Special occasion? Special people? Special beer.
A Review of 120 Minute IPA by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Posted on 4/26/2012 by Brew's Your Daddy
A few weeks back, we here at BrewChief.com celebrated one year of existence on the web. And seeing as how me and my co-founder are both highly dedicated to our craft, we had no choice but to go out and do what any awesome founders of an amazingly fantastic website would. We put as many delightful and delicious brews in our face as physically possible. There were dark beers, light beers, strong beers, and even stronger beers. And then, there was the brilliant idea that my co-founder's wife had, which was to crack open one of the strongest beers of them all. The second she mentioned it, all of our faces lit up, and after a brief disappearance to his beer room, my co-founder returned with a beautiful bottle of 120 Minute IPA from Dogfish Head Brewery.

Now for those of you who have never even heard of it, the description provided by Dogfish Head on their website is as follows:

Too extreme to be called beer? 120 Minute IPA is brewed to a colossal 45-degree plato, boiled for a full two hours while being continuously hopped with high-alpha American hops, then dry-hopped daily in the fermenter for a month and aged for another month on whole-leaf hops!

Clocking in at 15-20% ABV and 120 IBUs, 120 Minute is by far the biggest IPA ever brewed! It's easy to see why we call this beer THE HOLY GRAIL for hopheads!

If you need to pick yourself up off the floor from reading that, or if you think you misread it and thus need to read it again, I will gladly wait a moment.

Everyone caught up now? Good. Now on to the review.

Trying to describe the 120 Minute IPA in a traditional fashion, much like trying to comprehend or drink it, is somewhat pointless. Basically it breaks all of the rules as far as beer goes. ABV? Clocking in anywhere between 15-20% makes it up to a 40 proof ''beer''. IBUs? 120 of them is enough to knock your teeth clear through the back of your head and lodge them firmly in the wall behind you. Is any of this even registering? There are very few beers out there like this one, and far fewer that end up being not only drinkable, but actually enjoyable.

To begin with, if you only take one thing from this review, understand that this beer should be shared. If you try to work your way through one on your own, you are setting yourself up for a complete and total disaster. Instead of even considering it, just get a friend or two, grab some snifters(or tumblers in a pinch), and split it up. 4 ounces of this bad boy is more than enough to provide a good hour's worth of sipping. That's right, sipping. And in between those sips, you can take plenty of time to discuss all of the intricate details and nuances that the 120 Minute IPA has to offer.

During our laughter filled session, we came up with plenty of notes and observances. As far as appearance goes, I believe the phrase ''It looks like a slightly copper tinted apple juice'' got the most nods. It has a bit of a sticky, almost syrupy look as well, which can easily be blamed on the ABV. As we all shoved our noses in our glasses, words like ''tangerines'' and ''grapefruit'' were used unanimously. Other smells like oranges, caramel, brandy, toffee, pineapple and mango received honorable mentions throughout the session as well. One thing that was noticed by all and must be mentioned is that as it warms, things seem to become more rich and profound.

When we finally allowed ourselves to dive in for a sip, an agreement that was reached by all is that it must be drank as one would a well aged scotch or brandy. Small, tongue coating sips are the way to go. Anything else is completely wasteful, and most likely painful as well. ''Oily'' was a word that we all used in describing the mouthfeel at some point, and the alcohol burn needed no spoken acknowledgement, but everyone knew that everyone else felt it. Being the hops bomb that it is, we all got grapefruit, earthy funked hops (if that's not a commonly accepted term yet, I plan on making it one), and pine resin. As the session stretched on, the caramel malts start to get a candied feel to them, and with some patience a bready note or two was detected as well. Believe it or not, we all agreed that there is also a sweetness factor to the 120 Minute IPA that is both surprising and delicious. To say that it is unexpected would be a huge understatement.

The 120 Minute IPA is one of those beers that needs an occasion. It isn't a daily drinker, and I would never recommend it as such. It also requires a friend or two. As I mentioned earlier, drinking it by yourself is nothing short of wasteful. But I do think that everyone should experience it at least once in their better beer journey. Do it for the story. Do it for the experience. Do it for the beauty of the beer itself. Do it for whatever reason it is going to take to get you to. I have a feeling you won't regret it. And while this review is a bit unorthodox by other review sites standards, I feel as though it is a much better representation of the direction we are headed here at BrewChief.com. I really hope that it opens a few peoples eyes to how much better our better beer world can be. Sometimes it's about the occasion. Sometimes it's about the people. And then there are times when yes, it is about the beer. This is just an example where the review and the beer are about all three.

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120 Minute IPA by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
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