Are you a wine drinker trying to get to know craft beer? Are you a beer drinker wanting to have something close to wine? Does your significant other like wine but can’t make the jump to craft beer? Well Dogfish Head has a beer for you. Noble Rot is another interesting release from one of the most innovative breweries in the country (and one of my favorites). Delaware based Dogfish Head consistently push the envelope with their inventive, exploratory approach to creating new beers. This is no exception. Brewed with the juice of two different grapes handled in a special way to intensify their flavors they push the boundary between wine and beer. The first grapes are the unfermented juice of viognier grapes infected with botrytis, a fungus that reduces the water content of the grapes concentrating their flavor and sugars. The second are pinot gris grapes that have been cultivated using a technique called “dropping fruit” where some clusters of grapes are removed which helps intensify the remaining grapes. Add that to pils and wheat malts and fermented with a Belgian yeast and you have what comes off like a mix between a tart but slightly fruity white wine and a Saison.
It pours the color of light golden champagne and is finely carbonated like the same (much more so than another supposedly “champagne like beer” recently released). The nose is tart, fresh crisp fruit, floral, lemony citrus, winey, with a Saison background. Flavor is very winey, as much wine character as any beer I’ve had, and it works. It has the Saison background with some tartness, a little funk and more lemon citrus. The finish just reinforces the tart white wine. Really good. Looking forward to having another bottle of this and maybe even springing this on my white wine drinking Mother… maybe. This would go great with sautéed shellfish. Thinking I’m going to try replacing the wine in a steamed mussels recipe with this. 9% ABV Recommended.