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Dark Horse Crooked Tree IPA - Dark Horse Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dark Horse Crooked Tree IPADark Horse Crooked Tree IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,861 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,861
Reviews: 894
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 11.06%
Wants: 117
Gots: 342 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: xlperro on 08-10-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,861 | Reviews: 894
Photo of philosobeer
4.09/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jason at Simone's for the recommendation. I'd avvoided it since the firsttime when I must have been drinking a bad bottle, because I'm not sure why this would be avoided. It was the daily special and I decided to give it another try. Presentation: carefully poured, tall pint.

Appearance: Hazy and almost orange, its white head small and disappearing to film.

Smell: Citrus and spice. The malts aren't absent, but the hops clearly mark it as an American IPA. The pine notes are accentuated by caramel.

Taste: The hops are spicy and fruity on forefront and finish. There is a hint of lemon and grapefruit I didn't detect in the aroma -- amarillo hops are my bet on this. This is followed by bread and a malt body.

Mouthfeel: A touch hefty, but not too much so. It has a full body and a nice carbonation, but this is on tap.

Drinkability: It's drinkable. Actually felt fairly refreshing, but the presence of alcohol in the flavor will make me think twice before I'd order a third.

Further thoughts: This does differ considerably from someof the other AmIPAs I've had, and it will make me consider really giving darkhorse another real chance. I enjoyed this thoroughly.

Photo of airohead2001
3.92/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

A - Cloudy brown with a massive three finger head with excellent retention and lacing.

S - Decent smell. Caramel, sugar, corn, and some light hops.

T - So this isn't the most complex beer, but it's still very refreshing and tasty. Hops are light but bitter, and they are most prominent in the finish. It actually has a bit of a BMC taste to it. Normally, any trace of BMC taste in my brew is a disaster - but tonight, on a blistering hot evening, after a long day of work, while watching the Sox get their asses kicked, the corn and wheat tastes of BMC in this beer are spot on.

M - Average for a light tasting beer. Nothing special here.

D - Great! This beer is light tasting with mild hops, mild aroma, and no trace of alcohol. On a hot summer night, I could put this one back all night long. I wouldn't spend days seeking this one out, but I would definitely buy it again if I saw it on a shelf.

I guess it's worth mentioning that part of the reason why I gave this brew such a favorable review is because a) it surprised me because I haven't heard the best things about this beer and b) it is much less syrupy, sweet, and boozy than it's big brother, Double Crooked Tree. Whereas I feel that Double Crooked Tree is more of a barley wine, Crooked Tree is a nice, light drinking, true IPA that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Photo of beerdrifter
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at Save-On, a great beer store in Mentor Ohio. Very cloudy orange-copper pour with a nice caramel-white head and great lacing. Darker than the average IPA. Nice earthy, spicy, citrusy nose with hints of pine and a sweet malt. Fresh, bold taste with great balance between the slightly spicy, citrusy, bitter hop bite and sweet malt backbone. Lots of grapefruit, pine with a touch of bitter resin and perfect sweetness on the finish. Very smooth and slightly chewy make this extremely drinkable. Was wishing I had another by the time I finished. Wasn't familiar with Dark Horse prior to this, but will definitely seek out more from them. A great IPA.

Photo of Pittsburgh
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Re-review after a week or so, I think I gave this beer a bit of an unfair shake, I was turned off a bit to the taste the first time I tried this, thought it was too malty, but I take that back, I think it is a well balanced IPA with a bit of a grassy, natural flavor which is not necessarily malt. Has a nice hop presence as well, very sticky, almost like a DIPA. Solid beer, I am upgrading after working through the 6 pack.

Overall a pretty average IPA, maybe a little above average. Pours very nice, has a fruity scent to it, bitter taste. Darker in color than many, has a fruity flavor to it as well. Decent hops, something seems to be missing for me, I feel like I am almost smelling/tasting yeast in it, which I have never tasted in the style. Not the best combo in the world, but all right, not sure I'd say go out and buy it over the other hundreds of good IPAs out there. A bit of a let down.

Photo of schoolboy
4.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

APA's should be skunky, and this one is. But being that it is not the double very of this brew it isn't extremely so, just a bit. This makes for a very drinkable tasty brew.

It's cloudy. Cloudier than I am used to seeing in this style. Perhaps this contributes to the robustness. It's a bit maltier than it is hoppy. I usually go for more hoppy, but this is a nice change of pace.

With the somewhat dirty appearance, I am surprised more reviewers didn't slam it. I think may be because they are using their good taste that tells them that this is a worthy brew.

Photo of jrallen34
3.76/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into my Orval glass.

Pours a light copper with a nice full and thick white head with good retention and lacing...The aroma is on the lighter side, mostly light hops throughout, it smells good, just not a ton going on...The taste is more pronounced with hops but there is a metallic twise to them which isn't the best. Still hop dominated and a little simple. Ok feel, really nice carbonation, easy to drink.

A slightly above average ipa, nothing great, nothing bad, but if you're going to have a dark horse ipa drink the double crooked tree.

Photo of albern
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a beer for serious hop heads. The beer is a hazy, slightly orangey amber color, a nice creamy off white head, some lacing, good retention. The nose is a pretty good indication of what is to come in that you have orange blossom hop notes, some pine notes, some estery hop aromas all over the spectrum. The nose is quite nice although I do wish it were just a tad more pungent.

The taste is really hoppy. There is largely an IPA with ample orange blossom estery hop flavors, a touch of pine but of the really bittering sort, some other assorted bitter florals from the juices of the hop. The beer has a fairly malt mid section but it probably needs to be a touch heavier and weightier to balance the really bittering flavors. There is a very drying, mouth puckering, and moisture evaporating quality to the mouthfeel. There is definitely a combination of hops in this beer given its complexity and the slightly different experiences you get with each sip. This is no single hop IPA. It's a good IPA, a bit too much IBUs for my taste, a touch thin in the middle, a bit too drying in the finish too.

Photo of dbossman
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazy yellow-brown with a bubbly thick head and good lacing

S: Wonderful hop aroma: citrus and pine; also a nice grainy malt presence

T: Very hoppy pine presence that sits nicely on a grainy backbone; a touch watery as well as an alcoholic numbness that actually is pleasant and works well for this beer

F: Ok mouthfeel; a touch thin on back end

D: A very drinkable and delicious IPA

3.32/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

From bottle to pint glass. No date, batch or bottle number.

A: Pours with a 3 1/2 finger cream colored head that diminishes almost entirely in front of your eyes. The head becomes uneven and chunky until it finally settles into a 1/2 finger. The retention is solid from this point on. The amber-brown body is hazy if not lightly murky. Plenty of furious bubbles on the interior, while the glass is lined with streamers. There is a moderate amount of yeast particles floating about. Spare to fair patchy lace.

S: Upon cracking, the room is overtaken with the Crooked Tree's impressive aroma. Sweet sugar cookie and toasted straw malts support the strong caramel backbone. The hops are amazingly piny with less substantial notes of white grapefruit and orange rind. Lightly lemony. The pine aroma is so intense that Pine-Sol comparisons aren't out of the question. It isn't as offputting as it is impressive however. Sweaty yeast and earthy must.

T: The taste goes downhill unexpectedly. No depth or complexity. And the hop intensity from the nose is not matched on the palate. Since it seems the hops have faded, it sure would have been nice to have a date on my bottle.

M: Almost awful. Thin watery texture with a tonic water like effervescence (and maybe even flavor). Moderate bitterness.

D: This brew performs great right out of the gate but the taste, mouthfeel and drinkability suffers considerably. I find the Crooked Tree to be too light, while the Double Crooked Tree is too strong. Dark Horse has been hit or miss for me, and lately missing more often than not. They need a few more wins under their belt to win me back over.

Photo of gameface23
3.56/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Hazy golden amber with a tenacious white head that leaves sticky lacing.

S: Tangerine, grapefruit rind, and pine with a slight orange liqueur finish.

T: Nicely balanced up front between hop bitterness and malt sweetness. Mid-sip, there is a hefty dose of hop flavor (slightly peppery, citrus, etc).

M: Medium-bodied, appropriate level of carbonation.

D: Well-made.

Photo of jpmclaug
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into my Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass

A - Dark orange/amber maybe brown body with a white head. Really dark for an IPA.

S - Earthy citrus flavor with a bit of maltiness at the end. Also picking up some orange flavor.

T - Well balanced IPA. Grapefruity flavors really dominate in this one. Bit of a lingering bitterness. Some citrus flavors and plenty of malt in this to back it up.

M - medium body with a decent amount of carbonation.

D - Easy drinking balanced IPA. Good grapefruit flavor in this one. An enjoyable IPA for sure but nothing mind blowing. I would pick this up again the next time I go to Michigan but would not go crazy trying to get it.

Photo of smcolw
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good starting head that settles to a single layer of bubbles. Very cloudy. Orange-amber color. Some spotty lace.

Strong piney hop smell. The alcohol comes through in the nose.

The flavor is more balanced than the aroma. I couldn't detect the smell of malt but the flavor starts that way. The hop remains the strongest flavor and the alcohol warmth is also present. The body adds to the experience.

Photo of OttoBomb
4.47/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a 12 oz conical pint glass (June 4, 2010). No freshness dating that I can find.

Eyes: A very dark copper with a thick dark haze. This is probably the haziest, darkest IPA I've come across in years. The pours needs to be a measured one as the vigorous foam threatens to overflow the glass. The head is the mid color between a white egg and a brown egg.

Nose: Though this looks to be a malt forward IPA in the Dogfish vein, there are strong notes of citrus, pine, and grapefruit. A very good start.

Tongue: The flavor follows the impressive aroma presented to the nose. I again expected a malt forward profile, but I was pleasantly surprised by the prominent, complex hops with just enough malt to deliver. Abundant grapefruit, pine, and sap flavors steal the show, without overwhelming.

Mouth: Medium body, with appropriate carbonation.

Libation: I really like this beer and I'm quite impressed with Dark Horse's ability to deliver so much flavor atop a 6% ABV offering. So many IPAs try to do to much, but the flavor, balance, and drinkability are all sot on here.

Photo of steve8robin
3.55/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Decided to try this from my local brew store. 12oz bottle. Away we go...

A: Deep murky ruby red with a giant thick 1 inch head that slowly fades. Good.

S: Earthy citrus upfront with some lemon / orange peel scents in the middle. Sweet malts on the backend. Good.

T: Slighly bitter grapefruit hops upfront. Some citrus lemon in the middle. Hard to find much else going on for flavors. Kind of 2 Dimensional. Nothing special.

M: Leaves an IPA bitterness on your palate. Decent.

D: Goes down easy. Good.

All in all, this is an ok brew. Not much special, but decent. Don't hunt this one. I heard the double crooked tree was good, but this one is nothing special. Don't hunt this one. Try it if you have access when there's nothing else to try.

Photo of rawthar
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From my Dark Horse sampler case. Thanks to the Beer Yard for the rec.

A- Man, I am shocked by how dark this IPA is, opaque red clay, an offwhite creamy head. Looks like the carbonation is having trouble pushing through the thick body. Really cool looking, but I'm taking off points for floaties.

S- Hops are up front, but very quickly take a backseat to some seriously sweet, rich, grainy malts. Some mild citrus with a bit of tang, more lemon than grapefruit, on top of a canvas of thick and slightly boozy dark malts.

T- Here's where it shines. In the vein of the DFH 90 in its malt balance, not a hop bomb by any means (maybe I'm spoiled, I've been drinking RR Registration a lot lately.) Balanced, smooth, oaky, resiny. Tasty.

M- very thick and coating, with a bunch of tiny carbonation snappers ready to burst like Tobikko on a sushi role.

D- A little on the filling side, but a damn satisfying drink anyway.

Photo of PSUDREW
3.47/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a solid golden color, nor head, not
S: Clean, crisp nose. light hints of a mowed lawn
T: This is piney, grapefruit, and some malt. the hops are upfront, but not overpowering. clean finish. This does not brim with smack you in the face hoppiness or alcohol. All in all a pretty good combo
M: Light,but....not under-represented. pretty nice
D: High. this is a nice, solid, but easy brew.

Photo of woosterbill
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Hazy reddish amber body with an inch of dense off-white head; average retention and lacing. Solid.

S: Not too much going on, really. Light citrus hops and some caramel malt. Not bad at all, but far from memorable.

T: Starts out with sweet malt, then becomes a little spicy with the hops, and finishes back on the malt. Moderately bitter aftertaste. Balanced and enjoyable, but not really what I'm looking for out of an IPA.

M: Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation, but the bubbles are a bit on the rough side.

D: As it warms, somehow both the malt sweetness and finishing bitterness become more pronounced - not exactly a recipe for drinkability. Still, it's not exactly a chore to put one back.

Notes: Underwhelming, but thoroughly innoffensive. This amount of caramel malt could definitely stand up to a more assertive dose of hops, and I'd especially like to see evidence of some later additions. This beer's plenty bitter, but not really that hoppy.


Photo of hosehead83
4.23/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass
Amber/red-gold in color, with a big, thick head of foam
Aroma-Sweet malt and piney hops
Taste-Some honey sweetnes met head on by piney, biting hops and grapefruit citrus-rind to balance everything out.
Overall, a classic North Coast IPA. Snappy, tasty, with a well-balanced malty/citrus/hoppy/bitterness that ties together nicely. Well done!

Photo of Jwale73
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle served at 50 degrees in my SA Perfect Pint. Poured a hazy amber with some particulate matter floating in the solution. Head was 1.5 inches, cream-colored and more foamy than frothy. Head eventually settles into a solid quarter inch cap, with some thin strands of lacing revealed during the tasting. Aromas reveal grapefruit and a hint of piny resin on a slightly malty backbone. Taste consistent with nose - very nice balance between sweet and bitter, with a little alcohol coming out at the back and some resinous bitterness that lightly lingers between quaffs. Mouthfeel is medium-light with a somewhat prickly carbonation that leaves some residual burn in the mouth. A solid IPA with a nice balance; however, a little too much carbonation affects the drinkability slightly. I would love to try this on cask if the opportunity ever presented.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.71/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a snifter glass. Another thanks to glazeman for this one.

A: Pours a dark amber color with a large of white two finger head. This subsides, but a layer of foam remains on top. Some nice lacing remains on the glass after each sip.

S: A little bit of pine and some citrus notes, also some hints of orange, but overall on the weak side.

T: A definite hop flavor, but not too strong. The pine and citrus from the nose comes through on the taste, just like the nose. There is some nice malt on the back end that does balance it out and leaves you with a nice finish and aftertaste.

M/D: Medium bodied with some good carbonation. Overall, I like it, but don't love it. It is pretty easy drinking and would be happy to have it again, just not my favorite.

Photo of scottbrew4u
4.44/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy amber color with a thick tan, half inch, head. Head sticks around and lacing on the glass is good.

S: Very piney, earthy, and citrus hop aromas blast forward first. Some tropical fruit, mango and pineapple to name a few.
Toasted malt, fresh baked biscuits caramel and some bread dough make the malt profile. More pine comes through again.

T: Hops come clean and bitter with an assault on the tongue. Fresh pine sap, some grapefruit, mango and pineapple, and spicy peppery flavors. Malts are bready and slightly sweet with hints of caramel and vanilla. Balance is to the bitter hoppy side.

M: Medium body with crisp prickly carbonation.

D: Excellent flavor and very fresh tasting. Hoppy as hell! I have had Imperial IPA's less hoppy than this beer. It is delicious but in the end the bitter aftertaste is too much for my tongue and I would not easily go for another in succession.

Photo of ColForbinBC
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A burnt orange body with a chilled haze. A thick, foamy two finger yellow infused cap rose and fell slowly. Some great rings of lace.

The nose is of pine needles and grapefruit, with a clean, light bready malt backbone. A nice little imbalance, but rather straightforward.

Clean malts work to balance more so on the palate. A brief rush of grapefruit before undercooked biscuits carry through the middle. The finish is another rush of grapefruit and pine needles. Mild bitterness.

Medium body, smooth and creamy. A lingering pine needle/grapefruit bitterness that builds a little as you work your way through.

This is a nice, clean IPA that makes a good everyday IPA. This is an updated review (from 2/8/2012.) The first bottle I had was a little dated and had some off flavors. I am glad to have a chance to re-review.

Photo of glazeman
2.89/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle.

A: Pours a dark amber, darker than most any other IPA that I have come across. Nice two finger white head with excellent retention and lacing.

S: I don't really know what to make of the smell, not very pleasant in my opinion. Smells fairly medicinal, with only a hint of citrus.

T: Somewhat lack luster for me. It was ok, but nothing special. The hop flavor was not very pronounced and was covered up a lot by the high level of carbonation. Some malt on the finish, but not much.

M: Very light and soft on the tongue, way too much carbonation.

D: Ehhh, this beer has potential, but overall was a let down and has some major flaws. The double crooked tree is done much, much better and would be my go to beer from dark horse. It's amazing that simply "doubling the ingredients" can make such a drastically different and better beer.

Photo of scottyshades
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to bobertkuekn for this extra!
A: Pours a slightly cloudy blood orange color with a fluffy head that retains very well.
S: The nose is very interesting; floral hops, citric hops, grapefruit and slight orange and other citrus fruits. Also, dark cherry?
T: Nice array of hops- bitter, a little medicinal, sweet, and dark fruits.
MF/D: A little over carbonated for my liking, and dry as well

(mobile review)

Photo of Duhast500
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this beer at American Craft in Brookline, MA, Dark Horse is new to this era so I jumped at the chance to have my first taste.

Poured from the tap into a pint glass.

The color is dark gold with about two fingers of foamy white head and some nice lacing left on the glass.

The smell is a bit piney with some nice earthy bitterness and some slight citrus flavor. There is a nice sweet flavor in the background with a nice caramel flavor.

The taste is full of hops at first. There is a bitterness that I had been looking for and pretty happy to find. A nice citrus flavor with grapefruit, and tangerine mixed with the piney flavor as well. This beer is a hop lover's paradise. There is a good amount of sweetness as well toward the end of the sip. A sweet caramel flavor comes up and announces itself before falling into the background again.

The feel of this beer is medium bodied and goes down pretty well. The carbonation was at just the right amount so it gave the beer a bit of a fizz but was not so much that it dried out each sip. A really good IPA that has a American flavor.

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Dark Horse Crooked Tree IPA from Dark Horse Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 2,861 ratings.