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Immort Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Immort AleImmort Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,369 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,369
Reviews: 1,111
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 15.45%
Wants: 159
Gots: 326 | FT: 14
Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Brewery visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
English Strong Ale |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-15-2001

For this beer, we use maple syrup from Red Brook Farm -- Sam's family farm in Western Massachusetts, peat-smoked barley, juniper berries and vanilla.

Immort is fermented with a blend of English and Belgian yeasts, then aged in the big oak tanks at the brewery.

The sweet and earthy flavors meld magnificently in the Immort Ale. But be warned, the ABV is 11%, so after one or two you may start feeling immortal (even though we promise you won't be).

50 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,369 | Reviews: 1,111
Reviews by Estarrio:
Photo of Estarrio
4.72/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to Sudsdog for this bottle!

Poured clear, red-toned copper with a small tan head. The head quickly dissipates leaving a film of sticky, silky lacings.

Sweet malt, chocolate, bread and a surprising amount of campfire smoke in the nose. There is also a sweet fruity character with hints of vanilla, tart cherries and a suggestion of alcohol.

I'm floored by the smokiness. This fine ale is like a very tame rauchbier with a somewhat muted smokiness to allow the other complex flavors to shine. The flavors consist of smoke, chocolate, molasses, burnt sugar and sweet malt up front with a doughy yeast presence. A tart, acidic plum flavor takes over mid-sip offering an exceptional transition from the earthy, charred, smoky wood notes to a sweet vanilla, oak and estery desert finish. I'm amazed how all these flavors pull together for a wonderful, balanced treat. Apart from some obvious warming, the alcohol flavor is also well muted in comparison to the other flavors.

Lightly syrupy, viscous, full body with fizzy, almost creamy mouthfeel. The carbonation is simply perfect in this mouth-pleasing brew. There are few brews over 10% ABV that are more drinkable than this gem.

This is yet another example of DFH creativity and craftsmanship at its finest. Forget styles! This has properties of a rauchbier, a barley wine, an American or Belgian strong ale...It is outside of the box and I love it! This is easily one of my favorite U.S. brewed ales.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice reddish brown color with a slight head but more carbonation than expected,aroma was rich and of vanilla.The vlavor is very oaky with some vanilla tones and a nice lingering fruitiness.A nice complex beer to savor cant drink more than one or two though.

Photo of RoyalT
4.3/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Decent head atop a beautiful, full, orange/brown body. This one certainly looks the part.

Smell – The malt base is there plus a whole lot more. This has a strong French oak aroma as advertised on the label. There’s also an apricot pit scent and a whiff of alcohol.

Taste – The malt flavors are laden with deep, smoked, vanilla oak. The fruits take a back seat but are still present. The announcement of alcohol is prominent. This is a good one.

Mouthfeel – Full-bodied with a presence of alcohol.

Drinkability – I wouldn’t fill a beer bong up with four of these. This is an ale for sipping, but an ale that must be sampled nevertheless.

Comments – This is my first bottle from Dogfish Head. I hope they’re all this good.

Photo of JudgeRoughneck
3.31/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

There is a big, healthy, khaki, two fingers of creamy head on this dull and dark, ruby-colored beer. It fades slowly to about half an inch and leaves a really thin, sticky, sheet-lacing. Carbonation bubbles race to the top.

Despite my weak sense of smell, the aroma of this beer leaps out at me. It is a bouquet of floral perfume, alcohol, vanilla soap, and day-old congealed bacon fat, with some yeasty kick. It is quite pungent, and while intriguing, not altogether pleasant.

This beer is intensely sweet. It is a fulsome honey/maple/ sugar taste. There are strong underlying tones of vanilla and alcohol. Fruity hop bitterness in the finish clears the way for a smoky and woody aftertaste. I want to rate this beer lower because the sugariness gets to be too much to bear, but the complexity of the beverage forces me to up the score. The mothfeel is heavy and full and saved by soft and lively carbonation.

Drinkability is a huge issue with this beer. I suggest having some cheese or other food on hand when you drink this. It will make maple-glazed ham taste amazing, and in turn make the beer a little easier to down. Ultimately, I just felt full and had to tass the last once or two. I doubt I'll revisit this beer unless I want to brew an American Strong.

Photo of npala86
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of kaimcm
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: deep ruby color with a creamy dull white head

S: dark fruits, sherry, molasses, maple, pastry cream. super complex and appetizing. nose really begs for you to take a sip.

T: sweet viscous syrup, figs, raisins, a nice little spice/prick from the carbonation. alcohol warming on the finish which comes on just strong enough, very well balanced. ripe orange flavors, maple, sweet but not cloying that finishes with a touch of bitter dryness. very interesting and enjoyable.

M: very creamy with a good weight.

D: really enjoyable and interesting brew. super complex, well balanced, well hidden alcohol. should be a sipper but goes down so easy its hard to slow down. rock on dogfish head!

a great nightcap brew I paired with Stilton, salami, and almonds with great success

Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A nice mahogany to cherry pour without any
real head but active carbonation.

S: Great malt/syru aroma with both the vanilla
and woody scents aparent.

T: Oak! The male and vanilla are lost behind
the oak/bourbon flavors. There is a distinct
hop finish that is nice. Ther is a bit of
caramelized sugar almost burnt though.

M: Makes the mouth water. Chewy on the inside
with thinish edges.

D: Just too much for me. I think dogfish
achieved its goal here and made good on their
description of this beer. Unfortunately it
is just too overpowering of flavors for me.

Photo of SIRIUS2
3.96/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Dogfish Head pint glass from a 12 oz bottle.

Pours a clear medium-to-dark brown in color with a great uneven dense foamy head of about 2 fingers or so, off white in color with great retention and lacing. Looks awesome!

Aromas coming off from this brew were subtle, malty, and rich. Mostly something on the order of a caramel to medium toasty malt smell with hints of dark fruit or fig and perhaps a touch of brown sugar.

Initial flavors very much match the aromas with a heavy malt presence. Rather complex with definite notes of alcohol give the body of this a rather interesting disposition. Not much in the way of hops but there is definitely a bittering agent that brings much balance to the overall experience. The flavors stay solid through the drink. The finish is warm with a long linger of complex malt that seems to take it's time sliding down the throat. Excellent carbonation - light, but plentiful, without being overbearing, it is perfectly matched to the style.

This brew is certainly enjoyable, but is hardly a session brew. I would treat it much like I might treat a barley wine or other strong ale. Definitely a new favorite - I hope it becomes more available in my area soon! If you enjoy strong ales, you should try this one. Fantastic!

Photo of hijinx
4.31/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Oh my head! Guess I should've come to beer advocate first for the alcohol content on this one before I downed the whole six pack. What can I say? It was cold out and this tastes good! I've been working my way through the Dogfish brews to try them all and this has to be my favorite. I typically favor esb's, however this ale is strong enough to feed my fancy. Appearance is dark and chocolaty with scents of coffee, chocolate and vanilla. Goes down very easy and is a great dinner or dessert beer. It was 17 degrees last night and it vertainly kept me warm. Fans of vanilla or chocolate beers will definately enjoy this one.

Photo of AdvocateFan
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12-oz. tall brown bottle. There's an emblem that looks like a cross-section of a snail shell with a calligraphic "X" in its center. Label reads as follows, "Vast in character, luscious and complex, this smooth, full-bodied ale reveals interwoven notes of maple, vanilla & oak."

Appearance: Brown to copper in color with some nearly crimson highlights. Off-white head fades to a relatively thick covering--tight-laced and remarkable holding power considering the intensity of the ABV. Ample carbonation.

Aroma: Doesn't quite smell like any barley wine I'm accustomed to. High alcohol on the nose, with an almost meaty note. There are maple syrup scents, vanilla extract, rum-soaked raisins/grapes, I'm searching for the oak but can't find it unless it's among the sappy aromatic elements--like the smell of strong cedar. Hints of peat & smoke as well. Also some bubblegum like flourishes. Hugely complex.

Taste: Wow... this is unique. Smoke/peat are striking and not expected, despite being in the nose. Slightly chalky, like a stiff dry porter, but that's where the comparison to that style ends. Dark fruity esters, spiciness from the hops, with alcohol evident (solvent-like), but still softly draped by a wonderful curtain of smooth, lush flavors that are tough to pin down. Some Belgian dark strong ale flavors (notably the yeasty aromas from such beers, most notably similar to Chimay Grande Reserve). Despite the strong flavors, there's a wonderfully unexpected rounded softness to this beer (not to mention considerable belly-warming). As it hits room temperature, barley wine flavors become more evident, and the meatier flavors reveal an associated saltiness.

Finish: Candy-like sweetness slips to dryish peat/smoke, then to bitter hops mingled with dark fruity tartness and acidity, slipping away toward subtle hints of oak (I think I'm getting the oak now...)

Miscellaneous: Sweet brew--one that's tough to categorize--quite nice, an unusual beer worth savoring.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.37/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Yet another highly anticipated DFH brew for me...sticky deep amber pour with a nice white head that leaves trails of lace behind on my glass. Strong sweet caramel with notes of pine, vanilla and dark fruitiness. Alcohol wafts into my nose as well.

This one is big....creamy sweet caramel rolls over my tongue mingling with hints of candied fruit, vanilla, and woody tones. A great brew to sip on a cold night. Piney hop biterness comes through on the back of the palate....well balanced with a slightly bready finish.

Mouthfeel is sinfully smooth and creamy...heavy on the palate. This is a brew that demands respect. Drinkability is good, however the high abv will make it hard to have more than a few of these. I got this as a single, but I look forward to grabbing a sixer to cellar. Recommended.

Photo of blitz134
3.79/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I actually drank a bottle of this about 3 years ago, it was a bit much for me at the time. Glad I finally have the chance to revisit it.

Clear, caramel colored body with lots of carbonation. Head reduced to a quarter of an inch of tan dense foam that hangs in there for quite a while. Pretty impressive for such a large beer. A sheet of lace is formed as a slowly sip this one down. Really one of the better appearances for this style: some actual head retention and lacing with a high abv.

Boozy raisins and plums, vanilla and some woodiness all over a caramel malt body. Quite a bit weaker aroma than what I remember. Kinda disappointing in this sample actually. Smells good, but just really weak.

Aroma follows suit of the aroma but much more pronounced. Caramel malty body with a bit of raw sugar, lots of overall sweetness. Alcohol soaked fruits again, raisins, plums. Touch of vanilla and oakiness. Finish has a good deal of alcohol, but it isn't overly fusal as I remember the first time I had this. A bit of lingering bitterness as well from some peat-like, earthy hops. Lots of stuff going on here, but its a bit all over the place.

Body is fairly full, coats the mouth with a sticky caramel syrup making it linger for a while. Lower carbonation levels make this one smooth on the tongue.

Superb flavor with much complexity. This is a true sipper. This is such a big beer with its alchol level and complexity it makes it slow to finish and this is the only one I'd want tonight, or this week for that matter. Good stuff, just not an everyday brew.

Photo of chOAKbarrell
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Immort Ale is yet another in a long long line of quality products from Delaware's finest brewery.

This lush, dark amber ale is truly as "vast in character" as the bottle label states. The scent is only a hint of what is to come. I was very pleasantly suprised at the smoky, oaky flavor. Absolutely delicious! It is surely always a challenge to mask the prevalent alcohol in strong ales, but Dogfish Head did a commendable job with this one. The alcohol is there in the background, blending in with the maple & vanilla flavors.

This is a very thick, almost chewy beer, and feels great washing down your throat. It goes down very easily for an 11% beer. I dont know if I would have more than 1 per sitting, but I would purchase this again.

Photo of markmo
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Two 4 packs of these left at Tully's. I took one, and hope that the other person who took the last one enjoyed it as much as I did. The beer poured a dark amber color with a medium-sized tan head that produced a tiny bit of lacing. It had an aroma that reminded me of a barleywine, but with a tinge of vanilla. It had an oaky, vinous taste, some sweet caramel, and vanilla. The alcohol was quite noticeable, but not intrusive. Very good beer, one to sip and savor.

Photo of warnerry
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of Todd
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark copper with ruby edges and crowned with a pillowy, off-white, creamy foam lace with plenty of retention and stick.

Alcohol, esters, some wet paper and chickory in the aroma.

Thick, full-bodied beer with a juicy, chewy, sweet malt character of coffee, chickory, maple, vanilla, raisin and deep earthy oak flavours around the edges. Vinous at times with grape undertones. Alcohol notes run deep and are very warming, while also lending a subtle spicy note to the beer. Hop bitterness is light with a peaking earthy and leafy twang that settles back into the malt flavours and finishes with a slightly toasty / bready finish.

I'm not that fond of Dogfish Head beers, but this beer is a very unique and complex Barleywine. Not the best, but certainly worth tracking down for a try.

Photo of sponberg
4.02/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Last bottle from the same batch as my 2002 review. How did it age?

Slightly cloudy dark amber/brown with a fine bead head, dying off to lacing. Aroma of honey-toffee with mild alcohol whiffs.

Starts with a smoky, whiskeyish honey and toffee maltiness with a subdued yet present warming surge o' alcohol. Slight vanilla and barrel flavors mid sip, bitterness being the only remnant of hop. The fusels present when fresh have thankfully, nay mercifully!, diminished for the most part into the background, leaving a much more drinkable, enjoyable pint. Silky, thick mouthfeel, and a rather pleasant warming finish.

My advice? Buy it, age it - says "Ages well" on the bottle, listen to the bottle!!!

Photo of marvin213
3.07/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

The beer looks to me like brand new 2-cycle engine oil--not really black, but a light brown to amber haze. Light carbonation provides a minimal head at only the glass's edge. Lacing remains, but only so much as I'd expect from an 11%er.

Smell is foresty--like a wet oak tree w/ a vanilla bean taped to it. W/o the vanilla bean, the smell might be more indicative of the aforementioned petrochemical that originates below the tree.

The taste helped reveal the maple to me. Again I sense wet oak with condensation or something else reminiscent of smoke. It's almost like a lightly smoked, sweet, yet strong beer. Though not among my favorite DFH, it definitely has the unique character I have come to expect from that brewery. Lacing/head improves as I continue to taste. It's like the oak still needs more help from the maple, and the vanilla manifests only in the smell.

I like the mouthfeel of a double digit ABV beer. This ain't your Myrtle Beach Butt Light.
Still, the wet oak predominates. Missing is the aftertaste I yearn for from a vanilla/maple infested beer. I feel the beer, swallow, and...wet oak. Perhaps the more appropriate connotation would be wet bark.

This used to be on tap here in Charlotte at the Mellow Mushroom. No wonder I didn't really remember it--you'd never want two in a row! Unlike the 120 where you want another one but know you shouldn't or the Pesche where it's yummy without a kick, this beer just simply ain't THAT good to be THAT drinkable. As with all the DFH beers, however, I like it b/c it's got the audacity to be genuinely unique.

Worth a try--certainly--and I'm sure I'll try more. Still, it fails to provide the "I gotta get another one" that I've come to expect from big-time beers worthy of significant BA attention.

Photo of Beaver13
3.63/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Pours a hazy reddish brown with a smallish creamy off white head that dissipates to a thin film that leaves a little lacing.

The aroma is peppery leather and smoke and some vinous fruits.

The flavor is sweet sugary caramel and maple, dark fruits and peppery smoke with an alcoholic bitter finish. As it warms, the sweetness get a little cloying. The mouthfeel is pretty full and creamy with slightly sharp carbonation.

Overall, an interesting and pretty unique beer. It's not quite up my alley though - a little too sweet and the blend of flavors didn't do it for me. It's very complex though and well worth a revisit.

Photo of babyhobbes
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is yet another good beer from DFH. Pours a maple-y color with lacing but no real head. This smells strongly of alcohol but also of fruit. It's smell is reminiscent of a port. (Good beer smell not so good smell for port.) The taste is sweet and full of alcohol. There is more carbonation than I expected and it is a little thick in the mouth. I can't liken this mouthfeel to anything but it is pleasant. This is a very drinkable beer, the only drawback in my opinion is that the alcohol content is not masked much at all.

Photo of Rasputin
3.62/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On 6/23/06, I did a vertical tasting of a recently purchased Immort, and one from that was exactly 3 years old. It didn't knock my socks off 3 years ago, so I thought some age would do it some good. Well, it did. But...

The recent Immort was preferred by both myself and the friend who I shared them with. First off, they looked different. The 3yo was notably darker, about the color of a Brooklyn Brown. The recent one was closer to the color of a standard barleywine, like Anchor Steam's. They tasted a bit different too. The recent one had a much more noticeable smokiness to it, and a tad less vanilla.

I do feel that 3yo did improve with age, but not enough to catch up with the improvements brought on by the new recipe.

For the record, my score is for the recent Immort, not the aged one.

Photo of bishopdc0
2.83/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Shared as part of a family tasting. This perhaps had the widest reviews among us.

Dark gold with dense white head that resides at the glades edge

Alcohol with a hint of maple and smoke. The nose is interesting but the alcohol is to much and drowns out the other taste. As the beer warms the smoky and wooden aromas push out but still....

The taste is booze crazy hot... why? Bourbon flavors with slight oak and maple sugar but slight wow this could be great with some age as it is to hot.

My sister and her boyfriend loved this beer, my brother and I did not although given a few years i bet i would

Photo of SmellsofMahagony
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of bellce0
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

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Immort Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 2,369 ratings.