February 26, 2010

120 Minute IPA from Dogfish Head

Don & Rick at the Dogfish Head Brewery

By Rick

I recently did a review for a beer that I considered a "primer" to the world of hops. That being said: Dogfish Head's 120 Minute IPA then would be the doctorate's degree! In fact- their website (http://www.dogfish.com/) calls this brew "The Holy Grail for hopheads"!

And that it is! Don & I had trouble finding this brew locally, so we set off in a search for this Holy Grail: to the Dogfish Brewery in Milton, Delaware. After the brewery tour (I felt like a kid in a candy store!), Don & I enjoyed the samples, but we really were anxious to taste the brew that's "too extreme to be a called a beer." (BTW: Holy Grails aren't cheap- but they're worth it!) We bought a 4 pack- amongst other treats- and headed off.

I felt like a little boy waiting to open his Christmas presents as Don and our wives ferried from Milton, Delaware to Cape May, New Jersey. We drove a few miles up the shore to the beautiful Starlux Hotel in Wildwood, New Jersey. (FWIW: Wildwood is in the midst of "re-inventing"/ refurbishing itself with the 1960s style that's affectionately nicknamed "Doo Wop Architecture". Check it out!) South Jersey is beautiful place to vacation!

Don had just decided to take on another job, so instead of popping a bottle of champagne to celebrate- we popped open one of our bottles of 120 IPA. WOW! It's hard for me to describe its taste, because it was nothing like anything I had ever tasted before!

It doesn't look much different than most ales in terms of color or head. But its alcohol content sure is different: 18% ABV! Another number is also important to mention: 120 IBU. (IBU is International Bittering Units.) FWIW: traditional IPAs usually measure ~ 40 IBU, so you can imagine what an intense taste this has!

I would recommend enjoying 120 Minute IPA in a brandy snifter or a red wine glass; some even recommend letting the bottle sit out & warm for a 1/2 hour before drinking! Drink it s-l-o-w-l-y.... enjoying each sip... 120 Minute IPA will even age- like a wine!

I consider this a special brew for special occasions. Don & I opened up another one on New Year's Eve.  But I still have a good snicker when I remember the time one of Don's thirsty friends got into his beer fridge, chugged down one of Don's "sacred" 120 Minute IPA bottles and exclaimed "WOW! What the #$*& was THAT?!"

Hmmm... maybe that IS the best way to describe "The Holy Grail for hopheads"!


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