Well, its been a long time coming, but I finally got a chance to try the Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA! Its no small secret, (well to me anyway), that Dogfish Head was responsible for my initial IPA-phobia, so I think it was cool that I’ve come full circle and now enjoy the style.
Just for a little background, their 60 Minute IPA was one of the first ‘real’ craft beers that we exchanged here on The Brew Club way back in 2008.
When I tried it, the beer literally freaked me out! I just wasn’t ready for such a hoppy and bitter beer (we’re talking the 60 here too!) I was so turned off by the IPA style that I hid from anything that even looked like an IPA until just this year! What a loss!
It wasn’t my fault really. If I were to do it again, knowing what I know now,I would have started with something like the Sam Smith India Ale, or Yards IPA.
These British-Style IPAs are more in line with the original concept of what the beer was supposed to be, and while definitely more hoppy and bitter in character, they aren’t beers that would make a neophyte run off crying. (I wasn’t crying, BTW, I’m just saying, oh forget it.)
The American IPA is just not the place to start if you’re new to beer world, at least that’s how I experienced it!
So, now that I’ve faced my IPA fears and gotten to enjoy both the American and British IPA, I thought it was high-time to grab this four-pack of DFH 90 to see what all the fuss was about. (Its highly regarded, you know.)
It poured a nice, amber color and created a respectably solid head that had some good staying-power. The aroma was hoppy (not sure what type(s)), flowery and piney. At the same time, I could still pick up some nice malt characteristics and surprising to me, some sweetness. OK, so I’ve gotten more adept at smelling liquids, or its just that this beer offers more to the nose than hops!
The dominant hoppy taste, to me, was more citrus, not pine. In addition, there was a balance of malt, and subtle sweetness – just like in the aroma. Certainly bitter, and hop-heavy, but there was still enough other flavors in the mix to keep it from being a one-dimensional brew.
The clincher for me was the mouthfeel. This beer is nice and smooth, with seemingly just the right amount of carbonation. Considering this is an “Imperial IPA” checking in at 9% ABV, the alcohol doesn’t overwhelm the flavor, and it adds a nice warmth that I enjoyed. Also, I found the body of this beer to be surprisingly thick and creamy. I didn’t expect a stout body in an IPA, but there is was and I liked it!
(For your enjoyment, here’s a quick video of some guy who seems to know something about this beer. Check it out if you want to see what he thinks!)
Now, as a relative IPA noob, I couldn’t tell one IPA from another if my life depended on it. However, standing alone, I found that I really enjoyed this beer from Dogfish Head and would have it again. Its also got me wanting to revisit the 60 Minute IPA to see what I think of it after my first bad exposure over three years ago.
What’s your take on the DFH 90 IPA?