Founders Devil Dancer | Founders Brewing Company

very good
1,479 Reviews
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Founders Devil DancerFounders Devil Dancer

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

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!

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-17-2004

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Reviews: 1,479 | Ratings: 5,025
Photo of MCfunkyJ
5/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My first Triple IPA. I don't know how to compare to others but to be honest I'm not sure any can.

Pours: dark with a nice thick head that hung around the edge of the glass for a couple minutes.

Aroma: Pine, Sweet, Hoppy with an overpowering stench of Alcohol.

Taste: exceptional Hops explode all over your taste buds with a tint of pine and caramel. The aftertaste is somewhat similar to Double Bastard.

Mouthfeel: full-body, strong

Drinkability: After 2 of these bad boys w/ the high ABV level leaves you wondering if you will be able to handle another one. Although its 12% ABV it's leveled out by the exceptionally unique taste.

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Photo of meathookjones
5/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This review is from a 12oz bottle sampled on 12-18-04. Pours out a bright reddish amber with about half an inch of light tan head that slowly forms. This leaves some rings of lace around the glass and has fairly decent retention for a 13% monster brew. Aroma starts out with a bit of sweet malt before the huge hops take over. Citric and earthy hops galore leave notes of grapefruit, pine, grass and other yummy hops smells. As it warms some alcohol sneaks into the aroma reminding me of a heavily hopped barley wine. A good amount of caramel malt sweetness starts off the flavor before giving way to a strong citric hop presence. Notes of alcohol are small but there and add greatly to the taste. This really seems like a super hoppy barley wine to me, like a double IPA crossed with an American Barley wine. It finished up on a hoppy and slightly warming note. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy with a warming feel to it. This is remarkably drinkable to me for the strength, but considering this seems to meld 2 of my favorite style it’s not a big surprise. The 13% is hidden quite well and only shows up to add to the experience. Awesome all around beer if you like big beers, Founders did another great job here. Many thanks to Tikkigodxxx for the chance to try this beauty.

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Photo of Ikeithbot
5/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Understanding the amount of work and time that goes into an IPA monster of this magnitude is missed by 90% of these reviews. You can't compare Jackson Pollock to Norman Rockwell

A: pours a vibrant, clear deep amber with 3/4" white head that recedes slowly. Retention & lacing are quite good.

S: Very deep caramel nuttiness & huge hop undertones.

T: Leads with off-sweet roasted nut & macerated fruit notes. Mid palate is more roasty-toasty nuttiness & hints of citrus peel. Bittering hops are present. Finish is off-sweet as well & lingers with dense resinous hops.

M: Moderate carb & a thick syrupy, yet surprisingly delicate body come together nicely.

O: This may well be one of my new faves.

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Photo of Duhast500
5/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a stemmed glass.

The color is a hazy orange/amber with some foamy off white head and some nice lacing that leaves a film on the glass.

The smell is very hoppy with some citrus and floral hop flavors jumping out at the nose. A spicy mix of flavors await.

The taste is pretty mellow compared to the wallop expected from this triple IPA. The hop effect seems to come on rather quietly as you sip. Just the right amount of a warming, soothing feel mixed with the great hoppy bitterness makes this beer a nice surprise for it's quiet hop flavor that does bot pronounce itself too loudly.

The feel is quite light is just right for a hoppy monster. Just the right amount of hops and get about the night amount of funk.

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Photo of d1ucb4u
4.97/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am not a hop head. I do not like the kick you in the mouth bitterness or hoppiness. I can only think of a handful of IPA's that I would try a second time, and this is one of them. I sampled this beer for the first time at the brewery on tap just after a tour. I picked up a four pack and drank two recently with the intention of aging two for a year.

I found this beer very smooth and balanced without the floral aftertaste or bitterness that I find off-putting of IPA's. This is a sipper from a snifter, hidden alcohol.

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Photo of yankeej13
4.97/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have been trying to get my hands on this beer for almost a year. I took when on a brewery crawl with my dad to Founders brewery itself and got to experience Devil Dancer single handedly.

It was served to me in a 16oz snifter glass. Had little to no head at all. Had an amazing light red color with little carbonation.

The smell was so amazingly potent it was unbelieveable. I couldn't even make out how many different types of hops that was added and dry hopped etc.

Once I tried a bit I was almost breathless..Literally. My dad looked at me and asked if I was ok. This was the best IPA I have ever had in my life. The amount of hops that hit my tastebuds just left me hurting for more. It went down so smooth considering how high the content was.

Founders hit the nail on the head and wish that I could get this in Florida. All I can say was that my expectations of this beer did not leave me disappointed at all!


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Photo of Alkey
4.94/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz. bottle poured a dark amber color with a small tan head that leaves a few spots of lacing. A pleasing aroma of malt and hops that mask the 13% ABV. The taste is very balanced and full bodied with sweet malt and bitter hops and an alcohol dryness towards the end. For such a big beer this is dangerously easy to drink but I think the high alcohol would do me in before I'm ready to stop drinking such a exceptional beer.

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Photo of bditty187
4.92/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hazy, coppery-bronzy in hue with ruby and gold highlights woven throughout the liquid. At a glance it looks like a Barelywine, it has a rich color depth. The head was vaguely beige in color; at the apex the foam was two-fingers in height. The head is very sticky. I am impressed. Head retention is noteworthy, especially on such a big beer. A tight cap lasted many moments, and then the loose collar lasted the entire consumption. There was some subsequent lacing, clumpy and unorganized. This beer is eye-candy… no doubt.

The nose is amazing. It is perfect. Enormous depth. Huge potency. Witty. Articulate. Brutish. Angry. Fiery. Scary. Charming. The nose says so much. My mouth is watering with every sniff. The malt complexities remind me of my favorite Barleywine, Free State’s Owd Backus. The hoppiness reminds me of Old Crusty… but this seems to pack a bigger punch (aka more hops). Brown sugar. Molasses. Figs. Raisins. Spiced rum. Apples. Candy sugar. Pine needles. Spruce. Sugary lemon zest. Rinds. Grapefruit. Melon. Caramel. Alcoholic earthiness. The nose is amazing. It is one of the greatest smelling beers I have ever had the pleasure of sniffing. Stunning. It is perfection. Alluring.

The palate is amazing. The first sip staggered me. I was overwhelmed with the beauty of the taste. This beer has qualities like Double Bastard. However, this Devil is rawer, bigger, hoppier, angrier yet more inviting. Sometimes sweetness is unwelcomed… this is not one of those cases. Sugary… molasses. Brown sugar. Caramel. Toffee. There is plenty of fruitiness in play as well with apples, dates, figs, melon, and a dash of tropical fruits. Towards the finish the alcohol becomes very hot and piercing. I love the pain. I feel like I have an open wound and the hops are salt. Citrusy. Piney. Woody. Bitter as all hell. Long aftertaste. Cheese is needed now, something sharp and pungent. My god is this beer amazing. It is over-the-top but not in an insane way… no, there is amazing craftsmanship here. Profound. It is a thinker. The palate is perfection. What a great Barleywine!

Medium/medium-full in body, low but natural carbonation that fits this beer well, it is not aggressive nor is it lazy. The mouthfeel is very good but it could use a little more bulk, not much but just something to slowdown the liquid. Nitpicking? Maybe. I am a hard-ass.

Extremely drinkable! I can’t put into words how great this beer really is. It has qualities of about six of my favorite beers! Old Crusty, HotD Fred, Double Bastard, Owd Backus, Old Ho, and any really good IPA. What more could I ask for? A case. Yes, I could ask for that. I am willing to steal or maim for that. The alcohol is making my brain say, “hell yeah… this is good.” This beer is a beast. I am glad I killed it. I can’t believe that CRJMellor traded me this beer. By comparison, he got swill in return. Thank you.


The above review is from notes. About a half hour after I finished this beer I got a phone call from my Dad. My grandpa was dying fast and I needed to rush to the hospital. He died ten minutes after I arrived. In the span of an hour I was sipping the one of the best beers I had ever had and mourning over the death of my beloved grandfather. I’ll never forget either.

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Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.92/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Aromas in Athens. Poured into a snifter. Oily, resinous, sticky, clear lacing. Aroma is seemingly dominated by PINEAPPLE! Fascinating!!!! Really, really fascinating. Taste is juicy and malty sweet and bitter all blended together. Amazing masking of abv. What can I say? Style points. Delicious and exciting and unique.

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Photo of Matty412
4.9/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Awesome balance of orange peel and hops on the nose! For 112ibu's its incredibly smooth. Both releases I've enjoyed have been consistent overall. Definitely worth seeking this Devilishly delightful Triple IPA

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Photo of ultralarry2006
4.9/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Leaves a one finger tan head that quickly fades, and there really is not much lacing. Body is a slightly hazy orange tinted amber.

Smell - Intense aromas of pine resin, toffee, and caramel. Mouthwatering. Simple and straightforward, but intense, and again, mouthwatering.

Taste - like the smell promises. Intense and bitter pine resin upfront, with very rich toffee and caramel in the middle, and then more bitter and intense pine resin on the finish. There is also some spicy and warm alcohol on the finish, but mostly the alcohol is well hidden. This is hearty and delicious. The malt here is much more than a mere backbone, it is an intense, rich, and co-equal counterpoint to the hops, the way it is in an American Barley Wine, and I think that this ale would be better thought of as such. The malt and hops are both strong and intense, each constantly asserting themselves, and making this ale very balanced, very rich, and surprisingly very drinkable.

Mouthfeel - full bodied, very slick from hop oils, and dry from both hop bitterness and alcohol.

Drinkability - this is excellent ale. It is hearty and delicious. It is also easily drinkable in spite of its high abv. The high abv does limit the sessionability, but this goes down so easy, and is so delicious that it would be easy to get carried away. Also this is listed here as a DIPA, but I regard it as an American Barley Wine, and an excellent one at that.

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Photo of hopdaddy49
4.88/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had a bottle (from my son for my birthday) and...WOW. Though the ABV is super high, it could not overpower the extreme delicious maltiness of this beauty. The hop finish was intense as well, but due to the tremendous malty beauty that this beer delivers in droves, the balance was awesome. Intense all the way around, it was definitely a party in the mouth experience, and one of my favorite beers ever. Thank you Founders, I look forward to sampling this beauty at your brewpub. Cheers :)

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Photo of PrimScrewhead
4.88/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle into a Nonick

Appearance - Pure copper

Smell - HOPS!!

Taste - Metric-Crapload of HOPS!! & BOOZE!!

Mouthfeel - Barleywine like in body

Overall - Holy Crap! Whatta Beer!
This beer was designed to be a "Hop Sledgehammer To The Face". It's not trying to be anything else. I like it for that.

If you're looking for something subtle, you choose the wrong beer. If you wanna "Rock Out With Your Hops Out", this is the one for you.

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Photo of machostacos
4.87/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my favorite tulip glass from the classic Founders stubby bottle. Dated 06/17/11 08:55.

A: Gorgeous ruby-hued amber, clear as day, with a small eggshell-white head. There is not much head, nor does it show much staying power, but at 12% ABV that's not a surprise. Thin, wispy lacing. This liquid looks as though it is dancing - the name and label artwork are perfect.

S: This thing smells like hoppy Kool-Aid with an alcohol burn...but I mean that in the absolutely best possible way. It's so sweet it's like candy, but with the most glorious hop aroma I have ever experienced. You see aroma and flavor descriptions like "pineapple", "mango", and "peach" thrown around a lot, and most of the time the description is close ( a point - more-so as a reference and not a literal 1:1 description.) But in Devil's as though the most perfectly ripe of hand-picked peaches and pineapple and mango were gently crushed, dusted with the lightest bit of sugar, and delicately dipped into this delectable ambrosia. And the alcohol, while certainly apparent, is integrated so well into the thick fog that hovers over this beer that it merely adds yet another dimension of interest. This aroma is 100% unique to Devil Dancer, and it is glorious.

T: The joyous triumphant tears of the heavens were wrung into this bottle. Is this what the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil tasted like? Incredible hop flavors, again, of literal pineapple, mango, papaya, peach, and the sweetest and most bitter of grapefruits mingle and sway in concert with a strong but never imposing malt backbone. The massive bitterness is slowly and dramatically unveiled in the middle of a sip, like the unfurling of a velvet curtain, and it slowly and triumphantly withers in an embrace with the bright and glowing sweetness until only the resplendent wreckage of your palate remains, begging for another adventurous sip.

M: Syrupy, slick, thick, and oily. Mouth-coating and tongue-destroying. Oppressive yet embracing. This is a lover and a fighter, with equal parts of each. The interplay between sweet and bitter, delicate and destructive, delightful and disastrous, is unmatched in my experience. The vapors of alcohol and sheer bitter carnage waft ominously from an open mouth after only a few sips. This beer is both reason and insanity, and it is magnificent.

O: I am no poet, but Devil Dancer inspires more than mere prose. It is masterful in every way, and will inspire and impress whether a few weeks or a few years old, as it will no doubt age with the best of them. Devil Dancer is certainly not for the faint of heart, but if you are truly prepared to dance with the devil, you are in for one spectacular ride.

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Photo of paco1029384756
4.87/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dark ruby copper appearance, small head with perfect lacing. Strong scent of hops, slight blueberry, citrus, molasses, honey. Intense hop flavor, with strong bitterness, caramel, slight citrus, prunes; some yeast in the finish. Commendably smooth mouth feel, lingering bitterness, just remarkable.

An excellent beer, a top notch Imperial IPA. Incredible smoothness for the huge hoppy flavor and clinging bitterness. An entirely relaxing and immensely enjoyable beer. Please go buy some.

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Photo of mynie
4.87/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, dark rust with a surprising head. Remarkably clear without excessive filtration.

Smells of like a dozen different hop varieties. Insane. Indescribable. Sooo much, but it somehow lets a strong malt syrup come through. Just boldness.
It's bold.

Tastes of strong syrup tastypain. Moves into a wooden, oaky, piney, sweet, grapfruit, dry, wonderful blend of hops. The hops just blend and bend into one another like opitcal illusions emerging randomly out of television static. Wonderful. Perfectly perfectly wonderful and balanced out with a bready death yeast that tastes like heaven and biscuit dough, strong enough to be a very strong stout.

Fucking great.

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Photo of david18
4.85/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I previously reviewed this beer under my own created brand because I thought it wasn't on BA. The brand says Triple IPA so I was confused. Here's what I wrote:

I wasn't sure if this was a triple IPA, like IPA with more intense hops and malt or tripel IPA, some amalgam belgian ipa. It was definitely the former and definitely one of the best over-the-top IPAs I've ever had. Great hop aroma and intense bitterness. Very good malt/sweet flavor. Really strong...I'm feeling it now. Definitely get this beer. I forget the name but will post when I see it again.

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Photo of jdg204
4.85/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thrilled to get another shot at a Founders brew from my buddies at Abe's Cold Beer in Bethlehem, PA. I've had an incredible streak of success with Founders thus far and when I saw this well touted Seasonal I knew I had to try it.

A: Dark, hazy orange color with a thick head that falls quickly to a thick surface foam with good lacing.

S: Good deal of pine and grapefruit leap out of the glass.

T: Huge malt profile (which I like) starts with a heavy dose of grapefruit, citrus, and pine. Some apples and honey come on later and it's all extremely well balanced with a serious hop bitterness.

M: Heavy body with good carbonation. Aftertaste is fantastic and stays on the tongue for a good while.

D: Well I've found a new love and a new favorite Founders (which is saying something). This was an amazing brew and it really lived up to the Triple IPA billing (I could easily see this classified as a West Coast Barleywine as it reminded me of Bigfoot). A tour de force of beer as the guys at Founders show why they may be the best brewery in the country (can't wait to try KBS and Old Curmudgeon which are in the fridge). I can't reco this brew highly enough, go find it!

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Photo of BigMike
4.85/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From a 12oz bottle into a Duvel Tulip

Pours a glowing orange with some reddish accents. A thick two finger head tops it off.

Smell is magnificent. Ripe pineapple, citrus, mainly grapefruits and orange. Tons of fresh hop aroma and the slightest amount of caramel malt smell.

The flavor is everything i expected from a Triple IPA from founders. WOW! This is one helluva BIG BEER! One of the best malt flavors i have ever had. Caramel, molasses, maple brown sugar syrup. Tons of hoppy bitterness. Pineapple, and grapefruit. Perfectly balanced in my opinion.

Mouthfeel is big and thick and rich. A delight on the tastebuds. Just enough carbonation.

No doubt about it. This one is a sipper. 12-13% abv is noticeable although they make a strong attempt at hiding it.

Founders is undoubtedly one of the best breweries in the country. They consistently produce world class beers.

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Photo of corby112
4.85/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Serving type: on tap at the South Philly Taproom, Founders Event, Philly Beer Week 2007.

Pours a nice amber color with foamy off-white head. Hoppy aroma with hints of malt and citrus. Very smooth and well balanced. ABV very well hidden. Creamy and somewwhat sweet with a nice malt presence that balances out the floral and citrus hops. Excellent!

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Photo of rajendra82
4.85/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

An awesome trade from CRJMellor brought this 12 oz. bottle to Georgia from Michigan. The choice of label art was interesting, to say the least, and so was the style moniker of Triple IPA. The beer poured barley wine like deep red amber, with a thick syrupy, dense body that was topped by an average sized beige head that left a good curtain of lace. The smell was citric hoppy reminding me of grapefruit rinds, and had roasty sweet malts lurking just behind the blanket. The beer was leaning definitely on the hoppy side with a zesty peppery taste of burning hop oils. The caramel and pale malts were not quite subdued with the boisterous hoppyness and provided a nicely sweet backbone. The mouthfeel was slick and was followed by a soft buttery-sweet aftertaste. Dangerously drinkable beer that will be sorely missed for being absent from these parts.

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Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.84/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured into snifter; translucent deep orange with a fluffy white head that stays as a disc of foam and leaves delicate lacing. Smell is boozy and sweet, with lots of sweet tropical fruit. Pineapple and mango, banana even, as well as some darker fig-like scents. Some spicy almost rye-like notes in the nose as well. Taste is HUGE; sweet fermented fruit awash in boozy sweet almost bourbon-like alcohol, with an insanely bitter finish. Mouthfeel is smooth and full. My memory of 120min is a bit fuzzy, but this might surpass it as the best extreme DIPA I've had.

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Photo of jbhuxley
4.83/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is the last survivor of the 4 pack that I purchased in July. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter. Bottled on 6/17/09.

Pours hazy, brilliant ruby copper in color, with one finger of smooth cream colored head. Retention is good, subsiding to a ring after the first couple of sips. Leaves behind a solid sticky but runny coat of lacing.

Smells strongly of grapefruit citrus hops with a malty, honey/toffee aroma. Alcohol presence is also very noticeable. As the beer warms up a bit, some dark fruit scents begin to come out.

There's a blast of earthy, grassy hops right from the start. The malt is packed full of brown sugar flavors, but not overly sweet. The alcohol warms on its way down.

There is less of a fruity hop presence than I remember from drinking this beer back in July and August. I would have loved to save this beer for longer, but I didn't want to kill the hoppiness. I am however, getting much more of a toffee presence than I remember from drinking this beer in the past.

Mouthfeel is not overly thick but still a bit sticky. The alcohol is not so much noticeable in the taste, just in the warming as it goes down. This beer is exceptionally drinkable, considering the ABV and the IBUs listed on the bottle.

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Photo of FishHeadLover
4.82/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First off let me say that I love IPAs and this beer scared me.

Pour= Redish brown color with very little head disappearing into very little to no head.

Smell= Hops and syrup. Grapefruit and alc.

Mouth= thick syrup and bite.

Taste= Hops Hops Hops and more hops

Drinkability= Very drinkable. Nowonder they sell it in a four pack and not a six, six would kill you.

I highly recommend for IPA lovers!

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Photo of CampusCrew
4.82/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: reddish amber, frothy and creamy looking

smell: major grapefruit

taste: huge hop bomb and alcohol well hidden. drank this very quick for a 12%. lots of bready malts, decently balanced. loaded grapefruit

mouthfeel: medium-full bodied

drinkability: amazing. funny story.. My mother in law was sittign next to me and she suddenly said.. Hmm I smell grapefruits. I said smell my empty glass. She was amazed that that what she smelled.

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Founders Devil Dancer from Founders Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 5,025 ratings.
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