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Immort Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

very good
1,156 Reviews
For Trade:
Immort AleImmort Ale

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States | website

Style: English Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

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

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-15-2001

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,156 | Ratings: 2,628
Photo of Samp01
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle 2012 aged one year. Pours a slight cloudy rich copper amber with a quickly fading razor thin head. Aroma is of sweet caramel malt, yeast, fruity some toasted vanilla oaked essence and dark fruit and mild maple notes, some smokey notes as well. Taste the same as aroma with a bit of earthy herbal hops bitterness and a bit of brandy like notes in the flavor. The palate is a full and rich and smooth with moderate carbonation and there is some bubble effervescence. Finish is the same as taste with some smoked flavors as it warms up with a lingering brandy like sweetness and mild bitterness on the end. Not as sweet as some other barley wines as this is labeled but very good. Overall a very good smooth and easy drinking and pleasant bw. Very nice, I feel immortal already. enjoy

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Photo of brewskifan55
4.06/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into as snifter. Thanks, Darren.

A: Ice tea amber. A tan one-finger head that quickly dissipates. Thick lacing.

S: Bourbon pops up in a hurry followed by vanilla, oak and maple. Nice.

T: Wow! Dark, oaky, bourbon-y goodness. Vanilla, too. Like drinking an English barleywine. Malty. Hits you like a brick.

M: Medium with medium, frothy carbonation.

O: Excellent. Highly recommended. Sip and savor.

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Photo of Arithmeticus
4.75/5  rDev +23.1%

Poured chilled in standard ale glass. This puppy has aged for two years+.

A: 3: ruddy dark copper color; thin head; very nice carbonation
S: 4.5: plum, figs, currant up the ying yang; wow, this smells great, obviously aged with time, like a port
T: 5: rich, thoroughly complex malts; the aging did amazing things for this beer, turning it into a very sophisticated beer; leather overtones

Highly recommended for any kind of drinking, but was a very good choice for aging. Cheers!

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.69/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Drinking a bottle that is about 7 or 8 months old

Appearance: half way from a burnt orange to a garnet red color. a finger or so of a tan foamy head. fairly strong clarity

Smell: strong sweet caramel, maple syrup, vanilla, oak, and some astringent alcohol

Taste: opens with a sweet syrupy mess of caramel, vanilla, maple, and other sugars. some oak character along with a hint of alcohol. all of this is underlain by smokey earthy malts.

Mouthfeel: thick and creamy. some slight alcohol warmth. smoke lingers behind

Overall: I think I would like this beer immensely if it weren't for the smoked malts. the syrup and sweet aspects work well with the barrel aspect. I just can't get the balance between them and the smoked malt

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Photo of larryarms847
3.86/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a transparent dark rust orange color with a thin head that dissipates immediately.

Smells of maple, vanilla, and an accompanying boozy burn.

Strong oak flavor with hints of vanilla, maple, and a warm booze finish.

Mouthfeel is lush and velvety, goes down very smooth.

Overall, a very good warmer, but I would love to see what a year or two does to this!

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Photo of Stephen_Purdue
1.46/5  rDev -62.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

There was a serious defect in the batch I had - tasting of the adhesive used in band-aids. I would, however, be willing to try it again to re-evaluate my score. I would also appreciate some feedback from those who had a good experience with this beer or the same experience I had.

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Photo of fgmiele
3.72/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle dated 1/27/14. Beer pours deep amber with minor foam ring around head. Nose is lightly fruity mixed with some earthiness. Flavor is smoke and earth..rich and developed with a smoky tart sweetness rounding out. Mouthfeel is silky.. Not too heavy or boozy for a strong ale. Overall a sipper..reminds me of a cognac or whiskey.

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Photo of AmericanPaleMale666
2.88/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A - pours a dark amber/orange, less than half an inch head

N - very complex, strong maple aroma, smokey malt, I favored the taste over the nose
while my girlfriend felt the reverse.

M - full mouth feel,

T - strong smokey & bitter maple taste, can definitely detect the alcohol but at 11% that's not surprising.

O - when I purchased my 4 pack it's contents were already about 5 months old. I wont say I disliked it but.. I like many of dogfishes other brews much better. But I saved one bottle and I will be cellaring it for another 6 months at which point I'm hoping I will enjoy this one better.

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Photo of Jadjunk
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Vast in character, luscious and complex, this smooth, full-bodied ale reveals interwoven notes of maple, vanilla & oak." Brewed in the style of an English Strong Ale. Released annually in 4 packs as part of Dogfish Head's Ageable Ales series, this is the only one of the four that can be legally sold in my conservative state of Georgia. Bottled in 2013A.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to the Dogfish Head Signature Glass. Served north of 56º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a caramel cream head of a golden white tone and a thin creamy consistency. Body color is a solid red amber with high clarity and moderate carbonation. Retention is average, lacing is barely there as well. A decent appearance, not spectacular by any means. 3.25

(Smell) Aroma consists of thick, bready and medium roasted malts, a touch of grain alcohol, strong fruity esters via notes of figs and semi-dry raisins bordering on vinous qualities red grapes, moderate sharp spices of mace, allspice and cloves. Maple sweetness is very likely and brings some booziness with it- vanilla tags along in traces and oak notes are certainly prevalent. The oak-laden solvent character is ever pleasant, like a boozy, moderately smoked scotch ale, this one may be a tad harsh to some noses, but not mine. Potency is high. 4.25

(Taste) The roasted caramel and maple flavor takes a lead role in the flavor. Big notes of lightly spiced bread, sweet maple syrup and molasses rounded out by a rough grain alcohol edge, a mellow acidic puff of smoke, and a mild dark fruit assortment. Figs, dates, red grapes, plums- a little of each fruit makes up for any remaining holes in the malt profile. Very low hop profile overall, bitterness is mostly led by a grainy acidity, a mellow fruity tartness and accentuated by a faint oak dryness. Finishes with a wood-laden bready maple undertone and a hint of fruity booze. I love the bold malt bill flavors this beer has to offer- it reminds me directly of some of my favorite Wee Heavy beers with that strong oaken-malt character. There are not nearly as many off-flavors as I have been led to believe, and all lend a desirable depth to this beer. 4.25

(Mouthfeel) Creamy smooth bready malt body, a touch boozy with a pinch of sweet bourbon, finishing lightly dry from a touch of grain alcohol and fruit. Body is medium/high for the style, shy of high overall- the syrup additive makes for a heavily-flavored beer but still manages a very high drinkability. Alcohol presence is medium. Some aging will definitely tone the heat down and mellow out the other extremes. The ideal texture for this beer is pretty much there; it's just a touch boozy which personally doesn't bother me as much as a beer with wild carbonation or off-putting textures. 4

(Overall) It's certainly a new level of intensity, even by Dogfish Head's standards. Immort Ale has a great deal of roasty, toasty caramel malt depth and maple bourbon sweetness plus pinches of oak and vanilla for what can only be a very tasty, smooth and mildly sweet beer to fulfill your malt-lovers' wildest dreams. I'm not sure what the fuss is about over this beer, aside from some booze that will inevitably fade with time, it suits me just fine. 4

Dogfish Head Brewery's
Immort Ale

Vertical reviews:

(2013-1 year aged): Aroma is a bit more sweet and fruity than the fresh vintage, with notes of raisin, date and fig developing, although this overshadows much of the earthy tartness of the fresh vintage. This flavor is also much more prevalent in the flavor, with bold notes of licorice, peat smoke and dark candied fruits generating a much more robust flavor in this beer. Mouthfeel shares similarities with carbonation, although the body thickens slightly and comes off a bit more heavy, viscous and syrupy. I found this an excellent candidate to age with a lot of developed flavor by year one, and I hope that Dogfish Head brings Immort back in the near future, although it seems to have been replaced by Raison D' Extra for 2014. Keep a single bottle if you have some Immort ale left to enjoy.

Recommended vintage: Fresh-1 year (Both are fantastic)

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Photo of HeavyKevy
3.18/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

very nice brown color. small head. adequate lacing. overpowering smokey taste, hides a sweet aftertaste. not my favorite and I am usually a Dogfish head fan. way too smokey for me.I will not buy again. one thing the smoke taste is hide the alcohol which is saying something as it comes in at a whopping 11 %.

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Photo of Paincane
4.06/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Rich mahogany colored brew and tan head. Light lacing and decent head retention.
S: Aromas of vanilla, oak and dark berries and fruits.
T: Maple, brown sugar, woodsy & vanilla flavors.
M: Sweet, boozy, malty and smooth.
O: Rich, delicious and flavorful.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle from the Whole Foods Las Vegas NV for $6

Appearance - Dark brown colour with an average size frothy beige head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there isn't much lacing. The head lasted for around 3-4 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, caramel, peat, smoke

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel/butterscotch, and a smokey peat flavour. There is also some charred/burnt notes and some vanilla.

Overall - Not as much woody notes as I was expecting, but the booze is well hidden for a 11% ABV brew. I'm not a huge fan of peaty/scotchy type beers, but this one is pretty decent. Not something I'd pick up again though.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

(bottled on 04 Nov 2013 - poured into a balloon)

A: hazy burgundy with a ton of speckled sediment in suspension... inch of khaki-colored suds rises then falls... keeps a solid band of foam around the outer edge of the glass

S: hit of vinous booze initially.... rich, fruity, sort of raspberry pastry topping aroma, highlighted around the edges by a faint smokiness and a dollop of dark caramel... an overtone of what seems like roasted barley kernels... any nuances from the wood are subtle, blended in.... overall, very nice aromas, just surprisingly subdued

T: a melange of different flavors vying for attention (big surprise, DFH!)... vinous booze up front, followed by a quick fly-by of charred wood sugars and berries, pushed through by a big fat wave of caramel (maple syrup?) mild brown sugar, actually a little maple, and raspberry syrup/brandy lingering in the aftertaste.... the peat is merely a part in the sum - doesn't really stand out... the vanilla decides to emerge long after the last sip... alcohol certainly quite well-tempered, cushioned by the residual fruity-sugary elements

M: prickly alcohol up front, but pretty smooth and clean after that... approaching medium-bodied... slight viscous roll on the finish... quiet hum of prickly heat on the tip of the tongue a few moments after the sip, mellow heat at the back of the throat

O: definitely a sipper... in a blind multiple choice test, I might just finger this as a DFH brew - has a certain something about it... almost tastes like an extra special version of their Raison D'Etre... perhaps a bit too much abv? - greatest dimension of flavor might be best at 8-9% instead... i dunno - it does get better with each sip, more subtleties unfold... perhaps this is best consumed at room temp, huh?

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Photo of Flounder57
3.96/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass. Bottled 2013A.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a hazy amber brown with little clarity. Spotty lacing as the beer was drank.

Smell: Smokey barley, vanilla, juniper berries, a little booze, oak, and caramel.

Taste: Nice caramel and smokey malts, vanilla, warm alcohol, oak, juniper spice, raisins, yeasty spice, and a little bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium to full bodied, medium carbonation, and nice warm alcohol.

Overall: At first I wasn't crazy about the smoke, but it blended well together with everything else in the beer. Pretty solid for a high ABV beer too. I'll revisit this one again.

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Photo of Theseanlewis
4.21/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Been aging this beer for about a year, it was delicious on first taste but smoothed out nicely with a little age.

A- an opaque mahogany with hints of ruby red when the light hits it right. A light khakis head that dissipated after a few minutes

S-dark fruits, light hints of oak followed by a heavy peat finish.

T-incredibly smooth, bright figs and caramel flavors quickly give way to a heavy smoke flavor, the peat has taken over, in a very non aggressive way. Aftertaste is light peat and light oak, transitioning into dark fruits cacao and just a hint of booze to dry the tongue making you want more.

M-crisp and clean, this beer is very dry for an eleven percent brew, no cloying sweetness or alcohol sweetness, surprising for an eleven percent beer.

O-a delicious brew that aged very well. For those that don't enjoy the flavor of peat, this beer is not for you. For those who like a touch of smoke this is possibly the best peated beer I've had. None of the flavors overpower theother and the smooth interplay of the oak, vanilla, peat and maple syrup making this a delicious sipping beer.

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Photo of blackcompg
4.77/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - Pours nearly 2 fingers of light khaki-orange head, the body is a beautiful hazy burnt orange amber, very lively carb rising within, a thick half-finger cap that never goes away, and amazing lacing that coats the entire glass all the way to the bottom.

Smell - Vanilla, toffee, light warm oak, natural maple, which plays wonderfully with the vanilla, subtle ripe plums, and faint amaretto.

Taste - Wow, very big bold flavors here - starts with big ripe dark fruits and oak, smooth amaretto, natural dried vanilla bean, some grassy hop character, and then there is unsweetened maple and more dried oak. There is a slightly burnt dark toffee maltiness that carries all of these flavors brilliantly. I can't put this beer down... alcohol is extremely well hidden, but definitely warms long into the finish.

Mouthfeel - plus side of medium for sure, but not in a heavy mouthcoating way - flavors here are huge, and they explode and fill the mouth. Carb is lower side of medium and silky smooth, gently foaming across the tongue, no edges to speak of. This accentuates the flavors, which remain long into the finish. And that's a very good thing here.

Overall - Somehow there is a boldness and almost a "brightness" to these flavors - this is a very big beer, yet the flavors are assertive and bold without being heavy - this is really an amazing brew, very balanced and complex. You really need to try this - an unexpected combo of flavors that works so well - a must try.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2009 Immort Ale

Pours a mucky brown with ridiculous cloudiness and a collection of large off-white bubbles around the surface.

Malt oxidation, peat, maple, vanilla, cheap chocolate, oak barrel, and some meatiness. Very tempered. Nice.

Oh wow! This beer aged gracefully! Rich meaty malts with notes of raisin, date, maple, vanilla, and peat with a mellow oaky character that dries up in the finish. Outro has lots of caramel, toffee, and brandied fruit. Notes of chocolate, bosc pear, and whiskey with a touch of paper.

Alcohol is amazingly controlled. I taste what feels like a 7% beer. The body is still nice and full. A little bit sticky. Carbonation is low, but doesn't falter.

Excellent cellar choice. Much better than when fresh. It's amazing what five years has done to the flavor. Cheers!

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Photo of FLima
3.64/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Brown reddish color with a one finger thick head with medium retention and leaving some laces.
Malty aroma with smoked notes, peat, maple and oak.
Bold and unique flavor of smoked malt, peat, earthy hops, maple syrup, booze, minerals, nuts, Belgian yeast, oak and raisins. Knowing there is Juniper berries you can really feel it. Dry, bitter, smoked aftertaste.
Medium to full body with low carbonation. Considering it is 11% abv, it is quite well hidden. Sticky feeling.
Unique beer with a confusing taste. A bit overly sweet, but still interesting sipper worth trying.

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Photo of JamieDuncan
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Grabbed this for half price at Roast House cappy hour, what a deal. Outstanding looking beer with smell that was good, boozy. Excellent taste, did not taste overly strong and had a great flavor. Overall a very good beer, would get at cappy hour again.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Deep mahogany, slightly hazy, sand-colored head that quickly recedes. Some carbonation is visible. Label/box art is decidedly lame, what is that clamshell with an X on it, and what the heck does any of that have to do with the beer?

S: Unusual; smoky, cherries?, vanilla bean, some sweetness, earth. All over the board, not superficially appealing but certainly intriguing for the adventurous soul.

T: This is unique. Have to credit DfH on that. Primarily smoky on a good taste, metallic on a bad one. Alcohol can be detected on retro olfaction. Leather, plums, mineral notes, burnt wood (because why not throw that in, too?). Some sweetness as a familiar taste you can cling onto in this chaos of flavors. Every once in a while I feel like I can glimpse the promise of vanilla and oak that is stated on the label, but if it wasn't in print I would think it was a hallucination.

M: My mouth is so confused right now I can't even tell. Nothing offensive, nothing that stands out. I'll go middle of the road on this one.

O: For such an off-kilter, unique brew my straight 3.75 rating seems bland and doesn't tell the full story. On the plus side, this beer is unlike any other, and has some notes that would be highly appealing to a certain crowd (liking peat in your whiskey is a good start). On the bad side, there is not much to compel another immediate swig (again, whiskey sippers might feel at home). I could barely detect anything but smoke and alcohol, certainly not the luscious (from the label) beer I was expecting. Good as part of a flight, but hard to finish by oneself. Maybe pick it up?

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Photo of emerge077
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thanks to Wayne for this one, I'd tried it a long time ago but it was an old bottle that hadn't aged well. Bottled 1/27/14.

Russet reddish gold, bright clarity and suspended carbonation ever present. Drippy lace and good, lasting surface coverage.

Aroma is slightly sweet and yeasty, though somewhat closed. Toasted almonds, peated malt, and fig jam.

Rich and sticky, though fairly easy to sip. Roasty chicory, leather, dried plums, maple sap. Traces of oak and grape must, a mild bitterness lingers in the aftertaste. Full bodied with considerable alcohol content though not especially boozy and still relatively balanced. Overall this was pretty good, and seems to be widely available.

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Photo of osant37
4.8/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

poured into a snifter straight out of the fridge. pours a beatutiful flame amber red. 1 finger of brownish white head. small particles can be seen floating around in the glaas when held up to light. the smell is awesome. oak vanilla sweet,sweet malts obvious at 11% abv. smokey peat notes with that sweet maple syrup whiff. sweet scotch ale maltiness followed by big oaky vanilla notes and peat smokeyness. full bodied mouth feel with just the right carbonation. overall i feel dogfish head has done it again! amazing beer! great take on a scotch type ale/ english strong ale...cheers!

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Photo of zac16125
3.59/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a Teku
Bottled Nov 2013

A: Pours a dark mahogany with 3 fingers width of light tan head. Head has excellent retention and leaves a good amount of lacing.

S: Peat-y, caramel malt, an off aroma that I can only describe as somewhat like dirty feet, char.

T: Scotch-like peat, caramel malt, vanilla, wood, a bit of booze.

M/D: Full body, fairly smooth, carbonation on the lower end, ABV noticeable but well restrained, drinkability is average.

O: Interesting brew, I dont love it, but then again its heavy on the peat flavors which I am not a huge fan of. I had high expectations because for some reason I was expecting this to be similar to Palo Santo Maroon, which it is not. Not a bad beer, but not something I would probably buy again.

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Photo of CowsandBeer
3.69/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle received in a trade from jbaker67. I always enjoy DFH’s labels and their choice in nicely textured paper. Smoked barley, Belgian yeast, maple syrup and fermented in oak tanks? Why not?! Poured into a Brasserie de Silly tulip at fridge temp.

Appearance: A pour straight down the middle produced two fingers of khaki head. Brown body with plenty of ruby highlights when held up to the light. Better head retention and lacing for a beer of this strength.

Smell: Sweet smoked malts, a bit of pine bark, some of the maple syrup and a dry, toasted oak. The Belgian malts are there but hidden under the smoky peat.

Taste: Right up front you get some toasted oak, some of the maple syrup, pineyness, a wave of mild smoke followed and then a bit of the sweet Belgian malts. Rounded out with a warming heat and a toasted, smoky finish. A savory, maple syrup note lingered for quite a while. Quite a trip.

Mouthfeel: Full mouthfeel with a low carbonation. Warming, but not boozy at all. This one will sneak up on you.

Overall: While there is plenty going on here it doesn’t all work together to make a complete whole. The various adjuncts all make themselves known in a positive way, but they don’t really work together in making the beer better. While I don’t care for smoked beers the smoke notes in Immort were nuanced and enjoyable. Also the fermentation in oak tanks contributed some nice vanilla and toasted wood notes. Overall, a beer that should be tried at least once due to all the fun adjuncts. Good, but not great.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.44/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

2010 bottle.

This one was alright- there's a slight bandaid thing, with some peaty smoke, sweet maple, and candied dark fruits. The carbonation level is really low, I guess as to be expected. This just feels a little bit flat, not one of the DFH's best beers by a mile.

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Immort Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 1,156 ratings.