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home Home > Subscribe to Ratebeer.com Weekly RateBeer Archives > Features




A Hopizontal Tasting


Dogfish Head’s 60-, 90-, and 120-Minute IPAs
Features June 5, 2003      
Written by argo0


, WASHINGTON DC -



On the last night of May, I, accompanied by my
friend-in-beer daniwerks (hereinafter referred to as “Dan”), engaged in what I
have termed a “Hopizontal” Tasting of Dogfish Head (DFH).<span
style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>On that fateful evening, Dan and I each
consumed a 12-ounce bottle of 60-Minute IPA (the 60), and shared one 750ml
bottle each of 90-Minute IPA (the 90) and 120-Minute IPA (the 120).<span
style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>

<p class=MsoNormal>By way of background, DFH first came up with the idea for
the 60 several years ago.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>The concept
was simple – keep adding hops to the boil for 60 minutes – the resulting beer
is 6% ABV, and 60 International Bittering Units (IBUs).<span
style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>DFH is one of those rare breweries that’s
into pushing the envelope, and so figured that if 60 was good, 90 would be
better.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>For the 90, DFH continuously
adds hops to the boil for 90 minutes, and then dry-hop it in the tank.<span
style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>The 90 is 9% ABV, and 90 IBUs.<span
style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>This year, DFH decided to go even one step
further, and so the 120 was born.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>For
the 120, DFH adds hops to the boil for (surprise!) 120 minutes, but also also <span
style=’mso-bidi-font-weight:bold’>dry-hops it daily in the fermenter for a
month, then ages it for a month on whole leaf hops.<span style="mso-spacerun:
yes"> </span>The 120 is over 20% ABV and checks in at 120 IBUs.<span
style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>DFH calls it an Imperial IPA.<o:p></o:p></span>

<p class=MsoNormal><span style=’mso-bidi-font-weight:bold’>When the 120 came
out, a plan to conduct the Hopizontal Tasting was born.<span
style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Both Dan and I had previously tried the 60
and 90 – this tasting, however, was our introduction to the 120.<span
style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>The sequence of the tasting went from least
hoppy (the 60) to most hoppy (the 120).<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">
</span>The table below summarizes our findings.<o:p></o:p></span>

<p class=MsoNormal><span style=’mso-bidi-font-weight:bold’>[if !supportEmptyParas] [endif]<o:p></o:p></span>

<table border=1 cellspacing=0 cellpadding=0 style=’border-collapse:collapse;
border:none;mso-border-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt’>
<tr>
<td width=136 valign=top style=’width:102.3pt;border:solid windowtext .5pt;
padding:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt’>
<p class=MsoNormal align=center style=’text-align:center’>[if !supportEmptyParas] [endif]<b
style=’mso-bidi-font-weight:normal’><o:p></o:p>
</td>
<td width=151 valign=top style=’width:113.5pt;border:solid windowtext .5pt;
border-left:none;mso-border-left-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;padding:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt’>
<p class=MsoNormal align=center style=’text-align:center’><b
style=’mso-bidi-font-weight:normal’>60-Minute IPA<o:p></o:p>
</td>
<td width=151 valign=top style=’width:113.5pt;border:solid windowtext .5pt;
border-left:none;mso-border-left-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;padding:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt’>
<p class=MsoNormal align=center style=’text-align:center’><b
style=’mso-bidi-font-weight:normal’>90-Minute IPA<o:p></o:p>
</td>
<td width=151 valign=top style=’width:113.5pt;border:solid windowtext .5pt;
border-left:none;mso-border-left-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;padding:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt’>
<p class=MsoNormal align=center style=’text-align:center’><b
style=’mso-bidi-font-weight:normal’>120-Minute IPA<o:p></o:p>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=136 valign=top style=’width:102.3pt;border:solid windowtext .5pt;
border-top:none;mso-border-top-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;padding:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt’>
<p class=MsoNormal><b style=’mso-bidi-font-weight:normal’>Appearance<o:p></o:p>
</td>
<td width=151 valign=top style=’width:113.5pt;border-top:none;border-left:
none;border-bottom:solid windowtext .5pt;border-right:solid windowtext .5pt;
mso-border-top-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;mso-border-left-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;
padding:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt’>
<p class=MsoNormal>Hazy golden body with big off-white head.
</td>
<td width=151 valign=top style=’width:113.5pt;border-top:none;border-left:
none;border-bottom:solid windowtext .5pt;border-right:solid windowtext .5pt;
mso-border-top-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;mso-border-left-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;
padding:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt’>
<p class=MsoNormal>Murky amber with a big beige head.
</td>
<td width=151 valign=top style=’width:113.5pt;border-top:none;border-left:
none;border-bottom:solid windowtext .5pt;border-right:solid windowtext .5pt;
mso-border-top-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;mso-border-left-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;
padding:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt’>
<p class=MsoNormal>Clear(!) amber body with medium beige head.
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=136 valign=top style=’width:102.3pt;border:solid windowtext .5pt;
border-top:none;mso-border-top-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;padding:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt’>
<p class=MsoNormal><b style=’mso-bidi-font-weight:normal’>Aroma<o:p></o:p>
</td>
<td width=151 valign=top style=’width:113.5pt;border-top:none;border-left:
none;border-bottom:solid windowtext .5pt;border-right:solid windowtext .5pt;
mso-border-top-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;mso-border-left-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;
padding:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt’>
<p class=MsoNormal>Floral hops, backed by pine and grapefruit.<span
style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Medium sweetness.
</td>
<td width=151 valign=top style=’width:113.5pt;border-top:none;border-left:
none;border-bottom:solid windowtext .5pt;border-right:solid windowtext .5pt;
mso-border-top-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;mso-border-left-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;
padding:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt’>
<p class=MsoNormal>Grapefruit (definitely Cascade) and pine.
</td>
<td width=151 valign=top style=’width:113.5pt;border-top:none;border-left:
none;border-bottom:solid windowtext .5pt;border-right:solid windowtext .5pt;
mso-border-top-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;mso-border-left-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;
padding:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt’>
<p class=MsoNormal>Floral hoppiness dominates, with medium sweetness.<span
style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Some malt aroma too, perhaps
nuttiness.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Surprisingly, the hops
aren’t overwhelming.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Amazingly, the
alcohol is undetectable – this is a 6.5% beer, right?
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=136 valign=top style=’width:102.3pt;border:solid windowtext .5pt;
border-top:none;mso-border-top-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;padding:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt’>
<p class=MsoNormal><b style=’mso-bidi-font-weight:normal’>Taste<o:p></o:p>
</td>
<td width=151 valign=top style=’width:113.5pt;border-top:none;border-left:
none;border-bottom:solid windowtext .5pt;border-right:solid windowtext .5pt;
mso-border-top-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;mso-border-left-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;
padding:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt’>
<p class=MsoNormal>Pine/floral hoppy, moderately sweet.<span
style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>The finish is unusual – sweet, then a
maltiness that isn’t quite caramel, then the bitterness reasserts itself.
</td>
<td width=151 valign=top style=’width:113.5pt;border-top:none;border-left:
none;border-bottom:solid windowtext .5pt;border-right:solid windowtext .5pt;
mso-border-top-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;mso-border-left-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;
padding:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt’>
<p class=MsoNormal>Really bitter with limited sweetness.<span
style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Grapefruit is the primary flavor, along
with some floral.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Some floral/spice
in the back of the throat.
</td>
<td width=151 valign=top style=’width:113.5pt;border-top:none;border-left:
none;border-bottom:solid windowtext .5pt;border-right:solid windowtext .5pt;
mso-border-top-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;mso-border-left-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;
padding:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt’>
<p class=MsoNormal>Syrupy, medium sweet, definite (but not too strong)
alcohol, and oh yes – hops (basically floral, but light citrus as well).<span
style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Still not the hop-bomb you’d expect,
doesn’t even taste as hoppy as the 90.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">
</span>Like many DFH beers, you’d never be able to guess the ridiculously
high alcohol level, but there’s a definite warming on the way down.
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=136 valign=top style=’width:102.3pt;border:solid windowtext .5pt;
border-top:none;mso-border-top-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;padding:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt’>
<p class=MsoNormal><b style=’mso-bidi-font-weight:normal’>Palate<o:p></o:p>
</td>
<td width=151 valign=top style=’width:113.5pt;border-top:none;border-left:
none;border-bottom:solid windowtext .5pt;border-right:solid windowtext .5pt;
mso-border-top-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;mso-border-left-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;
padding:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt’>
<p class=MsoNormal>Nice medium body.
</td>
<td width=151 valign=top style=’width:113.5pt;border-top:none;border-left:
none;border-bottom:solid windowtext .5pt;border-right:solid windowtext .5pt;
mso-border-top-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;mso-border-left-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;
padding:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt’>
<p class=MsoNormal>Full body.
</td>
<td width=151 valign=top style=’width:113.5pt;border-top:none;border-left:
none;border-bottom:solid windowtext .5pt;border-right:solid windowtext .5pt;
mso-border-top-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;mso-border-left-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;
padding:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt’>
<p class=MsoNormal>Syrupy, very full bodied, light carbonation.
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=136 valign=top style=’width:102.3pt;border:solid windowtext .5pt;
border-top:none;mso-border-top-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;padding:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt’>
<p class=MsoNormal><b style=’mso-bidi-font-weight:normal’>General Comments<o:p></o:p>
</td>
<td width=151 valign=top style=’width:113.5pt;border-top:none;border-left:
none;border-bottom:solid windowtext .5pt;border-right:solid windowtext .5pt;
mso-border-top-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;mso-border-left-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;
padding:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt’>
<p class=MsoNormal>An eminently drinkable beer.
</td>
<td width=151 valign=top style=’width:113.5pt;border-top:none;border-left:
none;border-bottom:solid windowtext .5pt;border-right:solid windowtext .5pt;
mso-border-top-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;mso-border-left-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;
padding:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt’>
<p class=MsoNormal>Occasionally, a one-dimensional really hopped beer is
quite enjoyable – this is that beer.
</td>
<td width=151 valign=top style=’width:113.5pt;border-top:none;border-left:
none;border-bottom:solid windowtext .5pt;border-right:solid windowtext .5pt;
mso-border-top-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;mso-border-left-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;
padding:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt’>
<p class=MsoNormal>Wow!<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Once again
DFH has done the impossible (it’s beginning to look routine with them) – made
a high-alcohol beer taste like it has less than half the strength it actually
does, all the while producing a quality beer.
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=136 valign=top style=’width:102.3pt;border:solid windowtext .5pt;
border-top:none;mso-border-top-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;padding:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt’>
<p class=MsoNormal><b style=’mso-bidi-font-weight:normal’>Aaron’s ratings<o:p></o:p>
</td>
<td width=151 valign=top style=’width:113.5pt;border-top:none;border-left:
none;border-bottom:solid windowtext .5pt;border-right:solid windowtext .5pt;
mso-border-top-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;mso-border-left-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;
padding:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt’>
<p class=MsoNormal>8/4/9/4/17 = 4.2
</td>
<td width=151 valign=top style=’width:113.5pt;border-top:none;border-left:
none;border-bottom:solid windowtext .5pt;border-right:solid windowtext .5pt;
mso-border-top-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;mso-border-left-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;
padding:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt’>
<p class=MsoNormal>7/4/8/4/16 = 3.9
</td>
<td width=151 valign=top style=’width:113.5pt;border-top:none;border-left:
none;border-bottom:solid windowtext .5pt;border-right:solid windowtext .5pt;
mso-border-top-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;mso-border-left-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;
padding:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt’>
<p class=MsoNormal>8/4/8/4/16 = 4.0
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=136 valign=top style=’width:102.3pt;border:solid windowtext .5pt;
border-top:none;mso-border-top-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;padding:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt’>
<p class=MsoNormal><b style=’mso-bidi-font-weight:normal’>Dan’s ratings<o:p></o:p>
</td>
<td width=151 valign=top style=’width:113.5pt;border-top:none;border-left:
none;border-bottom:solid windowtext .5pt;border-right:solid windowtext .5pt;
mso-border-top-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;mso-border-left-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;
padding:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt’>
<p class=MsoNormal>10/4/9/4/18 = 4.5
</td>
<td width=151 valign=top style=’width:113.5pt;border-top:none;border-left:
none;border-bottom:solid windowtext .5pt;border-right:solid windowtext .5pt;
mso-border-top-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;mso-border-left-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;
padding:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt’>
<p class=MsoNormal>8/5/8/4/15 = 4.0
</td>
<td width=151 valign=top style=’width:113.5pt;border-top:none;border-left:
none;border-bottom:solid windowtext .5pt;border-right:solid windowtext .5pt;
mso-border-top-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;mso-border-left-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;
padding:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt’>
<p class=MsoNormal>8/4/8/3/17 = 4.0
</td>
</tr>
</table>

<p class=MsoNormal>We discovered that for these rather hoppy beers, Animal
Crackers served as a solid palate cleanser.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">
</span>

<p class=MsoNormal>Interestingly enough, both Dan and I gave top honors to the
more standard beer, the 60, even though the 90 is far and away the highest
rated of the three on the site.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Maybe
more folks should do a side-by-side comparison.<span style="mso-spacerun:
yes"> </span>That being said, we rated all three beers high, and thought they
all showed the quality DFH is known for.


<p class=MsoNormal>Who knows if DFH will be creating a 150- or 180-Minute IPA
next year.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>But if they’re in the same
league as the 60, 90, and 120, I say bring ‘em on!

</div>

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start quote Medium sweet, definite alcohol, hops [are] floral, light citrus as well... not the hop-bomb you’d expect end quote
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