Dogfish Head – 75 minute IPA

Well hello there faithful readers. I come to you on a Tuesday tonight, which is a bit out of my normal schedule… but so be it! And what a contender of a beer I have tonight. Some of you fellow alcoholics may know of Dogfish Head’s IPA lineup already. There’s the standard 60 minute IPA, which is damn solid IPA. For those looking for a bit more, they have their 90 minute IPA, which is the bigger brother of 60 minute. And for the truly outrageous, they have 120 minute IPA….which is one hell of  a beer to say the least. Little did I know, there was a compromise created at some point. I present, for your reading enjoyment: The 75 Minute IPA! Now I didn’t even know this beer existed until my extremely vigilant, beer-loving friend sent me a text message. Thanks to her efforts, I can reward you all with this extra special brew review! Well, lets not waste any more time!

First of all, a brew this special deserves a bit of background story. It’s no ordinary beer, oh no, she’s a blend of 60 and 90 minute IPA mixed with maple syrup, and then bottle conditioned. Ah…blended beers are always something special to me, nothing like taking a risk and trying two beers mixed together. And in some cases, the result is so extraordinary the brewery ends up bottling the result. I’m already a fan of both beers in this brew, and the maple syrup…well it intrigues me to say the least. It also worries me a tad, but I should know this brewery can handle some off-centered ales.

She pours out beautifully, and leaves a healthy helping of head to boot! She’s a beautiful golden amber color, and has a stunning clarity. This is especially remarkable considering she’s bottle conditioned, which means she still has yeast in her. Ah yes, nothing like a living beer. Being a homebrewer, I’ve dealt with more yeast than a gynecologist. Did you cringe? Good! Back on topic, this is one fine looking brew. A beautiful color, a striking clarity, and a generous helping of head, she’s a triple threat. Let’s find out if her aroma is as nice as her appearance.

Hmmm….I think I can detect a hint of maple in there. Now, that’s not the first thing that hit my nose, I just happened to be thinking of it when I took a whiff. No, she’s an IPA, and not afraid to show it by smacking you across the nose with hops. She’s filling me with that citrus-filled, fruity, hoppy good place that we all should just dream about when we sleep. It’s actually more lemon than citrus now that I sit back and let it sink in, but near the end you catch a fleeting glimpse of Old Maple. The old gal just peeks around from her tree, and disappears as quickly as she appeared. She’s so slight that it makes you question her existence. Well, this is one damn fine smelling IPA to say the least, and it should be seeing as it’s made from two damn fine IPAs. Hopefully it will taste like five damn fine IPAs.

Well, it tastes like one damn fine IPA, and that’s just peachy with me! The first thing I notice, however, is how velvety smooth her body is. It’s remarkably different from body of 90 and 60 minute IPA, but that’s all due to the bottle conditioning, and possibly the maple syrup. And that’s the other thing I notice, there’s no prominent maple syrup at all. I should have known dogfish knew what they were doing with it, but let’s not get hasty. Let’s take a journey down this little road named flavor street.

She begins with a lovely sweetness from the malts, it truly reminds me of 90 minute at this point. However, it doesn’t last long, no this girl has a few tricks up her sleeve. The malty sweetness is quickly balanced by a healthy dose of lemony bitter hops, and it’s a perfect counter to the start of this beauty. This is where I can really feel the 60 minute IPA coming through, the almost dry hoppy finish closing off the experience. But….it’s more than that. There’s a slight sweetness to the finish, and the more I sit back and reflect on it, the more it seems like the maple syrup to me. Hold on….let me verify this….
Yup, it’s official. The finish is a blend of hoppy bitterness, and the sweetness of maple syrup. It’s a fantastic flavor, to say the least, and it’s because it’s done with such balance. Truly, Dogfish Head knows how to work with the more exotic beer ingredients.

And to support this wonderful blended flavor of beer goodness comes the smoothest body I’ve experienced in an IPA ever. Looking at the clarity and color of this beautiful beer, you really wouldn’t expect such a rich and smooth body. But there she is, sporting a body that a Belgian Dubbel would be proud to own, and allowing all the flavor to wash over you.

Overall, this is a fantastic and exotic IPA. A beautiful brewery blended brew that takes the best from both beers and adds her own spice to the mix. 75 minute IPA…you’ve earned your title for sure. If your into IPAs, or just extremely cool beers, try to find one of these babies.

Until next beer, this is Brian G. signing out!

Categories: Beer, IPA | Leave a comment

Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel

Wow, that’s a hell of a name for a beer. I’m glad this is a blog and not a podcast because I know I’d pronounce this brew’s name horribly wrong. It’s a pretty interesting beer, the bottle is pretty damn cool and extremely heavy, like the Notorious B.I.G. may he rest in peace. It’s really one big ass bottle, part of the reason it’s sitting in front of me now, one does not simply walk by such a large bottle. That and the fact that it’s a Belgian IPA, I usually stick to the darker brews, but I went a bit IPA happy on my last trip. I’m ready for this change of pace…it is time. (Please use an old wizard voice in your head when you read it is time…) Let’s see how she pours.

Well it’s certainly no dark beer, but then, I wasn’t really expecting it to be. It’s an extremely opaque light yellow or golden color. I can’t see my hand on the other side…this makes me extremely happy as it often points to a nice body. The head looks fantastic on this baby, it is extremely uneven and foamy. It looks like a bubble bath really, and it leaves a hell of a lot of lacing. Imagine the head from Guinness on an IPA with a tad less volume…that’s it right there. Well let’s see if it smells like a Guinness.
Wow, this is nowhere near a stout, it’s not even in the same country as stout, this is an IPA through and through. Very hoppy smell with a good amount of bite to it, but there is also an underlying floral aroma that mellows the other flavors. It’s smells like a sam adams but a bit lighter and more complex. Well I can’t wait any longer, it just smells too good.

Oooh…that’s pretty damn interesting. It’s got the IPA aftertaste, the bitter hoppy aftertaste that I’ve been missing for so long. Ah, it’s truly great to have an IPA back in my life! How I’ve missed the IBU ratings and the manly feeling I get with each swig. This is a man’s beer IMAO, there is no getting around these hops baby! I’m surprised it doesn’t taste more alcoholic, it weighs in at a hefty 9%. That’s up there around 90 minute IPA from dogfish head and you can really taste the alcohol in that. Man that’s another great IPA by the way…I digress
It’s interesting to have a Belgian IPA, I can taste hints of fruit and spice and perhaps a bit of lemon. It’s not as bitter as an American IPA and not as complex as a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. It’s a very nice middle ground for those looking for a bit of both worlds. The body is medium to light with a very foamy head that adds quite a bit of enjoyability to the texture. The carbonation is just right as it gives the brew an effervescent feel.

Overall I’m extremely happy with my choice to start getting into IPAs again. It’s basically a middle-ground between the heavy hitting IPAs and the extremely rich dark ales. It’s also got a gnome on the bottle, which is pretty damn cool if you ask me. If you’re a fan of rich or bitter brew I’d give this beauty a chance.

Until next beer this is Brian G. signing out.

Categories: Beer, IPA | Leave a comment

Great Divide – Rumble


Well here we are on a Thursday night after work. I just finished dinner and poured myself a very good ale. I’ve had a few of these and since this is the last of a sixer I said I’d better review. It’s a seasonal brew so it’s not always around, and I gotta say it’s pretty damn good.
Why is that Brian? you ask. Well I’ll tell ya believe it or not.

First of all it’s an oak aged IPA. Oak aged beer is usually pretty good stuff, I don’t think I’ve come across one I didn’t like. Plus it sounds cool, like it’s an extra refined brew. Make sure you smoke a wooden pipe and summon a falcon before drinking this refined beauty.
And a beauty she truly is, though she doesn’t give as much head as I advocate. It’s a magnificent color just like a beautiful sunset against an ocean backdrop. The head is about a finger’s width and dissipates fairly quickly. It does leave a bit of lacing which is always a plus. Overall it’s one fine lookin’ brew.

Now this is one beauty that smells as fine as she looks. It’s an orchestra of aromas playing together in the theatre that is my olfactory. First the woody oak hits you and then the beautiful maltiness of an IPA. The hops are pretty buried under the malt and oak, like they murdered the poor hop and hid the body. I know they’re in there somewhere though, I won’t give up on this murder. I bet I can taste em out…that’s what a good detective does after all.
Oh yeah there they are, your under arrest! Alright I’m done with the detective metaphor, I didn’t have a clue I was being obnoxious. Alright I’m done for real.

Anyways, you can definitely taste the hops flavor and bitterness in copious amounts. But it doesn’t seem as hoppy as a lot of other IPAs due to the oaks firm grasp on center stage. The oaky woody flavor mixes well with the piney, bitter taste of the hops to create a truly wonderful brew. It’s got a rich body for an IPA, if I had to guess I’d say that’s more influence from the oak. Who knows, all that matters is it’s a wonderful wonderful thing. It finishes with a bit of bite and a lingering hoppiness that you get from most IPAs.

Overall this is another solid beer from Great Divide. I didn’t even know this beer existed til I saw it just sitting there. I always get very excited when I see a new beer from a brewery I really enjoy, and Great Divide is one of the best IMAO. Definitely will be trying to get more of this before they are out of season. I’ve got a rumble in my belly for this beauty.

Until next beer this is Brian G signing ouff.

Categories: Beer, IPA | 2 Comments

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