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Immort Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Immort AleImmort Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,290 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,290
Reviews: 1,102
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 15.45%
Wants: 136
Gots: 309 | 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:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-15-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,290 | Reviews: 1,102 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of oracle
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

First and foremost, I must state that I feel that this beer is mis-classified. In almost every way, it seems to me to be much more an old english ale than a barleywine.

That being said, and judging in on that basis, I quite liked it

Served at room temperature, this beer tasted of complex carmelized malt and ripe fruit, plums and raisons. Low carbonation made it easy to drink.
Had a LONG LONG finish that never became cloying or distasteful.

oracle, Aug 16, 2004
Photo of ppoitras
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%

12ozer purchased from somewhere in MA, probably Yankee Spirits or the Spirit Haus.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" beige head above a dark amber brew. Reasonable lacing for a barleywine. Aroma is malty and slightly fruity, and the alcohol is obvious. Taste is malty, but tends towards a woody taste, and again, the alcohol character is dominant. Mouthfeel is a bit lower due to the harshness of alcohol, even if you should expect it at 11%abv. Drinkability is good, not for sessionability, but for that quest to return to try to find more distinct flavors in the cornucopia found here.

ppoitras, Aug 06, 2004
Photo of RenoZymurgist
4.88/5  rDev +27.7%

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.

RenoZymurgist, Jul 31, 2004
Photo of euskera
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%

Poured this one out into a Hennepin glass. Reddish-brown. Nice carbonation but almost no head. Smell has distinct vanilla overtones, along with the candy sugar in an abbey ale. Taste is malty-sweet, plenty of caramel with a bit of orange peel along with the vanilla. Warming to the palate and powerful. At 11%, not all that drinkable except as a solo act. Overall a nice treat, though not something I'd drink all the time. Quite tasty, I would imagine, on a cold winter's night. Another hit from Dogfish Head.

euskera, Jul 22, 2004
Photo of Hibernator
4.3/5  rDev +12.6%

I had this out of a 12 oz bottle served in a brandy snifter. Packaged in Jan. was notched on the side of the bottle. I took this beer out of the fridge and let sit for a good 15 minutes or so.

The appearance is a nice and attractive copperish-light brown color. White lacing head at the top.

Very intense smell that perfectly blends sweetness, intensity, fruitness and esters.

This is one complex barleywine and unlike any other barleywine that I have sampled yet. There is a sweetness that welcomes your palate on the first take and a quick finish at the end. Maybe it's the oaky flavor that lends itself to the abrupt finish?

Make no mistake about it, there is a vanilla and malt flavor that is present in every tasting. This barleywine is smooth and unique.

Super smooth for a beer that rings in an 11.0% ABV.

Hibernator, Jul 16, 2004
Photo of Sixpack595
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%

Very nice copper color with a solid head of tan, nearly white foam. Aroma is very good, but a touch cloying. Chocolate and caramel, raisins and plums. Flavor is unpleasantly bitter when cold, but as it warms many other flavors come into play and tone it down. Powdery, chalky sensation and a chocolate flavor lead with a fruity middle and a vanilla touch to the *relatively* dry finish. As I sip this beer I find myself raising numbers in my rating. Theres a ton of complexity in this beer, and every sip seems to add something new. Not the best beer I've had, but a must try.

Sixpack595, Jul 07, 2004
Photo of Ieatlambfries
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%

The appearance was dark copper orange with a small cream colored head. It left a nice rings of lace as well as ridges of alcohol on the sides of the glass.

The smell was very vanilla like with hints of toffee and spices like cloves and nutmeg. Also a bit of the solvent like alcohol which I knew was sure to rear it's head in the taste as well.

I felt the taste was very close to the smell although a bit smokier. Very vanilla like as well as toffee, nutmeg, clove and roasted wood. In the background loomed the warming alcohol, although I felt it was pretty smooth for 11%.

The mouth feel was creamy to me although maybe it was in my head. I associate all vanilla flavors with creamy. The drinkability was just above average IMO. Although I thought the taste was great, I think it was a bit too sweet and rich for drinking multiple glasses.

Another nice offering from Dogfish Head.

Ieatlambfries, Jul 05, 2004
Photo of cbl2
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%


Crystal clear copper with nice inch thick white head that takes a while to settle.


Sweet vanilla coke aroma shines through. Sounds disgusting, but oddly it is quite inviting. Can't wait to taste it.


Sweet and viscous on the tongue; has the mouthfeel of a Sauterne dessert wine but with carbonation; finishes with the 11% alcohol apparent as well as the oak promised on the bottle (I never tasted the vanilla, and I suppose that sweetness could be maple). I must say that it is absolutely amazing.

cbl2, Jul 01, 2004
Photo of Ellbert
4.63/5  rDev +21.2%

Appearance: A hazy orange/red body with a light rust colored head. The head had little lasting time. The ABV could be the cluprite but I have seen other strong ales with better head retention. Other than that the appearance was appealing.

Smell: Rum, raisin, some caramel, and bitter orange peel come to my nose. Very complex. The alcohol gives the aroma a certain kick or punch to it.

Taste: Mellow burnt toffee arrive first camping out on the tongue through the aftertaste. Subtle but flavorful fruit and spice comes into the mix. The hops were there but just added what they needed but did not take the forefront. The malt was the forefront. Alcohol definitely warmed. Excellent!

Mouthfeel: This is very chewy and rich. Definitely what I am looking for in a strong ale. There is enough carbonation but it almost isn't needed with the alcohol warming.

Not too drinkable considering the alcohol. The alcohol is a little rough in this beer which I like but I do not think I could have many of these. Great flavor and brew though.

Ellbert, Jun 29, 2004
Photo of FormatKid
4.83/5  rDev +26.4%

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.

FormatKid, Jun 26, 2004
Photo of connecticutpoet
3.43/5  rDev -10.2%

This was a nice amber ale with a short head. About what I expected for something as strong as a barleywine.

The aroma was of sweet malt and champange, with some very light citrus thrown in almost as an afterthought.

The taste was pretty good... it was richly malty, a nice bitter foretaste fading to bitterness, champagne and oak.

I wasn't impressed with the mouthfeel though... it was a little cloyingly thick, too much for my tastes. Apart from that, a worthwhile experience, as I am working to try all the Dogfish Head varieties I can get my hands on.

connecticutpoet, Jun 21, 2004
Photo of jahred
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%

Hmmm - no date stamped or marked on this beer. For something 11% ABV that probably ages well, I'd think a date would be a good idea. Anyway, pours a bright red color with a medium-sized white head. The scent is of very sweet malt, vanilla and oak.

Sweetness continues thru the taste from front to end - a lot of maple notes and definitely some candied sugar. Maple sugar (not sure what that means exactly)? In any case, nicely thick. Though incredibly sweet, the sugary taste isn't overpowering - instead the beer continues to grow on me as it warms. In my last few sips I noticed some cinammon, too.

Quite a different beer/strong ale/barleywine. Kinda makes me think of salt water taffy and candied nuts, and pretty easy to drink for a 11% ABV.

jahred, Jun 18, 2004
Photo of meathookjones
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%

Pours and orange amber color with a small light tan head that leaves a nice lacing. This smells of fruits, malt sweetness and a bit of vanilla. There is also some alcohol detectable as well. The taste is of sweet malts like maple syrup and a good amount of hops but not in the usually big hops DFH fashion. A very balanced beer with no trace of the alcohol in the taste. Its body and mouthfeel are a bit on the thin side, which helps the drinkability. This beer could defiantly be dangerous if you had a few bottles as it goes down too easy without the taste of alcohol there to remind you how strong it really is.

meathookjones, Jun 17, 2004
Photo of HappyHourHero
3.25/5  rDev -14.9%

Bottled 1/03

Light cream and tangy cherry aroma. Airy, oatmeal colored head fades slowly to a murky film leaving a bit of scattered lace. Ruby copper colored beer with a mass of fine bubbles floating to the surface. Some tangy cherry in the flavor, some roasted notes, and a bit of creamy chocolate malt. Solid beer that's smooth and creamy goind down. 11% abv is hardly noticable. It was missing the solid malt core, and creamy maple notes I've noticed before. Still not bad, although I think it was heading the direction of Quelque Chose.

HappyHourHero, Jun 15, 2004
Photo of JackTheRipper
4.05/5  rDev +6%

A: Opaque, cloudy cinnamon brown in color. Initial head was a fluffy one inch off white color.
S: Definite notes of maple syrup and vanilla up front. Strong smell of alcohol which carries the aromas. Some nice fruity notes come through as this beer warms up a little and breathes.
T: Slick sweetness with strong notes of honey and vanilla. No real hop flavor noted.
M: Strongly warming alcohol feel. Full bodied without being too thick. Syrupy slick feel. Nice level of carbonation.
D&N: A bit on the sweet side, but nice to drink. This would make a good "occasion" beer, but I couldn't see myself drinking more than one of these at a sitting.
Edit to add: Woohoo! my one hundredth beer review!

JackTheRipper, May 17, 2004
Photo of LuckySevens82
4.22/5  rDev +10.5%

12 oz bottle.
Pours a deep amber color with a small but resilient off-white head. Lacing is very nice.
Aromas of malt sweetness, caramel, ripe fruits, maple syrup and slight vanilla. There is a little bit of alcohol in the nose as well, but at 11% alcohol, it's no wonder.
This is one of the most complex and pleasent barley wines I have tired. Caramel, vanilla, fruit, and syrup play a part in the flavor, but in keeping with American Barley Wine tradition, this beer is hopped quite a bit. While the bitterness never overpowers the maltiness, it balances out the beer nicely.
This is one of the best barley wines I've had. DFH has a real winner here and I will definitely have to try this again some time.

LuckySevens82, May 16, 2004
Photo of 57andcounting
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%

You are either going to like this or you are going to hate it. 11 %ABV (be a little careful.) Dogfish Head brews tend to the hoppy side and I expected that in this high alcohol brew. Not so. Very drinkable. Pours a nice head that lasts a while. A nice clear honey color. Smells like maple and malt. Someone more in tune with the complexity of beers could pick out different scents.
The flavor stands out. Has some of the sweet flavors of a dark English porter and a maple syrup that make you want to try on pancakes. Not heavy, not over done in the alcohol after taste as you fine in many high ABV brews. Real nice mouth feel.
You could drink a few of these, but do not be driving.

57andcounting, May 08, 2004
Photo of nvsblman
2.9/5  rDev -24.1%

Appearance: Copper color, about a half finger head that didn't last long.

Smell: Very sweet. Getting some oak and maple syrup scents. The smells don't seem to meld well together.

Taste: Really sweet, maple syrup taste is the first thing I notice. Slight traces of vanilla. Some oak flavor, almost tastes like a sweet whiskey, only lighter.

Mouthfeel: Syrupy, matches the maple flavor.

Drinkability: The alcohol is too upfront to drink this quickly, or to drink more than one in a sitting. It's a little too sweet also.

Overall, not as good as I thought it would be, maybe some aging would have helped. I would try this again with some age on it.

nvsblman, May 07, 2004
Photo of kegerator
4.6/5  rDev +20.4%

poured out a fair amber color with that typical decent head that dwindles off fairly quick, this is typical of most of the dog brews i have tried.
smelled great, maple sweetness stood out, sugary and a little vanilla note
taste was the same as the smell, sweet and warm the whole way down
mouthfeel was sticky and sweet, similar to what you would expect from a barley wine
very drinkable, i finished off 4 in a night, woke up on my couch at 3am :) but hey I enjoyed every drop, If you like the big beers with sweetnees such as barley wines you will love this offering.

kegerator, May 04, 2004
Photo of Mitchster
1.1/5  rDev -71.2%

Pours out to a slightly hazy dark copper, forming a small dark beige head with poor retention and minimal lacing. Carbonation is mild to moderate. The aroma is repulsive and repugnant with massive diacetyl, frank incense and fusels. Sickening. Mouthfeel is cloying and syrupy with a fusel sting and dense body. Taste begins harshly with nasty fusel alcohols which make me sickly, rank diacetyl, followed by rotten apple cider, herbal hops and metals. The middle is thoroughly oxidized and tastes like wet cardboard, and the finish has this nauseating sting of lavender oil. I would go on if I could folks, but I simply can't stomach drinking any more of this. Down the sink it goes.

This tastes like Ringwood fermented at 85 degrees F.

This takes the cake as one of the most repulsive beers I've ever had...next to Ommegang and Cave Creek Chili, this is utterly revolting. Absolutely disgusting.

Mitchster, Apr 25, 2004
Photo of jlh8643
2.73/5  rDev -28.5%

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle. Seems to have been bottled in November of '03. Pours a clear copper color with a small tight white head that leave rather quickly but leaves a nice film of lace. Quite a bit of carbonation in a style of beer that I would have figured to be on the lower end of CO2. Floral hops, maple and malt are the first things that I smell as I take my first drink. This beer is very sweet from start to finish. Not exactly a beer that I want more than one in a single sitting. The sweetness does a decent job of hiding the alcohol.

jlh8643, Apr 23, 2004
Photo of BadBadger
2.38/5  rDev -37.7%

A descent looking beer upon first pouring (I can't really invision a bad looking beer). The head stuck around for awhile, though I had poured it for maximum head affect. There wasn't much smell to note. I was really bummed by the taste--there was no taste other than alcohol. This beer was a total disappointment. Some one in a review noted there is a taste of Gin and that was all I could think as I forced the glass down. So many fine ales out there to invest in this again.

BadBadger, Apr 18, 2004
Photo of necoadam
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%

Poured out a copper/dark golden color with a decent enough carbonation. For an old ale it was lighter than I expected. Smell was like a New England maple forest. A hint of vanilla was detected also. Taste was complex to be honest. A bunch of smokiness, caramel, vanilla, and woodness can be tasted. Yet they're quite balanced. Drinking this reminds me of the Fall time in New England. A terrific sipping brew. Another winner from Dogfish Head.

necoadam, Apr 17, 2004
Photo of 99bottles
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%

After having this a few times, I bought one to review.

Apperance: Pours a dark copper, somewhat brown. A generous pour induces an inch of head, even though this is near room temp. Head fades quickly.

Smell: Esteric fuit, figs, vanilla, and OAK or some other hardwood. Don't quote me from the label, but the nose is pretty much what they advertise. It's sweet above all else.

Taste: The first taste is very smooth. Maple syrup comes to mind. I feel as if they added some sort of sugar to this. It's incredibly sweet. Nice malt aftertaste, same flavor of dirt, vanilla and rum. After the intense maple syrup, I think fig and brandy are dominant. Hops are weak.

Mouthfeel: Quite viscous, but not quite heavy enough to bother. Very smooth, and the sweetness makes it so much easier to sip. Maple syrup. I can say, the alcohol is not there. 11%. I feel it, but I don't believe it. Best ABV hidejob I've had. Don't preach Duvel or asskickin Bwines, but they really did this up right.

Drinkability: Great nightcap. No one will pound these, nor should they. Good lush filler. Not one to start with though.

99bottles, Apr 08, 2004
Photo of ism
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%

Beige head with creamy lacing on the glass, great retention. Whiffs of oak and maple after a swirl, and tints of malt. Body is an orange-ish maple color, quite full in the mouth, with gentle carbonation. Smooth and flavorful, with a complex mix of wooden and well-balanced malt and hop flavors, sweetish vanilla on the tip of the tongue, alcohol warmth in the back of the mouth. Many other flavors running the gamut of grass, wood, and fruit. Heavy alcohol flavor going down, lingering in the aftertaste, with a slight hop profile.

A complex brew with many interestive flavors, making it very unique, but the alcohol is a little too apparent. Will definitely keep you warm in the winter, and I feel like I should be drinking this out of a flask rather than a glass. Had a 5-month old bottle, so I should perhaps try a fresher one.

ism, Apr 05, 2004
Immort Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 2,290 ratings.