Posts Tagged With: Imperial IPA

Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA

Beer: 120 Minute IPA
Brewery: Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Style: Imperial IPA
ABV: 15-20%

Serving Style: Draft
Glassware: Tulip glass
Drinking Establishment: George Street Ale House, New Brunswick, NJ
Primary Consumer: Ally

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OVERALL RATING:



Sight: Murky golden amber that clears to a coppery color, with a 2-finger off-white head.  Lava lamp-like carbonation bubbles float throughout.

Smell: The aroma of figs and hops.

Flavor: Caramel, pine sap, and a slight licorice taste.  The hops are definitely present.

Feel: Moderate carbonation with a medium mouthfeel.

Concluding Remark: Dogfish Head has a 60 Minute IPA, a 90 Minute IPA, a 75 Minute IPA (review earlier this month), and this, the 120 Minute IPA.  The “Minutes” refer to the amount of boil time of the wort–the liquid extracted during the mashing process of brewing. During this time, the hops are continuously added; and the longer the hops are boiled, the more hop bitterness there will be in the beer.  So, you can understand why Dogfish would refer to its 120 Minute IPA as “the Holy Grail for hopheads.”

Now, when I first started appreciating good beer, I had a hard time coming over to the side of the IPA–I just wasn’t a fan of the metallic bitterness.  But, I’ve come a long way, and now I find it slightly ridiculous that, when I first tasted the 120 Minute, my initial reaction was, “This isn’t that hoppy.”  Don’t get me wrong: no doubt is this an IPA, and a strong one at that.  (I felt the tipsy after-effects of this guy for a looooong time.)  But it wasn’t offensive or intimidating; it was highly enjoyable.  I will admit, I enjoyed the 75 Minute IPA better; but Dogfish did a good job with what they call “the biggest IPA ever brewed.”

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Leinenkugel Big Eddy Imperial IPA

Beer: Big Eddy Imperial IPA
Brewery: Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
Style: Imperial IPA
ABV: 8.9%

Serving Style: Draft
Glassware: Snifter glass
Drinking Establishment: George Street Ale House, New Brunswick, NJ
Primary Consumer: Ally

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OVERALL RATING:



Sight: Ruby-tinged amber coloration, with a 2-finger fluffy white head.

Smell: Bright floral notes, perhaps some pine, and citrus fruit.

Flavor: Tastes like tropical fruit, like pineapple and papaya, but with an earthy hop aftertaste.

Feel: The mouthfeel has a bite to it.  Moderate carbonation.

Concluding Remark: I will admit, I was a bit biased against Leinenkugel’s take on the IPA.  In full-on beer snob mode, I wrote them off as the only “craft” brew that local townie bars carry, amongst the Coors Light and Budweiser taps, i.e. the beer that bros will drink to impress the ladies with their beer knowledge.  (Yeah, right, bro.)  Granted, the Leinenkugel Sunset Wheat tastes like Fruity Pebbles cereal, which is fascinating, but still, they couldn’t do a decent job with an IPA, could they?

Well, I was pleasantly surprised.  Using five different kinds of Pacific Northwest hops (Warrior, Cascade, Simcoe, Amarillo, and Citra), the Big Eddy Imperial IPA is bold but balanced, and therefore highly drinkable.  Perhaps this is the beer that can bring bros and beer snobs, hipsters and hos together at last?  That question will remain unanswered.  But as to the question of whether or not you should try this brew, I give a rousing response of “go for it.”

Oh, and as for the name, the Big Eddy Spring runs right through the Leinenkugel Brewery in Wisconsin and was once dubbed “the purest water in the world.”  Leinenkugel has two other beers in its Big Eddy line at the moment, a Russian Imperial Stout and a Scotch Ale.

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Uinta Dubhe Imperial Black IPA

Beer: Dubhe Imperial Black IPA
Brewery: Uinta Brewing Co.
Style: Imperial Black IPA
ABV: 9.2%

Serving Style: Draft
Glassware: Chalice glass
Drinking Establishment: Skinner’s Loft, Jersey City, NJ
Primary Consumer: Ally

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OVERALL RATING:



Sight: Near-opaque pitch black with slight brown highlights.  Tiny cream-colored head that disappears to a dusting.  Decent lacing.

Smell: A musty, hoppy, metallic aroma.

Flavor: Tastes a little like a bitter porter (malts and bitter coffee).  The aftertaste is bitterness and alcohol.

Feel: Medium mouthfeel with moderate carbonation.

Concluding Remark:  Named after a star that is part of the Big Dipper, the Dubhe (pronounced “doo-bee”) is an interesting take on an IPA.  It’s kind of uncomfortable to drink–the bitterness really hits you and lingers–but it does mellow as it sits, and the coffee maltiness comes through, making it a bit more enjoyable.  You do taste the alcohol in this Imperial.

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Dogfish Head Burton Baton

Beer: Burton Baton
Brewery: Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Style: Imperial IPA
ABV: 10.0%

Serving Style: Bottle
Glassware: Drinking glass
Drinking Establishment: Veggie Heaven, Denville, NJ (a fabulous BYOB vegetarian restaurant)
Primary Consumer(s): Ally and Kerensa

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OVERALL RATING:



Sight: Clear, dark gold body with a frothy beige head that leaves exceptionally thick lacing.

Smell: Sweet, almost like dulce de leche or a savory caramel, but with fruity notes, like dried pineapple, and the aroma of pine.  Very dynamic.

Flavor: Sweet hops, woodsy notes (it’s flavored with oak staves), a bit of vanilla–rich, complex, and savory.  There is a bit of an alcoholic note, but nothing obtrusive.

Feel: On the thin side, with moderate carbonation.

Concluding Remark: Dogfish’s Burton Baton is a “two-thread” (or two batch) blend of beer: an English-style old ale and an imperial IPA.  Once blended, the brew stays in an oak tank for about a month.  The resulting depth of flavor is impressive–it’s hearty, like a meal in a beer, with a lot going on in the taste department; but the oak softens the flavors a bit, so that the 10% ABV is not so noticeable.  For this reason, the label says to “share it with loved ones.”  Well, done and done.  And we recommend you do the same.  Luckily, this brew that once had a very limited release has gained enough popularity that you’ll find it at most liquor stores in a 4-pack.  It’s pricy (~$16), but worth it.

As for the name, the “Burton” is a reference to the Burton Ale once made by the Ballantine Brewery, which used the name in homage to the British town of Burton upon Trent that was well known for its breweries.  We can’t find any evidence of where the “baton” comes in, but we can speculate that Dogfish Head is carrying the baton that was once passed from Burton to Ballantine.  Well done, Dogfish Head.

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