Beer Review: Dogfish Head Immort Ale

What I have found from drinking Dogfish Head, you’ll always get something that is going to push the envelope or at least hit you with a curve ball. The Dogfish Head Immort Ale is considered an American Double, which is basically a high ABV beer catchall category, when a beer doesn’t fit anywhere else.

Dogfish Head Immort Ale

Dogfish Head Immort Ale

Pour:

As with all beer I pour, started off standard 45° pour, but found there wasn’t much head forming. So I turned the glass just shy of vertical and the beer opened up nicely

Appearance:

Has a beautiful mahogany cherry color, ruby hues shine through when held to the light.  When poured the beer had about an inch of head, and retained about 30% after several minutes, very impressive.  With a steady stream of bubbles rising from the bottom, I anticipate it will retain a good portion of what is left while drinking the beer.

Aroma:

The dominant aroma is sweet and smoky, but there are hints of vanilla hiding behind the smoke. The smoky oak aroma is bordering on the heavy side.

Taste:

The taste pretty much marries up with the aroma. The intense oak smoke really sucker punches you followed by a head warming alcohol heat, interlaced with maple sweetness and hints of vanilla that come and goes throughout the mouth.   This beer reminds me of a coffee I drink occasionally, Café Du Monde Coffee and Chicory.  I think it is the chicory flavor that I taste in this beer, which is why it reminds me of that coffee.

Drinkability:

I think this beer is a love it or hate it type of beer, because of the intense oak, alcohol, smoke, and sweetness.  I enjoyed the complex flavors and the intensity of them, but the oak was bordering on over-the-top.  At 11% ABV, I think I would limit the number of these I drank.

Food Pairing:

Need a food that matches up with the smoke in this beer, I would love this with some smoked brisket with a sweet/tangy BBQ sauce.

Dietary Information:

The Immort Ale at 11% ABV would have a range of about 315-340 calories (per 12oz).  Because of the sweetness of the beer, I would error on the high side.

Glassware: Pint or Stein (I used a Modified Pint)

Tasting Method: 12 oz bottle

Simply Beer Rating: 90

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3 Responses to “Beer Review: Dogfish Head Immort Ale”

  1. Scott Says:

    Immort Ale ages really well. Hated it when fresh but after 2 years in the cellar the beer really came to life. The oakiness diminished and the maltiness really came through, became for like a barleywine than an American Strong Ale.

  2. Simply Beer Says:

    Scott that is a great point. Many high alcohol beers can be aged for extended periods of time under the right conditions. When aging a beer keep in mind the “additives” to a beer will diminish or mellow over time, such as oak, spices, and especially hops.

  3. Zach Says:

    Fantastic review . . . I have to agree with you 100% on Immort Ale. Had the chance to try it a few weeks back while I was in North Carolina; definitely lives up to the Dogfish Head reputation!


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