Name: Dogfish Head World Wide Stout
Brewery: Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Country of Origin: United States
City & State: Milton, DE
Style: American Double / Imperial Stout
Alcohol Content (ABV): 18.00%
First Brewed: 1999
World Wide Stout pours black with a hint of ruby and little foam. Dried fruit and a waft of warming alcohol bursts from the glass. Roasted malt, some licorice and booze-soaked raisins in the palate. Portlike with a tart, warming porter like finish.
This beer is really hard to find, but my buddy Chris Gilmore found it for me at a local grocery store. The grocery store is actually across the street from my cousin’s house, but isn’t far for me to drive for a good bottle of beer. This is just that… a GREAT bottle of beer. This is our last bottle from Dogfish Head, and while I like nearly everything they release, this is one of their most anticipated releases. This bottle once held the record for the strongest beer in the world, and while the list that has since surpassed it, I can’t wait to smell and taste this release. Chris said, when he bought this nearly a year ago, that it was too “hot,” meaning it needed some age to mellow out. I couldn’t wait any longer! I had a rough day at work, so hopefully this will calm my nerves a little bit.
If this beer was once the strongest beer in the world, I would hate to see the look on those brewmasters’ faces now with the alcohol reaching nearly 70% today. I couldn’t enjoy a beer with that high an ABV, but it’s fun to think about just how high we can go. Surely science will put a limit on that sooner or later. Regardless, this was once the highest percentage beer in the world. THAT is something worth writing home about. One of these days I will actually write a letter and mail it to my mom. See what I did there? Cheers!
In the Glass: This beer is 18%. Think about that for a second… 18%. This beer once held the record for the highest ABV beer in the world. That record has since been demolished, but still fun to think that I am drinking a beer that once held that title. I would still love to try something near the top, but the price for those beers is outrageous and the beer would be so gross I would be mad I spent the money. I am sure this one is good, though.
Our bottle is from 2009, so it has had nearly 5 years to age. I will say the beer produced a nice tan head that I didn’t expect. I almost expected this beer to be flat and somewhat boring. No lace, but that’s OK. I am focused on the flavor here.
Nose: Booze. Oh, there is a little malt there, but I might as well be smelling alcohol. Chris warned me this was hot, but I let it sit for 8 months. Maybe I needed to let it sit for more than 8 months. Oh well, I was too excited to try it! Surely this was intended to be consumed fresh as much as it was to be aged. At 18% I could age this for 10 years and still be able to enjoy it. I hope the flavor is at least drinkable. Cheers!
Flavor: I am drinking this cold, but that doesn’t matter. Holy hot this beer is… Hot. I might as well be drinking whiskey. But, I will say this, it is well balanced. This will get better, MUCH better, as it heats up. But even cold this does produce a really nice experience. This is what an imperial stout is all about. It’s WAY too boozy, but it’s OK. I will accept it for a beer that once held the record as the most alcoholic beer on the planet.
Mouthfeel: It’s mellow and smooth, but is so boozy that I don’t want it to sit in my mouth for long. I am excited to swallow so I can experience the aftertaste. The aftertaste is the best part of this beer, by the way. I want to save the rest of this until it heats up, but I am getting a TON of malt character here, and the finish is nice and smooth. For 18%, it is extremely well balanced.
Aftertaste: Take a shot of vodka. Better yet, dip a piece of chocolate in a shot of vodka, eat that, and that is what I am getting on the finish. It is HOT, there is no doubt about that. But, at the same time, it has a lovely malty finish that leaves me wanting more. I hate that this beer sat in the bottle for 5 years, and I want to chug it. I want to chug it even though it’s 18%!
This is a great beer, and one that will get better with time. I am just SO impatient when drinking a new beer. For example, Deschutes just released a beer called Green Monster. They don’t want you drinking it for another year… Yet I want to drink it RIGHT NOW! I will wait… At least a few months.
I am curious to see what Sheryl thinks of this beer. I am sure she will like it. She likes big thick chewy beers like this. I can’t wait to finish this beer room temperature. Dogfish, you have done it again! I hate that we are done reviewing your beers. At least on the list, anyway. We have started the “off the wall” beer reviews, so I am sure a bottle from your brewery will pop up again soon. Like the Red & White or the Black & Blue. If you can find a bottle of World Wide Stout, get it… But hold it for 4 or 5 years. Cheers!
Dogfish Head World Wide Stout – The bottle says: “A very dark beer brewed with a ridiculous amount of barley.”
I love beers like this. Ricky pointed out that this is a pretty big beer at 18% ABV. It looks and smells like it’s really good, though. Kind of reminds me of Goose Island Bourbon County Stout, which is one of my favorites. The beer, in the glass, is very dark, basically black. It really had no head to it when it was poured out. It looks like syrup almost. It’s got a kind of thick, syrupy consistency to it. It smells very boozy. But it’s a good smell. I hope it tastes just as good.
I was right. Wow. It’s good, but it tastes about as expected. As much as I like Bourbon County Stout, I didn’t think that there were many beers like it out there. And really, I’m sure there aren’t. But these big beers like this, with this high of an ABV, are all kind of the same. This one is no different. It has a powerful, boozy taste that floors you when you take a sip. The heat of this beer punches you in the throat and doesn’t let go for a while. This is NOT a chugging beer (don’t even try it, you’ll be on the floor!). It’s a really good beer, and I like it, don’t get me wrong. But these beers are all starting to taste the same. Definitely one to try, though, and I certainly wouldn’t turn it down if it was offered to me again.