On December 31st 2014 I watched to of my closest friends on the planet join together in the bonds of holy matrimony. It was a fantastic day and I was more than honored to stand up in their wedding as a Groomsman in support of my buddy and the love that the two of them share. While I was standing up watching the two of them commit the rest of their lives to each-other little did I know my phone, set to silent, hanging out in my jacket pocket was having a virtual spaz attack. Eventually, after many many pictures, we were able to sit down have some food and out of habit I looked at my phone.
There were a total of five messages from my local source for beer. Once I swiped the notification to read this message I realized that not just any beer had arrived at my local bottle shop, no no, waiting for me would be the super limited highly acclaimed World Wide Stout brewed by the good people of Dogfish Head Brewing. The next day I got up relatively early, returned my tux, and headed right over to Wixom Liquor and procured my allotted bottles of the rare brew. After a pit stop at home to stick the bottles in the cellar I headed off to watch my Michigan State Spartans in the 2015 Cotton bowl. Sparty won that game in dramatic fashion and there was much rejoicing (celebratory drinking) on my part so by the time I got home I had kinda forgotten about these brews and in the cellar they sat waiting for the appropriate time to open a bottle and enjoy.
When was the right time to open this beer? Apparently July 29th 2016. Whats so special about that day? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! Maybe I’m finally getting over my cellarphobia. I wanted a really high-end flavorful stout, right in the middle of summer for whatever reason, and World Wide Stout was the stout of the day.
So let’s get the specs out of the way, This is a big beer. I mean huge. The commercial description of World Wide Stout states that the beer is brewed with “a ridiculous amount of barley” and depending on the vintage can clock with an ABV ranging anywhere from 15% to a whopping 20%. So in other words be ready to stay put for a while after opening this bad boy. World Wide Stout also hits at 70 on it’s IBU for what that’s worth but I really didn’t find this beer to be exceptionally bitter.
World Wide Stout, as expected, pours jet black and immediately engulfs the room with the smell of well-balanced boozy goodness. It’s almost like getting punch in the face with a bourbon barrel (even the beer isn’t barrel aged) in the best way imaginable. The beer is loaded with flavors like chocolate, vanilla, molasses, dark/dry fruits, and alcohol. The bottle I cracked opened was almost 2 years old and that alcohol was still hot on the back end of this beer. I imagine if this was a fresh bottle that would only be intensified but I think I’ll keep my other bottle around for at least another year to let it mellow out some more. For me the heat doesn’t take away from the drink-ability of this brew, it’s still a full-bodied stout that gives me everything I expect from a limited release whale of a stout.
Yes World Wide Stout is one of those beers that’s considered a whale. It’s not released every year and there is always a market looking to trade for it. Is World Wide Stout worth the effort to hunt down? I guess that depends on what you’re willing to part with to procure a bottle of beer. World Wide Stout definitely lived up to my expectations but I can’t say it necessarily surpassed them. It’s a fantastic beer, and like anything that Dogfish Head brews there is so much attention to detail in this bottle that it’s hard to knock a beer like this. Still I would have liked something in this bottle to make me think a little more about what I was drinking. I would definitely buy World Wide Stout again, and I look forward to bringing it along to a bottle share at some point but I probably wouldn’t put forth the effort to hunt this down through anywhere other than my normal bottle shop.