Friday, February 01, 2008

A Microbrew Review of Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA

Okay folks. Here's my review of Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA.

I snagged this Imperial India Pale Ale tonight at my local mix and match bottle shop. Good deals abound tonight which is always a good sign and a great start to the Super Bowl weekend (I'm wrecklessly predicting a Giants upset by two points by the way. But hey, what do I know?)

90 Minute Imperial IPA is proudly produced by Dogfish Head Craft Ales, a craft beer brewery based in Milton, Delaware. For those of you who haven't heard of Dogfish Head brewery, they're known for their "experimental" and "extreme beers". While they have a few brews more or less considered their flagships and more accessible to the average microbrew drinker, they've always been on the cutting edge of craft beer brewing since their humble beginnings by their founder Sam Calgione way back in 1995. And with some of the Dogfish Head craft beers I've sampled to date, it might just be that we may only be in the beginning stages of experiencing some great, extreme out-of-this-world, unthinkable microbrews from the friendly Dogfish Head folks in Milton, DE. They definitely seem to keep an open mind when it comes to brewing.

So anyway, on to the beer at hand. First off, let me say I like the beer bottle design. I got mine in a 12 ounce brown bottle. The label features the familiar dogfish head shark overlaying an aged parchment colored paper with a screening of hops prominently displayed in the background. The brewery description reads: "What you have here is an Imperial India Pale Ale featuring a single constant 90-minute hop addition. It's balanced by a ridiculous amount of English Two-row Barley. Then we dry hop it in every tank." Yes, they really do!

90 Minute IPA pours a sparkling champagne copper with bubbles vibrant and abound. It sparkles! It shines! It almost seems alive and the hoppy musk eminates aggressively well off of the surface emcompassing any airdom within reach of the nose. Great aroma with a "sweet?" hoppy scent. Almost sticky, sugar hops if there is such a thing. Would make a great cereal, wouldn't it? Mom, can I have a bowl of Sticky Sugar Hops? The head raced up the side of my meager, unchilled 12 ounce mug and almost jumped the fence to freedom. After a few minutes though, it reduced to a manageable level and maintained a subtle film throughout the sampling.

This craft beer's flavor was tremendous folks. Thick, hoppy, bitter and rich all in one. 90 Minute IPA offers a lasting, unobtrusive mouthful of strong bitters and hops rounded off amazingly well with a malty and sweet stickiness that almost makes this craft beer a meal in itself. I noticed progressively more chewiness as the beer warmed. It's a dramatic contrast from the take back of initial hop shock. A marshmallowy coating of lace graced the side of my mug as I reduced it's 12 ounce volume to just a few drops on the bottom. I just don't know how they keep it all together here with this beer. For a Double India Pale Ale, this beer offer a lot of character and many facets not commonly found in Imperial IPA's.

Probably my only negative that I can give Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA is the fact the it clocks in at a whopping 9.0% alcohol by volume (according to the label). And it's a blatantly noticeable alcohol burn in tasting this microbrew that supports that. 90 Minute IPA is so doggone good and so tempting in making me want for more. It's just not something I can stand more than two of in any one sitting. Oh well, it's still great to have found a beer this worthy of waiting and looking forward to for the next time around. I'll head back to the store and stock up on a few more to keep in the beer fridge for the next few days.

Summary: Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA is probably one of the best all-around craft beers that I've had to date. It's just so well rounded in all aspects, but still it screams extreme in the fact that it doesn't lean in any one direction or categorization than would be reasonably assumed. If I could find this beer at a standard 5.0% abv, I'd have 90 Minute IPA as my "go-to beer" all the time. If you like IPA's and Double IPA's, give Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA a go. You most likely won't be disappointed and you just might find a new favorite beer. It's worth it. I'd give Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA a 9.75 out of 10.00 on my craft beer rating scale. Get some today!!

If you had any fun or enjoyment in reading this microbrew beer review and love craft beers in particular, you'll find more reviews of both new and old microbrews and also fun microbrew and craft beer-related info at Microbrew Review or Microbrew and Craft Beer Reviews. I've also review Dogfish Head Punkin Ale if you care to check it out. Click through on the links above and please do let me know what you liked or didn't like and also any beers that you might like to see me review next time!

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