Brew Review: 120 Minute IPA

30 Aug

Brew: 120 Minute IPA

Brewed by: Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales (Milton, DE)

Style: Imperial IPA (15.0 – 20.0% ABV depending on the batch)

My first Dogfish Head review, actually the first one I have sat with long enough to write up some notes on and now I get to share. There were a few more on a select night this summer but too many to keep track of and therefor no blogs about them, a shame really because there were some really special brews that were a once in a lifetime sort of a deal. Oh well, whats lost is lost and I can only look forward to being a part of something like that again, on to the one I took home with me.

The 120 minute IPA needs some introducing. Straight from the Dogfish 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 another month on whole-leaf hops!!!” To say the very least this has lots of hops in it. Like a ridiculous amount of hops. Its hard to describe in words how many hops go into this beer. They only brew this thing every so often so I am very fortunate enough to have gotten my hands on one. Many thanks to Jim for that.

The 120 poured out a deep rich amber/red color. For having so much stuff crammed into it, it was still quite clear. An excellent looking brew, it had a little white head that didn’t stick around very long. It was hard to ignore the huge blast of hops coming off of this brew the second I poured it out. There were spicy and grassy hops that dominated. You could also detect the alcohol coming off of this beast right away in the aroma. There were still lots of malts to back up the tremendous amount of hops it held. There were some sweet notes in there because of all the malts.

On the first sip it was a flavor detonation in my mouth. The hops were very bitter, tart, oily, spicy. Basically any word that you can think of when you taste hops showed up in that first sip. The nice part about this blast was that there was some residual sweetness that sort of balanced out the hops. Its hard to balance that much completely but there was some that this didn’t make you think you were eating some pine needles or a bar of soap. This was a thick brew. Not for the faint of heart or tongue. It drinks much heavier than it looks. The alcohol is very present, it would be tough to mask anything from 15 – 20%. All those oily hops make this feel a little syrupy on the tongue. Needless to say, this is a beer that would be impossible to drink fast. Any person that thinks they can beer bong anything has met their match. I think Frank the Tank would probably blow chunks if he tried to chug this monster.

You have to come into this beer prepared, have a game plan. If you are up for the challenge, this can be an amazing experience. In the words of Scar, be prepared. A huge hop bomb. The west coast has some catching up to do if it wants to keep its reputation as the hop bomb capital of America.

Final Grade: A-


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