Immort Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

BA SCORE
87
very good
2,711 Ratings
Immort AleImmort Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States
dogfish.com

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,182
Ratings:
2,711
Avg:
3.86
pDev:
14.51%
 
 
Wants:
177
Gots:
503
For Trade:
15
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,182 | Ratings: 2,711
Photo of Sammy
3.72/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Complex aroma of smoke and barrel. Taste gets the wood, peat smoke,the juniper berries and fruit. Tasted like a flavoured herbal tea so flavoured porter. Medium mouthfeel, was expecting even thicker. Very different and not my cup of tea.Another odd and interesting brew from this brewery.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Half finger head on a clear amber brew. Nice amount of lacing. Aroma is mostly caramel malt with various wood aromas including oak, maple and hickory. Coffee and dark fruit notes are present as well. Overall very complex aroma. Very smokey and woody with more hickory and BBQ like flavor. Finish is a little hippy with the malts coming through more. Overall the exact kid of brew I expect from dogfish head: unique. Edgy and well done even if it isn't your favorite beer ever.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap the day after Churchill's Renaissance at Churchill's Pub & Grille in San Marcos, CA.

Pours a clear honey brown with a beige head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Smell is pretty subtle but there is some malt, smoke, and spice in the nose. Taste is of malt and a nice smoky flavor with a tiny bit of band-aid present. There is a mild bitterness with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a nice smoke flavor that comes out especially as the beer warms up.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.17/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

fresh at the dogfish taphouse in rehoboth deleware. poured a dense amber color into a sinfter, with a disappointing barely there head. smells and tastes like whiskey, charcoaly and smokey, with notes of sweet maple syrup and or molasses and a plethora of hops. somewhere between beer, booze, and wine, this beer is definitely not for the weekend budlight drinker. its massive and complex and mandates that every drop be savored and digested and understood as well as possible before taking the next one. its a beer drinkers beer, and for that i really appreciate it. the mouthfeel is alcohol first, alcohol second, and an aged sort of smoothness in a distant third. it grew on me with every quaff

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Photo of Knapp85
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had wanted to try the Immort Ale for the longest time. For some reason it never seemed to show up at the local shops I go to. After stopping at Crazy Bruce's in Connecticut on my way to Vermont I saw that they had bottles of it there. So I made a mixed 6 pack with one Immort Ale. Finally got to have it that night at the motel. I was more than happy about getting it.

It poured out as a nice looking brown color with a slightly fizzy tan color head on it. The smell of the beer had some vanilla, some barrel earthiness to it, there was also a sweet boozy aroma too. The taste was quite nice also, plenty of flavors in this brew. Much like the nose a lot of the same qualities come through on the tongue. The mouthfeel was smooth and semi thick with a good carbonation to it. Overall this beer is a powerhouse. It goes down nicely especially with some aging and it's high ABV can hit ya pretty hard if you let it. Well worth trying though!

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Photo of metter98
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear but very dark amber in color and poured with a thin beige head.
S: There is a strong aroma of barley malts in the nose along with some notes of alcohol.
T: Like the smell, the taste is very malty and has some notes of maple syrup. Notes of alcohol are evident in the finish.
M: It feels full-bodied and very smooth on the palate with a light amount of carbonation. There is some warming from the alcohol in the finish.
D: This beer is definitely a slow sipper considering its strength and the presence of alcohol in the smell and taste.

Note: 1999 vintage

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Photo of oriolesfan4
4.4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bought a 4 pack for $12.99

Pours a nice mahogany color, decent head to it... not much lacing though surprisingly. Smell gives off some vanilla and maple, nice sweet aroma to it. Nice full body and great mouthfeel, a nice creamy beer. A nice woody flavor in there with more of the vanilla and maple tastes, finishes with a slight alcohol warming effect. Whoa, this is a good beer.. but the kind you'd have to be careful about having too many at one sitting. A nice sipper, it's one of the stronger DFH offerings I've had but the taste is superb.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Session 06/01/07, Release 2007
Although I expected a heavy, fresh, barleywine-ish brew with strong alcohols, intense barley malt flavor and sweetness and agression; I did not expect all of the new smokiness that I experienced in the aroma and flavors. It dominated all of the caramel, vanilla, fruity, and syrupy flavors. Nearly to rauchbier proportions, the heaviness of the brew and the peat (scotch whisky) flavors, though complex and bold, compromise the beer too much. Age should be kind, however the beer is way too immature for drinking in the near future.

Session 07/ 01/05, Release 2004, Rating 4.5
This one is a treat. Looks golden, copper, bronze, colors change as they refract in the light. Dainty dense white head that fades into the alcoholic lace and coating. Smells mildly sweet with deep fruits of dates and figs. other sweetness abounds with honey, brown sugar, caramel, and toffee. Tastes oily sweet with vanilla, caramel, and those dark fruits. The flavors are compounded with finess flavors of wood, mild hops, and alcohol. Full, round body being cut by the alcohol makes this beer go down easily. Finishes is warm and sweet. Hop flavors detected. Aftertaste is oily and refined and cloying sweet. Alcohol dries the palate. Not as bitter as most American Barleywines. Borrows English flavors in finess and maturity. Another gem by Dogfish Head.

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Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +3.6%
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.)

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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 Phyl21ca
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of Boboski: Poured a deep hazy orangey color ale with a medium foamy head with good lacing. Aroma of sweet malt is pretty complex with some light vanilla and some dry fruits. Taste is mix between some dry fruits such as figs and plums and some sweet malt with some light oak. I found some similarities with aged english barleywine maybe due to the low hops employed in this beer. Body is above average with some low carbonation and alcohol is well hidden. Another very good beer from a brewery that knows how to brew big beers.

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Photo of oline73
3.55/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear reddish amber with a half finger of off white head that fades to a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Sweet caramel like malt with some dark fruit, vanilla, and alcohol. You can really pick up the berries in the smell.

Taste: The peat smoked malt shows up here big time. I honestly didn't read the description, so I wasn't expecting it after the smell. The peat and alcohol cover up most of the other flavors. Some sweetness and some mild fruit. I might age my other bottles to see if things blend better.

Mouthfeel: The body is on the thick side of medium with aggressive carbonation and a slightly dry finish.

Overall: The smell of this beer is fantastic, but the smokey taste and alcohol cover up all the delicate flavors. I'm hoping that this one smoothes out over time.

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Photo of zeff80
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pourd out a somewhat cloudy, brown color with a pillowy, cream-colored, small head. It left some soapy lace.

S - It smelled of smoke and wood. Also some biscuity malt notes.

T - A very complex and unique blend of flavors. Some vanilla, caramel, alcohol and sweet, sweet malt.

M - A chewy, thick mouthfeel. This is a medium to heavy-bodied beer with a pronounced heat from the alcohol content.

D - This is a good beer but very strong and sweet.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had the 2008 edition this past March, so it was nearing a year in age, and wow was it fantastic.

A: Very dark brown with a good slightly-darkened head. Plenty of lacing.

S: Rich with caramel and sweetness from dark fruits, molasses, and maple. Very complex.

T: Caramel malt sweetness with some molasses, maple, and vanilla. A little bit of smoke to it, but nothing overpowering. Everything melds together so well and it is incredibly complex. Simply outstanding.

M: Heavy and lush; incredibly creamy. Quite smooth.

D: Much better with age than fresh off the line, but a nice, interesting ale all around.

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Photo of mothman
4.27/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into the Bruery Snifter

Pours a smaller layer of beige head. Expected from the abv listed. Color is a dark caramel murky brown.

Aroma: Wood/oak, vanilla, maple (I actually just read the label and it says pretty much the exact same thing). A little booze showing and a decent amount of malt. Sweeter taste to it. For a strong ale, it gets a 4.5.

Taste: All the same flavors from the taste: maple, strictly oak, and vanilla. Very malty and sweet. Some caramel and maybe a little toffee.Very warming.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, lightly creamy. Medium bodied. Very warming in a good way. Medium bodied with a lower amount of carbonation. Ends a little dry, but relatively clean.

Overall, a very solid beer. DFH makes some nice oak aged beers and this is a fine example. I highly recommend this one. One of the better strong ales out there. Very drinkable.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into signature tulip glass, bottled in 2013A. Pours slightly hazy reddish copper color with a 1 finger fairly dense cream colored head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of caramel, brown sugar, toast, toffee, smoke, clove, oak, vanilla, maple syrup, raisin, brown bread, light nuttiness, juniper, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of malt, spice, and yeast notes; with good strength. Taste of big caramel, brown sugar, toast, toffee, brown bread, raisin, smoke, nuttiness, oak, clove, vanilla, maple syrup, herbal, juniper, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, raisin, smoke, brown bread, nuttiness, oak, clove, vanilla, herbal, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice balance and complexity of malt, spice, and yeast flavors; with big malt robustness and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a creamy and slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent spiced strong ale! All around great balance and complexity of malt, spice, and yeast flavors; and dangerously smooth to sip on for 11%. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of nickfl
3.07/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Amber with good clarity. Good head retention for such a high ABV.

S - Ugggh. Bizarre, I can't decide if it is oxadized, infected, intentionally wild, or just smokey.

T - Sweet. Fruity and rasiny with a finish that is very similar to the smell but milder.

M - Thick and syrupy.

D - Still don't really know what to say about this one. At first I was very disappointed, but towards the end it was growing on me. It reminds me of the Deproef Flemish Primitive Ales, which may or may not be a good thing. I would really like to know if what I am experianceing is intentional or not. If there is smoked malt in this, it would pretty much explain everything for me. Smoked beers are like nuclear weapons, tragic in the wrong hands.

P.S. - After finishing this one I have to admit that it doesn't dissapoint on strength. I am good and sorted, even more than expected for 11%.

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Photo of oberon
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery "Immort Ale"
12 fl. oz. brown glass bottle, "BOTTLED ON 01/22/16" and sampled on 01/04/17
$3.99 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Notes via stream of consciousness: Although I can't say that Immort Ale was one of the beers that started my interest in beer all those years ago (I was well into everything by then, imports, west coast beers, anything really), I can certainly say that it was one of the ones that 'jump started' my interest. I used to buy it by the case and always had it around, but looking back now I can't even remember the last time I've had one. So let's see... it looks the same: cloudy deep-copper beneath a rocky head of yellowed tan. Excellent head retention and lacing. And that aroma! Golden and medium caramel malt that's almost like wort. It's rich and kind of sugary, and woody and almost a touch smoky - it reminds me of camping in my home brewing days (although we were also drinking a lot of 12 Horse Ale back then). And the flavor! The maple syrup comes through, as does the vanilla (especially in the finish), but there's also a lot more going on: honey, brown sugar, coconut, soft fig, leaves, grass, apple, raisin, a waft of spice on the wind, birch wood smoke, oak, and dusty earth. Yeah, this was one of my favorite beers because it was so big and full, right up there with Anchor's Old Foghorn or Sierra's Bigfoot but completely different, and really out on its own plain. But in all honesty, it seems even better now. It's rounder, and smoother, and more balanced - perhaps a little less smoky, and a bit more spicy than I remember it. And as I sit here my eyes have wandered and I notice that it's not that well regarded on BeerAdvocate with just an 87 overall... can that be? Why? Is it because it's not that hoppy? Because it's not that fruity? Or, let's get to it, because it's so malty? Hmmm, it is very malty, but then it becomes fruity, and then it's dry and lightly spicy in the finish without being too bitter. It's balanced despite it's maltiness, yet it's lingering richness is almost as good as a fine English barleywine is whilst still in the mouth. Haaa! Perhaps I've got too much of a romance for this beer already set in my mind and my heart? - although I do have it right now before me for clarity, and I don't feel I'm at all swayed. Or is it just that I know it from a time when there was less, before the rise of IPAs and sour beers, before Imperial anything except for Russian stouts? I'd imagine that tasting this beer now with inexperienced lips and tongue, after many of the other beers that are on market have passed, one might not be impressed by it and simply push it aside as "sweet, malty, and trying-too-hard" - but it was once one of the many shots first fired in the revolution. So I'll tip my hat to it again, and relax and take another sip of that complex and malty beast, and bask in its richness and the experience that it gives. Vivre les Immort!

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Photo of chinchill
3.46/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz 2012 bottle.
Complex beer with smoke, oak, toffee, dark fruits, and a hint of scotch.
Sweet and tart in the nose.
Thick, syrupy body,
More complex and interesting than appealing.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color, with a thin white head, that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, vanilla, some spices, some fruit and touches of smoke, maple, alcohol and hops.

T: The taste starts out with a little bit of smokiness followed by mildly sweet flavors of vanilla, fruit and maple. The malt character is hearty and covers up the high ABV well. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly smoky and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Flavorful and complex, goes down easily, not too filling, well-disguised strong kick, good representation of style, a unique combination of flavors where if those flavors appeal to you they make the beer worth drinking for a while.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Monk's, Philly, PA

A yeasty strong ale with an old ale demeanor. Poured silghtly hazy dark reddish-brown with a small, tan head. Heavy tones of maple syrup, vanilla, and oak in both the aroma and taste. Malty and smooth, but with a bit of an alcohol kick (as would be expected from an 11%ABV brew). Overall smooth, medium mouthfeel, slightly bitter aftertaste, but not annoyingly noticeable. Good and drinkable. Lots of character.

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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 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 billab914
3.2/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottled on 3/23/10. Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. It poured a murky, dark caramel color with a thin white head barely covering the top of the beer. The head faded to the edges of the glass and left a thin ring around the beer as I drank it.

The aroma has a lot going on in it. The vanilla and juniper are the things that stand out to me at first. I get the woody oak and maple syrup to it as well. It's sharp with a little bit of an acidic, vinegar like bite to it as well. The peat really started to come out as it warmed. Lots going on here, some of the flavors mix better than others. Overall very interesting, but not an outstanding aroma.

The taste shows some moderate sour, vinegar like notes to it up front. Towards the finish the vanilla and juniper start to come out along with some of the woody oak. As it warmed, the peat really started to come out, lingering in the finish as well. Not really sure what to make of this, there were just so many flavors going on. Was the sour, tartness supposed to be there? I can't really say the flavors came together that well.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being moderate. overall it was an interesting beer, but the flavors didn't work that well for me. I liked the peat and the oak, but the acidic sourness I got didn't seem to fit. Drinkable beer to sip on this evening, but not one of the better Dogfish ones.

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Immort Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.86 out of 5 based on 2,711 ratings.
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