Beer Review 0024: Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA

60 Minute IPA comes to us from the geniuses at Dogfish Head Brewery, and is part of a series of India Pale Ales they make that feature specific time limits. To put it simply, 60 Minute IPA is a beer that is continuously hopped (as mentioned in big letters on the bottle) and that has more than 60 hop additions in a 60 minute boil.

Dogfish Head also makes 75, 90 and 120 Minute IPA, but the 60 Minute is advertised as being a “session” beer whilst also being for hardcore beer enthusiasts like myself.

So, what is a “session” beer? Well, everyone probably has their own definition, so I’ll give you mine: To me, a “session” beer is a beverage that contains 5% ABV (alcohol by volume) or less, of which at least three can be drank in quick succession without the alcohol impairing your physical or mental abilities.

60 Minute IPA comes in at 6% ABV, so it is one percentage point over what I would define as a “session” beer. However, compared to the ABV content on most Dogfish Head brews, 6% is fairly tame. I find that with beers over 5% ABV, the body starts to feel the alcohol quicker and harsher — perhaps this is why most beers are 5% or less.

Enough with the percentages and math and formalities. Let’s get to drinking!

60 Minute IPA pours a glowing golden color, full of bubbles that zoom to the top of the drink. The body is slightly cloudy but transparent, with an average-sized head that is long lasting, tight and creamy. I noted no particles or sediment. A very fine looking beverage; just going by looks alone, this one appears high quality.

For a heavily-hopped IPA, the aromatics were pleasant and not at all overwhelming. There was definitely a huge presence of hops; in their full glory: citrus in nature, specifically lemons and oranges, with a pine and perfume undertone. It’s balanced out by a slight malty scent — I can’t identify it, but it is toasty. I was surprised by how complex the aromas were to be not so in-your-face. Again, very nice.

The initial flavors on the palate were a strong hit of pine and oranges. The oranges were ripe and juicy tasting, not just artificial or as if there were some kind of flavoring in the beer. The drink was drying on the palate, which wasn’t a bad thing, and the finish was average length with a malty taste. The flavors were on the extreme end, very pronounced and pushed to the limit. But to be so extreme, the balance shown was expert. This isn’t like some IPAs where you take a drink, make a squishy face and ponder if you want another sip or not. 60 Minute IPA is satisfying; each drink makes you think “Whew! What a blast of flavor!” and you find your arm reaching for the glass until it’s empty.

Dogfish Head has produced a real winner with 60 Minute IPA. Delicious and extremely flavorful in all the right ways, this is an example of the style you will always want to have in the fridge. In fact, this beer rated so well that it has earned the status of CLASSIC on my point scale.

Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, 95 points. Price: $9.99 US for six pack.

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