Zwaanend'ale - Dogfish Head Brewery
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Ratings: 65 | Reviews: 54 | Display Reviews Only:
3.33/5 rDev -13.5%
Poured into pint glass from bottle.
A- Amber color with light head that goes quickly.
S- The smell that I really noticed was the muted malts. This beer has a rye base, but it really is not in the nose.
T- Great Malty sweetness with an alcohol rye finish.
M- Very full feel with a sweet candy coating in your mouth after.
D- Nice to try, but not high on my list to ever have again. This is the second time I have tried this beer and my impressions did not change over time.
09-10-2007 18:18:59 | More by mobud
3.53/5 rDev -8.3%
Appearance: Pours a clear, deep amber body with a thin, fizzy white head.
Smell: Sweet, rich toffee and full notes of prunes. Slight hint of sherry.
Taste: Copious amounts of sugary sweetness with flavors of caramel and honey upfront. I'm not really getting much in the way of rye (or hops for that matter) More of the syrup-soaked prune and fig fruitiness. Slight sherry on the sweet, warming finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Syrupy mouthfeel.
Drinkability: A decisively sugary sweet beer, perhaps overly so.
09-02-2007 17:53:12 | More by ChainGangGuy
3.35/5 rDev -13%
*did not mind would not buy*
app: dullish copper not much head.
smell: dark fruits warm sweet brown sugar. nice
taste: easy going, simple, dark, sweet.. but not to sweet. good flavor, nothing to balance it out, but easy going.
mf: bit coating after a few gulps, maybe a bit to flat.
drinkable?: gits a bit thick
09-01-2007 23:35:50 | More by AndoBrew
3.23/5 rDev -16.1%
Poured from a 750ml bottle into a wine glass.
A-Brown-amber, clear. 1/2 inch head fell to near nothing in a few seconds.
S-Caramel malt sweetness, toffee, dried fruit, raisans. Rye spice
T-Very sweet. Toffee, caramel, spicy rye grains, alcohol zing
M-medium body, alcohol zing and a tingle from the rye. Carbonation is weak
D-I didn't love this, I probably won't be seeking out again.
08-20-2007 20:07:04 | More by jackorain
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 Zwaanendale, 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.
08-18-2007 01:20:45 | More by mikesgroove
4.38/5 rDev +13.8%
Lacquered kumquat with multiple streams of fine carbonation contributing to a softly frothy cap that looks like a wedge of lemon mousse. Abstract splotches of sudsy lace look very nice on the glass above. I'm impressed so far.
Zwaanend'ale is described on the label as a 'neo-traditional' offering (actually, that describes most Dogfish Head beer). The nose, however, is that of a traditional bock. I can't be sure that I appreciate the honey and dates per se, but this 'Dutch Rye Bock' smells sweet and malty and fruity... and wonderful.
It tastes even more wonderful. The honey is now obvious and adds a sweetness that could not have come solely from malt sugars. I'm sure the dates (also appreciated) add sugars of their own. I didn't expect this to be a dessert beer, but it's definitely sweet enough to be just that.
In my opinion, rye malt is the ingredient that makes Zwaanend'ale work as well as it does. It adds a spiciness and a complexity that most bocks lack (yes, in my opinion). Listen up craft brewers of America... give us more big rye beer! The contrast between sweet and spicy is some kind of delicious.
The flavor profile consists of butter toffee, pureed dates, buckwheat honey and shaved orange peel. This is one time when I'm happy that Sam went all neo-traditional on my ass. All that extra stuff makes for a much better 'bokbier' that the traditional recipes can manage. The alcohol is even expertly masked; not alway a given with this brewery.
If you like medium-bodied beer that is also lightly syrupy, then the mouthfeel will be right up your alley. I do and it's up mine (alley that is). It seems that corn is the secret ingredient that was added to lighten things up a little and keep the beer breezily, easily drinkable. Mission accomplished. The mouthfeel has that telltale lagery smoothness with a nicely rounded beginning, middle and end.
Zwaanend'ale is a beer pun on Zwaanendael (Old Dutch for 'Swan Dale'), a former colonial settlement near the Dogfish Head Brewery. Not only is it one of the best DFH brews that I've ever had, it's one of the best bocks that I've ever had. Too bad it was only brewed one time. Here's hoping that it becomes a seasonal at the very least. A big 'thank you' to lackenhauser for the bottle.
07-16-2007 22:14:38 | More by BuckeyeNation
3.85/5 rDev 0%
Clear medium amber with a thin beige head that showed a bit of lacing. Mild aroma with fruity notes and a dull maltiness. The flavour was balanced in favour of malt sweetness and it had a mild berry/fruity tartness that melded well with some spiciness. Green apples rounded out the finish. Creamy texture with some dryness. Pretty good overall with decent drinkability.
06-04-2007 02:20:05 | More by DrJay
4.47/5 rDev +16.1%
Drank from a 1 pt. 9.6 fl. oz. bottle acquired as a selection from Michael Jackson's Rare Beer Club
Thanks to my friend James for treating me to this one.
Poured a clear, dark amber with a frothy, bubbly, off-white head that faded to a thick, lasting film. Sporadic streaks of lacing cascaded down the sides of the glass.
The aroma was outrageously sweet and fragrant. Rich, bready, caramel malts, honey and brown sugar came through strong.
The taste was a malty masterpiece from start to finish. Sweet, creamy malts, honey and brown sugar were apparent up front. A slightly sour, lemony flavor (possibly from the rye?) was noticeable mid-palate along with some white wine/grape notes. Raisins and mild spices also came out as the beer warmed. A slight alcohol kick was noticeable in the back of the mouth. At 8% ABV, however, the alcohol was quite well hidden. The finish was clean with absolutely no aftertaste.
Mouthfeel was medium bodied and fairly creamy. Velvety smooth and easy-drinking.
All in all, this was a very non-traditional take on a bock, but an excellent one at that. In many ways it reminded me more of a braggot. Some may find the sweetness overwhelming but I found it to be rather enjoyable. Kudos to Dogfish Head for succeeding with this unique offering.
05-24-2007 03:46:17 | More by Damian
4.47/5 rDev +16.1%
I dont remember who sent this my way but thank you very much!
The beer was served in a Imperial Nonic.
Appearance: The beer poured a brillant clear ruby amber coloration. The head was a finger and half high with a creamy white head. The head slowly resolved itself into a ring of foam.
Smell: The beer has a very pleasing caramel maltyness wrapped around a spice ball. The beers aroma consist of honey, cloves, cinnamon, brown sugar, lots of caramel, nutty aromas, spicey apple fritters.
Taste: Man this is great stuff! The caramel wraps around a spiced honey toasted nuttyness. Between the spice and the alcohol this beer never nears the cloying range.
Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer is full bodied and lightly carbonated. The flavors meld together well. This is one fine easy to drink beer. Why? Oh why is this a one off?
05-21-2007 04:00:28 | More by nlmartin
3.08/5 rDev -20%
750ml bottle. Bottled on 4/14/06
Clear amber color. Medium, light tan head which faded quite quickly. Nice legs, viscous appearance to fluid.
Aroma reminded me of grapes & honey. Then, it hit me, that it really smelled like a grape Jolly Rancher. This subsided some as it warmed. Began to pick up caramel, and really ripe cantaloupe.
Taste was very sweet, grape flavored cotton candy. Little, if any, bitter balance. Maybe just a touch of grassy/herbal character near the finish. Some caramel.
Medium bodied. Medium + carbonation. Not drying. Mouth coating sweetness, almost cloying.
OA, too sweet for me. Interesting, but not something I would try again.
03-07-2007 15:17:21 | More by
4.1/5 rDev +6.5%
Enjoyed at Lucky Baldwin's (Pasadena, CA) on the 2nd night of their 8th Belgian Beer Festival, in the official Festival glassware (a Piraat snifter).
I suppose it was a good thing to show up on the 2nd day after all. As soon as I spotted this bottle in the fridge, I had to have it. I'm sorry to hear this is a one-off brew; it's delicious.
A- Gorgeous orange amber color, with extremely fine carbonation which forms a dense off-white head. Lace forms readily, but slides back down into the head rather than clinging to the glass.
S- Tons of malt and honey. Very sweet. There's a bit of apple skin fragrance in there too, and a spicy hint of fennel at the very end.
T- The nose tells you pretty much everything about this beer up front. The malt is fat and luscious, with a prominent honey flavor. What initially feels like tartness develops into a mouth-watering juicy fruit/"Swedish fish" flavor. The fennel flavor comes in at the very end. There must've been some hops in there somewhere, but they didn't have much to say. The lengthy finish lights up with some alcohol warmth.
M- The richness is beautifully balanced by the superb texture of the carbonation. "Silky" is much too weak a word. This beer is *velvety*.
D- It's been such a lovely beer up to this point that I almost don't want to admit that the sweetness gets to be a bit much by the end of the 25.6 oz. bottle. If it were available in a 4-pack of 12 oz. bottles, I'd buy it in bulk and hoard it greedily. And if I could somehow find another large bottle, I'd try my best to cellar it for a year and serve it at Thanksgiving. Mmmmm...
02-12-2007 08:49:51 | More by vurt
3.53/5 rDev -8.3%
Thanks to Imstillthegman for this offering as part of the 120/190 BIF from awhile back. Poured into a Pilsner glass. Bottled 4/14/06.
A: Pours a clear ruby coppreish color with a frothy cream colored one finger head. Bubbles galore making their way to the top keeping that retention pretty nice.
S: Sweet honey notes coupled with a floral presence. Caramel comes into play, but the honey is still the biggest aroma. Thick sugary presence when you swirl the glass and take a whiff.
T/M: Starts of a bit sweet, but then it pulls a fast one on you. It's actually not as sweet as you thought. Honey notes are the most dominant with lacings of spice and a slight nuttiness. The rye shows itself with a spicyness and a sharp biting in the finish. Syrupy and thick in the mouth--full bodied and coating. Twang of booze appears but then recedes rather quickly.
D: An interesting beer to say the least. Malt notes, similar to the Liquor de Malt, are present in the aftertaste. Warms the chest, which is an inclination of the abv, although it isn't very high to begin with.
01-24-2007 00:25:03 | More by bjohnson
3.7/5 rDev -3.9%
750ml bottle poured into a tulip it forms an eggshell white head that falls to a thin cover. Lace is spotty and sliding. Copper body and minimal fine carbonation.
Very sweet in the nose and it translates to the taste. Caramel malts invade the palate only to be sweetened up again by a jolly rancher type backer. Citrus hops make an appearance quickly followed by some pumpkin pie character. It tries to have a sour edge towards the finish but the "juice" like sweetness takes over quickly. An oddball, in that I usually find beers with a similar makeup to be overly sweet. This one however, I find that the flavor profile is well put together even if a bit overly onesided.
Notes: I liked this offering. Dogfish head brews and my palate aren't a match made in heavan that is for certain, and this is an odd one that works for me. I can see this having very mixed reviews as its a polarized taste.
01-17-2007 04:52:14 | More by DogFood11
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.
01-08-2007 03:44:07 | More by OStrungT
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.)
01-03-2007 01:10:20 | More by CWiggins
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 Im 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.
12-23-2006 02:14:04 | More by rdickey
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.
10-25-2006 04:14:52 | More by lou91
4/5 rDev +3.9%
A - pours a nice light copper color. Crystal clear. frothy head, and some lacing.
S - That rye crispness, is giving a toasty aroma, along with an awesome caramel aroma. Some fruits such as raisins come along too.
T - Sweet malts, start off then meld into a vinous, raisin flavor of rye, and caramel malts. Very nice.
M - Smooth and drinkable. Alcohol warms a little in the end.
D - I could drink this all night, and all the time.
10-19-2006 00:37:39 | More by quasimoto
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!!!
10-12-2006 23:31:50 | More by NeroFiddled
3.35/5 rDev -13%
750ml bottle acquired in a trade.
Pours light for a bock. A clear, deep caramel color with light, quickly receding head. Smell is of course malt forward with a hint of honey. A hint of fruitiness but mostly caramel from the malt.
Taste is very sweet and syrupy. Taste of raisins. Not much in the hops department. Probably fair for the style. Maybe a little honey in the taste too. Full mouth feel.
All in all, a decent beer. Nothing I would go out of my way to try again. Still waiting for a DFH beer to really impress me.
10-02-2006 22:18:50 | More by Callenak
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.
09-08-2006 23:40:51 | More by Gasp100
4.1/5 rDev +6.5%
This beer poured a very dark golden yellow with a rim of head.
Smelled spicy and malty with notes of caramel.
Tasted of molasses and caramel with a sticky maltiness. Sort of reminded me of a barley wine.
The mouth feel was syrupy with highly carbonated bubbles.
I liked this beer. Im finding the more I explore the more I like sweeter beers and this one did it for me.
09-04-2006 15:18:23 | More by WonderWoman
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 DFHs 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 ones a little confusing. Regardless of style, it was too sweet for me.
09-02-2006 21:58:20 | More by DarkerTheBetter
3.75/5 rDev -2.6%
The appearance is a brownish-copper color with a small but sticky head leaving decent lacing on the glass. On the nose, there is a definite presence of rye bread, with spicy fruit in the background. The taste is dominated up front by the warmth of alcohol and sweet caramel, which as it subsides begins to reveal some spicy notes, candied fruit and a slightly dry hop finish. The rye doesn't make any distinct appearance in the taste save for a vague yeastiness, and I can't specifically detect a honey taste, just sweetness. A moderately full mouthfeel, although its intensity makes this beer only enjoyable in smaller quantities.
08-28-2006 16:37:00 | More by jmatthew
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
08-02-2006 05:06:01 | More by MuenchenerKindl
Zwaanend'ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 65 ratings.