I poured a 12oz bottle into the official Dogfish head tumbler glass. It was bottled on 2/26/13. It cost $3.80 ($0.32 per ounce).
Appearance: A light purple/dark magenta color. Dark but clear with mild
carbonation visible. Forms a large, pinkish white, soapy head that
retains and laces well.
Smell: And odd combination of citrusy hops and some kind of berry juice (not grape juice).
Taste: We’ve come to expect the unexpected from Dogfish Head, so no
matter how strange their brews may be they shouldn’t be surprising.
Sixty-One is much more interesting than it is anything else as it’s
technically an American IPA brewed with Syrah grape must. I believe the
intention was to create for a beer/wine hybrid, though the final product
is more of a berry-flavored beer with hops. It’s not bad, but I’m not
sure I understand the appeal.
Slight grapey tartness at the beginning, which quickly gives way to the
base 60 Minute IPA palette. It’s a weird transition to go from a
juice-like flavor to strong bitterness. I think the intention was to
pair the sharp tartness from the grape must with the citrusy bitterness
of the hops. In that respect it works somewhat since it’s not completely
distracting, but it’s not perfect synergy. The finish is a bit strange
with equal parts grape juice and IPA. I think this taste would grown on
me eventually, but at $3.80 a bottle I literally can’t afford to take
that chance. One serving was good enough for me, and I have a feeling
most drinkers will feel the same way.
Drinkability: While the taste may be rather odd, Dogfish Head Sixty-One
is at least drinker-friendly. The mouthfeel is noticeably soft and a bit
thick but still crisp. The aftertaste is surprisingly clean, though I
wouldn’t describe it as refreshing per se. At 6.5% it feels a bit
lighter than that weight would indicate, and a single serving is