone to pronounce clove or banana esters.

T: Of the spices, the cilantro is the most subtle, but neither is overdone or defeating of the apple flavor. Aside from the fact that I cannot name an a beer that uses Apple's in it offhand, (not hard cider), this has come together quite nicely and I think is an exceptional Witbier. The Cilantro is just gently present, not overtaking the Cayenne, a normally very potent hot spice. How these three spices were chosen, I applaud how well they have come together. Usually when a beer is incorporating Chipotle peppers or cayenne peppers they are overdone, to make them really known. Here they seem to be used as additional flavor that I think is phenomenally done.

M: Medium body for a Witbier. Good level of carbonation, clearly present coming up from the "D" etched in the bottom of my Duvel glass.

O: I have a hard time understating how much I appreciate this beer. I am not just saying this because Delton 3030 is probably my favorite album of all time and the fact that I am anxiously awaiting 3030 The Return in September (assuming the time frame is kept). I am really saying it because this beer is very well done. The yeast is not obnoxiously strong, the beer is not too overdone in any one area of Apple, Cilantro, or Cayenne, and these flavors are all distinctly different which makes this beer very good in my book. I am looking forward to the 4 beers that I have left of this. Very well done DFH.

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Photo of avalon07
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a golden yellow color and a clear texture. There was an inch of fairly long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A very spicy aroma, with hints of malt and yeast as well.

T: Tasted of spices (coriander, cilantro, etc.), apples, yeast, and a bit of malt. An incredibly vibrant flavor that takes the typical witbier style and extrapolates something interesting from it.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a somewhat slick finish. Medium-bodied.

O: One of the more interesting versions of a witbier I've tried recently. Very drinkable.

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Photo of superspak
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled in 2012. Pours lightly cloudy golden amber color with a nice 2-3 finger dense white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Good soapy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of big grape, apple, pear, pepper, clove, banana, bubblegum, cilantro, herbal, light cayenne, and yeast spiciness. Fantastic aromas with great complexity, balance, and strength. Taste of apple, grape, pear, cilantro, clove, banana, pepper, herbal, earth, grass, bubblegum, wheat, and yeast spices. Lingering notes of light fruit, banana, pepper, clove, herbal, earth, and yeast spices on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic flavor balance and complexity; with nice complimenting flavors from the herbs and spices. Nothing is overbearing. No cloying flavors at all after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a lightly creamy and slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is extremely well hidden with almost no warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic imperial witbier! Fantastic complexity and balance; and very smooth to sip on. This was very impressive.

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Photo of Oakenator
4.31/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is golden with a nice creamy head that leaves good lacing on the glass. The smell on this beer is really nice - heavy apple scent and spices along with some bready malts make this a very nice fall beer. The taste is also sweet with apples and peppery spices. Smooth on the front end; on the back end there is a pop of fruit flavor maybe enhanced by cayenne on the tongue (although cayenne not specifically notable). Great brew.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a clear golden orange with a finger of frothy white head. The head fades down fairly slowly leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of wheat, coriander, clove, and other Belgian yeast flavors, cayenne, cilantro, apple cider, and some citrus smells.

T - Starts off with some wheat, lemon zest, coriander, other Belgian yeast flavors, cilantro, and a touch of cayenne. Through the middle, the apple cider flavors come through with some grains. The finish is a mix of Belgian yeast spices, wheat and grains, apple cider, and a bit of citrus.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a spicy, sweet, and cidery finish.

D - Very drinkable. Surprisingly well balanced and the combination of witbier and cider works nicely.

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Photo of Lemke10
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
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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Photo of jopezu
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

smell is apple cidery wheat beer. tastes like a traditional wheat infused with a small apple cider juiciness. peppery notes from the cayenne, and a slight cilantro on aftertaste. interesting wheat beer.

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Photo of Ian_B
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I love the graphics on the bottle. The beer itself is a nice, translucent yellow-gold with a head that thins quickly.

Apart from the wheat, apple is most prominent on the nose; nice and cider-like with some spices and Belgian yeasts. Not sure if I can catch the cilantro but I believe it just blends well.

Awesome, cider-like Belgian that has nice, light flavours with a sweet, herbal taste to it. The cilantro balances the flavour amazingly and the cayenne adds a beautiful earthiness/spice throughout, with the heat coming in just slightly toward the finish.

Light body. Smooth but with a dry, tingly carbonation. 9% ABV is very well disguised.

This is a fantastic beer. Try it, buy more, and pray they start bottling this in six-packs because this is incredibly drinkable.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Max's in Baltimore in a tulip glass. Pours a cloudy amber color, fruity nose to it. Listed as a hybrid cider beer.... worries me a bit. Medium bodied, nice mouthfeel. Actually don't get too much of a cider taste at all, but just a well balanced tasty brew with an assortment of fruity flavors and hops. Surprisingly smooth, finishes clean... was pleasantly surprised at how good this beer was... try it out if you can.

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Photo of jondeelee
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Positive Contact opens with an aroma that bears a distinct apple cider note, but not overly so, the sweet apple blended nicely with fresh wheat, banana, coriander, pepper, lemon, and an almost sarsaparilla earthiness. The fruit notes here are predominant, but underpinned nicely by earthy, spicy tones. Some touches of brown bread, caramel, and brown sugar add further sugary textures, these being darker and a nice counter to the bright banana, apple, and lemon. As a whole, the nose is very interesting, smelling much like a Belgian cut with apple cider, with a few funky earthy notes thrown in for good measure. My only qualm is that one of these funky earthy notes bears, at least to my nose, a strong resemblance to dry dirt, and doesn’t mix well with the other fragrances.

On the tongue, the beer opens with strong banana, clove, coriander, and pepper notes, bearing much resemblance in this respect to a Belgian. The differences are made more apparent by the presence of a spicy cayenne pepper burn on the soft tissues (the flavor itself hardly noticeable, however), and a good apple cider undercurrent. It’s important to note that the apple cider blends extremely well, and in fact might not be recognized as apple cider were it not printed on the label; it could be easily mistaken for malt-based apple fruit esters. Some brown bread notes lie just below, joined by brown sugar. The aftertaste is a continuation of the main flavors, with a slight increase in the cayenne pepper burn, and lingers for a good while. Very late in the aftertaste, however, a stale apple cider flavor coats the tongue and soft palate, leaving--at least on this reviewer’s tongue--a slightly waxy feel. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is good beer, and represents the masterful blending of strange ingredients typical of Dogfish Head’s brews. The results is a nicely balanced beverage that bears only slight reminders of the 9% ABV, and includes an excellent series of fruit and spice flavors. The tail end of the aftertaste is strange and, in some ways, unpleasant, marking one of the beer’s few weaknesses. Still, this is worth trying.

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Positive Contact from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.86 out of 5 based on 1,097 ratings.
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