SkyinBrian (430) - Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - JUL 2, 2004
3.7 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
incredibly strong. smelled a slight but of skunk at first(no idea where that came from) but that quickly went away. not as interesting as the 90 minute can taste the hops. hid the alcohol well for 21%
Falconseye8 (542) - Evans, Colorado, USA - JUL 1, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
#300 - Save the best for the milestones. Been very excited since I received this bottle to sample it. Here it goes: Potent, Sweet, Hoppy, not much head out of bottle but it has been sitting awhile. Very tasty, very sugary. Its also very smooth while being sweet and hoppy. Very interesting tasting experience. Another dark amber beverage that has some potent effects. Allot of these east coast beers of late Iíve been detecting a Sweet tea undertone. Itís here but very faint. Not as citrusy as one might think. Not exactly what I expected but very interesting experience.
BrockLanders (780) - Panama City, Florida, USA - JUL 1, 2004
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: DEC 10, 2006 Pours a nice dark hazy amber. A slight head develops but dissapates quickly. Interestingly, I get a slightly hoppynose..well, maybe there is more there....itís just different. A bit malty, but I guess I thought it might be more aromatic. Fortunately the taste makes up for it. Much sweeter than anticipated, and I like it. A nice syrupy mouthfeel is followed up with a very sweet hoppy taste that throws in quite a nice alcohol bite. Very interesting. Iíve got some 90 min IPA on the way so Iím anxious to see how that one differs. This is a nice ale to sip, I mean sip slowly, late at night before I crash. Iíve got some friends who love Alesmith IPA and Stone Ruination IPA, and I know they wonít like this. The hops take too much of a back seat to the malty sweetness for them. As for me....Iím flexible. I love chewy hoppy IPAs, but this one I love despite the incredible sweetness. The Dogfish folks are amazingly creative with their ales and this merely emphasizes that thought.
This re-rate is the culmination of my thoughts from last years tasting of some 2 yr old stuff along with this 2006 batch. I really really like it.....once folks grasp the fact that despite being listed as a double IPA itís really a huge-ass barleywine theyíll realize its worth. Great stuff.
firemedic713 (169) - Palm Bay, Florida, USA - JUN 30, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a very transparent copper color with a slight off-white head. To quote a fellow rater "I must say this is the very best IPA I have ever had." (even though thereís a lot of sweet for IPA). The alcohol was low key and didnít over power.
CamdenD (1123) - Madrid, SPAIN - JUN 30, 2004
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: AUG 10, 2005 Dogfish plays another game of hide-the-alcohol and does it well. Huge malty nose with a bit of sweetness. Darker color but not opaque, almost looks like a white dessert wine. The flavor for me was dissapointing, very malty and sweet. An interesting aftertaste reminding me of that of a scotch or dry bourbon, nice feeling on the tongue. Good beer, but I canít really think of when Iíd want to have it. Gonna try it on tap at my local through the randalizer regardless, see if it gives it a bit less sweetness. (7/4/5/4/14)
RERATE: I have to agree with my last rating except with my new fixation on barleywines, this beer should score higher. This reminds me of a barleywine on roids. Not so much a super-IPA, but an Imperial Barleywine! Silky smooth, alcohol everywhere on the nose and in the lingering aftertaste, but the tongue feel is of bittery hops, grass, and cream. Impressive.
MartinKubert (862) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - JUN 29, 2004
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Much, much sweeter than expected. Poured a golden coppery liquid. Both aroma and palate was sweet, thick and sticky. Nice and smooth mouthfeel. Quite much alcohol which almost paralizes the tonue. Anyway, it was very delicious, but only moderate portions. Came in a 75cl bottle. Way too powerful for only two people.
davesarman (159) - Waconia, Minnesota, USA - JUN 18, 2004
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle was 750 ml corked. The cork took some coaxing, but eventually came out with a small pop. Inspection of the cork revealed it was most likely a composite or artificial cork, but that doesnít make any difference to me. The front of the label says 2003 vintage, but the edge of the label has a printed scale for month and year of bottling, but there are no marks there.
Immediately after the cork is released, a strong, citrusy hop aroma leaps out, but quickly goes away. Iím thinking, ďOK, lots of Cascade in this one.Ē Upon closer smelling, I also discover lots of malty sweetness and hoppy earthiness, plus plenty of alcohol. Color is a radiant, copper orange. It almost glows against the magenta sunset behind the pine trees outside the windows. Carbonation is lively, and a respectable, tight white head forms and lingers, in spite of the alcohol content.
I have read other beer enthusiasts review of this beer, so I knew the taste would not be overwhelming hops, and I was correct. (Consensus seems to be the 90 minute, which I have not had, has the most aggressive hop profile.) There were lots of hops in here, make no mistake, but there is also lots of malt, or maybe more appropriately, sweetness. After about 5 or 10 sips, I started thinking I was detecting a bit of light Belgian candi sugar. The sweetness was unmistakable against the hops. For a beer hailed and revered for itís hoppiness, it really has an abundance of sweetness. Almost syrupy as it dries on the lips. The sweetness, (apple like) is more noticeable than the hoppiness. (Iíve heard they are now selling a Ďmalt liquorí. Iíve not had it, but wondering if there are any similarities between that and this beer?)
Alcohol is also a big factor in the taste of this beer, particularly the finish. It is very warming, which on a night like tonight was very welcome Speaking of the finish, it was sweet, more so than hoppy, slightly fruity, but mostly alcoholic.
Overall, my impressions of this beer are favorable, more so because the setting fit the beer so well. A cool night, a warming beer. Had I had this on a typical summer evening, Iím not sure I could have finished it. Do they package this beer in 12 oz. Bottles? Great body, the hops are almost secondary. Again, I wonder if there is Belgian candi sugar or some other non-fermentable sugar in this beer to boost the residual sweetness (maltose?), perhaps added after primary fermentation?
As for comparisons with the 60, 90, and 120, I could easily understand how they might be totally different beers.
By the way, my Twins lost to the Brewers tonight. The Brewcrew has been maligned in the last couple of years, but they have a decent team this year with a solid pitching staff. Weíll get ya tomorrow tho!
snoot (286) - Anaheim, California, USA - JUN 18, 2004
2.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 10/20
UPDATED: SEP 18, 2006 Pours a very attractive light orange, small head with some fine lacing. The aroma is unsurprisingly hops hops and more hops. I think itís more of a hop flavored apertif or liquer than a beer, but it certainly is unique.
MMM...Beer (385) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - JUN 17, 2004
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Dogfish is brillant! I have to admit, I really didnít think I would like this one since my palate tends not to like IPAs. However, Dogfish Head balanced this IPA so amazingly well, that it has to be my favorite of the style out there. I must try for all.
ZepolK (102) - South Side Montebello, California, USA - JUN 17, 2004
4.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
I purchased this beer back in May and kept it in the fridge. I purchased it a more of a novelty, thinking that a beer with 20% alcohol would be a little too strong, but I was very, very wrong. Aroma was fruity with hints on apricots and sweet malt. Poured out clean clear dark amber with a very small head. Flavor was rich and complex and slightly sweet. Full rich mouth feel and great robust flavors of hops, malt, and fruit. I must say this is the very best IPA I have ever had. The alcohol was well hidden and didnít over power. I just wish I had more!