Food, Beer, and Travel

a dump from the mind of Jon Piper

120 Minute IPA

Posted by jwpiper on January 29, 2009

Another acquisition from Charles Street Liquors. I honestly had no idea what to expect with the Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA, so when I saw it, I had to pick it up. This beer is brewed with hops for 120 minutes and then dry hopped for 30 days straight and comes in at 21% ABV. This beer could range anywhere between terrible and life changing. Poured at cellar temperature into a wine glass.
It pours a cloudy orange-yellow with a small off-white head.
The smell is dominated by pine and lemon. Medicinal. There’s plenty of strange maltiness which is a bit tough to pinpoint: orange syrup?
Again, pine and orange on the palate. Very sweet, rich, and hardly bitter at all – at least for a 120 minute. Very different than any other beer I’ve had. The alcohol is exceptionally well hidden.
The feel is smooth and mouth-coating, and a bit cloying. The carbonation is nice – light and effervescent which this beer need.
This is dramatically more drinkable than expected. But, to be real, it is a 100% sipper, with consequences when under pressure to drink too fast. I was in a bit of a rush to make my dinner reservations, and this beer is tough to drink at anything faster than a slow sip.
The exception already noted, this beer gets better and better further through the bottle. I get the impression on both the nose and palate that the hops used are a little scattered and unfocused. It creates an experience which is a bit all over the place and extremely unclean. I like my hoppy beers to be clean (thus my preference for West Coast IPAs). This beer is well balanced, even fresh; and it is easy to see how this beer would change with cellar time. I’d like to try that at some point, and I do wish this were more available for me.
$10/12oz. Impossible to describe as a value. But this is worth trying, and I would buy a couple of these each year and put some in the cellar. Not this trip, but some other time.

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