The benefits of a beer buddy
Posted on 5/1/2012 at 12:24 AM EST (383 days ago)
2 Member Ratings | Delicious Overall | 10/10 Appearance | 9/10 Aroma | 9/10 Mouthfeel | 9/10 Flavor
I have them. You have them. Odds are, most everyone in the better beer world has them. I'm talking about beer buddies. You know who I am talking about. The friends who are willing to find any reasonable excuse to share a pint or two of tasty beer with you at a moments notice. Well recently a beer buddy and I decided to do a little home brewing, and during some of our down time, he asked a question that made me smile from ear to ear. The question was ''Hey, have you tried the Dogfish Head 75 Minute IPA yet?''. My answer was ''Nope''. Now you might be asking yourself why I was smiling if my answer was no. Well you see, I know that my beer buddy wouldn't ask such a question unless he had a bottle of it ready to crack open if need be. And trust me when I say we both agreed, it need be.
Now I realize that some of you may have never even heard of the 75 Minute IPA, so for a little background on it we can go directly to the Dogfish Head website and find:
Blend two Dogfish Head favorites, add maple syrup and carbonate the mixture naturally. What do you get? 75 Minute IPA.
The carbon dioxide trapped during bottle conditioning gives 75 Minute IPA a soft and velvety mouthfeel. Dry-hopped with whole-leaf Cascades, this complex IPA has been known to inspire pilgrimages to our brewpub.
If you know anything about the 60 Minute IPA or the 90 Minute IPA, you know that they are both amazingly great IPAs in their own rights. So blending the two and then adding in some maple syrup just has to be delicious, right? Absolutely right.
In the glass it takes on a burnt orange coloration that really makes me want to call it toasted honey, but I'm not sure if that is even doable. But if you can toast honey, that is the color that I would call it. A fluffy, bright white head forms even on a gentle pour, and as you can tell by my helpful picture, the lacing qualities from it are plentiful. When you go in for a smell, the hops that greet you are citrus in nature, with lots of orange and grapefruit dominating, and lighter notes of lemon zest and passion fruits coming through occasionally. As with the individual 60 and 90 Minute versions, the malt backbone is very sturdy and has a hint of caramel sweetness to it. Some toasted dark bread aromas can be found with some deliberate digging, and then laying buried beneath everything else is a thin, but resilient layer of sweet maple syrup.
The first taste is, without surprise, delicious. The addition of the maple syrup offers just enough of a twist to the ''standard'' IPA flavor train to make things different without being distracting. As in the nose, it lightly dances in the background rather than mosh right up in your face. The hops remain very citrus, with grapefruit being the most dominant, but the passion fruit notes seem to come through a bit more distinguished, with pineapple being very noticeable. The malts remain sweet, with some additional toffee highlights coming through to play around with the maple syrup flavors. I keep fighting the urge to use the word ''subtle'' over and over in my descriptions of a lot of the flavors, but trust me when I say it is a very appropriate term for many of the tastes in the glass. The bottle conditioning does indeed give it a very velvety and almost creamy mouthfeel, with things cleaning up rather well in the end with just small hints of caramel and grapefruit being detected in the aftertaste.
I wouldn't swear to it, but there is a good chance that after every sip we took of it, my beer buddy and I looked at each other and said ''Man, that is really, really good''. We were both wrong though. The 75 Minute IPA isn't really, really good. It is really, really great. It is no surprise that Dogfish Head has managed to again come up with a delicious IPA concoction that remains true to form in most areas, but still manages to toss in a bit of a twist just to keep us guessing. I would have no problem recommending it to all levels of drinkers. It isn't as big and bold as the 90 Minute IPA, has a slightly more complex flavor train than the 60 Minute IPA, and tosses in a little extra flavor that isn't available in either. The fact that it comes in the larger 750ml bottles means that it is a perfect candidate for a beer buddy sharing session. So there, I gave you a great reason to go out and find one. Granted you could wait and see if someone else picks one up and offers to split it with you, but the 75 Minute IPA is one of those situations where I would rather you be safe and buy one to share, than run the risk of being the odd man out somehow. As for me, I say ''Cheers!'' to my beer buddy. I owe ya one for this experience.
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Posted on 5/2/2012 at 8:11 AM EST
Wow, now I cannot wait to bust open my 75 Minute IPA. It actually surprises me that more breweries don't craft specialty IPAs with sweeteners. Due to the counterweight effect on the bitterness, the mix can create some amazingly tasty beers (Bell's Hopslam comes to mind). Course, I would imagine that the appropriate balance would be pretty damn difficult to achieve, so maybe that's why we only see them from respected players like Dogfish Head.
Just picked one of these up a few days ago. Now that I've read this review, I can't wait to crack it open! I think this may be my Friday "get the weekend started off right" beer this week.