Saturday, August 5, 2017

Dogfish Head Oak-Aged Vanilla World Wide Stout

The Stats
Style: Imperial Stout
ABV: 16-17.5%
Current Ratings...
- Beer Advocate: 4.5/10
- RateBeer: N/A
- Untappd: 4.41/5

"Brewed with a ridiculous amount of barley, we've now taken this Dogfish Head classic and aged it on oak with real vanilla beans! With a little tender love and care we foster this beer from smooth, sweet wort into the big, bad blackend stout it always longed to be. Its bold, port-like complexity goes great with (or as) dessert."

Pours pitch black with not even a hint of brown or red on the edges. It poured with barely any head at all.

The nose is more complex that the standard World Wide Stout. Big vanilla, chocolate, licorice, oak, char, tobacco, and a good amount of refined alcohol. It's complex, but also calm and smooth.

The taste is just as decadent as the nose, and that was a hard act to follow. The vanilla is at the forefront and it is not artificial tasting at all. Some vanilla stouts tend to taste like overly sweet vanilla extract, but this is spot-on. Lots of char and tobacco from the barrel is almost like sticking your head in a BBQ pit and it even has that touch of smoke to it. Digging deeper I find characteristics of great Russian Imperial Stouts with dark fruits and cherry complimenting the other flavors. More dessert-like flavors start to shine like caramel and toffee, but then it goes switches to dark fruits with raisins and figs. The alcohol taste is here, but is much more subdued than the base beer probably thanks to the overload of sweeter flavors. This is just excellent.

Mouthfeel is thick without being chewy or cloying. The abv creates a warming sensation on each sip and it leaves a residual stickiness in its wake. Obviously it's a sipper, but also surprisingly not too intense.

After World Wide Stout, I expected more of the same, but with vanilla thrown in. I am so happy to be proven wrong. The sheer amount of flavors in this will make your head spin and the booze factor is not as high as the base beer. If this was produced by a smaller microbrewery, then people would be trading their 401K's for it. Luckily for you, it is probably sitting on your local shelf, so go get it now! If they ever put this into a bourbon barrel, then (paraphrasing Greg Giraldo) I would probably spill more seed than Muhammad Ali at a bird feeder.


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