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!
Categories: Brew Review, Dogfish Head
Great review. I actually ended up taking the remaining 3 (of my always-odd 4 pack) out of the fridge and drank them at room temperature. A little sharper on the top, but the flavors! So many flavors.
And in a moment of shameless self-promotion that is at least on topic, I wrote a short story about 61! Everyone loves to write about this beer.
Thanks! Once I adjusted to the weirdness that is 61, I really started to enjoy this beer. Delicious stuff!
And as far as that plug of yours… Totally shameless, but infinitely fun too! Well done Sir!
Thanks for the shout out! I’m glad you enjoyed 61. I think they got the IPA/Wine balance pretty spot on,
Please. Not giving you a shout out would have been a crime. Your write up was that good!
We haven’t gotten this beer yet in Oregon. The Dogfish Head rep says we’re supposed to, but none has arrived yet. I’m really curious to try it.
I think it’s totally worth seeking out. A well executed experiment. Good luck!
Congrats on being the Foodista featured drink blog of the day!