Immort Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

very good
1,176 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: 1,176 | Ratings: 2,696
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.27/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a brilliantly clear ruby color that is topped by a thin, wispy tan head. This smells quite a bit like a fruit liquor, with notes of raisins and rum. Underneath that, but quite apparent are notes of smoky wood, oak and a hint of vanilla. As time passes the intermingling notes of smoke and wood come to dominate the aroma. The taste is sweet up front with a clear fruity note that is reminiscent of grapes, and perhaps some notes of cherries. The finish is long and complex and is where I start to notice the oak and a bit of the smokiness as well, I get a sort of tannic, slightly phenolic & a bit of astringency all mixed together in the finish. In the end the smoke ends up dominating the finish, fortunately it is not too strong & just dries out the palate enough that you want another sip.

This beer is quite interesting, I really like the complex interplay between the various components of this beer. I have to give it to Dogfish Head, this is one interesting beer, I must say that I really appreciate them stretching the definition of beer on a commercial level.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.37/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Yet another highly anticipated DFH brew for me...sticky deep amber pour with a nice white head that leaves trails of lace behind on my glass. Strong sweet caramel with notes of pine, vanilla and dark fruitiness. Alcohol wafts into my nose as well.

This one is big....creamy sweet caramel rolls over my tongue mingling with hints of candied fruit, vanilla, and woody tones. A great brew to sip on a cold night. Piney hop biterness comes through on the back of the palate....well balanced with a slightly bready finish.

Mouthfeel is sinfully smooth and creamy...heavy on the palate. This is a brew that demands respect. Drinkability is good, however the high abv will make it hard to have more than a few of these. I got this as a single, but I look forward to grabbing a sixer to cellar. Recommended.

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Photo of mschofield
3.05/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours an opaque brown-amber, topped with a one finger, off-white head, leaves bits of lacing.
Fruity aroma, vanilla, wood, alcohol, malty with a maple syrup note.
Lots of vanilla in the taste, fruity and partially uncooked bread, wood, herb, pepper, maple syrup.
Full bodied, not very drinkable.

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Photo of sabrills70
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy amber with only a slight head that eaves a ring around the edge of the glass. OK lace and poured almost syrup like. Smells of wonderful fruity malt. Apples, vanilla, somewhat spicy. all kinds of stuff going on here, not much alcohol though considering its 11%. Taste is just as complex as the smell. Thickishly malty sweet with immense fruityness followed by hop spicyness and leaves with alcohol on your tounge. Its mouthfeels is almost idemtical to its taste, I don't think you can describe one without using references to the other - as a good barlywine should be. Not a gulping beer, this is one to be enjoyed on a cold Indiana ( or where ever you are) evening such as this one. Just relax, sip and enjoy.

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Photo of Rastacouere
4.46/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Big beer which pours orange with a thin head that quickly turns into a ring, slightly hazy, not quite impressing visually. Aroma is deep, malty and very complex with huge fruitiness reminiscent of peaches, apricot and even prunes/plums. An easy 10 on the belgian-like aroma which I would basically almost wear as a perfume. The taste is also very malty with good balancing hops character preventing from being too sweet. Light and comfortable bitterness toward the end. Hints at vanilla and nutmeg, damn this is complex. The body is a little weak I found though for a beer of this magnitude it was rather thin although comfortable and very clean. Rich and full-flavoured, thanks a lot to Egajdzis! My favorite DFH, by far even.

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

Pours a pretty red/brown color with a white head that leaves quickly. Aroma is sweet caramel malt, fruity and candy like toffee touch of alcohol in the nose but not any vanilla that I can tell. Taste is sweet maple like malt with a mixture of caramel and toffee surgary candy flavor. Light fruit flavors towards the end with grape and plum prodominate and a dash of hops. Mouthfeel is a tad light for a barley wine @ 11% Drinkability is ok, but I don't see me buying this again as there are much better barley wines to be had.

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Photo of donnebaby
4.37/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Packages in 10/2002, so almost 2 years aging.

Brilliant orange with a deep red hue. Active body with bubbles rising abundantly at a decelerated pace up through the viscosity. Lots of alcohol mixed in with the fermenting sweet peaches and apricots. Big notes of raisins.

Taste, too, showed lots of strong fruits and alcohol, a combination of apricot booze and peach schnapps. I expected this to be much harsher on the intake from the smell and the 11%, but it's nothing but mellow and thickness going down. I want to say this beer is all mouthfeel, thick and voluptuous, but the taste is prominent also. Like a crumby graham cookie with an apricot center. Almost like that. Or apricot pie. Definitely a dessert--but mild in sweetness. A little bit of traction in the aftertaste. Hop character further develops, along with an emerging spiciness, as it warms.

Intoxicating. Great to drink in large gulps.

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Photo of rdrummer
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

DogFishHead is one of my favorite brewers but this is not my favorite brandywine. It is definitely worth buying and trying but not the top of the line that DFH usually shoots for. The beer pours a dark copper color with a small, short-lasting head. There was some moderate lacing.

There were hints of vanilla and spices (nutmeg and clove?), but there was too much alcohol-like aroma to make it really sing out. The taste was better with the spiciness coming through very stronly but with the sweet malt taste overwhelming the spices, followed by a hit of hops at the end.

It had a full-bodied feel in the mouth with a slightly acerbic afterfeel. At 11% ABV, this is not a session beer, yet I was looking for another bottle.

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Photo of NEhophead
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled 1/04.

Foamy off white head that quickly clears to the sides producing some thin and moderately strong lacing. Glowing auburn with a reddish tint.

A sweet toffee aroma with a deep cherry nose. Dark fruit (grapes, cherry, plum). A moderate alcohol smell like a cognac flavored aroma.

A very surprisingly sweet flavor. Toffee, vanilla, and caramel tones with a lot of honey flavors as well. Some dark fruit at the beginning of the sip but the sweetness takes over. Lighter in terms of hops than most american barleywines, and virtually no bitterness. Very mild. A surprisingly low alcohol presence given the 11%abv.

Syrup-like on the palate. Very smooth and mild mouthfeel. I don't think it's the ideal barleywine to keep you warm in the winter, but it would be perfect for a cool Fall night.

This is a good american barleywine to have a few more pints of. Easy drinking for the style and a very interesting taste. I need to pick up some more of these. Storing these for a couple of years may prove to be a very tasty treat.

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Photo of kmpitz2
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a moderate golden color with no head to speak of. The nose is sweet malts. I don't get many of the things from it that the bottle suggests. I don't get the vanilla or maple in the nose. The first taste is the sweet maple with malts. There is a nice alcohol finish, much less than what I would expect to taste in a beer of this size that is this light in color. The beer is thick with a good carbonation to balance the thickness. With this being a big beer, I wouldn't want to sit down to many of them in a night, but it is an easy drinking beer, so the drinkability is above average for this one.

Edit: The drinkability is actually really good for this one. With 11%, there is no hint of it in the taste.

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Photo of coasterfreak75
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The pour was a very murky copper red/brown with a very short head that quickly dissapated to a fine white lace on top of the beer.

The smell was heavy in alcohol with hints of fruit and malt. Somewhere hidden near the back of the nose was just a hint of vanilla.

The drink started with a sweet vanilla kick followed by a quick hint of maple. The finish was alcohol warmth with a lingering aspect of, dare I say vodka. As it warmed a slight oak flavor hinted its way into the palate. I found this mix of flavors to be quite interesting and enjoyable.

All and all a very unique beer, that I found quite drinkable and enjoyable. I would love to come across another one of these and put it up for a few years, just to see how it reacted.

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Photo of oracle
3.72/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

First and foremost, I must state that I feel that this beer is mis-classified. In almost every way, it seems to me to be much more an old english ale than a barleywine.

That being said, and judging in on that basis, I quite liked it

Served at room temperature, this beer tasted of complex carmelized malt and ripe fruit, plums and raisons. Low carbonation made it easy to drink.
Had a LONG LONG finish that never became cloying or distasteful.

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

12ozer purchased from somewhere in MA, probably Yankee Spirits or the Spirit Haus.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" beige head above a dark amber brew. Reasonable lacing for a barleywine. Aroma is malty and slightly fruity, and the alcohol is obvious. Taste is malty, but tends towards a woody taste, and again, the alcohol character is dominant. Mouthfeel is a bit lower due to the harshness of alcohol, even if you should expect it at 11%abv. Drinkability is good, not for sessionability, but for that quest to return to try to find more distinct flavors in the cornucopia found here.

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Photo of RenoZymurgist
4.85/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the best American Barleywine i have had so far. Poured a clear deep amber with a light head that subsided into a thin ring. The aroma was of sweet vanilla balanced with malt and a touch of alcohol. The flavor of this Barleywine is more along the lines of an american take on an english barleywine without getting too far from the hops. Not too sweet but not too bitter either this ale begins with an initial hop bitterness that is immedietly overshadowed by the smooth rich malt sweetness that sticks around to let you know you are drinking a barleywine. Damn smooth i almost want to say that this is the smoothest beer i have tasted with this much alcohol but my memory is a little hazy on the subject of high alcohol ales. I would love to always have a case of this in my cellar but the price and availability in my area makes this nearly impossible. Drink this beer if you have a chance.

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Photo of euskera
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured this one out into a Hennepin glass. Reddish-brown. Nice carbonation but almost no head. Smell has distinct vanilla overtones, along with the candy sugar in an abbey ale. Taste is malty-sweet, plenty of caramel with a bit of orange peel along with the vanilla. Warming to the palate and powerful. At 11%, not all that drinkable except as a solo act. Overall a nice treat, though not something I'd drink all the time. Quite tasty, I would imagine, on a cold winter's night. Another hit from Dogfish Head.

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Photo of Hibernator
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this out of a 12 oz bottle served in a brandy snifter. Packaged in Jan. was notched on the side of the bottle. I took this beer out of the fridge and let sit for a good 15 minutes or so.

The appearance is a nice and attractive copperish-light brown color. White lacing head at the top.

Very intense smell that perfectly blends sweetness, intensity, fruitness and esters.

This is one complex barleywine and unlike any other barleywine that I have sampled yet. There is a sweetness that welcomes your palate on the first take and a quick finish at the end. Maybe it's the oaky flavor that lends itself to the abrupt finish?

Make no mistake about it, there is a vanilla and malt flavor that is present in every tasting. This barleywine is smooth and unique.

Super smooth for a beer that rings in an 11.0% ABV.

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Photo of Sixpack595
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Very nice copper color with a solid head of tan, nearly white foam. Aroma is very good, but a touch cloying. Chocolate and caramel, raisins and plums. Flavor is unpleasantly bitter when cold, but as it warms many other flavors come into play and tone it down. Powdery, chalky sensation and a chocolate flavor lead with a fruity middle and a vanilla touch to the *relatively* dry finish. As I sip this beer I find myself raising numbers in my rating. Theres a ton of complexity in this beer, and every sip seems to add something new. Not the best beer I've had, but a must try.

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Photo of Ieatlambfries
4.19/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The appearance was dark copper orange with a small cream colored head. It left a nice rings of lace as well as ridges of alcohol on the sides of the glass.

The smell was very vanilla like with hints of toffee and spices like cloves and nutmeg. Also a bit of the solvent like alcohol which I knew was sure to rear it's head in the taste as well.

I felt the taste was very close to the smell although a bit smokier. Very vanilla like as well as toffee, nutmeg, clove and roasted wood. In the background loomed the warming alcohol, although I felt it was pretty smooth for 11%.

The mouth feel was creamy to me although maybe it was in my head. I associate all vanilla flavors with creamy. The drinkability was just above average IMO. Although I thought the taste was great, I think it was a bit too sweet and rich for drinking multiple glasses.

Another nice offering from Dogfish Head.

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Photo of cbl2
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Crystal clear copper with nice inch thick white head that takes a while to settle.


Sweet vanilla coke aroma shines through. Sounds disgusting, but oddly it is quite inviting. Can't wait to taste it.


Sweet and viscous on the tongue; has the mouthfeel of a Sauterne dessert wine but with carbonation; finishes with the 11% alcohol apparent as well as the oak promised on the bottle (I never tasted the vanilla, and I suppose that sweetness could be maple). I must say that it is absolutely amazing.

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Photo of Ellbert
4.61/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A hazy orange/red body with a light rust colored head. The head had little lasting time. The ABV could be the cluprite but I have seen other strong ales with better head retention. Other than that the appearance was appealing.

Smell: Rum, raisin, some caramel, and bitter orange peel come to my nose. Very complex. The alcohol gives the aroma a certain kick or punch to it.

Taste: Mellow burnt toffee arrive first camping out on the tongue through the aftertaste. Subtle but flavorful fruit and spice comes into the mix. The hops were there but just added what they needed but did not take the forefront. The malt was the forefront. Alcohol definitely warmed. Excellent!

Mouthfeel: This is very chewy and rich. Definitely what I am looking for in a strong ale. There is enough carbonation but it almost isn't needed with the alcohol warming.

Not too drinkable considering the alcohol. The alcohol is a little rough in this beer which I like but I do not think I could have many of these. Great flavor and brew though.

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Photo of FormatKid
4.8/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I’m always glad to see something new from Dogfish Head at my “local” package stores. I saw this one on the shelves at Bacchus in Chattanooga and quickly grabbed it up.

It pours out into the goblet a murky shade of rusty brown. A small head presents itself but quickly dissipates into a thin rim of foam about the edge of the glass with a greasy rim of suds managing to cling to the top. Sparse streams of tiny carbonation bubbles are evident, and a relief I must add because the label on this brew states it was bottled in 1999.

Alcohol is thickly evident on the nose, somewhat vinous in character. I pick up on grapes, rich malts, a touch of woodiness, and vanilla in the aroma. I have to admit though, the alcohol smell dominates the nose and makes it hard to pick anything else out. As it warms though a very defined flowery smell makes its presence known.

What a glorious brew to taste. Seriously, each sip sends a chain-reaction of vibrant flavors back across my tongue. BIG tart cherry presence in the beginning. This leads back into the wood-enhanced malts accompanied by hints of sharp slices of vanilla flavors. The finish is composed of vinous alcohol flavors along with grape-skins and bitter, perhaps under-ripe dark fruit. The mouthfeel is on the heavy side of a medium brew, hanging onto my palette perfectly to let those flavors erupt over my taste-buds. This beer absolutely abuses my tongue with beautiful vibrant flavors that interweave into possibly one of the BEST beers I’ve ever tasted.

Pure bliss.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
3.45/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This was a nice amber ale with a short head. About what I expected for something as strong as a barleywine.

The aroma was of sweet malt and champange, with some very light citrus thrown in almost as an afterthought.

The taste was pretty good... it was richly malty, a nice bitter foretaste fading to bitterness, champagne and oak.

I wasn't impressed with the mouthfeel though... it was a little cloyingly thick, too much for my tastes. Apart from that, a worthwhile experience, as I am working to try all the Dogfish Head varieties I can get my hands on.

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Photo of jahred
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hmmm - no date stamped or marked on this beer. For something 11% ABV that probably ages well, I'd think a date would be a good idea. Anyway, pours a bright red color with a medium-sized white head. The scent is of very sweet malt, vanilla and oak.

Sweetness continues thru the taste from front to end - a lot of maple notes and definitely some candied sugar. Maple sugar (not sure what that means exactly)? In any case, nicely thick. Though incredibly sweet, the sugary taste isn't overpowering - instead the beer continues to grow on me as it warms. In my last few sips I noticed some cinammon, too.

Quite a different beer/strong ale/barleywine. Kinda makes me think of salt water taffy and candied nuts, and pretty easy to drink for a 11% ABV.

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Photo of meathookjones
3.87/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours and orange amber color with a small light tan head that leaves a nice lacing. This smells of fruits, malt sweetness and a bit of vanilla. There is also some alcohol detectable as well. The taste is of sweet malts like maple syrup and a good amount of hops but not in the usually big hops DFH fashion. A very balanced beer with no trace of the alcohol in the taste. Its body and mouthfeel are a bit on the thin side, which helps the drinkability. This beer could defiantly be dangerous if you had a few bottles as it goes down too easy without the taste of alcohol there to remind you how strong it really is.

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Photo of HappyHourHero
3.26/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 1/03

Light cream and tangy cherry aroma. Airy, oatmeal colored head fades slowly to a murky film leaving a bit of scattered lace. Ruby copper colored beer with a mass of fine bubbles floating to the surface. Some tangy cherry in the flavor, some roasted notes, and a bit of creamy chocolate malt. Solid beer that's smooth and creamy goind down. 11% abv is hardly noticable. It was missing the solid malt core, and creamy maple notes I've noticed before. Still not bad, although I think it was heading the direction of Quelque Chose.

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Immort Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.86 out of 5 based on 2,696 ratings.
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