Immort Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Immort AleImmort Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,379 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,379
Reviews: 1,113
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 15.18%
Wants: 163
Gots: 334 | FT: 12
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: 2,379 | Reviews: 1,113
Photo of clvand0
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a dark amber color with red hints and it had a medium white head with a little bit of lacing on the glass. The alcohol was slightly prominent in the aroma and it was backed by some spices and fruits along with a wood character. Very odd aroma, but I really like it a lot. The flavor was surprisingly smooth with some hints of wood and maple. Vanilla is there as well. The body is medium to thick for the style. Very good beer. The alcohol is warming, but hidden enough to make this beer very dangerous. Highly recommended, but three or more will send you to drunkenness. Be careful.

Photo of taez555
4.37/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a foamy white head with a very clear but dark reddish amber body.

The nose was unique. Strong hints of alcohol. Oak, raisins, plums, vanilla, lt malt, wood. The alcohol gave all the flavors this sharp attack. A lovely mix.

The taste was very full bodied. Lots of oak and wood flavors. Slight hints of smoke. Sort of like the inside of a charred barrell. Sweet syrupy malt. Plums, raisins and soft fruit. Soft vanilla flavors. A very fine but intense carbonation. There was deffinatly some astringent bitterness but it balanced itself well against the layers of flavor. It actually had some cough syrup like flavors to it.

It ended with a very firm malt and vanilla finish.

What an amazing and different beer. The high alcohol content is deffinatly dangerous. But the balance between the woody malt flavors and the vanilla in the finish are just so unique. A beer that will knock you on your ass if you're not careful.

Photo of beerguy101
4.04/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Medium brown color, small head. A full bodied ale. Extremely malty. Malts flavored of maple, vanilla and oak. Yeah. I know but they do. Intense and very complex flavors. Some sweet and sour interaction going on here. Smooth and rich. No alcohol bite despite an 11% by volume. Mouthfeel is very full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter, some residual alcohol bite. Very interesting beer.

Photo of TheDM
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew pours a small head of fine to medium sized bubbles that were mostly diminishing. Its body was a transparent light amber color. It had a strong maild high alcohol content aroma. Its flavor was that of alcohol and was very strong. It had a strong initila bite that smoothened in its finish.

Photo of marburg
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rusted orange and copper color with a dense, uneven head that's quite resurgant when one swirls the glass. Aroma has alcohol, green grapes, and light hints of the vanilla advertised on the bottle. Initially quite sweet, moves to a soured grapes flavor with a slick, buttery mouthfeel. I'm wondering if perhaps I got an off bottle -- some big diacetyl flavors. A light coconut and woody extract flavor finishes it off. Swallowing it the right way drowns the diacetyl, but it's pretty potent otherwise. Hopefully I can snag another of these next time I'm out east so I can give it a fair shake.

Photo of mikeys01
4.3/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a couple bottles at Table & Vine in MA to try, will definitely pick up more. Pours a nice copper/deep orange color with a nice head and pretty high carbonation. Wonderful aroma, barleywine-like in nature. First tastes are of caramel and seetness, then you start to get the background notes of wood, vanilla, and a hint of smoke. Amazingly smooth brew for it's high alcohol content, another hit from the Dogfish Head. Not very bitter, but nice and malty, low in hop flavor but no problems there...

Photo of charlesw
1.94/5  rDev -49.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

Pours a dark golden brown. Very small but dense and cream colored head.
(Light) earthy and alcohol aroma.
And then the taste. My goodness! Straight off you get hammered with a dark caramel flavor that is quickly (less than a second later) replaced with a sweetly bitter maltiness. To my mouth, the secondary flavor/taste (not the aftertaste - the beer is still in my mouth at this point) is much subtler - much more enjoyable. The aftertaste is a gentle dwindling of the secondary flavor.
It has a very creamy/buttery feel to it.
It is highly unlikely that I will sample it again - the first taste of each sip is just way too overwhelming for me.

I find it interesting to note that the bottle says something about maple notes... But, since they mention it, it does taste like that batch of maple ale that I brewed last Spring - as in, it has the same strong flavors that mine did.

Edit: Having one now. Holy cow. Not the same beer AT ALL. This one is so horrifyingly oxidized as to not even be funny. Repulsive. I can't even imagine how I didn't get any of the crazy, over-the-top smoke, peat stuff last time but this one (6 years after that review) is just gross. A complete and total mess of a beer. I can't really imagine that aging this would help - the oxidation would only come on stronger still. I couldn't deal! Arg!

Photo of francisweizen
4.43/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Mmmmmm...Vanilla. This barleywine from DFH was awesome, just like the rest of their beers! It poured a dark reddish, orangeish, copperish colour, with a small, fizzy head. The aromas were very complex, and consisted of smoke, vanilla, chocolate, alcohol, hops, various malts, and more! The taste was great, this is a very malty and strong barleywine with an east coast twist. The mouthfeel was thick and chewy and the drinkability was great for a barley wine!

Photo of far333
3.45/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Golden honey color with an off-white foamy low head that sinks quickly. Aroma of alcohol wafts up to the nose. Putting the glass closer to the nose brings out hints of butterscotch, fruit, and a bit of vanilla. Flavor is rich and warming, sweet and alcoholic. Sweet malt with undertones of cotton candy. Low hop presence, and no discernible aftertaste. Smooth mouthfeel, low carbonation. A little too rich for my taste. Not a session beer.

Photo of jcalabre
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Originally sampled on 20 September 2002. Immort Ale is somewhat of a cross between a barley wine & a Strong Ale. It is copper colored, but it is less-malty than what I'd expect from a barley wine. There are lots of subtle complex flavors hiding inside. try it.

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

A burnt orange to copper color with an off-white head.
Unique aroma. Toffee, toasty malt, caramel, vanilla.

Taste is very sweet. Roasty notes of caramel and maple. Alcohol is underneath, but is well hidden for being 11% ABV. Definite acidic tartness to the beer.

Mouthfeel is creamy at first, but then syrupy and sugary.
Beer is a little rough around the edges and stand-offish, but has good drinkability for a beer with this much alcohol and character.

Overall, quite a good, unique and interesting beer. The sweetness is a bit much, though. Would be an interesting one to taste at several points of aging.

Photo of IrishRedRock
4.09/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange tan beer, no head and very little carbonation. Candy-like sweet aroma with hints of brown sugar and vanilla. Not as complex as other barleywines I have had, but still a very good one at that. Begins in a very sweet fashion, and there needs to be more of a hop flavor to balance that out. Its pretty tame as far as barleywines go. Mouthfeel is also kinda thin and not as chewy as I had hoped. Still though, I would definitley drink this again, its tasty.

Photo of Darkale
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Peaty aroma, malty and with... is it caramel? There is a piece of the aroma that I can't quite describe.

Mouthfeel is slightly thin for a barley wine, just a bit chewy, but also brisk and sparkly. Lingering slightly burning aftertaste.

Body of the beer is orange-red, and the head is tan and thin, fading quickly to a skim.

Good lacing and a nice, smoky taste.

This is a mellow barley wine. Very sippable. Thirst-quenching; not quite as tooth-rattling as some other barley wines that I have tried.

Finally looked at the bottle and found the smell and taste that I had been looking for -- vanilla!

An interesting barley wine. Certainly one that I would buy again.

Photo of Brent
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At 11% abv, I was expecting this beer to whack me over the head with hot alcohol or solvent flavors. I was quite surprised to find it very mellow and soft (not sure how long my bottle may have been "store-shelf conditioned'). Poured a bright amber-gold, with a gentle aroma of vanilla cream. Mouthfeel was quite light, almost like a scotch and tonic. Flavors were likewise reminiscent of liquors - barrel-aged bourbon or sherry. A little oak. Interesting, but in some way too reserved, which is remarkable for the abv.

Photo of freed
4.45/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Stopped by the market tonight, and low and behold, a distributor was having a tasting of Dogfish Head brews. He poured me a sample of the Immort, and though it was in a plastic cup, it had a very attractive color. The smell was very nice as well, a mix of wood and vanilla. The taste was ingredible! A very bright mixture of flavors, with a very prominent maple sweetness and a solid malt body. I learned its strenght after I put it down, and was somewhat surprised. The alcohol was well hidden by the variety of flavors. A very good beer. Excellent as a desert.

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

Pours to a deep copper color with a tan head. The aroma is malty, milk chocolatey, woody, and has a faint hint of vanilla. The flavor is malty, chocolatey, and woody. It is a full-bodied, alcoholic, warming beer. This is a very complex brew. It is extremely tasty; I enjoyed every sip. I was disappointed to see the bottom of my glass. I will definitely drink this beer again.

Photo of aracauna
4.01/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This has surprising carbonation for such a big beer. Creamy head has great staying power. Toffee w/ orange glow. Oranges, leather, wood, vanilla and maple meld together. Warm going down. I'm really impressed that the beer can be so mellow and so strong. Very airy mouthfeel is pleasant but hurts the drinkability a bit.

Photo of frank4sail
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2002-2003 vintage
Orange color in the goblet. The brew pours with a nice white head, but this leaves very quickly. Then you are left with a look that resembles a pink/orange champagne . Fruity full malt nose with a metalic odor. Round full fruit (orange rind) taste with a touch of cotton candy sweetness. Very soft on the mouth. A dominant yeast (fruity) along with the smooth sweet malt (and a little added sugar?) base create great balence in this strong brew. Impressive and will improve as I cellar some of this for future tasting.

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

Pours a thin head and leaves virtually no head. Slight hazy, amber color. Very complex taste - the brewer says "vast in character", a little smoky, raisiny - hard to describe. The ABV is noticeable but not overpowering. Smooth, a good ale to savor. 12oz is $2.99.

Photo of Stubbie1
4.18/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a nice brew. It pours an amber color, gives off a small head that fades to a very thin lace. The lace disappears. The aroma is a thin malt smell and a heavy alcohol with thin hints of caramel or vanilla. The taste is a mix of malt dried fruit and the vanilla, little to no alcohol. A nice complex brew. For such a strong brew, I think I could sit down on a cold winter night and polish off a few. But watch out for the alcohol!

Photo of aaronh
4.62/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Medium amber/light copper color served with a thin head. Smoky, sweet bourbon aroma. Appreciable hop levels. Huge, sweet malt profile in the flavor. Apple and plum notes are very prominent. Good bitterness on the finish prepares you for the next taste. Caramel and brown sugar become apparent later in the glass, both coated with a drizzle of milk chocolate. The thick, syrupy mouthfeel coats the tongue and is truly a joyous experience. The finish is a lingering sweetness that is balanced by enough hops not become cloying. This is a very excellent beer.

Photo of DrunkenPanther
4.17/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew poured it's dark golden body with no head at all.

The aroma was a strong alcohol and fruit smell. At first the alcohol is a bit overpowering, but as the drink goes, it becomes a bit more comfortable and the fruitiness comes out.

This beer had a sweet mouthfeel. Had hints of maple throught and actually finished with what seemed to be a strong vanilaa flavor that lingered on.

Photo of avylover
2.46/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I tried this beer years ago with a novice palette and thought it tasted as if alcohol was added after brewing. This brew actually turned me off to dogfish but I have since gladly returned to thier great experimental style..well hundreds of brews later i decided to give this brew another shot. here goes..Appearance is typical of a high ABV head really, even with an aggressive pour. A deep golden colored brew that looks thick. The smell is instantly alcoholic, with a sweet malt in the background....somewhat expected at 11%. Very sweet taste with a lingering bitter mouthfeel. The alcohol kick is still there in a major way....did they add vodka to this brew? The alcohol seems separate from the beer here. Other brews at higher ABV are much more drinkable (even other dogfish head brews, olde school comes to mind), and I really can't taste much past the vodka bite and sweet maltiness. Perhaps a bit of vanilla cake in there maybe. Like they say, go with your first instinct. A "Big" beer, but not a great beer. I love big beers, but this one WHIFFED!!!

Photo of Denali
3.41/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Blind Tiger in New York City.

Appearance: Clear mahogany/amber with a small off-white head.

Aroma: Faint hop and caramel aroma.

Taste: Very strange and new spice flavors (for me) up front. The literature said that one of the spices is juniper. Sweet malt flavor is also present. For me this beer has a very unique flavor.

Mouthfeel: Syrupy with good carbonation.

Drinkability: Primarily a sipping beer. I didn't realize until I wrote this review that the ABV is 11%. No wonder.

Comments: For me this beer was very different and enjoyable. Would like to have it again just to try and unlock the mysteries of those spices.

Photo of Scooter77
4.23/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yeehaw! This is such a potent brew. Pours a deep amber color with a thin white head that fades away very fast. There was virtually no lace left. Aroma is very sweet. Scents of maple syrup, plums, vanilla, and smoked wood entice the olfactory senses. Surprisingly, there is barely any smell from the 11% alcohol. The taste is very complex, as is the aroma. There is a slight bitterness of hops, followed by a sweet taste of brown sugar and dried fruit, but where’s the alcohol? I still can’t taste it. Then, I stood up…There’s the alcohol! It creeps up on you like a tiger hunting down its prey and then WHAMMO! This is a great and complex brew, just don’t have too much or the ABV will kick you in the arse.

Immort Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 2,379 ratings.