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Immort Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Immort AleImmort Ale

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

2,292 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,292
Reviews: 1,103
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 15.4%
Wants: 136
Gots: 310 | 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: 2,292 | Reviews: 1,103 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DrunkenPanther
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%

This brew poured it's dark golden body with no head at all.

The aroma was a strong alcohol and fruit smell. At first the alcohol is a bit overpowering, but as the drink goes, it becomes a bit more comfortable and the fruitiness comes out.

This beer had a sweet mouthfeel. Had hints of maple throught and actually finished with what seemed to be a strong vanilaa flavor that lingered on.

DrunkenPanther, Mar 31, 2003
Photo of avylover
2.42/5  rDev -36.8%

I tried this beer years ago with a novice palette and thought it tasted as if alcohol was added after brewing. This brew actually turned me off to dogfish but I have since gladly returned to thier great experimental style..well hundreds of brews later i decided to give this brew another shot. here goes..Appearance is typical of a high ABV brew..no head really, even with an aggressive pour. A deep golden colored brew that looks thick. The smell is instantly alcoholic, with a sweet malt in the background....somewhat expected at 11%. Very sweet taste with a lingering bitter mouthfeel. The alcohol kick is still there in a major way....did they add vodka to this brew? The alcohol seems separate from the beer here. Other brews at higher ABV are much more drinkable (even other dogfish head brews, olde school comes to mind), and I really can't taste much past the vodka bite and sweet maltiness. Perhaps a bit of vanilla cake in there maybe. Like they say, go with your first instinct. A "Big" beer, but not a great beer. I love big beers, but this one WHIFFED!!!

avylover, Mar 27, 2003
Photo of Denali
3.43/5  rDev -10.4%

On tap at the Blind Tiger in New York City.

Appearance: Clear mahogany/amber with a small off-white head.

Aroma: Faint hop and caramel aroma.

Taste: Very strange and new spice flavors (for me) up front. The literature said that one of the spices is juniper. Sweet malt flavor is also present. For me this beer has a very unique flavor.

Mouthfeel: Syrupy with good carbonation.

Drinkability: Primarily a sipping beer. I didn't realize until I wrote this review that the ABV is 11%. No wonder.

Comments: For me this beer was very different and enjoyable. Would like to have it again just to try and unlock the mysteries of those spices.

Denali, Mar 27, 2003
Photo of Scooter77
4.25/5  rDev +11%

Yeehaw! This is such a potent brew. Pours a deep amber color with a thin white head that fades away very fast. There was virtually no lace left. Aroma is very sweet. Scents of maple syrup, plums, vanilla, and smoked wood entice the olfactory senses. Surprisingly, there is barely any smell from the 11% alcohol. The taste is very complex, as is the aroma. There is a slight bitterness of hops, followed by a sweet taste of brown sugar and dried fruit, but where’s the alcohol? I still can’t taste it. Then, I stood up…There’s the alcohol! It creeps up on you like a tiger hunting down its prey and then WHAMMO! This is a great and complex brew, just don’t have too much or the ABV will kick you in the arse.

Scooter77, Mar 25, 2003
Photo of ElGuapo
4.38/5  rDev +14.4%

A cloudy light brown cider color with an off-white foam that will die quickly to a lace in a wide glass, but hold strong in a standard pint. The aroma is loaded with delicious hops, and the aroma stays even when there is only lace left on the glass.

This brew is loaded with hops. I had no idea what this brew was like before I had it, and I was pleasantly surprised. A nice bitter, spicy array of hops really got me excited drinking this one. The spicy hops pick up a sidecar of alcohol in the finish. It then dries with a bit of alcohol and even more hops in the aftertaste. The alcohol is blended in well, and is not over the level of flavor that it should be.

It is crisp and tingly with a great full body and intense flavors. It is very drinkable, but I would imagine some people would differ in opinion on that subject. Since we are "beer drinkers with opinions", I will have to say it was very drinkable to me. You may take your time with it to settle after its intensity. This one is a squad leader in my books.

ElGuapo, Mar 13, 2003
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%

Presentation: 12oz. amber bottle. Bottled 9/02 (who needs freshness dating with and ABV of 11%?).

Appearance: Very pretty deep amber color. Minimal off-white head that does its best at lacing the glass.

Smell: Your first true indication that something very complex is in the glass. I just sat with the glass in hand and continuously smelled the beer to get an idea of what was going on. Guided by the label, I could pick out the maple, (very) vanilla, and oak aromas escaping from the beer. Very unique.

Taste: Like maple syrup mixed with vanilla pudding. Very sweet and very, very smooth on the palate. The creamy smoothness envelopes your taste buds in a wonderful pillow of softness.

Mouthfeel: Bordering on syrupy. But in a good way. Very light carbonation lends to the full and...."chewy" mouthfeel.

Drinkability: For an 11% ABV beer, it certainly hides it well. Barely noticeable alcohol flavor detected at the very end, but one cannot fail to notice the nice warming effect on the tummy. A beer that most definitely got better as it warmed from its initial temperature.

Must buy another and see how it ages. Definitely worth seeking out. Another excellent beer from a brewer that has yet to disappoint me.

OldFrothingSlosh, Mar 10, 2003
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.65/5  rDev +21.4%

This beer just seems huge, or Immortal if you will. Pours an attractive hue of copper amber with an off white fluffy head, sticks around for quite awhile leaving a trickled lace in it's dust. The nose is a full of malt sweetness and underlying complex aroma of dried fruit tones all wrapped up in a mystic air of smokiness (rauch style). This beer acts like a paint brush, and my palate as the easel. A true well done piece of art like poetry with the sharp mildly bitter sweetness coming down with each stroke on my tongue. Leaves notes of vanilla and maple syrup here a very full and challenging flavor, but no way is this overbearing. The art form that exists here is that because a brewerer managed to complement so many flavors together in one beer. Great beer, I plan on picking up more of these to age, and hopefull I will be able to bring out more of these subtle flavors and tame the sharpness of the sweet tones to make room for other experiences with in this bottle. The mouthfeel is a chewy full mouthfeel mindblowing experience to sip and enjoy. So, drinkable I can't believe this beer is packing 11% ABV, a beer that could truly sneak up on you, but oh it's so amazing worth taking this much alcohol in one beer.

WVbeergeek, Mar 07, 2003
Photo of JISurfer
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%

This is a very nice Barley Wine-Style Ale, my most favorite, that is. In the past few days I have had the Bigfoot, Old Dominion Millenium, and this one. Out of the 3, this is the best. It's got a real nice smell, that of various fruits and even some floral hints. The alcohol content is strong, but not evident in the taste. It's starts out smooth and finishes out smooth. The price isn't that bad either!

JISurfer, Feb 05, 2003
Photo of goz
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%

Pour is deep clear copper in color, with a small tan head that quickly receeds to a small ring of bubbles. Aroma is vinous, doughy, caramel, and some vanilla. Flavor is strongly sweet, with vanilla, caramel, maple, and some chocolate hints as well. Body is quite full, lightly carbonated, and the alcohol becomes more apparent as it gets warmer.

goz, Feb 05, 2003
Photo of Jarod
4.47/5  rDev +16.7%

This beer was poured and brought to the table a deep copper with red highlight color. It had some head which was a white/beige color. It was slowly going into a light film on the top but died in chunky pieces. The aroma was grapes, dark fruit, port wine like with hints of light malt, some wood like character and alcohol in the end of the nose. The taste…..mmmm….the taste was of a port wine, grapes, some dark fruit, caramel, malt, wood, some light bitter hops thrown in and ended in a nice alcohol warmth. Very nice beer, that left me feeling like I wanted another glass even though I was only half way through the first glass. Good brew.

Jarod, Jan 31, 2003
Photo of RBorsato
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%

Murky dark brown, chocolate milkish color with a light brown ring for a head. Had little carbonation on the pour. Aroma is lots of crazy things: malty, vanilla, woody, smokey, spicy herbs, tobacco(?). Sweet malt flavor with big smokey woody flavors and hints of vanilla. Very vinous. Full bodied and chewy but very flat.

Per Best American Beers Book: Peat smoked malt, maple syrup, juniper, vanilla beans, brown sugar, and chipped oak from French Chardonnay barrels...

'98 embossed stamp along bottle bottom. Tasted: 01/22/03

RBorsato, Jan 27, 2003
Photo of scottum
4.6/5  rDev +20.1%

This is a good tasting beer! Mmmm maple is a favorite flavor of mine hailing from VT. A little too sweet to be perfectly drinkable, but it tastes real good. The six pack lasted me a little over a week, but I've had other beers to drink in the meanwhile. I still have one left as of this review. I plan on buying another sixpack to lay down for a year or few. This is amoung the better barley wines out there. It's like there's a party in my mouth!

scottum, Jan 26, 2003
Photo of zerk
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%

Pours a clear copper with a quickly dissipating head that leaves a fair amount of lace. Aroma is malty and sweet, with caramel and bread notes, and a bit of spiced apples. Flavor is also quite malty, with caramel, yeasty bread dough, vanilla, and a slightly herbal finish. Mouthfeel is full and smooth. A very nice rendition of a Barley-Wine, and surprisingly, Dogfish Head didn't go too far over-the-top with this one... well done.

zerk, Jan 23, 2003
Photo of Dantes
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%

Package: 12 oz. brown bottle with metal cap. Label scored between 11 & 12; 11% ABV.

Cost: $1.99 per bottle, Total Wines, West Orange

Presentation: In a Reidel brandy snifter at ~50º.

Appearance: Some "gunsmoke" upon opening. Very sparse head, forming shallow stratus cloud swirls of foam. Color is lighter than your typical barley wine, leaning toward cloudy. Oddly, not much different than a recently consumed “Old Jock” ale.

Smell: Good to very good aroma, with notes of vanilla, roasted nuts, cotton-candy, and some spice. Alcohol is well-shrouded in the background.

Taste: Less impressive than the smell, with the alcohol more prevalent. I found this to be more one-dimensional than some of the other barley wines. It started off sweet, but then a woodiness insinuated itself, along with an edgy astringency I couldn’t really describe, that some here seemed to perceive as a metallic or pine sensation. I guess it was the juniper berry, but it didn’t remind me of gin! I was impressed by the subtlety of the maple syrup, which can be overpowering. Very malty with enough hops to keep it from being boring, but not enough to knock your socks off. 50 to 60 IBU’s would probably show better. Lacked punch in the middle and the finish.

Mouthfeel: Despite the paucity of the head, this actually seemed to have a higher level of carbonation that seemed a bit coarse, than many barley wines. Thinner and lighter than some others with lower ABV’s.

Drinkability: I found this to be a “lighter” barley wine, which was very easy to drink. On the negative side, it was not as substantial or filling as some others.

Backwash: A good effort, that unfortunately pales in comparison to Dogfish’s own World Wide Stout (not really a competitor I guess) and lags a bit behind Victory’s Old Horizontal. Perhaps this would benefit from some bottle aging as suggested on the bottle. However, my review of Old Horizontal was also of a new bottle. Worth trying.

Dantes, Jan 21, 2003
Photo of philipt
4.43/5  rDev +15.7%

This is a beer that I've wanted to try for some time now, and it does not disappoint. My favorite offering from Dogfish to date (I have a WW Stout 23% in the pantry still).

Pours amber in color with a medium-small tan head. Smells rather sweet with a hint of the alcohol in this brew. I initially noticed, as I chewed on this beer, a sweet malt flavor followed quickly by the substantial alcohol percent. As I progressed through this monster of an ale, I noticed more complexity: wood, smoke, esters, and some lingering sweetness. I'm feeling pretty good right now...

Why did I buy only one?????

philipt, Jan 11, 2003
Photo of maxpower
4.55/5  rDev +18.8%

Deep cloudy amber-copper, small head with tight little bubbles, sweet smokey caremel aroma. Sweet and malty, flavors of smoke, oak and light maple syrup, nice bitterness in the finish, full bodied with a full and creamy mouthfeel, a warming sipping ale, awesome.

maxpower, Dec 28, 2002
Photo of MJR
3.33/5  rDev -13.1%

Appearance: Pours a rustic, medium brown with garnet highlights. A decent size tan head doesn't stick around for long.

Smell: Aroma of sweet malt, vanilla, and maple. A touch of alcohol too. One of the more interesting beer smells I've encountered.

Taste: Sweet with a strong rubbing alcohol flavor. Lots and lots of sweetness here: maple, vanilla, and an overall fruity taste. Finishes with a surprising oak character. Little to no hop flavor or aroma. The most unique Barley Wine-style ale I've ever had...this might take a little getting used to.

Mouthfeel: Medium to medium/heavy thickness with a dry finish. Very strong rubbing alcohol finish...was this one of the ingredients?

Drinkability: Hmm...the flavor profile is certainly interesting enough, but could I drink more than one of these, or have one on a regular basis? I doubt it. It's a bit too sweet for me. I'm glad to have tried it, but I don't think I'll be revisiting this one.

MJR, Dec 10, 2002
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.25/5  rDev +11%

Big fat bubbly head--sizzles--gorgeous violet/dark ruby color. Not much springs to mind for aroma, some grapes, berries, then it's gone. Sharp tangy tast, heavy alcohol comes right up from behind. Long lasting finish, high carbonation. Strong, yes, but not as fully flavored as I like my barleywines. Soft palate. I liked it more as I neared the end of the bottle. Very lovely, very delicious.

feloniousmonk, Dec 09, 2002
Photo of purplehops
4.55/5  rDev +18.8%

Immort pours a deep sparkling amber with an off-white head that clings to the glass. Bubbles continue to rise to the surface for quite a while. The aroma if fruity with undertones of malt and hints of spice and citrus. The taste is very well balanced. It is very creamy in the mouth with malt, hops, and yeast blending to create the smooth flavor. Even the after taste balances back and forth between the hops and the warmth of the alcohol and the sweetness of the malt. I couldn't start to describe the flavors I'm tasting. No one flavor comes to the fore front and stays for more than a split second. This is a wonderful ale. The alcohol will probably get to you before you tire of drinking Immort. A new favorite on my shelf.

purplehops, Dec 07, 2002
Photo of MaineBeerMan
4.6/5  rDev +20.1%

This brew poured with a cloudy copper color and a small beige head that shrank to a thin ring within minutes. Very sweet aroma, full of caramel and dark fruity smells, with a lighter than expected alcohol twinge, considering the ABV of 11%. The aroma is much more complex than that last sentence implies and it changes a bit as the beer warms.
The flavor has a good bit of fortified wine character, like a good tawny port or sweet sherry. Dried fruit, caramel, vanilla, the list of flavors goes on and on, this is a complex brew and the flavor hints change as the beer warms in the glass, rather sweet overall.
This is not an everyday drinking beer, but it is quite drinkable, and would be very nice after dinner or relaxing with a nice cigar.

MaineBeerMan, Dec 01, 2002
Photo of Dogbrick
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%

Tasted at the Barrelhouse Brewing Company Microbrew Fest on November 9. Dark gold in color. Excellent sweet aroma consisting of vanilla and banana. I thought it had the flavor characteristics of a Belgian more than a Barley Wine. Either way it was very interesting.

Dogbrick, Nov 25, 2002
Photo of Wildman
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%

This beer poured a copper-reddish color and formed a small off white bubbly head that left some circular lace as it subsided. A small amount of carbonation is present. An aroma of malt, caramel and a slight presence of the alcohol. A flavor of malt, caramel and slightly herbal touch. A warm feeling of the alcohol is also present. Not a bad barleywine.

Wildman, Nov 18, 2002
Photo of pbrian
4.38/5  rDev +14.4%

I haven't been too impressed with Dogfish Head beers, but I really liked this one. Bottled in Nov, last year I presume. Hazy brown with minimal head to start, no head at all quickly thereafter. Alcohol whiffs, mixed with lingering malty cherry notes. Deep, complex malt flavor, low hop bitterness compared to some of the West coast B-wines I've had lately. Bottle indicates the use of maple, vanilla, and oak but to me none of these flavors really jumped out, which was good beacause I wasn't looking for something to put on my pancakes. Other than in the aroma, the 11% alc. was hidden well. Very enjoyable.

pbrian, Nov 12, 2002
Photo of Winter
4.47/5  rDev +16.7%

I was able to pick this up as a single bottle. The label indicated that it was bottled in January, so this beer has aged for about 10 months. Pours a ruby-brown with a thin head. Enticing aroma has hints of vanilla, cherry and oak. Taste follows suit with aroma and is very smooth, in addition to a slight bourbon taste. The 11% alchohol is masked very well in the flavor and isn't as overpowering as I'd have thought it would be. Nice warming effect as it goes down.

Winter, Nov 07, 2002
Photo of rastaman
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Beatiful mahogany-brown colour, very sweet malty nose, with lots of syrup, raisins, vanilla, caramel, and perhaps some oak. A sipper, strong, warming, with a complex, and long finish, lots of maple, oak, a touch of vanilla and a peppery warming finish, some bitterness and acid, but its more sweet than anything, very tasty stuff indeed, one of the better barley wines i've had, its not one dimensionally sticky, like others.

rastaman, Nov 05, 2002
Immort Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 2,292 ratings.