Video Review: Dogfish Head Noble Rot



Here’s a quick look at Noble Rot, Dogfish Head’s beer/wine hybrid that was brewed with grapes infected with the botrytis fungus.Β  While it sounds gross, the result is actually a wonderfully sophisticated beer that your wine snob friends (if you have any, traitor!) are sure to love.

For more about Noble Rot from the man himself, check out our interview with Sam Calagione.



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Categories: Beer, review


Craft beer nerd, frequent beer blogger and occasional home brewer.

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32 Comments on “Video Review: Dogfish Head Noble Rot”

  1. John King
    February 23, 2012 at 9:16 am #

    I’ve been referred to as a “weird king dude” before. 😦

    Pro: I give you endless amounts of shit, but that was pretty damn good Jimbo. That’s what I like to see around here.

    Con: No appearance on Donny Bear in the basement, it should be like a version of Where’s Waldo.

    • February 23, 2012 at 9:21 am #

      I just let out an audible sigh of frustration – No Donnybear! What was I thinking?! That won’t happen again!

  2. February 23, 2012 at 10:58 am #

    When did you move into Buffalo Bill’s old house? After seeing your basement, I have an urge to put the lotion in the basket. πŸ˜‰

    Nice job on the review; I’ll try to secure a bottle of my own.

    • February 23, 2012 at 10:59 am #

      You’re gonna get the hose again!!!

  3. February 23, 2012 at 11:08 am #

    Kudos Jim!

    First off, let me say that anyone who is turned off by the name doesn’t understand the process of fermentation and should probably swear off beer, wine, cheese, yoghurt, tofu, kimchi, nuoc mam, lutefisk, kvass, etc, etc., ad nauseum.

    Secondly, I’m gonna rush down to my beer cave and see if they have any–I’ve been waiting for this one to come out.

    Thirdly, if you like this product, how can you not like Duchesse de Burgogne? DdB is the closest approximation to a sparkling wine that I’ve ever tasted and easily earns the old Miller’s description “The Champagne of Bottled Beers”.

    • February 23, 2012 at 11:09 am #

      Funny you mention the Duchesse. My next post for TODAY will revolve around her – I’m gonna see if the third time is the charm. Also thinking about doing a video for it – My Date with the Duchesse!

      Stay tuned, Massugu – I want to love her!

      • February 23, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

        Ha! The Duchesse was the first thing that popped into my head when I saw your review. I LOVE that beer. Hope the third try works for you.

        Great review by the way! Makes me want to run out and buy it. Just one thing…. since when is “Review” spelled “Reivew”?

        • February 23, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

          Since spellcheck doesn’t work in the title section on WordPress! Fixed it. First “virus” instead of “fungus” and now this – I’m batting 1000 today!

        • February 23, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

          There’s a bright side… at least you know we’re paying attention. πŸ™‚

        • Don
          February 23, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

          That is a bit like the teacher paying attention to you in school. A real double edged sword! πŸ˜‰

        • February 23, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

          Its nice to know that I’m not the only one who suffers from keyboard dyslexia.

      • February 23, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

        Picked up 2 bombers this afternoon–my beer cave had dozens–one for me & one for the s-in-l. I’ll let ya know what I think. (Anybody wanna share?) πŸ˜‰

        Also loved the interview w/ Sam–next time ya talk to him mention the Froach will ya?

        • February 23, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

          Sure. What’s the Froach?!

        • February 23, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

          That Scottish heather beer I mentioned before. The recipe is supposed to go all the way back to the Picts and sounds like a perfect project for Sam.

      • February 23, 2012 at 7:41 pm #

        Okay Jimbo, I tried it, its not slug bait but its not the Duchesse either–sorry.

        The effervescent character of this beer is reminiscent of the Duchesse, but it seems more forced, more er… commercial? The color has a suggestion of the grapes used in the mix–its very clear. I used a snifter for tasting–to capture all the aroma. Its nose is that of beer…overlaid with something I would classify as musty (no it wasn’t a particularly pleasant overlay.) I had my wife, who enjoys the occasional glass of good white wine, for her opinion. She agreed with me on the aroma but couldn’t place the overlay–although she didn’t like it. The taste is sour–I’m sorry, that’s what I get–sour. Since I like sour flavors that’s not a complete downer, but I do look for a bit more complex flavor profile in a beer, especially one produced by Sam Calagione.

        If Don can’t get his hands on this stuff in ID, I heartily suggest that you Fedex him a bottle so he can taste and compare it to the Duchesse. I trust his nose and palate more than I do the average bear.

        Note: I will finish off this bottle–perhaps I’ll like a second taste more. But I doubt I’ll buy it again.

        • February 24, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

          An afterthought: After my wife tasted it she said it tasted like somebody had dumped grape juice into my beer. That kind of collected dust in in the musty attic of my mind for most of the night and when I woke up this A.M., I realized that what she was describing was what I call the “Malt Duck experience.”

          Malt Duck was a blend of National Bohemian Beer (brewed in Baltimore at the time) and grape juice concentrate (yeah, like Welches’). It came out in 1970 and was sold in a quart bottle w/ a screw top. We had one customer who came into our liquor store once a week for her quart of the stuff–that’s all she ever bought. The Duck was sweeter and lacked the sour overtones of NR, but bottom-line, I’d have to say that the NR taste experience was equivalent to that of an up-scale version of the Duck–w/ maybe a little lemon juice added. Neither fish nor fowl, it didn’t satisfy my taste for beer or wine.

          BTW: there’s a movement afoot to resuscitate the Duck, so you may well be writing it up for the TODAY blog in future.

        • February 24, 2012 at 12:27 pm #

          The Duck sounds cool, but I’m a sucker for any adult beverage with a wide mouth screw top opening. Maybe except Micky’s Malt Liquor, but that’s mostly my fault – I liked it a little too much all at once. πŸ˜‰

        • February 24, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

          The Duck is usually fondly remembered by former teens and college preppies who overdosed on it. It was probably the first of the pop-rock beers.

        • February 24, 2012 at 2:22 pm #

          You’re a national treasure, Massugu.

  4. February 23, 2012 at 11:44 am #

    Had a bottle myself this weekend–it was an interesting experience, definitely worth trying and perhaps it would be a good inroad for the wine crowd, although I do find that many winos (aficionados that is) are more interested in reds than whites.

    • February 23, 2012 at 11:50 am #

      That’s what Raison D’Etre is for – red wine folks!

      Noble Rot is a beer every craft geek should try. As you said, it’s an interesting experience.

  5. Tom
    February 23, 2012 at 11:50 am #

    Botrytis = fungus, not a virus.

    • February 23, 2012 at 11:52 am #

      You = Better proofreader than me.

      Fixed it – thanks for the catch, Tom.

  6. David T
    February 24, 2012 at 9:36 pm #

    I’m curious if you’ve had DFH’s Midas Touch and if so how the two compare? Unfortunately I’ve not seen Noble Rot locally but I will definitely keep my eye out as I know I’d enjoy it. BTW I liked the video review & hope you do more!

    • February 24, 2012 at 11:07 pm #

      Thanks, David. Midas is waaay sweeter than Noble Rot, and has a huge gush of white grape juice in every sip. Good stuff! Noble Rot is almost like a sour, very tart and dry. Midas is a confection compared to it.

  7. Hislocal
    March 1, 2012 at 1:40 pm #

    I’ve always described Dogfish’s Midas Touch as a cross between beer & wine…………how would you say Noble Rot compares/relates to that?

    • March 1, 2012 at 2:49 pm #

      Midas is a sweet treat, full of muscat goodness, while Noble Rot is much more like a dry champagne, much more tart and a bit more challenging to drink (but very good).

  8. March 1, 2012 at 2:37 pm #

    Jim, which store you pick this up at? I wanna grab a bottle or two. Also, just finished posting a review of Dogfish’s 3 “music series” beers. Seriously, seriously disappointed with the last two as a music geek.

    • March 1, 2012 at 2:51 pm #

      I picked it up at Liquor Outlet, but they only got two cases, and it was two weeks if you do the math…doesn’t look good…


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