Immort Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

very good
1,179 Reviews
Immort AleImmort Ale

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States

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

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Reviews: 1,179 | Ratings: 2,702
Photo of Mitchster
1.12/5  rDev -71%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Pours out to a slightly hazy dark copper, forming a small dark beige head with poor retention and minimal lacing. Carbonation is mild to moderate. The aroma is repulsive and repugnant with massive diacetyl, frank incense and fusels. Sickening. Mouthfeel is cloying and syrupy with a fusel sting and dense body. Taste begins harshly with nasty fusel alcohols which make me sickly, rank diacetyl, followed by rotten apple cider, herbal hops and metals. The middle is thoroughly oxidized and tastes like wet cardboard, and the finish has this nauseating sting of lavender oil. I would go on if I could folks, but I simply can't stomach drinking any more of this. Down the sink it goes.

This tastes like Ringwood fermented at 85 degrees F.

This takes the cake as one of the most repulsive beers I've ever to Ommegang and Cave Creek Chili, this is utterly revolting. Absolutely disgusting.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
1.15/5  rDev -70.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Appearance: Pours a hazy bronze-colored body with a thin, small white head. Virtually no lacing to speak of.

Smell: Alcohol and sugary, sweet caramel teamed up with cardboard and rancid butter to create one of the most putrid aromas ever. Horrendous! This is a bad sign.

Taste: Shock and surprise registered in my eyes the moment I tasted it. It's the surprise of tasting something you knew you wouldn't like, but then it actually tasted far, far worse.

Ugh. There's just something about this beer that is really a turn off to me. A distressing, unmistakable band-aid flavor. Well, it's more of an attack on the tongue than a flavor, but still. I went looking for the maple, vanilla, and oak in the flavor and found only band-aids, glue, and rubber. The description on the bottle is completely foreign to anything contained within.

All in all, a flavor akin to burning the contents of a medicine cabinet and lapping up the results.

Mouthfeel: Thin-bodied, but being so syrupy as to relentlessly cling to the tongue.

Drinkability: With no sink nearby to dump this in, it was an absolute struggle to finish. The idea of pouring this out onto the floor was rather tempting.

Wow. Just, wow.

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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 ArrogantB
1.64/5  rDev -57.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Reddish-brown and clear in color. The head is a soapy ring of bubbles at the edges of the glass. Alcohol seems to be the dominant smell coupled with cherry cough medicine. The flavor of this beer is fucking medicinal and downright nasty. There is some woodiness but this is like drinking a box of Band-Aids. My god this stuff is downright disgusting and is headed straight to the drain. What a waste of my $3.99.

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Photo of gkatsoris
1.74/5  rDev -54.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

The appearance nice enough; very dark and enticing.

The smell was sort of dull and a little pungent.

The taste may have been the worst I have ever tasted. I am ashamed to admit it, but I poured the majority of it down the drain. It was very sour, raisony, and coppery.

Mouthfeel was avg; like a nice dark beer.

Drinkability; again...ashamed to admit but...down the drain it went.

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Photo of rye726
1.78/5  rDev -53.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

This beer just didn't do it for me. It was a clear ruby color with a weak tan head. The nose has some dark fruits, caramel candy and strong alcohol. The taste has a cloying sweetness with again the harsh alcohol. The balance is way off on this one. I am reminded of my experience with Old School Barleywine... Not good. A medium body would go down nicely if this tasted better. I drank one bottle and returned the rest of my 4 pack.

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Photo of bmjivi221
1.78/5  rDev -53.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.75

I am a big fan of Dogfish Head's beers, but his one was quite a disappointment. It was so smoky, I would compare it to chewing on charcoal. As most of Dogfish Head's beers this one was somewhat pricier than other beers on the shelf, but I decided to go with it because I like to try beers that are different. Risky beers per say. After drinking several sips and allowing it to breathe, my husband and I did not want to waste what money we put into it, so we just downed it. Not an enjoyable beer.

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Photo of heathbaa132
1.86/5  rDev -51.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

The smell and look of this beer was okay. But as soon as i tasted it, i was very disappointed. my fiance describe it as smoked fish taste, and my roomate agreed with the band aid taste, except added its not evan band aid brand taste, more like the generic band aids. I can also see the raw meat comment. This was a present to us, and boy was it awful. I seldom, and i mean seldom, toss a beer, and i would have if my fiance didnt offer to choke it down. I dont know how someone could taste that beer and put that price and novelty aspect on it. washing it down with a rogue.

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Photo of bwyker
1.86/5  rDev -51.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Thanks to Leftmindedrighty for this one. Bottled 4/6/06. Poured into a pint glass.

A: Golden mahogany with light carbonation trails. Almost no head, only a fizz of off-white foam that settles to a thin ring quickly.

S: Cardboard. Stale. Not good.

T: Just like the smell. Wood is buried deep under some weird musty funk. Cannot detect any hop or malt character. I don't know if what i taste is juniper, as I've never tasted a juniper berry in my life. Maybe its fermented maple or vanilla? Whatever it is, I'm not digging it. I actually remember the description of this one in Calagione's book. People were describing it as the "beer that tastes like pine cones." I definitely do not taste pine cones, but that actually might be an idea for improvement.

MF: Not easy. Light bodied, but harsh.

D: Very very low. I'll be pouring this overpriced mess down the drain. Maybe my tastes aren't refined enough for this, maybe I got a bad bottle or maybe this is just crap. Whatever the case may be, I would not drink another.

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Photo of dawg
1.86/5  rDev -51.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

I picked one up at Amels. Think it was over peated or had bad base malt. Tasted like band-aids. Had to send it back. Substituted a 60 minute IPA which cleansed the palate.

The lable was appealing as is typical for DFH. Nice and intricate.

The alcohol was dominated by the phenolic tones. The vanilla and maple was also masked. Felt thick and chewy as I expected.

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Photo of semibaked
1.9/5  rDev -50.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Poured into a Pint Glass. Date on the bottle is 03/23/10

A - Pours a dark brown with a huge 2+ inch of tan head with big bubbles in the head and it leaves plenty of lacing.

S - Wood Smoke, touch of maple, and toast.

T - Whoa! WAY TOO MUCH Oak and Smoke flavors, completely overpowering and unpleasant. I can't taste anything else. Also very boozy too. Gross!

M - Light, watery and low carbonation.

D - Can't get another drop down, I like beers that are oak aged, but this is like wood extract. I had high hopes for this and paid $5 for the single, but this is just terrible.

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Photo of charlesw
1.94/5  rDev -49.7%
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!

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Photo of BMMillsy
1.97/5  rDev -49%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Draft at The Top Gainesville. Pours clear light brown with a small white head. Aroma is some nuttiness and a bit of grape and some floral aroma. Interesting for a barlywine. Taste is effin weird. Grape cough syrup like Robitussen. This is rather disgusting and along the lines of the worst beers I have ever put in my face. The Belgian yeast just doesn't work with the syrup and vanilla, then the berries just makes this nearly vomit inducing. If there were a drain at my table, this would be poured down it.

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Photo of uhhuhhuh
2/5  rDev -48.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 2

Appearance: Reddish Brown. Low head.

Smell: Strong maple and smoke aroma.

Taste: Sweet maple smoke flavor.

Mouth-feel: Thick. Starts with a sweet vanilla finishing with a strong maple smoke flavor. The strong aroma adds to the power of the overall taste.

Overall: The vanilla hints are quickly over powered by smoke and maple flavors. Too much maple for me. Enjoyed having such a unique beer, but would not purchase again.

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Photo of siege06nd
2.01/5  rDev -47.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured into my Sammy Perfect Pint...

A: Deep, dark copper color, almost a ruby tint to it. Mostly clear, with just a touch of haze. Half finger head dissipates down to a thumbnail, lightly ringing the sides of the glass. Solid lacing.

S: The nose is initially offputting, as there is quite a lot going on and the amalgamation of smells here creates quite a dank impression, initially. Once my nose adjusts, however, the vanilla and the oak notes are unmistakable. The maple syrup is definitely lingering in the background, though I likely wouldn't have noticed it without the assist from the label. Definitely a bit of a raw vegetable funk going on here which I suppose is the hallmark of peat. I'm torn. At first blush this thing smells bad, but as you start to adjust to it, the individual scents stand out and it gets more interesting. I'll split the difference and call it average, because I'm not super pumped to drink this after smelling it.

T: Wow, the oak is really strong on this, taking on a borderline smokey quality. A lot of charred wood here. Man is this oaky and smokey. Vanilla is also quite apparent, as is the maple syrup to add a touch of sweetness. Quite boozy and bone dry. Oh man, I think this one is headed for the drain. Really bad.

M: Carbonation is hefty and the oak flavor is overwhelming, sickeningly so. Finish is oddly watery and boozy. Woof.

O: I can't recommend this beer. In fact, I have to recommend you to stay away from this beer. Goodness gracious it's bad. Like drinking oak chips and grain alcohol with some rotting green pepper. Stay away. Stay far, far away.

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Photo of caskstrength
2.05/5  rDev -46.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

I love maple syrup. I love smoked things in general. Vanilla is usually good in alcoholic beverages.

Dogfish had me at smoked and maple.

But its smells don't live up to the descriptors on the label. Its tastes even less so. It reminds me of a malt liquor 40oz. One that's trying to be fancy, but isn't.

stale, woody, simple, uninteresting sweetness. minimal maple. no depth or richness. thin feel that wouldn't support the expected flavors, even if they were present.

Expectations completely unmet.

DFH, maybe it's me, not you, but I'm tired of being let down. (nah, it's you)

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Photo of Moe101
2.08/5  rDev -46.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

I love Dogfish Head Brewery but had I had a difficult time with this one. This beer tastes like if one of your friends left their chewing tobacco spit in a cup and you accidently picked it up and drank it. I couldn't think of any other way to describe this beer. I will never purchase this again.

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Photo of gonzo46and2
2.12/5  rDev -45.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a reddish brown with a tan head. Aroma is pretty harsh mix of Alchohol, oak forrest with bits of vanilla and cardboard. Tree bark, soil, dark fruit and big ABV taste are the main drive of this beer's flavor. There's a minute hint on vanilla but it's overwhelmed by the smoky campfire taste. Can't say I care for it. First Dogfish I didn't like.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
2.14/5  rDev -44.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Dogfish Head- Immort Ale

A- hazy golden brown with a thick creamy head.
S- Not much here, Sappy wood and pine.
T- Bleech, once again the dreaded burnt rubber taste. 1 reviewer summed it up perfectly, "like band-aids"!!! The alcohol tastes more like gasoline.
M- Acidic bitter and copper metallic.

Overall- I can now say, Orval, Nogne, and this all have the same flavor!?! Burnt rubber or "band-aid"!

I suggest their 90 minute IPA.

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Photo of ShanePB
2.18/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Vintage 2011
Poured into a snifter glass

I remember trying this about 2 years ago when I was first getting into craft beer and distinctly recall a Band-Aid taste I couldn't get past.

A: Dark orange to a light ruby colored body with a moderate clarity to it. A small off-white head tries to form for a moment but quickly turns into almost nothing except for some thick bubbles along the edges. Really no lacing, either.

S: Huge smokey aromas, peat, charred malt, ash, wood, and a sweet hint perhaps from the vanilla/maple syrup? It's hard for me to get much past the overwhelmingly smokey nature to the beer.

T: Yeah, like I remember. Large amounts of peat and heavily smoked barley are up-front and dominate the other flavors. As this warmed it did start to bring out more of a sweetness, similar to a woody maple syrup flavor. Still, the smoke overpowered almost everything. Band-Aids are back again, and I seem to be missing any vanilla.

M: Bubbly, moderate carbonation while being a little dry from the smokiness I assume. There's nothing really to knock it on in this area.

Again, the label makes this beer sound awesome but the execution suffers greatly. I actually enjoy some smoked beers and ones that use peat, but I think this goes a little too far. Not enough of the other flavors that would help balance this out come through. Will not seek out again, and unfortunately drainpoured this one.

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Photo of Manosbeeroffate
2.22/5  rDev -42.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Smoky beers? Not a fave syle and didn't know this was one. Pours a nice dark copper color, smells, well like a mild campfire. Tastes quite a very strong campfire with sweet malt and a hint of old tire thrown in the campfire. Overall though I finished this, it's not a favorite style for me, it doesn't seem like this would taste well either if it was aged. Recommended for only fans of this style.

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Photo of Solomon420
2.25/5  rDev -41.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Hmm definately not on my best of list, especially coming from such a great brewery as DFH. The pour was very nice, nice deep color, mahogany like. The head was frothy like is should be. The first smell, I actually caught a whif as I was pouring it in the Imperial Pint glass. I made sure to take my time pouring it and watching the nice beer flow. I think the pour and smell were the best part of this experience. To me it smelled almost like either Teriyaki or BBQ sauce, having a real heavy smoked smell to it, but a sweetened smoke smell. Then came the taste...not really my cup of tea. I generally drink a few barleywine beers every now and then, so I am accustomed to the sweeter more potent beers like this one, but the heavy smoke flavour really kills this beer. For having 11% AC, you definately cant taste or smell the alcohol, probably due to the overpowering smoke taste. The taste almost reminds me of Red Man chewing tabacco. I had troube finishing this beer and I am sure glad I just had a single for a try. I will not do a repeat tasting of this beer thats for sure. I will say this as a positive note, after about 1/2 of the glass I did feel my toes going numb, followed by my if you are looking for an very strong beer to get FUBARed with, try this one.

I recommend you at least taste this beer, but just for the experience, and make your own opinions as its obvious from the reviews below, some people like it okay. Not me...but who am I but on sole BA on this planet. :)

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.28/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Nearly clear, reddish copper with a minimal off-white head that falls quickly to a thin film. Lace is nearly nonexistent. Alcohol dominates the nose, although I can appreciate sweet dark fruit as well.

As far as the flavor profile... again, alcohol overwhelms the palate. Next most prominent is a slightly sweet metallic graininess. I'm nearly unable to finish this. However, to be fair, it is improving a little as it warms (I started it out at about 50 degrees). At least now the flavor has a fighting chance against the alcohol. The mouthfeel is nicely smooth, but the taste comes close to ruining the entire experience.

I've seen Immort Ale described as a barleywine, but also as a strong/old ale. To me, it tastes like a 'brandy wine', like the brewers poured some brandy into the beer before bottling. I think I'll cellar one for a few years to see if that helps to mellow it out a little.

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Photo of Uncle_Jimmy
2.32/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Appearance- No head a copper/brown color.

Aroma- clove, burnt plastic some sour yeast.

Taste- Band-aids Band-aids, some oak, some maple, plum.

Mouth feel- Hot, lotta booze low carb and a little too thick on the tongue.

Overall- I like bourbon and scotch and boozy complex beers but this is just too much for me. Hard to get over the kind of vinyl taste. I just don't have the sensibility. Maple and vanilla ehhh?? i do get some oak, but man its a not good.

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Photo of bostonstoutman
2.33/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

I'm a fan of this brewery; their creativity is usually delightful to my tastebuds. I can't find much to like in the Immort Ale however. Alcohol is present immediately, not only in the taste, but in the smell. I bought a six-pack last summer and cellared three until now (December.) The six months have not helped to mellow this beer significantly, I still find it unbalanced. Overwhelming floral, spicey, maple, vanilla presence in the nose and taste. I think Dogfishhead sometimes tries to pack too much into a beer, though they should be credited for challenging the norm. I would not want to drink more than one of these beers at a time. By no means a traditional Barleywine, if it can even be categorized as one.

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Immort Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.86 out of 5 based on 2,702 ratings.
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