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120 Minute IPA - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
120 Minute IPA120 Minute IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,152 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 2,152
Hads: 7,590
Avg: 3.96
pDev: 31.06%
Wants: 1,334
Gots: 3,355 | FT: 208
Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Brewery visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  18.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: frank4sail on 03-24-2003

Too extreme to be called beer? 120 Minute IPA is brewed to a colossal 45-degree plato, boiled for a full two hours while being continuously hopped with high-alpha American hops, then dry-hopped daily in the fermenter for a month and aged for another month on whole-leaf hops!

120 IBU
ABV varies from 15-20%.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 2,152 | Hads: 7,590
Photo of drotski
4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a hazy honey color, with a thick foamy head. Nice lacing on glass.

Smelled very very hoppy, smelled just like fresh hops. As a homebrewer, this is a delightful smell.

Tasted at first, quite hoppy (citrus and spice especially), but was surprisingly sweet. The outragous alcohol content was nicely masked. Indeed a very big beer.

Sort of thick in the mouth, hiding the alcohol (considering its 20+%, impossible to hide, but you know what I mean).

Drinkability is a hard one. Its good enough to keep drinking, but you wouldn't want to drink too many. A 12 oz of this is like 6oz of vodka. A little goes a long ways.

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Photo of terrabyte
1.39/5  rDev -64.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

This poured a very cloudy orange color. Almost half the glass was full of foam. Careful pouring this.

Although there was a quick frenzy of smells when I first poured this beer, it subdued into almost nothing quite quickly. As I waited for the foam to settle, the smell settled down to a dull fruity musk.

The flavor will make you stop what you're doing. Even if all you're doing is drinking beer. I'm immediately reminded of "Four O", a malt liquor by La Crosse brewing that is ranked at 10% ABV. It's high dextrose content gave off a solvent and fuel like flavor. While that beer tried its best to mask that flavor, this beer fails at it. I'm still not finished drinking this beer, and I've gone off and read about 20 reviews, 3 beer style reviews, and read all my email since I started the bottle and this review. I've been making bitter beer face the whole time.

This beer is too thick, too sugary, too sweet, too strong. And here I thought I was going to be hopped to death? The hop flavor takes a back seat to the syrup flavor.

This won't stop me from buying another bottle and hiding it in the basement for a decade. After all, it does say on the side of the bottle:

"What you have here is the holy grail for hopheads. This beer is continually hopped over a 120-minute boil and then dry-hopped every day for a month. Enjoy now or age for a decade or so."

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Photo of ggaughan
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Although I have had 120 minute several times before and I have a handful in my cellar, I am reviewing this from my last sampling of it, at the DFH brewery at about 10am during the bocce tournament. The beer poured a deep caramel, almost deep brown color with a slight offwhite head. The nose was caramelly and also a bit fruity and sweet, all the while with the high abv lurking in the nose. The taste is extreme as can be expected and pretty sweet. I felt that at times I could feel sugar swishing around in my mouth but not overpoweringly sweet like a syrupy beer. There is a nice hop bitterness amongst the sweetness and the high abv (about 18% on this version I think) really comes through and kicks you at the end...also in the middle.

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Photo of redsahx
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

** Special notes: Beer had been bottled for 6 months. Drank this bottle more on the "cold" side ~ 40 deg

I had been looking forward to trying this beer for a while and was finally able to locate a great store not too far away that carried it. I was a big fan of the 90 minute IPA, but was looking to try this more out of curiosity, than actually expecting a great taste.

I must say I was very surprised at the "drinkability" of this beer considering it's 21% abv. Prior to this, the strongest beer I have tasted was Dogfish Head's Immort Ale at 11%, which was also on the sweet side. I enjoyed it thoroughly but cannot justify giving it any higher than a 4 on the drinkability scale given that it doesn't go down "easy" compared to most beers.

I was very surprised at how sweet it tastes. Dogfish's 90 minute and 60 minute IPA have a much more typical IPA taste. I probably drank this beer at a lower temperature than intended, but it wasn't frosted by any means. I assumed I would be drinking it slowly so I gave it a little extra chill, so one can keep that in mind when reading this.

I agree with those who sense a "caramel-like" or butterscoth taste. Was very rich, and while the alcohol could be sensed, it didn't dominate the taste. I will definitely be trying this one again, perhaps at different ages. I'd like to get a hold of a few that have spent multiple years in safe storage. I'd definitely recommend it to those willing to spend $9 on a 12oz bottle.

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Photo of unklesyd
3.06/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Wow, this isn't an IPA, Double IPA, Tripple IPA, or anysuch nonsense. Syrupy barleywine? Okay, I can deal with that.

A generic hop flavor and and aroma were present, but indistinct and battling the intense sweet butterscotch/caramel malt. Bitterness was barely perceptible against an intensely thick, almost cloying sweetness.To its credit, it was not undrinkable, but half a glass was as much as was possible to get down comfortably. This was the 2006, I can't imagine how much less hoppy this could get when aged.

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Photo of rebel1771
4.36/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Let me start by saying I have been trying to get a hold of this beer for over a year now, it's hasn't been real common in Pensacola, FL.

Pours a lovely caramel color with a fine long lasting head. It's a beautiful thing.

The aroma of caramel is the first thing to hit your nose, kinda strange for an IPA. After that the more common smell of hops show up along with a notable alcohol scent.

The taste is not at all what I was expecting but it quite nice. A caramel flavor starts this beer out and fades to a faint hop flavor along with a slight alcohol punch in the end.

Gotta say I really enjoyed this brew, it was worth the wait and the cost.

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Photo of peabody
4.04/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours out very cloudy lemmony tea with no suds at all.
Flat beer here. I suppose the alcohol took care of the carbonation.
smells like whiskey or a strong plum wine. Lacing occours as the stuff warms up.
Mmmm, taste is like apricot brandy. Delicious, this doesn't taste like beer, but is does taste good. caramel and sugar abound, and the hops are not here!!! If you don't like IPA because of the hops, then this is your beer..
Mouthfeel is like a peice of sweet hard candy that is made with burboun. Warms you right up!
I couldn't drink more than one of these at a sitting but still, it is a pretty great beer. Dogfish Head kicks ass!

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Photo of Skidz
4.97/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2003 Edition, 12oz bottle. Constantly kept cold since purchasing way back when.

This sampling spurred by a roomate opening the bottle and commenting, "gee, this beer tastes funny." Split the beer with him.

Pours out golden amber and sits light garnet in the glass with a smallish white head, keeping a fair skimming and some lacings around the sides.

Amazingly fruity aroma, even after all these years. Soft, juicy grapefruits, oranges, pear with undertones of late-harvest grapes. Mild piney behavior, sugary coatings.

Tastes moderately sweet up front with sugary caramel up and down. Fruitiness dominates, all the afromentioned fruity aromas apply here as well, but in big, sugary doses. Mildly apparent alcoholic tones bring forth a bit of spiciness on the finish.

Rich, creamy and rich, rich, rich in the mouth. Soft and light carbonation and a big, full body.

Even at 21% (was the '03 that high?) this is extrodinarily and exceptionally easy to drink and boasts probably some of the best flavor arrangements I've ever come across. As far as highly suped-up IPAs go, this is on the top rung. Almost no contest.

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Photo of gonzo138
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

after months of deliberating whether to buy this beer, I finally did it when there was only one left, I figured I had best do it while I could

A- pours an almost cloudy colored amber, low amount of white head, with great lacing

S- hop smell is present, but not as much as I would have thought, also a kind of out of place malt sweetness

T- strong hopped bite, accompanied by a lingering sweet bitterness

M-very thick, low carbonation, coats mouth and stays there for a while

d-whew, not all that easy to drink, tastes good, smells good, a fine beer, but it does not go down easy at all, took quite a while to finish, only had a 12 oz. bottle, cant imagine trying to finish one of the bombers like in the picture

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Photo of BDTyre
3.76/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased June 2006 and allowed to settle and age for a few months.

Starts off looking good, even though the head is a little thick. Amber to burnt orange colour. Very vibrant, almost like some Belgians I've seen.

Smell is off for an IPA, especially a DIPA. Hoppy, but not bitter and not too hoppy. Malt presence. However, the scent I pick up most is a blend of alcohol and candy sugar with a hint of spice, almost like a tripel.

Well balanced taste. Very hoppy with definite bitterness, but this is countered but a big blast of malts. Very sweet, almost syrupy. Again, I can taste candy sugar. This is almost like a Belgian-style DIPA. Very noticeable alcohol profile.

Decent mouthfeel. Thick, maybe undercarbonated but not unpleasant. Alcohol burn is somewhat distracting.

Okay, its good, tasty and I would buy it again...maybe even age it a few years. But it is not so drinkable...you can really feel the alcohol in this one. And at 20% (my bottle is 20%, not 21%), to think you wouldn't notice the alcohol is just silly.

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Photo of BradBLR
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

WOW, another great Beer from Dogfish Head. This beer poured a nice dark amber color with a very white head. The head was thin, but lasted most of the beer with fairly good lacing. The smell was that of a sweet malt and hops... lots of hops.

The taste was not what I expected. I thought it would be SUPER hoppy, but I was suprise how good this beer was. The taste was a nice balance of hops and malt. The malt had a distinct sweetness to it that help balance it self with all the hops. There was also the taste of alcohol, but that is to be expected with a beer with this much alcohol. The mouthfeel was good, it was a fairly thick beer, but it lacked a little in the CO2 department. There was a nice burn that you don't get from many beers.

Another great beer from DFH, not a beer that I would drink every day or every week for that mater. A very interesting beer that is alot more complex than some people give it credit for. I say it's worth the price to try and you should pick one up if you can.

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Photo of jarsh
3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Presentation: A 12 brown bottle. Kinda cocky stating "The Imperial India Pale Ale". Bottled on date of 03/03/06, not as fresh as I would have liked.

Appearance: Pours a nice ruby red. Decent off white head that dissipated to a pankake right in the middle of my glass.

Smell: This is one odoriferous brew. The alcohol makes itself known on the first sniff. Additional, softer sniffs reveal a fruity sweetness, which is actually nice once you get down to it.

Taste: Again the alcohol is very evident in this beer, but really at 20%AC it should be expected. Very full and syrupy mouthfeel. It starts off hot and sweet, you feel it going down and warms your belly. Hop character is definately there and hangs on the back of your tounge but the hope bite that I was expecting was not there. I definately enjoyed it more over the course of the hour or so I was sipping it. As it warms the alcohol subsides and lets more of the flavor out.

Overall: For the "Holy Grail for Hopheads" I was a little disappointed. A little too sweet for my tastes. I understand and respect DFH for what they were going for here and I did enjoy this beer and I will have it again, in about a year when the other one I bought has aged a bit.

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Photo of Sephiroth
3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, dated 04. Pours with small head, leaving decent lacing. Body is orange. Aroma of grapefruit and alcohol.

I appreciate this beer more every time I have it. I get grapefruit, liquid hops. The malt isn't overpowering, especially considering the high ABV. Mouthfeel is thick, drinkability good for me.

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Photo of BlindPig
3.33/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a Stone IPA glass.
A-1" (maybe a bit more) off white head. Cloudy deeper copper color. Nice lacing that sticked to side of glass.
S-Hops. Maybe lemon mixed with floral hops mixed with little bit of malt and alcohol.
T-Warming of alcohol in back of throat and chest. It is very different tasting. Weird kind of hop character. I couldn't tell what I was tasting maybe little bit of malt mixed with a variety of hops? Not really bitter, but does have the bitter taste on lips when you lick lips afterwards.
M-Full body, light carbonation.
D-I'm glad I tried it but I won't be getting it again any time soon. I was expecting more citrus hop taste and a lot more bitterness to it.

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Photo of Deconstructionis
1.59/5  rDev -59.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

This beer had been lavishly praised by a friend but it can't be had where I live, so when I saw it on a trip, I bought a 4 pack. I was very disappointed (The price is absurd-- ahh, the wonders of marketing). I found it had no balance and the hops were so overpowering the only other flavor besides unadorned sweetness I could really distinguish was a strong raw alcohol. Rather than a malty flavor, it tasted more "woody" and sugary as if pine bark and molasses were part of the wort.

I was impatient and drank the first one after only a short stay in the fridge. The best description I could come up with would be ultra-sweetened hop tea mixed with grain alcohol added to a run of the mill IPA..

Maybe I got a bad batch but I did not think it was good at all. It was essentially undrinkable lukewarm and I had to chill it to the point my palate was numbed for it not to be unpleasant.

If we want to give points for extremism. that's one thing, but if tasting good and being pleasurable to drink are criteria this one fails.

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Photo of Foxman
3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It pours a rubyorangebrown, coppery and cloudy. A thick finger of frothy off-white head piles on, then ebbs slowly to a pillow of foam. Lacing is plentiful and puffy.

The aroma is very thick with candy-coated and malt sweetness, sugary and with plum, caramel, a very vague spiciness. The alcohol is decidedly manly, with tendrils that ooze and plunder.

Upon tasting, the honey and sugar sweetness invades again, but this time more mitigated by sloe fruit, caramel, and a vinous port splash. The hops are more notable here as well, with a strained but present citrus note. The alcohol is more incorporated, sending a whiskey-like message through the center. A credible bitterness struggles near the close, losing out to the residual and long-lingering grain and honey sweetness. While absolutely massive, it presents itself with considerable manners, and a plesant, though sweet, profile.

Very full bodied, it's more than syrup, it's treacle and honey, laying cloyingly on the palate, though with the merest hop bitter glow in tow.

Like it or not, this is one beer that is guaranteed to induce a "wow!"
What's amazing to me is how understated the hops present, knowing the prodigious amounts used. And yet, with the scale weighted to the grain and sugary fermentables, it still does come through as quite bitter and hoppy, though in the background, not upfront. The ABV is glaring in the nose, but decidedly more down-tempo in the taste, or as understated as 21% can possibly be. This is one for the occasional occasion, but when the occasion hits, it's worth each viscous drop.

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Photo of dherling
3.43/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2003 vintage, opened August 2006. Pours out a reddish brown, with a thin off white head, and plenty of carbonation. The nose is fruity, with peaches, and strawberries, bellied by hops and yeast. Taste sweetly carbonated, but finishes fairly dry and clean.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful hazy honey color with a nice taut head that fades to a ring.

This beer has a delectable nose of caramel, orange peel, a slight hop spiciness, and some brandyish boozy smell.

This is a sweet treat with a long finish. Just as much a treat for malt heads as hop heads, and probably more so. Very sweet, perfect for an after dinner quaffer.
Spicy with hops and coriander up front, then a long, long malt bomb with very nuanced flavors of dried apricots and cherries, spice, and honey. This is followed by a long finish of honey spiked piney hops. Delicious now, but this would be absolutely extraordinary with some serious age on it. There is the slightest soy note that dissipates as it breathes.

The mouthfeel is very thick and rich with good carbonation throughout, something that I miss dearly in certain other over the top abv brews.

Drinkability is very good for its style- and after dinner sipper that is quite addictive.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
3.94/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received this 12 ounce bottle for Christmas from my brother. I have had it cellared since but decided to drink it with my upcoming move down South and all.

Poured a tangerine brown in color with a thick-ish white head. Layered lace around the edges of the glass while the head slowly receded. Nose was phenomenal. Deep and musky with some woodiness and just bits of cherries around the edges.

Flavor is not as whacked out as I expected. There is a bit of heat from the alcohol but the burn is not nearly what I would have imagined. Kind of a fruit/cherry juice thing going on and a wood aged tannin flavor too. Malts are surprisingly strong and hold up quite well. Best part is that the hops are not nearly as astringent as I imagined. Medium mouthfeel that improves as the beer warms but in the sense that the beer evaporates off the tongue and becomes more light bodied. Nice beer but not sure I have much interest in trying a second bottle.

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Photo of SetarconeX
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very nice reddish brown color, and an unexpectedly thick head. Rather pretty.

Smells rather nice. Had an odd stench when I opened the bottle, but after letting it breathe for a minute or two, what you get is a very sweet malty nose, with a hint of alcohol. Nowhere near as much alcohol as you'd expect from something 21% though.

Taste...wow. Very malty, very sweet, and with just the right amount of hops to balance out all of that. Manages to taste of raisins, plums, and lemon at the same time, which sounds impossible until you try it. Only a hint of alcohol on the finish keeps this from being absolutely perfect.

An expensive bottle, but absolutely worth every penny. A must try.

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Photo of EPICAC
3.58/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was purchased at Downtown Wine & Spirits a few months ago. I've been putting off trying it because of the high alcohol and high IBUs, but decided to give it a try tonight. I let this warm and served it in one of my Duvel tulips.

Appearance: Pours a hazy copper with a thick, fluffy, creamy, off-white head that leaves thick lace. For such a high alcohol beer the thickness and retention are striking. The head thins to a persistent quarter-inch layer.

Smell: Sweet sugar and caramel dominate. The aroma of spicy alcohol is also very strong. There are notes of citric and resiny hops, but these are surprisingly low.

Taste: The initial flavors are very sweet. The sweetness is reminiscent of raw sugar. Towards the center the sweetness becomes fruitier before being met by a strong spicy alcohol flavor. The finish is resiny hops mixed with residual sweetness. Overall the bitterness, though noticeable and significant is overpowered by the malty sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation, full-bodied and syrupy.

Drinkability: The alcohol is noticeable, but it definitely doesn't seem like a 20% abv beer.

Overall: Definitely tasty, but the hop bitterness is overpowered by the malty sweetness. I was hoping that the balance would tip towards hops rather than malts.

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Photo of Omniscia
3.28/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Serving: 12 oz bottle purchased from Martignetti Liquors on Cross Street, in Boston, poured into a standard American pint glass.

Appearance: Lovely, hazy golden color, like clover honey. Tall, two-finger head developed upon pouring, leaving an uneven lacing behind, confined mostly to one side of the glass.

Smell: Sweet, though not cloying. Somewhat like a barleywine.

Taste: The taste definitely leaves something to be desired. The hops, if they are indeed present, are completely overpowered by the malt. A strong medicinal character is present, as well. It's like Robitussin mixed with Ridge Runner... Too fracking sweet!

Mouthfeel: Velvety smooth. It has a definite thickness in the mouth, again reminiscent of honey. It's surprisingly fluid for something that feels so viscous on the palate.

Drinkability: Well, it goes down well, and provides a nice buzz within the first few sips, but it's nowhere near as quaffable as its siblings, the 60 Minute and 90 Minute IPAs.

Overall: An interesting experiment, to be sure, but not something that's likely to take up residence in my cellar and, at nearly $9 a bottle, that's not necessarily a bad thing.

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Photo of BeerAmbassador
3.53/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle, hazy orange hue. Extra points for head retention on such a high ABV beer. Very sweet fruity aroma. Taste is amazingly sweet with a bit of alcohol on the finish and a small amount of hops trying to come through. The finish actually reminds me of cotton candy it is so sweet. Mouthfeel is very rich and creamy. This is not a beer that has a high drinkability, this is something that you split a 12oz bottle of with a friend. Definately worth a try if you can find it.

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Photo of danielocean03
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle a coppery orange-hued amber with the thinnest fizzy head that quickly vanished only to leave a spotted film with light whitish sticky lacing. Smell is sweet, caramelly malt up front, hops very faint but present, slightly grainy and grassy, followed by some light alcohol notes that finish out the nose. Taste is super sweet, huge alcohol presence, no suprise there, leaves a crisp and dry aftertaste with a hoppy bitterness. Mouthfeel is slippery and smooth, fuller bodied with low carbonation. Drinkability is impressive given the extreme +20% abv, sips smooth and wonderfully complex balancing act between some super heavy sweet maltiness and heavy hops. However, would recommend enjoying only one in a sitting, as the alcohol is smooth enough to catch one off their guard. Would purchase again.

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Photo of Guinness4me
3.22/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Ahh...the holy grail of hopheads. We bought 2 bottles back in 2004 and the first bottle we drank right away. We could barely choke it down. While I'm not a hophead, this one is MUCH better.

The bitterness has taken a back seat to a smooth, sweet alcohol ass-kick with a mid-taste bitterness.

I personally find this a bit hard to drink; it's more of a sipper, like a fine brandy.

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120 Minute IPA from Dogfish Head Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 2,152 ratings.