Kvasir | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

BA SCORE
84
good
657 Ratings
KvasirKvasir
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States
dogfish.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
657
Reviews:
109
Avg:
3.74
pDev:
12.03%
 
 
Wants:
49
Gots:
111
For Trade:
5
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 657 |  Reviews: 109
Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of Texasfan549
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of kylehay2004
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of jaydoc
3.56/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of GRG1313
3/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

cool beer here loaded with a bunch of unconventional berries for brewing that have stained it a grapefruit pink color and even the head a pale shade of pink. the nose on this is more herbal than fruity, with a lemongrass vibe and a moderate acidity. the flavor starts with berries, but its a bit thin. the grain profile is very light, but interesting too, not sure what all is in here, but its more than wheat and pale malt. i like how ripe this is with tart berries without being sweet at all. the grassy flavors come on in the finish, lush and well hopped for a fruited beer. long tart finish, maybe a touch of honey sweetness, very interesting. also, the alcohol is superbly well disguised, you cant get it at all. i would have guess 6.5% abv, not 10, no way. well carbonated and maybe a tad thin in body. i certainly like this a lot, and would like to see some of these berries resurface in other beers. i genuinely like these far out dogfish beers, and although they have faced some criticism, i think they are moving brewing forward in a cool new way.

 1,057 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Knapp85
3.71/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of metter98
3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is crystal clear light reddish amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that gradually died down and left a thin head covering the surface and a thick collar around the edge of the glass.
S: moderate aromas of tart berries are present in the nose—which I presume are mostly from the cranberries and lingonberries.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, except that there are also notes of honey and this contributes slight amount of sweetness.
M: It feels just about medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I thought that this beer would be quite tart with the cranberries and lingonberries, but the honey helps to balance things off and even adds a bit of sweetness.

 790 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.74/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The next evolution in beer comes from the old revolution in beer as Dogfish Head resurrects a taste of days gone bye in Scandanavia with a potent ale that employs cranberry, honey, lingonberry, myric gale and birch syrups to achieve such tangy, fruity and thinly sweet taste.

The ale simply sells itself because once poured, the ale is bright and beautiful as it catches the eye with glowing mauve, ruby and pink tones. Its streaming carbonation seems to dance to the top of the glass where it forms a creamy meringue of a head. Its persistent retention and collared lace reinforce the notion of an ale done well.

Tangy fruit and berries rise to greet the nose immediately- overtones of cranberry and honey give a highly floral character that seems more of mead than of ale. Yet a backing of tangy red wheat, thin bread and wine-like acidity decorates the periphery of aroma as the first sip beckons.

Thin honey and rose wine-type sweetnesses greet the early palate, accompanied by wheat, grain and light bread. But the middle comes calling with a strong fruit presence- cranberries, tart green apples, white grapes and kiwi. Its all that tangy and acidic fruit that creates the balance for the beer's honey taste, especially in the absence of hop complexity or balance. Finishing with the elegance of honeywine and fruit, its spiciness and crispness is best described from wine perspectives than of ale.

Racy and tangy even early, the beer's sweetness seems to latch onto the palate with more of a fructose sugary feel than that of creamy or bready malt. As those sugars are slow to fade, they saturate the taste buds with a sense of fruit sweetness that is only cut by the beer's wine-like acidity and peppery alcohol. Its late warmth attests to a peppery notion while fruit extends into aftertaste.

The enjoyable beer would be most appreciated with summer salads, feta cheese, cheesecake or bitter greens. That's because as a stand-alone taste there seems to be something amiss. Food and good company would provide answers.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.33/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I figured this was a kvass stye beer when I bought it due to the name, but the label doesn't explicitly identify it as a specific style. Reviewed generically as an "ancient ale." 10% ABV confirmed. 750ml brown glass bottle with appealing label art and branded red colour pry-off pressure cap acquired at me local CO bottle shop and served into an EKU 28 stem-snifter as Dogfish Head recommends a snifter as the ideal glass for this beer. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; I'm not a big Dogfish Head fan but this sounds interesting.

Served cold - straight from the fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a two finger wide head of pinkish white colour. Nice creaminess and thickness. Good even smooth consistency. Complexion could be softer. It's not too airy or fluffy. Head retention is good for the ABV - about 4-5+ minutes. Uneven inconsistent spotty lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Body colour is a clear translucent transparent orange-red of above average vibrance. Stunning clarity. It's quite clean; no floating yeast particles/sediment is visible.

Definitely not a kvass. It's appealing overall, but not unique or special. There are no egregious flaws here. An intriguing appearance.

Sm: Birch, depleted honey, vague unidentifiable berries, nebulous herbs, and a hint of cranberry. It's got a nicely subtle sweetness suggestive of good balance. Some might argue it's medicinal, and I can see that, but I find the aroma appealing and intriguing. It's not quite unique, but it's certainly uncommon. Pleasant. It's a change of pace. My interest is piqued.

No yeast character or alcohol is detectable (not too shabby at 10%). Aroma is of below average strength.

T: Hm. The cranberry is very subtle almost to the point where I wonder if I'm only picking up on it because I'm looking for it. The body is a hard-to-describe balanced collection of oddities: light hints of herbal notes, wisps of unidentifiable berry/bright fruit (for the record, I have no idea what in fuck's name lingonberry is), and honey. I don't find any birch syrup in the build. There are some tea-evocative notes that I can't quite place. Has a kiss of red apple towards the back end. The foundation is hard to pin down; I'd guess it's a mix of Belgian pale malts and American amber malts. I expected a lot of earthiness, but it's actually a really clean build - there isn't even any yeast character here. Certainly cohesive, but not quite gestalt. It's also pretty tame for the ABV; the sweetness hides the alcohol and none of the flavours are real bold or aggressive.

The highlight here is the very light tartness; I could use far more of that.

I do like it. Below average depth and intensity of flavour. Average duration of flavour. Above average subtlety. It's complex enough, and has some intricacy. I wouldn't call it special or nuanced, but there's a case to be made that it's somewhat unique.

Mf: Smooth and surprisingly light on the palate. Great balance of dryness/smoothness, with just enough dryness to coax out the next sip but enough wetness to keep it semi-refreshing. It has a good clean presence, with only slight overcarbonation. Full-bodied.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, biting, rough, or scratchy.

Texture suits the flavour profile well in a general sense, but doesn't feel custom-tailored specifically to it.

Dr: Very drinkable for the high ABV. If I had this blind, I'd probably guess it was around 8%. I'll easily kill the entire bottle alone. I wouldn't even call this a sipper. It slides down real easy. It's far from amazing, but it's nice to have a Dogfish Head beer that doesn't make me regret my purchase for once. That said, I wouldn't get it again. Might be interesting aged. I expected another lame gimmicky brew from Dogfish Head, but this is actually fairly interesting and worth trying once. I wouldn't turn friends away from it. My biggest criticism is that it's too timid for its own good.

Could pair well with cranberry salad.

Drinks about as well as it can out of a snifter.

Low B-

 4,221 characters

Photo of emerge077
3.67/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Crimson copper, bright clarity. Billowing head of foam, flecks of lace and a thick ring around the edges.

Aroma is a little bland for all the obscure ingredients and fluffy backstory. I want to smell a Viking tomb goddammit. Yeasty, malty, blah. Faint indistinct fruit.

Tart and bitter, cranberry and lingonberry in spades. Malt underneath, lingering bitterness verges on herbal. Initially more carbonated, though it ebbs away towards the end. It is more of a Gruit, which is essentially what many of these attempts at ancient ales are. Not Kvass as designated here.

 569 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Appearance: Crystal clear amber with a tinge of cranberry coloring; the head foams up and grows a bit rocky; plenty of splashy lacing

Smell: Lingonberries, cranberries and red delicious apple; wheat bread and honey, to a lesser extent

Taste: The fruits dominate the flavor profile with the lingonberry and cranberry making their appearance, up front, bringing their tart flavors; quickly, the sweetness of a red Delicious apple offsets the tartness and the honey adds more sweet flavor, in the middle; the tartness returns, along with wheat bread and some herbal complexity; in the finish, however, there is considerable residual sweetness

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A very interesting beer, with a nice balance between the tart and sweet flavors; not something I am likely to try again, as the sweetness ultimately limits its drinkability, but I was glad to have experienced it

 932 characters

Photo of dmorgan310
3.25/5  rDev -13.1%

Photo of Phyl21ca
2.5/5  rDev -33.2%

Draft: Poured a reddish color ale with a medium size foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of berries and herbs is not the most enticing. Taste was also a weird mix between some berries notes, herbs with weird unrefined grainy notes. Body is light with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Interesting experiment but with such low drinkability I think I will avoid in the future.

 401 characters

Photo of largadeer
3/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of zestar
3.25/5  rDev -13.1%

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 DrBier
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of chinchill
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.

 633 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

An interesting beer, grog like style with Kvass maybe, hard to really tell where it's supposed to lie, but interesting and quite unique I'm sure, normally wouldn't buy something like this for the price it was at, but a supposedly fairly true Scandinavian like beer I had to try. Also with my family so big in cranberries I had to try this.

Pours a decent fizzy slightly fluffy thick 1/2 finger head with many big bubbles popping to leave a little lacing, very clear amber-cranberry juice like colored beer.

Nose is all over the place, a mix of so much, a spicy piney juniper like aroma seems to cut right through, a syrupy like sap with that which does lead to a Birch sap like thought, a tart berry with a little green tannin, a definite cranberry aroma in the background too like a fermented juicy cranberry, as well as a hint of a fermented honey and dry herbal note, a hint of a sweet candy malt and perhaps touch of oats, and the more I smell the more I get a tart cranberry sauce and little piney aroma, and a touch of a phenolic booze comes through.

taste starts with the fruit right out, tart berry, almosy piney juniper berry but enough tartness and juiciness to be lingonberry, and eventually a fresh cranberry taste, tart freshly crushed cranberry pulp, as well as a green tannic bitter berry stem note. In there is also a mild sweet malt, actually fairly sweet but not too much yet, a little syrupy with some candy malt notes, a sap like character with mild piney green pine tree bitterness but not a ton, more mild, like Birch sap I guess. It also brings a little creamy oat feel, and if there isn't oats I'm surprised but usually they put it on the label. Bit of an herbal note with like a pine tea almost. Mild phenolic booze that balances well and is hard to really notice until the finish. As it finishes it gets very dry, despite the sticky feel lingering, a but of a sticky sap feel, but super dry with a honey like dry finish and note of honey character, more lingering cranberry and tart lingonberry with juniper like flavor and mild pine forest. Some booze warmth and slight tingle really comes through as it dries on the finish.

Mouth is med to a bit fuller bod, little sticky syrupy feel, some warming tingly booze but mostly on the finish, and lots of small bubble tickling carbonation like a seltzer almost.

Overall well it was definitely really unique and interesting to try. I did like the tart berry notes, really liked how well the cranberry actually came through unlike most beers, and tart piney lingonberry that really makes me think juniper berry, the birch sap led to a pine forest note with syrupy flavor mixing well with the nice malt base, and honey to really dry out the finish which didn't let it get too syrupy or sticky, but also let the booze finally cut through as it was mostly well hidden. A really interesting beer to try, but not sure if I would really buy it again, but I may want to bring it to a family event so the Finnish cranberry farm side of the family can try it.

 3,025 characters

Photo of nickfl
3.25/5  rDev -13.1%

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.48/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

On-tap 1/9/2015 at Track 84, in Warwick, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep golden brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves very little lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, herbs, some fruit and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with some tartness that is quickly followed by some herbs and spices. Then some mild sweetness comes in from flavors of caramel and fruit. There is also a significant alcohol sting. The hops presence is very mild but brings a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly tart.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, light carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, strong kick, decent representation of style, just another eccentric DFH beer that is nice to try but not something I would want to drink consistently.

 874 characters

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Kvasir from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.74 out of 5 based on 657 ratings.
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