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
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
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.