So me & the family went to Seattle this past weekend, and before leaving for a 3-day vacation I did a little online reconnaissance to figure out where I was going to sneak away to drink some incredible craft beer. Sure, I lived there a couple of years in the late 90s and spent some quality time in probably every microbrewery in town, but 7 years have passed & I wasn't sure what ruled the roost these days. I found this bar called the Collins Pub's website, & lo and behold, not only did they have a bevy of Northwestern beverages on tap, but they had bottles of the fabled Dogfish Head for sale!! For real! I've been figuratively dying to try that outfit's beer for like, months now. But being in possession of a rat-nasty cold & having a bunch of familial obligations to boot, it wasn't looking like I was going to tromp on over there & would have been unwise as well. As it turned out, it didn't matter, because right there in the Pike Place Market (every tourist's first stop in the Queen City) was a fancy-schmancy food & drink seller called Delaurenti Specialty Food & Wine, and they had three different beers from Deleware's DOGFISH HEAD BREWING (I guess they have a Washington State distributor) & a whole bunch of other fine ales as well.
I picked up the ones I've read the most about, Dogfish Head's 60-MINUTE IPA and their 90-MINIUTE IMPERIAL IPA. The first one - the 60 - was a bit of a disaster. I put it into the fridge at the hotel but the cold gauge must've been set incorrectly, because when I poured it a few hours later it was lukewarm & kinda gross. I bravely drank the limp golden concoction, but it would be a big mistake to even think that I'd enjoyed it in the way it was meant to be downed. Que lastima! What a horror! But all was well the next evening when I busted out the 90-Minute "Imperial" (that usually means Double) IPA. Ah yes. Now I can see where the reputation comes from. A highly hopped, golden-amber ale with a mouthfeel I can only describe as "bursting". Totally smelled like a beer should smell & just made me want to get going as soon as I popped the top. I can see why some folks call this the best beer in America, as it's one for the real discerners of quality out there - and definitely not for the ballgame or picnic drinker. I wish I'd had it on tap somewhere - maybe on my next trip to Wilmington or Dover (right!) -- but I'd give even this lonely bottle a robust 9/10. Now - what other beers of theirs are worth flying to another state for?