Immort Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

very good
1,150 Reviews
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Immort AleImmort Ale

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States | website

Style: English Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-15-2001

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,150 | Ratings: 2,580
Photo of Gusler
4.04/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer on the pour is a clear deep amber with a large and frothy light tan head with the lace a nice sheet to cover the glass. The nose woody, the oak evident, along with malt under tones, also I notice an orange like tone, a real conglomeration of nice aromas in this nose, start is sweet with the oak taste present to the middling top. Finish is spirited in its acidity, the hops stern in their bite, very dry oak like aftertaste, a different brew and a nice change of pace.

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Photo of pio
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a half inch white head resides atop a bronze colored beer. loads of lacy reminant! scent of orange pulp, apricot, watermellon, corriander and a greener vegetable hint about. caramel and shampoo are also noted. alcohol IS detectable in the nose. mmm, very complex and arresting changes here in the flavor. starts a bit strangely with a sweety orange, orange oil and earthy wood flavors. yes maple and vanilla with an orange marmelade but not too sweet as the woody hops dry this up on the palate then there is a little sweet left on the palate. also in the after glow isa bit of loam, but not enough to call it chalky. the alcohol is not as evident here and it is in my opinion a tad sweet overall. there seems to be one driving flavor that gets effected nicely along it's journey to your belly and bloodstream. the mouthfeel was above average but didn't jump up at me to say more than 4. i don't think i'd like to drink more than 3 and a half of these in a row though, it's quite a workout.

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Photo of silks636
3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle. Bottled on date notched on label.

Beautiful clear amber with a thick off white head. Gorgeous sticky sheets of lacing. Aroma of ripe pear and pine mixed with alcohol. Taste begins with a warm wave of ripe fruit and sour citric bite over a solid toasted malt base. Intense fruity alcohol esters take over along with hints of oak, spice, citrus, and vanilla. Very warming and pleasant. Finish is dry and leaves a sweet bready aftertaste. Mouthfeel is syrupy and thick - reminiscent of a Port.

Very big brew that would probably benefit from some aging. Highly enjoyable nonetheless. Complex and warming, great to sip and savor with some sharp cheddar on a cold night.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

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Photo of beerman599
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Medium brown color, thin tight head. A full bodied ale. very malty. Malts flavored of ripe fruit and oak. Intense and very complex flavors. Some sweet and winny flavors. 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.

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Photo of oelergud
4.29/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Brown glass bottle, regular cap and green/white label, package month shown. Brew is light ruby, white head fair retention.

Smell: Caramel, vanilla, syrup and strong spice in the nose

Taste: Head is very sweet, body strong caramel, faint vanilla and sweet spice, lingering sweet after taste. This is an Excellent brew, the high alcohol content is well contained within the sweetness and gives a nice warm feel throughout. Better carbonated than most strong sweet brews.

Mouthfeel: Thick and chewy, leaves a coating in your month.

Drinkability: I enjoyed this beer alot, one of my favorites. I think this beer would be even better during the cold dark evenings of winter.

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Photo of ManekiNeko
3.66/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served lightly chilled in a goblet.

Apperance: Murky copper orange color with minimal head. No lacing.

Smell: Vanilla and maple smells quite prominent. Definite woody, yeasty, and musty aromas, too. Roasted and caramel malts are present as well. Whole lotta shakin' goin' on. Quite complex.

Taste: Strong vanilla, maple, and whiskey flavors. Prominent alcoholic taste and feel. Reminiscent of both a scotch ale and an abbey brown, but on steroids. Quite interesting.

Mouthfeel: Substantial body, very warming due to the high ABV.

Drinkability: Another wacky and interesting beer from DFH. Not something I'd have too often, though. I'd really have to have to be in the mood for it. Definitely worth trying.

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Photo of UncleFrank
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The aroma is impressive and complex. Sweet, dark fruit, peppery, woody. The beer pours a light garnet color with a lasting lace as I drink it. The taste can be summed up as WOW. Everything I can smell and more. A hint of vanilla, as advertised on the bottle, but it is quickly run over by the alcohol and then sweet complex malts like caramel. There is a toasted flavor but I cannot tell if it’s the malt or the oak aging that does it. Either way, it’s nice. It may get a 5 but declaring it as an Old Ale prevents me from doing so. The finish leaves a thickness on the sides of mouth and tongue. Just enough hop bitterness so it’s not cloying. Not a lot in the hop flavor or aroma. The ABV is hidden well and there is no warming feeling down the chest with other high ABV beers.

I poured this beer into my glass and upon the aromas attacking my nose I realized this does not belong in a pint glass. I quickly pulled out my Rapscallion goblet and poured the rest in here. This is my barley wine glass, and I think this is a barley wine type beer. The distinction between BW and Old Ale are small, but I think it belongs in the English BW category. Cheers!

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Photo of nixhecks
4.04/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This poured a amber brown color with no head but a bunch of streams of fine carbonation. The aroma hit me right away from about a foot from my nose. The nose was of dark fruit, especially raisons, along with whiskey, alcohol, and a definite maple candy smell. The taste is very sweet right off the bat but leaves a drier, oak flavor on the back of your throat along with a slight burn from the alcohol. Very complex, to say the least. I wasn't sure what to expect but this was a most unique brew with tons of character, although it is a bit tough to drink more than one or two.

EDIT (4/15/05): A couple cases of this just came into the store I work at so I picked up a few and thought I would check back to see what my original impressions were, and if anything had changed since. Very consistent with my first tasting, color seems a little darker though - more ruby colored. The aroma also seems to be much sweeter, while the flavor is dry and very sweet, varying between a candy like, maple taste; fruity flavors like apple, pear and grape; and a malty finish high in alcohol. I am inclined to bet that this time around my bottle is fresher, and that with aging this brew may lose some of the sweeter characteristics (although this would not be a disadvantage).

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Photo of oberon
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

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Photo of beerinator
3.52/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Brownish reddish, with a fairly decent head retention.

Aroma: A slight bit of fruit, maybe cherry and grape, pops through in the aroma. Alcohol certainly noted in the nose. Caramel sweetness present.

Taste: Malty fruityness. Alcohol tingles in the middle of the mouth. Finishes with slight bitterness, that doesn't linger. Very little hop flavor. Seems 'belgiany' because of it's intricate flavors and aromas and virtual lack of hop presence.

Notes: Fun beer with lots of different flavors to note and search for. Doesn't require aging in my opinion, but I'll try it and see.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: A 12 fluid ounce bottle that has the usual generic DFH label, but with a difference, this time it is a dark green background and the usual DFH symbol has been replaced with a dark green ‘X” set against a brown whispy shape. Dated as, well just nicked din the label as ‘11’, but I know this is a 2002 Edition.

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy, yet deep, Iron-Oxide Amber color, its rusty body reminds me of the dark golden treacle so often poured over hot sponge puddings. Little head, what does exist forms an off-white ringed halo, solid but singular. No lacing, and medium carbonation levels.

Nose: Aged woods, like walking round a Carpenters workshop, some Vanilla and strong Malt Whisky alcohol odors complement and wrap up the aromas.

Taste: Very different. Strong malty alcohols and vanilla assault the mouth. It reminds me of a string Single Malt Whisky that has been matured in and Oak Cask and flavored with Vanilla Beans. Quite unbelievable, I am not sure that I have had a beer like this before. Well that may not be strictly true, for there was of course Bateman’s Lincolnshire Yella Belly Organic Beer!! I am sure RobBeer will attest to that English “Vanilla Beer”.

Mouthfeel: Strong brandy alcohol, very much like drinking a liqueur, or even a Single Malt Whisky, the ethanol is incredibly tasty, yet dominant in the mouth.

Drinkability: Not sure I could sample another one, the Vanilla and high alcohol is a tad overpowering.

Overall: A strange beer, but one which I am indebted to BigHuge for being able to try!

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Photo of clvand0
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
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.

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Photo of taez555
4.37/5  rDev +13.2%
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.

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Photo of beerguy101
4.04/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of TheDM
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

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Photo of marburg
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

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Photo of mikeys01
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
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...

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Photo of charlesw
1.94/5  rDev -49.7%
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!

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Photo of francisweizen
4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
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!

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Photo of far333
3.45/5  rDev -10.6%
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.

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Photo of jcalabre
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

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Photo of PhantomVodoo
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

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Photo of IrishRedRock
4.09/5  rDev +6%
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.

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Photo of Darkale
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

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Immort Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 1,150 ratings.