Dark Horse Double Crooked Tree IPA | Dark Horse Brewing Company

910 Reviews
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Dark Horse Double Crooked Tree IPADark Horse Double Crooked Tree IPA

Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
Have you read the description for the regular Crooked Tree yet? Well this beer is almost the same just double the flavor and alcohol. We actually took the Crooked Tree recipe and doubled all of the ingredients except the water, just the way a DOUBLE should be made. Big hops balanced with tons of malt give this beer a huge body. Although this beer is as cool as "The Fonz" when first purchased, it gets really mellow and smooth with some age. After a year or two stored in a cool dark place you'll notice the heavy caramel and malt flavors are trying to sneak past the hops. This beer is hugely delicious so it will need your undivided attention (the chores can wait....trust us).

98 IBUs

Added by putnam on 03-05-2005

User Reviews
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Reviews: 910 | Ratings: 2,750
Photo of Beaver13
3.82/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle with waxed cap. Pours a glowing dark reddish amber with hazy floaties. The head is off-white and creamy and goes to a thin film that laces the glass.

The aroma is more subdued than I expected - sweet caramel malts, alcohol, and some grapefruity, piney hops.

The flavor is some sweet toasted caramel and fruits that is quickly overpowered by a big alcoholic hop bitterness. The finish is big and raw and harsh with a little residual sweetness. The alcohol is noticeable but not as much as expected from a 13.6% beer. The mouthfeel is full and syrupy with some sharp carbonation.

Overall, a nice DIPA. It's not at all balanced and a little too hot, but still enjoyable.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very murky amber/grayish brown body. Never seen this color in a beer before. 1 finger head didn't puff up, but it retained well and laced throughout. Looks really good/unique.
Pine and hints of citrus blend well in the aroma. I did not look at the abv at first (never do), but I didn't detect any in the nose or taste.
Again pine and citrus blend well in taste. Some hints of rum/vanilla in the depths. A bit earthy and woody as well. This is really nice, I like it.
But whoa...the alcohol is noticeable in the head. Is hidden well, though.
Wish I had another.

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Photo of Duster72
4.85/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On draft at brewery. Bartender poured about 10 beers worth down the drain due to foam! Served in a 10oz tulip due to Michigan laws(?). Pours a great looking dark amber with monster head. Aroma is citrus, pine and fruits, very appealing. Taste is exceptional with wonderful citrus and fruit tastes with very little of the harshness you get from the regular Crooked Tree. Very smooth tasting. Not too sweet, just right. As I drank this fresh I told my friend it was a perfect beer. Wow, is it a lot better fresh on draft than in the bottle.

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Photo of Mdog
4.02/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Murky amber, a small but dense head, good lacing.

Smell: Citrus, dark fruits, alcohol.

Taste: There is an underlying sweetness to this beer but the main attraction is hops. Piney and citrus hops dominate from start to finish, but not super bitter. Alcohol is hidden pretty well.

Mouthfeel: Very coating, bitterness lasts long after each swallow.

Drinkability: Too strong to have more than one at a sitting, but very tasty.

Another beer from the Milwaukee haul. I thought this was a somewhat ugly looking but good tasting DIPA. It's a little stronger in alcohol than I like, but it is hidden well. I'd like to try this on tap somewhere.

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Photo of rayjay
3.59/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2007 bottling. Never had this before. I have so many beer laying around that I forgot who even sent this too me (thanks whoever you are!).

Deep, malty, reddish-brown arrearance. Thick and muddy looking. No head or lacing. It has the appearance of an oxidized beer (hope it's not).

Deep malty and hoppy nose, full of fruit (watermelon, honeydew, fruitcake). Smells a bit like fruit liquor.

First impression: it's thick and boozy, but it drinks more like a 9-10% beer, not a 13.5'er, which is signifigantly more alcohol. The alcohol is very well hidden. The thick malts give it an Old Stock kind of appeal; I think this is way more like an old ale or a barleywine. With this level of malts, no hops could possibly compete and it looses it's IPA appeal (just like 120 Minute). Lots of hops are in here, but....for example, the aftertaste is very sweet and malty, without much bitterness at all. But without the malts it would be screaming bitter. IPA? You're kidding me.

So, taste gets a 3.5; it's a good beer in it's own right, but I think it would easily get surpassed in a lineup of the best 2xIPAs. It's certainly tasty and unique. Think bitter blood orange sugar reduction and you're on the right track.

Straight from the fridge is the way to go here; it gets really thick and dehydrating at warmer temps, and IPA notes start to come out....isopropyl alcohol, that is (bah!). Funny, my burps taste more like I'm drinking an IPA, even though most of the hops get lost in the mix. This is a beer you can chew on if there ever was one. Not exactly refreshing. Carbonation is very low.

Drinkability is above average because it's quite interesting. It's fun to see how it morphs into several different beers as it warms up. This would be a good one to ponder the meaning of life over with a cigar after dinner. If you're in the market for a 2xIPA, consider this as a barleywine to avoid disappointment. Cheers!

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Photo of brentk56
3.91/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a very cloudy amber color with a modest head that retains well and leaves shards of lacing

Smell: Incredible aroma of caramel malt and piney forest tones

Taste: Starts out with a nice caramel base that is quickly joined by a wallop of piney hops flavors that build and build; after the swallow, the hopiness becomes so intense it tingles the tongue and coats the mouth providing lingering bitterness on the sides of the tongue well into the finish; plenty of residual raisiny sweetness on the finish

Mouthfeel: Thick and chewy with prickly carbonation

Drinkability: Wow, this is one heckofa DIPA; it's just a bit too sticky and aggressive on the finish for me to really enjoy as much as I would have liked

Thanks, ClockworkOrange, for the unusual treat and ThomasHardy, for the chance to revisit

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Photo of flexabull
2.47/5  rDev -40%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a bright gold color, a bit hazy, and with a nice white head.

Aromas are off, and seem funky. Smells sweet, vegetal, sour, and with a touch of citrus. This seems really off for a DIPA.

Taste isn't right. This tastes mostly like grounded up aspirin tablets. Really gritty, biting, and bitter... with not much else going on. There is a bit of citrus hops, but not much in the way of malts. Really doesn't sit well in my mouth. I don't really care for this one. Bad bottle? Too old?

Mouthfeel is ok, but this is not really something I want lingering in my mouth for very long.

Drinkability is below average. One of the worst DIPAs I have had. I don't think it's a very good beer, it just seems like the brewer went big, and didn't think much about the taste. This is like swallowing a bitter pill... no thanks. I can think of countless other beers in this style that I prefer to this one.

I do appreciate that brandonman63 gave me the opportunity to try this...

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Photo of benito
2.6/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

A Februrary-seasonal DIPA still on shelves in June? Rated 4+ in the BA database? Something here is both so right and so wrong at the same time.

A: Red amber with a persistent, sudsy head. Intimidating in its stillness.

S: Lots of malt and alcohol with a hint of conifer at the finish.

T: A generous alcohol warming across the front of the tongue--it is strong in its residue as well--and a big hop finish in aroma and flavor. Pine scents and tastes fill the back of my tongue and obliterate the alcohol flavors. Despite this brew's ABV, there's not enough malt flavor for it to be a barleywine. It's a hop show from middle to finish.

M: Heavy and burning, with distinct alcohol flavors and residues. Imbalanced and hard to swallow given the forwardness of the flavors.

D: Low, given the fusel character of this brew. It lacks the balance of a great DIPA, which would have a more pronounced malt flavor and a better controled alcohol residue.

Overall, this is an imbalanced example of a DIPA with too forward a hop presence and not enough malt to back up its immaturity. I'll cellar a few bottles and see if things mellow out with another two years. Until then, stick to other DIPAs.

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Photo of
4.26/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle

Hazy dark gold/orange in color. Modest off-white, creamy head -- despite fairly hard pour. Lots of floaties/chunkies/sediment. Visually, very unappealing.

Things look up when I smell it. Big hop scent. Pine & citrus. Sweet strong malt backbone, reminds me of peaches. Caramel and honeyed wheat bread in there too.

Taste - OK, it's ugly, but it tastes GREAT! A hoppier DFH 120? Pine seems to be biggest component. Alcohol. Hops very big, but well balanced by malt. Biscuit with honey on it. Fruits - peaches and melons. Grass and pepper at finish.

Medium to full body. Low to medium carbonation. Not very dry.

A very big DIPA, maybe a triple IPA, whatever that is. Excellent, but one and done or I'm not making it into work tomorrow. I would like to taste this blind against Founder's Devil Dancer.

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Photo of xav33
4.37/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark Horse Double Crooked Tree IPA
12 oz bottle
Moderate pour in a small tulip glass.
Unknown brewing, chopped down 05/07.

Poured a murky bright amber brown with a small somewhat lasting yellowish light brown head. Lots of active carbonation.

Smelt of harsh pine resin, skunk and moderate pepper, caramel and toasted bread.

Taste was upfront strong pine resin and moderate sweet caramel followed by a harsh pine resin and skunk and light sweet caramel on an eternal finish that reminds me of eating green tree leaves as a kid.

Palate was medium to full bodied, creamy, lively and slightly stinging carbonation, moderately alcoholic and harshly astringent.

Overall, wow, what a beast of a beer! Nothing but great conifer like flavors, the whole frickin family. A bit harsh and definitely a palate puncher. My mouff ith gnow gnummmb.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many thanks to Phatz for inviting me to share this with him at his abode.
A - A dense and shellac-like amber with a great white head that holds its own in the lace dept.

S - Malts! Sweet caramel malt and tons of woody/citrus/piney hop aromas that are enticingly fragrant.

M - Strong rich, malty light syrupy feel. a pine bite and oily crystal like pinch. Plenty of warming alcohol .

T - A generous dose of malty caramelly, syrupy sweetness makes me think "Barleywine?", but then a rush of well balanced pine woodiness is injected into the mix with grapefruit and citrus attributes that say IPA all the way.A subtle taste of alcohol and spice, but you can hardly tell it is almost 14%.

D - The drinkability is very hard to knock. Way too easy to drink at the potency level attained. Great balance even though it is a powerhouse. It is a sipper for sure - it will warm you and take over if you aren't careful. I was impressed by the smoothness of the barleywiney malts, but it definitely is hopped to the point to deserve the Imperial Ipa label with all the flavor and aroma it brings to the table.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oh boy!
This one takes DIPA to a whole new level.

Poured cloudy golden orange in the glass with a half finger loose orange-white head.

Aroma is sweet malts and very fresh citrus and pine hops. Lots and lots of pine oils in the aroma.

Sweet candy amber malts get hit immediately with pine and grapefruit hops then raise their heads again hitting you with the candy sweetness finally giving way to the citrus hops.

Aftertaste becomes a clean refreshing grapefruit peel. Mouthfeel is very thick yet doesn't become cloying.

Great DIPA...one of the best.

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Photo of blackie
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: Pours a surprisingly muddy, dark amber color with a slight head that recedes to a thin ring.

s: Wow. A blast of hops and malt for sure. Smells f'in delicious. Big malts, big hops, moderate alcohol tingle is a boon. Caramel, citrus, tropicals, dark fruit syrups. An unusually well done "bomb." Try it out.

m: Slick, creamy mouthfeel with a very full body and a gentle carbonation. Quite nice.

t: Very good. Slick, sweet caramel malts that are somehow not overbearing despite the thick body. Nice blend of pulpy hop flavors, seemingly floral at first with various tropicals. Hop flavor is very deep, but at the same time in great balance with the malt. Moderate-high bitterness comes across. Love it.

d: all I can say is that the ABV is very well hidden, and it's quite a good DIPA...complex certainly fits

from zrrbrrt

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Photo of ChazMania
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled. Received in a trade, never heard of it until I opened it up!

A) Wow, this is good. It had alot of residue in the bottle so when I poured it out, it was thick and cloudy.

S) More malt than Hop in my nose.

T) Very nice flavor, not citrus-like other DIPA. A bit more malt forward.

M) Thick and robust. Not highly bitter as some DIPA.

D) I'm surprised the alcohol is so high in this as it's well hidden. I have had many 9%ers that were more alcohol forward than this.

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Photo of Phatz
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark murky orange color with a large head and a lot of lacing.

Smell: Caramel and pine, with hints of wood, vanilla and a array of fruits, a touch of vinous alcohol (not as much as I expected), and more pine sap aroma simply loading the nose.

Taste: Remarkably easy across the palate for a beer that is so big. It is a friendly monster. Tropical fruits and bold hop resins only let a small amount of alcohol sting the cheeks as it passes quickly through my mouth. ... Oh there it... In the aftertaste you realize how dry and alcoholic it is but not overboard.

Mouthfeel: A chewy thick mouthfeel with some grittiness and lots of healthy yeasties. It is a meal and a very enjoyable one.

Drinkability: Surprisingly approachable for a 13.60 % ABV.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Acquired from plaztikjezuz, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz. wax-sealed bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a medium brown color with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of hops, caramel, brown sugar, some citrus and a touch of alcohol.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of brown sugar, caramel and bourbon, then the hops flavor comes in, but it’s no where near as strong as you would expect. Then there’s a slight alcohol burn, but it’s quite tame for a beer with 13.60% ABV. The malt character seems on the thin side despite the sweetness. The after-taste is bitter sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, light-to-medium carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

D: Tasty, goes down dangerously easy, not very filling, this is one of those beers that blurs the fine line between Double IPA & Barley Wine. I could drink this for a while, but it won’t take long for the ABV to catch up with you. Overall, it is a very good beer.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.43/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark golden color with a slight off white frothy head. Plenty of "chunkies" floating in this beer. Smell is mostly bitter hops. Some malt comes through in the finish, but this is dominated by bittering hops and alcohol.
Upon my first taste, I am trounced with bittering hops and a huge alcohol burn. This is big and badass. Usually DIPA’s are highly sessionable beers that I’ll have a couple of in a sitting. Not this brute.
Mouthfeel is astringent and slightly cloying.
I love this brewery. I’ve not had anything remotely resembling a average beer from them.

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Photo of Bierman9
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 12oz bottle; no freshness dating found....

Poured into a tulip style glass, this DIPA has a murky, dark chestnut color. Head was light tan and rather thin, mostly being a rim job. Despite the scant head, lacing was still quite good. Bottle had some sediment and chunkies which escaped into the glass. Nose has quite a bit of hoppiness piled on top of a bit of caramel; grapefruity and robust. Little carbo is to be found in this high abv bier, making it feel fairly smooth on the tongue. Body, meanwhile, is sitting well in the medium range.

Double Crooked Tree starts with a light bit of toffee, then comes on strong with an abundance of hops. It has a rindy, oily character to it, with lots of citrus. It also has a slight minty, medicinal aspect to the flavor. Hops linger and linger, though it was not as souped-up as I expected, and the abv is noticeable though not overpowering. Thanks to the late, great trbeer for this one.


overall: 4
appearance: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4


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Photo of Bierguy5
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, 13.6% ABV, 98 IBU. Green wax top bottle, with a scary tree guy on the label. Cloudy dark copper color, with a thick tan foamy head. Great retention considering the size of this beer. Nice spots of lace as the head eventually dies down.

Huge blast of piney hops, with some strong citrus in the background. Caramel and alcohol present in the nose as well.

Rich caramel flavor, and a bit woodsy. Bitterness seems to go in the direction of piney and grassy, with a few citrus notes. A few fruit flavors, as well as a shot of alcohol come out after it warms a bit. Solid malt base, bitterness seems well rounded.

Medium body, with lower carbonation. Bitterness is not overwhelming as the nose led me to believe. Pretty good.

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Photo of emerge077
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Points for a creative bottle. Four fingers of billowing foam cap this deep brown-amber DIPA. Lots of sticky lacing webs all over the glass.

A resinous, piney aroma is in the air...slightly sweet and malty as well.

Taste is rich and hoppy. Mouthfeel is velvety, almost up to the decadent level. Caramelly malt, long residual herbal bitterness from the huge load of hops present. Not much to hint at the ABV either, until you're halfway through the glass already. Be careful with this one. A bold and powerful DIPA.

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Photo of grub
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

got this bottle from hoppymeal at dark lord day. thanks derek!

12oz bottle with green wax.

pours deep, slightly cloudy orangey amber colour. a bit of off white head pops up and drops quickly.

aroma is intense. tons of hops. grapefruit and resiny pine. alcohol. toffee and caramel.

taste is great. caramel and a bit of toffee. alcohol. big bread and biscuit malt. lots of grapefruit and pine hops.

mouthfeel is great. big and chewy. light well-integrated carbonation.

drinkability is surprisingly good. quite smooth and balanced. it's a bit warm, but definitely doesn't seem like nearly 14%.

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Photo of biegaman
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

February 2007 release, green waxed.
A huge thanks to the generous Grub for sharing this on a beautiful, but cool, May afternoon.
Fairly flat pour, minus some thickly outlined bubbles on the outskirts. Completely bald in the middle though (like a receeding foam hairline!) A very dark colour for the style; sludgy brown with some ruby in the shine. Some degree of clarity, but blurred. Leaves thick legs, and in a coating of spots throughout. A lovely pleasing aroma full of soaked pine notes. The depth increases longer you smell it. A harmonious blend of alcohol, esters, and hop resin. A mouthful of warming sensation, strong flavour profile carrying profiles of ginger bread-like malt (all sticky and nice), hop resins, raisons, plums, other lightly fruity notes (as in a brandy). Graceful finish, the hops really shine through with a long lasting sensation. There is no mistaking the alcohol, but it is considerably well hidden for its strength. This is something slightly different than other DIPA's; I found it fantastic. Thanks Russ!

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Photo of BMoney575
3.98/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled on 5-2-07
2007 Vintage

Pours a very deep red, almost purple. A sizable head, given the ABV, leaves nice lacing.

Smell is huge hops. Very strong citrus, it almost makes your eyes water. After a little while you are able to notice a strong malt backbone.

Taste is very good, the hops bite the tongue right away, with a flavorful smoothness to follow. The alcohol adds a very pleasant warming, without being in-your-face about it.

Mouthfeel is a little thin for my taste, but it has a good viscosity that allows the flavor to stay around.

Drinkability is hampered by the huge alcohol and intense flavors. One bottle is all you'll need.

Overall, an absolutely gigantic beer, and I'm very interested to see how it will age. Recommended.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark and murky looking amber. Thin crop of white foam. Decent lace. Aroma is very piney and fruity. Like passion fruits soaked in vodka....but good vodka. Sweet and rich malts are evident on the nose as well. The taste is very rich. Nice luxurious malt base. Thick and rich. The hops come into the equation soon after. Some resiny and oily characteristics. And then comes the alcohol. Like a spiked punch deal. But in a good way. Gotta give this beer some props. 13.6% a/v. 98 IBUs. And it's quite drinkable. This is not hard to drink. It's tasty and rich and mellow. The bitterness is not overdone. This is one of those DIPAs bordering on Barleywine because of the richness of malts, but who the fuck cares. It's a very nice creation. And quite enjoyable...and reasonable at $3 a bottle.

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Photo of nlmartin
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A special thanks to dhchatfield for sending this brew my way. This beer was served in my imperial nonic.

Appearance: The beer pours a some what murky amber. The head is a creamy biege coloration. For a beer of this ABV the head has lasted a fairly long while at 1/4 inch.

Smell: The beer has a caramel / molasses malty combo. This gives way to a supreme grapefruit and Christmas tree pine smell. The smell doesnt betray the shear alcoholicness of this beer.

Taste: The beer has a very upfront sweet caramel maltyness. This gives way to an excellent oily clingy grapefruit and pine needle hoppyness. The alcohol is a bit spicey but plays well over all in the beer. The beer has a very nice bitter finish.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer is full bodied. The body is very smooth. The carbonation is perfect. The flavors linger a long time. This was a pleasure from start to finish. I wish I had another.

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Dark Horse Double Crooked Tree IPA from Dark Horse Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 910 ratings.