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 kylehay2004
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: 1.5 finger head on a orange with golden hues clear body but with some floaters. Minimal lacing.

S: pear, lemon, orange peel, green apple, coriander.

T: fruit cocktail with apple and pear dominating. Pepper, herbs, caramel and hint of cilantro.

M: this one is very oily coating the palate with medium body and light to moderate carbonation.

Overall: definitely weird as expected. Reminded me a lot of cheap, packaged fruit cocktail with Belgian character. Glad stores decided to brake these 6 packs up despite the threats.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap for the Summer Beerfest at Far Bar in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours a slightly hazy gold with a foamy bone colored head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, yeast, spices, and some fruity aromas. Taste is much the same with a very fruity flavor and the spice flavors coming through more on the aftertaste. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with some nice fresh aromas and flavors that make it easy to drink.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

very interesting beer, somewhat of a beer and cider hybrid, which isn't as common as it maybe should be. fuji is a great choice of apple to go with this strong blonde ale. clean looking, with a soapy inch of white head. it smells interesting, more apple heavy than anything, and i honestly don't get any cayenne pepper. maybe a little bit of spices, but more cider type than heat type for me. the taste is similarly apple driven without being sweet. i mean, its still beer first, no doubt, which i appreciate, but its most flavorful adjunct is by far the apples. juicy and fresh, this takes me to fall, with a pronounced spice finish, but again, hard to place it as cayenne at all, which i also don't particularly mind. the feel is the best feature. its so creamy, like it came from a nitro tap, its full bodied, but almost puffy on my palate, and it swallows clean. amazing. also surprisingly well hidden abv. another weirdo beer from dogfish, but this one is far more successful than others. really top quality stuff, and i can't imagine a beer/cider fusion coming out any better than this one.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.62/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured out as a clear golden color with a white head on top. The smell of the beer has a touch of sweet and tart apple aromas to it with some spice notes in there too. The taste of the beer gives off the minimal tartness of the apple used with the mixture of spices added to give this brew some character. The mouthfeel was light and dry with a decent carbonation to it. Overall this beer wasn't much of a Witbier in my opinion but still was drinkable. I wouldn't mind having this one again someday.

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Photo of metter98
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy pale yellow in color. It poured with a finger high off white head that died down and left a thin head covering the surface.
S: There are aromas of apple cider and wheat in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, but also has notes of hefeweizen yeast and hints of herbs and spices.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: Considering its strength, this beer is rather easy to drink because the alcohol is well hidden from the taste.

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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 BEERchitect
4.14/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

With fruit flavors amplified, firmer body, dry crispness, and heightened spices to balance; this inquisitive ale only narrowly resembles the witbier style that influenced its overhaul. Yep, they dogfished it up pretty good!

Not all in all different from the appearance of standard witbiers, this imperialized version carries a firm hazy gold appearance with a thin creamy head that dissipated evenly to a film before residing as a lace around the glass. Light on lace, this is the only deviation from the look of Hoegaarden or Wittekerke.

Where the original aromas call for a apple ester complement, a stronger than normal note of dry cider steers from apple juice and favors the winy character to inform the already present bready wheat and spicy counterparts. Corriander (celery seed), oranges, tea-like dried herbs, dandilion, chamomile, and peppercorn round out the alluring scent with complexity and balance.

But there's no mistake in the sway in attitude that gives the flavors of Positive Contact its true identity. Big on fruit and spice, the balance of dry cider offers just enough sweetness and bread taste to keep the beer from becoming overly tart. Complements of coriander, fresh orange zest, herbal teas, and slight vegetation of pepper, grass, and and a tinge of soap that gives a mild perfumy sense.

Much drier than imperial versions usually give, this zesty and sprite ale offers much the same drinkability as softer and milder versions. Backed by a dry bread texture, the beer soon favors firm acidity of Zinfandel and prickling carbonation to carry the dryness toward a combined warmth of capsaicin and alcohol.

The overall effortless in drinkability of this imperial witbier is remarkably clean, refreshing and crisp despite its high alcohol values and the seemingly challenged spices and fruit added to the brew. But the premiere restraint of these additions give the finished beer added layers of complexity without disrupting the balance of the witbiers that we know and love. Those additions inform the usual taste but without quite being able to pinpoint its source. Putting those additions on the label takes much of the fun out of it for me.

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Photo of brentk56
3.48/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color with a modest foamy head that leaves some splashy lace behind

Smell: Fuji apple and sweaty feet with a soapy aspect

Taste: Apple cider flavors, up front, with the cayenne adding heat in the middle; soapy flavors, after the swallow, though the cider flavors linger underneath

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: This is one of the Dogfish "misses" for me; really don't care for what the cilantro brings - normally I like cilantro but I am certainly not picking it up in this beer

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Photo of kojevergas
3.29/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

9% ABV confirmed. 1 pint 9.4 fl oz brown glass bottle with okay label art and branded copper pressure cap acquired at Cap N Cork Junior Market for $15.00 and served into a Mitchells of Lancaster flared stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high; I'm in the mood for a good witbier - but I'm skeptical about Dogfish Head.

Served cold, straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

The cap yielded a crisp "psh" upon opening; no beer surged out or anything. Carbonation appears adequate but not overdone.

A: Pours a two finger white colour head of nice cream and thickness. Retention is good for the ABV - about 4 minutes. Body colour is a clear pale straw yellow. Translucent and transparent. It's got me worried; every good witbier I've had has been cloudy but this isn't. Was it filtered? Seems off for the style. I'm hesitant. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Lemon and orange citrus fruit notes. Estery. Pale malts. Fresh, fruity, and inviting. No yeast character is detectable. No alcohol is detectable. Some cream. Light spices - cilantro sticks out. Not getting the cidery notes mentioned on the label. The aroma is typical of the style overall. Minimal floral hop character. A moderate strength aroma - pretty assertive for a witbier. Appealing and inviting.

T: Orange and lemon citrus fruit esters. Pale malts. No real yeasty character. Alcohol is more prominent than in most witbiers, but still well concealed. Vague cilantro does come through. Apple skin. Not getting any cayenne pepper as listed on the label. Clean and crisp. Pleasant to drink. Decently balanced. Forceful for the style; it doesn't come off natural or traditional. The alcohol in particular is upsetting. Attempts to be complex at the expense of balance and purity. Not at all subtle. Approachable, but it misses the mark for the style.

Mf: Crisp and clean. Smooth and wet. Suits the flavour profile well. To style. Overcarbonated. Decent presence on the palate.

Dr: Price point is way too high considering the quality here. I wouldn't get it again but it's an interesting take on a witbier. It feels very American and non-traditional; the brewers are trying to pack in flavour needlessly. A witbier is a subtle and balanced style; these brewers are forcing complexity where it has no place. Alcohol is too high and noticeable for the style. A decent attempt at the style, but a misguided one. The efforts to make it cidery and spicy largely fail, and we're left with a bad excuse for a witbier in terms of conventions. I'll be sticking to Allagash White; it's supremely better and the price point is more respectable - even though it's imported farther.

Low B-

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +3.6%

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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Photo of oline73
3.26/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a mostly clear golden amber color with almost a finger of fluffy white head that leaves a layer on top of the pour.

Smell: Sweet and malty. I'm picking up the Belgian spice from the yeast and some apples. There is almost a white wine not here as well.

Taste: The wit yeast contributes heavily. Lots of Belgian yeast spice. I'm getting the malt as well as the apples. The white wine doesn't show up a whole lot here. I'm getting some spice from the cayenne in the finish, but I don't get a whole lot from the cilantro.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly carbonation and a slightly dry finish.

Overall: This is a fairly weird beer. I'm not sure that it needed the spice in the finish. I'm glad I tried it, but wouldn't pick up another bottle.

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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 nickfl
4.19/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours with half a finger of white foam on top of a clear, golden body with tiny particles floating in it.

S - Wheat, spicy yeast, red apple, pepper, and lots of thick malt.

T - White wine, black pepper, and clove up front. Some dense malt in the middle and a finish of anise and red apple.

M - Medium-thick body, moderately high carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Not bad, it is a bit much at first but grows on me as I drink it and halfway through the glass it has become a spicy, fairly complex Belgian golden type beer.

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Photo of jlindros
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big creamy head nice lacing, semi hazy golden color.

Nose nice Belgian golden malts light herbal spices, hint of booze, hint of apple cider

Taste golden Belgian malts, hint of herbs and spices, light esters, light cider, coriander, just a hint of cilantro only when I want to find it, some warming booze. Finish is fairly bitter mostly herbs, a hint of cayenne comes through, light herbs and esters little sweet sticky.

Mouth is med to fuller bod decent carb.

Overall not bad, interesting flavors but a bit too much going on. The hint of cayenne at the back is a nice touch, but with so much else going on none of it really seems to go together perfectly either.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dogfish Head "Positive Contact"
750 ml, corked and caged.
$13.99 @ Wegmans market, Malvern, PA

Appearance: Hazy golden/straw-colored body. Short-lived bright white head. Minimal to average lacing. Looks like a glass of Champagne.

Smell: Pepper. Chalky/herbal. Sugary wheat/vanilla. Yeast. Spice. Apple. Sugar. Soft Phenol. Mineral.

Taste: As the flavor suggests with the addition of some white grape, alcohol, and candy sugar. Interesting. The combination of the tartness of the cider and the phenols from the yeast gives me an impression not unlike that of a wild ale. It's complex, and yet everything's on the surface (as opposed to a heavy barleywine where the complexities lie within layers of malt). Refreshing.

Mouthfeel: Medium and spritzy.

Overall: Unique. Easy to drink and refreshing, but also surprisingly complex.

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Photo of chinchill
3.69/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle (2013?) served in a Belgian snifter.
Pours a clear, deep golden color with a thin, weak head.

Aroma: There's a lot going on here. Spicy and interesting with a clear presence of apples, but the total is not entirely appealing to me, due in no small part to the occasional hint of cider vinegar.

Flavor: again complex with some ephemeral nuances. The Belgian Wit style and the use of apples do come out clearly. The warmth from the cayenne pepper is rather subtle.

M: Medium body and tinglingly carbonation.

O: This unusual, creative beer is a success, with a nicely crafted use of cilantro, apple cider, cayenne pepper and other unusual beer ingrediants producing a complex, interesting, fruity and distinctive blend that is well balanced (given the goal of creating a cider/beer hybrid) and still lets the underlying Belgian Wit character shine thru. Recommended.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 4/7/2014 at Doherty’s Ale House, in Warwick, RI served in a snifter glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a large foamy white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains Belgian yeast, wheat, citrus, spice, caramelized malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out very bready with a hearty malt character and flavors of wheat and Belgian yeast. Then some mildly sweet flavors of citrus, bananas, caramel and spices come in. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good stronger representation of style, this is a solid flavorful beer to drink for a while.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a hazy pale golden yellow in color with some straw yellow highlights and light to moderate amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall foamy white head that reduces to a mottled very thin film covering the entire surface of the beer with a couple of small thin patches and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of carbonation are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of wheat and apples fruitiness - there are some also light notes of cilantro and cinnamon. Light notes of banana and clove.

T: Upfront there is a light amount of wheat flavors with a moderate to strong flavor of apple cider with a touch of fruity sweetness. Next, you get some lighter notes of cilantro and cinnamon with just a touch of banana/clove. Very light notes of bitterness which fade almost immediately. Slightest hint of cayenne pepper towards the finish that becomes a little more noticeable as the beer warms up.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Moderate to strong amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: This beer is refreshing and easy to drink like others in the style, but the imperial nature of it makes the hidden alcohol all the more impressive. There is just a hint of hefeweizen, likely due to the yeast which contributes the very light notes of banana/cove.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.52/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at DFH, Rehoboth

Hazy, pale yellow pour, with a large cap of foamy white head that receded to a ringlet, leaving a few dots of lacing on the glass. Fairly typical wheat profile on the nose, with notes of apple and grape. Taste of toasted wheat, sweet apple cider, subtle grape and yeast flavors, herbal hops; I didn't really get any pepper characteristics at all. Light-medium body, decent overall, but not too memorable.

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Photo of mactrail
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very beautiful beer in the tall Stella glass. White foam, loads of lacing, and a glowing golden amber color. Richly carbonated with a fine mouthfeel. Aroma of cider, herbs, and honey.

Seriously fruity, but the apples are nice. Sweeter than cider apples, but very perfumey. Some malt, I suppose, as this is apparently some sort of beer. The Belgian yeasty flavor rides in to save this from sweet silliness. Dry and just a little puckery. Tartness against the sugary fruit. Spicy.

There's a room at Dogfish Head where they roll the big dice. Comin' up cilantro! Apples! Cayenne! It is some kind of fruit punch mixed with V-8 juice from the 30th century, but I have to admit it is very tasty and intriguing. Once of the better DF concoctions.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.39/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3

11 ounce pour - $9.00 at Taco Mac in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: A hazy, dark golden appearance, with a slim coating of white suds.

Smell: Slightly grainy malts with a musty, yeasty apple-scented aroma, some additional fruitiness, various fragrant spice notes, and sharper alcohol whiffs.

Taste: A flash of sugared sweetness overtop grainy barley with some light doughy hints and wheat malt. Apples, along with additional orchard fruits blended as best it can with rose hips, cardamon, tangy green grapes, fresh herbs, drying phenols -- it's a bit soapy, perfumy at times. Additional maltiness with the sustained spices on the warming finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-plus carbonation.

Overall: PC is a beverage that desperately needs to be paired with food. Me, I was fairly neutral about this contact.

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Photo of billab914
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into my Allagash glass. It poured golden amber in color with a thin, frothy, white head to it. Good head retention as I drank it.

The aroma shows the crisp, sweet, apple flavors pretty prominently. There is some tart, dry, grape like white wine qualities that keep the sweet apple juice flavors in check. The earthy Belgian yeast spice is pretty apparent in it as well. It's got some zesty citrus qualities, but I'm struggling to pick out the cilantro or faro. If I didn't know they were in there, I definitely wouldn't pick up on them. Pretty decent aroma overall, the flavors all came together pretty well. If anything, the yeast spice seemed to dominate the aroma a little for me. I'm actually surprised how normal the beer smells for all the additions though.

The apples have even more influence in the taste, giving it a very crisp, sweet and juicy quality. The earthy, spicy, Belgian yeast comes out a little more towards the finish. Some zesty citrus is there, but not as much as the aroma suggested. Again, I'm not really getting the faro and cilantro flavors or if I am I'm not recognizing them. The apples really seem like the focus of the beer to me, which was pretty nice.

The mouthfeel is on the lighter side with carbonation being high but delicate. Overall, it was a pretty decent beer. I really liked the apple flavors to it and they balanced out the sweet, juiciness of them pretty well. It was actually a lot more normal then I anticipated given the ingredient list, which is probably a good thing.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.57/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes.

A: Served in a goblet, the beer was a dark orange color with a very small off-white head on top, just covering the top, with extremely thin lacing that does not last.

S: Definitely get the cider and apple on the aroma. There is a slight grassy component and a hint of heat, probably from the cayenne.

T: An apple forward witbier for sure. There is a little bit of pear and an herbal flavor. There is a little bit of hot spice at the back and as the beer goes down.

M: Medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, probably could have been a bit higher.

O: A different take on a witbier and a nice change of pace from the normal offerings at DFH.

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Photo of russpowell
3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
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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Photo of smcolw
4.04/5  rDev +4.7%
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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Positive Contact from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.86 out of 5 based on 1,097 ratings.
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