Sunday, September 15, 2013

Dogfish Head World Wide Stout (2009 vintage)

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Chad9976 (966) - Albany, New York, USA - SEP 15, 2013

I poured a 12oz bottle into the official Dogfish Head goblet. It was bottled on 11/17/2009. It costs $9.99 ($0.83 per ounce).

Appearance: Opaque black with no visible carbonation. Initially forms a small, dark tan, foamy head. It lingers for a little while but eventually disappears.

Smell: A vinous aroma of black grape, licorice, and mineral spirits. Sweet, though.

Taste: It’s always interesting coming back to certain beers after a long lull. The last time I had Dogfish Head World Wide Stout was in 2010 from a bottle that had the exact same date on it as the one I have now. In my original review, I remarked that the beer was intense and boozy, but I still liked it. Trying it again with nearly four years of age under its belt, it’s a lot different, yet still the same beer. It’s smoother and sweeter - it drinks like a liqueur rather than an imperial stout.

A fresh bottle tends to be very bitter to balance out the "ridiculous amount of barley" it’s brewed with. There isn’t much hop presence in this vintage, though. The hops have faded giving way to the malty base with toffee as the most prominent flavor. Rich and sweet like a candy bar, plus a strong presence of black grape concentrate. Black licorice and dark chocolate are also present, but not nearly as strong and I don’t get much roasted barley flavor. Alcohol is of course a major player, imparting a strong (but gentle) warmth that complements the base brew perfectly. I can’t imagine one without the other. This is a great-tasting beer, but not to the point of being mind-blowing or world class just because it’s extreme.

Drinkability: When you’re about to crack open an 18% ABV beer, you tend to have some apprehension. And while I was a bit nervous about drinking an entire bottle of Dogfish Head World Wide Stout myself, all fears were erased just a few swigs in. The alcohol was prominent, but not distracting or abrasive. The texture is amazingly smooth - almost creamy - with a soft, calm, comfortable presence in the mouth. It leaves an aftertaste of toffee and cola, though there’s no dry sensation, nor is it cloying. A sipping beer for sure, but not an intimidating one. 
Grade: 9/10
NOTE: Read and watch my 2010 review of this exact same vintage here:

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