Dogfish Head – 120 Minute IPA

On Tap – January 11, 2012
In Bottle – January, 20, 2012
Style: Imperial IPA

dogfish head 120 minute

As mentioned in my post on DFH 90 Minute, this brewery offers four different “time themed” IPAs — 60 minute, 75 minute, 90 minute and 120 minute IPA. 60 and 90 are available year round and 75 minute will be available in the next couple of months. Although their website notes that 120 is brewed throughout the year I liked their tie-in last year with a January 20th — or “1/20” release. For those not familiar, the time refers to the amount of time that finishing hops are continuously added to the boil. For good measure, this one was also dry-hopped each day for 23 straight days. I’m seeing 120 show up at various tastings around the area — Cloverleaf tapped a keg on 1/9 and The Taphouse Grill in Wayne was tapped a keg on 1/11 as part of their 1st Anniversary celebration. I’m guessing both are not leftovers — but another release.

Everyone I’ve spoken to says that tap and bottle are two totally different experiences with this ale — so, I seized the opportunity to try some at that anniversary party.

First thing I’ll say about this beer is that the ABV is a staggering 18%. Frankly, I didn’t think that yeast could survive in a brew so packed with alcohol. To put it in perspective, a hearty red wine has an ABV of 14%. Their website makes the statement “Is this too extreme to be called beer?” It also mentions that it compares more to whiskey than wine. I’ll also mention that the degrees plato at 45 says there were massive solids in this brew . Read more about degrees plato Here . Yes, that helps pump up the ABV — but should also lend to massive flavor and thick mouthfeel. This is a hop giant — the base reminds me of Founder’s Devil Dancer quite a bit. Really like taking a mouthful of fresh hops the oils are omnipresent. Solid malt backbone is present as well. But that alcohol just stomps all over the flavor. I totally get why they say more like whiskey. I’m just not ready for this hybrid beer style, but I can understand why some would enjoy. It’s very flavorful – which I can’t say very often about Dogfish Head beers. I’ll put my tap experience at 86 points.

How appropriate to be opening this bottle on 1/20. First off, the differences are quite noticeable. Gone are the fresh hop flavors that I experienced on tap. That was probably the nicest part about the experience. The solid malt backbone with heavy caramel sweetness remain — but as with the tap experience, the alcohol rolls over and dominates. This is a real sipper — like a whiskey, but not exactly what I’m looking for in a beer. I’ll put my bottle experience at an 82. I’ll average it out and say and 84 overall.

Read my review of DFH 90 Minute Here

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