Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Dogfish Head 90 Minute Imperial IPA

Thanks in part to some screen time on the Discovery Channel and elsewhere (Beer Wars, Brew Masters), Delaware based Dogfish Head Brewery, which was founded in 1995 by Sam Calagione, has become relatively well know both in and out of Beer Geek circles. Luckily though, the quality of their beer easily lives up to the hype.

Sitting before me today is a bottle of Dogfish Head's 90 Minute Imperial IPA, purchased at the Jolly Farmer in Waverly NY, my local go-to spot for American craft beer as well as foreign brews. 90 Minute IPA gets its name from the fact that it is "continually hopped" through out the 90 minutes boil, rather than the more typical method of adding bittering and aroma hops at specific moments through out the brewing process. As if that were not enough, they continue to "dry hop" the beer throughout the fermentation phase.

If you don't like IPA's, nothing I say here is going to change your mind. Also, if you like throat-raping West Coast IPA's you probably won't think that 90 Minute IPA is anything special. At 90IBU's, its a fairly bitter IPA, but like other Non-West Coast style IPA's, it has that so-called (stereotype warning)  "malt backbone" to balance things out and add (stereotype warning) complexity.  

At 9.0% ABV, 90 Minute IPA is right about what you'd expect as far as alcohol content for an 2X or Imperial IPA. I only mention it here because the alcohol warmth is very much part of the experience of 90 Minute. For such a hoppy beer, the aroma is surprisingly sweet; citrusy as expected but only slightly so. But on the pallet look for huge hops; citrus with slight pine notes before it hits the back of the throat and you taste warm bread. The color is light orange, darker than many IPA's I've reviewed.

While I'd certainly classify 90 Minute in the top tier of IPA's, among IPA's I've had in recent memory I'd place it just slightly behind Sierra Nevada's fresh hopped Celebration IPA as well as Sierra Nevada Hop Hunter. IPA. But don't let this dissuade you from giving 90 Minute IPA a try. My preference is simply toward fresh hops, as opposed to pellets.

At just over $12 for a 4 pack of 12oz. bottles, price tag is a little steep when compared to many of my typical beer purchases, but still very much worth it.


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