Beer Review: DogFish Head’s 120 Min IPA

Beer Review: DogFish Head’s 120 Min IPA

Beer Review: DogFish Head’s 120 Min IPA

Beer Review: DogFish Head's 120 Min IPAHow long does it take a beer to mature into an alcoholic powerhouse with profiles more similar to an after dinner brandy than that of a traditional IPA?  Apparently 120 minutes or at least that’s what the folks over at Dogfish Head brewery would have you believe.  Once a year typically around the fall, DogFish Head brews vats of their cult classic IPA behemoth, the120 Min IPA.   According to DogFish the 120 is “too extreme to be called beer. Brewed to a colossal 45-degree plato, boiled for a full 2 hours while being continuously hopped with high-alpha American hops, then dry-hopped daily in the fermenter for a month & aged for another month on whole-leaf hops!!!  Our 120 Minute I.P.A. is by far the biggest I.P.A. ever brewed! Between 15-20% abv you can see why we call this beer THE HOLY GRAIL for hopheads!”  Once in its snifter the 120’s orange and amber color is the first characteristic I noticed followed by its nose which has a subdued sweet aroma and reminds me of fresh brewed iced tea.  As the first sip passed by my lips and settled on my palette one thing was instantly clear, this is not a normal beer.  The flavor profile is extremely rich with a powerful hoppy aroma that surprisingly doesn’t represent the brews clean hop taste.  The fact that most of the hops traditional bitterness that tends to be overpoweringly aggressive is almost completely exchanged for balance and smoothness is proof positive of the skill the brew masters at DogFish Head possess.  DogFish Head’s 120 is not for those expecting a traditional and very hoppy IPA, but instead it offers a completely new example of what beer can become when the proper amounts of  passion and innovation meet skillful brewing techniques.  Even with a daunting number of variables in their favor there is still no guarantee that the product will meet DogFish Head’s high standards.  It’s not entirely unheard of for entire supplies to be dumped and discarded in order to maintain quality and consistency.  In the end, sampling Dogfish Head’s 120 min IPA is a rite of passage for those who consider themselves craft beer connoisseurs and deservedly so.  So go now and buy a bottle, I guarantee you won’t find anything else like it anywhere!

Price:  $11.00 per bottle

Characteristics: Powerful hops with a smooth sweetness, more like dessert liquor than beer.

Verdict:  If you can find it, Buy Now!


  1. drew coyle November 24, 2011 at 11:47 pm - Reply

    Where can I buy dogfish 120

    • Jason S. November 26, 2011 at 12:25 pm - Reply

      That is a tough one. It’s available at most of your regular warehouse spirits stores, but they sell out unbelievably quickly and I’ve had personal experiences where the staff at those places weren’t even aware it had come and gone. It typically arrives around the second week in October and most bars only receive 1 keg each year. You’re best bet is either place an order at you’re local store for next years batch or talk to your local bartender and they should know if there are any kegs in town. Good Luck, it’s definitely worth it.

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