2011’s Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA (in 120 words)

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Maturation of 120 Minute over a year is shocking. Gone are overpowering and sometimes bitter scents brought on by 120 IBUs in lieu of something more akin to barleywine. Biscuity aromas shine over subdued hops, which try to strong-arm their way into your nose at the end of each inhale. Any hop aroma smells more dank than anything.

Plenty of heat from the 18 percent ABV makes this beer obviously more difficult to drink than any imperial IPA on the market, however the brew’s sweet maltiness combines with a honey flavor to ease it a little. Intense hop bitterness remains from its early life. 120 Minute is no longer an IPA fit for hop heads. It’s more whiskey than beer.

+Bryan Roth

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18 thoughts on “2011’s Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA (in 120 words)

  1. One of my favorites…and well put! I was introduced to this dangerous yet oh so delicious beer about a year ago and I snatch it up every chance I get!! Can’t go wrong with the avg 18% either.

    • Dogfish certainly doesn’t hide that ABV, but I feel like it still sneaks up on you a little. I hope to head up to their brewpub soon to pick up a new, fresh batch of 120s.

      Cheers!

    • FTW.

      One of the fun things I’ve done with the four bottles I bought last year was parcel them out – one as soon as I bought it and then waiting a few months on each bottle to see how it ages. It’s a fun exercise, if only to get to experience how the flavor changes. Also, you know you’ve got some great beer lying around if you ever need it.

      Enjoy!

      • On the recommendation of the BEST beer store employee I’ve ever met, I mixed the 120 IPA (fresh, not matured) with Dogfish Head’s Theobroma. It is bloody amazing. My recommendation is to try it.

        On a side note, I also picked up DuClaw’s Sweet Baby Jesus on his recommendation, and I am in pure beer heaven … I’m typically not even a beer drinker. I like full-bodied red wines. Can you get DuClaw in your neck of the woods? If not, let me know and I’ll send you a bottle of the Sweet Baby Jesus to review. It’s delish.

      • As luck would have it, I’m making a beer pilgrimage (beergrimage?) to Dogfish this weekend. This half-and-half concoction will be on my to-do list. Thanks very much for coming back to recommend it!

        As for DuClaw, I don’t even think I’ve seen their beer before. I’d love to get my hands on a bottle! Drop me a line via email and let’s work something out. I’m at bryandroth [at] gmail.

  2. 120 Minute has always been a malt bomb. I’ve drank it weeks old and have still thought “this is a barleywine”. The 18% ABV is impressive but if the extra alcohol adds sweetness that completely takes your beer out of your intended category I don’t see the point.

    • Since we’re talking about Dogfish, I’d argue the purpose is at least half for the practical experimentation of the process. I can’t recall with absolute clarity, but when I had one of these “fresh” after buying, I thought that the hops were rather intense, although the malt certainly helped to balance things out slightly. With the bottle I had recently, it seemed to be the other way around.

      It sounds like you’re not crazy about 120 Minute … I assume 60/90 is more up your alley because they stick closer to style?

      • If I had to choose from the DFH lineup, yeah, I’d saying 75 minute or 90 minute it much more my style, although I don’t really go out of my way to drink either (maybe 75 minute if it’s on cask locally). The D/IPA I drink the most is Heady.

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