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09-05-21-02

Dogfish Head Raison D’Etre Beer Review

09-05-21-02I’ve had my fair share of Dogfish Head beers before, their brewery is only two hours away from my house, but they still make me happy. I had the pleasure of finding Raison D’Etre in the local six pack store the other day and I had to buy it. It was one of the few mass produced beers that I have not really had a chance to try. The reading on the bottle makes you want to drink it was well. It says, “a deep mahogany ale brewed with Belgian beet sugars, green raisins and a sense of purpose.” Sounded interesting so I went for it.

09-05-21-04Dogfish Heads website claims that this beer is as complex as a fine red wine. I could put quite a few beers in that leauge, but the statement holds true for this beer. It comes in a 8% ABV and 25 IBUs. Raison D’Etre pours a dark red and it is nice and clear. There is a light head, but nothing to write home about. On the nose you get a bit of raisins, wood, and lots of malt.

The first sip was filled with different flavors. There is a lot of malt with notes of wood, some hops, and I got a bit of smoke. The hops were not overpowering at all, just a bit of an accent. The Belgian yeast used on the beer gives a nice little spice on the backend as well. For a higher alochol beer, it is light in mouthfeel and very drinkable. It is also very crisp and refreshing. I enjoyed this beer and would recommend it to anyone who likes interesting beers. Dogfish Head might not be everyone’s’ cup of tea, but I sure did enjoy this example. (more…)

Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA Beer Review

I told you the beers would get better, and this review, steps it up to an unhealthy level. Unhealthy only because Dogfish Head’s 120 Minute IPA clocks in at an amazing 20% ABV. Before I go any further, let me post what the brewery has to say about their beer:

“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! At 20% ABV and 120 IBUs you can see why we call this beer THE HOLY GRAIL for hopheads!”

I’ve only ever had one bottle of this stuff, partly because it is tough to find and partly because it cost me $8.99 for a single bottle. I did recently see it at my local distributer for $160.00 a case ($6.66 a bottle). But when you think about it, the price really isn’t that bad. 20% ABV is equivalent to 4-5 “normal” beers. Aside from the price, this beer is special for other reasons.

It pours an amber/orange color and, not surprisingly, it has a strong hop aroma. The beer is very thick, and seems to pour slower than other beers (just like how an oatmeal stout pours differently from a shitty macro).

Before I tasted this I was expecting to be blown away with hop flavors. 120 IBU’s is insane. The smell was there, and with with IPAs, I was expecting the taste to be there was well.

Surprisingly, the hop flavor was smooth and not overpowering. Overall, all of the flavors were very smooth. Shocker. The first thing that hits your tongue is a bit of alcohol. This flavor quickly dissipates to a fruity, woody, slightly hoppy feel. Later in the beer the hop flavors become more noticeable. It takes you by surprise, but not in a bad way.

This beer is very well balanced. There is not a single element that overshadows another. For the new craft beer drinker this would probably not be a great beer, but I really enjoyed it. One thing you need to remember is to drink this beer slowly. I had this over the period of an hour and a half (and it doesn’t taste bad warm). If you drink this like a normal beer, you are not going to get very far. This is a great cold day beer that I will be having again very soon.