In the past couple years, I’ve been exposed to Dogfish’s higher gravity beers, mostly by luck. I had my first World Wide Stout in 2010 and I’ve got a bottle of that sitting in my pantry to have later this month. Since having WWS, I’ve had a sneaking suspicion that their collection of “mass market” beers are based off a similar recipe, so to speak. After having the Immort Ale, it confirmed my theory a little more. At least, to my palate.
The best way to describe this is starting at the top with World Wide Stout, which from what I remember is a pretty serious kick in the crotch kind of stout. The one I had was ~18% ABV with great variety of flavors. In descending order, this is how I feel some of these higher gravity beers taste:
World Wide Stout —> Life and Limb —> Immort Ale
I put them in this order because I feel like the Life and Limb is a lighter version of the WWS and the Immort is a lighter version of Life and Limb. I use “light” in loose terms considering these are all 10% or above ABV.
The theme of the Immort was this: it’s 11% ABV and you’d never know it. The taste was great with definite aspects of vanilla, oak and even a kind of smokey flavor. I feel like you could get a whiff of the alcohol in the smell, but hardly. I couldn’t taste the maple Dogfish advertises on the bottle, but I imagine that helps with the fact it doesn’t taste like something so strong.
This is something I think Dogfish is among the best at – even when their beer has higher levels of alcohol, you can rarely tell. Their brews usually have so many other flavors going for it you wouldn’t know. The World Wide Stout is the hardest of these bunch of do just that – mask the alcohol – but it’s about as good as it’ll get at doing that. The Immort wasn’t an exception.