For Christmas my brother-in-law bought me a mixed 6 pack of beer from a specialty beer store in Seattle Wa. One of those beers was Dogfish Heads 120 min IPA. This beer has always been one that I've been morbidly curious about. Morbidly because it is a 20% ABV beer. I had visions of sticky sweetness with raw hop juices mixed in...basically I wasn't planning on enjoying drinking this but was curious.
So to scratch that itch, I and a friend each got one of the 60 minute IPA, the 90 min. IPA and the 120 min. IPA. These beers and named this way because Dogfish Head has developed a unique way of hopping that is termed "continual hopping". This is essentually a device that drops in hops though out the boil. The longer the boil the more hops added, the bigger the beer becomes.
The 60 minute IPA was nicely crafted, pretty good tasting, not over board in any fashion. It wasn't anything like Pliny the Elder or Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, but a pretty good beer none the less. This is a beer that I would (and likely will) buy again.
The 90 minute IPA was quite a bit stronger. Instead of the 6% ABV of the 60 min. this one was 9% ABV. It was noticably more hoppy but not any more sweet (which is a nice surprise compaired to many of the bigger double IPAs). The fuller body and additional hoppyness of this beer was nicely balanced. I likely won't buy this one again outside of the occasional one or two bottles a year mainly due to cost, not taste.
The true point of this post: the 120 minute IPA. This beer states quite plainly "Ages Well", and I can see why. The hop level is out of this world, and alcohol is very present. One friend described this beer as a "hopped brandy". I can't say he is too far off. Definatly desgined for small tasting glasses, at over 10$ per 12 fl. oz. bottle I would have to say one or two oz is plently.
We served this beer at standard in the fridge for a few hours temps, just below 40 degrees F. As the beer warmed up, so did the evidence of the alcohol level. After a few mintes of tasting and swirling and tasting again it was almost too much for me.
I can't say I would ever buy another one. I think this beer is just too expensive and not really what I would call a great beer...but I can't say this isn't for everyone. I applaud DFH for brewing this and NOT having an overly sweet beer. I commend DFH for putting this to market. Obviously, someone out there likes this beer. Maybe I will too in a year or two when I open the second bottle that I have now stored away in the beer cellar.