Sunday, July 8, 2012

Dogfish Head 75 Minute IPA

I was down visiting last night and they broke out this bottle of the fairly new Dogfish Head 75 Minute IPA that they got at the brewery in Delaware. I of course was more than happy to help them review it. Unfortunately, our review got cut short by the weather so be sure to read my text review for a more detailed critique.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (688) - Albany, USA - JUL 16, 2011

2012 Bottle Version:

I split a 750ml bottle with two friends. I poured it into an official Dogfish Head chalice.

Appearance: Even with a gentle pour, it forms a massive, fluffy, Duvel-like head of bright white foam. It’s very slow to evaporate and leaves plenty of lacing on the glass. The body is a rusty orange/brown color and quite hazy with spastic, small, Belgian-like carbonation visible.

Smell: Pure orange juice concentrate. Fairly sweet with significant citrusy/syrup aromas, but nothing too intense (I think the huge head actually makes it difficult to smell).

Taste: Since Dogfish Head 75 Minute IPA is a blend of their 60 and 90 Minute IPAs, it’s no surprise both of these beers’ palates are detectable here. It’s basically the 60 to start out and the 90 to finish. Big orange citrus flavors up but with a distinct, dank, resiny and piney bitterness rather than the tart/acidic character often found in West Coast IPAs. There’s almost a touch of brown sugar or caramelized sugar.

As it starts to finish the 90 Minute character takes over. An herbally, earthy, slightly rustic or dirty taste of coffee and/or black tea leaves come swooping in. The piney bitterness never relents though, and there’s no distinct sweet taste on the second half. The bottle indicates that it is bottle-conditioned with maple syrup, but there’s not much in the way of that flavor in the palate. Most likely it was used as a fermentable rather than a taste agent, which is understandable (if you’re a beer nerd), but a little disappointing as a bit of confectionary sweetness would really balance out the palate. While there is some sweetness, the hops are the stars of the show. A delectable palate to be sure, but it’s nothing amazing or industry-changing.

Drinkability: Because of the massive head, it takes a bit of a careful effort to drink this beer without getting a face full of foam. It has the effervescence of a Trappist beer so it does dance on the tongue while it’s in the mouth. The beer itself is not too thick or chewy or sticky, and all burps aside, it at least goes down smoothly. The hops definitely do linger on the tongue and are a little cloying. Drinking an entire bottle, even though it’s only 7.5% ABV and almost no alcohol presence, would be challenging.

Grade: 8/10

2010 Cask Version:

On cask at lionheart pub in downtown Albany, NY.

Looks like juice. Hazy flat orange color. No head. No lacing. Not bad. Not very good either.

Not much aroma. Kind of a guava like scent. Some piney hops as well. Brown sugar scent as well ( from the maple syrup?)

Tastes like juice up front. Suprisingly sweet in the middle. Some brown sugar as well. The finish is bitter and dry. Hops linger for a moment. There also seems to be some rummlike heat. Not super delicious but tasty.

Mouthfeel is a tad thin and flat. But then again I drank it on cask so that’s par for the course.

Drinkablilty is good. Beer becomes more bitter and drier as I get towards the bottom. Quite refreshing initially though.

Overall a good beer but it doesn’t remind me of the 60 or the 90 Minute. Just seems like a solid craft beer.

 Grade: 7/10

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