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December 11, 2003

Immort Ale

Beer of The Night

Immort Ale. Immortal.

Get it? Get it?

Now that the de rigueur recognition of the pun is over with, we can get down to business. And get down to business we will. I've already accidentally deleted this post once, so there will be no mucking about with non-business related items.

Not that the beer had anything to do with the fumble-fingeredness that caused the accidental deletion, I can assure you.


First item on the agenda: What's with the link above? Am I getting a cut of sales now? Have sold out to the man?

Don't I wish. No, I gave Randalls the link rather than Dogfish Head for two reasons. One, Dogfish Head lists all their brews on one page rather than breaking them out into separate sections. I find this practice to be annoying, as the words "Scroll down" beside a link are to me tantamount to saying "Content difficult to locate. Don't you have better things to do?"

Secondly, Randall's bothers to put a picture of the bottle up for all to see, something that Dogfish also did not bother its pretty little head about. Randall's is relatively cheap, at least for an online alcohol retailer, and a damned fast shipper, beating Liquid Solutions by two weeks in the head to head competition I ran prior to the fishing trip. I figure that deserves a link. Besides, something has to go up above. I get hives when I screw with my established patterns.

Second agenda item: Information dump.

The Immortal Ale is a type of beer that most people have not even heard of, much less sampled--the barleywine, so named because it is ostensibly beer brewed to the strength of wine. I've only tasted two that I recall--this one, and Avery's Hog Heaven. Barleywines belong in the Ale family, at the (very) strong end of the spectrum.

Barleywines tend to start out at ten to eleven percent alcohol by volume and move up from there. Essentially, one bottle of Immortal Ale, at 11% abv, is the drinking equivalent of two normal beers. It's the price equivalent of three or four, so you don't have to worry about your teenagers getting their hands on them anytime soon.

There are two types of barleywines; English and American, classified by the national origin of the hops used to brew them. English barleywines use English hops, and American barleywines use, surprise, American hops.

Aside from the hops, there is not a great deal of difference between the two, as they are both ...tawny copper to dark brown in color. They have full body and high residual malty sweetness. The complexity of alcohols and fruity-ester characters are often high...

American barleywines tend to be somewhat hoppier as well, reflecting the current American mania for tossing extra hops at anything that moves.

Tres Agendio Itemeles: The Tashte, er, Taste.

Note to self: One bottle is plenty when reviewing this beer. Two may be overkill. Also, check Spanish translation.

I can say this for the Immortal Ale. It goes really, really well with butter-fried poundcake.

Yes, butter-fried poundcake. It's delicious. Melt, oh, about a half of a stick of butter in a saucepan. Soak both sides of a slice of poundcake in it, then fry until the yellow body of the cake is covered in a delicate brown lace. Serve immediately. Hell, eat it straight out of the pan. That way none of the butter goes to waste.

Take that, Garrett.

The Immort is, fittingly enough, like a Frankenstein's monster version of a brown ale; sweet, cobbled together out of seemingly unmatched parts, strong as hell, and not something to leave alone with a little girl.

For all that, it is nevertheless a live one (It's alive!), with a thin malty sweetness atop distinctly bitter, hoppy notes. There is an initial rush of maple, vanilla and nutmeg flavors fading to a tannic astringency, which is probably the oak note mentioned on the label.

After a couple of the Immort Ales, it's very easy to see why the barleywines are classed as winter warmers. A couple of these, and joining the Polar Bear Club would be simplicity itself.

Update: Another beer of the night, The Double Bastard

The collected Hraka beer posts may be seen here.

Posted by Bigwig at December 11, 2003 12:04 AM | TrackBack
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