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Dogfish Head World Wide Stout

Libations / Spokane /

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Speaking of Enoteca, let's talk about what we went there for: the World Wide Stout. This is Dogfish Head's rather insane Imperial Stout, weighing in at 18% ABV. If there ever was an ale that was not a session beer, this would be it.

The World Wide Stout is, more importantly, a spectacular beer, one that is worth hunting down on tap as well as the price tag at around $10 a bottle.

It pours pitch black, yet there's some kind of hue to it that best can be described by using Bel Canto's immortal words: "Shimmering, warm, and bright." That might not be adjectives you often hear about the color black, but I maintain they are appropriate in this instance.

The nose is exquisite. The alcohol is there, not in a boozy way, but like it's inviting you to a comfortable nap after a long mountain hike. There are hints of chocolate and coffee. Maybe some fruitiness. It's all just a deep pot of goodness, worth sitting around smelling just for the fun of it.

The nose is a very good indicator of what the thing tastes like. It doesn't take long to realize you're drinking a strong beer, but it's never unpleasant. The flavors, perfectly balanced, slowly overtake the tongue and mouth, and as you swallow, they pleasantly linger. The World Wide Stout really doesn't feel like it has an insanely high ABV. This is very drinkable.

Alongside '10 Abyss we now have two Imperial Stouts that are top notch. This is the time to fill up the beer basement as both are limited engagement ales. Then, a year from now, you can have a taste-off to decide which is the better beer. It'll be the most fun challenge you've ever had.