Beer Bucket List – Dogfish Head 90 Minute Imperial IPA

In a time when we can effortlessly acquire almost any good or service we desire, from virtually anywhere in the world, beer remains one of the few products that aren’t readily accessible to everyone. We read about interesting beers online, we’re exposed to them through word of mouth or social media, but due to a number of barriers, most of us rarely, if ever, get the chance to try many of the ones on we want to.

I have a very long list of beers that I want to need to try. Thanks to well planned travel, generous friends and family and (more often than not) pure dumb luck, I’ve been able to make a small dent in that list. I have a long way to go, but every time I scratch one off, it’s like a little victory (especially when the beer meets or exceeds expectations). 

Dogfish Head 90 Minute IIPA

I recently came into possession of two bottles of Dogfish Head’s 90 Minute Imperial IPA; a feature on my ‘Beer Bucket List‘ for a long time. 90 Minute IIPA uses a continuous hopping technique over (you guessed it) 90 minutes, for which Dogfish Head has become well-known. In theory, the continuous hoping approach is designed to create a powerful, but not overwhelming, hop character. The result is a remarkably well balanced and easy to drink beer for its 9% ABV/90 IBU (on paper).

Extremely fragrant, Dogfish’s 90 Minute IIPA gives off an assortment of beautiful aromas; bright and floral with grass, citrus, pine and honey. Malt sweetness augments the rich bouquet. The aromas translate to tastes; skillfully balancing the sweet with the bitter and keeping the alcohol in check. The floral and citrusy flavours fill my mouth along with honey, dried dark fruit and melon, then rush pleasantly upward towards my sinuses. The sweet malts cut the bitterness adding caramel malt, nut and bread notes. Somewhat resinous and syrupy yet with a gentle effervescence, it finishes earthy with candied orange peel, malt and brown sugar depth.

My overall impressions of this beer are nothing but positive. I really wish it was available in Ontario, but at least 90 Minute IIPA isn’t very hard to find across the border (in the US). If you’re interested in trying some, Dogfish Head has a great tool to help you track some down.

If you’re not up for the road trip and want to bring something home from the LCBO that shares some similarities with the 90 Minute IIPA, Muskoka’s Twice As Mad Tom IPA is one of the closest things available. Though with considerably more bite, Twice As Mad Tom shares a similar sweet malt profile with floral, citrusy and grassy hop notes as well as honey and tropical fruit flavours. Though not as well balanced, it’s a great beer in its own right.