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Immort Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Immort AleImmort Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,369 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,369
Reviews: 1,111
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 15.45%
Wants: 159
Gots: 326 | 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: 2,369 | Reviews: 1,111
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

One of the first beers I ever put into my cellar some three or so years ago. Just mentioning that to myself for posterity's sake as I'm looking back through reviews at some later date.

Appearance - a hazy, glowing reddish-orange, a thin but complete cover of light tan bubbles leaving a wispy lace along the glass here and there.

Aroma - definite whiskey aroma, oak coming through easily. Boozy vapors quite evident. Not much beyond that.

Taste - sweet, very sweet. Wow - and *alcohol*, geez what a boozy blast at mid-palate! The label says maple, vanilla and oak. I get the oak, maybe the vanilla but the it's a toss-up, and no maple yet. The alcohol is so overwhelming that it is difficult to find anything. The swallow leaves a hot alcohol trail down the throat - don't smoke around this beer! If I have another one of these in storage, I'll give it three more years and see if any mellowing has occurred. As my mouth adjusts I am able to work more into the flavors, pick up some maple, etc. Keep the sips small to limit the alcohol blast.

*Update - 4/14/2008 -
Taste - sweet breadiness and peat up front, fruity yeast influencing the flavor. A tart and clovy spicing on the swallow, I think that may be juniper, bits of chocolate sneaking in. The abv is very prevalent. The heat is in your face, but smoothly subdued in part, mellowed by a few more years in the cellar perhaps. The finish is whiskey-like, a mild throaty burn for the alcohol, echoes of malt, even a late bit of bubble gum. (3.5, but I'll leave my original score of 4.0 in place)

Mouthfeel - thick, heavy-feeling stuff. Good carbonation, the bottle has aged well in that department.

Drinkability - good beer on a cold night, just keep it away from open flame, lol...not a beer that I'd keep around, though I can appreciate why some would.

Photo of fisherman34
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber-brown in colour with medium carbonation. Strong aromas of vanilla, caramel, and stewed fruit. Flavors of red current, stewed plums, and maple mix with more caramel and vanilla notes. Sweet and heavy in the mouth. I was expecting some peat flavor, but couldn't detect any. Overall, bit out of balance (I think it could have used a bit more hops to balance out the sweetness), but it would make a great after dinner drink.

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

Bottle purchased some time ago and sat in the cellar, not overly sure for how long. Pours a nice copper brown with a decent head that left off white lacing throughout.
Aroma of boozy molasses
Very smooth and creamy strong ale. Molasses, caramel and earthy hops are punctuated with a considerable booze flavor. Definite oaky smokiness in there on the finish. Drinks like a scotch whiskey thats been sitting for a bit melting in some ice.
Finishes boozey and oaky on the tongue. Worth several, if one could handle that.

Photo of Citadel82
4.57/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

An exceptionally drinkable strong ale. The sample I purchased was from Spirits Unlimited in Red Bank. I managed to score a single bottle from the sale rack. I am sure this has sat there for a while so I was a bit nervous. Never fear this Big Beer has what it takes to weather a little mishandling.

Pours a hazy dark amber with a short-lived off-white head that leaves plenty of lacing - gorgeous.

Aroma is deep, sweet, maltiness- molasses and honeyed dates layers and layers of sweetness with faint leafy hops some toastiness and a tincture of roast coffee.

Taste is big malts. Sweet and roasty with some wine like notes and loads of warming alcohol and a short yet pleasing dry hop finish.

Mouthfeel is full with fine tinglig effervesence.

A rare treat this one.

Mouthfeel is warmth o

Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the glass clear medium amber golden with a white low head which rose very slightly and fell in an instant. The beer could not lace the glass, most likely due to alcohol content.

The aroma was deeply malty with a strong caramel and fruity presence of cherries. The alcohol being emitted gave a slightly spicy phenolic to the beer.

The flavor was malty with a strong caramel presence. The flavor was fruity and interesting with more cherries and sweet caramel. Despite the caramel and fruit the flavor was not cloying. The alcohol in the flavor added just a hint of spice. The bittering was high enough to keep the malty flavors at bay.

The finish was just dry with a lasting and pleasant malty caramel and fruity flavor into the aftertaste. The body was just full and the carbonation on the low side. The lable talks about vanilla, maple and oak, but I believe in my bottle those flavors had melded and aged due to time. At any rate, a very nice beer!

12 ounce bottle. Packaged in 9, but I have no idea what year.

Photo of Bones54
4.58/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an amazing beer!
Served out of a 12oz bottle, and poured into a pint glass.
Coloring is a thick amber, with visible sediment in the beer.
The bottle claims the beer is luscious, and I didn't really know what to expect with that claim. Not many beers claim to be luscious. But this beer sticks to its claim. It has a very smooth fruity taste to it. Not overwhelming, just the right amount. Seems like a lot is going on here, and I don't really know how to describe it other than this stuff rocks!

Photo of BitteBier
4.32/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very attractive beer upon the pour--a clear but deep copper-amber color with a little carbonation and some perfectly-suspended sediment that draws the eye. Perhaps a finger's worth of off-white head that dissipates rather quickly and clings just a bit. The nose is interesting and complex, with nutty, smoky notes nestled into a sweet, caramely malt base. The alcohol content is more noticeable in the taste, which has an unexpected fruity tang to complement the malty sweetness, which is highlighted by vanilla and semi-dark maple syrup. The taste is very good, but more than that, it's incredibly interesting. The mouthfeel is soft and predictably warming, though it's not the most interesting flavor notes that endure. I'm not sure what to say except I'm fascinated.

Photo of Ahhdball
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured very slick and oily comparable to a thin honey. No head, no lace, very attractive orange color and slightly hazy against the light.
Strong smoke with peach and apricot aroma.
Smoke came out, then alcohol. Wood, whiskey, and small amounts of honey followed closely but were unable to overcome the smoke and alcohol.
Thick residue left a whiskey sting which was warming and nice.I could have a another but I'm going to let it warm first.

Photo of akorsak
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a two year old Immort Ale (2003 Vintage) from the Dogfish Head Ale House. The Ale House cellars the vintage bottles as 50-55 degrees.

Appearance: The ale is a nice golden to light brown color. The ale is hazy and lacks any translucency. There is a bit of head that results from the pour (not much though, perhaps due to the age?).

Smell: As with most of DFH's big brews, there is a pronounced malt aroma, making one think that this is a barleywine. The ABV is not detectable in the nose. The label mentions oak and vanilla notes, but I don't detect any.

Taste: Tastes like a Barleywine in the mouth. Very pleasant malty notes with little hop presence. I taste the woody notes in when I sip it, however I struggle to find the vanilla.

Mouthfeel: For a strong ale, it sits nicely. DFH has a way of hiding the alcohol in these brews, instead allowing the malt, hops and adjuncts to make themselves known.

Drinkability: For an 11% brew, it is fairly drinkable. As I recall from fresh tastings, set this bad boy away for a year or two and enjoy.

Photo of kdmorse
4.32/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Beautiful ruby color, with 1/2 inch head fading quickly.

S: Fills my nose with sweetness and raisins. Smell seems like a trap, too pleasant to be real.

T: Lots of different tastes dance around my mouth. There is not a word to describe the taste, so I will make one up: scrumtralescent...

Okay, I didn't make that word up, but there are so many awesome tastes that I would rather describe them as scrumtralescent than dissect them and overanalyze a great beer.

M: Solid drinking experience. My mouth misses the beer once it is gone.

D: Maybe I shouldn't be drinking this on a school night (high school teacher). Very easy to drink; could easily down 2-3 in a sitting and then not stand up.

Notes: Who would have thought that a barelywine/old ale would have been my first review. One of my least favorite styles, but a very strong beer. DFH strikes again!

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 !

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Immort Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 2,369 ratings.