120 Minute IPA - Dogfish Head Brewery
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Ratings: 5,865 | Reviews: 1,971 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by SPThirtyThree:
4.21/5 rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
This bottle is 4 years and 1 month old, to the day, making this the oldest DFH120 I've ever tried. The bottle advertises that it ages well, and I'm curious to see how it compares to fresher versions.
A: Murky copper with apricot edges. I let a lot of sediment into my goblet towards the end of the pour, peppering flecks that cling to the curved sides of the goblet, huddling towards the bottom. A half-finger head of yellowed creme quickly falls to a small blob of fine bubbles in the middle from the etching, and then the head further recedes to a thin collar of tan.
S: The nose is really interesting on this because I remember it being hop-heavy, but this one is a sweet, complex, plum fruitcake. It's chewy and a little hot, and the fruits are both dark and citrus-laden.
T: Tangy pineapple. This beer is sweet and resinous. Hot alcohols yield to sticky sweetness, touched off by the fruity notes of the west-coast hops. There's a lemon tang, and a slight metallic flavor, but both could just be features of the heat behind the flavor.
At 4 years, I notice DFH120 has a huge Belgian-candy spicy sweetness, and the finish tastes of fusels, but not enough to spoil the flavor. I also think I'm getting some acetaldehyde from start to finish, but it's masked by some of the heavier flavors and heat. There's a slight toasty breadiness malt also buried in there somewhere, but the theme is spice and heat.
As it warms, some vanilla, cocoa, bourbon, and nutty flavors become more pronounced, and this beer starts to have an aftertaste and mouthfeel like drinking a Scotch on the rocks. Since it's 3X the strength of a standard craft beer, I feel the effects of the alcohol only halfway through. The sweetness remains through the full session, keeping the heat in check.
M: Hot, astringent, and thin, but not unpalatable. It feels oily from the viscousness of the alcohol, and carbonation seems very low. It's very prickly on the tongue, with various spicy, hot, and astringent sensations happening and different times on different parts of the tongue. The finish is very interesting with many different elements to focus on, like a distinct stickiness in the center of the tongue.
This beer is a nice sipper, a winter warmer. It's a blend of harsh flavors, and the hope is that they balance harmoniously. The 18% alcohol is impossible to mask, but DFH120 is very smooth given it's strength. However, it's heat, metallicity, and green-apple flavors detract from it's overall palatibility. I'm not sure if two of those words are actually words, but either way, DFH120 is obviously a famed, huge beer, and it's delicious despite some unpleasant flavors.
Overall, there are so many different sensations to focus on while drinking 120 minute, that this beer stays interesting through every sip, and for every bad flavor it seems like there are two delicious ones, so it's not fair to knock this beer for some of its harshness.
Serving type: bottle
11-05-2013 19:53:58 | More by SPThirtyThree
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120 Minute IPA from Dogfish Head Brewery
91 out of 100 based on 5,865 ratings.