Sunday, February 26, 2012

Quick Sips: Dogfish Head Ta Henket

So this one has a story. Dogfish Head is known for resurrecting beer recipes from the deep past, so-called ancient ales. These aren't exact recreations, of course, but modern interpretations of what that ancient beer might have been based on the historical record, local ingredients, and so on. This beer is brewed based on what we know about ancient Egyptian beer, and even includes wild Egyptian yeast. You can see the creation of this particular beer on an episode of Discovery Channel's Brewmasters.

Like many Dogfish beers, this one takes an adventurous spirit to appreciate. The smell is musty like a wet doormat. Yes, that sounds bad, and ... well, it doesn't smell great, actually. Not as bad really as a wet doormat, but that's what it reminds me of. Kind of wet, kind of musty, kind of damp burlap.

There is some spice in the taste, an earthy kind of spice with the vaguest hints of dark-but-dull fruit and a finish that suggests earthy herbal tea. The middle of the taste has this weird cigarettes-filtered-through-tasty-fruit-tea taste that sounds terrible but isn't nearly as bad as it sounds. It's pretty nice, really, once you get acclimated to it. Different. Herbal. Natural. And interesting. The beer finishes surprisingly clean and refreshing.

Dogfish is adventurous as hell and I love their ancient ales, but unlike Sah'Tea, Midas Touch, and Theobroma, I wouldn't call this one foray into the past essential drinking.

Also, Dogfish people, don't package this is 750ml bottles, put it in 12 ozers! I think it would go over better in that format.

For more information on this beer, check out its official page. It's on shelves right now, for a limited time.


  1. Sounds interesting. I don't know if this is one I'm going to try, but that's a pretty vivid and definitely disturbing description!

  2. It's definitely an unusual one, Dave, quite different from anything I've had before. Like many of those offbeat Dogfish releases, I didn't "get it" until the second time I had it.