Beer Review: Dogfish Head Brewery Immort Ale (2013)


Brewery: Dogfish Head Brewery
Beer: Immort Ale (2013)
Style: English Strong Ale
ABV: 11%
Character: Brewed with maple syrup, peat-smoked barley, juniper berries, and vanilla
Metal Connection: ARCH ENEMY – The Immortal


Dogfish Head Brewery has always been one of the front runners when it comes to creative craft ales. as I stated before. No real introduction is needed unless you’ve been living under a fuckin rock your whole life.

Immort Ale is a beer that has been brewed since 1995, born in their brewpub, and it made it’s way to shelves in 1997. Since then, this limited release has been a widely sought out beer by beer snobs and newbies alike. I for one, am definitely not a newbie to craft beer, but I am when it comes to this particular one. This is the 2013 release of Immort Ale, and my first time ever tasting it. Shame on me. Even though I have been drinking craft beer for around fifteen years, it wasn’t until recently when I got fully involved and learned a lot of things I never knew before, like exactly how important and rare a limited release beer like this is.

This beer is brewed using maple syrup from Red Brook Farm, which is owner, Sam Calagione’s family farm, peat-smoked barley, organic juniper berries, and vanilla. Quite an interesting combination, and it worked rather nicely!

poured into a Rahr & Son’s Cinco De Mayo Stretchy Pants pint glass, Immort Ale has a dark, murky copper color. Crowned by a thin frothy white head, which dissipated rather quickly, leaving a tiny bubbly ring atop the beer. There was a small amount of sticky, soapy lacing. Not much to be desired of really, but this did not take away from my drinking experience of this beer.

Well played with the wording on the label, “Vast in character.” This is definitely that, indeed. The aroma has lots of different notes. Right off the bat, I got a good amount of sweet maple syrup, then hit with a malty, dark fruit mix. There are notes of light oak, and vanilla that show up, but are masked behind the other components. Very complex aroma, cause all the flavors mentioned show up in every sniff of the beer, but for me, my nose focuses on different scents each time. The main constant for me is the maple syrup and dark fruits.

As expected, the taste is just as wild as the nose. This beer is an explosion of flavor. I was a bit afraid of the initial taste, cause maple flavor in a beer is usually overpowering and makes the beer not so desirable. Well my taste buds went all haywire on me, and went completely different than the nose suggested. I picked up flavors of smokiness, and dark fruits mostly up front. The maple syrup, which i was so afraid of is thee, but luckily it is hidden behind the mentioned flavors and a touch of tartness, oak, and malts. There is a nice alcohol burn that lingers in the end. There is a smoothness to this beer, which shines through with  the vanilla flavor at the end as well.

The body is a slightly over-medium thickness. The mouth feel was a bit chewy at times, but not before a silky smoothness coats my throat. The 11% ABV shows up as this beer leaves a good alcohol burn lingering in both the nose and palate.

I really wish I had another bottle of this, as I want to experience the complexity of this beer again. So overall, I will say that I really enjoyed this beer, as I usually do with most Dogfish Head beers. Please do yourself a favor and buy this bottle, if you are not afraid of trying new things. Way to go DFH with yet another masterpiece!

Metal Connection: I know you fellow Metal Heads were probably all thinking I was going to put a song by the Black Metal band, Immortal on here. Well, I was, originally, but then thought that would be way too predictable. I went through my memory of Metal, and found a song called “The Immortal,” which is performed by Swedish Melodic Death Metal outfit, Arch Enemy. This song is the opening track from the band’s third full length album, released in 1999 on Century Media Records. This album was actually my first encounter with the band, as I received this album as a promo from the label to be reviewed in my then, fanzine that I wrote. This was the last album to feature vocalist, Johan Liiva, as now the band is fronted by a Death Metal growling female, Angela Gossow. “The Immortal” is one of my favorite tracks by Arch Enemy, so i am happy to be featuring this song here on the site. I hope, if you have not checked out this band yet for whatever reason, that you will do so now.

Drinking this liquid vision of euphoria,



Author: BeerMetalDude

Owner of Beer Metal Media. Creator/Host of The Beer Metal Show Podcast & It Came from the Cellar Podcast

2 thoughts on “Beer Review: Dogfish Head Brewery Immort Ale (2013)”

  1. I might have to pick up a bottle or two! I’ll admit, i was slightly apprehensive when the word “maple” was thrown into the mix. I didn’t have the best first impression of maple being introduced to craft beer. I tried the brews from Rogue’s Voodoo Doughnut series, and the bacon maple wasn’t very impressive. And this is coming from a chick who loves funky beer!

    Dogfish Head has always been a steady contender in my favorite brew list, my main favs are Positive Contact (still have the vinyl EP that came with it) and Btiches Brew.

    Good call on Arch Enemy too, Angela doesn’t get enough credit!

    1. See, I was the same way. I was hesitant to buy/taste this one cause of the maple, but honestly, it wasn’t that bad, and wasn’t overpowering. As I said, for me, it mostly showed up in the aroma, and the flavors were leaning towards other ingredients. I have always been a fan of Arch Enemy. I love the stuff she has done, but the video I posted is when they had a male singer, only cause of the title of the song. I’m sure Angela will grace my site one day! Cheers!

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