August 6, 2008

Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA Tasting

Courtesy of the fine folks at Dogfish Head who actually sent me a bottle of this (as well as a Palo Santo Marron and a DVD about the Palo Santo Marron and some stickers) a few months back. The cool thing is that it has been aged a little over a year, smoothing out the flavor profile just a bit.

And like the Palo, I'll be simultaneously tasting with my good friend Steve from "Summer of Beer". My bottle is dated 6/10/2007, his a 10/10/2007.

Poured into a Dogfish Head logo snifter purchased at the Milton, DE brewery facility. Initial pour, rapidly dissipating, bright yellow head. Slightly cloudy amber color. Unusual aroma, not very pungent surprisingly. Sort of got a root vegetable smell/earthy. No hop aroma that I'm aware of.

Sweet, fruity flavor, like passion fruit maybe. Only mild bitterness. Definitely not what I expected. A lot of people have called this a sweet beer, and I agree with them.

Steve just said something really interesting, and after a few sips I think he's dead on about this:

(9:59:22 PM):
the finish is really strange
Steve (9:59:25 PM): like sugary something
Steve (9:59:34 PM): like burnt marshmallows
Steve (9:59:41 PM): like when you set the mallow on fire
Steve (9:59:49 PM): and then you taste that carmelized burnt outside part

I wonder when the 21% alcohol starts to kick in?

Still getting lots of sweetness, starting to get a bit sticky now. Some kind of fruit in there, haven't quite nailed down but its refreshing. Definitely not like any beer I've ever had before.

Another good offering from Steve, who seems to have a good grasp of this beer tonight:

(10:02:59 PM):
i hate to use the term for so many beers but maybe it's like an orange marmalade
Steve (10:03:13 PM): certain hops really give off that sorta sweet orange flavor

After a while this tastes distinctly Dogfish Head. It's interesting how certain brewers have a trademark flavor no matter how differing the styles they brew. If I'm blindfolded and trying a bunch of beers and you try to sneak anything Stone or Sam Adams in front of me for example, I'll know. Same thing with Dogfish Head, it seems.

Its hard to describe the specific uniform taste, but it never fails to reveal itself.

Anyway, this is nice, much less harsh than I would have expected. If not for the ridiculously potent alcohol level (21%), I'd probably say this is a beer you could repeat in a single sitting and many times over the months. That's an unusual thing given my mixed relationship with several other DFH offerings (although the 60 and 90 minute IPA's are tremendous and are good early and often).

Many thanks to Sonia at Dogfish Head who sent all these fine DFH offerings to me. It's been tremendous fun. Now if you don't mind, I have a few more ounces of this DFH 120 Minute IPA to enjoy.


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