Ta Henket | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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Ta HenketTa Henket

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States

Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
For this ambitious liquid time capsule, we used ingredients and traditions plucked from Egyptian hieroglyphics.

Ta Henket is brewed with an ancient form of wheat and loaves of hearth-baked bread, and it's flavored with chamomile, dom-palm fruit and Middle Eastern herbs. To ferment this earthy ancient ale, Sam and friends traveled to Cairo, set out baited petri dishes and captured a native Egyptian saccharomyces yeast strain.


Added by lstokes on 12-20-2010

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Reviews: 193 | Ratings: 743
Photo of prg1976
1.12/5  rDev -67.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Pours a medium amber color with a fizzy white head.

Uh, really? The smell....I don't know what they were going for, but it smells like a combination of sweaty feet and bad fish.

The taste is a pungent, bitterness.

I didn't have it in my mouth long enough to get anything from the mouthfeel.

Wow, just terrible. I actually took a few sips and it kept getting worse. I'm going to have nightmares about this one.

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Photo of AnIslandOfGeese
1.32/5  rDev -61.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

I have never been more disappointed with a beer in my life. I was so disappointed that I came on here to make my first review.

Color - Looks like any macro beer. Very little head.

Aroma - Smells like rotten fruit and stale Bud Light.

Taste - Awful. Tastes like someone threw up a pitcher of Bud Light into a DFH glass. It does not taste at all like a wheat ale. It taste like unknown rotten fruit fermented into a light beer.

This is the first beer in over a year that I have not been able to drink simply due to flavor. Poured out half a glass and ended up with a horrible headache from drinking this beer. I really thought this would be good after watching the brewmasters episode about this. However, when you push the boundaries of beer, you're bound to make something bad. I cannot recommend this to anyone.

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Photo of billab914
1.35/5  rDev -60.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

750ml bottle into my mad Fox glass. It poured golden amber in color with a frothy white head filling the top two inches of the glass.

The aroma is pretty unpleasant. I get a lot of spices to it that just overpower everything else. I get a tart, crisp fruitiness and some grainy flavors to it, but neither is enough to cut through the earthy spices. The comparison someone made to burning hair was pretty fitting in my opinion. Probably the worst aroma I've ever encountered in a beer.

The taste isn't any better. Spices up front, something that tastes like rotten citrus fruit midway and some sweet, grainy malts and honey in the finish. Again just plain awful.

The mouthfeel is light with carbonation being moderate. Overall I thought this was an awful beer. Nothing in it worked for me and I can't drink more than a few sips of this. What a waste of $14. This is definitely one of the worst beers, if not the worst beer I've ever had.

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Photo of alysmith4
1.54/5  rDev -55.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Weird. Weird, weird, weird beer. I can't believe I finished the entire bottle, as it was such a strange taste. I expected more (from Dogfish), especially at $14.99/bottle. There was just this really off-putting smell/taste that I couldn't get past. It was kind of like perfumed soap and basil. I usually enjoy Dogfish beers, but would definitely not recommend this one to anyone.

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Photo of CHickman
1.8/5  rDev -47.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Pours slightly hazy gold color with a 2 finger foamy white head that faded quickly and left zero lacing. The head fizzed away like a soda.

This is a very weird smelling beer; it’s a cross between burnt wheat, burnt hair and stinky hippy feet. After mustering up the courage to go in for another whiff, it smells of wheat, roasted grains, sand (like you’re at the beach), flowers, herbs, light toasted bread, cracker, honey and some light spices; again, this smells unlike any beer that I’ve ever encountered and I understand the historical interpretation attempt, but have no idea what Za’atar or Doum fruit smell like. I guess I pick up the chamomile, but that’s likely just as much mental play since I’m reading it on the front of the bottle.

Tastes like burnt wheat, dry hay, lightly toasted grains, flowers, herbs, toast, cracker, honey and some light spices. Almost tasted like licking a horse, and I could not pick up hops but did get the flavor of vegetables like celery.

Mouthfeel is light and crisp, with very light carbonation that’s almost watery, a light body (as in Bud Light) and a clean dry finish.

Overall it was not good, and did not get better as I downed more of the bottle. I love trying new styles and experimental beers, but this was just not good at all to me and the taste and aroma were so far off that I couldn’t finish the bomber. Thankfully I have a 120 Minute IPA in my beer fridge to remind me of why I love DogFish Head, so I’ll give them another mulligan on this one; this was a valiant effort at recreating history, but this beer could have stay buried with the Lost Ark out in the desert.

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Photo of teromous
2/5  rDev -42%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer really defies the style...I'm not sure how they decided to categorize it as this...probably just because it was brewed with wheat.

A: It's a medium-brown shade, with no head or lacing at all. It's very hazy. For the style it's pretty good, but there's no head at all.

S: This has a crazy smell to it. It's very spicy, and smells like BBQ spices. I pick up a woody smell to it as well.

T: I don't really know how to describe the flavor, other than that it tastes like BBQ chips and marinade. It has some of that woody flavor that I smelled too, but it's way in the background. I can not emphasize enough, how ridiculous this beer tastes. It seriously tastes like somebody dumped the spice cabinet into this beer. This really doesn't taste good at all, but it is interesting so I'll give it that...it would be 1.0 if it weren't for the claim of Egyptian ingredients and recipe.

M: The mouthfeel is pretty smooth, but it's very hard to drink with the insane amount of spice in this thing.

O: Overall this would make a good marinade for chicken or something, but it's not really my idea of a good beer. If DFH makes "off centered" beers...this one is an "off the rocker" beer...the only thing that really saves it is how interesting of a story it has, which overall makes it slightly interesting to try. As a beer though, I wouldn't recommend or drink it again. Egyptian ingredients...maybe...snake oil...maybe...

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Photo of hdofu
2.06/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Normally I'm a nut when it comes to dogfish head's crazy concoctions... this beer is not one of their better experiments in recreating ancient ales. The beer port gold with a white head that dispenses quickly. Smell is like wheat and some muddled herbs, pretty boring. Taste starts out like an ok wheat ale that quickly turns into a guessing game trying to figure out what the heck that finish is. The mouthfeel makes it almost feel flat, not much buble, not much feel. Asside from some peculiar tastes that aren't great but aren't offensive either, it's a pretty meh beer. It wouldn't be horrible if it wernt 14 bucks. It actually may have been better warm.

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Photo of Fubar1453
2.13/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Swing and a miss by dogfish head on this one.

A: Pale yellow, lots of carbonation. Nothing special.

S: Awful, cracked the bottle and immediately smelled it, almost like corn and soy sauce. I was hesitant to drink it because I thought it may have turned.

T: Corn and not much else, reminded me of coors light.

M: Really carbonated and crisp.

O: Basically bought an expensive bottle of coors reserve. Avoid if at all possible.


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Photo of Krakistophales
2.16/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A: Pours golden straw colored with a huge white head that recedes quickly

S: Smells like tuna, wheat, some weird spice, and just funk.

T: Butter, popcorn, wheat, some weird spice, hints of hops, a weird sort of herbal, leafy quality to the whole thing. Very unpleasant.

O: This is pretty terrible. Waste of 12 bucks.

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Photo of DCon
2.37/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Enjoyed on-tap @ the Thirsty Monk (American bar in upstairs) in Asheville, NC for $6.50. Tapped from the DogFish Head handle w/ the "Egyptian codes" on it into a 10oz Pint Glass.

Aroma- Started with a sour water aroma mixed with a bit of wheat. Possibly could have had old broccoli in this aroma too... VERY far from anything worthy of being something from DogFish Head. Asked if they even tapped the right beer.

Appearance- Received with a 1 finger head that dies quickly. Has a very light and clear body that is a golden. Leaves nothing behind (no lacing).

Flavor- Light wheat and sweet malts are in the beginning while a bready flavor finishes it off... Light characters with no hops or any other attributes.

Mouthfeel- Light-Medium Bodied, Medium Carbonation, Smooth, and nothing else comes up...

Overall Impression- While having the chance to buy this @ Bruisin Ales (for $10+), I'm glad I didn't! This sure is an "Ancient Ale" and wouldn't let anyone around me make the mistake of buying this one. Such a shame because I've enjoyed almost ALL DogFish Head brews...

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Photo of Chaney
2.38/5  rDev -31%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I had this on-tap at the Alehouse in Fairfax.

Served in a snifter... an overpriced one, I might add.

A: Poured a fairly bright orange with a slight chill haze. No head to speak of.

S: Nothing... absolutely nothing. Well, maybe a tinge of chamomile and some baked bread, but that is absolutely it.

T: Salty. Seriously, this is one of the first brews I've tasted in a long time where I feel comfortable using that descriptor. It honestly tasted like wallpaper paste, with some licorice (just a tinge), and some algae.

M: Got a mild prickle, but who the hell cares? No lacing.

O: I understand this was an historical brew, the earliest beer recipe even. However, it was to worst tasting beer I've have so far in 2013.

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Photo of davey101
2.52/5  rDev -27%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

2011 vintage. 750ml into an over sized wine glass.

A - Dark amber hue. Small bit of lacing and edging. Very clear with tons of bubbling.

S - Pizza flavored goldfish. That is all I can think of. Bread and spices. Very peculiar and not very inviting. I don't want to smell this anymore.

T - More of those weird spices. They seem almost synthetic. This is followed by some sweetness and herbs. Bready and grainy. Light mouthfeel with decent carbomation.

O - Did not enjoy this. I'm usually a big fan of these crazy dogfish head beers including the ancient ales. This was pretty terrible though. I respect the history and work that went into it, but its just awful. Waste of money...

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Photo of facundoCNB
2.56/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

i had this on tap a few months ago and it was a bit better than the bottled version. here's my review for the bottle:

a - clear yellow/orange pour with minimal amount of head which vanished completely.
s - smells like mushrooms, bread, bay leaves
t - has a very spicy taste up front, followed by a very bready flavor. nothing like i remember it on tap honestly, i remember it tasting like quaker cereal, which i'm not getting at all from the bottle.
m - light bodied, mild carbonation, no head/lacing.
o - this was a completely different experience than when i had it on tap and completely unenjoyable to say the least. i'm pretty disappointed because i remember actually liking this one a lot. maybe aging it for a few months ruined it, but i don't see how as it wasn't that long of a time span.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
2.7/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Got a chance to try this over New Years, interesting beer to say the least. First off... cannot get over the pizza flavors, specifically pepperoni pizza. A previous reviewer mentioned pizza flavored goldfish crackers which is exactly what it reminds me of. Nice bubbly, golden color in the glass.. taste is again quite odd. Seems to be a lot of different flavors going on with fruits/spices my mouth has never tastes before. Also get a random whiff of tuna? Yeah.. I'll leave it at that. I love DFH and I think the historical beers are amazing ideas and great to talk about in conversation, but this is a miss for me.

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Photo of mdfb79
2.8/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

From 01/07/12 notes. Thanks to Gene for sharing this at a RB tasting. 750ml bottle into a tulip.

a - Pours a clear pale yellow color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation.

s - Smells of nuts, spices, oregano, wheat, bready malts, and light floral notes. A bit odd and interesting, but not bad.

t - Tastes of spices, oregano, nuts, wheat, toasted malts, bready malts, and burnt malts. Spices up front again, a bit of a step down from the nose.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

o - Overall an interesting beer, but wasn't a huge fan, and I normally like DFH beers. A bit weird and full of spices, I wouldn't seek this one out again.

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Photo of Ryan011235
2.81/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into an Allagash glass on 12/16/12

Bottled in 2011

The color is a clear, amber/apple juice with dulled gold highlights. A swell of fizzy bubbles rises to two and a half fingers; however, the head falls away just as quickly. Minimal specks of lace.

I took one smell and thought, this smells familiar. I took a few more smells. Tuna.

I asked my fiance what she thought it smelled like. Chicken dinner.

After the head is gone, a few notes of camomile and pollen and mild herbs emerge. Regardless, I cannot help but reminisce about sitting at the bar at Bodega with their excellent, now departed, tuna melt in front of me, with notes of pilsner lingering about.

The taste is a lot of pollen and dry herbal notions with something akin to ginger and hints of honey. Toasty grains have a slightly damp grass bent. The finish has a tanginess like fermenting light fruits.

The light body is loose but well confined with fluffy carbonation. The mouthfeel here would be really good for an American pale lager or the like.

This is a peculiar beer and it grows a bit tiresome after not even half the bottle. Thankfully, the abv is reasonably low; if this were a boozy creation it's doubtful I could drink it.

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Photo of mrfrancis
2.83/5  rDev -18%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a clear gold with a fizzy white head. Head retention is poor and the amount of lacing is minimal. From the little streams of effervescence that are so visible in the liquid, one can tell that this will be a bloating, intensely carbonated beer.

S: In all honesty, the aroma of this beer is downright unpleasant. Spicy, grainy aromas blend with an odd, yeasty funk that quickly becomes overpowering. If I could hold my nose while drinking this, I would.

T: This ale opens sharp and grainy with tart, wheaty notes from the emmer faro coming through loud and clear. These are soon accompanied by notes of chamomile, sage, oregano, lemongrass, plums, and gingerbread. The finish is sweet with fleeting notes of chamomile, plums, and gingerbread.

M: Light in body and very dry. As I suspected earlier, this ale is highly carbonated and rather gassy. For such a light beer, it is incredibly filling.

O: This beer is not as undrinkable as some have made it out to be, but that is not saying that it is not one of Dogfish Head's lesser efforts. Unfortunately, the generic appearance, horrible combination of scents on the nose, and bloating, gassy mouthfeel conspire to ruin this beer. I'm glad I got to try this one, but I will not be purchasing it again.

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Photo of the38raven
2.85/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer is all over the place. Very interesting concept, but some of the elements are a little off-putting.

A: Very clear, light golden color. Thin, rapidly dissipating head; I turned around for a second and it was gone. No lacing whatsoever.

S: I get mostly chamomile, an herbal/floral characteristic.

T: Largely like an average beer of this type, but with a growing taste of chamomile that lingers in my mouth. My first impression was more "what is that?" than anything positive.

M: Smooth, on the thicker side of light. Not bad.

O: I'm not a huge fan of chamomile, which probably prejudices me against this one. As a historian, I was really hoping to like this one, but... eh.

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Photo of jmdrpi
2.87/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

served on-tap at the Brewpub in Rehoboth Beach.

appears a very pale yellow color, little white head. aroma is herbal and earthy spice. taste is grainy, some wheat, very flowery from whatever herbs have been used. body is thin, with fizzy carbonation.

Overall - a disappointment compared to their other beers.

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Photo of utopiajane
2.87/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The aromatic spices in this beer are likely at first to remind you of "feet." Then, bread and middle eastern cuisine. If you read the reviews no one really knew what this was supposed to taste like so I recommend trying it anyway. Pours a golden straw color and a nice thick head that doesn’t last very long. Mouthfeel is "syrupy." The more you drink the more you will notice the spices in the beer. No real hops taste in this and it has has low carbonation as well which makes it sweet in a weird way. The fruit ( whatever kind of fruit that was) is noticeable because the flavor of it seems to go very well with those spices. It’s the strangest beer I have had but I’m not sorry I bought it. The bottle is freaky cool.

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Photo of Cubaneagle
2.91/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First off I love most all Dogfish Head brews but this one was a mild disappointment. Wasn't terrible but just not what I usually expect from them.

a - a golden clear yellow lageresque beer with very little head and lacing to match.
s - smells like a whiff of my spice cabinet. mix of pepper, coriander, and some stuff I can't pronounce. Almost smells skunky funky.
t - pretty mild and almost like a lager taste. Some spice and mild fruit there but nothing to move me.
m - light carbonation, light body, leaves mouth feeling slick and slimy much like a euro pale lager to me.
o - not a fan. Average compared to other beers but lacking when it comes to Dogfish Head ones. Felt a little underwhelmed with this one.

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Photo of Kranders
2.92/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Really interesting beer. Poured a nice light golden color with minimal lacy head. The aroma is just plain funky. I can't really place it, but it's really not that appealing. On the other hand, it tastes way better than it smells. It's really hard to describe the taste, I don't even know what 1/2 of the ingredients in the beer are. Still, it's floral, earthy, and utterly unique. Very drinkable and doesn't last long on the tongue. Very interesting beer.

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Photo of MRsojourner
2.93/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Golden and crystal clear with a light foamy 3' head
Cracker, and bready aroma with slight perfume & herbs
taste is of oranges with a herbal bite. a bit sweet with very low bitterness. more fruitiness comes out as it warms up.
an easy drinker with not much complexity. not bad not great.

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Photo of dbrauneis
2.93/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served on tap at Cork City Pub in Hoboken, NJ

A: Pours a clear medium golden yellow in color with some hints that are just a bit darker when held up to the light and light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a quarter finger tall bright white head that quickly reduces to a small patch of extremely thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of honey, chamomile, and herbs. Not sure I have smelled another beer quite like this one.

T: This flavor is strange - some lighter notes of wheat with some earthy mushroom flavors, chamomile (like herbal tea), and herbs. Just a touch of sourness.

M: Slightly heavier than light bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: This is not an easy beer to drink, even though the ABV is rather low the flavor combination is "interesting" and it makes it a tough beer to finish. Strangely, I have had this beer two times and it has given me a headache almost immediately both times.

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Photo of Sam21
2.93/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Purchased in January 2011 for ~$8. Poured around 40-45 degrees into a snifter.

Appearance - Golden amber body with a quickly dissipating white head. Leaves sparse lacing.

Smell - A bit bready with a rustic spice quality. Slightly rough around the edges with dry fruit present. There is a very pronounced dry spice note.

Taste - A rustic malt sweetness up front with bready undertones. There are notes of dried fruit and a strong chamomile presence that adds hints of green apple and a haylike quality. The finish is yeasty with more hay, bread, and a heavy spice note.

Mouthfeel - Light feel with enough behind it. Far from thin. Good carbonation. Pleasant.

Overall - In the end, you have to take Ta Henket for what it is. The Ancient Ales are always interesting, so I had to take a step back and appreciate this beer from the perspective of what went into it. It tasted quite unrefined and rugged and while there was definitely a plain/bland quality to the depth of the beer, I picture it being an everyday brew of the masses in ancient Egypt. An interesting experience that I enjoyed. I have to say that the presence of chamomile was most intriguing as it really came through in the finished product!

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Ta Henket from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.45 out of 5 based on 743 ratings.
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