May 15, 2013

Dogfish Head Noble Rot

I knew going into purchasing this beer that the term “noble rot” was related to wine more so than it was beer. Beyond that I’ll plead ignorance. But thanks to the Intergooglewebs, I learned that “noble rot” refers to the fungus botrytis and its infection (and subsequent results) upon grapes still on the vine. The process partially raisins the grape making for a sweeter and fuller flavor.

Dogfish Head decided to take the juice of these infected grapes (along pinot gris must) and add it to a Saison base. The end result is a beer appropriately titled Noble Rot that is an attempt to successfully marry the two worlds of beer and wine. I’m not sure if you could ever truly craft a wine/beer hybrid, but I can safely state that this 9% ABV brew is pretty damn tasty.


The beer pours a pale, straw yellow with a bright white cap of dense foam that showed pretty good durability and lacing as it slowly dropped.


White vinous grapes, light barnyard funk, grains and herbal notes all come together within this fairly earthy aroma.


Yep. There’s definitely some grape juice within this beer’s depths. The vinous grape must arrives immediately and lasts throughout the life of each swallow. Funk, yeast and earthy grains help compliment the dominate vinous character of this beer. The grapes certainly are the star of this show. There’s a touch of tartness and sourness that help fill out the slightly dry finish.


There have been a few experiments from Dogfish Head over the past couple of years that I just couldn’t fully get behind. This one, however, I can see myself enjoying many times over, especially lounging about in the backyard hammock after a long day’s work. The addition of various grape musts to Noble Rot make for an intriguing beer that you’ve got to at least try once and then leave the rest for me.

Rating: 4.25/5

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