Yesterday, Facebook informed me that a pal was “interested” in attending a tapping of Dogfish Head’s Immort Ale at Raleigh’s Tasty Beverage Co. I hadn’t seen him in a couple of months, so swinging by seemed like a good idea. He never showed, but I barely noticed—sipping Immort was the real reason I came.

Immort is part of Dogfish’s occasional rarities collection. While the beer isn’t impossible to find, it isn’t a constant presence on any shelf, either. To wit, Tasty said Immort was “returning to shelves for the first time since 2014.” There’s maple syrup involved, too, so there’s a seasonal factor with the launch.

Along with the maple syrup, Immort’s ingredients include peat-smoked barley, juniper berries, vanilla beans and a blend of English and Belgian yeasts. The result is an easy-drinking, rather strong ale. It pours a reddish bronze in the glass. There’s no head to speak of, except for a thin ring of foam around the edge. The complexity actually reminds me slightly of a single-malt Scotch.

You might expect that combination of ingredients to produce something cloying, but it’s not. The vanilla peeks through the balance of flavors, rounding off the beer’s profile with a smoothness that is dangerous. It goes down like a session beer but sports an ABV of 11 percent. If you “session” this, you’re going to need help getting home.

Dogfish has shipped Immort to almost two-dozen area establishments, so if you haven’t tried it yet—or if you have and want more—now is the time. Check before you go, but these spots are among those to receive shipments.

  • House of Hops, Raleigh, 919-819-0704
  • Bottle Revolution, Raleigh (Lake Boone Trail), 919-885-4677
  • Bottle Revolution, Raleigh (Lead Mine Road), 919-868-7288
  • Ridgewood Wine and Beer, Raleigh, 919-832-5232
  • Whole Foods, Raleigh (Wade Avenue), 919-828-5805
  • Whole Foods, Raleigh (Six Forks Road), 919- 354-0350
  • Bottle Mixx, Raleigh, 919-615-1703
  • Raleigh Beer Garden, Raleigh, 919-232-8074
  • State of Beer, Raleigh, 919-546-9116
  • Flying Saucer, Raleigh, 919-821-7401
  • Tasty Beverage Company, Raleigh, 919-828-2789
  • Busy Bee Cafe & Restaurant, Raleigh, 919-424-7817
  • Total Wine and More, Raleigh (Brier Creek Parkway), 919-293-0362
  • Total Wine and More, Cary, 919) 235-3322
  • Hop Yard, Raleigh, 919-971-0631
  • Sam’s Bottle Shop, Durham, 919-417-1558
  • Sam’s Quick Shop, Durham, 919-286-4110
  • Bull McCabe’s Irish Pub, Durham, 919-682-3061
  • Juju, Durham, 919-283-3555
  • Milltown, Carrboro, 919-968-2460