Sunday, March 4, 2012

Game Day Beer Review: Dogfish Head Noble Rot Saison / Farmhouse Ale

(9.00% ABV)  Dogfish Head's Noble Rot is one unique beer.  Or is it a wine...?  Composed of 51% beer and 49% wine, Noble Rot is a one-of-a-kind saison, and offers yet another example of Dogfish Head pushing the boundaries of what it means to be a beer.  Noble Rot was brewed by Dogfish, in collaboration with the Alexandria Nicole Cellars, located in Prosser, Washington, on America's West Coast.

I was more than pleasantly surprised to find the Rot on tap during a recent trip to Tap 42 in Fort Lauderdale, and quickly determined that I needed to taste it.  It was poured into a chalice (pictured above), and appeared an incredibly clear and light, translucent yellow, with a massive head of foam as thick as shaving cream. The picture above is much too dark to do the beer any justice.

The beer smelled primarily of honey and clove. It also offered a distinctly grapey smell, the result of the Rot being made with must (grape juice that contains, skins, stems and seeds) from viognier grapes that were infected with a benevolent fungus called botrytis.

But if the smell was interesting, it was the in the tasting that this beer was truly mind-blowing.  Wow!  Noble Rot tastes like a wine!!  A dry white wine, to be sure, but definitely a wine. The Rot is thinnish in body, and offers an ultra-clean, wine-like finish.

This is a great beer, truly unlike any other beer I've ever tasted.  I'm very glad I was able to sample it on draft, and I'm now actively hunting it down in the bottle. A

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