Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Founders Devil Dancer | Founders Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
very good
1,475 Reviews
Read the review
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,475 | Ratings: 5,000
Photo of thegodfather2701
3.64/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours copper/amber with a white head that is very thin and dissipates quickly.

S-Hoppy with notes of citrus, alcohol, and caramel.

T-Much like the nose with citrus hops and caramel dominating the flavor profile. There is also some booziness.

M-Thick and creamy

D-The high abv. and intense flavor, which decimates your palate makes this a one and done, so a very low drinkability.

Overall, this is a disappointing beer and drinks more like an American Strong Ale.

 469 characters

Photo of mikey711
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a 2008 bottle into an oversized wine glass. It's a hazely brown color with some transparency when held in the light. nicely carbonated, great lacing that's off white.

It smells extremely malty, not too much hops as this is a year old. Some butterscotch. I would be interested in seeing how this smells fresh.

In regards to taste, this is much closer to a barleywine at this point, but there is still a serious bitter hop bite. Very malty tasting, like burnt caramel. Surprisingly it still tastes rather balanced in the finish considering how much of a monster this beer is.

The mouthfeel is definately bitter, but it does not have a grainy taste to it that other hoppy beers acquire when they age. It also goes down fairly easy, after the first few sips that is. I wouldn't want more than one at a time.

 813 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz received as one of a few great extras from BS68280... Thanks Brannon.... It has been a long time since I've had one of these and I've never reviewed it.... Poured into my Delirium goblet.

1" sorta yellowish head.. descent lacing dies pretty quickly but the brew is a very pretty glowing hop hazed deep orange..

Nose is thick pithy grapefruit.. plenty of malts to balance, but the hops are really front and center.

Flavor is a bunch of sorta syrupy maltiness to balance the alpha assault that begins with every sip... hops are really fruity... more fruity than the little pine that is present.. the malt sweetness is a mildly complex mix of toast.. caramel and bread.. but both hops and malts are well represented.. in fact, I am a bit surprised at how balanced this brew is.. the mouthfeel is pretty thick and oily... the viscosity is sliced down a notch by a nice carbonation that helps me want another sip.

Drinkability walks a fine line with me.


 981 characters

Photo of Ghenna
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beer-y copper with a white head, small bubbles. Received as part of a reddit beer trade.

Nose- wow. This is pot. Seriously. As in all my pothead friends would lust over this beer. Skunk with malt on the back end.

A bit of sweet malt on the front of the taste, dry citrus and pine hop on the back. I also feel like I just ate a bud. bleh.

I'm not really a fan of marijuana or its associated smell/taste, but I can appreciate that it has been so well thrown into this beer. Also, how can you hate any 12% beer?

 519 characters

Photo of Reneejane
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer was had on tap and was a red beer with a white head. The aroma was very citrussy hoppiness with a hint of pineiness. Very hoppy with a bit of malt, too. You could definitely taste the Amarillo (or very similar) hops in there. I thought this beer was similar to Southern Tier IPA, but I'm really not sure it merits the "triple" label. I recognize that double and triple IPA's are a bit arbitrary but even so I expected a little more power, a little more hops and a bit more stickiness. However, an admirable beer on it's own, and was a tasty drink!

 556 characters

Photo of beachbum1975
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Notes from a bottle I drank on May 6, 2008 with friends.

Thanks for this bottle abankovich! I got this as a gift at the 1st Cincinnati BA Gathering in Catskellar on May 1st.

No freshness date on my 12oz bottle poured into a Samuel Adams pint glass at approximately 50°F.

A: Pours a murky & evil looking reddish-amber nectar with a super thin, tan head that doesn't stay long - very little carbonation after the pour with little lacing.

S: Pine hops BLAST from hell, subtle malt flavors linger with grain alcohol and prunes (or figs?). I can see this is gonna take me for a ride.

T: Much like the smell, I tasted uber piney hops, dark fruits with caramel malts toward the middle. The alcohol comes through (as expected) on the finish.

M: Full bodied. May burn tastebuds with continued usage.

D: Worth a try and definitely unique, but remain conscientious of the ABV percentage. Before you know it, you'll be on the floor. As such, drinkability score dips a bit.

Glad I had to opportunity to try this one...

 1,016 characters

Photo of Lukafer
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A vigorous pour yields a finger and a half of tannish-red head, which stays for a few minutes leaving lacing on the glass similar to a root beer, if that makes any sense. I smell sweet malts, some caramel malts and a little bit of citrus hops once this opens up a bit. Taste is sweet malt at the front, slight hops in the middle and a nice bitter finish that lingers on for quite some time. To me this drinks more like a barleywine than an Imperial IPA, which when aged is expected but this is a fresh bottle. The mouthfeel is syrupy and sticky, feels good, real good. Drinkablility is not so high on this one, you should probably just stick with one bottle and sip it for an extended period. Very good beer, but I don't think it's as good as others I've had in this style.

 773 characters

Photo of westweasel
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a Sam Adams tasting glass.

The aroma is biscuits, mustiness, alcohol, and a weak grapefruit scent.

The appearance is a slightly hazy, dingy, amber color with a very thin off-white head.

The taste is biscuits, butterscotch life-savers, and bitterness. The alcohol is not as prominent as I was expecting.

The mouthfeel is full, with a bitter (but not too dry) finish.

The drinkability is good. The strong bitterness lingers on the tongue. I don't think I could enjoy more than one per session.

 539 characters

Photo of woosterbill
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: A slow, straight, high pour yields a hazy, dark reddish-amber body with a finger and a half of nicely persistent white foam. Maybe not a great-looking DIPA, but definitely a great-looking 12% beer.

S: Very Barleywinish here, with sweet, toasty, caramelized malt underlying a huge wave of candied-grapefruit hoppiness. Lots of everything, but far too sweet for my tastes.

T: Starts out with a hop bite, but quickly melts into a cascade of rich caramel malt. The sweetness seems to last forever, but is finally overcome by a stunningly bitter finish. Plenty of booze on the aftertaste, but less than I'd expect from 12%. Absolutely huge, and fairly well-integrated - for an American Barleywine, that is.

M: Full, viscous body with plenty of fine, soft carbonation. Extremely sticky, but otherwise lovely.

D: It's not too bad for the strength and intensity, but it just can't get high marks for the style. Way, way to sweet for a standard DIPA - even too sweet for a TIPA if you ask me. Now, if this were classified as an American Barleywine, I'd give it significantly higher marks - it's very tasty.

Notes: Whoa, Nelly. I expected this to be huge, and it did not disappoint. I was hoping for a more distinct, complex hop presence, but the interplay of gigantic sweetness and equally gigantic bitterness was more than enough to keep me interested. Memorable beer.


 1,410 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.62/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap in Greenville SC.
Pour is hazy brown-copper. The large, foamy off-white head is durable and leaves foamy lacing.
Aroma: boozy, hoppy and sweet, with a promise of toffee.
Flavor: moderately-high bitterness, but less than expected, and more sweet malts. some complexity. A bit boozy

Overall: a malty triple IPA.

 318 characters

Photo of msfoster77
3.62/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Hops are very abundant throughout the whole experience of this beer. It pours a burnt orange color with an offwhite head. There is some lacing after awhile. The smell is 90% hop and 10% malt. The hop smell is flower and one can almost distinguish the different kinds of hops, but my nose isn't experienced to tell you what they are. The taste is mostly hops with some maltpoking in. There is a slight alcohol burn at theback of the throat. It leaves an almost peppery smell in my nose after I sip it. Overall this beer was a good experience and I will make sure to get it again.

 578 characters

Photo of brurevu
3.62/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep amber with a subtle head. Very sharp hop and sweet aroma with heat underneath. The taste was palate pummeling with massive malts and bracingly bitter hops. A 12 oz endurance for your taste buds that I am happy I tried but not sure I will revisit. A very intense and flavor forward brew that takes the triple IPA to its max. The 12% ABV is present from the start and while the flavors mask the heat the alcohol is apparent. Big and beastly dancing with the devil is a risk you should take at least once.

 518 characters

Photo of Nachos57
3.62/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A - Very beautiful dark honey color with a disappointing head

S - Smells sweet and hoppy but noticeable alcohol

T - Not consistent taste (I know it sounds weird) at first it was sharp and boozy and bitter, and
then it went well balanced and malty.

M - May have been the batch but this is a very flat beer (not carbonated well and poor complexity)

O - Payed 20 for a 4 pack so I'm rather disappointed since it's my first triple IPA, I can think of a ton of DIPAs and IIPAs much cheaper and way more enjoyable. Founder can do better

 537 characters

Photo of dgugliuzza
3.62/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Founder's snifter

Pours bright amber with little bubbles around the rim of the glass. Has no head to speak other than a thin white film. Appears vibrant with little carbonation.

A blast of piney hops followed by spicy and leafy hops. This one pretty much covers all the hop bases. Has a biscuity finish. Alcohol burn is felt in the back of the nostrils. Some sweet malt and caramel also detected. This is one potent beer.

Tastes of puckering bitter hops that are mostly of the piney and spicy variety. Alcoholic burn as it goes down. Has hints of biscuity malt, but the hops suppress that almost immediately. Not at all balanced, and yet very flavorful.

Has a light-medium mouthfeel with adequate creaminess. At 12% abv and 112 ibu's you better believe that this one's a sipper.

Overall this is an absolute hop monster that still manages to taste excellent. Is it over done and over the top? Surely; however, it does get easier to drink with each sip. I recommend cellaring for a year or three to see what flavors arise as the hops mellow.

 1,079 characters

Photo of Finatic
3.62/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2011 Bottle poured into a chilled Fuller's pint glass.

A: Pours a dark orange color which leaves a small white thin head with minimal lacing and little retention.

S: Hops and more hops and then some more hops. I also smell some resiny oil and small traces of malt.

T: This is without a doubt the most bitter DIPA I have ever tasted. While the hops do dominate there are good amounts of malt in the background. The biting bitterness is very prevalent in the finish.

M: Massive body with an unreal lingering bitter aftertaste.

O: Glad to have tried this monster. A bit too bitter for my liking, but drinkable in small doses.

 627 characters

Photo of beermanbrian
3.62/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Orange color with a small white head. Nothing to make you say wow. The smell brings a little more punch than the appearance. Some big piney hops that slips into sugar cane sweetness. Some alcohol punches through too. Taste is very sweet up front but quickly turns to alcohol burn. This one is a prime canidate for barrel aging which would certainly help smooth out the alcohol. Unfortunately this one just becomes overbearing. Finishes bone dry. Somewhat of a dissapointment for a Founders beer. Glad i tried it but won't make my permanent wish list.

 550 characters

Photo of SaucyA
3.62/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Orangey/Amber... little to no head to speak of. Slight lacing.

S - Love the hoppiness, but not digging the intense malts. Reminds me more of a barleywine than the listed "triple" IPA.

T - Pretty complex and alcohol only noted in the tummy. Complex hops ride a malty wave right down, with a slight burn on the finish. Tasty, but a little too overdone. Mostly fruity, citric overtones with a sweet malt undertone. Resinous and leaves a great coating.

M - Syrupy and thick. Medium carbonation.

D - It's pretty heavy and high in alcohol. A sipper. I'll drink this one and probably not revisit this until next years batch.

 625 characters

Photo of skrib09
3.62/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

poured a deep brown/red, pretty hazy, with a hop-fueled off-white head. sticky looking and retentive.

smell is pine bomb as sticky and resinous chemicals assault the nose. much like a humid day where you can feel the moisture on your skin, you can physically feel chemicals coming off.

taste is citric acid bitter, floral, and piney all combined into a tongue sticking mess. the palate is wrecked immediately with the overly sticky substance of the brew.

see above for mouthfeel.

 482 characters

Photo of Dubber55
3.61/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 6/2/11

Pours a copper/light amber with 1 finger of white bubbles.

Smells like floral and herbal hops. Plenty of pine, grass clippings, grapefruit rind and onions.

Taste is pungent hops. Very sticky and resiny. Pine, grapefruit and orange rind, and grass clippings. A little oniony also. But there is some balance. I do taste some sweetness from the malts. Leaves a lingering bitter aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is thick and chewy. A pretty viscous beer. Low carbonation.

After reading some of the reviews, I wasn't sure about this one. It's somewhat drinkable. Its kind of boozy but not too off putting. I probably wouldnt drink this again because it's not really my style but it was worth a try

 705 characters

Photo of wcudwight
3.61/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to markgugs for this tasty treat.

Burgandy/brown in color with a thin tan head that erodes rather quickly. Thick looking. Little light gets through.
Wow! This smells like a woman's purfume. Tons of fruity hops with some fusal alcohol.
Rich malt flavors. Caramel, brown sugar. Tons of fruity hoppy flavors. Straight brandy and some rum. Taste more like a liquer.
Mouthfeel is THICK and very filling. You can also feel the alcohol.
Not a very drinkable beer. Best served in a shot glass or in a whisky glass on the rocks. But I amidantly am a light weight.
This taste nothing like a DIPA. It's a good and interesting beer but I'm not sure if I'll try another.

 665 characters

Photo of benito
3.61/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A: Cloudy amber with a foamy, off-white head. Good lacing all around.

S: Sticky, malty sweetness with an alcohol tinge. This has the deep, almost cloying fruitiness of a barley wine and only a resinous hop presence.

T: Alright, so if the first few sips had me wondering whether this was really an IPA of any ilk, the taste tells me that it's clearly a barleywine. There's a strong mix of flavors--caramel, brandy, stewed fruit--slapped away by a burning hop presence at the beginning and end of each sip. Alcohol notes punch through strong. This is one aggressive, bruising beer.

M: Smooth and heavy, though the 'heat' (alcohol and bitterness) of this beer really linger in the mouth. The cumulative effect is intimidating, not necessarily in a good or bad way...but near the end of my glass, I had to steel myself for each sip. Is it good to be scared of a beer like this?

D: Deceptively easy at first, such that I would have thought about having two. But by the end of a pint, I'm done. This would make a great nightcap.

Overall, Devil Dancer is a challenging barley wine with a marvelous mix of flavors set against one of the strongest hop bases I've ever tasted. It's not always pleasant, but there is something intoxicating (no double entendre intended) about such a strong brew. While it's noteworthy for being so aggressive in all of its flavors, there are better, more balanced (and equally strong) examples of DIPAs and barley wines; nonetheless, it's absolutely worth checking out.

 1,506 characters

Photo of WeisGuy
3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

a - dark amber/copper color, fairly clear, small head with little retention or lacing

s - very piney hop aroma, some sweet maltiness, strong alcohol presence

t - very sweet caramelly flavor up front with a strong piney bitterness to follow, the finish has a strong alcohol flavor with a long-lasting bitterness, this is one hot beer that seems more like a hoppy barleywine than a DIPA to me

m - medium-bodied, little carbonation, dry finish

d - not very drinkable, the alcohol gets stronger as the beer warms and along with the strong bitterness, limits the drinkability

Glad I tried this brew, but I can't say I was enamored. I would say to drink this beer as if it was a strong barleywine rather than a DIPA. Worth a try.

 738 characters

Photo of GeezLynn
3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

A: Cloudy orange/cider appearance. Not much of a head and little there is is gone quicker than a Twins lead vs the Yankees.

S: The hops - they've faded a bit since this was released this summer so that there's now a nice balance in the aroma. Pine, grapefruit, green apple and a big, sweet caramel base. Smells like a big barleywine.

T: Resinous pine. Grapefruit rind. Turpentine. Well, I'm guessing at that last one but this is just tongue-strippingly harsh. Even the huge sweet caramel easily apparent in the smell is mostly obscured by bitter hop flavors, except for in the finish.

M: Thick and chewy, with plenty of fine carbonation. Light alcohol burn, but not bad considering the 12% abv.

This is my third time drinking this beer (one left). I respect the effort and it's alright if you're in the mood for extreme. On the other hand, for me it's nowhere near being good enough to justify the high price. No thanks.

 924 characters

Photo of baconbourbon
3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Lots of lacing, a nice copper tone to the body. This guy looks good.

Smell - A very strong mixture of citrus hops and malt. The smell is inredibly complex.

Taste - Extremely bitter with a nice malty after taste.

Mouthfeel - Creamy and sticky. The alcohol content is quite noticable.

Overall - This is an impressive exercise in brewing, but that's about it. It's an all around good beer, but nothing spectacular.

 430 characters

Photo of youngblood
3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Very dark ruby, decent head sitting on top. Leaves some nice lacing on the way down.

The smell is pretty one dimensional. I suppose that its intentional since its a triple IPA. This is 90% citrus and 10% pine. Awesome for the hophead inside of me.

Oh man, this is powerful. Its so strong! The bitterness makes my face pucker. This is what a triple IPA should be in my mind. The alcohol makes it pretty rough on the palate too. I wouldn't say that this is average by any means, but the this is such a bomb on my tongue I can't rate it higher than I did.

Feels very sticky and super dry on the tongue. I could only drink one of these because during the night since it kinda ruined my taste buds. Insane beer though.

 717 characters

Founders Devil Dancer from Founders Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 5,000 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!