Monday, August 27, 2012

Dogfish Head 90 Minute Imperial IPA

I have a weakness for India pale ales, or "IPAs".  On our recent visit to Cape Cod our host, whose brew judgment I've come to appreciate, offered me a Dogfish Head 90 Minute Imperial IPA. I'd had Dogfish Head's (a brewery located in Milton, Delaware) regular IPA before, and liked it, so I was delighted to try their premium version.

So, you're asking (as I was), what's this "90 minute" thing? Here's what it says on the label:
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 British Two-row Barley. Then we dry hop it in every tank.
On reading this, you might think that "a single constant 90 minute hop addition" with dry hopping on top of that would produce an ale that's the brigadier of bitterness; something to make Sierra Nevada's "Torpedo" seem like Corona Light. Not so. The most important word in that quotation from the label is "balanced." Here are my tasting notes:

Color: deep amber (see photo).

Head: generous and long-lasting.

Aroma: hops predominate, with a cinnamon-y flourish, but malt richness comes through in a subtle way.

Flavor: malt announces itself first, but with restraint. The hop finish is not assertively bitter, but pleasantly so,  with hints of apple and, as in the nose, cinnamon. All in all, well balanced and thoroughly pleasing.

Watch out, though. This ale doesn't taste strong, but it packs a punch at nine percent alcohol by volume.

According to the Dogfish Head website (see link above), the brewery also makes a "120 Minute IPA." Look for a follow-up to this post. 

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