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Founders Devil Dancer - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Devil DancerFounders Devil Dancer

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

4,345 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,345
Reviews: 1,371
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 13.85%
Wants: 299
Gots: 773 | FT: 27
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-17-2004

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,345 | Reviews: 1,371
Photo of oriolesfan4
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of MasterSki
4.07/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle of the new batch at Armanetti's. This one is only(!) 12%. Served in my Kuhnhenn tulip glass.

A - A finger of late-rising tan foam that dissipates to a cap and leaves lots of sticky lacing. Dark hazed amber-brown color with some bubbles at the bottom of the glass that don't seem to want to go anywhere.

S - The smell is full of candied citrus, pineapple and other tropical fruits, pine, caramel and toffee malts, and a touch of fusel alcohol. The smell is so potent that I could perceive it as soon as I opened the bottle, even after being in the fridge for a couple days.

T - The taste carries a lot of malt character - I've had this beer both fresh and aged about 6 months and I don't actually see a huge difference. There's lots of caramel, rum-cake, bread, and it leaves both solid hop bitterness as well as that burnt sugar flavor behind. The tropical hops, pine, and slight alcohol flavor are still in there as well, but anyone expecting something a la Kuhnhenn Extreme IPA or PtY might be a bit disappointed. I'm getting neither 112 IBUs nor 12% - probably a good thing.

M - Lowish carbonation, big body, some dryness, lots of residual stickiness, soft texture, and a bit of alcohol burn. What's not to love?

D - Umm...perhaps I've been drinking too much recently, but looking at my half-full tulip (yes, I'm an optimist) is making me a touch queasy today. I remember loving this on-tap at Kristina's pig roast, but right now I can't imagine having more than one glass. Still, that's pretty good for a 12% palate-destroying triple IPA.

Photo of drewone
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.62/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Clear, ripe crimson appearance, hot in looks alone, so far, with a big, creamy, near-tan froth above, slow to simmer down.
Aroma: good Lord, it's good, a barleywine aroma, huge, malty, fruity, rich in dark fruit, berries, cherries, grapes, with an extra brandy-ish, boozy twist, yes, sharp and strong as we drink it in well, damn, it's invigorating! Not smelling as much like an IPA, triple or not, but a big, fat barleywine. Alcoholic heat gets hotter, and it nears a cognac-y feel, definitely a brandy-ish sort of barlleywine, more than any kind of IPA, despite what the label tells you.
Taste, already!...Lush, rich, thick, and utterly delicious...very full, malty feel all over the sensory receptors, turns the entire mouth into a playground for these huge malty flavors, a fat fortress of fruit and malty sweetness, a swelling ground for verdant wonders, plush delights, fantastic flavors...the booze rarely clashes with the enjoyment of it all, for it meshes so well with the flavor that it's almost hard to notice...almost, for it so surely does it's trick, of sneaking in it's strength, that, I fear, it's nighty-night time!
"Triple IPA", a la the label, is way too cute. It's a hot and hugely flavorful barleywine, but it's way beyond an IPA, sorry, folks. Classify elsewhere, for this has successfully stretched beyond the boundaries and doesn't beong to that category any longer.
Mouthfeel is thick and vinous, finish is long, fruity, alcoholic, and sticky, body is full as can be...
Why it's in a mere 12 ounce bottle, and then how they can get away with $4 per, is a big fat mystery to me. Put it in a bomber size serving, then bring the price down, just a smidge, then you'll have the MidWestern Equivelent of Stone Double Bastard, and then some!
But, if it needed to be said, Founders has proven themselves with this brew, as if they hadn't already!
Having said the above, I've nothing left to do, but let this thick, rich, slick, toasty,oily, malty brew slosh about my mouth and rinse my tongue over and over...the 13% ABV hasn't punished me yet, but we'll know in the morning, maybe...for the moment, as I finish it, it's a hit, a hell of a brew, the kind of thing I wish I had more of, for special occasions, and the inevitable times when the irristible urge for devil dancing arises.

Photo of drabmuh
3.41/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I won't buy this again just for the price alone, the fact that its an underperforming IPA overall is the last nail in the coffin. Beer poured into a Russian River wine glass.

Beer is hazy and red with a thin head that leaves some lacing on the glass. As the beer warms it clears a little. Looks OK.

Aroma is solventy and really piny with some earthiness to it. I can smell the alcohol.

Beer is thin to medium bodied and in your face bitter. the back palate is overwhelmed by bitterness and it creeps forward into the mid palate. 112 IBUs or whatever, I believe it. I really do. Its aggressive, a little sweet up front, you miss out on all the nice hop flavors in the midpalate unfortunately. I've had much much better IPAs in the past.

Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 7/2 notes. Had on tap at the Big Hunt in DC.

a - Pours an amber reddish color with no head and light carbonation.

s - Smells mainly of citrus hops, as well as grain and grass.

t - Tastes very bitter. Getting some grapefruit, orange, and citrus hops. Little bit of alcohol.

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

d - A pretty nice beer. Lots of citrus and bitter hops in the smell and taste. Would try again.

Photo of kojevergas
2.78/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

11.2 fl oz brown glass bottle with branded pressure cap and decent label art served into a Spaten stange-krug in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given the brewery, which has made beers I thought were excellent. Reviewed as an imperial IPA because it identifies itself as such by implication. Acquired at my local HEB Grocery for $4.65. 12% ABV confirmed. 112 IBUs.

Served cold – straight from me fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show emerges as I pour. Pours a one finger wide head of light beige-khaki colour. Good thickness. Decent creaminess. Not much frothiness. Shiny wet complexion. Not much lacing as the head recedes. Head retention is quite good for the style – about 6 minutes. It’s a pretty nice head overall.

Body colour is a clear orange-red of average vibrance. Translucent. No yeast particles are visible.

Overall, it’s atypical for the style, and I like the appearance. Most imperial IPAs are a predictable copper.

Sm: Has a surprising presence of caramalt. Some toasted character, even some spice – perhaps from a dash of rye? Hops are prominent but not as dominant as you’d expect given the style; I get floral, herbal, and candi hop character. The candi sweetness undermines the apparent balance and turns me off. Pine. Grassy character. Pale malts, some bready malts, and sticky syrup. Noticeable alcohol warmth. I’m really concerned about the balance. I don’t find this particularly appealing, nor does it come off alive or inviting.

No yeast character is detectable.

T: Any hoppy bitterness is well concealed here, at the expense of clarity and flavour. It’s a messy brew, with no notes allowed to truly ring distinct. Everything gets caught up in the core hodgepodge of caramalts, pale malts, candi sweetness, sticky syrupy sugars, and muddled floral hops. There’s some pine and grassiness buried in there. Somewhat bready. Alcohol is lightly noticeable. The egregious lack of balance really brings this one down. Caramel in particular is out of control. Vague fruitiness is present throughout but adds little of interest. As diverse as the flavours are, they all meld together to form a beer that is surprisingly one-dimensional.

Overly sweet for the style, which demands much more bitterness.

Intensity of flavour is above average. Shallow depth of flavour. Average flavour duration.

No yeast character comes through.

I’m not enjoying this one much. It’s below average for the style, even a bit bland.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Sticky and sweet. Somewhat syrupy. Above average thickness; quite unnecessary given the low depth of flavour. Doesn’t complement the flavour profile all that well, but it’s within style conventions. Subpar presence on the palate. Troublesome body. Unrefreshing.

Dr: As much as I love Founders, I can’t get behind this one – but it’s by no means a bad beer. Alcohol is noticeable, and its boozy syrupy sweetness really restrains drinkability. I wouldn’t get this again, especially at its $4.65 pricetag in Texas. I doubt even those who love this beer would want more than one or two in the same night. I’m sure this beer has its fans, but I’ve tried many (dareisay most) of the best beers in the style, and this doesn’t come anywhere near them.

Might pair well with turkey. Might make a good base for a sauce paired with turkey.

Low C

Photo of jwc215
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours hazed dark reddish/orange amber. A thin head becomes a wide lasting patch.

The smell is of pine caramel and grapefruit.

The taste of pine and grapefruit mix with a heavy hand of caramel and alcohol.

It is full-bodied. Raw. Alcohol cuts into the body.

A solidly strong Imperial IPA.

Photo of smcolw
3.77/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Nearly no head, spotty lace. Quite cloudy, orange, dark-amber color.

Barley Wine meets IPA: strong alcohol warmth in the smell which completely overwhelms any hop aroma. Surprising considering the IBU count.

On the plus side: originality. On the minus side: this beer has two extremes brought together--alcohol and bitterness (hop). The body is warming and oily from the high alcohol content--these are the initial impressions on the first sip. Soon, the hop takes over and becomes extraordinarily strong after the swallow, lasting seemingly forever.

Wonderfully creative and different...great simply to have the experience. However, I am not as enamored as most of these reviews. For me, extremism does not make this a superior beer regardless of how interesting it may be.

Photo of InspectorBob
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of WesWes
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark amber color with a slight offwhite head that fades to spotty lacing. The aroma is good. It has a warm malty scent along with an almost sweet hop aroma that is quite bitter. It seems to be well balanced; at least in the nose. The taste is great! It has a nice malt base that goes down smooth and finishes warm and dry. The hops really mellow the high alcohol. It's a very bitter brew with loads of hop character. It leaves a hop residue on your tongue following the swallow. The mouthfeel is fine. It's a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is one hoppy brew. The taste lingers minutes after the swallow. It's warm and well balanced. This is a beer you can really relax with; a good drinker.

Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +28.2%

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle. Bottled June 28, 2010.

The beer pours an orange color with a white head. The aroma is a mix of flowery and pine-scented hops. The flavor is more complex and is very hoppy. I get a lot o citrus and pine notes as well as some caramel malt. The bitterness is about medium and is not as bitter as I was expecting. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of orangesol
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of GClarkage
4.21/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

03/08/06- Received via mail order with Archer's Liquors.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no freshness info. It is from the 2005 batch though. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Dark cherry-mahagoney color. 1/2 inch head which then leaves a slight rim around the top of the liquid. Average lace at best.

Smell- Huge aroma going on here. Lots of big roasted malt and lots of pine ridden hops. Alcohol fumes...ahhh, sweet alcohol fumes as well. Smells like Bigfoot amped up.

Taste- Hmm, tastes like Bigfoot amped up as well. The hops are a bit smoother than Bigfoot, especially the 2006 version. Pretty hearty malt profile to go with a pine sap hop resin taste. Very warming as 13% should be.

Mouthfeel- Smooth, average, maybe a touch lower than average carbonation. Light bitter aftertaste. As said before, you can feel this smooth lava flow all the way down your esophogus.

Drinkability- Double IPA..no, Triple IPA...still no. A very hopped up and tasty Barleywine...yes. Any way you look at it, it's a very warming and drinkable beer. Just seems like it's in the wrong category. If it is in the right catagory...Pliny the Younger puts this one to shame.

Photo of superspak
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled 6/2/2011. Pours slightly hazy brick red color with a small 1 finger dense khaki head with good retention that reduces to a thin lacing cap. Some decent lacing clinging to the glass as well. Aromas of big mango, orange, grapefruit, pine resin, floral, caramel, and some toasted malts. Some excellent aromas here with good strength and balance. Taste of big orange, mango, pine, lemon zest, caramel, toasted malt, and spiciness. Big sweetness in the front that leads to a strong brutal bitterness on the finish that lasts. Lingering notes of caramel, citrus, pine, and spiciness on the finish for a while. Medium carbonation and full bodied; with a very creamy and slick mouthfeel that goes down smoothly, but is still a sipper. Alcohol is extremely well hidden for 12%, the warming on the finish is barely noticeable. Great balance of flavor and bitterness. Overall, an excellent and tasty Imperial IPA from Founders.

Photo of nathanmiller
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.32/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy amber orange color when held up to the light, otherwise it is a drab brown amber color. Barely a wisp of a head forms when poured, but if roused forms a thin amber-tan color. The aroma is a mix of concentrated malt and hops with a bit of alcohol in the finish. The aroma is a bit muddy actually, I was expecting a bit more of a hop attack.

The taste is thick and rich with concentrated notes of hops and malt, and that same muddy note that is found in the aroma. Up front this has nice concentrated notes of pure hop nectar (lots of citrus with notes of pine, herbs and a bit of menthol), it does seem to die off in the finish though. This has quite a thick, syrup-like palate to it; it sticks to your mouth even after you have swallowed it, and for some reason it is not all that pleasant. The malt also plays a heavy hand in this beer, it is not just all hops; there is a concentrated unfermented beer taste to it (very similar to malt extract), with lots of notes of caramel, & toasted malt. I am gonna have to say that this was pushed a bit too far, it is a bit too over the top. The flavors just clash on my palate.

Photo of Gavage
4.34/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a hazy orange color with a 2" thick head that falls quickly to a thick surface foam.

Smell: loads of pine and grapefruit leap out of the glass. Some hints of alcohol are also there.

Taste: big malt profile here with a heavy dose of grapefruit and pine. Some green apples, honey, and alcohol round out this well balanced hop bomb.

Mouthfeel: heavy in body. Lightly crisp and dry to start, but finishes dry and smooth. Aftertaste is very long as the bitterness rides the tongue for what seems several minutes.

Drinkability: killer beer here. The high ABV puts a damper on having more than one or two in a session, but this is relatively easy to quaff this faster than you should.

Photo of dbrauneis
3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at The Pony Bar in New York, NY

A: Pours a crystal clear golden amber with a thing off-white head that dissipates to an extremely thin ring of bubbles at the edges of the glass. Light lacing is observed.

S: Mixture of citrus, grassy, and pine hops.

T: Slightly sweet up front from a caramel malts but the finish is all hop bitterness. The hops are mostly grassy with some hints of citrus and pine.

M: Medium bodied with light to moderate carbonation. Slightly dry in the finish.

O: Good but not great in one of my preferred styles. I think I would appreciate a little more focus in the hops flavors rather than the mixture of flavors you get in this beer. Definitely sessionable and I could enjoy another right now.

Photo of stakem
3.7/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a standard pint glass. The brew appears a hazed golden copper color with an off-white head that fades leaving spotty lace on the glass.

The smell is resinous with pine and big dank and herbal hop character. A solvent sting of alcohol makes itself known even while it is colder than ideal temperature. Lots of pulp and citrus zest with cheese emerge as the brew warms up.

The taste is herbal and resinous with a flavor of pine. It displays a long dank aftertaste and big solvent burn of alcohol. Some cheese and faint caramel sweetness is noted as the brew warms up but unfortunately as the brew warms up so does the intensity of the alcohol.

This is a medium to full bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. A bold sipper with some of the most intense dank aromatics but an overbearing solvent alcohol inclusion that isnt integrated that well which hinders its overall drinkability.

Photo of Halcyondays
4.04/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle, 200+ IPA apparently,

A: Pours a dark amber with a small white head, great head retention, some sticky lacing.

S: Great smell, on first opening the bottle you get a burst of pine hops, very pungent. Once it sits in the glass for a while, you get a strong malty barleywine.

T: At first I thought I was going to try and compare this to Pliny the Younger, but that is a fallacy, they are completely different beers. Devil Dancer is much more of a barleywine. The malt is very heavy with burnt toast and treacle. Hops come in almost immediately, strong straightforward pine resin, there is really no citrus. Ethanol is present at 13%, adding a light solvent flavour that enriches all the characteristics of the brew.

M: Solventy, very resiny, relatively light in carbonation, but it is big.

D: Lowered because of its intense flavours, definitely a sipping libation. Overall a very good big IPA from Founders, glad I tried it.

Photo of mothman
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into traditional pint glass.

Pours a small ½ finger of beige head that doesn't last very long. Fades to a ring around the outside of the class, leaving some splattered lace. Color is a clear copper bronze. I expected a little more head on this beer.

Aroma: A nice amount of earthy and floral hops. Grapefruit, pineapple, and citrus fresh fruits. Caramel. Bready malts. No sense of the 12% abv yet.

Taste: Very bready malts here. Caramel mixed with grapefruit, pineapple, lemon, and a mixture of other citrus fruits. The alcohol is a little more apparent here. I can taste way more hops here than I could smell in the aroma.

Mouthfeel: Bitter, very bitter. It is kind of weird to say this, but this beer brings some heat with it. Medium bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Ends with a super hoppy/citrus fruit flavored aftertaste. Surprisingly it is fairly clean.

Overall, for the abv being so high, this beast is pretty drinkable. My glass is going a lot faster than I anticipated it to and I am enjoying all the hops. I think this is my first triple IPA, and I must say it lives up to the title of triple.

Photo of dmorgan310
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of yourefragile
3.55/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Hard pour creates a thick, bubbly tannish head with a surprisingly dark, translucent amber/red color. Head quickly dissipates to a thin film with some large bubbles and very little streaky lacing.
S: Very piney hop smell with a slight smell of alcohol that becomes much stronger as the beer warms up. Also some malt hiding behind the hops, more of a boozy barleywine smell than expected for an IIPA.
T: Very little carbonation, thicker medium body and smooth, almost syrup like. Very strong malt body throughout resulting in a sweeter flavor than expected with a very dry, complex bitter hop finish. Mostly a piney taste, not much citrus. More of a barley wine than a IIPA. As expected for 13%, alcohol is very present and lingers in the finish. I'm not particularly crazy about this beer and will probably avoid this in the future.

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Founders Devil Dancer from Founders Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 4,345 ratings.