The Burrito Tribune


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Craft Beer: Dogfish Head 90 Minute Imperial IPA

Dogfish head Imperial IPA

My decision to review more craft beer and “manly” alcohol (i.e. whiskey) will have to wait for another post.  I decided to jump right into it and review an IPA that I had sitting in my fridge.  This is one of Dogfish Head’s higher-end beers.  A 4-pack runs around $9-$10 if memory serves me well.

According to the bottle, it’s made using a single 90 minute hop addition.  It’s balanced by English Two-row barley, and then every tank is dry-hopped.

I should start off this post saying that I’m not the biggest drinker of IPA’s.  I have found a few that I like, but a many have just way too much hops.  I feel like hops should be a seasoning, even with IPA’s.  Too many hops and you can’t even taste the beer any longer.  It’s like you’re drinking mashed and strained hops juice.

But I digress….

First impressions, it smells cool and wheaty, with a blend of hops that compliments the wheat very well.  It’s a very complex scent that carries a lot of subtle aromas like cucumber, thyme, and well… great beer.  It also makes me think of grapefruit, but not that citrus-bite.  It simply has this bright flavor to the smell, like if you’d made grapefruit-ade or something along those lines.

I like that when you first sip it, it comes across as a more straight-forward wheat beer.  It starts with a bold beer taste that only fades as you swallow.  That’s when the hops wells up and fills the back of your mouth.  It’s strong, but pleasant and not overpowering.

The hops hits hardest for only a fraction of a second, being followed by a very sweet finish.  The finish reminds me of the malty sweet finish of a stout or porter, but it isn’t as heavy.  It’s a nice little adventure for the palette and I can see why it is such a highly rated beer.

This last part might make me sound like a lush, but I tend to qualify a beer by how often I can drink it.  Some porters or stouts are in the “once every six months” category.   Others are a “once a day”, and yet others are “drink regularly through a night out”.   This has nothing to do with the overall quality of the beer, but simply how often I would want to experience it.  I might be able to drink PBR like water, but that doesn’t qualify it like a good beer.  Likewise, I’ve drank some great Bell’s Stout that I can drink exactly one time a year, but it’s so good I don’t want to miss that one time.

For Dogfish head Imperial IPA I could drink this several times through a long day/evening out, but I would probably change up after my third (if I got that far) because it is rather rich.  On a pure quality/flavor side it’s an amazing experience and a great flavorful beer.

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