Thursday, July 12, 2012
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery - Ta Henket
"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, doum-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."
Before we go any further, let's take a look at these ingredients. Ok, good on the bread part, good on the chamomile part, good on the...what the hell is doum-palm fruit? After a bit of research, I found out that doum palms are native to north Africa, specifically Egypt, Sudan and Kenya and bear a fruit that was sacred in Ancient Egypt. According to a few sources online, the fruit is supposed to taste like gingerbread. The Middle Eastern herbs used are a blend called za'atar and can be made in a variety of ways, usually using a combination of thyme, oregano, marjoram, sesame seeds, salt and sumac. Alright, let's try this puppy.
Ta Henket pours a clear honey color with a one finger tan head. I found the aroma to be pretty mysterious. As hard as I tried, I had a ton of difficulty picking out individual smells. There was definitely a ton of bread and wheat and then a background of chamomile, cinnamon and maybe a touch of allspice.
The taste opened with a lot of doughy yeast and bread with some wheat, white peach and some faint indistinguishable spices. If it's anywhere in the taste, the doum fruit may be hiding somewhere in a finish that leaves a slightly tart aftertaste. If it's there, it's very subtle, though. I'm usually not a fan of beers that taste like bread, but this one didn't feel weighed down by the breadiness. I definitely wish I could have tasted more of the stranger ingredients in this beer, but it was still a pretty decent experiment.
Final Grade: B
Top 100 Beers Tasted: 38