25 April 2007

Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA

Every connoisseur has a couple of items that he or she is always striving towards. For instance, one of these days I'll have a Kobe beef ribeye. But this past weekend, I got to check a different one off the list.

I've written in the past about the amazing spirit behind the Dogfish Head brewery in Delaware. I've had the 60 minute and 90 minute IPAs, but I finally found a bottle of the Dogfish Head 120 Minute Imperial India Pale Ale. $10 for a 12 oz. bottle, and what does that time mean? From the website:
Brewed to a colossal 45-degree plato, boiled for a full 2 hours while being continuously hopped with high-alpha American hops, then dry-hopped daily in the fermenter for a month & aged for nother month on whole-leaf hops!!! Our 120 Minute I.P.A. is by far the biggest I.P.A. ever brewed! At 20% abv and 120 ibus you can see why we call this beer THE HOLY GRAIL for hopheads!
For comparison, a bottle of Coors Light is around 3-4% alcohol by volume, and rates only 8-12 International Bitterness Units. Approach this like a Port or brandy. Most American lagers tend to barely flavor with hops, but this is an opportunity to fully appreciate the unique and complex flavors of the hops. In fact, the fuzzy image on the very understated label is an illustration of hops. Also note the tag line "AGES WELL". While other breweries are urging you to drink their products as soon as possible, this is the kind of beer that can sit in the cellar for ten years or so, and improve over time.

It's definitely a strong, after-dinner beer, and I split the bottle with another person. It's slightly sweet, with a flavor between orange marmelade and sorghum. Think citric and bitter but smooth at the same time. The flavor is long lasting and you'll find yourself licking your lips to get every last drop of the golden barley goodness.


fredric koeppel said...

"International Bitterness Units"! who knew?

Eric said...

Nice review, and photo. Check mine out. Also, I used your photo in my review, as I had drank my whole glass when I remembered I needed a photo. Credit given tho.