Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Dogfish Head - 90 Minute IPA Review

Brewery: Dogfish Head (DE)
Style: Imperial IPA
ABV: 9%
Grade: B+

If you've had Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, then 90 Minute is pretty self-explanatory. You see, it's hopped for every minute of a 90 minute boil instead of a 60 minutes, it's 9% ABV instead of 6%, 90 IBU instead of 60 IBU, and thus it is appropriately stronger and bigger in just about every way. Whether you like one over the other is likely going to depend on your love of malts — 90 Minute is definitely the smoother, sweeter, maltier of the two beers. Much to my surprise (I'm not usually a fan of maltier beers), I think it's the better beer in general.

I haven't had either 60 or 90 Minute in over a year, and they're more much similar beers than I remember from my scattered drinkings previously. While the malt base is quite different, Dogfish seems to have gone with mostly the same hops for both. As I described in my 60 Minute review, the hop profile of these IPAs is nicely unique from what other American breweries are using today — I don't think I prefer it, but hey, it's unique. The hops are much spicier than you'll typically find in American beers, but 90 Minute brings to the table much more sweetness too. It's a nice combination that, in many ways, works better than in the comparatively light 60 Minute. Behind the sweet and spicy hops is a nice citrus character, a bit of a catty, dank flavor, and pine.

The malts are some of the more interesting and well-earned that I've had in a heavy imperial IPA like this. 90 Minute is nutty and biscuity and crisp, rather than rich and syrupy. It still becomes a bit too sweet over time, a bit too lingering on the palate. If it remained as clean and crisp as it felt on the first sip, I'd be giving this beer even higher marks. As it is, though, there's nothing I would consider a flaw here. It's a unique, sweet and spicy IPA, about as balanced as I'll allow my imperials to be. It's easy to see how Dogfish Head made a name for itself with this series.

Availability: Brewed year-round, and fairly easy to find in any beer store with a good selection of Dogfish Head. 12 oz bottles. Four-packs.

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