Posted 2 weeks ago | Beer, Reviews

Dogfish Head Oak-aged Vanilla World Wide Stout

Rating:

Dogfish Head’s World Wide Stout holds a special place in my heart (and cellar). It’s one of the first big beers that I started collecting with the mindset of long-term storage and has continually produced wonderful experiences throughout the years. In fact, I just recently celebrated the tenth birthday of the Barley Blog with one of my oldest bottles still on hand — the original 2007 bottles were consumed many moons ago.

It wasn’t until just a couple of weeks ago that I crossed paths with my first variant of one of my favorite stouts. I know the company has produced several different takes on this big beer, but I hadn’t encountered one prior to this bottle of their Oak-Aged Vanilla World Wide Stout. I was both filled with excitement and a twinge of nervousness upon seeing the bottles on the shelf during that beer run. I knew that I wanted to grab a few, but was worried about how it would affect my love for the base beer. And knowing full well that I’m not the biggest fan of too much vanilla in a beer, there was a mental jousting match going on for a good bit.

Eventually, the excitement and curiosity got the better of me. Initial sniffs of the beer certainly alluded to a good bit of earthy wood and hint of vanilla amongst anise, molasses, cocoa and a solid roast. Thankfully, the vanilla bean doesn’t so much alter the flavor as it does soften the robust nature of the beer a bit. The taste is certainly there, but it’s not over-the-top as ingredients have come across in many of Dogfish Head’s beers throughout the years. But then again, I wouldn’t have been surprised if it were — that is the company’s modus operandi after all.

I’m honestly surprised it took me this long to finally find some sort of World Wide Stout variant. My worry upon purchasing and, subsequently, opening this bottle of Oak-Aged Vanilla WWS slowly melted away with each sip. The Dogfish Head showed a solid measure of restraint with this beer that they haven’t always done in the past. The vanilla and oak are present throughout the experience in a balanced and rather subtle manner, adding to the beer’s character instead of replacing elements. I thoroughly enjoyed this take on the big stout and, who knows, maybe I’ll grab a couple more to hide away for a future anniversary.

Appearance

Pours an opaque black in color with a short-lived cap of light brown foam that results in a thing ring and patchy surface cover.

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