Thursday, May 10, 2012

Beer Review: World Wide Stout (2004, 8 years old)

Reviewing a 2004 vintage bottle of the infamous World Wide Stout from the Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. I have had this one several times before, but I have never had a bottle that is more than two years old before. This beer is pretty “hot” and boozy fresh, so I am curious to see what eight years of age can do. Shout out/thank you to Nick for sharing this bottle with me.
Score: 94

2004 vintage bottle served in a Jester King snifter and enjoyed on 03/11/12.

Appearance: Pours a jet black color. Completely opaque; no light cuts through this beer. A thin tan head quickly settles to a pencil thin ring around the glass. Oily lacing with poor retention – which is to be expected from a nearly 20% ABV beer. This beer is about as imposing as they come. 4/5

Smell: Fig, plum, thick fudge and a modest amount of what can only be described as a red grape/merlot-like red wine aroma. A little black licorice, barley and a hint of stale coffee. A light amount of raspberry and brown sugar. Some oak and molasses. A touch of rubbing alcohol esters come through as it hits room temperature. 4/5

Taste: Holy moley. After 8 years in the bottle, the booziness has almost completely vanished. Rich chocolate upfront. Mellow dark cherry/raspberry on the midpalate. There is a moderate red wine flavor throughout, but it is much less pronounced than it was when the beer was fresh. Raisin/fig/dark fruit and brown sugar/syrup-like sweetness on the back half. Finishes with chocolate and prune with a residual bittersweet chocolate linger. More sweetness as the beer layers. Some alcohol booziness comes out of the woodwork as the bitter gets close to room temperature. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, minimal carbonation. Smooth and syrupy mouthfeel. Very dry, moderately sweet finish. 4.5/5

Overall: Age has done wonders for this beer. It’s a bit of a booze bomb, albeit a tasty one, when fresh – which is of course not unexpected from a beer that’s almost 20% ABV. This well aged bottle, however, masked most of the booziness in favor of the beer’s rich complexities. I have a four pack from February 2010. I guess I won’t be opening them for another five or six years.

Recommendation: Seek out a bottle or two of this beer and let it age for a long time.

Pairings: Red velvet cake muffins. And not just any red velvet cake muffins -- only the stuff Ilana Feldman makes.

Cost: $9.99 for a 12 oz bottle.

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