Sunday, February 8, 2015

120 Minute IPA - 2011 and 2014

120 Minute IPA is an intense beer. From the Dogfish Head website: "Clocking in at 15-20% ABV and 120 IBUs, it's easy to see why we call this beer the HOLY GRAIL for Hopheads! 120 Minute IPA is boiled for a full 2 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.

Um...That's a lot of hops. Crunchy's recently had several Dogfish Head beers on tap including 120 Minute IPA - both from 2014 and 2011. I had to stop by and check it out. I did have a bottle of 120 Minute once and apparently wrote a haiku about it in 2009. I was wondering if 6 years and more, well, experience drinking would change my opinion.

They were served in 4 ounce glasses for $4 which I thought was very good considering a 12 oz bottle tends to go for around $10. I started with the 2011 one since I was not sure if I would want both and opportunities to have one of these aged is rare! (Unless one has great self-discipline; I do not).

The 2011 poured a very pretty bright amber and was very low in carbonation. The hops were very present in smell and taste; the alcohol was quite noticeable in both as well. Very pleasant, tingly, and a light mouthfeel. It drinks more like a beer than straight liquor but feels like a hybrid of both. Others have described it as similar to a Barleywine which I think may be the most accurate comparison.
I enjoyed it but had to compare it to the 2014 pour. Still a beautiful orange-amber but with more carbonation and a handsome head. The citrus notes stood out more but also tasted more sweetness and dark fruit. It was drinkable enough but I felt like I had enough 120 Minute in my system after 2 ounces (6 ounces total).
 
This is probably the opposite of a session beer; its presence demands you pay attention to it. I'm glad I gave it another (2) tries. I'm a big fan of Dogfish Head and like to take advantage of opportunities like these. How can you not like them with videos like this?
Clocking in at 15-20% ABV and 120 IBUs, it's easy to see why we call this beer THE HOLY GRAIL for hopheads! 120 Minute IPA is 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.
- See more at: http://www.dogfish.com/brews-spirits/the-brews/occassional-rarities/120-minute-ipa.htm#sthash.SKq0tPSm.dpuf
Clocking in at 15-20% ABV and 120 IBUs, it's easy to see why we call this beer THE HOLY GRAIL for hopheads! 120 Minute IPA is 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.
- See more at: http://www.dogfish.com/brews-spirits/the-brews/occassional-rarities/120-minute-ipa.htm#sthash.SKq0tPSm.dpuf
Clocking in at 15-20% ABV and 120 IBUs, it's easy to see why we call this beer THE HOLY GRAIL for hopheads! 120 Minute IPA is 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.
- See more at: http://www.dogfish.com/brews-spirits/the-brews/occassional-rarities/120-minute-ipa.htm#sthash.SKq0tPSm.dpuf
Clocking in at 15-20% ABV and 120 IBUs, it's easy to see why we call this beer THE HOLY GRAIL for hopheads! 120 Minute IPA is 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.
- See more at: http://www.dogfish.com/brews-spirits/the-brews/occassional-rarities/120-minute-ipa.htm#sthash.SKq0tPSm.dpuf

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Hello from Denver

I have not been blogging much lately but do feel the need to capture my "exBEERiences" (sorry) while travelling in Denver, CO. I'm here for a conference but have pockets of free time to do a bit of exploring.

First stop: Great Divide. This was a delightful little brewery. Small tap room with 2 rooms, mostly standing-room and busy on a Sunday afternoon. Generous samples were $1 each. I tried: Collette, a Belgian-style saison, Hibernation ale, and the oak-aged Yeti - an imperial stout. All were tasty but the Yeti was most impressive. I wanted more of that. The tour was short, as it is not a large brewery, but it sounds like they are expanding. Everyone was very friendly there, and I got free stickers. Bonus!

Second stop: After a quick dinner I stopped at Rock Bottom brewery. Apparently this is a chain. They did not have a huge selection but I elected to try a Hop Bomb at the bar. I usually like strong hoppy beers but this one did not do it for me. It tasted slightly metallic, and the alcohol flavor was pretty noticeable even at 7% which is not that high. The server was very friendly though. People in Denver seem happy!

Overall I had a nice visit and appreciated that almost every place to eat downtown had a nice beer selection with lots of local offerings. Next time I hope to visit the World of Beer.

3 from Asheville, NC

My sister's BF is from Asheville, NC. I've never been there, but I do know it is considered a great beer city, even winning the "Beer City USA" award several years in a row. So when they went there on a recent trip, I hinted that some beer would sure be nice. Lo and behold my sister came through with 3 bottles for Christmakkah. 2 were from Highland Brewery and 1 was from Green Man Brewing. I started with the Green Man
 
It poured a hazy medium amber with a small white head. The smell was mildly citrus. The flavor had grassy and citrus hops but also some malt presence. This was a hoppy yet balanced IPA. Very drinkable and enjoyable with a medium body and 6.2% ABV. 
The Kashmir English Style IPA poured a light and clear amber; the sudsy white head dissipated and left lacing around the glass. It smelled like orange and tangerines; also some grass and bread. This was a less intense IPA than the Green Man but still 6% alcohol. A light body, it ends on a slightly floral note. I enjoyed this. It was light and balanced enough to be a session beer but still was nicely hoppy. 
The Highland Oatmeal Porter was my favorite of the 3. While I have certainly had oatmeal stouts before, I don't know that I've had an oatmeal porter and it was great. It poured beautifully dark with a nice thick brown foamy head. It smelled nutty and roasty. It tasted of sweet malts, bitter coffee, and oatmeal with just a little bitterness. It was creamy, smooth, and rich but not a heavy flavor. Pleasant and drinkable at 5.8% alcohol. A solid oatmeal porter. 

Thanks sis!