Ta Henket - Dogfish Head Brewery

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Ta HenketTa Henket

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734 Ratings
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Ratings: 734
Reviews: 193
rAvg: 3.37
pDev: 21.07%
Wants: 51
Gots: 64 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Brewery visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
Herbed / Spiced Beer |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: lstokes on 12-20-2010

For this ambitious liquid time capsule, we used ingredients and traditions plucked from Egyptian hieroglyphics.

Ta Henket is brewed with an ancient form of wheat and loaves of hearth-baked bread, and it's flavored with chamomile, dom-palm fruit and Middle Eastern herbs. To ferment this earthy ancient ale, Sam and friends traveled to Cairo, set out baited petri dishes and captured a native Egyptian saccharomyces yeast strain.

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Ratings: 734 | Reviews: 193
Reviews by MichaelStoutBeard:
More User Reviews:
Photo of jeagleton
4.09/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I like this beer--quite a bit, actually. But it's not your average beer.

I love the whole Ancient Ales line from Dogfish Head because I'm really interested in ancient cuisines.

This one is strange. it's thin and herbal. It's like an alcohol-infused carbonated tea with a turmeric-like spice suspended in it. It's not quite a beer which I like very much--but I also definitely knew what I was getting myself into when I picked up this bottle. I was expecting something a little chalky, a little herbal, and quite funky. I will remember it well but won't drink it more than once every couple of years I think.

Photo of jondeelee
4/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ta Henket opens with a bready, fruity nose, smelling of baking wheat bread, French baguettes, and buttered toast, along with a spicy fruit selection, reminiscent of raisin bread, peppered figs, and an earthy baking aroma that reminds me strangely of rosemary rotisserie chicken breast (which I intend not as negative criticism). Never having smelled Za'atar or Doum Fruit, I'm assuming this latter strange aroma comes from one of those ingredients. The chamomile does lend touches of sweetness, but is largely subsumed. Overall, the nose is certainly intriguing, containing aromas that I've never encountered in another beer, much less any mass-marketed beverage. I can't say it's exactly enticing or mouthwatering, but it certainly demands attention.

On the tongue, the beer is spicy and peppery, the buttered toast and rosemary rotisserie chicken breast (for lack of a better description) coming across strongly. I imagine this is what a strong chamomile and fresh-picked herbs tea would taste like if let sit in earthenware bowls for a while. Notes of hay and plant stems add more earthy flavors, and touches of rose petal and wildflower honey sweetness help offset the plant flavors. There's also a buttery, floury, banana peel tangy, funky flavor around the edges. The aftertaste is a continuation of the main flavors, most of them fading with relative quickness, but leaving the buttered toast and chamomile flavors on the tongue for a fairly long time. Mouthfeel is medium-light, and carbonation is medium-light to medium.

Overall, it's difficult to find a way to objectively rate this as a beer, since it bears very little resemblance to anything else on the market. The beverage is certainly palatable and delicious on some levels, and if not told this was a beer--if, say, I were in Egypt and told this was a locally-made and traditional alcoholic beverage--I would think it excellent. The buttered toast and chamomile flavors are a bit strong (and I admittedly am not a fan of chamomile tea), but there are enough funky sugar flavors to bring me back for another mouthful. Definitely worth trying, even if only for the experience.

Photo of pat61
4.16/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: goldish amber, 1” thick off-white foam collar, quickly dissipates
S: smells like fresh grain, lightly roasted malts, herb, floral, and fruit, mushrooms and a little earthiness and mustiness.
T: Lightly toasted grain, interesting, hard to identify fruit flavors, chamomile tea, spice.
M: Medium wine or cider like body with a touch of beer and a sparkling wine or cider like carbonation.
O: This is a unique and fun beverage produced by a creative and ambitious project.

Photo of OStrungT
3.31/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a very clear straw yellow color, with a thick, fluffy, off white head. The head is tinted slightly yellow. It fades very slowly, leaving a nice lace.

This beer has a sweet grainy aroma. I detect some spicy notes as well. I also get a slight bready aroma.

This beer is hard to pick apart. I taste grain, bread, sweet malt, all spice, and coriander.

This beer is light, and surprizingly ow in carbonation. It leaves a overly sweet aftertaste.

This beer might make a decent session beer, but it is a bit overly sweet.

Overall: This beer is ok. Its a bit too sweet for me.

Photo of 01001111
4.03/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Clear, pale orange; much like a pilsner.

S: Sulfurous fruit, honey, and sharp yeast funk.

T: A wash of peppery, sulfurous fruit and chamomile gives way to a weak pilsner-like flavor.

M: Thin and crisp.

O: The taste is certainly better than the strange scent implies. An interesting experiment leaves me strangely drawn to wanting more despite not being too enamored; mildly repellant, oddly attractive.

Photo of ianjsullivan
3.65/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

ST: 750ml poured into a snifter. No BOD or DBD.

A: Burnished gold/orange with a thin fizzy white head. The head disappears quickly leaving a thin island of white bubbles.

S: The fruity aroma from the Doum fruit ( I have never had a Doum fruit, so I am assuming this is the cause of the fruity aroma), is very noticeable followed by a slight hint of chamomile. Some crusty, slight burnt, bread is present.

T: A very interesting flavor; the bread mixes with slight sweetness from fruit followed by a spice from the chamomile. The finish is sweet with some crusty bread.

M: Light and a bit watery.

O: I cannot not help myself; I always tend to buy the "liquid time capsule" beers by Dogfish. I must admit: the interesting ingredients always grab me (thought most of the past beers end up sweet). Now that I have admitted my bias, I must also admit that this beer is not as successful as I wanted it to be.

The flavor is truly interesting. There is an exotic twist that is delivered mostly through the chamomile, though the fruit and special wheat do make a difference. The mouthfeel, however, was not as successful. It is fine that the beer had a light mouthfeel, but the watery nature to the finish distracts from the interesting flavor. Overall, this beer is worth trying, but it is not a "hoard" beer (a beer so good you buy as much of it as you can when you can). If they brewed it again, I would like to see a bit more heft in the body.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a chalice)

A- This beer pours a hint of hazy to the orange body with a fizzy white head that boils away and a sea of microbubbles remain.

S- The field corn aroma with some tart sumac seed aromas give way to a light earthy grain aroma and a hint of graham and sesame seed in the finish.

T- The fruity flavors have a slight nectarine note with a cherry quality from the doum fruit and a touch of sumac tartness in the finish. There is a clean crisp fizz in the finish. The mellow fruity tartness grows but is never really strong and a whole grain wheat hint comes through under the fruit aswell.

M- The light mouthfeel has an airy quality to it with no alcohol heat and no astringency noticed.

O- This is a well-blended crisp beer that has a touch of sweetness and lots of very interesting flavors. It was fun to try but it was a bit to much for such a big bottle. I just got a little tired of drinking it. Perhaps with the heat of the Sahara it might fit the bill.

Photo of Auraan
4.06/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a semi-cloudy golden with a tiny bit of white head that dissipated quickly. Not quite as thick as some Egyptian beers are described in tomb finds, but I'll take it. Scents of fruit with a lot of sweetness and some apricot notes. A good scent, sweet and fruity. Flavor is light and crisp, slightly sweet, with light apricot and fig notes, and a backbone of grain and wheat cracker with some yeasty bread. The sweetness is balanced by the bready flavors and blends quite well. Mouthfeel is light bodied with high carbonation. Overall it's an excellent beer, and probably the best of the Ancient Ales I've tried.

Photo of rdilauro
3.53/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A very interesting beer. It was light but had a nice over quality to it. The pour was almost like a sunrise of golden amber. Clear and inviting. Not much of any head to talk about.
The aroma was fruit and grapes. The taste also had the same. It had a nice mouthful and the aftertaste was very pleasant.

Photo of nickthegun12
4.25/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

wow this beer taste great

appearance is golden yellow with a weak and fading head

smells funky and infected!...just my style!...also a little bready, and banana and cloves, also a little sour

the taste is grade A!...bready, and finishes a little sweet....i could see, if this is in fact true to what Egyptians could have drank, me drinking this ale...definitely great drinkability to this beer....nothing screams out sour to me though...but i've also had some great sour beers in my life

the feel is thin and watery very true to a wheat style

overall i'm a big fan of this beer, and glad i dropped 12 bucks on this unique style of beer!

Photo of mdaschaf
3.55/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes. Had on tap at the DFH Brewpub in Rehoboth on 12/18/10.

A: Served in a goblet. The beer is a very clear, golden color. There was no head or lacing at all.

S: A good bit of wheat, some breadiness, and a light sweetness - probably from the Dom palm fruit.

T: Much more wheat on the flavor profile. The chamomile comes through and there is a light earthiness. Some light fruit, but the wheat/grain/bread dominates.

M: Light to medium bodied with little carbonation. Goes down easy though.

O: In a word, different. I liked it, but it was a little boring. If this gets bottled, and added to the ancient ales lineup, I look forward to trying it again.

Photo of armystrongmd
3.95/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

To pay $11.99 for a 25.4oz bottle of this beer you should know what you are getting into and appreciate all the work that went into making this beer as authentic as possible.

Serving method: 25.4oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: A light golden color with a thin head,

S: Light floral aroma, chamomile, bready sweetness, slightly earthy

T: Chamomile, honey, biscuits, bready sweetness, mild spices (not quite cinnamon, but very similar). A fair amount of carbonation. Quite similar to a hefeweizen at the front of the mouth but finishes completely different. At the back of the mouth and in the aftertaste a sweet bread overtakes you. Overall very balanced and enjoyable, especially considering all the authentic ingredients and the effort to make this like it was made thousands of years ago. Sweet bready aftertaste is not overpowering, the beer overall is not that sweet so the sweet flavors are all very light. It tastes simple and natural, with unique ingredients and therefore a unique end result.

M: Medium body, kind of rough, not smooth like nitro beers. Feels thicker/heavier than the ABV would suggest. Very drinkable but not watery or thin.

O: This is an excellent beer taking into account the purpose, not just randomly tasting a bunch of beers. Thinking of it as a liquid time capsule allows me to appreciate it to the fullest extent. With no offensive flavors or smell, and a light drinkable body, I am quite pleased with this brew. It has unique flavors I have not experienced before and is quite enjoyable. Instead of "Walk Like an Egyptian" you can now "Drink Like An Egyptian". Perhaps Dogfish should have used that line on the bottle :)

Photo of Sammy
3.12/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On tap at The Thirsty Moose. The mint-bread aroma is different and reminds me of Moroccan Mint Tea, which I drink regularly. Light orange bodied, and big lace. A lighter mouthfeel. Some mint and other herbal tastes, I don't get it, not for me taste-wise, so not too drinkable.

Photo of tdm168
3.41/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale copper color with a thick, dense, white head that has great retention. The nose has notes of faint wheat, yeast, and chamomile. The flavor is sweet up front with a faint fruitiness followed by some faint spice from the chamomile. The finish has a honey-like sweetness, but it also has a slightly smoky, woody earthiness. The mouthfeel is incredibly light with a moderate amount of carbonation.

As always DFH earns some points for creativity, but overall, this was underwhelming.

Photo of secondtooth
4.15/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a semi-cloudy golden-amber, with an average head of off-white bubbles. Lace almost non-existent.

Aroma is nice -- I get some spice, and plenty of yeasty bread. There's also a slight hint of fruit in the mix, too, though the bread dominates. Very good.

Taste echoes the nose -- very bready with a tinge of exotic fruit. This is an easy-to-drink brew, well-balanced and a little sweet, but still very much a beer, and an exceptional one at that. If this were bottled in regular 6-packs, I'd buy more! A superb beer, proving that the ancient Egyptians apparently knew what they were doing.

Photo of zaphodchak
4/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at DFH Brewing and Eats in Rehoboth.

This white head, clear golden-yellow body, decent lace.

Faint honey in the nose, spice, maybe peppered ham??

Quite spicy, herbal. Plenty of grain-- barley, wheat. Mostly pepper and cereal grain.

Smooth feel if a bit coarse.

Simple, savory-- seems like what an ancient proto-bread-beer would probably be like, or maybe a really light kvass.

Photo of socon67
3.42/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Golden pour with a white active foam. Visible carbonation in this one. Minimal lacing.

S - I do get some of the interesting yeast smell. There are notes of honey and some tea-like spices. While it seems a bit all over the place, I think for what they were going for this beer smells nice.

T - Just not finding it. Has a light grain flavor with some sweetness of honey and a bit of spice. It really comes off like tea, but not nearly as flavorful as Sahti. Some bready notes as well. I found this almost as if I drank a spiced pilsner.

M - Light feel and light bodied beer that has bubbly carbonation. Easy to drink and would be nice at a BBQ. Leavesa bit of spice on the palate.

O - Was hoping to really like this and was only midly enjoying it. Of the DFH ancient ales I'd put this below Chateau Jihau, Sahti, and Midas Touch. Just didn't find it too tasty.

Photo of prototypic
3.17/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Ta Henket pours a golden color. It’s very clear and looks more yellow when held to light. A soft, white head caps it and stands about a finger and a half tall. It recedes rather quickly, leaving a light, spotty lacing behind. It’s not exactly a looker, but it’s not bad.

The nose is okay. It’s a little weak on the nose. More strength would be good. It is earthy and grainy throughout. No surprise there. There’s a distinct floral quality to it. I suspect that’s the chamomile. There are some light honey and perhaps fruity notes at the secondary level. I’m very unfamiliar with the fruit used here. It has a somewhat prominent yeasty, breadlike scent. Alcohol is masked well and is not noticeable.

The flavor is rather average. It’s mostly earthy, grainy, and floral. It has a malt base that’s a little sweet. Chamomile definitely gives it a relatively strong floral flavor. It’s alright. Not my favorite thing. It’s followed a light fruity and honey flavors. The fruit flavor is okay. It’s not quite strong enough to have much of an impact on the flavor. Yeasty, breadlike flavors come and go, but are easily noted throughout. Alcohol isn’t much of a factor at all. I’m not getting any. It finishes with a mix of honey and floral notes.

Ta Henket has a lighter body. Carbonation feels light and relatively soft. It goes down rather smooth and easy. For what it’s worth, the flavor limits my enjoyment. I’ll probably polish off the bottle in any event.

Dogfish Head certainly is a trailblazer. Ta Henket is one of its beers where the back story is a little better than the beer. Frankly, it just doesn’t have enough flavor to be a standout success. It’s not a total disaster. Maybe worth a try.

Photo of Alieniloquium
2.96/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750 mL bottle poured into a DFH signature pint.

Appearance - Golden yellow body with a fluffy white head. Not much retention and no lacing. Looks like I poured myself a Heineken.

Smell - Grainy and fruity. There's a strange aroma that I can only imagine is from whatever bizarre spice DFH used. Not really inviting.

Taste - More bland than good or bad. Instant fruitiness followed by a domination of grain flavors. The finish is the manifestation of the strange aroma and it lingers with an herbal quality.

Mouthfeel - Light, easy to drink, even if the flavors are strange. Like drinking a glass of water.

Overall - Uninspiring and dull. If this is an authentic representation of some ancient civilization's beer, then they drank boring beer.

Photo of hdofu
2.06/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Normally I'm a nut when it comes to dogfish head's crazy concoctions... this beer is not one of their better experiments in recreating ancient ales. The beer port gold with a white head that dispenses quickly. Smell is like wheat and some muddled herbs, pretty boring. Taste starts out like an ok wheat ale that quickly turns into a guessing game trying to figure out what the heck that finish is. The mouthfeel makes it almost feel flat, not much buble, not much feel. Asside from some peculiar tastes that aren't great but aren't offensive either, it's a pretty meh beer. It wouldn't be horrible if it wernt 14 bucks. It actually may have been better warm.

Photo of thagr81us
3.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from tap into a sampler tumbler. Poured a golden yellow with a half finger white head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, wheat, floral, and nutty. The flavor was of sweet malt, wheat, nutty, perfume, toasted malt, and spices. It had a light feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was an average brew. Nothing on this one really stood out to me at all. It was fairly complex, but it seemed like everything in this one was just clashing with each other. Worth trying to say you did, but not that impressive for my palate.

Photo of scootny
3.58/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Lovely full head with a slow fade and decent lacing. Smell has a light breadiness with an unusual fruit component. Some almost lactic like sourness. Chamomile and other light spices as well and a very faint mint tea. Taste is light a crisp with a very mild bitterness. Sweet malt and bread, chamomile shows up here and the fruit I'm sure but not having eaten it I can't finger it. Feel is light crisp and refreshing with a high drinkability. A very good beer for what it is. As an attempt to recreate the Egyptian beer recipe this one scores

Photo of nimrod979
3.12/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml bottled 9/2/11. Poured into a standard DFH pint glass.

Appearance: Slightly hazy golden color. Aggressive pour yields only a one finger thin white head that fades quickly and no retention.

Aroma: Can't quite put my finger on it. Musty, herbal and spices.

Taste: Same goes for the taste. Interesting herbal and spicy flavors, somewhat minty? Musty yeast. And an odd finish that I can't figure out what this taste is. Not really a big fan.

Mouthfeel: Thin, light bodied. Medium-high carbonation. Odd finish.

These ancient ales are always fun to try. Some I like more than others. I wasn't a big fan of this one.

Photo of jtierney89
4/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had no idea this thing was 4.5% abv what a rip off (12.99 for the bomber). This better taste fantastic.

Pours a golden straw color with a pretty good sized off white head. Lots of visible carbonation and great clarity (which I'm sure the Egyptians didnt achieve) Nose is nutty and grainy (but not like adjunct grains) more like a whole grain cereal. Almonds come to my. Some sort of bright fruit is present as well.

Wow, whats weird is I like this. Very very spiced but balanced as well. Medium body. Roasted nut like quality up front and around the center of the tongue. Strange exotic spices play off the nutty flavors extremely well. Really reminds you of thai or indian food. Some bright fruit is present as well and balances the very dry spice characteristics of the rest of the beer. Extremely effervescent.

I've truly never had anything like this but definitely brings me on a journey to another time where such a strange beverage could be enjoyed. This beer really does what dogfish head sent out to do with it and to me is leaps and bounds ahead of midas touch even though I love that beer. I could be found buying this often if made more available in something like a 4 pack. Would go amazing with exotic dishes.

Truly unique and truly tells a story.

One of the downsides of this beer i'm noticing however is that it gets pretty phenolic after a bit almost band aid like. Maybe the bottle is best split amongst friends.

Photo of puboflyons
3.67/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

From the 750 ml. bottle. Sampled on May 23, 2014.

The pour is a virtually headless pale yellow to golden tone. A little cloudiness but it could be a chill haze.

Check out all those Middle Eastern spices and fruits on the nose. They tell us it has Zatar and Chamomile and it does. I also get maybe some curry and allspice. And there are pale malts in the mix too.

Light to medium body.

All those exotic spices and fruits I mentioned are evident in the taste more so than the toasted malts and crisp, clean but mellow hops at the end. I felt like watching "Ben Hur" after drinking this.

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Ta Henket from Dogfish Head Brewery
77 out of 100 based on 734 ratings.