I was scanning the aisles in my local bottle shop and happened upon this offering from Dogfish Head. I didn’t know too much about it going in, but it looked like something that would be interesting to try.
Beer Name: Immort Ale
Brewer: Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Style: Strong Ale
Description: Per the label, a “full-bodied ale (that) reveals interwoven notes of maple, vanilla & oak.” After giving it a few hours in the beer fridge, I poured the 12 oz. bottle into a snifter glass. The price for the bottle was getting into the higher end of things at $4.49 for 12 oz.
Appearance: The body was a murky brownish color that had a golden/red shine to it. You could see through to the other side of the glass, but just barely. A somewhat vigorous pour produced a half-finger white head that pretty quickly faded to no more than some lacing on the sides.
Smell: Oaky and a little bit malty. There was also a definite sweetness, though I thought it was more along the lines of cherries or dark fruit than maple at this stage.
Taste: Started out oaky and just a little bit sweet. Transitioned to more of a maple syrup sweetness with a hint of vanilla mid sip before the oak influence picked up at the end. The finish also took on a smokiness that I found a bit surprising. Neither the oak or the smoke were overly intense on their own, but in conjunction they brought the beer to a rather distinct ending. Liking this beer (or not) comes down to how you feel about this flavor combo as it is the most dominant and lasting taste.
Mouthfeel: Thick and smooth, they were definitely right in calling this a full-bodied beverage. The carbonation level was slightly less than moderate. I noticed that at warmer temperatures the front part of the sip ended up getting a bit foamy in my mouth. I found this a bit disappointing as it took away from the tastes I tended to prefer and brought more attention to the ones on the end that I did not.
Hype Factor: No hype really, though I was interested in trying this after having had good experiences with some of Dogfish Head’s other higher end singles.
Overall: From reading the full description on the label, I am inclined to say that the brewers got what they wanted to out of this beer. Unfortunately for me, what they wanted here and what tastes I like in a beer did not coincide this time. I think with a little less oak and none of the smoke I would have enjoyed this more. To play off the name, I am glad I tried this but there will be only one (for me anyway).