Immortal Beer

Friday, October 24, 2008

If today's beer could make me live forever, I would drink it all the time.

As it is, given the body, booze content and overall power of this beer, it could live forever itself, which is probably why Sam Calagione at DogFish Head brewery in Delaware named this beer Immort.
I poured this thick barleywine into a brandy snifter, and as it poured it left wine-like "legs" down the sides of the glass. The beer was a muted copper color, like an old penny. It didn't produce a very big head, but what it did produce was an eggshell-white foam that dissipated quickly. It did leave small, thing lacing on the glass as I drank it, almost like age rings on a tree could tell how big each quaff was as I drank it down.

Right up front is a heavy caramel sweetness (common to DogFish brews) mixed with an oaky mustiness. These aromas fade into vanilla with an alcohol spice, and a citrusy bitterness. Enticing to be sure.

The taste hovered around Old Ale/Barleywine, which is not hugely different. Big caramel sweetness, maple syrup with a vanilla tinge, oak, and a hint of sourness common to Belgian yeast (which DFH claims the beer has). The beer is supposed to have Juniper berries brewed with it, but I don't really know what those taste like. If that is contributing to the piney/citrusy bitter notes hidden in each sip, then there it is, and it goes well with the overall flavor of the beer.

This is a huge-bodied beer; syrupy and thick, smooth and lightly carbonated. My only problem is that all the oak, vanilla, caramel and maple syrup flavors make for a relatively cloying brew that grew sickly-sweet as it warmed. I would have liked a bit more bitterness to balance and cut the powerful sweetness, but all in all, I enjoyed the beer and found it to be consistent with what is a...consistently great brewery. DFH loves to try weird and challenging stuff, and as a general rule, they're successful.

Lansing Dwellers, you can pick this up at Oades on Clippert and Kalamazoo. Everyone else...check your local beer mecca.


Mike 7:38 PM  

DFH may be my favorite brewery. Lately, 90-Minute Ale is my favorite go-to beer.

(And if you conclude, "Mike, the fact that a 9.0 ABV brew is your "go-to" beer means you have a problem," I really can't argue.)

Smitty 8:15 PM  

We here at ATK would never insist that drinking high-abv beers is "a problem."

Because that would be to admit that we have a problem as well. Which clearly, we don't.

Sopor 11:07 AM  

I know I don't have a problem... ;-)

I haven't had this one, but ti sounds too sweet for me. Not that I wouldn't drink it, but it would have to be a special occasion, cold weather, inside by a fire or something... Thanksgiving or Christmas Eve perhaps?

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