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Immort Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Immort AleImmort Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

1,109 Reviews
THE BROS
89
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,109
Hads: 2,383
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 14.25%
Wants: 166
Gots: 336 | FT: 11
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Immort Ale Alström Bros
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Reviews: 1,109 | Hads: 2,383
Photo of cokes
4.97/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I picked up a 12oz bottle of this liquid masterpiece, and it blew my face off. I was not ready for such a complete drinking epiphany. Complex beyond words. (Peat)Smoked flavors, vanilla, oak, scotch and bourbon flavor. Alcohol was evident (as well it should be in a brew of this strength), but it mixed in well with everything else. The bottle I had was over a year old. I purchased a 6 pack the next day My experience with this younger sixer (about 3 months old) was more mixed. Alot of the trademark flavor was not yet developed and the beer was less intergrated. Still very good, but more akin to a typical barleywine/old ale/scotch ale, or however one is supposed to classifly something like this. This is a beer to lay down for a while and test your patience. It probably needs about a year to fully develop. Once the beer is ready, make sure you are.
(footnote: the review is based on the older bottle, the younger sample would lose about 0.75 points on taste and drinkability) (999 characters)

Photo of nriech
4.97/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle date was I believe 4/05, a little rubbed out so at drinking it was 18 months old. Stored in my cellar, good conditions.

Poured with a slight head, just for about 30 seconds, then completely gone. An attractive golden amber color. There is some alcohol to the smell but blends well with the sweet maple aromas. A good swirling beer to hold your nose over as its just too unique to describe.

Taste was amazing. This was a very complex, multi-faceted brew. I might even be a little outclassed to try to completely describe this one. This was definately sweet, equal to the amount of alcohol present but not enough to take your breath away. I agree that this starts out a little earthy, maybe smoky. Then it melds with the flavors of maple, vanilla, oak, and bread. These flavors all remain in the after taste and are very enjoyable.

The lacing was excellent and fun to watch. This is also a lip licking beer, very sticky on the mouth. I have to say that this is one of my favorites and think that at 18 months I have hit the sweet spot. A year older one tasted seemed a little past its prime. Enjoy this by its' self, there no pairing that could enhance it. (1,170 characters)

Photo of Starchild
4.97/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Immort Ale is a healthy looking 3 year old. About 1cm of foam after the beer settles with little chains of bubbles streaming from the bottle.

In the nose Peppermint, Belgian yeast, cherries, and wood pulp.

To sum it up, this beer is all about limits. It’s really complex and Dogfish really pushed the flavor envelope. It’s sweet, tangy, and spicy and it burns. The initial sip almost rots your teeth with its sweetness. The sweetness tastes like tuti fruity Belgian yeast yet it’s balanced by flavors of tangy cherries. As the beer warms, it gets smoother and the wood profile really appears. A combination of charred wood, vanilla, oily hops, and a little bit of fire water makes you think your drinking the smoothest bourbon in the world. After the bourbon flavor, the alcohol shows up tasting like strong mint, pepper, maple syrup, and peat.

After 3 years I finally understand why it’s a part of Dogfishs line-up. This beer was too young to drink fresh. Now after three years, the big flavors have settled down and it’s one of the best beers I’ve tasted and easily the best results I’ve achieved from cellaring. The only beers I could put in the same category would be Fantome, but this beer isn’t just interesting, it works. As the score reflects, its the best barleywine I've ever tasted. (1,312 characters)

Photo of Immortale25
4.94/5  rDev +28%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a snifter. No readable freshness date but I'm pretty sure this is one of my bottles that's over a year old.

A- Pours a murky dark brown color that, from a heavy pour, only yields an 1/8 inch head very briefly before vanishing and leaving a ring thinner than paper around the snifter's edge. Sparse surface foam and a small amount of wet lacing. Maybe it's more like 2 years old.

S- Perfect blast of oak that has a syrupy sweetness pushed up against it. Heavy alcohol fumes follow.

T- Medicinal flavors from the high alcohol content intertwine with intense oak and carries a maple aftertaste. Boozy, but it harmonizes with the flavor profile so effortlessly that you can hardly taste the 11% ABV. You sure can feel it though. Yeah, I think this may be a couple of years old because it's at the perfect balance. The vanilla doesn't come through as well as I'm used to, but it's still there. The taste, in general, is sweet enough anyway which is why I find it so smooth.

M- Dry and syrupy. Has an almost red-wine-like consistency. Low carbonation hasn't held up in the bottle well, but doesn't need to with a brew this complex.

O- Although I wish the vanilla was more pronounced the way I remember it, it's plenty close enough to the perfect brew that I've loved for years. (1,289 characters)

Photo of Dogfishipas
4.92/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What can I say about this beer? wow comes to mind. 12 oz bottle poured into a regular pint glass leaves a good 1" head

This has become my new favorite beer. You can really get a sense of the vanilla and maple in this beer.

Like Dogfish heads other beers they do a great job with the higher ABV's and masking the alcohol taste. For an 11% beer I sure couldn't tell. I gave one to my dad who doesn't usually like these type of beers and after he was done he was disappointed I hadn't brought more.

Great beer all around and I hope that they release more of this in the future!

Picture of it after being poured:
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g55/66chevyIISS/DogfishheadImmortAle.jpg (689 characters)

Photo of ZX6Chris
4.92/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-Dark brownish, barely any head, a few bubble floating on the surface, nice lacing

S-Smoky, vanilla, oak, sweet.

T-Taste is very similar to the smell Oak, sweet, smoky.

M-Medium body with great carbonation. Dry.

D-Very pleasant and enjoyable. Something to sip and savor. I really liked the flavor profile and want more of this one.

Goes great with chocolate covered bacon. (378 characters)

Photo of msnow34
4.92/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark amber with a small head into a crystal newport storm glass. Smells, sweet bourbon/oak. Tastes, raisins, oak, vanilla, its a little dry, but for 11% you can't taste the alcohol. Beer is slightly dry, but not in a good way. The only problem I have with this beer, is its too drinkable. I could sit and drink an entire four pack quickly. Wish this beer was a little less expensive and available year round. Might be the best beer on the market. (454 characters)

Photo of snowlemur
4.89/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had a bottle of this last night. It had a strong aroma of maple and vanilla sweetness, with a milder underlying smoke aroma from the peat smoking. The flavour is very complex; leading with alcohol, malt, vanilla and maple sweetness. There is still an underlying smoke and woody aroma on the finish. I found it very drinkable, surprisingly so for such a sweet and complex beer. It went down very smoothly and it didn't become harder to drink as it warmed, either. I was quite happy to drink it very slowly, and it was enjoyable to the last sip. (545 characters)

Photo of mrbosworth
4.87/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

bottled in 2008, poured into a Spieglau chalace snifter.

creamy head of about one finger in height leads to nice speckled lacing after a few silken sips.

Mouthfeel on this is incredible, the malt has been laced with strong vanilla, grape and roasted chocolate tones. Foggy dark oak color and a scent of alcohol/grapes and vanilla - similar to the midas touch, but with the volume at 11.

I highly suggest everyone grab a few of these for future cellar-brations. (463 characters)

Photo of RenoZymurgist
4.85/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the best American Barleywine i have had so far. Poured a clear deep amber with a light head that subsided into a thin ring. The aroma was of sweet vanilla balanced with malt and a touch of alcohol. The flavor of this Barleywine is more along the lines of an american take on an english barleywine without getting too far from the hops. Not too sweet but not too bitter either this ale begins with an initial hop bitterness that is immedietly overshadowed by the smooth rich malt sweetness that sticks around to let you know you are drinking a barleywine. Damn smooth i almost want to say that this is the smoothest beer i have tasted with this much alcohol but my memory is a little hazy on the subject of high alcohol ales. I would love to always have a case of this in my cellar but the price and availability in my area makes this nearly impossible. Drink this beer if you have a chance. (898 characters)

Photo of beerluvr
4.84/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Whoa! Holy....poop, what a helluva beer! Like nothing I've ever had before. Can't compare it to anything in recent memory, it's a one of a kind distinctive beer...you must try before you die! A treasure of the brewers art. As an aside, check this out: after discovering this new arrival at the local liquor store a few years back, I bought the six-pack up to the counter, where the clerk couldn't find a price on it, (and honestly I had no idea how much it was, later to find it was 13 bucks) asked where I found it, I replied "in the warm beer aisle", and he said "Ok...$4.99" That made the beer taste all the much more grand! (627 characters)

Photo of mkobes
4.83/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very good and flavorful brew. Really enjoyable. I have had it on many occasions and it is still one of my favorites. Malty. Dark in color. Has some vanilla notes to it. Aged in a oak cask. Strong in alcohol content. THis is a beer that warms you up when its cold out. good beer to drink in the winter. (301 characters)

Photo of chemmie
4.83/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Dogfish Head may be one of the more popular craft brewers in the U.S., but they continue to impress. I had the Immort Ale poured from a bottle into a tulip glass.
It pours a solid amber, almost maroon or plum, color. There's a nice amount of carbonation going on in the glass, but not too much head. Holding it to the light, it's a light color, but not totally see-through. This is a great looking beer.
It smells of maple and plums, with a little bit of the strong alcohol smell waiting in the back, just giving you a little hint of what to expect.
The taste continues in the same way. Sweet, but not too sweet. I can imagine mixing some fresh plums, a few dried plums or dates and a little bit of maple syrup. There isn't a super-strong alcohol taste. A little kick hits you right at the end. It's a little high on carbonation, but that isn't a bad thing. It just made a good burp.
I must say, this could easily become one of my favorite beers. For 11% ABV, this is terribly drinkable. I'm really enjoying this brew. Another job-well-done for the Dogfish Head people. (1,069 characters)

Photo of abankovich
4.82/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I really wish this was a year-round brew from DFH. Every time this comes out I run straight to the store to pick some up.

The only reason the appearance of this didn't get a 5 is because there is little head or lacing to speak of. However, the beer is an 11% brew, so I can't really hold that against it very much. The color is a great rich mahogany that when held up to the light changes to a halfway translucent rich amber/copper color.

The peat-smoked barley I think comes out more prominently in the aroma than in the taste (barely) and I love it. The underlying sweetness of the beer is beneath the soft smokiness, giving a hint of what's to come. The aroma really does a great job as an opening act to the flavor profile of this beer by highlighting some of it's characteristics and hinting at others that show up once the liquid hits your palate.

That peat-smoked barley is present again up front on the tongue, most likely as a result of the aroma being so prominent with it. It then fades away quickly to reveal (just as the label states) some amazingly smooth vanilla and maple notes. The oak softens everything out and works incredibly well with all the other tastes going on. I really can't think of any thing I would want to change with this beer to make it taste better. Everything is in relative perfect balance in my book.

The mouthfeel is just slightly thin compared to what I would have hoped/thought this beer would have brought me. That said, it is still deliciously smooth and rich. The drinkability rating only suffers slightly from being 11% ABV, but that is in line with the style, so it isn't a fault, just truth that you cannot drink these back to back to back without suffering the consequences.

I really love this beer. (1,752 characters)

Photo of FormatKid
4.8/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I’m always glad to see something new from Dogfish Head at my “local” package stores. I saw this one on the shelves at Bacchus in Chattanooga and quickly grabbed it up.

It pours out into the goblet a murky shade of rusty brown. A small head presents itself but quickly dissipates into a thin rim of foam about the edge of the glass with a greasy rim of suds managing to cling to the top. Sparse streams of tiny carbonation bubbles are evident, and a relief I must add because the label on this brew states it was bottled in 1999.

Alcohol is thickly evident on the nose, somewhat vinous in character. I pick up on grapes, rich malts, a touch of woodiness, and vanilla in the aroma. I have to admit though, the alcohol smell dominates the nose and makes it hard to pick anything else out. As it warms though a very defined flowery smell makes its presence known.

What a glorious brew to taste. Seriously, each sip sends a chain-reaction of vibrant flavors back across my tongue. BIG tart cherry presence in the beginning. This leads back into the wood-enhanced malts accompanied by hints of sharp slices of vanilla flavors. The finish is composed of vinous alcohol flavors along with grape-skins and bitter, perhaps under-ripe dark fruit. The mouthfeel is on the heavy side of a medium brew, hanging onto my palette perfectly to let those flavors erupt over my taste-buds. This beer absolutely abuses my tongue with beautiful vibrant flavors that interweave into possibly one of the BEST beers I’ve ever tasted.

Pure bliss. (1,536 characters)

Photo of osant37
4.8/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

poured into a snifter straight out of the fridge. pours a beatutiful flame amber red. 1 finger of brownish white head. small particles can be seen floating around in the glaas when held up to light. the smell is awesome. oak vanilla sweet,sweet malts obvious at 11% abv. smokey peat notes with that sweet maple syrup whiff. sweet scotch ale maltiness followed by big oaky vanilla notes and peat smokeyness. full bodied mouth feel with just the right carbonation. overall i feel dogfish head has done it again! amazing beer! great take on a scotch type ale/ english strong ale...cheers! (585 characters)

Photo of Severdali
4.79/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Smoke filled, in the smoothest of ways, sweet and candied yet mellow

Rich brown with restrained head and starry lacing

rich and viscous, beautifully aged (2009 bottle drank in 2014), this beer stands out at its peak as a beautifully unique deity of beers. the maple and vanilla are so heavy and rich yet so smooth and not overpowering. The smoke is beautifully present yet subtle. The beer is a work of art at this point in its age. It's a 5 at this point. (459 characters)

Photo of HumulusLupuLust
4.78/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz.-2008D (april) into snifter.

I) Ruby red/brown, low head that remained throughout, tiny setiment present.
II)Oak, bourbon up front. horseblanket/baseball glove leather smell. musty (maybe the aging?), peaty and smokey-thick, but nice; a little maple syrup and a little alcohol in equal proportions. everything balanced, more oak than anything.
III)First mouthful was warm malty heaven. nice and bubbly. Big mouthfeel, balancing out well with age. Not too oaky, but big part of this beer's profile. the juniper is a nice additive that is present underneath. together with the oak, this beer is almost has a cedar character. more like a nice warm bourbon than session beer.

Overall, this is a favorite of mine, hence the aging and great review and all. Love the Dogfish carbonation and experimentation. complexity is the name of the game. set this one back for at least a year. i've been aging these guys back since 06. give it a year, trust me. two is better:) (967 characters)

Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.77/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Original review: 3/23/2004

11%, eh? I'm not intimidated...ok, maybe a little...

Immort Ale poured an orange glowing hue with a foamy white head and a billow of sediment that slowly spread throughout the glass. An interesting, complex aroma with a hint of sweetness, a whisper of hops, and a mellow smoothness wafted up from the brew.

This is a dense, soft brew with layer upon layer of flavors--a smoky, oak barrel and peat character emerges, complimented by an ever so slight touch of hops and a vanilla-maple syrup element of sweetness tying it all together. Full bodied but drinkable, smooth, and enjoyable, this is an instantly respectable beer. At 11%, I'd be floored by many more than one bottle in an evening, but the alcohol doesn't assault the palate in any way, though it becomes a touch more noticeable as the beer warms. In fact, I asked my roommate to guess the ABV after having a taste, and he was astonished by how far off his guess of 6.5% was.

From the bottle art to the complex flavor, this beer has me thinking about claymores and Highland games. This is a beer William Wallace could be proud of.

I'm really surprised to hear myself say this, but I think this has vaulted into my second favorite DFH offering so far, just a hair behind Indian Brown.

Original ratings: 4.0 appearance/4.5 smell/4.5 taste/4.5 mouthfeel/4.5 overall.

---
Update: 1/12/2012; have not read previous review.

It's been a while -- far too long -- since the last time I had this deep, complex brew. It pours a hazy chestnut with a thin lace of off-white foam. I smell a whiff of dark, sugary, vanilla-y rum in the nose. Once tasted, the sweetness of the maple and vanilla are perfectly balanced by a subtle peat smoke. This is imminently drinkable, fascinatingly complex and dangerously smooth - almost a complete opposite of the last beer I reviewed, the Stone Old Guardian Belgo.

This is the beer equivalent of savoring a fine cognac after a rich meal. Well done, (1,968 characters)

Photo of blackcompg
4.77/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - Pours nearly 2 fingers of light khaki-orange head, the body is a beautiful hazy burnt orange amber, very lively carb rising within, a thick half-finger cap that never goes away, and amazing lacing that coats the entire glass all the way to the bottom.

Smell - Vanilla, toffee, light warm oak, natural maple, which plays wonderfully with the vanilla, subtle ripe plums, and faint amaretto.

Taste - Wow, very big bold flavors here - starts with big ripe dark fruits and oak, smooth amaretto, natural dried vanilla bean, some grassy hop character, and then there is unsweetened maple and more dried oak. There is a slightly burnt dark toffee maltiness that carries all of these flavors brilliantly. I can't put this beer down... alcohol is extremely well hidden, but definitely warms long into the finish.

Mouthfeel - plus side of medium for sure, but not in a heavy mouthcoating way - flavors here are huge, and they explode and fill the mouth. Carb is lower side of medium and silky smooth, gently foaming across the tongue, no edges to speak of. This accentuates the flavors, which remain long into the finish. And that's a very good thing here.

Overall - Somehow there is a boldness and almost a "brightness" to these flavors - this is a very big beer, yet the flavors are assertive and bold without being heavy - this is really an amazing brew, very balanced and complex. You really need to try this - an unexpected combo of flavors that works so well - a must try. (1,485 characters)

Photo of billzav
4.75/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Immort is mahogany in color with big notes of caramel and dark fruit complimented by vanilla and maple syrup with a smooth creamy finish. There’s a hint of oak in the backbone from the aging process, and Immort is fermented with English and Belgian yeast. While the alcohol content is noticeable, it’s not as overpowering as other ales in its weight class. Has been one of my favorite DFH ales for years. (408 characters)

Photo of eyeambwana
4.75/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Hints of vanilla, carmel and oak; good mouthfeeling - nice viscosity.

Enjoyed Immort on a train ride from New York City to Philadelphia and it did wonders to improve my mood. Paired well with the saltiness of a hot dog that I picked up in Penn Station. Another fine product from Dogfish. (289 characters)

Photo of Arithmeticus
4.75/5  rDev +23.1%

Poured chilled in standard ale glass. This puppy has aged for two years+.

A: 3: ruddy dark copper color; thin head; very nice carbonation
S: 4.5: plum, figs, currant up the ying yang; wow, this smells great, obviously aged with time, like a port
T: 5: rich, thoroughly complex malts; the aging did amazing things for this beer, turning it into a very sophisticated beer; leather overtones

Highly recommended for any kind of drinking, but was a very good choice for aging. Cheers! (481 characters)

Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
4.74/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Into the snifter...

A - Some head that doesn't stick around for long . Dark mahogany body.

S - Nice balanced aroma. The bottle doesn't lie, as the predominate flavors are maple, vanilla, and oak. Some sweet smoke was noted as well, and maybe some peach. Alcohol was present and bracing. Not overly intense, but still assertive enough.

T - Again, maple, vanilla and oak are the dominate flavors, as the maple and oak really compliment each other in the long finish. Starts out sweet and fruity (blueberry?), with the vanilla and maple adding complexity. The alcohol, hops and oak quickly dry out the beer. Not very hot, especially for 11%. I'm very impressed.

M - Quite full bodied, not very prickly, no complaints here.

D - I really liked this, this beer had focus, but still was interesting. The 11% is a perfect amount of alcohol for this product. This might replace Red & White as my favorate Dogfish Head brew. (919 characters)

Photo of ClavinCliff
4.72/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark golden brown. Head is a slight off white with good lacing. Smell offers hints of vanilla, maple and just a tad of smokiness. Flavor is pretty complex. Sweet up front, maple flavor is very dominate to start. Spiciness of the oak and a hint of hops on the finish. Smokey flavor is there but very faint. I really liked this beer, all the flavors balance each other nicely, very smooth. (395 characters)

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Immort Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 1,109 ratings.