I really never thought that I would be one to age a beer for a year to compare it to newer vintage. For the longest time I scoffed at the idea. In fact the only reason this came to fruition is because I could never find the time to drink the Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA with my girlfriend. Then as the time for the current release kept creeping closer and closer I began to start re-thinking the idea.
I mean they make wine to age. A great brewery should be able to make a beer that ages right?
So let’s get nerdy with it and try a year to year vertical with Dogfish Head’s 120 Minute IPA
-Appearance: Deep amber color but bright and clear. Ok carbonation, head dissipates rather quickly.
-Nose: Very underwhelming on the nose. Not very pronounced at all. Really have to take a big whiff to get anything and even then it’s perfumy hops.
-Flavor: Hops up front but not as overwhelming as I would expect from something that is hopped for 120 minutes. You get a bit of the malt backbone with brown sugar and caramel notes.
-Appearance: Hardly any head or carbonation at all. Almost a cloudy dark amber. You can really even see the difference in the picture above.
-Nose: Malty and sweet smelling. Get a barleywine smell off of it. You do get a bit of hoppiness on the nose but you can tell they aren’t fresh.
-Flavor: Sweet and malty. You can tell that over the year of ageing the malt really came into its own, much more pronounced than the ‘16. You get high alcohol on the backend. This beer is definitely a palate killer. Has more of the characteristics of barleywine than an IPA. Much smoother of a mouthfeel than the ‘16 as well. Probably due to the mellowing of the hops and carbonation.
So was it worth it? Sure. It was really worth it just to try it and see the difference between the fresh one and the aged one. If you have the will power and the nerdiess it’s definitely worth a go. However, do your research, and this goes with aging wine as well. Age a beer that is meant to be aged. There is a reason that most rational people won’t be doing verticals of Coors Light…..