Dogfish Head: 120 Minute IPA

11 Jun

Well, I’ve got several reviews stacked up, so after another hiatus of buying a house and moving my whole family, it’s time to start publishing them. They won’t be in order of when I drank them or anything, but you don’t really care, do you? Anyway, next post will be more about biking, for now it’s on to the beer!

When I first started getting into craft beer, 120 was high on the list. Dogfish Head did not distribute to Wisconsin, and even getting 90 Minute IPA was difficult, I ended up getting my first of that in Chicago. But things have indeed changed, and while 120 is still a bit on the scarce side, it’s definitely accessible.

The pour resembles most IPAs, a nice golden amber color. It’s quite clear, no real haze, just a nice amount of bubbles floating up the center. Surprisingly, there was very little head. Just a very thin line was present and it left pretty quickly.

The smell is nothing extraordinary, some citrus, little resin with a strong alcohol presence. I guess it’s a yeasty smell, I don’t know if you can actually smell alcohol, but it seems apparent anyway. It’s a pleasant and slightly foreboding aroma, a good way to start the experience.

The mouthfeel on this is intense. It’s so thick as to almost be syrupy. It’s not like those terrible ultra sweet pumpkin beers though, this is just heavy and potent. The maltiness needed to support all the hops gives this beer an incredible backing.

There’s quite a lot going on in the flavor of this beer. One thing I noted the last couple of times I had 120 Minute was the difference in alcohol each separate time I drank it. One time it was overpowering and unpleasant, and another it was not nearly as noticeable. This bottle falls somewhere in between. I can definitely taste the alcohol, but it’s not too overpowering. You’d think this would be slathered with hoptensity, but it really doesn’t happen that way. The malty balance (yeasty and thick caramel) balances out the hoppiness and it really is more thick than anything. I know thick is not a flavor, but it’s so hard to describe it otherwise. I’ve noted that it seems that hoppiness seems to top out more with the double IPAs, and when you get to the triples, the maltiness tends to take back over a bit.

Overall, 120 is decent, I don’t know if it lives up to all the hype, but what ever does? If you want a thick beer with a good amount of flavor and tons of alcohol to sip for a while then this is your beer. But, and no offense to Dogfish Head, if I’m going to spend 10 bucks on a 12 oz bottle, I’m just gonna spend an extra buck or few and get a Rochefort or a Westmalle. But definitely try one if you’ve got it!

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