Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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Gruit / Ancient Herbed Ale
Ranked #21
Ranked #34,141
3.76 | pDev: 11.97%
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States
Very Good
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.
Reviews: 113 | Ratings: 666 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Bouleboubier:
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Bouleboubier from New Jersey

3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(bottled 08/05/15 - a holiday gift... poured into a large, fat wine glass - several pours, bottle to myself)

L: rather cloudy, reddish-amber liquid... rather lovely tight creamy look to the foam, until some of the dregs slip in, craggin it up - not all that big a deal, though not dazzled

S: honey (almost like buckwheat variety) most prominent, with a hint of the cranberry on the edges... the alcohol is quite subtle, more in estery essence than sharp pungency... I was expecting more facets in aroma from the herbs, however, I suppose they were used more for bittering purposes... strangely, the foam seems to inhibit clarity in scent definition

T: tart, but more up front? no, later it shifts to and hangs in the back of the palate, then trails off... the finish is mostly honey with subtle vinous overtones... bold, lingering bitterness and maybe a touch of boozy spice... it tastes like a hefe (or kottbusser??) w/ honey and cran added and some extra bitterness tossed in... is this reeeally 10%?! - yeah, I suppose it is, but what a nice job keepin it chill

F: sudsy fluffy-foamy up top, while light-bodied yet lightly slick on bottom... the fact that the fire is so tame is fantastic

O: concept way more interesting than the beer... honey, when not in balance, has a way of sort of blanketing all the other flavors - may be the case here... this tastes like a one-off whateva batch that you'd find on tap at the Rehoboth brewpub - there's a lot of damn ingredients in here - too much clash, or too conservative a recipe... all in all, this doesn't taste all that unique compared to most high-octane honey-infused brew, let alone the fact that DFH has a yeast profile that dominates all their big beers, making each one merely a slight variation rather than a bright innovation

Dec 28, 2015
More User Reviews:
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johnnnniee from New Hampshire

3.56/5  rDev -5.3%
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
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IPAchris from Pennsylvania

3/5  rDev -20.2%

Dec 02, 2014
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bosslux from New Jersey

3.25/5  rDev -13.6%

Jul 22, 2014
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DWolf from Pennsylvania

3/5  rDev -20.2%

Nov 12, 2013
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Scott_McCool from Florida

3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Dec 18, 2013
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DrBobPierce from Michigan

3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Nov 17, 2014
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canawler from Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Oct 30, 2013
Photo of greyghost86
greyghost86 from Delaware

3/5  rDev -20.2%

Jul 07, 2014
Photo of ChipChaight
ChipChaight from New York

4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sep 05, 2015
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tykechandler from Kentucky

4/5  rDev +6.4%

Sep 12, 2014
Photo of VeganUndead
VeganUndead from Virginia

3.25/5  rDev -13.6%

Feb 27, 2014
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JCicero08 from Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +13%

Jun 19, 2014
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Griffith from Connecticut

3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Aug 06, 2014
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Sarge3130 from Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Nov 15, 2013
Photo of Derek_Besly
Derek_Besly from Massachusetts

4.27/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Mar 08, 2015
Photo of abdielyoda
abdielyoda from New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Mar 23, 2014
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jschott75 from Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Jan 19, 2014
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Lucular from Maryland

4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mar 09, 2015
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webmanspidey from Michigan

3.76/5  rDev 0%

Nov 13, 2014
Photo of Jonada
Jonada from New Jersey

3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottled on 10/11/2013. Served in a Teku

Appearance: Pours amber in color with hints of red. 2+ fingers of an off white head with decent retention and lacing. Body is reasonably clear with some light visible carbonation.

Smell: Generic herbs and spices, spicy almost quasi belgian yeast character, somewhat medicinal. I was able to pick out the lingonberries also

Taste: Nice mild tartness upfront followed by a general tart berry character and a strong sweet spiciness (I believe this is the birch syrup but I could be mistaken) and a hint of molasses.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, soft mouthfeel. Carbonation is medium and works quite well for this particular beer. Booze is hidden well. Has an almost dry finish which seems rare for a DFH beer.

Overall: A bit more herb/spice forward than I was expecting. I was hoping they'd really let the berries shine through an be the star of the beer, but that didn't end up being the case. Nevertheless, this is still a decent offering that's worth picking up if you're a DFH fan. Not the best of the ancient ales series, but certainly not the worst either.

Oct 22, 2013
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Ryan25 from North Carolina

3.76/5  rDev 0%

Nov 15, 2014
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kaelingirl from Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Mar 19, 2014
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skcrowley from New Hampshire

4.25/5  rDev +13%

Nov 09, 2014
Photo of drwatson32
drwatson32 from Ohio

4.98/5  rDev +32.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I like all of the factors that much

Dec 28, 2014
Kvasir from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 666 ratings