Recently, Mike from Belching Monkey posed a seemingly simple question on Twitter – what are your 3 favorite IPAs? It’s probably an easy question for most people that enjoy having a bit of beer, but for a geek like me it took quite a while to whittle the IPAs I’ve had down to the top three. Although I struggled quite a bit to come up with beers two and three, coming up with my favorite was easy.
That distinction goes to the Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA.
I haven’t really made my love of the Dogfish Head Brewery a secret here on Brews and Books. My guest posters and myself have written quite lovingly about a number of different brews from the Delaware powerhouse. Hell, I even pushed a Dogfish beer on the community at Murmur.com by incorporating beer in the site book club. But none of the crazy, unique beers they produce hit me quite the same way as one of their tasty (and surprisingly traditional) brews.
Here’s how the brewery describes the India Pale Ale;
Our 60 Minute IPA is continuously hopped – more than 60 hop additions over a 60 minute boil (getting a vibe yet of where the name came from?). 60 Minute is a session India Pale Ale brewed with a slew of great NorthWest hops. A powerful, but balanced East Coast I.P.A. with a lot of citrusy hop character. The session beer for hardcore beer enthusiasts!
So, tons of hops, lots of citrus, and the ever-important balance – sounds great coming from the brewer’s mouth, but what does it all mean? Follow me down the tasting rabbit hole after the jump.
On the pour, the 60 Minute IPA is a brand-new-penny copper color, orange and bright – in the light, it practically seems to radiate light in the same way that imperial stouts feel like black holes. There’s plenty of haze in the glass, and a nice fluffy head that dissipates pretty quickly to leave a bit of lace on the top of the beer. The brewery wasn’t kidding about “citrusy hop character” – the 60 Minute has loads of grapefruit and orange in the nose. I’m not sure of the entire hop bill for the 60 separate hop additions, but there are definitely some pine and grassy notes in the aroma as well. Some bready malt and the tiniest hint of alcohol keep the nose from being non-stop hop.
The brewery also wasn’t kidding about the beer being balanced – the first sip (not to mention the following ones) is pretty perfect. Up front, the bready malt gives some sweet sugar cookie flavor, followed right up by sharp and citrusy hops. The Dogfish crew created a very drinkable, very sessionable beer by crafting a light-bodied, well-carbonated beer that finishes really dry – so dry that you want another sip right away. It also accomplishes something many other IPAs fail to do; because the hops are added continously during the boil, you get a lot of hop flavor without things being too bitter. Again, yum.
So…hoppy? Check. Balanced? Check. Drinkable? Check. Tasty? Check-chiggity-check! The 60 Minute is a really, really well crafted beer, and deserves it’s spot as the best-selling brew from Dogfish Head. If you’re looking for a solid, sessionable beer to keep stocked in your fridge, this is the beer.