Thursday, May 1, 2008

Dogfish Head 90 Minute Imperial IPA review

Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPAI believe I can officially say now that an IPA is one of my favorite styles of beer. Back several months ago, I posted a review of another IPA and I simply struggled to finish it. It was my first IPA. But now, after the last few IPA's I've really started getting into this style.

This this beer review, I finally found an IPA I can truly love. I'm talking about none other than the Dogfish Head 90 Minute Imperial IPA from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery of Milton, Delaware. Thanks to all of the recommendations from fellow beer lovers to just keep at the IPAs, I've come to expect a powerful taste and now look forward to them. This beer is the one that will bring me back to quality IPAs.

Being an Imperial IPA, this beer had a lot of malts, a lot of hops and a high 9% ABV. The IBU rating was a hefty 90 IBU. And for you calorie counters, each 12oz bottle has 294 calories.

Appearance: The 90 minute IPA came out of the bottle looking golden but quickly turned reddish when poured into a snifter glass. It had a small whitish head and a moderate carbonation. The smell up front was what intrigued me. I could swear I've smelled this exact aroma before but for the life of me I couldn't remember which beer this reminds me of. I could smell a floral, sweet yet spicy and piny aroma all in one.

Aroma: This aroma seems to last a long time. Other beers I've whiffed seem to overload your senses after the 3rd sniff and you tend not to be able to smell much after that. Not this beer. I could keep smelling the wonderful aroma on each and every sniff. It must be that DFH constantly fed hops into this beer during the brewing process. It is even dry hopped as well.

When I drink a craft beer, I don't care that much about calories as I understand the truth about calories and beer. However, I do care more about the overall experience and the taste, and this beer had plenty of that.

Taste: 90 Minute IPA filled my mouth with a raisiny, citrusy and caramel malt taste. The liquid seemed to make my tongue tingle after swallowing it. Despite the high alcohol, you really don't get an alcohol bite with this beer. This beer goes down smooth. You know there is a lot of hops in this beer yet it is not the harshly bitter kind of ale.

If you gulp a mouthful of this and then burp through your nose, you will be nearly overwhelmed with a hop sensation. Some people overlook this test of a beer. I like to burp when sampling a beer. That tends to really bring out a different side of the beer that you'd miss otherwise.

I've seen Dogfish Head ales at the store for sometime now but up until now, I didn't feel that I was ready to appreciate a good IPA. This beer is sold in a 4-pack and cost around $10.50 (in 2008), a bit pricier than other beers in it's class.

Overall: Just one of these beers was plenty for me. I think I'd spoil it if I tried to have 2 or 3 of them. 90 Minute IPA has just enough kick but not overly so. Just right for a weeknight. I really enjoyed this imperial IPA. I'm definitely going to buy more of this in the future. Being a strong IPA it begged to be paired with a strong cheese or spicy meal.

BeerAdvocate loves this "A". And Ratebeer gave it a solid 99th percentile with a 4.07/5 rating. I too am going to rate this up there and give it a 3.8 out of 5 rating. Certainly one of the best Double IPAs I've had to date. I'm now a new Dogfish Head fan at least. I look forward to trying their 60-minute and 120-minute varieties.

If you're not a fan of India Pale Ales, don't worry. It takes time to get used to the strong bitter taste. It did for me. This beer will help you set the standard for what a good IPA is.

Related articles:
- Other IPA's you might like to try.
- Dogfish Head Festina Peche review. (Berliner Weisse)
- The people you meet at the GABF - Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head.
- 2008 GABF tasting notes - including Dogfish Head Theobroma.

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