So here it is, my review of Dogfish Head's Immort Ale aged 11 months (bottled 10/26/2010)
Beer: Immort Ale
Style: English Strong Ale
Alcohol By Volume: 11%
Dogfish Head's Immort Ale is brewed with maple syrup from Sam Calagione's family farm in massachusetts. It's also brewed with vanilla and aged in oak tanks at the brewery.
This is a serious beer. 11% is serious... Seriously. I poured this brew into an english style pint glass. I poured it pretty hard as I was curious about what kind of head I would get on a beer that has been in my fridge for nearly a year. I was a bit disappointed with the amount of head I got which was pretty much zero. Of course this could have everything to do with the fact that its been aged for a year and NOT the beer if it had been poured fresh. I guess Ill just have to seek out a fresh one and see what happens. Anyway, despite the lack of significant head, this beer had some other serious offers...
Aroma. This brew is just fantastic in your nose holes. Don't snort it or anything, that would probably sting a bit. But, when you pour this beer take a good moment to enjoy the aroma. Very sweet (to be honest, it smells a bit like a good bourbon), you can definitely smell the maple and the vanilla working together. Harmoniously I must say. There was quite a "boozey" sent as well but, again that could be the aging. Let me stress that the "boozeyness" does NOT detract from the aroma of this beer.
Immort Ale's flavor upon first taste, seems very complex. However, as I continued it simplified. Very sweet, very earthy, very pleasant. As I slowly drank this brew and allowed it to warm up a little in my glass. It became very simple. The Maple is there, as is the vanillia and I could really taste the oak which, was very pleasant.
I REALLY enjoyed this beer. My only complaint is that the 11% ABV might have taken away from the flavors a bit but, thats just Dogfish Head. They brew strong beers.
If you can find this brew right now, grab a six pack and set one aside for a few months. You won't regret it. If anybody has a fresh one nearby that they might want to compare notes on, let me know. I'd love to know how different an experience a fresh one is to my aged version.
Drink craft beer!