Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States
Gruit / Ancient Herbed Ale
Ranked #16
Ranked #23,306
3.74 | pDev: 12.03%
Mar 23, 2023
Oct 22, 2013
Notes: With the help of biomolecular archaeologist Dr. Patrick McGovern, we've re‐created another Ancient Ale, this time from the Nordic climes of Scandinavia.

The recipe for Kvasir was developed with the help of chemical, botanical and pollen evidence taken from a 3,500‐year‐old Danish drinking vessel. The vessel, made of birch bark, was found in the tomb of a leather‐clad woman Dr. Pat says was probably an upper-class dancer or priestess. The analysis pointed to the ingredients used in this unique brew: wheat, lingonberries, cranberries, myrica gale, yarrow, honey and birch syrup.

The base of Kvasir is a toasty red winter wheat, and the bog-grown berries deliver a pungent tartness. While a handful of hops is used, the earthy, bitter counterpunch to the sweet honey and birch syrup comes from the herbs.
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Photo of DrDemento456
Reviewed by DrDemento456 from Pennsylvania

3.72/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
Found a bottle at my shop on sale for 5 bucks into a pint glass. Pours a brown reddish hue surprisingly with a bit of carbonation in the glass just a ring with sticky lacing. Smells sour musky wood some grape and herbal hops. A strange beer indeed sour but herbal mixed slightly sweet bitter at the same time. Some noted cough syrup flavors and I could kind of see that. Body isn't bad I got no stinging alcohol it has aged out pretty well.

Overall not my favorite beer I picked up. Would I have paid 15 bucks for it 9 years ago? Probably not. Worth the 5 dollars not? While not skunked its definitely something I really don't enjoy. Purchase with caution!
Oct 17, 2022
Rated: 3.55 by TMoney2591 from Illinois

Dec 16, 2021
Rated: 3.59 by mmmbeerNY from New York

Aug 17, 2020
Rated: 3.29 by Chuckdiesel24 from Illinois

Jun 08, 2020
Photo of imnodoctorbut
Rated by imnodoctorbut from Texas

4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
this was an excellent experience. love this series of reviving ancient brews
Apr 10, 2020
Photo of Bluecrow
Reviewed by Bluecrow from New York

3.6/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
This murky, amber bottle pour with tan cap, hosts a candy sweet aroma with some tart fruit notes. The flavor is herbal. Light molasses and slightly sour grape flavors balance each other. There are woody aspects too.
Aug 01, 2019
Rated: 3.79 by cd34 from Illinois

Mar 06, 2019
Photo of Reggie_Dunlop
Rated by Reggie_Dunlop from Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Look, I rate these history beer higher because this is what they are supposed to taste like
Jan 13, 2019
Photo of BenHoppy
Reviewed by BenHoppy from Michigan

3.81/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Aged 2 years so may be a shell of former self although it seems to be on par with other reviews.

L: tea like cranberry juice
A: cranberry, licorice, tea, birch, and wet basement
F: gueze lambic like, tarty, juice, thin to medium, almost like a tea with some alcohol added
T: cranberry, birch, licorice, lambic, tea, honey, lemon, wet basement, slightly boozy along with some raspberry rootbeer
O: not too bad of a brew, reminded me of a not so good lambic but good in its own right.
Aug 26, 2018
Rated: 3.84 by Satsuma from Florida

Nov 13, 2017
Rated: 3.75 by Patches826 from Massachusetts

Oct 20, 2017
Photo of drdiesel9483
Reviewed by drdiesel9483 from Ohio

3.33/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3
Got this in a flight of 4 aged beers at dogfish head
Bottled 2013 drank 2017
Look - thin dark golden color with no real head
Smell - light fruit punch
Taste - lacking much taste, super super super light fruit punch. Kind of like when you forget to add enough powder or suger to your fruit punch
Feel - medium bodied syrup with no real carbonation
Overall - needs more taste
May 04, 2017
Photo of HoppingMadMonk
Reviewed by HoppingMadMonk from New Jersey

3.72/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Orange /bronze color.smells tar,sour,various fruit,and alcohol. Definitely the alcohol comes out in the taste as well as the fruit and sour tart taste.. otherwise it also had a taste that reminded me of wine if all things. It can get a bit sour but otherwise I found it to be very different in a good way.it's something to try when you want to get out of the box
Apr 28, 2017
Photo of q33jeff
Rated by q33jeff from New Jersey

1.74/5  rDev -53.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.5

Aroma: Sour fruit,
Appearance: Reddish orange Clear look.
Taste: tart cranberries, orange rind.
Feel: Flat.

Not a fan.

Jan 17, 2017
Rated: 4 by LennyBound from Illinois

Dec 24, 2016
Rated: 4.74 by bluehende from Delaware

Dec 03, 2016
Photo of BloodSoakedAleMug
Reviewed by BloodSoakedAleMug from New York

3.43/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3
Look: Pours a cloudy, unfiltered burnt orange color with a thick two finger head of off white foam.

Smell: Delightfully tart with aromas of cranberry and sugarplums, even raspberry. Herbal notes of english tea and honeysuckle.

Taste: Hmm... this one is hard to describe. Upfront, you're greeted by the warmth of the alcohol. The heat from the ABV combines with the flavor of sour cranberry and sweet birch syrup to give the beer a slightly medicinal and bitter, pleasantly tart and sweet Ludens cough drop-esque taste. There are some herbaceous notes of tea in the background, dancing with sweet notes of honey and very, very mild caramel. Finishes bittersweet with more notes of wet tea, tart berries and alcohol.

Feel: Noticeably boozy but not extremely hot or alcoholic on the palate. Medium body with low carbonation.

Overall Comments: Very intriguing. My only complaint is that the medicinal, bitter flavor can get a little too much at times. Otherwise a really unique beer with an incredibly interesting flavor profile.
Oct 16, 2016
Rated: 4.22 by Jeromedepot from New York

Sep 14, 2016
Rated: 3.71 by drummerdwzp from Connecticut

Jun 25, 2016
Photo of johnnnniee
Reviewed by johnnnniee from New Hampshire

3.56/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Sample while checking out the expo at HomeBrewCon.
Slightly hazy light copper color with a decent off white head. Tart berries light earthy herbal something to counter. Weird for sure but it kind of works.
Jun 19, 2016
Rated: 3.2 by edthehead from Maryland

Jun 12, 2016
Photo of AlCaponeJunior
Reviewed by AlCaponeJunior from Texas

3.79/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75
An odd one from DFH, but interesting anyway. Not overwhelming in any of its attributes, most of the aromas and flavors are subtle. Enjoyable but Its probably not going to get me to do a cartwheel lol.
Jun 11, 2016
Rated: 3 by rderedin from Maine

Jun 04, 2016
Rated: 4 by geodonnokepyo from Pennsylvania

May 27, 2016
Rated: 3.75 by bigred89 from Maryland

May 19, 2016
Photo of chinchill
Reviewed by chinchill from South Carolina

3.92/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Large botle served in a Belgian snifter. Bottle Date: 8/6/15

Appearance: slightly hazy copper-amber; not much lacing gets left on the glass, though.

Aroma: fruity, moderately strong and pleasant. Suggests both tart and sweet elements. Hints of honey and berries.

Taste: tart and sweet in about equal measure, with a bit less bitterness. Cranberry is pretty obvious; lingonberries less so; birch syrup not at all. Suggestions of plums and faint cherries.

Feel: Near medium carbonation. Medium-full body; near puckering tartness.

Overall: very interesting; engaging and complex but not challenging. I'm glad I got to try this.
May 18, 2016
Rated: 3.94 by informaticsDoc from Pennsylvania

May 06, 2016
Rated: 2.94 by PUbeer from Indiana

Apr 18, 2016
Rated: 4 by StoutAtTheDevil from Alabama

Mar 31, 2016
Photo of LeRose
Reviewed by LeRose from Massachusetts

3.54/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
The beer was poured into a tumbler at about 40 degrees.

Appearance - a slightly cloudy, bronze colored brew. Definite hints of reddish color. Carbonation was lively, and an aggressive pour produced half a glass of foam that quickly fell to a cap. Some cling.

Smell - honey is right in the forefront on this beer. Then some herbal aromas that I will assume are from the yarrow and other herbs used in this concoction. I don't know specifically what these things smell/taste like, but suffice to say there are herbal/floral smells. I get a faint fruit in the aroma, and a wheat/biscuit undercurrent. Very mild fruit/berry note on the nose.

Taste - honey and sweetness on the initial taste. The honey is dominant but somehow fails to overwhelm. There are herb-like flavors (again, assume they are what they claim), and not too much in the way of actual berry or cranberry flavor. Since this beer is an ancient ale, supposedly 3500 years old, not sure how cranberries would be in the recipe since true cranberry is a native North American fruit, but OK it has some red berry flavor. There is a significant bitter punch to this beer that subsides quickly to be replaced by a sensation of sweetness (not sticky) and the phenolic mouth feel characteristic of cranberries. I get a sensation that reminds of of a gose - I swear there is a sense of saltiness. There is a mild tartness thanks to the berries. It is an interesting, if somewhat jumbled, combination of flavors.

The mouthfeel - this is where I get more of a sense of the berries. Not so much the flavor, but the "phenolic" feeling cranberry imparts to the tongue (I work with them every day). The acidity reinforces that. The 10% doesn't hide, but it is not obtrusive, either. The beer is light bodied, a bit of carbonation tingle, dry and astringent on the finish.

I like the ancient ales in general as much for the story as the beer, and this one is no exception. But love or hate, they are an experience. This one was a good experience - not great, but enjoyable enough. I don't think it can be judged to style - nobody alive knows what this brew actually was, but gruit is probably as close as it gets and it fits the rather loose definition, maybe a bit loosely. It's not a smooth drinker, but it does contain enough interesting highlights to make it worth a try for the slightly adventurous.
Mar 01, 2016
Photo of retry4z
Rated by retry4z from California

3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Belgian yeast with cranberry, fruit, nutmeg, and spices.
Mar 01, 2016
Rated: 4.25 by bmcl16 from Pennsylvania

Feb 26, 2016
Rated: 3.66 by PatrickCT from Connecticut

Feb 24, 2016
Rated: 3.29 by robear from Wisconsin

Feb 23, 2016
Rated: 3.95 by poppollutesminds from New Jersey

Feb 21, 2016
Rated: 4.06 by MikeWard from Pennsylvania

Feb 10, 2016
Rated: 4.96 by tachyons22 from Connecticut

Feb 06, 2016
Rated: 3.77 by shigg85 from Japan

Feb 06, 2016
Rated: 3.75 by brittanylicious from Indiana

Feb 04, 2016
Kvasir from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 669 ratings