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TedE

Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA

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DFH 120 Minute is probably still the king of high-test Imperial IPAs.  I've heard it referenced as a "quadruple IPA" to distinguish it from lowly double IPAs, borrowing the nomenclature of Belgian Tripel and Quadrupel ales.  Available twice a year and selling out regularly even at $10 per 12 oz bottle, it clocks in somewhere in the high teens to around 20% ABV depending on the batch.  My understanding is that once you get to that strength fermentation becomes harder to control and recipes can't be dialed in as easily, so every release is a little bit different.  Anyway, I only bring it up now because I saw it over the weekend at the DC Costco being sold by the case ... for $199.  That is certainly the most expensive case of beer I've ever seen!  Someone told me you can get it at the brewery in Milton, DE around release date by the case as well, and I'm sure it runs about the same.

The brew pub in Rehoboth usually taps a couple kegs from the Spring release over the summer which is where I usually get my yearly fix.  It does cellar very well, and they have other vintages available in bottles from time to time for comparison.  I know some beer geeks collect this one and have done vertical tastings going back several years.

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On 4/24/2017 at 2:11 PM, TedE said:

DFH 120 Minute is probably still the king of high-test Imperial IPAs.  I've heard it referenced as a "quadruple IPA" to distinguish it from lowly double IPAs, borrowing the nomenclature of Belgian Tripel and Quadrupel ales.  Available twice a year and selling out regularly even at $10 per 12 oz bottle, it clocks in somewhere in the high teens to around 20% ABV depending on the batch.  My understanding is that once you get to that strength fermentation becomes harder to control and recipes can't be dialed in as easily, so every release is a little bit different.  Anyway, I only bring it up now because I saw it over the weekend at the DC Costco being sold by the case ... for $199.  That is certainly the most expensive case of beer I've ever seen!  Someone told me you can get it at the brewery in Milton, DE around release date by the case as well, and I'm sure it runs about the same.

The brew pub in Rehoboth usually taps a couple kegs from the Spring release over the summer which is where I usually get my yearly fix.  It does cellar very well, and they have other vintages available in bottles from time to time for comparison.  I know some beer geeks collect this one and have done vertical tastings going back several years.

Pretty good deal, but I can't imagine having a case!

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On 4/26/2017 at 1:56 PM, pras said:

Pretty good deal, but I can't imagine having a case!

Was in Rehoboth last week and confirm that they sell it by the case at retail for $216.  Factor in the tax and that's about even with Costco.

But $7.50 a glass at the brewpub (10 oz. pour) is definitely the way to go.

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My current favorite beer. At the moment have three in the fridge for special occasions. Would love to be able to try it on tap some place, if you ever see a place locally TedE please post!

I do think it's taste does change after three years, optimal drinking time ~1-2 years.

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On 8/9/2017 at 6:46 PM, lion said:

My current favorite beer. At the moment have three in the fridge for special occasions. Would love to be able to try it on tap some place, if you ever see a place locally TedE please post!

I do think it's taste does change after three years, optimal drinking time ~1-2 years.

It's regularly available at the local Dogfish Head Ale House locations.

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On 8/11/2017 at 9:21 PM, pras said:

It's regularly available at the local Dogfish Head Ale House locations.

Ah thanks for the info! I think years ago when I first started drinking 120, a couple of the Dogfish locations said they only got a couple of kegs and they went fast. 

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13 hours ago, lion said:

Ah thanks for the info! I think years ago when I first started drinking 120, a couple of the Dogfish locations said they only got a couple of kegs and they went fast. 

According to their production schedule, they are making it twice a year now--April-May and November-December.  They have also dramatically increased production, so it is likely much more available.

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On 8/14/2017 at 6:41 PM, lion said:

Ah thanks for the info! I think years ago when I first started drinking 120, a couple of the Dogfish locations said they only got a couple of kegs and they went fast. 

Nanny's in Cleveland Park is hosting a tap takeover for DFH tonight (2/1) and according to the announcement they will have 120 Minute.

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47 minutes ago, TedE said:

Nanny's in Cleveland Park is hosting a tap takeover for DFH tonight (2/1) and according to the announcement they will have 120 Minute.

Ah man, unfortunately have a friend visiting from out of town at the moment so can't make it. Thanks for the info! 

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On 4/24/2017 at 2:11 PM, TedE said:

The brew pub in Rehoboth usually taps a couple kegs from the Spring release over the summer which is where I usually get my yearly fix.  It does cellar very well, and they have other vintages available in bottles from time to time for comparison.  I know some beer geeks collect this one and have done vertical tastings going back several years.

We happened to be back in Rehoboth for a couple of days last week during the Spring release of 120.  This year they offered the option of a vertical tasting for 2015-2018 from a keg of each year that had been set aside for this purpose ($15 for 4 tastings of those vintages from kegs was a relative bargain).  The flight is pictured, 2015 on the left and the just released 2018 on the right.  You can tell just from the photo that only a year of cellaring produces some pretty drastic changes in this beer.  The flavor profiles are even more dramatic.  Collectively, if 2015/16/17 were subtle variations on the theme, 2018 was a different composition entirely.  When fresh this beer is bright, obviously hopped to the high heavens, with a flat malt profile and a distinct alcohol note in the finish, but doesn't drink like something that weighs in at 18%.  One year of age flips that on its head: the hops, having partially or completely broken down, are now background notes (albeit very loud ones, but they aren't what draws your attention at first) and the malt backbone becomes downright vinous with a warming alcohol presence throughout.  Those qualities were more concentrated in the 2015; interestingly I thought the '15 and '17 were most similar, with the '16 retaining more of the floral characteristics.  The overall package reminded me more of a Sauterne than a fresh IPA the older it got.  If you are ever in the position to sample vintages of this beer that have been aged under optimal conditions I would highly recommend it.

 

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I finally had my first-ever Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA - they have them for (if I recall) $11.99 a bottle at The Brew Shop

It is hopped to high-heaven, but done so in a way that emphasizes concentrations of flavors, rather than just Hop-Hell. This Bavarian-at-heart malt-head liked this high-hopped beer very much.

On 8/11/2017 at 9:21 PM, pras said:

It's regularly available at the local Dogfish Head Ale House locations.

Do you know how much it is? I haven't been back to Dogfish Head Ale House since this disastrous rip-off (Dogfish Brewery wrote me, and assured me they have nothing to do with how these pubs are run). 

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On 4/2/2018 at 11:43 AM, TedE said:

We happened to be back in Rehoboth for a couple of days last week during the Spring release of 120.  This year they offered the option of a vertical tasting for 2015-2018 from a keg of each year that had been set aside for this purpose ($15 for 4 tastings of those vintages from kegs was a relative bargain).  The flight is pictured, 2015 on the left and the just released 2018 on the right.  You can tell just from the photo that only a year of cellaring produces some pretty drastic changes in this beer.  The flavor profiles are even more dramatic.  Collectively, if 2015/16/17 were subtle variations on the theme, 2018 was a different composition entirely.  When fresh this beer is bright, obviously hopped to the high heavens, with a flat malt profile and a distinct alcohol note in the finish, but doesn't drink like something that weighs in at 18%.  One year of age flips that on its head: the hops, having partially or completely broken down, are now background notes (albeit very loud ones, but they aren't what draws your attention at first) and the malt backbone becomes downright vinous with a warming alcohol presence throughout.  Those qualities were more concentrated in the 2015; interestingly I thought the '15 and '17 were most similar, with the '16 retaining more of the floral characteristics.  The overall package reminded me more of a Sauterne than a fresh IPA the older it got.  If you are ever in the position to sample vintages of this beer that have been aged under optimal conditions I would highly recommend it.

A very fortuitous trip and a great experience!

Checking the back of the fridge yesterday during the World Cup and my 2016 120's are finally finished, need to stock up again the next round. 

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19 hours ago, DonRocks said:

I finally had my first-ever Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA - they have them for (if I recall) $11.99 a bottle at The Brew Shop

It is hopped to high-heaven, but done so in a way that emphasizes concentrations of flavors, rather than just Hop-Hell. This Bavarian-at-heart malt-head liked this high-hopped beer very much.

Do you know how much it is? I haven't been back to Dogfish Head Ale House since this disastrous rip-off (Dogfish Brewery wrote me, and assured me they have nothing to do with how these pubs are run). 

I haven't been to an ale house in ages, so I have no idea their current pricing.  FWIW, I have never been a big fan  of growlers or crowlers, unless it is something which doesn't make it to bottles.  The Bruery Bottle Shop in the Union Market neighborhood is an example, of a place with beer that doesn't hit a bottle, but be forewarned, there is no drinking at the store or even sampling.  Beer at the Bruery Store can also be expensive, but the pricing is commensurate with their retail pricing for bottles. 

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