We, as humans, would like to think that we’ll never forget an amazing experience, a cherished friendship, or what it feels like to be truly home. But, as humans, we do forget these things once and a while. This is why it’s good to visit far away places, catch up with long-lost friends, and to remember why you loved them so much. This is the exact reason why I occasionally revisit my favorite beers – there is often a layer of excitement mixed with familiarity that is impossible to remember as vividly as when I took my first sip.
This is also why I’m reviewing Dogfish Head’s 90 Minute IPA. Two summers ago, I tasted this brew for the first time and was floored. I had never had anything that even remotely resembled it, I loved how different it was from the 60 Minute IPA, and IPAs have intreigued me ever since.
A ninety minute is something that anyone who is a fan of IPAs, or anyone who has never had a good IPA should try for the sake of knowing the standard. So, this is the review of a classic, but I don’t mind refreshing my memory every now and then.
It pours a dark mahogany color, smells sharp and deliciously hoppy, the sweetness of the alcohol permeating the vapors. The head on this one is also nice and thick, and has its own distinct smell. The first sip of this one brought back memories, and excited my tongue. It has a sharp by pleasant taste, very tart hops that bite at the tongue, but followed by the smooth blanket of alcohol. I believe that this brew comes in at 9% ABV but tastes like its a bit more. I can’t get over how complicated it tastes and feels in my mouth, how sweet it is and how it plays with my taste buds. Most strong IPAs just overwhelm you with hops flavor, and they can taste a bit like grass or some kind of veggie at their worst, and can also be very overpowering in one note, much like an overzealous trumpet player playing one loud note over everyone else in the band. But not so with the 90 minute – a smooth blend of tastes that complement, build on and add layers onto each other.
If you like IPAs, try this. If you don’t like IPAs, try this. If you have never had an IPA, try the 60 minute IPA, then taste this immediately after. Its a fun one.
One of these days I’ll get some money or time together to take a trip down to the Dogfish Head Brewery. Their motto is “off centered ales for off centered people.” Well, consider me off center after this one, because I now have fonder memories of this classic from Dogfish Head to stay in my head hopefully until I can make it down to Delaware, or until the next friend buys me a 90 minute.