Founders Devil Dancer | Founders Brewing Company

very good
1,484 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: 1,484 | Ratings: 5,035
Photo of IBUnit63
4.29/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 12 oz. to Cab glass...

Deep caramel body with nice haze. Head is thin and dissipates quickly after pour.

A malty, caramel, floral hop bomb. Syrup-like texture on the nose - alcohol evaporates aroma into the air qith great and quick diffusion. Wow.

Everything you need in an extreme IPA -= copious floral, slightly soapy hop bitterness blending well with salty and nutty roasted malt and viscous alcohol presence. Finish is not so much unbalanced as overloaded. Impressive; even with grapefruit rind on finihs, not as fruity as a lot of hop bombs. This doesn't need that.

Warm and comfortable (like a sleeping bag) mouthfeel - almost cozy. Breeze of alcohol lends some coolness and burn to this camping trip.

This is amazing, well-crafted stuff that is of course very filling, so definitely built to savor.

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Photo of Slynger
3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Devil Dancer pours a clear, deep, rosey orange color with the barest amount of off-white bubbles melting quickly away.

The aroma is powerful and sweet caramel and toffee smelling malts backed by heavy, sugary, citric hops and brandy like alcohol.

Full and thick body with a stout-like syrupy smoothness to it. The flavor has a heavy and sweet maltiness to it. Caramel, toffee, and brown sugar all push against each other, but the power of the citrus hops pushes pushes back with equal force, balancing out the brew. Deep orange and grapefruit sweetness enter and bring a riney bitterness that sticks through the finish along with some pleasant, warming, alcohol.

Definitely strong and a sipper, but a refined and soothing one that can be enjoyed and appreciated with each sip.

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Photo of Atron67
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- poured a big red copper body. there was a light tan head on top that never built up but fell down quickly and was never that impressive. crystal clear body, medium carbonation

S- rather subdued citrus and piney charachter, little disapointed in the strength of it, however the actual smell itself is awesome. not that stroong but very nice. the malt underneath is really small. it is surprizingly well hidden for a 13 abv beer.

T- this strikes me more as an american barleywine than an IIPA. starts off with a really strong maltiness which is quite delicious. as the maltiness explodes the hoppiness onsets and becomes much stronger, however i dont think it can really fit as an IPA. the bitterness comes in with grassy notes. really delicious.

M- full thick as body with light carbonation, woulda appreciated more carbonation

D- a great sipper

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Photo of russpowell
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

got this from joe1510, cheers!

Pours an orange hued chestnut with 1 finger of tan head. Viscous look to this. Above average head retention & good lacing

S: Piney & cakey, plus brown sugar

T: Piney, with much cakeyness & a touch of pralines up front. Leafy hops, toffee, boozeyness, woody dryness are all in your face as this warms. Finishes with some orange peel, cakeyness, resiny hops, & some baker's chocolate, almost pulled a 5.0

MF: So chewy& a bit sticky, a moderate amount of carbonation pushes the hops out there a bit. Balances great all things considered

This is a bruiser, although I enjoyed the hell out of it; the complexity & abv weigh on you after a while

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Photo of mhewes
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A : Pours a cloudy orange amber. Very thin head that sticks around for a little bit

S : Hoppy with a touch of malt. You can definitely smell the alcohol

T : Lots of piney, malty taste with a hop finish. It's a good medium between the hops and the malt.

M : Creamy and chewy. Talk about a thick beer.

D : Definitely a sipper. Touch to finish a entire bottle.

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Photo of ndekke39
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had a bottle of this sitting in the cellar for a couple months, purchased from Founder's itself. The notch indicates it was bottled in March 2008, so it's a recent edition.

Decanted into a pint glass. Pours a clear, rich honey-orange color. Thick, foamy white head that descends in a consistent layer. Not much lacing. But the beer is very appealing.

Smell starts with a piny, citrusy swell of hops, but there's a decent maltiness to off-set it. Some caramel grains.

Flavors really travel well. It starts with a big honey, caramel malty blast - not what you'd expect from a Triple IPA. There's a strong dash of the piny hops in the middle of the tongue, and then that fades. Then, about five seconds later, the aftertaste kicks in a HUGE wallop of hops. There's your 200+ IBUs! Pretty fun experience.

Mouthfeel is moderately thick. Goes perfectly with the rich maltiness and big hops.

This is an interesting beer. At first it hints at a big West Coast hoppiness, but it's balanced out nicely with some bold sweet flavors. For a beer that boasts high IBUs, it's really a dynamic beer, not one that just rakes your palate with extreme hoppiness.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at Flat Rock Saloon in Manayunk; 12 oz bottle poured into a pint

A bright and cloudy orange amber with a fluffly white cap with serious staying power and gobs of sticky lacing.

The first thing that hits the nostrils is ganja. Then, big sweet malts and piney/citrus hops burst onto the scene and seize control of your brain. There is a good amount of alcohol present.

Taste is of alcohol, citrus hops, ganja, sweet caramel malt, and pine needles with a huge dose of bitterness. A big bitter alcoholy iiipa. Exactly what you were expecting.

Chewy, creamy, full and rich.

To be honest, the drinkability is a little rough. It is 13% and real bitter. You pretty much take it all in stride.

Only the second beer I have been able to get my lips on from Founders and I am already a big fan of this brewery. High five to those guys!

Additional notes added on 7-23-11

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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 yourefragile
3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Hard pour creates a thick, bubbly tannish head with a surprisingly dark, translucent amber/red color. Head quickly dissipates to a thin film with some large bubbles and very little streaky lacing.
S: Very piney hop smell with a slight smell of alcohol that becomes much stronger as the beer warms up. Also some malt hiding behind the hops, more of a boozy barleywine smell than expected for an IIPA.
T: Very little carbonation, thicker medium body and smooth, almost syrup like. Very strong malt body throughout resulting in a sweeter flavor than expected with a very dry, complex bitter hop finish. Mostly a piney taste, not much citrus. More of a barley wine than a IIPA. As expected for 13%, alcohol is very present and lingers in the finish. I'm not particularly crazy about this beer and will probably avoid this in the future.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.37/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I got this in a trade with joe1510. Thanks Joe!

This pours a clear amber red with a 1 finger head of foam.(vigorous pour) Plenty of lacing and so far, good head retention.

The smell is hugely of citrus hops with a noticeable side order of sweet malt.

The taste is a well balanced blend of grapefruit and orange citrus hops and caramel malt with maybe the malt having just the wee bit more presence, especially in the finish. Very thickish mouthfeel here bordering on syrupy.

A few more sips in, (and yes the alcohol is quite warming during and after the swallow but we're talking 13%abv) the malt really asserts itself as it should in a well made example of the style. I've had some DIPAs that take it *too* far to the malty side and they were overly sweet and cloying and some that didn't have enough of a malt presence and were overly hoppy. This one finds a very happy medium and I thank Founders for that. Very deicious drop indeed!

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Photo of WanderingFool
3.74/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Devil Dancer pours a cloudy, dark, amber color into the glass. Practically no head on this beer. A tiny bit of foam and a few spots of lace, but that's about it.

The aroma is all hops with a lot of grapefruit and orange citrus notes. Each sip of this full bodied beer is smooth and very chewy with a soft carbonated fizz on the middle of the tongue. The flavor is very hoppy with a good deal of orange and grapefruit citrus with some pine mixed in. There's also plenty of sweet malt in this to balance the hops. It finishes hot with a medicine/alcohol flavor. Once gone the citrus hop notes linger on the palate.

This is definitely a sipping beer that could probably be aged a bit in the cellar to soften up the hot alcohol. Overall it's very tasty and a hopheads dream.

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Photo of bgramer
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass. This appears a deep red cloudy color. There's about a half finger of head that's not quite white. Thick THICK pour.

Smells and tastes really hoppy, citrusy, and sweet and the alcohol is prominent too. It's a strong beer, pretty boozy with its malty taste and fruits. It's warm to the tongue and slightly hot on the finish. The body is full and mouthfeel is thick and the carbonationis mild.

Being a hot boozy 13% ABV beer, Devil Dancer is an appropriate name for this fine beer from Founders.

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Photo of hwwty4
3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to Jeonseh for this gem.

Poured a 12oz bottle into my Smokestack Goblet. Poured a silky, chocolate brown, with almost an oily texture. There was no head whatsoever. I actually thought that I had a flat beer with the carbonation was present in the mouthfeel. I poured it rather aggressively and all I could get was a handful of small white bubbles. Smell is huge. There is a huge hop bouquet with sweet malts following quickly. Also notes of raisins and chocolate. The taste of the beer is hops. It's just huge. Probably one of the hopiest beers I have ever had. It is also one of the most acidic beers I have ever drank also. It's hard to drink because of its acidity. Mouthfeel is good. More like a barleywine then a DIPA. It's really had to drink. If the acidity would be turned down then the beer would be much easier to drink.

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Photo of F2brewers
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at cellar temperature. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: Deep red/crimson color. Transparent with no cloudy notes. Slightly off-white head ~ 1.2 inch high. Although the head appeared quite thick, it dissipated rather quickly (< 2 minutes).

Smell: Slightly piney hop scent that you might expect for an imperial IPA style. I don't smell the citrus/grapefruit that is typical for the style. A touch of alcohol on the nose as well. A distinct malty scents is also present along with a touch of dried fruit and raisin. Very complex but pleasant. Honestly, the balance is more akin to an American style barleywine than an IPA.

Taste: Rich and full. There's a huge malt presence in this beer, but the hops blend nicely over the top and just slightly overshadow the malt. The hops show both pine and citrus flavor. Very nice. There's no doubt that this beer is "hot" on the tongue, but at the same time...13% ABV is well hidden. Again, there's a good deal of complexity here, even within the hop flavor...definitelya number of different hops in this beer and definitely a significant amountof dryhopping.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied. Lightl carbonated. The beer is thick...almost syrupy. It sticks to and coats your mouth. There is a lingering hop bitterness typical of IPA style beers.

Drinkability: This is a big,big doubt about that. The alcohol doesn't shine through, but I wouldn't suggest more than one in a sitting. It's a nice beer to kick back and enjoy over time.


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Photo of TheodorHerzl
4.67/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a rusted orange/amber hue with a thin tan head. There is no lacing to speak of during the beer. The nose on this beer is about as complex as you will find in a beer. I think this smells more like a barleywine than an IIPA. The heaviest scents include the very rich maltiness with heavy tropical fruit, resinous pine, and sweet caramel. There is also a cognac like booze smell coming from this beer. Each time I put my nose into it I get something new! The nose is really well done on this one. The flavor profile is equally as intense. For an IIPA the taste is more malt based on this beer. The malt is the heavy hitter here with flavors of caramel and brown sugar and rum soaked raisins. The hop profile comes in after a few seconds but plays second to the malt profile. The hop profile tastes of fresh grapefruit rind and sticky pine. There is some sharp alcohol flavor as well, but in no ways takes away from this beer but adds another unique quality to this beer. This beer will challenge your palate. I don't think this beer crosses the "boozy" line on the mouthfeel, but I personally don't mind the alcohol on the mouthfeel. This beer is full-bodied and has a velvety texture. I will stop praising this beer when it comes to drinkability though. At 13% you wouldn't last very long with many of these. I had one 12 ounce bottle and that was enough for me for a while.

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Photo of JDV
3.06/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

1 year Aged bottle shared by gueuzelover. Thanks!

Dark caramel to maroon color. Very light beige head. Smell is mellow, malty and creamy with perhaps a bit of vanilla. Taste is dark and malty, but hopped only to balance, I found after the year of age took its toll. Somewhat well hidden alcohol for 13% and drank more like a barley wine than an extremely overhopped beer. Lingering dull earthy hop flavor and some alcohol in the background. I thougt this was ok, but not fantastic.

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Photo of DefenCorps
2.71/5  rDev -31%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into my Duvel tulip. Thanks to czoch75!

A: Pours a murky crimson-amber with a thin tan head that dissipates fast. There's a little carbonation, not much, though.

S: Pine hops, sweet malts, alcohol, hints of fruit - raisins?. Alcohol. Call me nuts but I'm getting just a wee bit of cream on the nose. Intriguing.

T: An amalgamation of piney hops and caramel malt. Not as hoppy as the nose would suggest. The alcohol comes through in the finish.

M: Full bodied and relatively sweet on the finish. Smooth on the tongue.

D: Dangerously drinkable for the ABV.

This one's a treat. Try it.

**Edit 30 June 2012**
A little over 4 years to the day since the last time I had this beer, I get to revisit it. 4+ year old bottle, received ages ago from czoch75.

Smells sickly sweet with caramel, brown sugar and pancake syrup with some pine notes. Very barleywine-like, and the alcohol is surprisingly well-hidden. The palate open with a full-on assault of aggressive, astringent crystal malt with a moderate pine bitterness with very little hop flavor left. Just not very pleasant, though, especially due to the astringency. Full in body, sweet with a ton of crystal malt, caramel and a little bit of a stale hop bitterness. Unlike a nice barleywine, there's no toffee/leather/tobacco flavors here, but it does have the sweetness. On the bright side, alcohol is well-hidden. Very much meh.

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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.

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Photo of largadeer
2.8/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: Pours a rich amber-red color with a ton of hop haze; definitely not the palest India Pale Ale around. An inch of head forms from a gentle pour and then quickly recedes.

Smell: Huge pine and grapefruit with an equally large malt character to support the hops. Fruit punch and caramel come out as the beer warms. No noticeable alcohol.

Taste: Extremely bold, resiny and sweet; equally balanced between malts and hops. Mango and grapefruit, lemon rind and caramel. Incredibly intense, but fairly drinkable (albeit slowly). Alcohol is barely noticed between the massive hop bitterness and the malty sweetness. Resiny bitterness completely consumes the palate in the finish, relentlessly attacking the roof of the mouth.

Mouthfeel: Sticky, oily and thick, bordering on downright syrupy. Moderate carbonation keeps this one lively and somewhat drinkable.

A decent DIPA, but too heavy on the malt for my liking. Actually, just too heavy in general; this beer has no finesse.

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Photo of callmemickey
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark red/amber with a thin tan head that quickly fades.

S: Blast of pine and grapefruit hop flavors. Not much malt in the nose. Bit of alcohol shines through.

T: Lots of hop bitterness. Lots of pine and grapefruit... Healthy amount of malts attempting to balance this monstrosity. Alcohol taste is apparent.

M: Full bodied. Slightly syrupy.

D: Just too much alcohol for this to be anything more than a sipper. But it is a damn good sipper.

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Photo of Tilley4
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is literally a tale of two brews..

Poured out a brackish brownish thick viscous syrup with no head at all..

When this brew was cold, a sweet malty aroma wafted out of this but as it warmed, the hops really began to shine through along with lots of booze..

Extremely sweet and malty in the beginning and I was wondering where the hops had gotten to, but as it warmed up, those hops really came through and saved this one.

This was a weird one for me. I loved the taste but was expecting something different, hoppier I guess. Still a good brew.

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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 dancinwillie
4.78/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a chalice.

A: pours a dark reddish/brown with a 1 fingered, viscous light tan head that struggles to stay formed. the head drops to a modest covering within minutes. devil dancer appears to be a malty IIPA, which is much to my liking.

S: Piney/Grapfruit hops hit me right away, with an underlying whiff of alcohol. I am not smelling any malt, which seems so pronounced in the appearance.

T: Strong hop bitterness, a dead heat between the pine, and the grapefruit that was picked up in the aroma. sweet malt flavor is very noticeable too, however, and it comes across as a great balance between the two. I don't notice too much of an alcohol taste, but I can still smell it strongly. Also picking up a rich fruitiness, which I attribute to the yeast strain(s).

M: Creamy, thick, and oily, but all in a fantastic balance. This is a full bodied beauty .

O: This is a big beer that doesn't feel the need to rely on over-doing one aspect of it's own style. I don't feel this is a hop-bomb at all. A well balanced, quaffable IIPA that could only disappoint serious hop heads. This is sure to be one of my new favorite seasonals.

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Photo of BMoney575
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Sampled on 3-19-08

Pours a deep and slightly hazy red/orange, with a nicely thick tan head that leaves huge, glass-covering lacing.

Smell is all hop resin, super thick and fruity. Just a hint of alcohol adds a huge intensity.

Taste is like liquid hops. The bitterness is so extreme you can actually "feel" it on your lips. But, there is a sizable malt presence to keep it somewhat in check. The alcohol adds a tart finish, but is otherwise well masked.

Mouthfeel is great, super thick and syrupy.

Drinkability isn't bad, but the bitterness and alcohol are absolutely insane.

Overall the most extreme IPA I've ever had. Nothing else is even close. Founder's describes it as a "Triple IPA", and they are dead-on.

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Photo of gmcfarre
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into snifter
Purchased 5/07, has been cellaring for the past 10 months

A - Pours a ruby colored brown/orange mixture with a slight light tan head. Lacing is nice but minimal when it does develop. Darker and redder than many Double/Imperial IPAs.

S - Scent is caramelized sugar with some strong pine and grapefruit citrus flavor. Malt is as powerful a scent as the hops, showing how this beer has aged. A bit of a woody flavor is detected.

T - I'm guessing the hops have mellowed a bit in this beer, but I've never really had a fresh version. Instead of a smack of intense bittering hops you get a nicely alcoholic, woody and sweet malt flavor with a good dose of tart citrus flavor. Not all that different from am American barleywine. The aftertaste is still very bitter, but the malt flavor is stronger than expected. Piney hop flavor starts coming through strong as this beer warms. The alcohol is adequately disguised for a 13% beer.

M - Moderate carbonation with a medium body. Oily hop flavor on the tongue. Aftertaste is very drying.

D - Strong alcohol that is only slightly perceived in the taste. Not my favorite beer for aging, but interesting nonetheless.

The other day I read in the forums that someone compared a certain aged DIPA to a barleywine, and now I totally understand that comparison. The sweet, complex malt bill has pushed forward onto your palate while the tastebud killing hops have retreated. Anyhow, I don't love barleywines so this aged version isn't my favorite. It is interesting though, and if the hops are too strong in Devil Dancer for you initially, I'd consider aging it for a couple months or more.

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Founders Devil Dancer from Founders Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 5,035 ratings.
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