Wednesday, December 9, 2009

162. Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA

It’s been a while since we’ve had anything from Dogfish Head, so we decided to bust this one out, which is our fifth beer from crazy Sam Calagione: we’ve run through Festina Peche, Squall IPA, Burton Baton Oak Aged Imperial IPA, and Sah’tea. Ah, the happy memories...

120 Minute IPA has a spicy sweet and very hoppy nose; because of the large hop load in the beer, there is something slightly sharp and metallic or astringent in the nose. There is also sharp and bright and young alcohol aroma perceptible amongst the hoppiness. The beer pours a light copper—lighter than we expected it to be—with a creamy ivory head that laces the glass well. 120 Minute IPA starts with a malty caramel sweetness; the middle is made up of alcohol flavors mixed with bitterness and vinous-like qualities and some yellow fruit raisin flavors and some vegetal taste, and the finish is dry with caramel and a good dose of lingering bitterness. There is a rather heavy mouthfeel with some carbonation bite and creaminess; there is also currently some cloying stickiness to the beer. The alcohol flavor and warmth both increase as the beer warms. We’re not so sure about this beer being a hophead’s dream, although the advertising claim makes sense; there seems to be less hop character to it compared to current beer options and offerings. As well, the suggested aging parameters on the bottle would seem to further minimize the hop profile (although it would also reciprocally minimize the alcohol flavors, so the two might even out). Aging would certainly add to the complexity of the flavor, but I’m not sure how it would help the hop body. Nonetheless, an interesting beer, one that is still quite young—the sharpness of the alcohol points to the need for aging, even at the long term expense of the hop flavor.

From the bottle: “What you have here is the holy grail for hopheads. This beer is continually hopped over a 120-minute boil and then dry-hopped every day for a month. Enjoy now or age for a decade or so.”

From the Dogfish Head website: “Too extreme to be called beer? 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 another month on whole-leaf hops!!! Our 120 Minute I.P.A. is by far the biggest I.P.A. ever brewed! At about 18% abv and 120 ibus you can see why we call this beer THE HOLY GRAIL for hopheads! We brew 120 Minute IPA three times a year, but it goes fast. If you find some grab a few bottles, some to enjoy and some to age. Every Beer Has A Story... Check out our Quick Sip Clip for 120 Minute IPA to see Sam talking about it. In the video, Sam also shows off some of our 'vintage' pieces of brewing equipment - including our 2nd generation continual hopping device, Sir Hops Alot. He also touches on the topic of *why* we dialed the 120 Minute IPA back to 18% abv, some aging recommendations, and little lesson on the I.B.U. measurement. Enjoy!” I like big hops and I cannot lie...

Bottled on: 11/06/08
ABV: 18.0%
IBU: 120


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