11/28/23: Dogfish Head Craft Brewery's Wake Up World Wide Stout (2022)

6:20 PM

And here we are. Like I promised in this month's first post, I've saved the biggest beer for last, which is especially fitting as I crossed the 50,000-word NaNoWriMo finish line this morning (go, me!). Today, we're taking a look at a special beer from one of my original favorite craft breweries (has it really been two and a half years since they got screen time on the blog? Wow, too long).

An empty bottle of Wake Up World Wide Stout beside a tulip glass filled with the beer.

Nestle in, friends. Grab a strong maple beer of your own. Throw another log on the fire against late-November chill. Tonight, we're going big and heavy. Tonight, I'm drinking and telling you about Dogfish Head's Wake Up World Wide Stout.

Odds are that you know about Dogfish Head. The Milton, DE brewery was started by Sam and Mariah Calagione. Sam had fallen headlong into homebrewing and, after a quick convo with his dad, he and his wife opened a brewpub where he could make beer professionally. Since then, they've put out a wide assortment of great and odd-ball beers, including resurrecting ancient and lost recipes.

Then, in 2019, the brewery merged with The Boston Beer Co. Aside from a Utopias World Wide Stout (which I saw in the wild but balked at the price), not much has changed for DFH (aside from Punkin being in cans, which was a choice I wouldn't've made). That's good news, at least.

Speaking of World Wide Stout, tonight's beer is from that lineup (and my first from it). Wake Up World Wide Stout is a breakfast-style imperial stout that's brewed with plant-based milk, coffee, and (important for this blog this time of year) maple syrup. Made to be aged (I held out over twelve months!), this beer has an ABV that clocks in somewhere between the 15-20% range--my bottle lists it as 15.3%.

The nose on this thing's black coffee, dark fruits (plums and dates), and some purple wine grapes. Layered with all this is a touch of maple sweetness and that same savory note that I mentioned finding in the beer I drank in my last post. The booze here's only a whisper, definitely nothing that would make me pinpoint this as a 15.3% juggernaut. To my knowledge, this stout isn't barrel-aged, but I'm getting a touch of oakiness in its bouquet regardless.

While I love the bouquet, Purrl does not: She only gave the open bottle I offered her two quick whiffs before hopping down from her cat tree. Her loss.

Purrl sniffing my bottle of today's beer.

Wake Up WWS's a fitting name because, seriously, the flavor profile here's liable to jolt you awake. It's black, almost charred, coffee. Coupled with this is vanilla and plum. The whole flavor hinges on roasted malt, which shine here, dark and deep, lending a baker's chocolate taste to the affair. 

I'll note now that the maple is understated in the flavor profile. It's present, but mainly just in a stickiness lingering on my lips after each swig. Much more present is the booze, which isn't a flavor as much as it is a feeling, warming me to my core as the coffee lingers long into the finish. These deceptively simple flavors make for one hell of a beer.

EDIT: As the beer's warming in my glass, the maple's comping through more abundantly now. It's still sticking to my lips, but the flavor's become more present and persistent on my palate. It's mingling and combining perfectly with everything else Wake Up WWS has going for it.

The mouthfeel here's an experience. Each small swig swells and expands, becoming something full and decadent. It is absolutely befitting a stout of this caliber.

Since it's in a glass (because, come on; I'm not a monster), let's talk about how it looks. The body's a used motor oil, cold coffee black. The head's a quickly dissipating khaki with intricate-yet-varied lacing.

The sandy head of Wake Up World Wide Stout.

This stout reminds me of the first cabin trip Michelle and I took by ourselves. I'd brought along with us a sixer I'd built at a local bottleshop, full of autumnal beers and pumpkin ales. We kept a pot of coffee on that whole trip while we hiked and just vegged out, enjoying getting away from the world for a few days. Today's beer is, to me, a cloudy day under a blanket in that cabin, secluded, warming, and wonderful.

It should come as no great shock to you that I'm giving Dogfish Head's Wake Up World Wide Stout a 10/10. It's devilishly complex in its simplicity and it drinks like a beer of its heft should. What a killer way for me to celebrate my NaNo win!

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