Henry Deltoid’s all confused this week. What’s got him all topsy turvy (or should that be tipsy turvy)? Dogfish Head’s “Worldwide Stout” Imperial Stout, that’s what…
15 – 20% ABV (actual is unknown) – 70 IBU
“Holy JESUS. What is that? What the FUCK is that? WHAT IS THAT?” If you possess basic knowledge of movie classics you would think R. Lee Ermy as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman spoke those words in “Full Metal Jacket” when he discovered a donut hidden in Private “Pyle’s” footlocker. And you’d be right. But you would also be right if you guessed those words came from me after I felt a heavy and soothing buzz by the time I was about 85% finished drinking one of Dogfish Head’s “Worldwide Stout” beers. It was also my reaction when I saw the price tag (US$10 for one 12 ounce bottle). This is a great brew in many respects, a disappointing brew in some respects, and therefore an overall strange brew that I struggle to recommend due to the price, but in the end recommend due to the alcohol content. The flavor is quite good, too.
This is dark chocolate in color, and almost black. There is very little head here. I realized the head was weak when I started pouring it, so I viciously ramped up the aggression with my pour, sort of like how I need to angrily slap my little bald Deltoid around like an angry housewife wearing curlers in order to squeeze the filling out of my cannoli when I am intoxicated. But still I was left with a very thin head about the thickness of a pencil, loose with large bath bubbles, and caramel in color. It died quickly. Christ, it didn’t even last as long as a Klansman at a DMX concert.
The odor is strong and wonderful. Sherry is the predominant odor (and flavor) here, and it contains the scent of malt, cooked barley, and alcohol. As soon as I snapped the top off this bottle I could smell it. I expected something thick, chewy, and for sipping only. I was wrong. This is where it got weird. The flavor and feel is noticeably watery and the liquid is very drinkable. Carbonation is medium-low and just right. And the thin lacing starts off weak and disappears… like tears… in rain… time to die. It was also somewhat refreshing, which is a pleasing characteristic that I have never experienced with a stout. None of this is bad at all, but with an alcohol content that could be up to 20% I was very surprised. I removed a massive bra and instead of gazing upon huge, round jugs I was presented with small, cute, perky tits. Awwwwww!
The flavor profiles are heavy with sherry and malt. It swirls with cocoa, mocha, barley, caramel, and brandy. With an IBU of 70 the lack of bitterness makes it a head-scratcher. It’s delicious and odd because of how drinkable it is. The flavor of alcohol is so well hidden I would think it contains no more than 10%. But the alcohol content is a fucking ninja, believe you me. It’s amazing. I was almost finished with one bottle, on a full stomach, and in a flash I felt giddy, warm, extremely relaxed and happily dizzy. For me it was the perfect beer buzz. I suppose that is where the money went when I dropped $20 for two bottles (plus egregious sales tax and alcohol tax because the state of Illinois is one giant sequined FIST up my fucking ASS).
The aftertaste is somewhat disappointing. It leaves the taste of coffee, tanginess, and bitterness which is good, but it leaves the mouth quite sticky and thirsty, which is uncomfortable. It doesn’t ruin the beer but detracts slightly from the overall experience of imbibing it.
For an extreme imperial stout I recommend this only due to the alcohol content. If flavor is your thing, and you are not seeking a wallop of a buzz, then I recommend Oskar Blues’s “Ten Fidy”, or Dogfish Head’s “Miles Davis Bitches Brew”. Both are better in flavor and relatively high in alcohol, anyway. If flavor is your thing and you still want a strong buzz then I recommend Uinta’s “Labyrinth Black Ale”. I wish the price wasn’t so high on this one. It’s not worthy of that price for repeat consumption. But it’s really hard for someone like me who loves to be sloshed to turn down a beer like this. And now it’s time to get brutally savage and forceful with my purple-headed cannoli. That icing sure isn’t going to squeeze itself out.