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Immort Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Immort AleImmort Ale

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

2,317 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,317
Reviews: 1,106
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 15.71%
Wants: 140
Gots: 311 | FT: 11
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: 2,317 | Reviews: 1,106 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nixhecks
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
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).

nixhecks, Sep 11, 2003
Photo of oberon
4.13/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

oberon, Sep 07, 2003
Photo of beerinator
3.55/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

beerinator, Sep 03, 2003
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
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!

TheLongBeachBum, Sep 03, 2003
Photo of clvand0
4.38/5  rDev +14.7%
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.

clvand0, Aug 20, 2003
Photo of taez555
4.38/5  rDev +14.7%
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.

taez555, Aug 17, 2003
Photo of beerguy101
4.05/5  rDev +6%
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.

beerguy101, Aug 11, 2003
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.

TheDM, Aug 01, 2003
Photo of marburg
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

marburg, Aug 01, 2003
Photo of mikeys01
4.28/5  rDev +12%
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...

mikeys01, Jul 17, 2003
Photo of charlesw
1.88/5  rDev -50.8%
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!

charlesw, Jul 05, 2003
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!

francisweizen, Jul 03, 2003
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.

far333, Jun 29, 2003
Photo of jcalabre
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

jcalabre, Jun 06, 2003
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.

PhantomVodoo, May 26, 2003
Photo of IrishRedRock
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

IrishRedRock, May 26, 2003
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.

Darkale, May 24, 2003
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.

Brent, May 20, 2003
Photo of freed
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
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.

freed, May 16, 2003
Photo of BeerBuilder
4.38/5  rDev +14.7%
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.

BeerBuilder, May 13, 2003
Photo of aracauna
4/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

aracauna, May 06, 2003
Photo of frank4sail
4.38/5  rDev +14.7%
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.

frank4sail, Apr 30, 2003
Photo of jdhilt
4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

jdhilt, Apr 25, 2003
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!

Stubbie1, Apr 20, 2003
Photo of aaronh
4.65/5  rDev +21.7%
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.

aaronh, Apr 06, 2003
Immort Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 2,317 ratings.