Dogfish Head 90-Minute IPA

4 Oct

The label prominently features hops!

The label prominently features hops!

The final beer in my trilogy of reviews is, by far, the most expensive and strongest beer I’ve ever had. Obviously then, it will be the most expensive and strongest of the three I decided to review. Dogfish Head’s 90-Minute IPA (India Pale Ale) weighs in at a whopping 9% ABV (Alcohol By Volume) and I was able to pick it up at my local ABC Fine Wine & Spirits store for $11.50 for a 4-pack! Yes, 4 12-ounce bottles for $11.50. That is nearly $3 per beer ($2.85). However, think about it. When you go to your local bar or restaurant (not during happy hour) you see people happily paying $2.50 for a Bud and $3.50 for imports.

This beer isn’t an import, but you will probably see it in the import section of your local liquor store. Dogfish Head is a small “craft” brewer in Delaware. Dogfish Head sells a number of beers year round including their series of IPA’s. They have are 60 or 90 minute year round. I joke that this is the amount of time you should give one of these beers before drinking another, but it really is the length of their continuous hopping while the beer is boiled. That means someone stands there and continuously adds hops for 60 or 90 minutes and would you believe me if I told you they actually have made a 120-Minute IPA? That is two hours!

See the hops?

See the hops?

As you can probably tell this beer has a MUCH higher alcohol content and much more Hops than your Budweiser you have in your fridge, but what does that mean? The 90-Minute IPA is not, in my opinion, overly hoppy. It is a strong beer and probably isn’t the best beer to drink while entertaining guests.

Now that is a pour!

Now that is a pour!

First thing I noticed after pouring this beautiful beer (apparently not in the right glass based on Dogfish Head’s pictures) is that the head was a nice cream color and not pure white. The beer immediately smells of hops, but with all the hops they add it’s not as bad as you would expect. The aroma has floral undertones with almost a toffee (does that even make sense) note. The aroma also smells of alcohol. I can’t explain it, but just from the scent you can feel the alcohol.

When the tip of your tongue hits the beer your brain will get two signals, hops and bitter. Don’t be scared, this beer does have bitter notes throughout but it quickly gives way to the relatively sweet maltiness that I believe helps balance out the alcohol. The beer would be great in the winter because it immediately felt like it was warming my mouth and throat, not as sharply as a shot of Jack Daniels, but a nice slow burn.

This beer is almost chewy in the mouth and not because its thick. Guinness is a thick beer that you probably could chew and this is no where near that thick but it just has a good presence in the mouth as you drink it. You know you are drinking something more than water as this one goes down.

I decided to have two bottles this night to really cement my feelings and tastes of the beer and I was definitely not sober afterward. Two beers normally would barely be a blip on my radar, but these earned their money for me. If you aren’t a large “talented” beer drinker I would recommend only drinking one of these, especially if it is your first time. I DO recommend you drinking this. This is a good beer, probably one of my “top 3” beers all time.

If I had to rank the three beers that I have reviewed over the last three days I would put this one at the top followed by the surprisingly good Anchor Steam Beer with Budweiser’s American Ale finishing strong in third. You may like these beers or you may hate these beers but I want you to go try something different. I’m hoping that these three reviews have helped educate you a bit about the different types of beers that are out there. Take a look in that craft beer section. Try your first unfiltered wheat beer. Just try it!


4 Responses to “Dogfish Head 90-Minute IPA”

  1. sunshinekmp October 4, 2008 at 11:00 am #

    Good Blog sir. I might have to pick up one of the three for Big Monkey to try as a surprise. 🙂

  2. kori October 5, 2008 at 10:14 pm #

    beer is poop and your whole “Try your first unfiltered wheat beer. Just try it!” makes you sound like a doctor suess book. lol

  3. syracuse October 17, 2008 at 4:22 pm #

    Excelent article, here in upstate NY we truly have a cult following for dogfish. One of our more famous British Pubs (Blue Tusk) actually keeps dogfish 120 on hand (at $16 dollars a bottle) it is truly strange to taste such a powerful beer that can get you drunk in one glass, cheers

  4. Rich November 7, 2008 at 2:39 pm #

    This brew (90 Minute) and the 120 IPA should be classified with prescription medications. I do not mean that in a negative way. I found it extremely tasty, and felt extremely relaxed, as I did with European beers I drank in Europe. If the typical American kid drinks this brew (who is used to Bud ) for the first time he /she will be in for a rude awaking. Some advice to all first time beer drinkers… the alcohol content is not what a beer is from the mid-west USA. Again, it is brewed with intelligence and superb taste. It’s like going from driving a Moped scooter to a Harley Davidson. First time you drink this brew, stay put. Don’t drive or walk through unfamiliar territory.

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