After reading The Dogs of Beer review of the Dogfish Head Sixty-One, I just knew that I had to try it, so when I finally saw it on the shelves (it was in the last place I looked. Funny how that works), I immediately picked up a bottle to round out my mixed six pack of “fruited up” beers.
When Ed reviewed this beer, he went the extra mile and concocted his own version via a bottle of Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA and a couple shots of Zinfandel, so that he could do a side by side comparison. Hang on! I may have jumped ahead a bit without giving you any background information about this beer. Let me make it up to you…
Here is what Dogfish Head has to say about their Sixty-One:
Whenever Dogfish Head President Sam Calagione and his neighborhood friends gather for drinks, they give each other a big ol’ man-hug and order a round of 60 Minute IPA. A few years ago, Sam also ordered a glass of his favorite red wine and poured a little into each pint of 60 Minute. They all dug the combination of fruity complexity and pungent hoppiness, and the blend became a beloved tradition.
Sixty-One captures that tradition in a bottle and marries two Dogfish Head innovations: beer/wine hybrids — which Dogfish has focused on for well over a decade with beers like Midas Touch and Raison D’être — and continually-hopped IPAs.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any 60 Minute IPA on hand, so I’ll skip the side by side comparison that Ed did and just review Sixty-One on its own. Here’s my impression of this beer…
- Appearance: Pale ruby red color. Thick white foam that rises rapidly to about an inch and then settles down to a thin layer that covers the top of the beer. A wee bit of lacing.
- Aroma: The aromas are as advertised! Grapefruit scented hops with a definite red wine backbone that is heavy on the tannins.
- Taste: Medium bodied and lightly carbonated. Starts off with a touch of honey sweetness followed immediately by a healthy kick of mildly bitter hoppiness. The winey (as opposed to whiney) aspects take over to cut the bitterness as you approach the finish. Ends on a dry and somewhat astringent note with a definite red wine like aftertaste.
- ABV: 6.5%
Since I really enjoy Dogfish Head IPAs (60, 75, 90, and 120 Minute IPAs, Hellhound On My Ale, etc.), picking up a bottle of this beer to see what effect Syrah grape must would have on a rock solid IPA was a definite no brainer. Although that first sip left me a bit befuddled, as the beer came up to room temperature, all of the flavors came alive and I really started to enjoy it. Ed’s review is right on the money! The Syrah grape must definitely mellowed out the hops as you approached the finish. This beer is a hybrid in the truest sense of the word. It starts off as an IPA and ends like a mellow, fruity glass of red wine. Three words: weird and delicious!
But wait, there’s more…
If you want to read even more about this beer, check out The Alemonger’s tangent rich (in a surprisingly on topic kinda way) review of this tasty brew. Cheers!