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Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA

Upon seeing this beer in my fridge moments ago I couldn’t help but review it immediately. I am a huge fan of the creative and energetic Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head who is ever  so inspirational and dedicated to the spirit of home brewing and inventive craft beers. I have managed in the past to get my hands on their delicious 60 [review] and 90 Minute IPAs [review] but until now the 120 Minute IPA has eluded my grasps. Conveniently a good friend of mine made his way to Wisconsin a few weeks ago and brought be back a bottle as well as a bottle of their Punkin Ale. This ale is Dogfish Head’s rendition of an Imperial brew based off their well received IPA recipe and hopped continuously for 120 minutes just for hop heads like me. Bottled on 11/08/08.  Pours an attractive bright reddish orange hue that is not at all opaque with just over a finger of off white head that lasts for a little over a minute. Smells strongly of alcohol and some heavily bitter hops and just a bit of citrus but mostly alcohol. Tastes incredibly interesting. Intense sweetness from the malt that reminds me a bit of a sweet sherry and orange marmalade which is complimented by bitter, citrus and floral hops as well as a good deal of alcohol and gentle herbal notes. Body is medium and the mouthfeel is quite clean for how sweet this brew is. Dogfish Head has change how they brew this beer a bit from a previous ~20% ABV to currently ~18% ABV which they find  to be the ideal alcohol level. I can’t say I am certain when they started these changes so I can’t attest for my bottle but I can still safely say that producing a beer this strong is no easy task and Dogfish Head has put forth on amazing effort. The massive malt profile required to get the sugars to produce this alcoholic of a brew unquestionably detracts from the potential massive hoppyness of this brew but that is not necessarily a bad thing. This ale definitely has hard alcohol qualities but even with its massive alcohol the complex sweet notes make it incredibly drinkable for such a strong ale. An incredibly interesting Imperial India Pale Ale that can be appreciated by fans of IPAs and Belgian Strong Ales alike. So long as you are not afraid of the massive alcohol present in this brew I would encourage anyone to sample this beer if only to see the complexity of flavors that are possible in a simple concept yet innovative brew such as this.  Give it a shot and ride your bike.

Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA

6 Responses to “Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA”

  1. […] Legal Beer » Blog Archive » Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA […]

  2. Nice write-up, this is one of my favorite beers of all time. Incredibly intense on all fronts…as a homebrewer I’ve pondered endlessly on how in the hell Sam and company are able to brew such a massive, sweet, hoppy beer and keep it all in balance. I usually split a single bottle with a friend, as a full one is usually enough to knock me out!

  3. Indeed. It is simply an amazing brew that I don’t think simple words can do justice to. Sam is one of the many amazing brewers out there that I would love to have the opportunity to chat with and learn from. As it was my first time consuming the brew I decided to go all out and finish it myself and honestly I was a little surprised how gently the alcohol hit me in comparison to drinking a few fingers of scotch, not that I didn’t feel plenty nice. Unquestionably a wonderful ale to share…if only I had some more. Cheers!

  4. […] Head has shown us that seriously high ABV beers can be very drinkable with their 120 Minute IPA [review]. The Beast is one of three brews in Avery’s Demons of Ale series, accompanied by two other […]

  5. I tried this beer, on the recommendation of a friend, about 2 years ago with 2 friends. I don’t remember any of the specifics of it, but I remember I loved it, it was unlike any IPA I had tried before, and I hated the fact that we don’t get Dogfish Head in Nebraska. Nearest states that get the 120 Minute are Illinois and Colorado, but thankfully I have a case being shipped to me from a friend in Chicago soon.

  6. Awesome! That’s one spendy case. Unfortunately were in the same boat here in Minnesota, though the Wisconsin border isn’t all that far away luckily. It truly is an amazing beer and one of the slowest drinking Imperial IPAs I’ve ever consumed. The more you drink it the more you want to savor its delicious bitterness and serious hop esters. I am jealous now. Cheers!

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