Zwaanend'ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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68 Ratings

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States

Style: Bock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed to commemorate the 375th Anniversary Celebration for the first town (Lewes) in the first state (Delaware), this is an old Dutch-style Rye Bokbier brewed with honey.

Added by hopsaplenty on 04-25-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 68 |  Reviews: 54
Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.18/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I found this on tap at The Grey Lodge Public House.

This beer came a pale brown amber with a wide collar of creamy white.

Smelled of sweet potatoes, caramel and over-ripe green apples.

Tasted big and sticky sweet like caramel, candied apple and red licorice. The hops reminded me of the spiciness found in DFH’s Punkin’ Ale for some reason with a little nutmeg.

The mouth feel was medium bodied and vicious but silky with a light carbonation.

As far as style goes, this one’s a little confusing. Regardless of style, it was too sweet for me.

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Photo of jmatthew
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The appearance is a brownish-copper color with a small but sticky head leaving decent lacing on the glass. On the nose, there is a definite presence of rye bread, with spicy fruit in the background. The taste is dominated up front by the warmth of alcohol and sweet caramel, which as it subsides begins to reveal some spicy notes, candied fruit and a slightly dry hop finish. The rye doesn't make any distinct appearance in the taste save for a vague yeastiness, and I can't specifically detect a honey taste, just sweetness. A moderately full mouthfeel, although its intensity makes this beer only enjoyable in smaller quantities.

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured Vom Fuss at the DogFish Head Ale House, to a big pint glass. Bright and clear orangesish amber liquid with good carbonation. A respectable 2 finger head that fades fast and leaves a nice lace.

The smell is very fruity with some rye bread.

The taste is strikingly peachy and sweet, some lightly toasted rye bread. Carmely notes and a very smooth, yet slightly dry, hopy finish. 8% ABV is expertly hidden behind a very interesting and well planner flavor profile.

Mouthfeel is very good, nice carbonation, a good medium to full body and a smart complex flavor profile. A very elegant and well crafted beer.

The drinkability is very high, big satisfaction from this fruity bock. A clear winner. Prosit und Zum Wohl! MK

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Photo of maltydog
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

on tap at the Point Brugge Cafe in Pittsburgh (one of these owner said they were pouring one of the 4 sixtels released into the Pittsburgh market.) served in a 10 oz. footed glass. Description on Dogfish Head website said that this is a old Dutch rye bokbier brewed with the addition of honey. Appearance was a light copper hue with a wispy off white head. Smell was very malty on the sweet side with notes of burnt sugar and almond. Taste was of upfront sweetness with residual alcohol from the honey. Also, had a sour element very reminscent of a flanders red. Finish was very dry and balanced out the up front sweetness very well. Mouthfeel was full and juicy with a slight pucker.

This is a beer that I feel priveledged to have come across on a Saturday afternoon craft brew pilgramage around Pittsburgh!

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Photo of sabrills70
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle capped brown bottle with a bottled on date of 4/14/06. Pours a medium amber with a 2 finger creamy head, good longevity and great lacing. Smells rich and malty yet fruity. Definate malt taste but very sweet and fruity. Very rich. Alcohol come trough in the middle. Hops come through in the end but are swallowed up by a definate fruity malt aftertaste. This is a bock, but a very unique one - not traditional at all, but still tasty. What do you expect from Dogfish Head? This what they are known for and do best.

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Photo of JohnnyM2002
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at the Dogfish Head Brewings and Eats. The beer is to commemorate the 375th anniversary of Lewes, Delaware, the first town in the first state.

It was definitely a lighter color than other Bock's...kind of a light copper. It smelled amazing - sweet, fruity, and spice; best aroma I've experienced to date. The taste matches very well - a very sweet, fruity beer with the spice aftertaste. The combination isn't too sweet's the perfect blend. Overall, it is a very drinkable beer. I picked up a bottle to take along with me and save it for later, but I think I'll be breaking it open pretty soon! Another A+ from DFH!

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Photo of akorsak
3.33/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a pint of Zwaanend'ale served at the Dogfish Head Alehouse in Gaithersburg, MD.

Appearance: The ale is a hazy yellow-orange color with a small ring of head.

Smell: There is a strong malt aroma here but not much else.

Taste: The taste gets a little dicey. Some of the flavors come across as slightly metallic (say bad lines, maybe?). The alcohol is well hidden, unfortunately so is the rye that I was hoping to taste.

Mouthfeel: The ale sits a little uncomfortably on the palate.

Drinkability: This is not the first DFH brew that I'd turn too.

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Photo of deejaydan
3.96/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours pale for a bock, but a thick head is there to support. Aroma is slight. Clean, not much there. Taste is malt and alcohol forward. Heavy on the munich malt, mouthfeel is fairly thick. I'm surprised to see the hops as subdued as they are in here, after all, this is a DFH beer. It's a nice beer, but it's not outstanding.

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Photo of weeare138
3.82/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Tomdecapolis for this...
Appears a transparent gold with a small white head. Scattered lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of sugary candy, caramel, toffee, and spices.
Taste is of the same aromas with a honey sweetness that is all over the place.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, full of lingering cherries, and honey. The abv is definitely noticable in this one.

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Photo of hopsaplenty
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml brown bottle, bottled on 4/14/06. According to the label, this is an old Dutch-style Rye Bockbier brewed with honey.

Bronzed copper. Thick, sticky head of fine off white bubbles that leaves fat bands of lacing. Sweet, clean aroma with rich malt and a slightly spicy hop note. The taste is thick with sugary malt and just a hint of gentle hop spice. Caramel and butterscotch are prominent along with a modest alcohol component that comes through in the finish. Finishes sweet and tacky and a touch warming from the alcohol. I did not pick up any distinct honey notes other than the sweetness. The body is medium-full and has a heavy, slightly cloying mouthfeel which may have been helped by bumping up the carbonation. This was a bit heavy and overly sweet which hurts its drinkability and would have benefited from just a touch more spicy hops. Happy 375th Lewes, the original home of the DFH brewery!

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Photo of ggaughan
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted on the 4th of July with my cousin, bro and family. What a treat as I have been waiting to try this one for a few months now. The beer poured a clear coppish color with a thick nicely carbonated head and body. There was a nice fruity aroma to this one, light. The taste is also sweet and a bit syrupy but not overly. There is a good touch of honey and caramel that makes this bock enjoyable and fairly drinkable in my book.

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Photo of mentor
3.41/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to foolcircle for providing this one as part of BIF33. Thanks a million for the opportunity! Hard pour earns an accidental two finger head that crackled and quickly settled to a half-finger of clingy head. Nearly clear and richly orange. Orange-golden that's sort of reddish. Smells caramel malty and orangish hoppy. Cidery fermented honey. A bit of dry grassy that could be hops.

Tastes fermented honey on top of a caramel that bursts through. Red apples and light DME powder. Sweet cherries, like the syrup from a jar of cherries that lacks any cherry sour. Thick dextrinous mouthfeel and modest carbonation. Finish is wet and sticky on the front of the tongue.keeps the malt sweet hanging around. A touch of alcohol starts off the aftertaste. Enjoyable. Not complex and not particularly drinkable. If sticky sweet is not a beer you like, then stay away from this one.

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Photo of jabocu
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was my first beer at the American Beer Festival '06 in Boston... since it was my first..and second :).. (thanks to a suggestion to go right for this one from a local), I was able to get a good tasting of it. First of all, this is a great beer, and from what I understand was supposed to be brewed close to how it was done 400 years ago.

Pours a copper slightly hazy color with nice head retention. Aroma was sweet and fruity. Not heavy fruits like figs or raisins, but almost light and tropical, or apples and pears maybe. There is some wheat and rye spiciness and cinnamon also. Flavor was nicely sweet, with a touch of biscuit and rye. The fruits come out nicely. Very smooth and refreshing flavor, I really wish they had this in bottle!!!!

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Photo of Phatz
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: This beer pours a transparent caramel color or copper. Very thick looking even in the pour with little carbonation it appears a bit syrupy from the start.

Smell: Fresh squeezed apple juice with a sprinkle of nutmeg. There is now bitterness whatsoever. This is a very sweet aroma.

Taste: Juicy Juicy Juicy. Malty and loaded with raw sugar (the classic DFH sugar element) this is a nice, easy sweet bock with a splash of vanilla and a slight sour twang, just enough to keep the sweet from becoming cloying.

Mouthfeel: Exceptionally smooth and a bit syrupy with a slick oiliness through the center.

Drinkability: What is not to like about this beer. Very tasty and very drinkable.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of Zorro
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled due to the efforts of lackenhauser.

Pours a beautiful deeply copper colored beer with no real head formation.

Smell is slightly sweet with the clear and strong scent of rye in the nose. Lots of rye bread aroma and the pleasant sour snap that only rye has. Some fruity scents are present here too mostly raisins and nuts. There is a mild peppery smell here from the alcohol that is pleasant.

Taste is thick and rather syrup like with a good taste of raisins, nuts and rye at the beginning. Toffee and vanilla flavors kicks in after a while and the taste stays rather sweet. Faint rye after taste, hops don't do much here.

Mouthfeel is full.

Any OK beer to drink but this beer throws your senses quite a few curve balls. The idea of a rye bock beer is imaginative to say the least and it does confuse the taste buds a bit. This is certainly easy to drink and I don't think age will change this much so drink it up and don't save this Delaware commemorative beer.

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Photo of lackenhauser
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice-somewhat pale chestnut color-had to work to get any head out of it whether it was tilt the glass or raise the bottle sort of thing. Moderate aroma-caramel graininess with a faint alcohol smell. Syrupy sort of flavor-nice mellow bread quality. Sweet, malty overall. The alcohol comes thru a bit more then I would expect at only 8%. Might be me. Damn good body. Very (almost too) drinkable. For its minor faults its a very good beer. Maybe a tad too sweet.

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Photo of froggyfrog
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on location. Upstairs at DFH Brewings & Eats, Rehoboth Beach, DE. Serving type: on-tap served in a pint glass.

The beer is called Zwaanend'ale, presumably after the whaling colony Zwaanendael established by Dutch captain David Pietersen De Vries in April 1631. (The area of Zwaanendael is present day Lewes, Delaware.)

A: Surprisingly bright, clear dark orange and red. Mine was headless.

S: Sugar cane and cinnamon.

T&M: Sweet apple juice. Heavy sticky raw sugar mouthfeel redolent of young Olde School. Tastes like warmed spiced Fuji apple cider and alcohol. The honey and the rye come together gracefully to create a beer that is smooth, sweet and dry all at once.

D: Very drinkable, smooth and warm.

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Photo of Imstillthegman
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Descibed by DFH as a "Dutch-style Rye Bokbier brewed with honey". Pours a nice clear amber with about an inch of off-white head that reduces to just a ring in about two minutes or so. Smell the rye...sweet and sour. Some honey and grass as well. Alcohol is present in the aroma. Rye bread first hits the tastebuds before the malts come through. Some sweet undertones. Slighlty sour on the back of the tongue. Mouthfeel is smooth and bubbly. Just a hit of alcohol tingle on the finish. Drinkability is average for me, but others may like the style more than I do.

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Zwaanend'ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 3.85 out of 5 with 68 ratings