Thursday, March 29, 2012

Dogfish Head - 75 Minute IPA Review

Brewery: Dogfish Head (DE)
Style: IPA
ABV: 7.5%
Grade: A-

Dogfish Head's 75 Minute IPA is a harder beer to review than I would have expected. It's a blend of 60 Minute and 90 Minute IPA, carbonated in the bottle with maple syrup. I had a bottle of each a few days before drinking 75 Minute, to refresh my memory and help me make better comparisons down the line. They were both good beers, but much more alike than I remembered from drinking each separately in the past. 75 Minute isn't far off either, but the maple syrup adds a nice subtle sweetness, enhancing the woody, spicy, sweet character of the original beers.

And while that is a small difference, I don't want to trivialize it. The result is a great beer — probably the best of the "X Minute" set, in my opinion. The body is fuller — the carbonation is high here, with a big thick foamy head — and a creamy, mild sweetness from both the hops and the maple. Malts are perfectly balanced and right in the middle of things, as you might expect, with the sweetness tapering off much more quickly, and more pleasantly, than in 90 Minute. The hop profile also captures the best of both worlds, with those woodsy, spicy hop flavors that buck American IPA tradition. Maple fits right in; maybe even sends it over the top from something good to great.

As a special release, this isn't the specialist thing ever — but it's very good. If this was in sixpacks or fourpacks alongside the other Minute IPAs, I would reach for this one first.

Availability: As far as I know, this was previously only available at the Dogfish Head brewpub, but it just landed in bottles. Bottles are probably for a limited time only; maybe an annual release? 24 ounce format.

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