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Founders Devil Dancer - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Devil DancerFounders Devil Dancer

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

4,080 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,080
Reviews: 1,336
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 14.1%
Wants: 278
Gots: 695 | FT: 34
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Triple IPA. Dry-hopped for twenty-six days straight with a combination of 10 hop varieties. 112 actual IBU; although it calculates to over 200!

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-17-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,080 | Reviews: 1,336 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JCam9981
4/5  rDev +2.6%

JCam9981, Jun 12, 2014
Photo of Slay40
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Slay40, Jun 20, 2013
Photo of nomad
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep red color, by far the darkest "oversized" IPA I've ever seen. Could have mistaken it for a barleywine - which is indeed the story on this beer. Sits with a clean white head fairly well retained with good lacing. Deep and girthy, not exactly what I'm looking for out of so-called "India Pale Ales" of any ilk.

Smells of roasty caramel with some resiny dank overlay. Shows a good Columbus-like pungency of hops once it warms up with some coniferous accents, though in general the malt overpowers the hops in every bottle. Smells like a syrup of high Lovibond Crystal malts with a moderate dry hopping lightly covering over it. So, is this a barleywine?

Taste is rich with thick caramel sweetness and sticky with a grasping, but not painful, bitterness. The hop resins coat while it strips, leaving sharp lemon and lime aspects over a big body of burnt caramel. Unfortunately all other vagaries and varieties of hops are lost in this beer as the malt completely overtakes the assured truckload of hops they boiled into this brew. In time some orange-like flavors come out to pair with the surging floral hop licks, but again beat back to the shore by the sea of puree of large caramel sweetness. Thank goodness for the hops because this beer is moving more toward cloying than many would want to admit. So, it is a barleywine!

Is this a bad beer? Oh my goodness no, Founders has done a very good job of stuffing as much brewing material as humanly possible into a beer, but still making it drinkable. I bet that in its first month of existence Devil Dancer was a lupulin party, but as inevitable with a beer of such high starting gravity, the residual sugars win over with time. Furthermore, this shows why Double IPA's succeed best when their grist is kept very pale, with nary an included malt crossing the 40 degree Lovibond rating. With this much caramel floating around it is overbearing and, though termed a "Triple" and not a Double/Imperial IPA, from my first sip to my fourth bottle this beer was a resounding Barleywine with sweetness abounding.

I love Three Floyd's Dreadaught and Nodding Head's 3C IPA, two well-regarded examples of this nascent style. To put this beer in the category of what Vinnie Cilurzo and other West Coast brewers began would be a grave mistake. Of course there is a range of creation within every "style" of beer, but this beer falls way far from the pale. No matter how much hop material you put in a boiling wort, there is an upper limit of oils and acids that can be dissolved. Furthermore, with a gravity so high to create 13% alcohol, and then to leave judicious residual sweetness in the final product, the supposed 200 IBU's are lost or better yet out battled by the equal amounts of Caramel malts. So maybe its not a barleywine, just an Caramel Hop Ale.

nomad, Jan 14, 2005
Photo of rapidsequence
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, $5 from Pints O'Plenty. Bottled 6/18/12.

Appearance: Pours a dark orange amber with a thin white head and some spotty lacing.

Smell: This is a big malty, hoppy beer. Smells like a very hoppy barleywine. Rich caramel malt and citrus hops swirled in a boozy background. Good, but unlike an IPA of any kind.

Taste: Again, not much like a DIPA, but tasty for a hoppy barleywine. Rich, sweet caramel malt flavor, very bitter, pithy grapefruit hops as well as a sweet orange hops flavor. Boozy, but not really hot.

Mouthfeel: Sticky, thick, and syrupy. Resiny finish.

Overall: Well, its more like a hoppy barleywine, and of I was in the mood for a DIPA, this would not do it. This wasn't my first of these though, so I was ready and looking forward to it. Nice beer.

rapidsequence, Aug 15, 2012
Photo of Kenai4
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

Kenai4, Feb 05, 2012
Photo of richbrew
4/5  rDev +2.6%

richbrew, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of speedvagen
4/5  rDev +2.6%

speedvagen, Jul 09, 2014
Photo of JohnQVD
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

JohnQVD, Jul 19, 2012
Photo of beveragecaptain
3.38/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle. Pours out a hazy amber color, with no head at first until the slowly rising bubbles eventually decide to float to the top. Hoppy aroma with bursts of alcohol and a little bit of stink. Thick, pungent hoppy flavor. So sweet, and yet so bitter. I see why some BAs have called this a barley wine. A little bit of dark fruit, but the flavor is really dominated by the hops. Thick mouthfeel. Not particularly drinkable. Better than Sam Adams Imperial Pilsner, which this beer sort of reminds me of. Still, I'll take a Red's Rye over this any day.

beveragecaptain, Dec 15, 2005
Photo of Gtreid
3.35/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to bgramer for this one, I know it is becoming redundant.
Poured into a snifter.

A: Rich, cloudy, apple cider color with about a half finger of light brown head that fades quickly and leaves no remnace of its existance.

A: Caramel, sweet malts, and alcohol. Some citrus and pine hops, but the sweet, syrupy smell overwhelms.

T: Very syurpy, caramel. Some apple, orange and other citrus, some earthy hops as well. Finishes sweet and dry , but again alcohol is very prominent.

M&D: This is a Full bodied beer that coats the palate. No carbonation makes it a little to syrupy. At 13% ABV this is strong. I don't know if it fits into the DIPA category or not, it almost has more of a BW feel. I paired this with a sharp cheddar, and I think it enhanced the taste quite a bit. I'm glad I tried this, but just a little over the top for my taste. Skal.

Gtreid, Jun 13, 2008
Photo of rallison
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy dark amber with a 1 finger off-white head that leaves a ton of lacing.

Smells of cognac soaked dates, hops and caramel.

First taste is initially quite strong - but this came right after some Belgian pales. Lots of piny hops - with a definite dose of citrus in there. Caramel and toffee. Dates & prunes. Some liquor. This is a strong beer, for sure, with lots of flavors going on. All in all, I'm enjoying this.

Mouthfeel is very rich with a definite alcohol presence.

Drinkability I rate as decent for what it is.

Overall, I quite enjoyed this. It's strong, alcoholic and thick, but the taste still keeps me coming back.

Edit: Got to up the drinkability a bit. I crave this beer every once in a while, so that's got to say something.

rallison, Dec 12, 2007
Photo of ypsifly
4.45/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Undated, but I know its this year's release, 12oz poured into a tulip.

Deep, dark, ominous looking red with a small head of light tan that goes away in a minute or so, as expected given the abv. Frail, thin rings of lace.

The nose is a hop bomb. Very piney with a good dose of grape fruit. There's a little sweet malt and alcohol underneath, but you gotta sniff hard to get past the hops. My nose says Barley Wine on crack. Never smoked crack, but I do love Barley Wine.

Strong malt upfront that lasts long enough to savor, then its all hops. Piney, bitter grape fruit seems to be the theme here. It builds and builds, yet stops at the edge of going to far. Almost astringent. Almost oily....but everything is kept in check. The alcohol lingers way in the back of the after taste. Ghostly pepper, and a warm exhale and sensation in my belly by the third sip. A beast barely tamed for sure. I love it.

The mouth borders on oily, but that comes with the territory of the style. How could a 13% hop bomb be considered truely drinkable? This is a sipper for sure. The other three will be laid down for a night in front of the fireplace during a snowstorm. A maelstrom outside, dancing flames in front of me, Devil Dancer in my hand.

ypsifly, Sep 17, 2005
Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into my Sam Adams new crazy pint glass thing

A: Pours a clear, burnt amber copper, like a deeper version on a the flesh of a blood orange, with a one inch creamy sandy white head. The head disappera into rings in a few but I was suprised it stayed that long considering the ABV, there is also substantial lacing left behind as well. If the head lasted a while longer and the lacing were a bit thicker I'd give this one a 5 for sure, the color is enough to bowl me over.

S: I feel like this thing is only hinting at the booziness in store for me as I can't really pick up any fusel alcohol in the nose, there is however a strong and oily pine kick to the nostrils, the mixes with a super citrus acidity that keeps the sweetness I'm picking up here from becoming cloying, a bit medicinal in character but not so much so to be distracting or unappetizing for that matter.

T/MF: WOW, this beer is INTENSE. I can understand why people want to call this one a barlywine because I was shocked by how sweet this one tastes. Though it seems like this is what happens why the ABV on these IIPAs gets this high, because the same seems to be said abouot the DHF 120min IPA and something I sort of remeber in Avery's Maharaja. All that being said I don't find this sweetness off putting in anyway it just does not seem to fit in that super hoppy character that defines IIPAs. The mouthfeel is smooth and slick initally with very slight carbonation and intense oily hopiness. Damn is this beer indulgent, there is a wonderful alcoholic heat to this beer that is not refreshing in any sense of the word, but is instead exhilerating, something to behold. It is very exciting to drink this as flavors of sweet almost overly ripe mellon, pineapple and sweet mango grab hold of your tongue and won't let go until an alcholoic heat overwhelms them and sort of takes over the beer until the slick finish.

D: Very big beer and as a result a beer that takes time to drink, though as it warms its sweetness borders along cloying and you get really full from drinking 12oz of it, not to mentioned a bit buzzed, still enjoyable and still a must try for any hophead.

bluemoonswoon, Mar 19, 2008
Photo of stewart124
4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter glass this is almost ruby red with a thin white head.

The nose is a nice perfume of citrus and fruity esters. Some apple and mango stick out.

Whoa! This is big! Huge mouthfeel and loads of hop bitterness! This obviously lingers quite a bit and punishes the tastebuds.

The alcohol is present but subdued by the hops. Pine and huge amounts of citrus hit the tastebuds but this blends very well with generous crystal malts.

Finish is a lingering hop bitterness and quite dry.

Another delicious creation by Founders. I am not sure you could pack much more bitterness in an IPA. Cheers!

stewart124, Aug 09, 2010
Photo of Casey3236
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Casey3236, Jun 05, 2013
Photo of BamfBacon
4/5  rDev +2.6%

BamfBacon, Jul 27, 2014
Photo of ithinkimasofa
2/5  rDev -48.7%

ithinkimasofa, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of nanobrew
3/5  rDev -23.1%

nanobrew, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of juliusseizure
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

juliusseizure, Jun 06, 2013
Photo of Zonian1
3.25/5  rDev -16.7%

Zonian1, Jun 30, 2013
Photo of ncvbc
4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yep...one of my new favorites within the style. A monster but not really a hop bomb. Pours a murky ruby orange/mahogany color. Thin head that forms a ring and sticky lacing down the glass. Smell is a fresh and piney blast of hops with an impressive malt backbone. Caramel and biscuity malt waft into the air. A bittery crisp sugared grapefruit as well. Taste is just as good as the smell. A well balanced beast of a brew, if that's possible. Slightly warming alcohol but not 13% warm. Resinous and oily in the mouth. A little tickle on the tongue but more of a creamy sensation and big body. Great drinkability. Founders does it again.

ncvbc, Jan 11, 2008
Photo of jeonseh
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a bottle of the 2008 Devil Dancer poured into my Bell's Tulips glass.

A - An amber color with a definite reddish hue that actually seems to remind me of the color of the bottle's label. Mildly opaque with a slight amount of carbonation that sat on top. A small head formed on top and did not last at all as only a few bubbles sat on the top.

S - smell is much sweeter than I ever expected. Get a strong shot of toffee in there mixed in with some of mango. Only get a slight hint of a piney hops coming forward from that one.

T - Hmm this is actually a really sweet brew as it seems the malt behind it seems to be there a lot more than the hops. Get a sweet syrupy, toffee taste that initially sits in there and only at the end do i get any of the piney hops that I expected from a beer that claims to be a Triple IPA. In the sweet aspect there also seems to be a hint of a shortbread cookie as well and also a hint of a banana. Even in the end don't get any of the puckering hops that I was hoping to get. have to say though that the sweetness does a great job of hiding the high alcohol which could make this drinkable.

MF - a big old thick beer that comes in strong and just coats all over the tongue. Seems to be on the verge of actually being too thick and there is also a slight syrupy aspect to this one as well. There is barely any carbonation at all in this one as it only seems to come up a bit at the end.

D- hmm not really as in your face as I expected. Overall thought this was a hoppy BW than an actual DIPA and much sweeter than I ever would have expected. Really seems a bit unbalanced on the sweet side which just seems out of place for something that claims to be a triple IPA. this is the first Founder's beer that I've had outside of the Breakfast stout and KBS and while it is good, the sweetness get to me after awhile. Wish there was a bit more hops to balance it out.

jeonseh, Mar 11, 2008
Photo of sludgegnome
4.75/5  rDev +21.8%

sludgegnome, Mar 10, 2012
Photo of Giggy
4.25/5  rDev +9%

Giggy, Jun 22, 2014
Photo of bschinelli
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

bschinelli, Nov 29, 2013
Founders Devil Dancer from Founders Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 4,080 ratings.