Kvasir | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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659 Ratings

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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 659 |  Reviews: 109
Photo of poppollutesminds
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of MikeWard
4.06/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of tachyons22
4.96/5  rDev +32.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Photo of shigg85
3.77/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

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

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 jakea
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Zythophile
3.89/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle Date: 8/6/15
Palate Contaminants: sweets an hour before

Finally, found a bunch of Ancient Ales. I'll start with the one that shouldn't sit in the fridge.

Appearance is an opaque medium amber, not much lacing in the glass, though.

Smell is really pleasant. Mostly sweet Thanksgiving cranberry with some honey and a berry flower that I can't quite place.

Taste doesn't match the smell, but it's still easy to knock back. It actually reminds me of fermented apple cider – the kind grandpa had – more than anything else. I'm also picking up plums, and there's a lot more floral presence as it warms up. It's not overly sweet, though. The sweetness gives way to mild bitterness and sourness, but it's by no means unpleasant. After that fades, it goes back to an orchard tree aftertaste.

Feel is really carbonated, at least my bottle is. There's a whole bunch of weird stuff going on.

Well, I had to try it at least once, and I'm glad I did.

 952 characters

Photo of alucard
3.54/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Raime
3.3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of DrAnnaNemis
2.89/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of cp45
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of IvoryFoxhole
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

25 ounce bottle poured into ale glass. 2015 vintage.

L: 3 finger foamy head, little retention, only a thin ring. Beer is a light amber.

S: Berries, honey, the ancient ingredients I really can't place

T: Tart cranberry and sweet honey up front, wheat backbone

F: Medium bodied, needs more balance, no carbonation, really. No sense of alcohol.

O: Definitely different and worth a shot.

 388 characters

Photo of Marcos_Graziano001
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Ozzylizard
3.28/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

$ 18.99 ($ 14.99 + $ 4 shipping) for 25.4 oz ($ 0.751/oz) bottle from the Craft Shack
Bottled 08/05/15, served at 42 degrees into snifter, allowed to warm to 50 degrees
Aroma – slightly fruity, nothing distinct
Head average (Three cm, aggressive pour), light tan (looks dirty), frothy, diminishing to four mm ring and partial layer
Lacing poor – rare short leg of tiny bubbles
Body medium amber, cloudy
Flavor fruity, slightly sweet, with a medicinal bend; no malt, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, slightly syrupy, soft carbonation

Appearance 3.25, Aroma 3.25, Flavor 3.25, Palate 3.5, Overall 3.25

 610 characters

Photo of batt6343
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Bouleboubier
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
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

 1,789 characters

Photo of mikekwan
4.51/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of goopy
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Sabtos
3.17/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I did not detect as much cranberry as I had hope, but my old lady did.

There was more spice to me than anything else, but this ancient ale was far more satisfactory to me than others that DFH has concocted, namely Etrusca and Namaste.

 235 characters

Photo of Angerhaus
3.94/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of km02600
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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 DrKarl
4.04/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Kvasir from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 3.74 out of 5 with 659 ratings