90 Minute IPA

Review Date 7/5/2004   Last Updated   5/10/2020  By John Staradumsky

The past few days have been a blast, to put it bluntly. I’ve been on a continuous beer hunt since Georgia threw out its ridiculous beer law that limited brews to no more than 6% alcohol by volume. The fun all started late Wednesday night, and there have been some interesting moments indeed. From the wonderful Belgian styled brews at Five Seasons to a fantastic West-coast inspired barleywine, Georgia’s first, at Max Lagers, the beers have been great. It’s been a hoot hitting all the local beer stores and seeing so many new beers, and seeing so many of them sell out within a day.

Many thanks go out to the unknown gentleman who walked up to a beer savvy clerk at one store while she and I were discussing brews and asked her where the 14% Miller Lite was. That was classic. Still, the moment I think I’ll remember most of all was ringing in July 1st with my first sip of a legal strong beer in Georgia, something I did with a foamy glass of Dogfish Head 90-Minute IPA.

Delaware’s Dogfish Head is a brewer of much renown among beer aficionados everywhere, and rightly so. They brew a wide-variety of exceptional, full-bodied and interesting beers, and they distribute them widely up and down the East Coast, through New England, in parts of the Midwest and West Coast, and hopefully soon here in Georgia.

90 Minute IPA is one of the most over the top IPAs you’ll ever sample. Robust and full-bodied, it features a huge malt body and an equally intense hoppiness, both in flavor and bitterness. Dogfish Head calls it an “Imperial IPA”. At 9% alcohol by volume and an amazing 90 IBUs, this is truly a beer fit for an emperor. Dogfish Head also does a 60 Minute IPA and a 120 Minute IPA. In each case, the name refers to the hopping time. Here’s how the brewery describes the process:

Our family of Indian Pale Ales includes the 60 Minute I.P.A. and the 90 Minute Imperial I.P.A.. Both feature our unique continuous hopping program, where they receive a single hop addition that lasts over the course of the entire boil (60 and 90 minutes respectively). This breakthrough hopping method makes for a beer that is extremely hoppy without being overly bitter.

I found this beer to be full of both hop aromas and bitterness. My glass of 90 Minute IPA was deep orange amber in appearance with a thick creamy head and an intensely piney, resiny hop nose. The body of the beer is huge, viscous, very thick and full with lots of chewy caramel flavor. You could almost cut it with a knife.

There are notes of raisin and toasted malt, too. The beer is permeated with an intense piney hop character that really intensifies into the finish. Citrus becomes apparent too, and a long and dry bitterness lingers on the tongue after sipping. This is definitely a very hoppy beer, with tons of malt and hop action going on. It’s really incredible.

This isn’t a beer for everyone, to be sure. But if you like hop monsters, this is the beer for you. It may well be the best 90 minutes you’ll ever experience.

Update 2/20/2017:  Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA at Taco Mac. Herbal and citrus hops in the nose, deep seated caramel malt, citrus peel, resin,  herbal grassy very bitter finish, alcohol burn. $8 for an 11-ounce pour, it runs $8.99 for a 4-pack of bottles. Truly wonderful beer, but did I really get raisin the last time I took notes? Not here now.

Update 5/10/2020: Lately, I've been picking up assorted craft beers in pint cans at gas stations. The latest was a can of 90 Minute IPA I got for $2.75 at Racetrack. Classic citrus notes with a form malt backbone (remember malt?) and a long dry bitter finish make that a real bargain. Canned on 04/02/20, drunk on 5/10/20. Gotta love that.

And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.

*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.

(B)=Bottled, Canned