Dogfish 120 – The beer that ruined my IPA stash – Beer Review

This beer is really hard to find.  By hard I mean, I’ve developed a network of beer buddies who alert me when they find a bottle.  I have befriended a beer store owner who promised he would hide a bottle under the counter.  One guy I know got a Saturday morning call at 7am from his beer store owner.  He dashed out in his jammies and bought 2 bottles @ $8/bottle.  This is a highly coveted beer, in short supply for a limited amount of time each year.  It would not be wise to be between me and a bottle of this stuff.

How did this beer ruin my other IPAs?
It was so good that it made my personal stash of IPAs pale in comparison. I compare every new IPA I try against this monster.

I think you will agree, that once you’ve had a Dogfish 120, all IPAs even the Dogfish 90 and 60 just don’t taste as good any more.

A buddy handed me a bottle of this IPA last year.  It was aromatic, heavy bodied and absolutely intoxicating.  Ahhh, let’s talk about intoxicating for a moment here.  This stuff is potent.  It’s a buddy beer because you need to share your bottle.  Split it in half trust me.  The taste and aroma is an adventure and frankly even a half glass overwhelms your senses.

From the brewer:
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.
http://www.dogfish.com/brews-spirits/the-brews/occassional-rarities/120-minute-ipa.htm

This is a very good beer, just don’t stock up on other IPAs before you try it.

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This beer made my Beer Shelf of Fame.  It’s displayed prominently in my kitchen.  If you look closely there’s a “Hello Kitty” beer up there too, but that’s a story for another day.

 

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5 thoughts on “Dogfish 120 – The beer that ruined my IPA stash – Beer Review”

  1. I am a frequenter of a very local (within walking distance) craft brewer here in Cincinnati. They have a full range of regular beers (stout, golden, brown, IPA), a fair schedule of seasonals, and brew 2-3 specialty beers per year. The beers are all serviceable, with some approaching very good and the seasonals and specialties approaching excellence. A couple of months ago, one of the assistant brewers made a mistake (or conducted a protest; the story is unclear) and altered the hop profile of the IPA by adding ALL Citra hops, or more Citra than the recipe calls for. The result was a different IPA than their regular beer. Most of the regulars of the taproom agreed that the “Dirty” IPA (as the regulars began calling it) was superior in flavor to the regular recipe IPA because it had a cleaner, brighter hop flavor where the regular beer is a little more muddled. Maybe the “Dirty” had a little more identity. Regulars began calling for this IPA either in favor of the regular beer or at least as a seasonal or specialty offering. The rumor back from the brewery is that in addition to being more expensive to brew due to the expense of the Citra hops, they would have to run through the hoops of getting Federal approval for the changed recipe. The “Dirty” was however bottled, kegged, and sold as their regular IPA. They have gone through the batch and are back on the regular recipe as I found last night when I visited and had a pint of the IPA. Again, certainly not a bad beer, just different and not as good. Has anyone ever heard of anything like this happening? Would other brewers hold the batch and brew new to the regular recipe? I understand why they bottled, kegged and sold the beer–brewing is expensive and even larger craft breweries would be hard-pressed to throw out or hold an entire batch. I was smart enough to procure a growler of the “Dirty” for consumption on the first 65+ degree day here in Cincy, which the way things seem to be going will be in July.

     
    1. This is a fascinating story and concept. Reminds me of the story about how Chocolate Cookies were invented. A cook added chocolate to the batch as they were making Chocolate cookies for the nth time. In this batch however the chocolate didn’t melt – today we have chocolate Chip cookies. Your dirty IPA may have been created by mistake (or a disgruntled employee) and yet it was a batch that is unique. I bet it tastes outstanding and probably does create margin erosion for the brewer. I’m jealous of your very local brewery location btw.

       
  2. Edit:
    I wanted to thank Jacob Bachman @theboycanwrite for reminding me that DFH 120 is really a DIPA and can’t really be compared to other IPAs for a fair comparison.

     
    1. I can’t even call 120 a DIPA… it think of it much more as an American (due to the hops used) barleywine. When I think IPA, I think Sculpin, Stone IPA, Troegs Perpetual IPA, etc.

      120 is huge, boozy, syrupy and sweet. Personally, I can’t drink it. Not surprisingly, another “beer” that effects me the same way, which is also highly regarded, is Firestone Walker’s §ucaba (which is billed as an American barleywine)

       

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