Dogfish Head‘s line up of IPA’s is pretty remarkable. Its a beautiful flight of hop intensities ranging from 60, to 90, and finally 120 IBUs. The 60 Minute IPA was really one of the first beers that introduced me to true, raw hop flavors and aromas. The 90 Minute IPA too was probably the first beer to introduce me to the world of double IPAs.
Earlier today I sat down with my roommate and we enjoyed the 60 and 90 next to each other. We both new that they had similairies and differences of course, but I don’t think I have ever compared them so directly before. Next time I grab a bottle of 120 Minute I will have to get all three together for a party.
But considering the 60 and the 90 alone is a terrific time itself. Both are brewed with continuous hopping; the 60 Minute IPA boasts 6% abv, and 60 IBUs, and the 90 Minute is 9% abv with 90 IBUs. Pretty straight forward so far. But just take a look at these two beers! There appear to be worlds apart.
The 90 is built on a strong malt backbone with heavy bitter flavors and deep hops structured hugely in the body of the beer. The aroma is bitter but malted, and overall not strongly pungent in aroma. Its head is dense and creamy with bright colors and pillowy softness. The 90 itself is rich amber with golden brown and is slightly opaque, but still relatively transparent.
The 60 on the other hand is pure aroma, lifting huge citrus and pine flavors off the nose, but with less overall bitterness in the mouthfeel. The beer is crisper and lighter in body lifting a very airy fluffy head which is not close to as dense at the 90. The 60 also is golden yellow and seemingly transparent all the way through.
I remember when I first had the 60; the amount of hops blew me away! Now, after enjoying the 60 and the 90 together, it seems relatively subdued and rather average. Perhaps this is because I was also enjoying a beer with 30% more bitterness, or even that by now my palate is more accustomed and attuned to drinking heavily hopped bears. In either case, both beers are unique and outstanding; each certainly has its moments to shine.
The 60 is perfect for that afternoon quencher on a hot day. Its very watery in body and goes down smooth with crisp and supremely quenching bitter characters. It is amazing with BBQ and pub fare or anything spicy.
The 90 also matches well in the heat, but its body is softer and more soothing. It suites a relaxing evening much better than the 60, and can mate with the same foods. It also will pair well with more sophisticated meals like roast turkey, wild game, or raw cheeses.