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Zwaanend'ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Zwaanend'aleZwaanend'ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

65 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 65
Reviews: 54
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 10.65%
Wants: 34
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Brewery visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
Bock |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Brewed to commemorate the 375th Anniversary Celebration for the first town (Lewes) in the first state (Delaware), this is an old Dutch-style Rye Bokbier brewed with honey.

(Beer added by: hopsaplenty on 04-25-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 65 | Reviews: 54 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by trappistlover:
Photo of trappistlover
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%

(750ml bottle from Susan!!!) This was a big want of mine! Pours hazy orange/light ruby. White head with little carbonation. Aroma is caramel, candied sugar. Taste is sweet with a bit of bitterness, but not much. Medium bodied with sticky texture. This is smooth. Many, many thanks for this surprise. A nice surprise.

trappistlover, Jul 04, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of tuckevalastin
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%

2006 Bottle

A: Pours a dark amber color. Very translucent with a small head that doesn't last long.

S: Has a strong sweet malty aroma. Smells of dark fruit/raison with some honey and carmel type tones.

T: The taste follows where the smell left off. Again sweet malts dominate. Raisons, honeys, and some caramels are clearly noticable.

M: A medium bodied beer with little spice and not much heat. A pretty smooth beer.

D: The sweet malts are pretty strong but it is still rather drinkable.

Overall, this beer is pretty decent four years later. I never tried a fresh one so I can't speak for what the aging did but it's definetly one I drank pretty easily.

D:

tuckevalastin, May 16, 2010
Photo of OStrungT
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%

This beer pours a golden color, whit a thin white head. The head fades quickly, leaving minimal laces. Tiny bubbles rise from the bottom of the glass.

This beer has a sweet malty aroma. I can detect some fruity notes also. That is odd, but not bad. It has almost no hop aroma. What I can detect, smells like Saaz. Slightly peppery, whit some citrus zest.

This beer tastes exactly like it smells. It is sweet. It has a caramel malt flavor. Behind that, I taste a slight raisin flavor. The hop flavor is almost non existant. The ABV is well hidden in this beer.

This beer goes down smooth, leaving a sweet aftertaste. It is full bodied and sweet. It is carbonated to perfection.

This beer might make a good session beer, if it was available here.

Overall: Thanks ggaughan for giving me the chance to try this beer, as part of a great trade. Tomorrow, I will be sending you some more great beers. I hope you enjoy. Great beer.

OStrungT, Jan 08, 2007
Photo of ggaughan
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%

Tasted on the 4th of July with my cousin, bro and family. What a treat as I have been waiting to try this one for a few months now. The beer poured a clear coppish color with a thick nicely carbonated head and body. There was a nice fruity aroma to this one, light. The taste is also sweet and a bit syrupy but not overly. There is a good touch of honey and caramel that makes this bock enjoyable and fairly drinkable in my book.

ggaughan, Jul 07, 2006
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%

Well I didn't know what to expect from Zwanneed ale, or whatever it's called. All I knew was that it had a goofy name, and a tag hanging on the shelf below it that said "sold only in DE" - and that had me sold! I think it was $9.

I paid it no attention when I opened and poured it, assuming that since it was from DFH it would be PDG (pretty damned good). But boyeee-boy, was I wrong! It's PDG... (pretty damned great)!

It poured a clear orange-amber-copper body beneath a finger-thick head of light tan foam. The nose was malty with a distinctly caramelish side. The head slowly dropped, but then left a nice, average-sized creamy collar and a smattering of creamy spots here and there about the glass. The nose pulled me in once again - oh so sweet!

In the mouth it was full bodied with just a light caress across the tongue from the moderate carbonation.

The flavor was an eye opener! Bam!..(to quote Emeril)... Maltiness! Caramel, rich and sweet with an underlying current of dark sugar and light spice (I don't know if that's from the rye or the alcohol, or both!), black raisins, and nuts (even cashews!). It's rich and sugary, and caramelish, and grainy, and doughy, and spicy and nutty and.... well, just one big ball of malty-caramel-spice with a mild fruity edge. Very nice!

The alcohol is very well hidden, although it does show midway; but it's also kind of sweet which tends to cover that. And, overall, for such a big beer with a sweet edge, I found it pretty well-balanced and far from cloying. I REALLY enjoyed it, and I hope to find it again so that I can buy whatever they have in stock. VERY NICE!!!

NeroFiddled, Oct 12, 2006
Photo of nickd717
3.85/5  rDev 0%

2006 bottle via trade thanks to truehumand on BA, shared at a tasting surrounding the Bruery hoopla.

Pours a somewhat hazy dark amber color with a nice off-white head and some decent lacing.

Aroma is sweet, malty, and very dark fruity. Caramel, toffee, plum, and raisin stand out.

Flavor is also loads of dark fruit - plum, raisin, and fig mostly - very sweet, with caramel, toffee, maple syrup, and wood. Some mild sherry-like oxidation going on.

Medium-full on the body and somewhat syrupy with fairly soft carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good. I like what they did here overall, even if it's not a standout.

nickd717, Jan 20, 2010
Photo of Beertracker
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Dogfish Head's Zwaanend'ale was brewed to commemorate the 375th Anniversary Celebration of Lewes, Delaware. According to the brewery this is an old Dutch-style Rye Bokbier brewed with honey. This special anniversary Bock pours up with ample carbonation that creates a long standing & stable creamish white head with loose bubbles that prominently stands atop a deep amber-gamboge orange body. The honeyish nose displays some rich toasted maltiness that's reminiscent of freshly baked sourdough rye bread with wisps of dried fruits (e.g. apricots, mangos, pawpaws, etc...), spicy hops, and grain alcohol. Maybe just a hint of dusty oxidation? The satisfying flavor is dominated by a sweet doughy maltiness with some caramel & honey notes (e.g. Baklava) along with a pleasant nuttiness (e.g. roasted & salted pistachios) that's marked by just a touch of spicy (e.g. caraway seed, cumin) bitterness. The slightly salty/mineral like finish is a touch heavy, but there's sufficient bitterness, alcoholic complexity, and some dryness from the rye to keep it from becoming overly cloying. This finely crafted specialty Bock from Dogfish shows just how diverse this brewery can be and comes highly recommended if you have a bottle hidden in your cellar. If not, definitely trade or track one down! My suggested food pairing is Apfel-Currywurst und Pommes Frites (sliced & browned Bratwursts smothered with sautéd sweet Vidalia onions, honey-pepper bacon bits, and Granny Smith apples covered in a spicy curry sauce served over French fried Yukon Gold potatoes served in a thick bowl with buttered slices of freshly baked sourdough rye bread. Here's to the first state in the Union!

PROST! Beertracker

*Taster's Note: Special thanks to travisd13 for the bottle.

Beertracker, Feb 06, 2008
Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%

Poured Vom Fuss at the DogFish Head Ale House, to a big pint glass. Bright and clear orangesish amber liquid with good carbonation. A respectable 2 finger head that fades fast and leaves a nice lace.

The smell is very fruity with some rye bread.

The taste is strikingly peachy and sweet, some lightly toasted rye bread. Carmely notes and a very smooth, yet slightly dry, hopy finish. 8% ABV is expertly hidden behind a very interesting and well planner flavor profile.

Mouthfeel is very good, nice carbonation, a good medium to full body and a smart complex flavor profile. A very elegant and well crafted beer.

The drinkability is very high, big satisfaction from this fruity bock. A clear winner. Prosit und Zum Wohl! MK

MuenchenerKindl, Aug 02, 2006
Photo of akorsak
3.3/5  rDev -14.3%

This is a pint of Zwaanend'ale served at the Dogfish Head Alehouse in Gaithersburg, MD.

Appearance: The ale is a hazy yellow-orange color with a small ring of head.

Smell: There is a strong malt aroma here but not much else.

Taste: The taste gets a little dicey. Some of the flavors come across as slightly metallic (say bad lines, maybe?). The alcohol is well hidden, unfortunately so is the rye that I was hoping to taste.

Mouthfeel: The ale sits a little uncomfortably on the palate.

Drinkability: This is not the first DFH brew that I'd turn too.

akorsak, Jul 25, 2006
Photo of lou91
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

I think DFH makes good beers and aside from the WWS and Festiva Lente I have not blow away by there lineup. This is another example of a good but not great beer. All the right ingredients, look and tastes- maybe a bit too sweet. Malty, sweet with a long caramel aftertaste. Worth a try but I hope this is not big bucks.

lou91, Oct 25, 2006
Photo of mikesgroove
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%

Very excited to try this ale. I had been trying to track this one down for ages it seemed like. Dogfish is not available in SC and was only available in NC after this was brewed. So it was up to trading, which I was lucky enough to score. Big bottle with an awesome label promoting the 375th anniversary.

A little history for this one, In 1631, a handful of Dutch adventurers, led by David Petersen DeVries, set foot upon the sandy soil, now known as Lewes, Delaware - where the land was flat and the air, sweet with salt. They proclaimed it Swanendael, or “Swan Valley,” the first settlement established in the New World. Over the course of generations, stalwart souls in the area would endure territorial disputes, invasions, and burnings. They would have seafaring marauders pilfer their possessions and British military forces destroy their peace.

Nearly five generations would pass from the founding of this first colonial settlement, also known as Zwaanendael, until the maturation of an independent governing body, capable of ratifying the constitution. Such bold perseverence deserves recognition - Zwaanendael, for its significance as the first settlement, and Delaware, for its prominence as the first state.

In celebration of the 375th anniversary of the Zwaanendael settlement, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery of Milton, Delaware, USA, has designed Zwaanend’ale, a rye bock based on vintage recipes of Dutch heritage.

Dense loaves of rye and pumpernickel are traditional fare in the Dutch diet, so Dogfish Head has carefully selected a strain of rye grain from the United Kingdom for this very special anniversary ale. Pils malt makes up the base, with rye comprising 5% of the grist. The rye adds a zesty spiciness. Organic wildflower honey intensifies the sweetness of the rich malt profile.

Awesome to have a beer with such a back story, so now let u see what it tastes like...

A - Poured a somewhat hazy honey tinged brown. A nice almost wooden lacquer like color. Had a decided mead like color to it. Small maybe an inch head faded quickly and left really nothing behind but a thin topper of lace. Lots of carbonation streaming up from the bottom made it look very lively. Not very much side glass lace.

S - Aroma was very very light, almost too light that it was hard to pick up anything really strong or dominating. Some light grapes and a touch of something sweet, cane sugar or caramel maybe. Some earthy type of hop maybe in the back, but overall was really hard to pick up anything too specific, just not enough punch to it.

T - This was an odd one. It was like a cross between a light wine and a brown ale would be the best way to try and categorize it. A very fruity grape like finish to it. initial taste was somewhat bitter and grainey. It taste kinda like an old style, like the meads would be a perfect example. Some yeast and some very nice tones of grain but that was it, not very strong in flavor either. No hint of alcohol what so ever.

M - Very smooth, almost a little slick, but nothing bad in anyway. Just a little bit syrupy for me. It was a little flat and could have benefitted from some more carbonation. to really give it some pop.

D - Pretty decent overall, however it was just rather bland. I had no problem polishing off the 750ml by mself, but with it being as syrup like as it was it would be hard for me to really have anymore then that,

Overall I have to say I was kinda dissapointed by this. I thought it would have been alot better then it was. It just did not have any real kick to it. And came off with a rather bland taste overall. Really needed a little extra something to put it over the top. Still a pretty decent novelty beer and if you can get one a nice one to have under your belt to say you tried it.

mikesgroove, Aug 18, 2007
Photo of metter98
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%

A: The beer is hazy amber-brown in color and poured with a very thin head that quickly died down, leaving lacing on the surface and a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are sweet aromas of malt and raisins in the nose.
T: The overall taste is quite malty with flavors of raisins sweet potatoes and hints of malty sweetness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and slightly syrupy on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is well balanced for the style—possibly because the spiciness from the rye helps to prevent this beer from becoming overly sweet or cloying.

metter98, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of mendvicdog
4/5  rDev +3.9%

mendvicdog, Feb 25, 2013
Photo of weeare138
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%

Thanks to Tomdecapolis for this...
Appears a transparent gold with a small white head. Scattered lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of sugary candy, caramel, toffee, and spices.
Taste is of the same aromas with a honey sweetness that is all over the place.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, full of lingering cherries, and honey. The abv is definitely noticable in this one.

weeare138, Jul 17, 2006
Photo of Zorro
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Sampled due to the efforts of lackenhauser.

Pours a beautiful deeply copper colored beer with no real head formation.

Smell is slightly sweet with the clear and strong scent of rye in the nose. Lots of rye bread aroma and the pleasant sour snap that only rye has. Some fruity scents are present here too mostly raisins and nuts. There is a mild peppery smell here from the alcohol that is pleasant.

Taste is thick and rather syrup like with a good taste of raisins, nuts and rye at the beginning. Toffee and vanilla flavors kicks in after a while and the taste stays rather sweet. Faint rye after taste, hops don't do much here.

Mouthfeel is full.

Any OK beer to drink but this beer throws your senses quite a few curve balls. The idea of a rye bock beer is imaginative to say the least and it does confuse the taste buds a bit. This is certainly easy to drink and I don't think age will change this much so drink it up and don't save this Delaware commemorative beer.

Zorro, Jun 05, 2006
Photo of Phatz
4.53/5  rDev +17.7%

Appearance: This beer pours a transparent caramel color or copper. Very thick looking even in the pour with little carbonation it appears a bit syrupy from the start.

Smell: Fresh squeezed apple juice with a sprinkle of nutmeg. There is now bitterness whatsoever. This is a very sweet aroma.

Taste: Juicy Juicy Juicy. Malty and loaded with raw sugar (the classic DFH sugar element) this is a nice, easy sweet bock with a splash of vanilla and a slight sour twang, just enough to keep the sweet from becoming cloying.

Mouthfeel: Exceptionally smooth and a bit syrupy with a slick oiliness through the center.

Drinkability: What is not to like about this beer. Very tasty and very drinkable.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

Phatz, Jun 05, 2006
Photo of rdickey
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%

Source: 750 ml capped bottle. No freshness date.

Appearance: Deep amber with an off-white half-finger head that dissipates rapidly.

Smell: Malty sweetness, with something else – dried fruit?

Taste: Very sweet… the honey comes through here, as well as more of the dried fruit taste.

Mouthfeel: Ok, but not great. Not enough crispness here to keep the sweet taste from being cloying.

Drinkability: Maybe I’m not in the right mood for this kind of beer, and perhaps this would pair well with a fruity dessert, but I find it hard to imagine drinking more than one of these.

rdickey, Dec 23, 2006
Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.15/5  rDev -18.2%

I found this on tap at The Grey Lodge Public House.

This beer came a pale brown amber with a wide collar of creamy white.

Smelled of sweet potatoes, caramel and over-ripe green apples.

Tasted big and sticky sweet like caramel, candied apple and red licorice. The hops reminded me of the spiciness found in DFH’s Punkin’ Ale for some reason with a little nutmeg.

The mouth feel was medium bodied and vicious but silky with a light carbonation.

As far as style goes, this one’s a little confusing. Regardless of style, it was too sweet for me.

DarkerTheBetter, Sep 02, 2006
Photo of Gasp100
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%

This pours a deep, clear copper with crimson hues and soft, sticky lacing down the glass. This is a really, really nice color - think Autumn.
The smell is of gingerbread, carmel, sweet fruits and cinamon. The taste is really sweet and there is a lot of depth. I don't detect much in the hop department, but a lot of carmel and biscuit from heavy malts. It's almost a little syrupy for my tastes without a crisp finish.
The mouthfeel is thick and a little cloying but very smooth with a slight bitter twinge in the after taste.
The drinkability is a little low on this because of the sweet, estery profile and syrup-like taste and mouthfeel. A bomber is perfect for this sample - this is not a session beer (although it hides to 8% nicely) but it pretty complex and worth a try.

Gasp100, Sep 08, 2006
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Acquired via trade from mymrnngjckt, so a big Thank You goes out to him. Poured from a 750ml bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a deep amber color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is sweet and malty with caramel, honey, brown sugar and spices. There's a touch of hops in the background as well.

T: The taste is likewise very sweet with flavors of honey, brown sugar and caramel up front along with a mild alcohol sting. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy. There's a decent hops presence that provides some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry but slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, slightly filling, good kick, nice representation of style while still being a little different which is the norm for a DFH beer (and especially their one-off releases), it's a good beer, but it's not one that I could see myself drinking more than one bottle of, nor could I see myself selecting it over too many other beers.

TheManiacalOne, Feb 17, 2008
Photo of connecticutpoet
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%

Obtained 4-20-09, in an in-person trade with AdamB84 at Julio's Liquors in Westborough MA. I got this, and he got a 2007 Sanctification. This was bottled 4-14-06. Just over 3 years old... gotta be good.

Opened with barely a hiss. Got a huge whiff of aroma (see notes later). Poured out a nice clear amber brew, with a half finger head that was rather noisy at first. It eventually subsided completely.

Aroma was VERY complex and multilayered. Dark fruits (mainly raisins and prunes), rum, rich strong malts, sweet, honey-like, brown sugar all blended together. Wow. And yet, despite all this, it still definitely had that distinctive bock smell. Although if I had to choose a style based on just the smell, I would have picked doppelbock.

Taste starts out with rich full malts, then some fruitiness. It was a little estery, with a little rye bite, and finished with a honey-biscuit sweetness. On the swallow, the alcohol made itself known.

Mouthfeel was full, rich, viscous but not oily, with some warming character from the alcohol. Somewhat chewy, but not overbearing.

Drinkability... damn I wish this wasn't retired. I could go through two bottles of this in one sitting and not flinch. VERY deceptively easy drinking.

connecticutpoet, Apr 22, 2009
Photo of CWiggins
4.35/5  rDev +13%

I acquired a bottle of this beer from a friend who recently visited the Dogfish Head brewery in Delaware. I gave her some money and told her to pick any item she deemed interesting, and she came back with three beers: the 120-Minute IPA, a bottle of Jin, and a 750ml bottle of Zwaanend'ale. The latter I knew absolutely nothing about, and so I waited until Thanksgiving to pop it open and serve it to friends at dinner. One month ago I visited the brewery and came back with several of their hard-to-find offerings, including a case of Zwaanend'ale. The first bottle of that case has just been opened, and I've decided to post my review based on this most recent tasting. (This evening, actually!)

I poured this beer into a Dogfish Head snifter and immediately notice the beautiful brown hue exhibited through the glass. No substantial head formed, just a sparse foam that lasted briefly. The aroma is mainly of a sugary sweetness and honey, with hints of dark malts and dried fruits. It's intriguing, to say the least.

I love the flavor of this beer. Being a fan of the Bock style, I noticed the similarities almost immediately, but also the differences: it has the inherent light sweetness of Bock beers, but the rye flavor keeps it from being too much. Also, the rye gives it a particular dark character that is most unusual. Nice hints of honey, fruit, and brown sugar, and the 8%ABV provides just the right amount of warming at the finish. There's very little bitterness here to speak off, which I suppose is typical of the Bock style.

The mouthfeel is big but not sticky. It lingers on the palate for just the right length of time.

I love this beer, and I'm really glad I purchased a case of twelve 750ml bottles, since this beer may not be produced again after 2006. (It was made in celebration of the 375th anniversary of the founding of Lewes, Delaware, a historic town halfway between the brewery and Rehoboth Beach, where the Dogfish Head Brewpub is located.)

CWiggins, Jan 03, 2007
Photo of dbrauneis
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

dbrauneis, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of hopsaplenty
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%

750ml brown bottle, bottled on 4/14/06. According to the label, this is an old Dutch-style Rye Bockbier brewed with honey.

Bronzed copper. Thick, sticky head of fine off white bubbles that leaves fat bands of lacing. Sweet, clean aroma with rich malt and a slightly spicy hop note. The taste is thick with sugary malt and just a hint of gentle hop spice. Caramel and butterscotch are prominent along with a modest alcohol component that comes through in the finish. Finishes sweet and tacky and a touch warming from the alcohol. I did not pick up any distinct honey notes other than the sweetness. The body is medium-full and has a heavy, slightly cloying mouthfeel which may have been helped by bumping up the carbonation. This was a bit heavy and overly sweet which hurts its drinkability and would have benefited from just a touch more spicy hops. Happy 375th Lewes, the original home of the DFH brewery!

hopsaplenty, Jul 17, 2006
Photo of RBorsato
2.75/5  rDev -28.6%

RBorsato, Oct 16, 2013
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Zwaanend'ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 65 ratings.