120 Minute IPA - Dogfish Head Brewery
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Ratings: 6,089 | Reviews: 1,984 | Display Reviews Only:
5/5 rDev +22.2%
I will preface this review by saying that I don't think I've ever rated a beer a full 5. The idea of finding a "perfect" beer is a little ludicrous, if you ask me. Poured from a 12oz bottle @ ~40F into an oversized short wine glass.
Appearance: Oh my goodness. Absolutely stunning. As I poured, it was a brilliant, bright orange color that reached a glowing, deep orange in the middle, and then slightly lighter at the top. It reminded me of the color of a ripe papaya - just the most vibrant, brilliant, gorgeous shade of orange that I've ever seen in a beer.
Smell: Intoxicating. If I had a slightly larger/wider snifter, I would have used it here. However, the wine glass with the taper at the top helped to gather the smells… certainly more so than a regular pint glass. I picked up many tropical notes including orange, grapefruit, and perhaps a hint of cantaloupe. I’m no expert in isolating specific smells/flavors, but I could tell that there was a lot going on here. I won’t attempt to name 10 different fruits/smells, because at some point the majority of them blend together into a heavenly tropical smell.
Taste: Mind-blowing. It really is something out of a fantasy. An explosion of juicy, bright tropical fruits massaged my palate as I let the sip rest on my tongue for a few seconds to warm up and soak in. The malt takes a back seat as you would expect, with the bitterness of the hops pushing all the right buttons. I absolutely love IPAs and DIPAs, so I can appreciate a good balance between bitterness and flavor. I love a good hop bomb, but those are easy to make. It is much more difficult to make a balanced IPA. I don’t like my IPAs to be too bitter or resinous, but I also don’t like them to be completely floral or citrusy without any bite to back up the flavor. They really nailed it — it’s got the perfect bitterness, a subtle but present floral taste that could easily be missed, and the citrus and tropical flavors launching a full-on assault of the palate. The taste of DFH 120 is simply too good to be overstated.
Mouthfeel: The DFH 120 mouthfeel fits my ideal criteria. At first there was a bit of a bite, like excess carbonation combined with the high alcohol content. The carbonation is right on the money, though. Not too much or too little. It’s juicy enough to wet your palate, but dry enough to have the perfect amount of bite. The high ABV warms the palate as well, but it’s not as hot as I expected it to be. I’ve definitely had hotter mouthfeels from DIPAs and Imperial Stouts around 10-15% ABV. For comparison, Surly Sÿx was significantly hotter at the same temperature than the DFH 120. They got the balance just right with this one. I noticed that when I smiled, the alcohol gave a nice little burn on my gums. It seems inconsequential, but it added to the enjoyment of this brew a lot.
Overall: This beer nearly drove me to tears. It is truly extraordinary. All I could think while drinking it was "WOW." It’s taken me a while to write this review, because my experience was beyond words. I got into craft beer around 2-3 years ago, taking brewery tours, hunting down rare/seasonal beers, trading with friends, and having tasting parties with friends and coworkers. Sometimes I would pay around 3-4 times the amount of a good craft 6-pack for a single bomber/750mL bottle of a rare brew. People are always astonished at the price of some of the rarer beers, most of them saying something along the lines of “that’s so overpriced.” Sometimes I agree — there are definitely some overpriced beers that are not good enough to warrant a $20+ asking price for a 750mL. I treat these beers like liquid gold, making sure to savor every drop. The moment I took my first sip of DFH 120, I was flooded with memories of my first really fresh IPAs and DIPAs. It brought back the excitement I used to get from finding an incredible new brew that pushed all of the right buttons for me — beautiful colors, intoxicating smells, bitter floral and citrus flavors, and a juicy mouthfeel, leaning towards the dry side. Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA is everything that made me love craft beer in the first place. It has become my reference IPA. Something to compare all others to. Something to remember fondly. Something to define my tastes. It's hard to overstate my satisfaction.
Huge thanks to Dogfish Head for making one for the hardcore IPA fans. I think I can easily say that 120 Minute IPA has earned its way into one of my top 5 favorite beers of all time. If I’ve ever had anything close to a perfect beer, this is it. I’ve finally peaked. I guess that should make me sad because I don’t know if I’ll ever find anything more delicious, but it makes me happy, because I feel lucky to have been able to find, enjoy, and savor this exquisite brew over easily one of the best hours of my life. It is simply out of this world. It is everything that is craft beer. Bravo, Dogfish Head. Bravo.
07-31-2014 18:01:13 | More by yokken
4.9/5 rDev +19.8%
bottled on 5/10/07 for consumption on 7/21/14
Appearance - pours a muddy, brackish plum-brown. Just a faint cover of bubbles, barely sustaining a collar.
Aroma - rum-soaked shortbread and caramel. A boozy citrusy element that is not like Grand Marnier, but it makes me think of it just the same. A touch of plums and soy.
Taste - hard Christmas candy with the weird fruit filling. Light citrus but its there. Extremely warming in the throat and belly, mmm. A light smack of hops, not near enough to balance, just gives a little nip. Some light soy and/or anise as well. Lots of fun flavors to pick out and enjoy. Unbelievably easy to drink for its strength. Yes, the alcohol is certainly evident but the beer's flavors are plenty intense and integrated enough for it to work out wonderfully.
Mouthfeel - impressive carbonation seven+ years later. The body is big without becoming heavy, which could lend too much weight to the sugary aspects of the beer.
Overall - Excellent stuff at both three and seven years, I'll give a new bottle a whirl next time, though I suspect fresh hops rule the day. Toasting 20K on the fitbit - cheers!
2003 Edition sampled on 3/18/06
Appearance - pours a clouded light orange color, a snappy but short-lived head on top. 3.5
Aroma - a new experience on this one. I pick up the initial expected fruit and booziness, though not to the degree I expected. But then I get this unmistakeable spicy aroma. A cooking spice, what is it, I know the smell...then it hits my brain - curry! Are my hands clean? Sure enough, and I just washed out the glass from my last beer. Sniff again - curry again. Perhaps this is the effect on my senses when hops get over-saturated into a beer? I don't know. I like curry but I am unsure of what to expect on the taste. 3.5
Taste - wow. No curry here, but this is in the 'beer candy' genre. Intensely sweet, as if it's been concentrated. Orange candy, honey, pineapple, some mildly spicy hop component, and now and then a breath of that curry, but barely. Big alcohol finish, but not as brash as I thought it'd be. Beautifully supportive of the hops flavor, I don't think I can remember a beer being so hoppy and yet so sweet instead of bitter. Without fail, every time I take a sip, I get a whiff of that curry, but it generally does not appear in the flavor profile with any force. Finishes wet, warm and coating. 5
Mouthfeel - very thick, the carbonation holds its own among the heavyweight flavors. 5
Drinkability - I am so glad I grabbed this and am hopeful that I can wait another 5 or 6 years to sample the other one. 5
07-22-2014 02:53:45 | More by brewdlyhooked13
4.47/5 rDev +9.3%
Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice glass. 2014 bottle.
Appearance: Pours a hazy golden orange with a lot of bubbles. About one finger of off white head that slowly fades into a thin creamy layer.
Smell: An earthy, juicy, and boozy hop forward aroma with hints of citrus, grass, and caramel malt. Earthy and herbal hops with big hints of spicy pine resin and wet grass. Citrus hop hints of grapefruit, orange peel, lemon, pineapple, and melon. Sweet hints of brown sugar and vanilla. Big malt backing with sweet hints of caramel, toffee, biscuit, grains, and yeast. Alcohol is quite noticeable. A pretty good aroma.
Taste: Like it smells, a huge earthy, juicy, and boozy hop forward taste with big notes of citrus, pine, and sweet malt. Upfront earthy, herbal, and floral hops with dank and spicy notes of pine resin and grass. Juicy citrus hop notes of grapefruit, orange peel, lemon, pineapple, and melon. Sweet taste of brown sugar and some subtle notes of vanilla and other candied sugar. Big malt background with notes of sweet caramel, toffee, grains, biscuit, and yeast. Fairly boozy. A very good aggressive taste.
Mouthfeel: Very full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Very oily, chewy, and drying. Alcohol heat is pretty noticeable but it’s not too extreme.
Overall: A very good monster of a beer. Huge aggressive bitter hops with an almost equally big sweet malt backing. It’s almost too much but it’s quite good as a sipper.
08-23-2014 08:11:52 | More by MattyG85
4.9/5 rDev +19.8%
Almost as good of a beer as you can get
Appearance- Pours a beautiful orange color a fingers width of head. Moderate lacing.
Taste- Booze is hidden very well. Hops, pine, and some malt take over. Very dangerous beer that seems to be in the 6-8% ABV range.
Overall- This is a must on any beer connoisseur. Right up there with Zombie Dust, Pliny the Elder, Heady Topper, and Black Note Stout.
08-23-2014 03:28:33 | More by kplooki
4.5/5 rDev +10%
Had the 2012 and 2014 batches on tap at The Shepherd and the Knucklehead in Haledon, NJ. Poured in a Dogfish Head goblet. Beers were similar enough that I'll use one review.
A = Crystal clear with a golden orange hue. Head was not appropriate, but faded fairly quickly (due to high alcohol content?). Decent lacing.
S = We had a hard time placing the smell. Sort of a syrupy alcohol aroma - can definitely smell the booziness of this. Another reviewer said "rum soaked bread" - that might be a good description.
T = Balanced (not just a mouthful of hops). Some of that alcohol syrup taste comes through - just a very complex balance of flavors: citrus, hops, alcohol, etc. Wow.
M = Just slightly bitter feel to it and that lingering taste that tells you that you just had a very high ABV beer.
O = A very special beer for very special occasions. Certainly will go much better on a cool Autumn or cold Winter night (yet I keep drinking them in July/August).
08-22-2014 13:32:32 | More by jman42
120 Minute IPA from Dogfish Head Brewery
91 out of 100 based on 6,089 ratings.