Dark Penance
Founders Brewing Company

Dark PenanceDark Penance
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IPA - Black / Cascadian Dark Ale
Ranked #38
Ranked #5,099
4.06 | pDev: 9.85%
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Dark PenanceDark Penance
Notes: A heavy malt foundation includes Crystal malt for sweetness and just enough Midnight Wheat malt to push the color to black. The bitterness is huge, but balanced by malt sweetness and alcohol burn. The hop flavors and aromas range from citrus to floral to pine thanks to a delicious blend of hand-selected Chinook and Centennial hops.

100 IBUs
Reviews: 342 | Ratings: 2,557 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Sigmund
Sigmund from Norway

3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

355 ml bottle, will soon be available at Cardinal Pub & Bar, Stavanger. ABV is 8.9%. Black colour, dark brown in the highlights. Moderate to low creamy beige head. Aroma of piney American hops, the roasty notes are fairly subdued. Distinctly hoppy flavour, piney and grapefruity hops galore, dry roasty notes and bittering hops in the finish.

Apr 16, 2021
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gatornation from Minnesota

4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark black with a khaki head. Smell is roasted malts and piney hops. Taste has a huge malt presence coupled with bitter hops,some floral and citrus noted ,mout feel full bodied.

May 24, 2020
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BIABrewer from Indiana

4.54/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An intensely hopped and richly flavored black IPA. a sharp hop bitterness is balanced by an evident malty sweetness. Aroma is mostly of pine and grapefruit with faint hint of citrus. The mouthfeel is thick but not syrupy and seems needed to provide further balance to the powerful hop presence. I absolutely love the way this beer came together.

Oct 17, 2018
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dcotom from Iowa

4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12-ounce bottle into a Glencairn glass. Deep, dark blackish brown in color, like a dark-roast coffee. Thick, cushiony tan head that left some nice sticky lacing. Although this sample was old, it still retained a lot of the intensely bitter hop character. The strong malt backbone contributes sweetness, with notes of burnt coffee, prune, and licorice. Silky mouthfeel, with lots of lingering licorice and pine-resin bitterness on the finish. Well done!

Jul 26, 2017
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

4.09/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearance was a black color with barely any head. Lacing was messy thing and all over the place. The smell started off with roasty coffee to bitter piney dark leafy fresh damp coffee bitterness. It fared quite nice as an American Black Ale underneath my nose with a resounding floral resin. The taste was mainly roasty with a nice underscore of bitter. Pine empowers the roasty coffee to blend yet slyly allows a slight spicy almost rye presence to come about. A nice sweet to spicy aftertaste bleeds into the finish. On the palate, this one sat about a medium on the body with a great sipping feel about it. Carbonation runs slyly underneath to accommodate a good sharpness in the bitterness. Overall, imperial black ale, yup, definitely works for me, I’d have again.

Jun 25, 2017
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Wasatch from Colorado

4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bought On-line
12 oz. Bottle

Poured into a glass a very very nice black color, with some awesome carbonation, there is a very nice one-finger plus thick, creamy, off-white head, with some very nice thick sticky lacing left behind. The nose is very hoppy, with some citrus/pine. The taste is also very nice, hoppy, citrusy/piney. Medium body, ABV hidden very well, with a very nice bitter/dry finish. Overall a very nice brew.

Apr 02, 2017
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TerryMills from Tennessee

4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black with a nice frothy cream head..

Very good strong malty taste and a silky smooth mouthfeel , you don't get the hops till the very end and they bring out some fruity flavors and a very slight bitterness.

This could easily move into my list of favorite ipas, only bought a single but I will be going back for more..

Mar 04, 2017
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

3.84/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 9/14/15; drank 11/1/15 @ the Yarchives.

Brown/black appearance.

A rough pour yielded a huge tan head; a curtain of frothy lace.

Wheat, orange citrus & roasted coffee bean notes in the nose.

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Milk chocolate & orange citrus flavors up front; a dry, coffee accented finish. No booze heat. An above average black IPA.

Feb 24, 2017
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DJ-Hophead from England

4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

355 ml bottle Beautiful Beers, Bury St Edmunds,- Pours jet black with a large creamy foam head. Medium carbonation. Nice lacing. Aroma - large resin hit on the nose, some fruit notes citrus - grapefruit. Taste - starts with resin notes on the front, light citrus background, roasted malts, finishing with a long dry bitter finish which really lingers. Great resin fronted serious bitter black imperial IPA.

Nov 28, 2016
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MMOSNN from North Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

14-month-old bottle poured in a goblet.
Look - super deep dark brown with a one-finger khaki head, medium retention, nice lacing.
Smell - strong notes of roasted malts, then pine resin, some bitter coffee and citrus.
Taste - mostly follows the nose with the addition of boozy notes. The roasted malt character blends really well with notes of pine resin and it finishes with a sweeter citrus punch.
Feel - good carbonation, chewy mouthfeel, sticky finish.
Overall, a great example of the style in that it blends complex malty characteristics with crisp hop aromas and flavors. The body is also impressive, especially considering this bottle is over a year old. I'd like to age this a few years to see where it goes.

Nov 23, 2016
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911CROFT from England

4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

355ml bottle into a Spiegleau IPA glass. Paid £4.15 for a single.

Pours an opaque, very dark brown, almost black body, that when held to the light allows some ruby tinges to be observed near the edges of the glass. Incredibly fine carbonation is visible below a dense, two-finger in height, light tan coloured head that slowly reduces to a thin cap, leaving behind thick bands of sticky lace.

The simple but bold and commanding nose leads predominantly with a combination of pine, grapefruit pith, and dark roasted grains. Modest sweetness is faintly perceptible underneath with notes of black liquorice and burnt sugars, while hints of char become evident towards the back end. Taste follows almost exactly. Resinous pine and grapefruit pith lead the hop forward structure in roughly equal parts. Underneath, dark roasted malts and semi-sweet toasted grains form a flavourful but light malt backbone, managing to capture a slightly charred profile whilst avoiding intensely smoky and ashy characteristics. Mid-palate, hop bitterness lightens briefly, revealing traces of bittersweet burnt sugars and liquorice before pine and grapefruit quickly re-emerge. In the mouth, a medium body and modest amount of fine carbonation give an initially soft, smooth and creamy texture. Hop presence peaks shortly after the swallow. Resinous pine and oily grapefruit peels provide an assertive and astringent bite, considerably drying the palate in conjunction with lingering roast and traces of caramel to form a well-rounded bitter finish.

Overall this is an excellent beer. Big and bold, simple but well crafted, it makes no excuses for being a straight-up 100 IBU monster. Complexity is perhaps a little lacking, but the simple roasted backbone provides enough sweetness to soften bitterness, maintain interest and create balance, without overshadowing the hop profiles integral to any IPA. Recommended.

Nov 05, 2016
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q33jeff from New Jersey

3.74/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle to snifter, cleansing palate after raspberry beer tasting. Due to that, this eating will be adjusted over the 4pack I have.

LOOK: Dark black, off white head, small but lasting.
AROMA: smoke, ash, lightly toasted malt,
TASTE: oats, malt, light hops, pine
FEEL: medium body

Good drinking beer with lots of flavor.


Jul 29, 2016
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Marius from Netherlands

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Kihoshk, pre-CBC. Pine and citrus hops, dark and hoppy and a bit sticky, with some caramel, chocolate and a bit of cocoa thrown into the mix. Good stuff.

Jun 19, 2016
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Absolut from California

4.16/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

shout out to quality liquor store. bought online. received via mail. fresh, quality. mmmm

pours black like a stout. smells and taste citrusy after malt, its a wonka beer.

plays tricks on the mind. looks like a stout, pours like a stout, smells like a pale ale, tastes like a ipa with a stout follow.

broke my mind

Jun 18, 2016
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mlockman from Indiana

3.71/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Even months after bottling, this beer is phenomenal. Despite its high IBU, the malt backbone of this brew prevents the "hop-bite" on the palate that deters so many drinkers from hoppier brews.

Jun 16, 2016
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patre_tim from Thailand

4.52/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown with a ruby tinge. Its too dark to see carbonation. Topped with a finger of beige head.

Smells of dark malts and tar with chocolate, fruity grape juice, brown sugar and a slight lilac note. Black liquorice as well.

I get liquorice, cocoa powder, lilac and molasses, grape juice as well. They blend together well and are in great harmony. Hints of citrus and pine. New notes on each sip. I get cedar too.

Medium thick body, slightly oily, slightly tannic, slightly resinous, but all in balance. Like a a heavy imperial drinking smooth and light.

Its really got a lot of the qualities of a good imperial stout as far as complex notes , but drinks smooth and much lighter. I got this on wish beer.com, drank in Chiang Mai June 7th, 2016. Really noteworthy!

Jun 07, 2016
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morky92 from New York

4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I'm Getting Intense, Not Talking Nonsense
I Made Up My Mind, Not Sitting On The Fence
I Don't Always Know The Right From The Wrong
I Do My Best To Figure It Out And Work It Out In The Long
I Try To Do A Lot More Than I Can Chew
Balance Out My Ambition's
What I've Got To Do

May 28, 2016
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matjack85 from Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I had this on tap at Quencher's Saloon in Chicago. $5 for a 10oz brandy snifter.

The beer was pure black and made a ½-finger of beige head which lasted a bit and left lots of nice lacing.

Big roasted malt smell along with some fruits, pine, and alcohol as well.

This beer is more hoppy than malty despite the smell. Major grapefruit flavor along with other tropical fruits, pine, and coffee. Malt and caramel do their best to keep it balanced but they lose out to the bitterness (100 IBUs!).

Creamy and full bodied with mild carbonation.

Can't complain about it not being bold and full of flavors, but still, I did not care for it as much as most people did.

May 25, 2016
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Everydayoff from Thailand

4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

355ml bottle poured into an oversized wine glass.

Black as night as a color, massive bubbly tan head arises and stands with excellent retention before slowly sinking to everlasting foamy layer of crown. It is there until the last sip. Nice and refined lacing in form of patch and spot cling along the way down.

There are many scents dwell in the aroma. Licorice, coffee, roasted, sweet bready malt, creamy chocolate, buttery, pine, citrus, hint of dark fruits, and spice, all of these are nicely packed up providing truly tempting smell.

So sweet and bready at first with a generous malty goodness, then come roasted and toasted profile reminiscence of roasted coffee bean as well as char woodiness. Hops reveal thereafter with a persistent bitterness along with citrus, herbal and peppery notes. The aftertaste is still lingered with a solid bitterness and peppery from hop that is so tasty and delicately swept all over the palate. Alcohol is also there at the end if carefully notice but it is partly concealed by the complexity of malt and hop.

Full and syrupy body with some chewy mouthfeel, rather smooth through medium carbonation but well and crisp enough to carry along well, finish is very dry.

This beer is hefty and complex in all dimensions but is contradictory not too hard accessible. Thanks for great quality of malt and hop that make it so drinkable and enjoyable.

May 19, 2016
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kitch from Hong Kong

4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 fl oz bottle bottled on 14th September 2015 and poured into an oversized wine glass.

Appearance: It poured a deep dark dark brown colour with a one finger tan head that dissipated fairly quickly to a thin layer but left nice spotty lacing.

Aroma: Sweet roasty malt with some light pine and citrus orange in the background.

Taste: Light roasty coffee and chocolate with nice spikes of pine and citrus bitterness which lingers on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall: A nice Black IPA that balances the sweetness, roast and bitterness.

May 06, 2016
Photo of Harrison8
Harrison8 from Missouri

3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours black with a foamy, bubbly khaki-brown head. Head retention is fair, with a good ring of lacing left behind. Wheat, smooth biscuit malts, and pine hop bitterness form an aroma that plays with your mind. The taste follows suit, bouncing back and forth between crystal malt smoothess with bitter pine hop spikes. Definitely on the bitter side of things. Feel is medium-thin, with some extra harshness on the back end. Overall, a good brew, but certainly limited on only a few occasions where I'd willingly pick it up. The bitterness really hits hard on this one.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

May 01, 2016
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anon from California

4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ahh black IPA's. Always a pleasure giving one of these a go, far less prevalent than it's non-black counterpart but usually just as golden.

This one pours nearly black, but there is some deep mohogany/ruby coming through in the light. Small khaki coloured head, with exceptional retention and lace. Almost looks like coffee.

Roasted malt and grain are what I first pick up on the nose, with undertones of pine resin and charred fields of wheat. Tastes heavy on dark crystal malt and the midnight wheat malt helping, giving it that roasty goodness. Nice pine resin attribute from the helping of Chinook and centennial hops, combining with black licorice, light molasses, Oak and roasted coffee beans. Balanced very well with the bitterness lingering but not overwhelmingly so.

An excellent take on the style.

Apr 23, 2016
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BeernOnThe4thOfJuly from Missouri

4.26/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Black with a small, off-white head. Piney fruitiness mixing with some sweet malt in the nose. Strongly bitter, but there's a definite juiciness if you look for it. Has a coffee quality, as well. Finish is full and succulent. Hops lingers. My first black IPA. Very unique and complex. I'll have to look into this style a bit further.

Apr 21, 2016
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Beejay from Virginia

3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Dark black in color with a medium tan head filled with frog eyes.

S: Dark malt and molasses with a hint of booze, and a dank earthy bitterness with notes of citrus.

T: Caramel malt, and burnt sugar with a very strong earthy bitterness. A fairly good balance of sweet and bitter, with the bitterness lingering on long into the finish.

M: Medium in body, but heading towards a more syrupy heavy feel. Moderate carbonation, and a drying bitter finish.

O: Overall a pretty good brew.

Apr 01, 2016
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BigDaddyWarbuxx from Iowa

4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

An extremely potent and powerful black IPA, with a good balance between the hops and roasted malts. A solid blending of two worlds here, but the high ABV reserves it to a sipping beer.

Mar 30, 2016
Dark Penance from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 2557 ratings