Brewery: Dogfish Head Brewery | Beer: Immort Ale
Style: American Strong Ale | ABV: 11.0% | IBUs: 50
Serving Method: 12 oz. bottle poured into tulip glass
It's always exciting to see a new Dogfish Head beer show up on shelves in Houston, so when I saw Immort Ale for the first time a while back I picked up a few packs despite the high price tag.
First brewed in 1995, Immort Ale is released each spring. It's built with English and Belgian yeast yeast strains, peat-smoked barley, juniper berries, vanilla, and maple syrup from Sam Calagione's family farm then aged in oak tanks at the brewery.
I've seen this called a Barleywine, but I don't quite agree with that. I think it fits better in the catch-all American Strong Ale category, so that's where it's going.
Here's how Dogfish describe the finished product:
Vast in character, luscious & complex. The sweet and earthy flavors meld magnificently in the Immort Ale. But, be warned the abv is 11%, so after 1 or 2 you may start feeling immortal (even though we promise you won't be).A big Dogfish brew with a witty name is almost always a good thing, so let's get started.
Appearance: A dark and murky red-brown body capped by a little less than a finger of off-white head that recedes rather slowly but leaves little lacing.
Aroma: A rather complex combination of smoke, oak, vanilla, and dark fruit over a rich malt base. As you'd expect with a beer that weighs in at eleven percent alcohol, there is plenty of booze around the edges.
Taste: Just as complex as the nose suggests. Oak, smoke, and peat on top of a rich malt backbone. There's lots of assertive alcohol throughout, but it never seems out of place. Oaky malt and a good amount of alcohol in the aftertaste.
Mouthfeel: The body is a little fuller than medium and is accompanied by adequate carbonation. There's some definite warmth in the cheeks and throat from the substantial alcohol content.
Drinkability: Unsurprisingly, given the big flavor profile and eleven percent alcohol content, this is quite the sipper.
Verdict: Once again, Dogfish Head have pushed the boundaries and come up with something special. Immort Ale really is a complex and unique brew, but also probably one of those "love it or hate it" beers. Luckily for me, I love it.