Beer Review: Dogfish Head 75 Minute IPA

A longtime favorite at the Rehoboth Beach, Del., Dogfish Head brewpub, 75 Minute IPA just hit the retail market in January and is now available in 25 states. You wouldn't expect Sam Calagione to do anything less than surprising at this point, and this beer was concocted by blending 60 Minute IPA with 90 Minute IPA, adding maple syrup, then bottle conditioning it. Maple syrup in an IPA? Yes.

So, how does the maple syrup play out upon drinking? Quite well. It doesn't creep in until mid-palate, when it subtly subdues the Cascade hops, then vanishes when the bite of these bittering agents hits the back of the throat. The syrup serves to coat the beer with a gentle sweetness not normally found in an IPA. As the beer warms, the hops begin to cede more and more to the syrup. It's almost as if the maple sweetness wraps the beer up inside itself.

Working backwards from taste, the mouthfeel is soft — it doesn't call attention to itself at all. The body is straightforward, though a critic might accuse it of creeping slightly toward the thin side. The nose is redolent of fresh hops, which is logical given that the label on 750-ml bottle boasts its contents are "dry-hopped out the bejeezum boards."

Other than the unusual combination of ingredients, it's the head that's most remarkable. The beige, two-fingers-or-more head refuses to dissipate even after 10 minutes. Once the natural carbonation does recede, it leaves daubs of sticky lacing in its wake. The brew itself is a dark straw-to-golden color that gets deeper as you approach the bottom, thanks to sediment from the bottle conditioning.

If you're into IPAs, this is a beer that drinks easily, so by the time you get to the bottom, you may just start to tipsily wonder if there's some sort of witchcraft at play, with mad genius Calagione smirking over the spell of a triad of 75s: 75 Minute IPA, registering 7.5 percent ABV, bottled exclusively in 750-ml containers.

— Tara Nurin, The Drink Nation


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