Steph’s New Brew Review: Kvasir

Steph’s New Brew Review: Kvasir

Dogfish Head’s Kvasir (pronounced va-SEER), a 10% ABV Nordic grog
(an ancient ale brewed with lingonberry, cranberry, birch syrup, honey, cranberry juice, and herbs)

Dogfish Head brewed this Scandinavian ancient ale with the help of biomolecular archaeologist Dr. Patrick McGovern and Swedish brewer Lasse Ericsson. Evidence taken from a 3,500-year-old Danish drinking vessel was used to develop the recipe. The birch bark vessel was found in the tomb of a leather-clad woman said to be an upper-class dancer or priestess.

The ingredients used include wheat, lingonberries, cranberries, honey, birch syrup, myrica gale and yarrow. Myrica gale, a flowering plant with a sweet resinous scent that grows in acidic peat bogs, was used as an ingredient in beer from the Middle Ages up through the 16th century until hops became popular. Yarrow, also a flowering plant, has a history as a “healing herb” for cuts and abrasions. Like myrica gale, it was used to flavor beer in the Middle Ages.

The recipe of Kvasir uses a toasty red winter wheat base, along with tartness from the berries, to balance the earthy, bitter hops. Herbs balance the sweetness from honey and birch syrup.

Dr. McGovern said, “We’re bringing back to life an innovation of our prehistoric ancestors at the most northerly limits of the planet.”

Appearance

Creamy white head, clear amber color.

Aroma

Fruity and tart.

Taste

Herbal at first; a bit musty and tart; finishes sweet and spicy.

Mouthfeel

Light and silky; alcohol is well hidden.

Overall

I’ve never tasted anything like this before – interesting and complex. This beer is a must for anyone interested in ancient beers or the craft beer creativity Dogfish Head is known for.

Our Listeners Weigh In…

You can’t go wrong with a beer made by a leather-clad priestess! Seriously though, nice amber color, can definitely smell the cranberries. Starts off tart with the cranberry flavor, but ends smooth and is nicely matched with the birch and honey. Definitely a sipping beer to be enjoyed in a snifter rather than a pint glass.  4-1/2 stars out of 5. Drink up leather-clad bitches!”

– Tom Miles

With a beautiful, clear deep amber color, the initial aroma I perceived was cranberries. Upon taking a sip, you were immediately met with a tartness which was quickly and perfectly balanced with just enough sweetness to stop you from puckering. This would be perfect with Thanksgiving dinner! Definitely another success from Dogfish Head!”

– Vicky Miles

Wanna pick this one up? Dogfish currently distributes Kvasir to AZ, CA, CO, DE, FL, GA, IL, KY, ME, MA, MD, NV, NJ, NC, OH, OR, PA, SC, VT, VA, WA, DC & is still pending in CT, IL, MI, NH, NY, TX. For more info on where to find this and other Dogfish Head brews check out their Fish Finder.
Check out… this video from Dogfish Head to learn more about Kvasir.

If you have a beer you think we should review, let us know!
And as always, toast our check-in on Untappd, and let us know what YOU think!

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