Thursday, November 1, 2012

Now wait a just minute or 60 or 90 or 120

One of my favorite go-to IPA's is Dogfish Head's 60 Minute IPA.  It's a great middle of the road IPA . . . not too bitter, not too hoppy, and very refreshing . . . pretty much IPA perfection.

So, as a natural matter of course it's predictable to assume that I'd be curious to try the 90 Minute and 120 Minute IPA's.  A fair assumption and an accurate one.

I went to my favorite beer store and scored a four pack of the 90 Minute IPA and a bottle of the 120 Minute IPA (it's only sold as a single).  The plan . . . to enjoy them in succession and compare all the Dogfish Head Minute IPA's.

Before I get into the individual reviews of each of these beers I'd like to say that neither of theses beers were anything like I anticipated them to be.  Not in a bad way . . . just different than I expected.

See my review of 60 Minute IPA here.  Like I said before, an excellent example of an India Pale Ale.

As the name sort of indiciates, 90 Minute IPA is hopped for 90 minutes, is 9% ABV and has 90 IBUs.  Think of it as the big bro to the 60 minute . . . it's a bigger beer for sure.  

It pours a lovely golden color but somehow has a reddish tint when the glass is full.   It has full but quickly dispating head the leaves a good lacing on the glass. It's got a maltier aroma than I expected . . . I was expecting a nose full of bitter hops.  It's also sweeter than I thought it would be . . . caramel and malt keep the hoppiness at bay . . . again I expected more bitter hoppiness.   What makes this beer so interesting to me is that although it has sweet malty characteristics it has the citrus hop backbone that compliments and enhances the overall flavor profile.  It is certainly an interesting and unique IPA . . . smooth and delicious . . . a beer to be sipped and enjoyed.  Overall . . . excellent.

The 120 Minute IPA was even more surprising to me.  Admittedly, I anticipated a big beer and in that aspect I was not surprised or disappointed.  There is no doubt that this a very big beer . . . big flavor, lots of alcohol, mucho everythingo . . . a whopping 15-20% ABV and 120 IBUs.

It pours an amber color with almost no head.  It's smells of booze, sweet malt and hops.  The taste?  Nothing short of amazing.  However, there's no disguising the alcohol content in this brew . . . it's there and you can taste it . . . but, like a fine brandy, it doesn't bury the rest of the flavors.  This beer is strong and smooth and nicely effervescent.  Seeing that this beer is hopped for two full hours I expected a more hoppy flavor but was instead I tasted caramel, sweet malt combined nicely balanced with a citrussy hop undertone.  This beer is mildly sweet, barely bitter . . . it really is comparable to brandy or cognac.

I recently spied 120 Minute on the beer board at our favorite pub . . . 4 ounces for $8.  Cha-ching considering I can get an 12 ounce bottle for $10 to $12.  However, I wanted to sample this fine beer straight from the tap . . . I wasn't disappointed.

A word of advice . . . don't rush through this beer; savor it, contemplate it.  There's a whole hell of a lot going on here and it is simply amazing.  Overall . . . awesome!

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