Founders Devil Dancer | Founders Brewing Company

very good
1,483 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: 1,483 | Ratings: 5,033
Photo of Naugros
2.84/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Triple IPA, huh? Well, at 12% it may qualify. Does that make DFH 120 Minute the first TIPA?

It is dark amber and hazy like many DIPAs out there and raises a nice head of off-white foam that has really good retention. We'll see if the haze is the usual chill haze you get from highly hopped beers...I suspect it is.

There is some serious pine action going on in the smell, but it's pretty solvent in nature. It's almost as if I could clean my floors replete with a bald man, arms crossed, looking on in approval. But there's more going on here and I believe it's from the alcohol level. It's where the solvent is coming from which led to the Mr. Clean reference. As I ponder deeper (and have read some other reviews of this one), I get a sulfuric note which has no place in beer.

If this is what a TIPA would taste like then I'm not a big fan. The level of hopping is fine and appreciated, it's the fusel alcohol notes that have me put off, but what should I expect from a 12% ale? Yet, in many high ABV beers the alcohol takes on a sherry, cognac, rum or whiskey like flavor...not so here. It just tastes like alcohol...rubbing alcohol. Malts? If you really work at that, they're there. Believe it or not they do supply a weak attempt at a sweetening balance, but they really don't stand a chance. The yeast did too good of a job converting them to C2H5OH. One might think that the yeast performed something akin to alchemy and converted some starches to sulfur as well. But after more contemplation on this one there is a smoky meatiness to it, like a nice barbecue that went unchecked. So I get the sense that we have some roasted malts trying to poke their heads out of the hoppy/alchoholic surface strata...and doing so mostly unsuccessfully, but enough to warrant a slightly higher rating in the taste element.

Yeah, this has a major "burn" from the alcohol. Perhaps the largest sense of alcohol I have ever experienced in a beer and I've had a few at 18% and above. It overshadows all the other elements, but since this is dubbed a "Triple IPA" I'm guessing that that is the point. I am so afraid to breathe too close to an open flame right now. The bitterness is pretty high as well and that remains in the aftertaste with the pine and still some of the astringency of a cleanser. Good luck getting the flavor off your tongue as the aftertaste will overpower a good dose of Colgate.

I certainly hope that the point of this beer was to produce something over the top and unable to be categorized as this is not something this all that enjoyable to drink. It reminds me of my experiences with DFH World Wide Stout. Point made! Please get back to the wonderful beers that can be palated.

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Photo of mdaschaf
2.85/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Shane for splitting this one with me. Been wanting to try it for a while.

A: Pours a hazy dark orange color with no head and a little bit of lacing.

S: Lots of malt and alcohol with some very faint hop and citrus presence. Some caramel and toffee, as well as a bid of doughy bread. Was expecting more of a hop explosion.

T: A bit harsh from the alcohol. There is a lot of toffee and caramel, and very little hop presence - no pine or citrus really to speak of.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. A bit on the syrupy side.

O: Disappointing, probably the first beer from Founders that I haven't at least enjoyed. Usually their beers are right up my ally, but this one misses the mark.

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Photo of Bennettrox
2.86/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Ruby red, orange tint with a nice frothy head.

S - Sweet malts, raisins, hops, caramel

T - Yikes. This is almost all sweetened candy and malts. Hops play a minimal role - dominated by raisins and caramel.

M - Thick and coating, medium to high carbonation.

O - Not my favorite. This just seems like an over boozed double IPA. Hops are minimal and the sweetness is overpowering and takes away from the drink as a whole.

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Photo of morimech
2.89/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Who in their right mind comes up with a beer like this? This beer is punishing to the drinker. Pours a radiant orangish amber color with a small head that did not hang around for long. A little sticky lacing is left on the glass. The aroma is the best thing about this beer. The hops give a big dose of citrus and tropical fruit aromas. There is a lot of alcohol as well giving this beer a rum-like charactor. What can I say about the flavor. One sip and my palate was shredded. The bitterness is extreme and lasts in the aftertaste forever. Combined with the huge alcohol flavor, makes this one tough beer to drink. The hop flavors are lost which is unfortunate. The body does its best to carry the IBUs and alcohol and there is a nice soft carbonation. Good texture. This beer in my opinion is hardly drinkable. Very tough when you have to force yourself to take another sip. Wish I just bought a single, now I have 3 more bottles to force myself through.

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Photo of humuloner22
2.9/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Triple IPA, hmm. I have had several DIPA's lately that blow the socks of this one. Founders claim that its over 200 IBU's and I know that doesn't have to mean super hoppiness, I honestly felt this was more like a hoppy barleywine or strong ale than an IPA. It was sweet, way more sweet than I was expecting it to be. I have tried several beers lately from Founders and honestly I have not been impressed. For a national distribution from the state of Michigan Bell's has this brewery beat hands down, at least the ones I have tried. This has too much alcohol to be enjoyed alone, you drink one, its not all that tasty and then you basically have to stop for the evening unless you want to get totally intoxicated. That takes away from the enjoyment experience of beer to me. Also, this beer is ridiculously expensive like $24 for a four pack. I understand the alcohol content is part of this but I will never do it again.

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Photo of ChrisCKrueger
2.9/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I don't review many beers. But this is one I've saw for way over a year in stores. At basically 25bucks a 4 pack I've always been's one to leave alone. Price doesn't equal greatness, and this beers low ratings are well deserved. Its one of the stickiest cloying offerings you'll ever have. Its a barleywine no doubt, not a triplE IPA. it's a bitter. Complex brew that could be okay other than complete cloying sticki-ness. Its a weird syrup bomb that goes hop strong and bitter until the sticky sets in. More like
a 12 dollar 4 pack than than the Price they ask

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
2.91/5  rDev -26%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Beautiful amber gold color. Clear, with a bit of sediment in the bottom of the bottle. The beer has a nice head. The nose is a strong IPA nose of citrus, pine, and straw.

I wanted to like this beer very much, but I didn't. I found it very dry and hoppy, but I definitely detected the alcohol. Perhaps it's just me, but I think it detracts from the flavor of the beer. My palate calculates thus: hops + alcohol = mediciney. Then again, I've never been a huge fan of barleywines, so other people may really flip over this combo.

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Photo of JayS2629
2.91/5  rDev -26%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

It pours a dark, murky amber with a thin eggshell head that fades fast but leaves nice creamy rings of lace.

The aroma is absolutely intoxicating and rich. Orange marmalade, rich caramel, and a touch of pungent pine sap. Pineapple and apricot notes, loads of fruit with a sugary backbone and some herbal and earthy notes. Very sweet smelling.

The front end of this is absolutely, cloyingly sweet orange marmaldade. Delicious but cloying. Sweet orange that gives way to heavy honey and caramel. This fades into more bitter realms in the middle of orange peel, grapefruit, notes of pine sap and a boozy, scotch like burn. As the burn fades the finish fades into a medicinal, chewed asprin with earthy, herbal and grassy notes. Pungent burning, earthy onion, and resiny hop assault.The finish made the lasting impression horrible. Tart pineapple and tropical fruit rind. The start was a bit overbearing in sweetness only to fade into a mess of booze and bitterness. The aftertaste is horrible like bile. Tons of floral, perfume. Like drinking perfume. I imagine it wouldn't taste much different coming up than it did going down. I poured the majority of it out after giving it lots of little sip chances.

The body is fine, medium, with a bit of oily slickness. The finish burns the throat. Didn't hide the alcohol well.

Overall...if you are a hop head, enjoy the pungent oily mess. I like to think of myself as a hop head, but this is chalky, medicinal, boozy, and hard to even be a sipper. I up its overall for the wonderful aroma it has, but the combinations of things going on in this are quite horrible. This ripped my palate apart with no mercy and made me quit drinking for the night.

A lot of clashing going on in a confusing battle and assault on the senses. A novelty beer to brag about trying, but not one to sip alone. This hop bite is medicinal and lingering for entirely too long. A definite oily, resiny, sticky, hop bomb.

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Photo of marburg
2.91/5  rDev -26%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

12/17, 8:40am, addendum: I just walked into my den, where I left the glass for this, and the *instant* I walked it, the entire room smelled like hops -- and maple syrup w/ a kick of fermenting wort. The glass was empty. Upon contemplating what this means, I guess "smell" isn't so god-awful. Points for staying power.

12/17, around midnight, original review: I've been drinking this for about 45 minutes, and I'm only half finished. See, I like just about every style of beer, and it's rare that I really dislike something, so this is probably not a good thing.

Tonight was pale ale/IPA night, and I decided to close with the ol' Devil Dancer. Snaps for the kick ass label.

But let's talk about the beer.

Eh...well...this kind of sucks. Sure, the shade of red is bewitching and matches the reddish label perfectly. But this doesn't even smell like a plant or fruit that gives the impression of hops like pine or grapefruit. This smells like someone dropped me in the middle of a hop field straight out of Little Shop of Horrors and the little bastards were trying to eat me alive. They're everywhere and allow practically no nuance to escape -- a fleeting, miniscule hint of resinous, raw evergreen. Then straight back to the raw hops. They're here to take over the world.

You'll have to pardon my anger. But really, I'm just pissed because my tongue is going to require surgery to recover. This starts with a sweet caramel malt presence and chewed, sweet, used rubber. Briefly interesting. And then I stop tasting anything because all the hops and alcohol kill my palate. Sitting for a bit and not drinking allows this lingering Pepto-Bismol, jelly-like texture and residual barleywine boozey sweetness to emerge, so I'm left wondering if there was something interesting I missed in the finish.

Because there is no finish to this beer.

The "finish" would be like equating global thermonuclear war to the end of a military skirmish. There's not really anything left to talk about, no victory to celebrate.

Consolation prize: It's got some body to it. And the hops really do beat the shit out of the 13% alcohol. Other than in the finish, it was barely there for what is now 50 straight minutes of consumption. But really, served even a little cold, the hops blow it away.

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Photo of Doomcifer
2.92/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours in to a pint glass an extremely murky reddish brown, leaving plenty of sediment at the bottom of the bottle. Very little off white head that fades away to a ring around the glass. Nose is full of hugely aromatic malts, amaretto, cherries, plums, alcohol presence, and an earthy hop presence as well. Flavor is more of an explosion of dark, ripe fruits bombarding the pallete with raisins, plums, cherries, very reminiscient of a good barleywine, with a strong bitter hop finish taking over the palette in the end that holds on for dear life, alongside a deeply alcohol warming effect down the gullet. Mouthfeel is extremely heavy and syrupy, light carbonation, and semi-dry, bitter finish. I tend to think that this beer is a bit too extreme, and that is its downfall. Good to have one once in a while in place of a barleywine, but other than that, I shall pass. I expected much more to be honest. Way over the top.

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Photo of chugalug06
2.92/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Very little off-white foamy head. Brew is foggy redish brown.

Whoa, Sugar! Very sweet smelling. The simcoe hop is overwhelmingly sweet. Tons of passionfruit.

Very sweet upfront with a bitter grapefruit bite at the end. Nice carbonation, but the sweet bitterness detracts a bit.

Unfortunately, Devil Dancer was a let down.. Very overpowering and not smooth. Very rough and not well rounded. A slight mess, not recommended.

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Photo of projectflam86
2.93/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours a orange/ruby red color with a thick white foam head that leaves some nice lacing.

S- Definitely smells hoppy! Red grapefruit and pine with some really dank aromas. I am getting some of those onion like aromas that I've heard other people describing as well.

T- Very syrupy with a huge amount of sweetness initially. I was expecting quite a bit more bitterness considering the IBU's and the truck loads of hops that went into making this, but honestly its a bit disapointing. The onion flavor is back and doesn't do much for me. Really boozy in the finish.

M- Full bodied and boozy with a thick chewy mouthfeel.

O - Overall it looks the part and doesn't smell too bad but I wasn't impressed with the flavor.

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Photo of PatrickCT
2.93/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 ounce bottle into a tulip.

a: A nice deep copper body. The cascade from the carbonation looks like the bubbles are fighting to rise in a syrup. Nice finger and a half of beige head which dissipated quickly.

s: Tree sap. Cooked citrus zest, pine, compost.

t: This is not at all pleasurable. It burns. And lingers. It reminds me of when one feels the need to get extremely fiery hot sauce. Seems the hops here are just for the sake of throwing them it.

I am finished with my review. This is a drain pour. Hoptimum and 120 IPA seem like session beers comparatively.

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Photo of dafla67
2.94/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

2011 vintage.

A: deep amber. decent off-white head

S: great aroma; citrus, pine, spices and huge hops.

T: way over the top. too strong of an alcohol taste that kills/overrides the expected (but non-existent) citrus, pine and hops flavors. Lingering bitter, bitter aftertaste.

M: low carbonation

O: i love DIPAs but this is not the beer for me.

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Photo of huhl23
2.95/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Not sure what is going on with this beer. Had high expectations. Struggled to drink just one. Love Founders but they missed with this one. For 18 bucks a 4 pack this should be much much much better. I kept waiting for it to get better as it warmed but that did not happen. Looks like you either like this beer or you don't. No middle ground. Disappointed to say the least.

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Photo of berkey
2.96/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle reviewed 08/29/10, no freshness date listed.

Forms a medium sized head but it doesn't linger long. Lacing isn't bad. Body of the beer has an almost rosy grapefruit color to it.

Aroma is intensely sweet and fruity. Orange slice and alcohol with some grassy hop notes and little else.

This beer has some of the strong leafy and grassy over hopped flavor and outright alcohol combination of some young American Barleywines but without the malt complexity normally associated with that style.

Have to admit I'm a little taken back as this really doesn't live up to what I expect from Founders. Not that it's bad (I managed to finish it) but I can't say I enjoyed it and wouldn't seek it out again. It seems only a handful of these massive, high alcohol 'Triple' IPA's turn out well. I guess even a consistently great brewery can fall short from time to time.

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Photo of tut2528
2.96/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: poured into a snifter. Creates about 1 fingers worth of head with moderate lacing. Head is slightly off-white. Color is deep brown-orange...rust0like and you barely see through it.

S: during the pour, huge hops and a sugar malt backbone pour out of the glass. Getting in closer, the malt really becomes a big player along with big grassy aromas, mild pine, moderate citrus and biscuit. The alcohol is actually more subtle than expected, but still noticeable. As it warms, the hops actually die down and the toasty malt and alcohol overpower the hops

T: Enormous hops, big alcohol and a big, big toasty, sugary malt backbone. Citrus and pine and are all the secondary aspects in this one but they are mild. Taste buds really take a hit with this one

M: Bigger bodied that I expected, not in a bad way but the alcohol is very dominant in the mouth lingers way too long

O: Happy to have tried it, but will not be purchasing again. Balance is not all that well in my opinion, and I find that the alcohol is plainly too much to thoroughly enjoy this brew. The hops are huge (which is great), but I prefer the hops to be complemented by a nice balance of tropical fruits and have a lighter mouth feel that creates higher drinkability. In addition, the complexity is very shallow. Glad I bought only a single.

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Photo of Dave_Treat
2.98/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Rating a 2015, did not like this one. Previously had rated a 2013 a 3.75. Too hot. Hides the taste of anything else except the malt. Very disappointed.

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Photo of Vancer
2.98/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I’m perplexed and dissatisfied by this brew. A big hitter on the BA site, but I was thoroughly disappointed by it - the main category, taste, was a major letdown. Just a hot and mediciney pine and grapefruit combination. The whole body was sharp and hot, but by mid-bottle the tongue is numbed a bit. A funky sour ale malt finish adds to the eww factor of this one.

Pour and citrus pine aromas was OK – but this is not one that I’ll go back for.

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Photo of dbalsock
2.99/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Pours a thick looking amber, with a minimal offwhite head. Not much going on for lacing or anything else here.

Smell: Nice floral bouquet with a fantastic malt background. Seems well balanced, and is very enticing. The hops aren't quite as intense as I expected, but they're present.

Taste: I'm not so impressed, but this could be a lot worse. The hops and malts are both very noticeable, with the malt kinda stealing the show. The hops take a step back, which is not what I like in my double ipas. The caramel of the malt is too intense with the high alcohol and reminded me more of an american barleywine.

Mouthfeel: Rather bitter on the swallow, but does not linger on the aftertaste. This is a problem for me, as I always expect a good lingering, if not growing bitterness from a double ipa.

Drinkability: Wow, hard to get down and finish because of the dichotomy of malts and hops and the high alcohol.

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Photo of forcedlaughter
3/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I love a good DIPA (Triple IPA? Sounds gimmicky) but this thing was the most unbalanced waste of my time.

Looks fine, smells pretty good, but then it just assaults your mouth with onion and garlic and hops and alcohol...and nothing else.

This can only happen in America. I love Founders, but leave this to DFH or someone. No class, just a very poor example of a style that can be truly great.

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Photo of busterthecat
3/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Picked a single 12oz for ~$6. Bottle date of 6/17/11? Ink has slightly rubbed off. Read the recent reviews and tread on this brew and had to try this one myself. Poured into an Allagash Chalice.

A- Pours a clearish copper hue that rests pretty dark and rich in the glass. A 1/2" of darker off-white foam forms. Carbonation bubbles cling to side of glass. Head fades and leaves a neat filmy capping.

A- A big strong orange & tangelo aroma. Ripe and rich with a bit of tang. There is some odd background smell, perhaps what others have labeled "oniony". It is a bit vegetal like. A good level of sticky caramel with some spice in the aroma to give some depth. Never smelt an DIPA with this aroma before.

T- Sweet oranges and caramel upfront. Lots of balance, more on the malty side. The bitterness in there in the middle and end, but the sweet and spicy caramel body is center stage. Woodsy and earthy flavors in the mix. Some boozy alcohol taste. The hop zest really get lost in the malt bill. There is the continual odd off-taste that follows each sip.

M- Medium- big bodied. Full on palate. wet to dry pretty quickly. The caramel level makes it a tad chewy and lightly cloying. Bitterness lingers well, not to powerful. After taste isn't very enjoyable.

O- I have really liked the other Founders brews i've tried, but this one isn't for me. Too much malt and the odd off-flavor for me to enjoy. Worth a try, but not worth the price. Almost seems like a Barleywine in some aspects.

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Photo of alohaC
3/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Fresh ’07 bottle courtesy of hoppymeal. Pours a ruby red and copper with a thin, half-inch head that quickly dissipates. What’s left over clings to the glass and leaves a nice lacing - a trait I find in most all Founder’s beers. Poking my nose into this one I get a lot of sweet hops - most apricot and apple as well as caramel malt. Fairly big and alcoholic in the nose. Funny, but the hop bitterness is just missing from this beer - especially given it’s reputation and high IBUs. It’s sweet and cloying - not in a completely bad way, but not what you would expect. Definitely big on the sugary malts. Alcoholic and somewhat astringent - not what I would classify as a IIPA or barleywine by any stretch. Definitely an interesting beer, but not one I will go out of my way for again. The one beer from Founder’s that I’ve had that misses the mark. I’m curious to try a year+ old bottle I’ve been cellaring to see if it mellows/improves.

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Photo of Phocion
3.01/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

12 oz. bottle with the notoriously unreadable Founder's dating stamped on the neck. Poured into a Duvel tulip a much darker color than I was expecting. Slightly murky dark copper with a tiny crown of beige head which fades into nothing within a minute. Thin sheet of lacing around the glass.

This one definitely has quite the hoppy nose. Dry hopped with ten different varietals and you can tell. Massive fruity bouquet stands out, but is so overwhelming that all the flavors blend together, tying in with a bit of resin. There's a ton of caramel malts in this thing too, adding a nice backbone to all the hops with caramel, toast, brown sugar, and molasses notes. Definite brandy-like fusel alcohol aromas as well.

This drinks almost as much like a liqueur as a beer. Thick, sweet, sugary molasses and caramel malts combine with the tropical fruits to make this actually a bit sweet. Somewhat rum-like between the massive sweetness and alcohol flavors. Overly sweet finish combines with a highly bitter finish to create something quite unpleasant.

Thick, chewy, sappy mouthfeel. Heavy-bodied with little carbonation.

I've had many DIPAs and even a couple that claim to be "Triple IPAs," and this doesn't stand up to most. Throwing as much barley and hops as humanly possible into a kettle doesn't make a good beer. The flavors are overwhelming, and not in a good way. More of a ridiculously overhopped barley wine than anything else.

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Photo of TheSSG
3.02/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a huge, dense, resiny, off-white head that has great lacing and is insanely persistent. Bright, citrus hop aroma with sweet malt behind that and....booze. It all combines to create a floral/medicinal bouquet that has a syrupy note to it. Burnt umber, clear color. Starts with a sweet malt, syrup-like mouthfeel, and warming booze. The hop bitterness starts to ease itself in, starting out like pine sap. Moves into a more poignant bitterness that is a little astringent. Lingering hop bitterness becomes like citrus rind, and then becomes pine-like as it sits on the tongue. As it lingers for awhile, there is finally a green hop-like flavor that comes out, but the astringent bitterness masks this.

Honestly, this isn't that great. It's surprisingly sweet and abrasively bitter. This is one of those biers that is bitter, but not really hoppy. It's also sweet, but not really malty. I like hops, and I like malt. But this is just the worst aspects of hops and malt. Then the booze is very noticeable. This isn't as refined as I expect from Founders; it's a bit crass. I don't want to finish this. I was hoping for something a la "Revelry" by Two Brothers, but this was a bust.

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Founders Devil Dancer from Founders Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 5,033 ratings.
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