120 Minute IPA: Superhero or Super-zero?

Not a Summer beer by any means, but since I just drank one for the first time earlier this week, I wanted to include it for Suds in the Sun week. Without further ado, here are the abilities of Dogfish Head’s 18% ABV giant.


At 18% ABV, would you actually expect this one to be an easy drinking beer? If you said, “No,” then you were CORRECT. This is a big beer in every way possible. The high IBU count is not as noticeable as one may think, but that’s only because to get a beer up to 18% ABV you must add ridiculous amounts of fermentables. So, you guessed it, this is a MALTY beer. It’s pretty dark in color and not crystal clear, but it doesn’t appear nearly as heavy as it is. The mouthfeel is heavy, the flavor is heavy, just about everything is heavy… even the glass becomes heavy, but that’s just because you get drunker with each sip. It’s quite possible that this beer demands a new ability category… “Crunkability”.


At such a high level of alcohol, I guess one should expect the heaviness of this one… but to me, it was quite surprising to read the IBUs in this beer then sip it and barely be able to taste any hops flavor. The malt is so overpowering that nothing else seems to be there. With that, perhaps one of the biggest surprises was the absence of a strong alcohol flavor… though the effects and warming ability of the booze was there.


I guess $10 for a bottle of this isn’t horrible. I paid $16 for a bottle of Avery Mephistopheles a few years back… so I guess for what it is, the price is no egregious. However, I promise that I’ll never buy another. Most certainly a one-time deal for me.

Overall Enjoyability

This one’s not for me… here are my drinking notes as proof:

malty aroma, very malty
not a very drinkable beer… period
heavy in mouth, quite sweet
drunker with each sip
not predictable… ipa?
$10/bottle… worth one, more? not sure.
big big big big big beer
can’t write review until later… drunk from one…

This isn’t even to mention that apparently this beer may be my kryptonite. Drank one Sunday night around 9:00. The next day I felt fine… but around 7:45 or so, I became sick. I didn’t sleep most of the night and the toilet was a fast friend. 120 Minute IPA? More like a delayed 24 hour stomach bug.

[rating: 6/10]

~ by thepaintedman on July 24, 2010.

One Response to “120 Minute IPA: Superhero or Super-zero?”

  1. I would say that this beer is definitely not for everybody. It’s one of the more over-rated beers out there, but that being said, it’s not entirely bad either. As far as Dogfish Head IPA’s are concerned, I would posit that the 90 minute is far more balanced and drinkable. Definitely not something I would want a ton of on a hot day, but pretty good. I think idea of hopping something for two hours gives people the idea that 120 is going to be the end-all of hoppy beers, which it really isn’t. 90 minute isn’t bad, and Ithaca’s Flower Power is not too shabby either.

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