Dogfish Head Craft Brewery Inc.: Immort Ale

After a short hiatus in posts, I am hoping to catch up with the recent beers that I have had the privilege to enjoy. The first being the Immort Ale from Dogfish Head (not currently being distributed in my area, but I was fortunate enough to find it on a trip to Charlotte, NC).

The first thing I noticed is that this beer has little head after the pour . . . I was hoping for a bit more, but you got what you have and move on. The aromas from this beer are comparable in complexity to a fine wine. However, unlike a fine wine, the fruit tones are not accentuated in the Immort Ale, but instead the nose is toasty, filled with notes of caramel, vanilla, and maybe even a tad of oak and smoke.

Turns out that the smoke comes from the peat-smoked barley, something that you likely wont find in more than a small handful of other beers. It is no wonder that this craft beer is a limited release every year. I feel lucky to have got my hands on one! In addition to the smoked barley, Dogfish Head adds in maple syrup, vanilla and organic juniper berries. The vanilla and maple syrup come through nicely at low temperatures. Out of the fridge the Immort Ale is crisp and clean, great for a mild summer day, even if it is on the dark side and a bit high in alcohol (11% alcohol by volume). The smoked-barley malt overpowers the hops; the Immort has 50 IBUs, which is about that (maybe a little high) for your standard IPA. But, the overwhelming amount of quality malts limits the hops effectiveness in this beer. Normally, I would through a fit over this, but, not this time. The smooth character of this beer and its delightful sweetness is second to none (and no this is not because I am in love with anything that Dogfish Head makes). As the Immort Ale warms, the smokey tones become ever more profound, simply adding to the complexity of the beer.

The bottom line: Its Dogfish Head . . . do you even have to ask!?


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