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Immort Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Immort AleImmort Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,359 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,359
Reviews: 1,109
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 15.18%
Wants: 147
Gots: 320 | 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: 2,359 | Reviews: 1,109 | Display Reviews Only:
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 Starchild
4.97/5  rDev +30.1%
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.

Photo of ommegangpbr
3.45/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap at the Blind Tiger for their Very Special Keg night.
Carbonated Johnnie Walker Green. That's pretty much the only way I know how to explain this brew. Whatever woods are used to make that stuff seem likely here. This even has that slightly medicinal twang in the finish that you get from some whiskeys.
Malt whiskey.

Photo of Matthew
3.05/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours out of the bottle with a dark amber color and a medium sized frothy head.
Smell immediately brings vanilla and very sweet oak type smells to my nose. I get a hint of dark fruit.
Vanilla is the first thing I taste quickly followed up by a woosh of maple syrupy and mollasses and some maybe cherry? Theres so many flavors going on at once. I find this beer to be too sweet and doesnt really go with my particular taste. I appreciate dog fish heads innovation and this beer is certainly unique, many of their beers are at the top of my list, but I expected a bit more from this brew....I will drink it again....maybe it will grow on me and I will enjoy it a bit more next time.

Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a fairly clear medium amber color with a modest head consisting of tiny bubbles; some splashy lacing here and there

Smell: Smoked peaty nose with caramel, maple and vanilla tones; a bit vinous

Taste: Starts out with a somewhat brandy-like flavor, though not as intense nor sweet as a brandy; a touch of vanilla and maple on the front as well; at mid-palate some bitter orange flavors kick in and the smoked peatiness on the nose starts to command attention; the mid-palate flavors build to the finish and are joined by black pepper and alcoholic warming; rather sweet at the end, like a liqueur (Drambuie?)

Mouthfeel: Rich and chewy with relatively low carbonation

Overall: Another unusual brew from Dogfish; very nice after dinner

(Note: This is a beer that ages particularly well, allowing the alcohol to mellow and the malty flavors to develop.)

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

Immort Ale pours a slightly hazy mahogeny color with a small off white head that quickly dissolves to a thick ring around the surface of the beer leaving a few spots of lace behind. A strong aroma of oak, vanilla, and plums greets you before each sip.

This medium bodied beer is smooth and somewhat syrupy on the palate with a mild carbonated tingle on the tip of the tongue. The flavor is mainly roasted malt with notes of oak, vanilla, and raisins. It finishes with alcohol leaving a sweet malty flavor mixed with smoke behind.

Immort Ale is a very tasty brew that hides it's 11% alcohol very well. It's definitely a sipping beer that's meant to be appreciated.

Photo of dirtylou
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

picked up a 6 pack at the brewpub on my visit this summer with "blackie"...they have been aging since then and tonite seemed like a decent night to dive in (ncst-ga tech, for my future reference!)

appearance: pours a vibrant, almost glowing, ruby with minimal head and average lacing...pretty clear

smell: deep and complex, quite woody (oak), caramel apple, vanilla, alcohol, dark ripe fruit (pruins, raisin, plum)

taste: very very smooth, almost shockingly so....great dark fruit tastes as indicated by the nose...so many flavors including apples, plum, raisin, pruins...a certain oak/maple woodiness, mild vanilla, alcohol present. I have always like this one.

mouthfeel: creamy, brandy like alcohol on the tongue

drinkability: surprisingly drinkable, i think this has mellowed out a little bit since bottling

good stuff DFH, good stuff

Photo of tekk9
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer really has a smokey nose. I was excited to taste it from the very beginning. There is a thin lace that sticks to the side of my glass. There is a strong sweetness with hints of maple or vanilla just like the bottle said. It is a very thick beer with not very much carbonation. I enjoyed the beer, I don't think I would have more than one in a sitting though. I will drink it again.

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 sacfly
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clean, reddish brown. Thin tan head of tiny bubbles. Aroma is decidedly Belgian in nature. Bubblegum, vanilla, malty sweetness.

First sip yields a somewhat musty vanilla/woody flavor. Not quite musty… the flavor is more like raw wood. Not burnt or burning wood. Rich, full mouth feel.

A very interesting and different offering from DFH. Compare this to other American and Belgian strong darks and it stands out well. The alcohol content is there, but no hops to speak of. You will notice the Belgian yeast in this one.

Photo of MuddyFeet
3.77/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very unique flavor for an American barleywine. Poured a dirty, murky brown in color. Filmy, island like foam on top that kind of drifted around the glass before it disappeared. Nose is malty and vanilla. Flavor is complex. Malts give way to sugars. I noticed the telltale American barleywine hops, bu they are more of a scenery for this beer. I want to say I picked up something like Belgian sugars. Also molasses, vanilla, old wet wood, and just a slight rum taint. Slight smokeyniss going on. Also picked up some cherries and plums. Heavy full flavor that does not quite stick to the cheeks. Very drinkable but it kind of just sits in the belly and after a bit it might get uncomfortable.

Photo of weeare138
3.99/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appears a bright cherrywood color with a thin white cap. No lacing was left behind as expected.
Smell is of bold, rich malt with some red cherry aromas, along with some bourbon oak aging and vanilla and caramel coming through.
Taste is of the same beautiful aromas coming about with a syrupy richness.
Mouthfeel is smooth and velvety with low levels of carbonation.
Drinkability is nice and cool but man, this one will creep. Nice taste, not so nice abv.

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

Immort Ale's name may be a funny play on words, but the beer is serious enough. This beer is definitely one that could "sneak up" on you in a hurry, so my suggestion is to enjoy cautiously. This immortal beer is best served @ cellar tempatures (55-60F) from a large brandy snifter or wine bolla. Immort Ale pours up silky & smooth with medium carbonation. The creamish head offsets the deep burnt-orange color very nicely. The nose offers a rich & slightly vinous complexity as it warms with hints of bourbon vanilla, maple syrup, and oak. The flavor is bold, warming, yet smooth & refined. The maltiness is chewy with some lingering sweetness, but it dries out towards the finish thanks to a touch of bitterness, alcohol warming, and some oakiness.

This is an extremely well balanced strong, full bodied brew that offers a plethora of rich & creamy characters to the beer lover. Definitely "track" this one down and keep a few bottles handy for the cold months ahead. Enjoy Immort Ale's life prolongating effects in perfect solitude or shared with the young at heart. Suggested after-dinner pairings include buttery shortbread cookies, crumbed coffee cake, and toffee chip vanilla ice cream.

CHEERS! Beertracker

Photo of rajendra82
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the generous package sent by BA mentor, this Dogfish Head Import Ale came in a 12 oz. brown bottle without a bottled on, or a freshness date. The color was classic barleywine chestnut red, and appearance still and headless. The body looked mostly clear, with only a slight haze. The aroma was mostly sweet and malty with a wisp of smoke. The woody smoke that the aroma only hinted at was quite intensely present in the taste. This complimented the sweet and nutty malt, and peppery hops quite nicely. The body was thinner than the typical barleywine with high strength, which I believe to be the result of maple syrup usage. Quite drinkable and refreshing if you can get past the flavors typically absent from beers.

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

I picked up a sixer of this, just because it was from DFH and I had never tried it before. I had no pre-conceived idea as to what style it might be . . .What is it, I thought.

The bottle did not offer much 'PFFffttt' when the cap was removed; and a brisk pour only offered a small amount of thin ivory head which quickly disappeared. Not even a ring around the edge of my pint glass, nor any lacing.

The color is a rich hazy bronze copper red, a nice color.

The smell is sweet and fruity malt with no perceptible hop aroma.

First taste is rich carmel plum or cherry; I am thinking, this must be a Belgian ?
Imagine my suprise to find it listed as a barleywine !

Plums - carmel - vanilla sweetness throughout.

Nice mouthfeel with a hint of crispness that can't be from carbonation (maybe alcohol ?)

This is very nice, I am glad that I have 5 more to go !

By the way, I don't really perceive much alcohol; until maybe 15 to 30 minutes later !

Photo of arizcards
3.72/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought a couple of bottles back in July from Papago BC.

Poured a coppery red color with little to no head. Nose is interesting, big overtones of vanilla. Taste is growing on me as it warms, very sweet with hints of vanilla. Mouthfeel is very smooth, almost a creamy quality to it. Overall drinkability is pretty good. The high ABV is well masked but the sweetness is a bit much.

Photo of burnstar
4.19/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky dark red/brown into my goblet. There is a very small reddish head that dissappears very quickly. Smells very sweet. Definitely a lot of fruit smells in here- cherries especially. I also detect a bit of woodiness and vanilla. I really wish I had a proper snifter to swirl this around a bit more but the goblet does for now. Taste is very sweet and a little citrusy. There are some wild fruit flavors (black cherry, raspberries), oakiness, and some a big vanilla taste. Tastes better and better as I drink it an nicely compliments the raspberry cheesecake I'm drinking it with. Finish is very light alcohol and just a touch of roast malt bitterness that lingers for a little while. Definitely covers up the 11% ABV VERY well. Has a heavy and syrupy mouthfeel with some nice carbonation to balance it . And, while this is delicious, I wouldn't want to drink more than a pint of this at a time. Maybe a couple over a long winter evening would be nice. All in all, a very unique and good beer.

Photo of Sephiroth
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip, this beer is an amber, maple syrup type of color. There is a three quarter inch, creamy, beige head.

The nose is of brown sugar laden bourbon. This smells like a dessert. The taste contains slightly oaky vanilla, but its overall character is of bourbon. This is on the sweet side of the scale. It is definitely not an American Barley Wine. I'm not sure what it is, but I like it.

Mouthfeel is syrupy, but nicely carbonated for such an ABV%. Drinkability would be moderately limited for me simply because I would not want to session these flavors. But two bottles would set me right after a hard night's work. I am starting to really appreciate the carbonation combined with the thickness and ABV% of this beer.

Photo of BrewMaster
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 25 oz crystal sniffer. The beer is a cloudy orange to red color with sediment. A fluffy off-white head develops on the surface. The beer requires some swirling to really bring a lively and creamy head to the top. the head is thick and leaves nice, sticky lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell: Massive brown sugar and toffee scents in the nose of this one. There is some dry sour fruit aroma along with a malty base topped with a light alochol smell.

Taste: Caramel, toffee, and an alcohol warmth all over the ending. There is a very slight roasty character to the malt. The malt flavor is a woody with a burnt and smoky character that tastes much stronger as the beer warms. This beer is earthy and sweet with a taste of maple and grape molasses. The ber finsishes with a tangy green olive flavor. Not hop bitterness to speak of.

Mouthfeel: Dry and sandy but still smooth. It leaves a sweet glaze on the inside of my mouth.

Drinkability: This is a well balanced 11% surrounded by a woody and sweet beer.

Photo of phishgator
3.77/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2004

I love the uniqueness of this brew. The vanilla and oak show through. The mouthfeel is a little too sticky and slick. Alcohol is ever so present. The aroma of vanilla and a slight smokiness give the sense of sipping a brandy. A one of a kind brew. Even a little raisin fruitiness is in the flavor profile.

Photo of grassrootsVT
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A young version from a 12oz bottle [or, i assume it is young...as i did not age it.] It pours a deep orange amber with no rememberance of head retention. Smells of oak, vanilla, sweet malt...like a scotch... it is light and playful with tones of alcohol laced into the aroma. Tastes of sweet maple vanilla, sort of like the burton baton with its oakiness. A great lingering body that is very full and inviting...no doubt, for an evening of slow sipping. Some minor tones of 'harshness' are apparent - hop bitterness perhaps? or merely the intense alcohol... all well brought together by the malty profile.

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

Bottle Inspection: Notes maple, vanilla and oak

Aroma: Candy sweet malt with a slightly smoky edge. Very straight forward smell in my book, and enjoyable.

Appearance: Amber glass without a trace of head. Looks completely still.

Flavor: Hint of medicinal flavor on first sip, but that fades quickly. It’s very sweet with the vanilla bean and a touch of the oak coming out. Very rich, very sweet, I’m guessing the slight smoky note is the maple.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium body that seems a bit too thin for this monster. No carbonation and a drying alcoholic finish.

Overall Impression: One to sip by the fireplace slowly. Monster flavor, heavy handed alcohol, rich and full. I’m thinking snifter. I would have guessed English Barleywine for style, I didn’t really get the hops.

Thanks to Pegasus for sharing this gem.

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

Session 06/01/07, Release 2007
Although I expected a heavy, fresh, barleywine-ish brew with strong alcohols, intense barley malt flavor and sweetness and agression; I did not expect all of the new smokiness that I experienced in the aroma and flavors. It dominated all of the caramel, vanilla, fruity, and syrupy flavors. Nearly to rauchbier proportions, the heaviness of the brew and the peat (scotch whisky) flavors, though complex and bold, compromise the beer too much. Age should be kind, however the beer is way too immature for drinking in the near future.

Session 07/ 01/05, Release 2004, Rating 4.5
This one is a treat. Looks golden, copper, bronze, colors change as they refract in the light. Dainty dense white head that fades into the alcoholic lace and coating. Smells mildly sweet with deep fruits of dates and figs. other sweetness abounds with honey, brown sugar, caramel, and toffee. Tastes oily sweet with vanilla, caramel, and those dark fruits. The flavors are compounded with finess flavors of wood, mild hops, and alcohol. Full, round body being cut by the alcohol makes this beer go down easily. Finishes is warm and sweet. Hop flavors detected. Aftertaste is oily and refined and cloying sweet. Alcohol dries the palate. Not as bitter as most American Barleywines. Borrows English flavors in finess and maturity. Another gem by Dogfish Head.

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

Once poured, this barleywine is a glowing amber color wih a brief head of eggshell that leaves spots of clumpy lace.

The aroma is rich and filled with sweet nuances of scorched caramel, toffee, molasses, sugar cookies, and is deepened by a note of peat smoked oak.

If the nose is rich, then the flavor is a millionaire. Creamy sweet malt flavors of caramel, and scorched brown sugar colide with clover honey, bourbon barrel vanilla, cinnamon cookies, sticky fruit preserves, and a beautiful smokey charred oak barrel note. There is a gentle bite of spicey hops in the finish.

The body is huge with a thick, creamy, and oliy mouthfeel and very lite carbonation. A perfect after-dinner sipper. This needs to be served with creme brule and fresh berries.

This really reminds me more of an Old Ale than a barleywine due to it's malt-forward profile, complex caramel sweetness, subtle hopping, and rich mouthfeel.

Photo of mmmbeer
4.27/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Review #100 - figured a barleywine would be appropriate. 12 oz. with no bottling date and a blurb about the beer on the front label. Served slightly chilled in a snifter. Pours a ruby/brown color with a bit of sediment and a 1/4 inch head that leaves no lacing. The first aromas I noted were fruity (dark fruits, apples?), but they are followed (and overpowered) by oak, caramel, smoke, and vanilla, with bubblegum showing up from time to time. The first sip reveals the flavors noted on the front label - maple, oak, and vanilla - along with caramel, a sugary sweetness and the same fruity notes. It has some faint hops and tobacco hiding in the background and a wonderful mouthfeel that is full, thick, and smooth. This is a big, malty beer with a low level of hops that kinda makes me think of a dopplebock or a Belgian. The oak is nice, though it's a little too pronounced for my liking; however, they get points for originality and not being afraid of experimentation.

Immort Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 2,359 ratings.