(I brought back a ton of amazing Dogfish Head beer from a visit this weekend, so this is the first of our multi-part series.)
I'm not expert on Delaware's local polities, but I'm pretty sure that Dogfish Head had more people in its tasting room last Saturday than the town it's in (Milton, Delaware) has voters. (For the record, Milton was a wonderfully hospitable little town, and every person I ran into was automatically added to my list of favorite people, bumping off many close friends and family. Visit Milton. Trust me).
Today's beer is the Immort Ale, an English Strong Ale that weighs in at a hefty 11% ABV - more of a Churchill than a Cleese.
It pours out with a very dark maroon head - a regal maroon, although I may just be thinking in Britishisms now - but little to no volume to it. Although my nose was several decimeters away - they switched to the metric system, right? - I immediately caught strong notes of pine or oak, like a hound on the moore, sniffing out the boozy fox. A closer whiff gives my olfactory senses a barley-wine hue, the same aroma one would get from Admiral Trafalgar's quarters after he'd broken into the port barrels.
Finally, the first sip. By George, this is a strong quaff! I'm not quite sure where to begin. The mouthfeel is severely dry, reminding me of the Iron Lady. It almost burns a little on the way down. There are hints of cherry, of vanilla, all punctuated by a somewhat sandy feel.
This definitely tastes like a very approachable barley wine. If I were going to intro some chap or lassie to the barley wine genre, I'd certainly start them off with one of these. Do you like prunes? You'll love this. This is like prunes, but you have to keep them away from grandma.
There's a lot left in this pint. Cheers!