Immort Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

very good
2,721 Ratings
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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Ratings: 2,721 |  Reviews: 1,183
Photo of BuffaloTapHugger
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark "shoe leather brown" in color, fast dissipating head and no lacing to be found. This beer is definitely alive though.

S: Lots of yeast, sugary senses of blackberry.

T: Very sweet, cloves in the front...some of that vanilla in the back.

M: Its thick and chewy. Sticky on the palate, think sugar. ABV is noticeable.

D: If you're in to sweet beers, THIS is the beer for you. I much prefer the more american style of the strong ale with more hop presence (if that makes any sense). A stellar sipper to end the night makes the drinkability go up a notch. Recommended to those who like the yeast and that there sugar.

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Photo of allergictomacros
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chill hazed ruby with a good head of tan foam. Aroma is fruity with grapes, herbs, molasses. Very sweet, but well balanced with a solid hop bitterness and deep maltiness. Some tartness up front matches well with a light fruitiness and some oaky flavours. Hints of honey, herbs and dark sugars. Lots of complex mini-flavours I can't really place. Lasting impressions are of a sweet, grape-like flavour with lots of depth and balance.

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Photo of Amalak
4.16/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Gorgeous looking beer: muddy brown, bubbly at first but tempers quickly. Good foamy head with lacing.

S- Malty with a hint of vanilla.

T-Smokey, oak-barrel taste with a slight hint of vanilla. Very complex tasting beer, which can seem a bit too intense, but there's no questioning this is a high quality beer. (out of bottle)

Previous review (off cask)...not so good: 3/3/3/3/2.5
At Mugs Ale House on Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn they had a tasting with a cask of this brew. To be honest, I wasn't in love with this brew. It had a rust/copper color and a very alcohol scent.

It's very acidic and bitter...kind of tastes like a sweet tart was dropped in it, or something. Unique taste but the flavor was just too intense.

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Photo of Yetiman420
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 2008H and consumed 2/09.

Red brown with thin head into a standard pint glass.

Massive aroma. Oak, maple, and I'll introduce a new word - figiness. Also a hint of the 11% alcohol is present.

Full flavor and mouthfeel. I was concerned the ripeness would impact drinkability but the beer becomes smoother or my tastebuds are getting numb.

Really enjoying the balance of oak with the subtle flavors - none too strong to pick out.

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Photo of becktone
4.53/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes 12-4-08

Eye: Another nice looking brew from Dogfish Head. Muddy tan brown in color, much like the appearance of Raison D'Etre. Same red color accented by orange and yellow hues when light traverses through it. Head is creamy, a tad off white, with nice retention and formation. Lacing is pretty much the same as D'Etre, rings with sheets, though the sheets are a bit thicker, more like a wall. Nice.

Nose: Strong aroma fills the room once this brew has been decanted. Huge notes of oak and alcohol. Upon closer inspection, oak and alcohol are very dominant in the aroma of this beer. Nice smooth aroma in this beer. I'm thinking toasted oats here...The label states maple, vanilla, and oak. I can't get anything from vanilla or maple in the aroma, wait just got the vanilla, very subtle much like the vanilla tones one gets from a spiced rum...mmmm Sailor Jerry's. Now that I'm thinking of Sailor Jerry's, this beer shares some similar aromatic qualities with it...really just the vanilla tones, oak and alcohol. Really enjoy the way this one hits the nose. Finally, just got some maple too, light notes dancing around the vanilla.

Tongue: Woody, earthy, real oaken character comes through, though the oak has been smoked in this case. Alcohol is evident, yet adds balance to this brew. This is prolly one of the first times that a beer has been forward enough to clear my sinuses. Sure I've had stronger beers, but just the way the alcohol is present in this one seems to do it. Warming sensations go from the back of my throat up to my nasal canal. The beer also warms the stomach as it hits it. This is one to be drinking on a cold winter morning, and mayhaps I'll be buying that next time I want to warm up! Vanilla and maple are in here too, though its hard to describe where, flavors just seem to play around everywhere. I first got vanilla whilst the beer was still in the mouth, then swallowed it and maple came out to play with vanilla, intermingling. This is a complex beer full of flavor that I'll definitely be giving another go round at.

Feel and Drinkability: Carbonation is low and the beer is smooth and creamy in the mouth. As afore mentioned it warms the belly and clears my sinuses (maybe I'ts just me). Body is what I'd say is medium. Not as heavy or as syrupy as the Etre. For that I am glad, it makes it more drinkable in my opinion. Carbonation is low as befits a beer of this type. For me this is an easy drinking beer, sure were I to try to session it I'd get fucked up, but that doesn't mean that its any less drinkable. I really enjoy this beer, especially now in the fall/winter. I think its perfect for this time of year, not sure how I'd react to this one in the middle of the summer. I think that this one has pretty much everything going for it. Give it a try, I know I'll be coming back to it before too long, especially because I see this one to have a warming quality (which is perfect for the now frigid temperatures) that many so called "winter warmers" don't have.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into snifter.

Pours clear brown with a moderate off-white head that quickly dissipates.

Aroma is maple, dark fruit, alcohol, a definite tart berry note from the juniper berries, lesser notes include bourbon, vanilla.

Taste is quite complex - sweet but slightly sharp to begin, with a rich, slightly dry sweetness that hints of caramel malt and maple and has definite peaty, smoky note. The smoky peat starts to emerge more, coupled with a big vanilla and rich maple note and a hint of clean, fruity tartness from the berries. The finish is a large dose of the smokey peat that fades away to leave the underlying maple and caramel sweetness sitting on the palate.

Mouthfeel is mildly carbonated, with a medium-full body.

Delicious beer, one of my favorite barley wines. Perfect balance without using a heavy hop content.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
3.02/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed 8/16/2007 (bottle):

Pours a reddish brown color. Very little head, yellowish-white, fine bubbles. Dark fruit, dark woody. Smell of medicine bandage. Alcoholy. Not too strong. That same mediciney bandage taste. Similar taste as the aroma. Dark fruit. Smooth, not like other barley wines I've had.

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

12oz 2008 bottle poured into a large snifter. I wanted to age this longer but could not resist it any longer. This is a little shy of 1 year old.

A- When I first picked this up out the fridge, there was a lot of sediment floating so I let that settle before pouring. Once in the glass immort had a ruby red appearance almost raspberry like. Up to light it posessed a dark orange color. I've had this a few times and it was always dead looking(hence the name) but not this time. Although I did not get a head persay i saw a nice patch work of white/vanilla foam from alot of small bubbles. Nice lacing. Even with the careful pour I had sediment floating around, oh well.

S- Even after almost a year down below this still smells boozy with a hard alcohol like smell. This reminds me of a watered down bottle of booze on first sniffs. Some aging has really brought out the other flavors more including the maple syrup, juniper berries and some vanilla. hopefully that comes out more in the taste. On top of that the smokiness from the peat malt is underneath it all with some caramel and oak from the barrel. Very full aroma that comands your attention

T- The boozy taste in this is still a factor after almost a year. Maybe it needs another year but this is a strong ale after all so it's expected. The main flavors maple syrup and juniper berries are there with the vanilla not coming through as well as hoped. A lot of the smokey malts used are in the taste as well playing well with the oak giving another texture to this ale. The caramel comes out with some warming as well as more alcohol.

M- Very thick and luscious with strong alcohol tones coming from all angles. Some carbonation and not a trace of bitterness on the mouth. It's all sweet with alcohol. Are hops used in this? A nice warmth comes to my body after 7oz or so. Leaves a nice coating on the mouth.

D- Might be a chore for some to drink. Not me though. I will be keeping this in the rotation and cracking one every six months or so. I think this beer has some legs to it. The alcohol is not as hidden as in other DFH offerings but you cant win them all can you. This is one for the colder months though. Would of liked to see more of the advertised flavors be a little more dominate.

Altogether another good one from Delaware

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Photo of bigkahunas4
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my oversized DFH snifter. Body was a rich dark ruby with a sand colored head. Head settled to an active film, with large bubbles clinging to the sides. Brew really clung to the sides of the glass - great lacing. Better head retention was the only thing keeping this from a 5.

Aroma is very full, with a lot going on. Big wet fruit, a light smoked wood, leaving a burning alcohol sensation on the nose. An aroma not to mess with - by far the fiercest I've come across.

Brew enters the mouth notably thick and chewy. A subtle smokiness evolves into a breadiness upfront. Some caramel and wood characters come about with some dryness. Finish is alcohol and a mild vanilla graininess.

The aroma is the show with this one, although it serves as a solid sipper. A bit too boozey.

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Photo of cvfish
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured brown with ruby highlights, that produced a tan head that retained ok and left a decent lace

S - Mostly smelled malts, some sweet maple notes

T - Good malty body, sweet vanilla and maple syrup, and slight hoppy bitterness

M - Moderate to heavy syrup-like body, slight carbonation

D - This might not be everyone's cup of tea,, but it was mine. The taste of this beer phenomenal, I wish I could get it here

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Photo of Enola
3.46/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A nice reddish orange brew with a decent head and active carbonation. The smell is grapefruit and lemons. This beer has been aging for a couple years and is still pretty sharp. The ABV really shows and I wouldn't try to drink more than one at a sitting. A tad overkill as is the case sometimes with DFH's bigger beers.

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Photo of marvin213
3.07/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

The beer looks to me like brand new 2-cycle engine oil--not really black, but a light brown to amber haze. Light carbonation provides a minimal head at only the glass's edge. Lacing remains, but only so much as I'd expect from an 11%er.

Smell is foresty--like a wet oak tree w/ a vanilla bean taped to it. W/o the vanilla bean, the smell might be more indicative of the aforementioned petrochemical that originates below the tree.

The taste helped reveal the maple to me. Again I sense wet oak with condensation or something else reminiscent of smoke. It's almost like a lightly smoked, sweet, yet strong beer. Though not among my favorite DFH, it definitely has the unique character I have come to expect from that brewery. Lacing/head improves as I continue to taste. It's like the oak still needs more help from the maple, and the vanilla manifests only in the smell.

I like the mouthfeel of a double digit ABV beer. This ain't your Myrtle Beach Butt Light.
Still, the wet oak predominates. Missing is the aftertaste I yearn for from a vanilla/maple infested beer. I feel the beer, swallow, and...wet oak. Perhaps the more appropriate connotation would be wet bark.

This used to be on tap here in Charlotte at the Mellow Mushroom. No wonder I didn't really remember it--you'd never want two in a row! Unlike the 120 where you want another one but know you shouldn't or the Pesche where it's yummy without a kick, this beer just simply ain't THAT good to be THAT drinkable. As with all the DFH beers, however, I like it b/c it's got the audacity to be genuinely unique.

Worth a try--certainly--and I'm sure I'll try more. Still, it fails to provide the "I gotta get another one" that I've come to expect from big-time beers worthy of significant BA attention.

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Photo of jjanega08
3.56/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A= deep red color almost brown with absolutely no head to speak of... I was really disappointing with the head on this one it poured out like dark water.
S= very unexpected based off the looks. It smells very much like a creamy stout. milky and chocolaty. pretty delicious but unexpected. some vanilla. Was this beer barrel aged?
T= Sweet! maple and vanilla come through the most. There's a chocolate bite at the end. Very unique for the style. Just like a barrel aged stout.
M= Low carbonation. almost none to speak of. thick and syrupy tasting
D= hmmm decent beer but as far as drinkability it's average. High ABV and thick MF... Huge thanks to JohnGalt1 for throwing this one in as an extra. Great trader

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Photo of clayrock81
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter for a dark brown body with one-finger tan head that left lace patches everywhere. A smoky and roasted malt presence is noticeable in the aroma, along with some sweet malts smells. Thick and full-bodied, viscous even to the degree of sticky and syrupy. Roasted, toasted, carame, burnt chocolate malt sensations hit my tongue as it passes for a sweet and perplexing taste and the minor hop presence balances it out for a drying backbite. I had no idea this beer was 11% ABV until I saw the label; they hid it that well. This a definite sipper that smoothes out even more as it warms.

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Photo of Beejay
3.76/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep reddish brown. Slightly cloudy. nice cappuccino foam on there..

S: Hoppy, floral notes.. yeasty.

T: Mmmmm.. that's good brew.. sweet.. malty yeasty.. Not the strong hop note that is in the smell.. Deep with very subtle spice notes.. Just a hint of hops at the end.

M: Slightly syrupy..

D: yum yum yum yum .... This is surprisingly smooth for the alc content.. (11%) It would be hard to to do a whole night of these, but that's because you'd pass out before the sixer was gone. Say hello to a sharpie phallic on your face!

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Photo of dogfishandi
4.09/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

saw this little gem at my local beer store and had to pick it up just cause the name. i had no idea what to expect other than its gonna be high in alchol. this beer pours a very clear amber brown color. very little head that went away almost instantly. minimal carbonation, which is prolly a good thing for this beer. the smell is pretty pleasent, smells like a good whiskey, lots of alcohol, some wood, or even smoked wood, malts, oak, and maybe a little maple syrup. the taste is very good, very very complex. and it gets so much better as it gets warmer. lots of the oak upfront, a heavy malt presence, a pleasent alcohol taste, and a little bit of maple syrup. there so much more goin on here that i cant put any words on. the mouthfeel is fairly heavy. dogfish head brings it everytime, and this is no exception. i loved this one so much i put some away in the cellar. i think this one will age beautifully. this beer almost reminds me of a barlywine.

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

Poured brown color with average rocky light brown head that diminished slowly with good lacing.

Complex aroma of hop, oak and sweet.

Flavor was a heavy sweet with a heavy sweet finish of long duration.

Medium to full body with syrupy texture and small alcohol finish.

Solid drinkable beer.

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Photo of HumulusLupuLust
4.78/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz.-2008D (april) into snifter.

I) Ruby red/brown, low head that remained throughout, tiny setiment present.
II)Oak, bourbon up front. horseblanket/baseball glove leather smell. musty (maybe the aging?), peaty and smokey-thick, but nice; a little maple syrup and a little alcohol in equal proportions. everything balanced, more oak than anything.
III)First mouthful was warm malty heaven. nice and bubbly. Big mouthfeel, balancing out well with age. Not too oaky, but big part of this beer's profile. the juniper is a nice additive that is present underneath. together with the oak, this beer is almost has a cedar character. more like a nice warm bourbon than session beer.

Overall, this is a favorite of mine, hence the aging and great review and all. Love the Dogfish carbonation and experimentation. complexity is the name of the game. set this one back for at least a year. i've been aging these guys back since 06. give it a year, trust me. two is better:)

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Photo of hophead247
4.57/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle...Slightly sweet aroma, with hints of alcohol and maple syrup. Pours a clear dark ruby red, with a quickly fading tan head. The head starts strong, then fades to a dusting and a ring around the edge of the glass. Wow, this was a very interesting beer flavor wise. There is a strong smokey flavor, with some sweetness biting at the edge of it. That smoke flavor goes great with the vanilla flavor, the two together are magic I tell you. Definately one Dogfish beer that I will enjoy all the time

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

Poured from the bottle a cloudy rusty brown with two fingers of rich creamy tan head.

Aroma of big malts, caramel, toffee, tea, and rubber gloves.

The taste is also big and malty with vanilla, tea, honey, bitter hops, and booze. It's hard to hide 11% alcohol. A nice caramel finish with each sip.

Medium bodied, oily, and moderately carbonated.

This will never be confused with a sessionable beer.

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Photo of Kendo
3.31/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottled 4-9-07, consumed 1-24-09.

A: Poured into a stemless red wine glass that will have to substitute for a snifter. Body is murky brown that appears orange-ish when backlit. Small whitish head that settles quickly to a thin film. No lace.

S: Bourbony booze, oak, smoked peat and maple syrup. Becomes more maple syrupy as it warms. Smokiness and booze is prevalent.

T: First impression: booze and oak and smoke. And the hot finish down the gulley. I wrote "Burnt oak?" and that more or less sums it up nicely. Imagine taking a whiskey barrel and charring it, then aging beer in that and you get the idea. . . . There's some vanilla and maybe some burnt brown sugary malt. Predominantly about booze and smoke. "Too smoky" I wrote, in fact. Does finish with a dry woody bitterness to it that cuts the sweeter tendencies somewhat.

M: Medium-to-heavy in heft. Pretty smooth, however.

D: Not so good. Definitely a sipper.

Notes: Couldn't finish it. Too strong and too smoky. Interesting, yes, but not for me -- even on a very cold winter night. But if you like whiskey/scotch. . . this would probably be an enjoyable experience.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.46/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up almost 8 months ago, not sure of the bottling date though. Pours a gorgeous rusted burgundy/ruby, an exotic reddish-brown beauty with a supremely creamy head that remains strong for the duration and leaves tons of lace as it drops. Boy oh boy, I wonder if there's a better-looking beer out

Well, the label doesn't lie, there's oak, vanilla and maple here, in that order. And that's just the aroma. Has a boozy edge, just a bit more than desired, but not enough to detract, and there's an overall candy-like sweetness to the aroma.

Woody and earthy elements win out over the sweet ones in the flavor--this is complex, with a ton of stuff happening, all of it good. There's oak, vanilla and maple, obviously, but also notes of tobacco, molasses, mineral, toffee and an excellent warmth from the alcohol. For 11% alcohol I'd say they got it just right--not too overbearing, and rather adding to the character of the beer. Alcohol warmth, wood and vanilla linger in the finish.

Mouth is wonderfully creamy but not as thick as expected. It's actually super-soft and buoyant. So very little weight in the mouth and not sticky, it's a unique texture that works well with the depth of flavor. It even overshadows the wonderful flavor.

Yep, it's complex. One bottle will do for now, but I found it immensely drinkable. What does that mean anyway? Of course I'm not going to session it, but I'd rather have one of these than 5 boring brown ales or something. Unfortunately, I only grabbed one, and will have to correct that error next visit to the local DFH supplier. Tremendous stuff, one of DFH's best.

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Photo of Bung
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy copper pour, slightish white head that quickly dissappated. Very malty aromas, with maybe some cherry also. Pretty sweet maltiness, raisins, maple, apple cinnamon waffle. A stickiness to it, but I would call it medium bodied. Mild spiciness through the finish with only a bit of tart and carbon. Not usually a huge barleywine fan, which some consider this, but this was pretty good. For a strong ale, also pretty good and worth trying.

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Photo of SLeffler27
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A slightly hazy, rich, dark red plum beer. The one-finger of foam quickly drops to a thin layer of fine lace and a film with legs in the snifter glass.

Green apple and tart cherries are followed by sweet maltiness and light astringency.

The mild acidity and sweetness are followed by strong bitterness in the finish which lingers with vanilla, strong alcohol and light maple syrup.

Immort Ale is a full-bodied, syrupy brew with lively carbonation. However, the alcohol helps cleanse at the finish of each sip.

This one can be a holiday treat, well worth contemplation with good friends. Just beware the high alcohol content is lurking throughout.

Date consumed: 16 July 2008

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Photo of BeTheBall
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep ruby color with a big, soft head, which lasted for quite some time. Some lacing on the glass. My first smell resulted in huge oak. Taste up front was of the oak, but as the beer made it's way to the back of the tongue, vanilla came through nicely. Very rich and deep flavor. Thick and wholesome mouthfeel. Not sure if drinkability is even a topic for an 11% beer, but it is ery smooth and easy to drink for such a strong one. That said, I would not drink more than one as a treat.

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Immort Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.86 out of 5 based on 2,721 ratings.
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