At this point if you have even so much as glanced in the direction of the craft beer industry than you most certainly have heard of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. Running on the maxim of “off-centered ales for off-centered people” Dogfish Head has grown from Sam Calagione brewing three times per day on a keggle-based homebrew system to producing 250,000 barrels a year or almost 685 barrels a day.
You might be asking yourself, What the hell is a Dogfish Head? Turns out it is a small town located almost a third of the way up Maine’s coastline where Calagione spent his summers gallivanting about and dreaming of beer recipes, no doubt, no rhyme intended.
World Wide Stout is released each November provided it ferments out as planned. Dogfish Head famously dumped a whole batch of 120 Minute IPA in 2010 because it did not meet quality control standards. At 18 percent ABV this beer is no slouch and even spent a short time as the strongest beer in the world.
The pour is like something a squid would shoot your way as it darted in the opposite direction but with an added two inch capping of fine textured tan foam. Considering the ABV on this monster of the deep the head retention is top notch, sticking around for a solid five minutes before receding into the darkness. The aroma is quite boozy up front but joining in is a strong raisin note and plenty of dark roast coffee, bitter chocolate, a touch of caramel, and even a hint of soy sauce.
The flavors of World Wide stout are as big as the ABV. Chock full of Italian roast coffee and bitter dark chocolate playing off a sweet caramel malty-ness. It is really quite interesting the way it oscillates rapidly from bitter to sweet with an overarching omnipresent booze heat from beginning to end. The mouthfeel is surprisingly syrupy, not just for the amount of alcohol but also the higher carb level. It seems to coat the mouth, throat, and gut with a slight burning and tingling sensation. Not so much warming the belly as it is numbing, like sweet anesthesia.