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Founders Devil Dancer | Founders Brewing Company

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very good
1,476 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: 1,476 | Ratings: 5,010
Photo of PDXHops
2.21/5  rDev -43.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. Slightly hazy amber with finger or so of foamy off-white head. This reduces to a skim fairly quickly, but does leave scattered streaks of lacing.

Smells a lot like a fresh hot and hoppy barleywine. Sure, there's lot of hops- plentiful citrus, a smaller dose of pine- but a tidal wave of sweet maltiness and booze ensure they aren't showcased. A bit doughy as well.

I remain unconvinced that a "triple IPA" is such a great idea. On the positive side, Devil Dancer achieves a searing level of grapefruit bitterness, a burn which is accentuated to some degree by a corresponding burn of alcohol. Very heavyhanded with the malts, though- toffee and caramel from start to finish. Almost a creamy sweetness at times. I'd rate it much higher as a barleywine, which it continues to most closely resemble. Finishes much cleaner than you'd expect from a 12% barleywinish beverage.

Overall impression: Glad I tried it, but I'll take a pass next time.

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Photo of Kudashov
2.24/5  rDev -43%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Devil Dancer Triple IPA 13 % ABV . Label is colored a reddish /auburn hue . There is a woman who is being held by the Devil no doubt with orange flames comming from underneath . Smell is some hops and very " boozy ". Alcohol aroma is very prominent . On the tongue it is hot and intense . As the alcohol warms it is not very pleasant . The lacing in nice to look at all over the glass . Few more sips solidifies my thoughts that this is just too boozy , medicinal . Booze bomb that is harsh , thick , and just not worth trying again . The Devil Dancer will leave your throat and mouth with an oily fire .

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Photo of tectactoe
2.29/5  rDev -41.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a copper-orange color with a small head that leaves minimal lacing. The first whiff hits with a load of caramel toasted malts, a touch of vanilla, and an abundance of alcohol. A touch of fruity flavors are hinted at, but not very noticeable. The alcohol gets stronger and stronger as the beer gets warmer, until eventually it's almost the only thing you notice, along with the malts. For a "triple IPA", it's weird how much the malts and alcohol overpower the actual hop smell. Hops are present, but not at all in the foreground.

The taste... well, I don't understand how so many people have given this beer a good review. I guess that's just the difference in tastes. But this beer was bleh. Hoppy and bitter, with overpowering malts, and extremely annoying alcoholic properties. Way too boozy. And not boozy in a "oak barrel aged bourbon" kind of way - boozy in a "this is difficult to drink" kind of way. It's as if the alcohol is there unnecessarily. It's unwarranted, unwanted, and uncalled for in this amount. I feel like Founder's was strictly going for the novelty of 12% ABV without much regard to the actual taste, which is a shame because most of their brews are amazing. This beer left a sharp bite on the back of the throat and the booze only got stronger and more arrogant as time went on. Super thick and left the mouth feeling sticky and coated. Pungent, heavily alcoholic aftertaste.

Yuck. I was very disappointed with this. Founder's puts out amazing stuff, but this just missed the mark. Instead of an incredibly complex, hoppy brew, I was sucking on a hodge-podge of malts, unwanted bitterness, and overpowering alcohol burn. I'll definitely be passing this one up next time.

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Photo of ehammond1
2.35/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle (2011)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, MrHirschybar!

Clear ruby grapefruit in color with deep, dark auburn edges and a thin khaki colored head that leaves the glass completely sticky and messy with sheets, spots, and lines of lacing.

I've never really quite known what people meant when they said their IPA smells like onion, until now! This beer is full of raw onion aroma--not quite enough to make me cry, but, it's starting to feel like I should! There's a bit of earth and grass character as well, along with some garlic, strangely enough, but the onion aroma is certainly dominant.

This is drinkable, but hardly. The onion and garlic flavors present again, and those aren't exactly flavors I look for in my DIPAs. The level of bitterness is huge, there's a touch of warming alcohol, though not nearly as much I feared. There's some piney and citrus hop flavors hidden underneath there somewhere...maybe?

Medium mouthfeel, oily, with low carbonation.

I wish I could bottle the rest of this so my friends could taste how terrible it is. I'm cruel.

**If given the chance to try this beer fresh, I will revisit my review, as the bottle I had was about 5 months old.**

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Photo of Luk13
2.38/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle and tap. Had lots of hype on this one and it certainly disapointed to say the least. Aroma: Overpowering fruity hops, light cherries, Onions(!), ughh. If it wasn’t for the onions, it would have been OK. Appearance: Copper pour with small head. Flavor: Lots of fruity hops again, but unfortunately the alcohol is not hidden at all and takes all the place. Lots of sweetness also. Palate: Rich and heavy, lots of alcohol. Overall: Could not finish half the bottle. It wasn’t so bad on tap though, but the alcohol was overpowering. I can't believe this is so highly rated.

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Photo of phingdong
2.39/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Fresh 2011 bottle (review from notes back in the summer).

Appearance: Looks nice enough. Nice half inch head with sticky lacing as it goes down. It looks like it will be tasty, but then I get close enough to smell it.

Aroma: Vegetables, garlic and onions, a touch of weed, a hint of tropical fruits trying to get through. Not a very inviting smell.

Taste: Harsh. The onions, garlic, weed, and other players from the aroma are here in full force. The booze makes itself very well known as well. This is not good. The combo of hops here is just nasty. It's boozy and tastes like stale veggies.

Mouthfeel: Feels nice and creamy. Medium carbonation.

Overall: I wanted to like this. I did not, however. At all. I poured out half the glass. This may be the only Founders beer I do not enjoy so far.

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Photo of Gaisgeil
2.4/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

This brew is definitely too much of a good thing. I'm sure it's a hop lover's delight, but I just don't get what all the raving is all about. Pours a deep hazy gold in color with a loose white head. Nose is intense hops, grapefruit and pine, incredibly pungant and alcoholic. Taste is very much the same, very drying on the palate, not a pleasant experience. Mouthfeel is slick and oily, coats the palate. This is a horribly out of balance brew and something I just don't care much for.


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Photo of HopHead84
2.4/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2


Bottle courtesy of OHLRangers, thanks! Poured into a Lost Abbey tulip.

A: Dark orange with good clarity and a thousand bubbles feeding a beige froth that eventually settles to a thin collar. No lacing.

S: Pronounced onion and caramel with sugary notes. Pine is light, and there's a bit of bread and booze.

T: The onion flavor is monolithic, and there seems to be oregano and garlic in there as well. The alcohol is intense and scorching. Malt is reminiscent of bread and caramel.

M: Upper medium body with moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is sticky and smooth.

Overall: This is not for me, though I appreciate the chance to try it. Far too harsh and far too much onion.

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Photo of zeledonia
2.43/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

Bottled some time in late June, 2011. I love Founders' new yellow bottled-on

Pours a very dark amber, with brown and red tones. Fluffy cream-colored head that has nice retention and great lacing. Tons of carbonation visible in the glass. When I swirl it, little curtains of bubbles stick to the sides of the glass below the surface, then come streaming back up.

Smell is dominated by fruity hops: pineapple, grapefruit, and some banana. Strong aromatics, and while the malt is there, I don't pick it up very well due to the power of the hops. Also a mixture of hop bitterness and alcohol sharpness coming through a bit later.

Taste is, IMO, overpoweringly bitter, and unpleasantly so. I don't get any of the fruity notes or what I'd call more enjoyable hop flavors due to the incredible bitterness. Really, this is probably the most bitter beer I've ever tasted (and I say probably only because I might be forgetting something). It comes on in two humps, a little one, followed by some caramel malt sweetness, then a massive wallop of biting bitterness that overwhelms my senses. Then the alcohol burn comes in to accompany the hops. Finish is long, persistent, bitter, and burning. Yowzer. I just don't get much beyond that bitter.

Mouthfeel is good - nice carbonation, medium-bodied, slightly sticky. As mentioned above, a very persistent finish.

I can respect everything about this beer, as it's clearly brewed for the massive hopheads. What I can't do is enjoy it. And I have loved many a DIPA, so it's not just the style. The massive level of alpha acids makes the beer taste like little more than a bitter onion bomb to me. And I like more complexity and flavor. An unquestioned drainpour.

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Photo of dejrrma
2.45/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

$7 for 8oz at midway pub. served in a tulip. Tasted on 2/23/12. Here is what I wrote down while reviewing this at my table:

a- reddish amber color, little head, specks of lacing.

s- like a barley wine almost, with malts/vanilla-y scents and dark fruit...but weird...there's weird garlic smells. i'm not sure about this beer.

t- cherries, some wine. slightly hoppy. very boozy. what made me really dislike this beer is that it tastes slightly meaty, like sausages, and straight up onion soup. not pleasant. at all. awful.

m: med-carb med-full body, a bit cloying/syrupy.

o- i was really excited to try this, but i wish had saved myself the $7 and gotten something else. I'm not sure what went wrong here. i'd be afraid to try this again

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Photo of BostonHops
2.48/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

12oz bottle served in a snifter.
freshness date is illegible.

pours a hazy dull orange tone while yielding a short-lived 3/4" beige head; expected mediocre retention, fades to a collar around the glass. spotty lacing. wow, nose is something else. very pungent and unique with herbal, floral, citric notes... unripened mango... sort of dank, almost musty.

taste is likewise really different, and for me a relatively significant departure from the aroma. citric and floral hoppy notes, yes, but with that onion/garlic/weed presence (summit hops, i believe). very bitter, with a significant booziness. not really enjoying it. full-bodied mouthfeel with some chew to it. i realize many enjoy this brew's flavor profile, but upon some consideration it seems i'm not taking a shine to it at all.

overall, a unique beer, i'll give it that, but not my cup of (triple) IPA; definitely not one of the better offerings i've had from founders. 3 more in the 4pk...

(originally reviewed: 07-17-2011)

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Photo of perrymarcus
2.48/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

12oz bottle served in a snifter.
freshness date is illegible but it's definitely from the 2011 batch.

pours a hazy dull orange tone while yielding a short-lived 3/4" beige head; expected mediocre retention, fades to a collar around the glass. spotty lacing.

wow, nose is something else. very pungent and unique with herbal, floral, citric notes... unripened mango... sort of dank, almost musty.

taste is likewise really different, and for me a relatively significant departure from the aroma. citric and floral hoppy notes, yes, but with that onion/garlic/weed presence (summit hops, i believe). very bitter, with a significant booziness. not really enjoying it. full-bodied mouthfeel with some chew to it. i realize many enjoy this brew's flavor profile, but upon some consideration it seems i'm not taking a shine to it at all.

overall, a unique beer, i'll give it that, but not my cup of (triple) IPA; definitely not one of the better offerings i've had from founders. 3 more in the 4pk...

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Photo of Holland
2.52/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: pours a clear reddish orange with a decent head which settles into a decent lacing with very fine bubbles.

S: pine, garlic, and onion hit hard. They overpower the malt, sweetness, and whatever else. Smells kind of skunky.

T: garlic, pine, onion, bitterness, and skunk. Not sure if this batch went bad, but this is gross.

M: mouthfeel is fine, leaving out the rest. It has a nice malt backbone of thickness, then hits you with great carbonation for this hefty of an ale.

O: had this on tap at the brewery and it was awesome. In bottle form, this is the worst double IPA I've had. This is the only Founders beer that I have not absolutely loved. If you want a great, big DIPA, grab the Double Crooked Tree from Dark Horse.

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Photo of John_M
2.53/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Had this beer on tap at The Drafting Room Hopfest the other day. It was easily the worst beer I tasted.

The beer pours a striking orange color with good head retention and lacing. I have to say right off that it's a bit darker then I expect for a DIPA. I don't get a lot on the nose, just a hint of citrus with what smells like some seriously sweet malt.

On the palate this beer is nothing short of disgusting. The flavors aren't off, but this beer is so sweet, the alcohol and malt completely dominate the hops. This has to be one of the heaviest, most tiring beers I've ever sampled. The beer is medium to full bodied and is pretty smooth. As for drinkabilty, I couldn't come close to finishing just the 5 ounce sampler this beer came in.

I love hoppy DIPA's, but the sweet malt and alcohol completely mask the hops. The beer tastes almost out of balance it's so sweet, malty and heavy on the alcohol. Granted, I know this DIPA is made in the so called East Coast style, so undoubtedly that's part of the problem for me (I prefer the less malty West Coast style), but regardless, this beer is just over the top sweet and boozy. Unless you are feeling particularly mascochistic, I wouldn't recommend this beer to anyone.

7/3/10 edit. Tried this beer fresh and on tap at the Big Hunt yesterday. While marginally better then what I tried previously, the fact remains that this is a sweet, boozy, borderline unbalanced DIPA that is about as undrinkable as any DIPA I've ever sampled. Obviously, it's popular with some folks, but I'll be damned if I can see the appeal.

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Photo of mooselvlt
2.56/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into a stange

A - Pours a hazy reddish/pinkish orange. Has a fingers worth of beige foam that settles into a steady factor atop and around the edges. Nice looking and very unique color. Good lacing

S - Wow, its pungent. Some strong grasses, some citrus, onion-like as well. Very strong nose, almost too much here.

T - uhhh, no! All I can think of is onions & garlic. Wow this is downright hard to even get through. I'm guessing this is what happens with hops overload. I appreciate the effort, but the taste is a mess.

M - Medium, somewhat creamy body. The taste and aftertaste makes it harder to appreciate anything else.

O - Everything else is there to make it a worthwhile brew but the taste honestly is a mess. The appearance is great, the feel is ok, I can see why people like the smell. But all in all, I doubt if I will even make it through this whole thing. I tried it, glad I did. But definitely not my cup of tea.

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Photo of Soonami
2.61/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

$6 for a 12 oz stubby bottle at Wineworks in Marlton, NJ.

Smells dank and oniony with sweet curshed oranges and yeasty bread

Appears a brownish amber, no head and slightly hazy

Tastes dank and overwhelmingly bitter and astringent. Vegetably and tannic--too much hops? Definitely too harsh though

Booze is very present and the mouthfeel is alarmingly thick

Not quite sure what to make of this beer. I've put a couple in the cellar and I'm hoping aging can improve this beer. It seems like the hoppiness subsiding would definitely benefit this beer and take away the harshness. However, the onion-y hops are something that I absolutely detest, so I don't know if that will get any better.

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Photo of Chrisbaggz
2.61/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.75

As a huge Founders fan, it is with great disappointment but I submit this review... It looks beautiful -almost a strawberry red in color. But then you take a sip and realize that this beer is basically terrible. It tastes and feels like a decent IPA at first, but quickly transitions to a subpar IPA with a few shots of vodka added. I love a good strong beer, but I don't like getting alcohol face after taking a sip! I will continue to enjoy every other Founders offering, but will surely stay away from this one in the future.

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Photo of utopiajane
2.61/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

. Pours pretty enough. Reddish orange with a thin head of khaki foam that falls fast. Nose is very sweet fruit. Floral and just a sugary sweetness. Hard to name a fruit. The malt is caramel and also smells sweet. There's no herbal no depth. Just sweet and a touch of alcohol fumes. Taste is cough syrup. Sickeningly sweet fruit meets hop bitter. The caramel is thick and pronounced and then fades out to the alcohol on the palate and the hop bitterness that over rides s the fruitiness. it's got way too much alcohol. it was hard to rate the mouthfeel. For a 12 percent beer it had a 12 percent mouthfeel. For an IPA it had a syrupy sluggish and very slow mouthfeel with some stickiness. Tasted awful and I actually made a face.

Thank you Roguer for the chance to try this beer.

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Photo of stonermouse
2.62/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This is the second self-proclaimed "Triple IPA" I have had; the first being a fresh offering from Boston Beer Works. I hope it can stack up, because the Beer Works edition was potent and tasty.

Poured into a Sam Adams glass.

Pours amber, almost orange with a bit of cloudiness. The head falls quickly, and the lacing is reasonable.

Aroma is fruity, and packs a wallop. Very nice, tart fruitiness stings the sinuses with each whiff. This is the first brew since Heady Topper that I could practically smell from across a room. Woah.

Taste is where the rubber meets the road. Too bad this one veers off onto a crowded sidewalk. All indications were that this was going to be a bitter, fruity, slightly sweet bomb of hoppy goodness. What it is is almost indescribable. But I will try. It is phenomenally dry and bitter, but that's where the fun ends for the hop heads. Personally, booziness is quite welcome in all of my beers, but this one is just a smidge over-the-top. The flavor is what I would imagine an onion-flavored dip tobacco would taste like. Quite off-putting.

There is a battle in the flavor between three extremes- booze, bitter, and a bizarre hop profile. In this battle, there are no winners.

The mouthfeel is sticky and slick. This brew does have some density to it. It's interesting to watch the carbonation bubble up to the top, struggling to push it's way through a syrupy top layer.

Man, this is just a strange beer. If I tried this blindfolded at a beerfest, I would probably guess it was either experimental or a cruel joke. I certainly don't care for this brew, but I am wracking my brain to come up with some redeeming quality. Perhaps some kind of tangential use for the brew? Paint thinner? Mace?

In all seriousness, this is just too much of too many things. I'm impressed that such a flavor could be teased out of malt and hops, but that doesn't make it good. Save your money, because you'll drop some serious pocket change on this one.

UPDATE 7/4/13: Pulled out one of these that I've been aging for 2 years hoping that the bitterness would fade and malty goodness would take over. Nope. Still oniony, dip tobacco flavor. Yikes. I'll check back in in two years.

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
2.63/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

12oz poured into a tall tulip glass

A: One finger of thick white head atop an amber beer - quite dark for a DIPA. Retention and lacing are quite nice.

S: All hops. Almost indiscernible hop bitterness - maybe a bit of tropical fruit. A bit odd. I can get some sweetness as it warms.

T: Like drinking alcoholic hop extract. This is really, really bitter. It completely dries my mouth out. This is far, far too hoppy. I get toffee sweetness as it warms. I've certainly had worse, but this is not very good. The flavor I do get is a bit odd.

M: A bit thick for the style, but not bad.

O: This beer is too hoppy. I can't imagine anyone thinking this is appropriately hopped. It lingers in your mouth for a long time. The hop flavor it does have is not very good.

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Photo of rudzud
2.64/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Stumbled across a bottle of this at Julio's and immediately bought it. Bottled 6/17/11. Semi disappointed.

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a crystal clear copper with a creamy one finger head that faded to leave a nice halo and cloudy wisps.

S - Lots of booze and malts, with some hops on the backend. Considering how long this was hopped for I was expecting a full frontal assault which this far from delivers.

T - Taste isnt bad, it just, isnt good either. Lots of big booze, which I understand...its a 12%, but still this is quite hot and spicey. There are some nice sweet malts, the hops are there in bitterness but I'm not getting super pine notes, or anything else for that matter.

M - Fairly average carbonation here. Its not heavy or syrupy, but its not light. A definate sipper, even moreso thanks to the big alcohol presence.

O - Dissappointed with this to say the least. Paid $6.95 for this and it was a waste. I want a hop bomb, or some oily pine notes, something. Instead I get something that is boozy and just sweet and bitter. Definately would like to try this next year, but not if I have to pay for it.

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Photo of jdense
2.64/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

On-tap at The Big Hunt DuPont Circle DC 11.12.10.

Orangish amber clear body some visible carbonation, 1/2 finger white head quick dissipation with minimal lacing. Tropical notes in the nose, some caramel but the alcohol is really upfront and subsumes other aromas. Taste mirrors nose, overwhelmingly boozy. Hot mouthfeel. Minimal drinkability. I've drank a lot of DIPAs, really love this style, and to be honest this was undrinkable. Other DIPAs with this high ABV re Exponential Hoppiness are able to find a modicum of balance, this beer, unfortunately was just out of whack. It might take on some nice barleywine characteristics and the heat might mellow out after some aging, but this was by far my least favorite beer of my DC beer sojourn- and the 2.5 for drinkability is generous!

EDIT-Upon consultation, I've adjusted the drinkability number down. This beer is, err, not good.

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Photo of awall422
2.65/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Just didn't do it for me. alcohol heat overwhelmed everything else here other than syrupy maltiness. Looked ok, nice dark amber with a decent, though short-lived head. Aroma was sweet and pungent alcohol, very little hops. Taste was harsh and raw, not much balance at all. Too strong to enjoy.

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Photo of DwnTwnBwn
2.66/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

drank from a tulip glass

A - Looks tasty. Nice copper color. Laced somewhat well. Slight haze.

S - Not too complex. Grassy hop notes. Not much else.

T - Falls flat on its face here. The hops are all mangled and mostly just bitter. Little to no flavor. Tastes of onions. Almost a drain pour. The malt is almost missing for 12%

M - Good carbonation. Medium body.

O - Disappointing coming from founders. Seems like they tried too hard with the hops.

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Photo of mactrail
2.68/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Another junior high school chemistry experiment. It does have a lot of rich malt and plenty of sugar. Unidentifiable fruit going bad is next. Then the hops start in. Quite a bewildering smorgasbord of hop flavors but the bitterness prevents any real tasting. Very acidic. Aftertaste is like canned grapefruit juice left in the refrigerator. Woody, teeth-on-edge harshness. Orange amber color is fine.

I just don't see the point in this exercise. Seems like a waste of so many hops, but let's support our farmers.

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Founders Devil Dancer from Founders Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 5,010 ratings.
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