Kvasir | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

106 Reviews

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States

Style: Scottish Gruit / Ancient Herbed Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by Jonada on 10-22-2013

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 106 | Ratings: 655
Photo of Emersonio
4.75/5  rDev +27%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pour: Bomber bottle into a goblet. Appearance: Light amber. Effervescent with a thick white head. Aroma: Herbs, tart berries, and alcohol notes. Taste: Cranberries and herbs. Very deep and complex. Aftertaste: Sharp bite on the back end. Warming alcohol. Mellows into a honey richness. Overall: Love the ancient ales series. Very interested in ancient brewing ways. Love that this was recreated off of archaeological evidence. Makes it that much sweeter! Excellent: 5 out of 5.

 477 characters

Photo of CheckMate
4.67/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Brown 750ml bottle purchased at The Lighthouse in Manchester, ME. Pours a mostly clear ever so slightly hazy pale amber liquid with about an inch of bubbly off white head that dissipated after a couple of minutes. The scents of honey and cranberries immediately hit the nose with an herbal background. The flavors of cranberries, with some citrus, vanilla, spicy clove and with a woody finish. On the first sip, bubbles hit the tongue. the liquid s very effervescent, it tingles my nose. Can't taste the alcohol in the beer, but leaves a slight herbal aftertaste in the finish. In my opinion, this beer is delicious! Although I am almost half n the bag as I write this ( I have only had half of the bottle so far). I can definitely say it was worth the 12.99 + tax and deposit! I can't wait to finish this lovely bottle!


 833 characters

Photo of CochonKing
4.42/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Pours a clear ale with slight reddish hue. Heavy lacing. Small head that fades quickly with a large amount of disproportionation in the bubbles. -3.75

Smell - The highlight of the beer. Aromatically very complex. Cranberry leads the attack in then fades back to open up the smell of lingonberry. Very powerful and fruit forward on the nose. - 4.75

Taste - Cranberry fruit forward attack with a strong acid presence on the tip of the tongue. Originally a 3.5 but the palate on this beer opens up a lot after a few sips. Honestly beautiful with nice acidity , herbs come forward as well. The birch comes forward on the finish melding with the cranberries bitter qualities for a mellow long finish that lingers with cranberry flavor. Very nice in further evaluations - 4.5

Mouthfeel - Nice bubbles that coat the palate but fade quickly. Coats palate lightly but also fades quickly. Nice and smooth. - 4.0

Overall - Excellent, let a small amount warm up in the glass so the bouquet opens up as well.

 1,012 characters

Photo of Gavage
4.36/5  rDev +16.6%

Pours a reddish orange color with a 1" head that slowly falls. The aroma is of cranberry and other fruits. Big fruity flavor as cranberries and other berries create a nice flavor. Mild bitterness overall. Alcohol is well hidden here. Slow sipping but refreshing overall.

 270 characters

Photo of EMV
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass.

L: Pours a deep reddish copper, clear, and with 2 fingers of off-white head that fall rapidly. Mild lacing.

S: Cranberries and apple. Wild honey and a bit herbal to the nose.

T/F: Cranberries and fruit... a bit tart with birch notes and honey. Dry and a bit astringent... a little on the tart side which is very nice. Finishes clean with nice carbonation.

O: Another success from Dogfish Head in their 'Ancient Ales' series. Love the research and how they go out on a limb for these off-beat brews. I wouldn't want a steady diet of this, but it's a very fun and unique beer. Well worth sampling.

 653 characters

Photo of Gear54
4.33/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a bottle into a snifter.

Pour is dark orange with 1/2 finger of foam and little lace left behind.

Smell is all fruit. Cranberry is most prominent with lemon and grapefruit in the background.

Taste very tart with a sour cranberry taste. Honey and lemon and grapefruit mix well with the cranberry and sour notes.

Surprisingly there is no booze to this even with the high abv. Smooth finish gives it amazing drinkability. This may open a door for me into more fruit type beers. Absolutely amazing brew. Well done by DFH

 529 characters

Photo of umwbennett
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had this on draft at the dfh brewpub. It's a lovely beer that gives off a pleasant aroma of berries. I got a similar effect in the taste. Although the berry is prominent I wouldn't call the beer either overly sweet or overly tart. It balances both very well. What drags it down to a 4 range for me is the slightly syrupy nature of it. Barring that, this is close to a 5 for me.

 377 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.23/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Dogfish Head Brewings and Eats in Reboboth Beach, DE.

This one pours a night dark pinkish red, with very little head or lacing.

Smells like red, slightly tart berries. Not sure what lingonberries actually taste like, but I get a kinda cranberry and cherry thing going on.

This is a pretty tasty Ancient Ale from Dogfish Head, the berries impart a fresh and tasty red fruit flavor. There's a bit of a herb/spice flavor as well, but I can't really decipher what they are specifically. There's a nice syrupy honey flavor here, as well.

This is medium bodied, with a juicy mouthfeel. Very drinkable, sweet but not too much so.

 636 characters

Photo of richj1970
4.16/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 750 ml bottle dated 8/6/2015.

A: Pours a reddish golden brown with 3 finger white head. Nice retention and plenty of sticky lacing.

S: Tart berries, green apples, honey, caramel, and biscuit malts.

T: Cherries, cranberries, and honey mixed with some herbal qualities.

M: Full bodied with a slight syrup light quality. Finish is a little tart and sweet.

O: Based on some of the reviews, I had some reservations about this one, but it turned out to be a nice change of pace and something I enjoyed quite a bit.

 535 characters

Photo of mattkoon
4.16/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

this beer has a good amber color with thin lacing. the smell is sour with a touch of sweetness. the taste is sour, but not off-putting. you can really taste the cranberry- which adds a nice bitterness. and the sweetness of the honey paired with the sour goes good together. this isn't my favorite dogfish head, but its a good one- if you see it try it.

 352 characters

Photo of sanhedrin
4.14/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm not crazy about fruit beers in general but DH is one of the companies that does them well, so I gave this a whirl.

Initial reaction was non-plussed at first sip, but it grew on me more and more. There's a bracing grapefruit-rind-like bitterness on the back end that's really pleasant, and the fruit quite reserved, but there. I kind of wish they'd skipped the cranberries and gone all-lingonberry, as that would've fit the Scandinavian theme better. Herbs are well balanced, hard to place - either dill seed or caraway, maybe both in there. The more I drank the more it seemed to reveal - but most important, in a chilled glass it was just wicked refreshing on a hot August day. Good stuff.

 696 characters

Photo of smakawhat
4.12/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a Dogfish Head Ale glass.

Deep bronze red and orange body, quite crystal clear, but too dark to see anything through it. Slow rising column of carbonation in the middle, topped with a large and even made thick and fluffy four to three finger yellow to tan light head very uniform in appearance. Settles slowly with no lacing but with a large thick even puck. Great looker.

Nose seems heavily floral, lightly sweetened. I get this large lavender and lilac like nose off this thing, deeply floral with a little bit of honey sweetness. Very perfume like, and aromatic that carries throughout the air and nose. Quite enjoyable, and definitely unique. Not much else, but definitely herbal bents come later with garden green senses as it warms.

Palate brings nice feel and aromas for this grog. Definitely red berry like fruit but without large tartness, but just a tad, if mostly neutral between tart and sweet. Fruit component comes out like a juicy red apple as it warms as well. Nice played down sweetness, nothing hot or sticky off of this either. Real good juicy like mouthfeel to this if light bodied. Virtually no alcohol heat on this at all, zippo, nada, zilch. Sort of hints at winter warmer like spices, but more gruit and herbal with perfume aromatics on the finish.

Real fun and neat creation, quite memorable and unique. Nice work.

 1,371 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.11/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I picked this up at Wegman's in the cooler, poured chilled in a goblet and wine glass, shared with my wife.

The color is dark red like a sunset with mild hazed appearance with thick off white head with fine bead the settles to a ring with spotty lace that sticks. The smell is very fruity with cranberry evident in the nose with slight herbal aroma and light sweet accent with mild alcohol ester. The feel is full with slight spice and sweet middle and tangy fruity texture with light tinge of astringency and semi warming lingering alcohol with semi dry finish.

The taste is interesting with fruity cranberry providing a juicy slight tangy taste with an herbal flavor and mild sweetness of the honey and birch syrup noticeable on the palate with a sweet/sour complimentary taste. The yeast adds a light hint of dryness with the alcohol as it finishes with some fruit there after the swallow. Overall I really enjoyed this Ancient ale - it is kind of straddling the line between mulled wine and beer with the birch syrup and hone making for a smooth 10% ale - I recommend this for those who like historic beers

 1,116 characters

Photo of MacMalt
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on draught at a restaurant. The color is a rich red-amber with a thick, off-white head and lacing with excellent retention. The smell is quite interesting: with red fruit, honey, and bready-malt. The taste follows the nose: tart, almost sour cranberries, cherry, and herbs, along with honey. This ale is medium-bodied and it hides the 10% ABV surprisingly well. I've tried several ales of this style and this one is clearly the best. It is really enjoyable.

 468 characters

Photo of Myotus
4.09/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured hard at 47°F from a 750ml bottle into a Mikasa Ale glass. Consumed on 02Feb16.
LOOK: Pours with a finger and a half's worth of white foam that dissipates into a quarter's worth after 1 minute and 20 seconds. Burnt orange with an extreme amount of cloudiness. Rising bubbles are scarce in quantity and medium in size. Lacing is thin and moderate.
SMELL: Strong aromas of honey and sweet crandberries entangle with mild sweet/tart lingonberry, wheat, and lemony zest aromas along with some subtle aromas of alcohol and indistinguishable bitter/earthy herbs.
TASTE: Strong honey flavors first enter the palate and are immediately followed by strong cranberry and lingonberry flavors. The cranberry flavors bring a nice sweetness while the lingnonmberries bring a welcoming tartness. Mild wheat and lemony zest flavors continue the taste complexity as honey flavors grow slightly stronger. Subtle earthy/bitter herbal flavors (still indistinguishable) and hints of alcohol enter lastly as all previous flavors persist.
FEEL: Very full-bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Goes down somewhat smooth while sticking the back of the throat like syrup. A moderate and welcoming alcoholic warmth can be felt as it goes down the throat. Finishes with a mild dryness.
NOTE: Another great and unique beer that is to be expected from DFH. These guys do not disappoint. This was extremely sweet with a bitterness that did not being any balance; and I loved every minute of it. If you love the sweeter of beers, this might be just for you.

 1,543 characters

Photo of athomasPSU
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Color is an amber red with an off white to cream colored head. Head shows carbonation with tons of tiny bubbles.
Smells of tart berries, fruits, and like a fruity red wine.
Tastes of juice, tart cranberries, lots of honey and spices come through.
It feels like a medium body but also lighter with lots of carbonation.

Overall, this beer surprised me. I expected a lambic tasting beer that would be sour. It has a great balance of tart and sweetness that makes it so delicious. I definitely recommend trying it.

 511 characters

Photo of Suds
4.07/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

I love trying unusual and anciently inspired ales. This one was particularly good. The beer, from a heavy 750 ml bottle, is a burnt-copper color...clear, with a very fleeting head. Moderate carbonation. The aroma is rich with berries and honey. It smells like a a fresh forest harvest...meaty berries, wood, herbs, and very prominent honey. The taste is a bit tart, followed with a fruity sweetness. Dryish, with lots of flavor. It has an herbal bitterness up front, which does not linger. Medium body, and lightly carbonated. Very drinkable, and it really masks its ABV.

 571 characters

Photo of TwelveOunces
4.06/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Surprisingly clear dark orange with an off white head. Cranberries on the nose, super tart and sugary sweet. The beer feels Smooth and balanced at first. It then takes on a dry tartness and hits you with the cranberry, which is the beers most dominant flavor. A very malty and plain backbone but rather pleasant and puts off no off flavors. The honey is somewhat there but this beer is mostly about the cranberry. A touch of alcohol in the taste but rather well balanced. ITs sweet at first and dry and tart later. A decent fruit beer and worth checking out.

 558 characters

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.02/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

appearance: Copper, almost red. Thick foamy head on the pour that recedes to a respectable off white swath. Thick messy lacing. Handsome brew.
smell: I thought with the honey and birch syrup (whatever that is) would be prominently sweet but not the nose. A little subdued (at least a few min out of the fridge). I'm getting aromatic spice, I suppose coming from the exotic stuff.
taste: Wow, lots more happening here. A hint of sweetness but mostly dry. A nice tartness in the finish with a slightly bitter wrinkle.
overall: More kudos to Sam and team. Very interesting experiment and a solid beer.

 598 characters

Photo of KYGunner
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

As a man of Swedish heritage I must say I was intrigued and excited by this beer. It poured as any darker ale with little to set it apart. The nose was nice with tinges of spice and malt. The flavor is what set this apart as it was reminiscent of a Christmas beer with nutmeg, spicy cinnamon, barley malt, tea leaves, prune, date and then a tangy cranberry finish. The feel was a tad thin when it comes to the overall style. I enjoyed this immensely, perhaps a touch jaded by the history, but it had great flavor.

 513 characters

Photo of puboflyons
4/5  rDev +7%

From the 750 ml. bottle. 2014 batch. Sampled on December 6, 2014.

Gorgeous looking amber pour with a moderate off-white head and lovely clarity.

One needs a checklist to figure out all those aroma characters. Malts, berries, yeast, and herbs. But the fruit character is more front and center.

Medium and smooth body.

Like the nose, the berry and juicy fruit flavors are the main thing one gets but then I pick up those roasted malts. Mild bitterness. A refreshing and easy to drink beer.

 495 characters

Photo of StoutHunter
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of Dogfish Head's Kvasir a couple weeks ago for $13.49 at The Lager Mill. It's been awhile since I've tried a new beer from Dogfish Head and this one sounds pretty interesting, so lets see how it goes. 2014 Vintage. Poured from a brown 750ml bottle into a snifter.

A- The label looks nice, I'm not really sure if it goes with the name, but it is eye catching. It poured a very cloudy dark orange color that didn't really let much light come through and it took on a nice ruby orange color. It had three fingers worth of very creamy white head that left some patchy and spotty lacing behind and it died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end. This was a good looking beer, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a slightly higher amount of sweetness along with a noticeably tart aroma that leads right into the fruits which impart a nice berry aroma with the cranberry seeming to stick out the most. Up next comes a light malt aroma with some lightly toasted malts and bready aromas coming through and it's followed by a nice and lighter spicy and herbal like aroma. This beer had a good aroma, I liked the berry aspect and I thought it was a little unique.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma and it starts off with a medium amount of sweetness along with a lighter amount of medium tartness with the malts being the first to show up and they impart the same aspect that they did in the aroma with no single aspect sticking out the most and it provides some nice balance to this beer. Up next comes the tart berries with the cranberries still sticking out the most. On the finish comes that same light spicy and light herbal aspect that I got in the aroma with a lingering tartness and cranberry like aftertaste. This was a good tasting beer, I like how it had some balance and complexity to it and it just wasn't completely dominated by the tart berries.

M- Smooth, not too acidic, crisp, slightly refreshing, the alcohol was hidden very well, a little creamy, on the thicker side of being medium bodied with medium amount of carbonation. This beer had a good mouthfeel that worked well with it.

Overall I thought this was a good beer and a good example of the style, I don't have a lot of the experience with this style, but when done right it's a style that I enjoy and after trying this beer I have no doubt that Dogfish Head did a good job with this beer. It had good drinkability, it was smooth, not too acidic, crisp, the alcohol was hidden very well, slightly refreshing, a little creamy, not too filling and the taste did a good job at holding my attention, I don't think I would have a problem drinking the whole bottle since it's not really acidic and the alcohol seemed to be expertly hidden. What I like the most about this beer was the balance, no single aspect ever got too overpowering, the balance was right where it needed to be. What I liked the lest about this beer was nothing, there isn't a single thing about this beer that I disliked or would change. I would for sure buy this beer again and I might consider seeing how it ages. I would recommend this to anyone who likes the style or just tart fruity beers in general, it's for sure worth a try. All in all I was happy with this beer and a little impressed, some of these beers from this ancient ale series were hit or miss for me, but this one was for sure a hit and enjoyed drinking it, it exceeded my expectations. So far it's one of the better Dogfish Head beers I've had it's now my favorite of the style. Good job guys this was one tasty, unique and interesting beer, keep up all the hard work.

 3,660 characters

Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into signature tulip glass, bottled on 10/11/2013. Pours slightly hazy orange copper color with a 1-2 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of tart berries, cranberry juice, strawberry, pear, apple, red grape, honey, toast, bread, light pepper, light woodiness, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of yeast ester, fruit, spice, and malt notes; with good strength. Taste of tart berries, cranberry juice, strawberry, pear, apple, red grape, honey, toast, bread, light pepper, light woodiness, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Minimal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of tart berries, cranberry juice, pear, apple, red grape, honey, toast, bread, light pepper, herbal, light woodiness, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of yeast ester, fruit, malt, and spice flavors; with a great malt/fruit flavor balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very smooth and lightly slick/syrupy mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice fruit/spiced ancient ale style. All around good balance and complexity and balance of yeast, ester, fruit, spice, and malt flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,536 characters

Photo of BeerImmediately
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Haven't been reviewing much in past year, but never had this style, so here we go...

750ml capped bottle. Pours w/short off-white head over a cloudy deep-orange body. No lacing.
Aromas are full of flowery honey, with sweet syrup, and cranberries in the back.
Mouthfeel is pretty smooth, but even more carbonation than I expected.
Flavor is as advertised - juicy, and featuring slightly tart cranberries balanced by honey and syrup.
Overall, an easy drinking 10% that had all the originality I've come to love from DFH!

 528 characters

Photo of microbrewlover
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This brew pours a clear copper color with a small fluffy white head remnants of which remain on the brew until the end. There is moderate lacing and heavy carbonation.

The smell is heavy with berries wet hay. Some sweet malt and light spice is present but the berries dominate.

This brew is tart and sweet. Lots of dominate berry flavor. The berries dominate from beginning to end. There is a sweet malt backbone with just enough hops to keep the whole thing from being too sweet.

The feel is thin but the tartness and carbonation make the mouth pucker. There is a slight dryness to the brew but no aftertaste.

Overall this is a well balanced fruit beer. Not too sweet like most fruit beers. This strikes the right balance and I could see myself having a couple of these on a hot summer day. The fact that it is based on an ancient Scandinavian brew is a plus for me since I am a history buff.

 897 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Kvasir from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.74 out of 5 based on 655 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.