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Founders Devil Dancer | Founders Brewing Company

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1,475 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: 1,475 | Ratings: 5,009
Photo of MasterSki
4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle of the new batch at Armanetti's. This one is only(!) 12%. Served in my Kuhnhenn tulip glass.

A - A finger of late-rising tan foam that dissipates to a cap and leaves lots of sticky lacing. Dark hazed amber-brown color with some bubbles at the bottom of the glass that don't seem to want to go anywhere.

S - The smell is full of candied citrus, pineapple and other tropical fruits, pine, caramel and toffee malts, and a touch of fusel alcohol. The smell is so potent that I could perceive it as soon as I opened the bottle, even after being in the fridge for a couple days.

T - The taste carries a lot of malt character - I've had this beer both fresh and aged about 6 months and I don't actually see a huge difference. There's lots of caramel, rum-cake, bread, and it leaves both solid hop bitterness as well as that burnt sugar flavor behind. The tropical hops, pine, and slight alcohol flavor are still in there as well, but anyone expecting something a la Kuhnhenn Extreme IPA or PtY might be a bit disappointed. I'm getting neither 112 IBUs nor 12% - probably a good thing.

M - Lowish carbonation, big body, some dryness, lots of residual stickiness, soft texture, and a bit of alcohol burn. What's not to love?

D - Umm...perhaps I've been drinking too much recently, but looking at my half-full tulip (yes, I'm an optimist) is making me a touch queasy today. I remember loving this on-tap at Kristina's pig roast, but right now I can't imagine having more than one glass. Still, that's pretty good for a 12% palate-destroying triple IPA.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a rich, vibrant, dark caramel coloring with a thin, frothy, off-white head that starts as a low profile coat and settles into a ring on the surface. Aromas are robust, and very rich in caramel malts, smoky and roasted. Tropical fruit sweetness blends with a spiced and bitter hops character, giving an overall tangy, rich nose. Flavors are bold and robust. Holy shit, this one's got some body. Wow, this is a rich, smooth, thick brew in mouth. Roasted caramel backbone, with a blast of pepper and resiny hops, with a bitterness that is relentless, and builds as you drink. Pine pitch throughout, along with mango, pineapple, and grapefruit sweetness. The malt profile is profound, and continues to pack a punch with every sip. The spices build as you drink, and combined with the ABV, you are left with a nice warmth. Tangy, rich sweetness and spiced, resiny bitterness in the aftertaste. This beer stays with you long after each sip, and it is a sipper. This beer is a beast, and leans a bit towards the malt-bomb side, but with some very clear bitterness and heat.

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Photo of Billolick
4.52/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first brew from Founders and I'm not disapointed! Fine, large, tasty, super hoppy,mega malt creation. 12 ouncer sampled. Pours rich dark almond with a creamy dark tan head. Nose is fresh hops. Crunching loads of oily hop notes, balanced by a flood of sweet malt layers. Warming alcohol, stinging the tongue. This is super stuff, plain and simple. Go get yourself some...

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Photo of drabmuh
3.41/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I won't buy this again just for the price alone, the fact that its an underperforming IPA overall is the last nail in the coffin. Beer poured into a Russian River wine glass.

Beer is hazy and red with a thin head that leaves some lacing on the glass. As the beer warms it clears a little. Looks OK.

Aroma is solventy and really piny with some earthiness to it. I can smell the alcohol.

Beer is thin to medium bodied and in your face bitter. the back palate is overwhelmed by bitterness and it creeps forward into the mid palate. 112 IBUs or whatever, I believe it. I really do. Its aggressive, a little sweet up front, you miss out on all the nice hop flavors in the midpalate unfortunately. I've had much much better IPAs in the past.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.21/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

03/08/06- Received via mail order with Archer's Liquors.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no freshness info. It is from the 2005 batch though. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Dark cherry-mahagoney color. 1/2 inch head which then leaves a slight rim around the top of the liquid. Average lace at best.

Smell- Huge aroma going on here. Lots of big roasted malt and lots of pine ridden hops. Alcohol fumes...ahhh, sweet alcohol fumes as well. Smells like Bigfoot amped up.

Taste- Hmm, tastes like Bigfoot amped up as well. The hops are a bit smoother than Bigfoot, especially the 2006 version. Pretty hearty malt profile to go with a pine sap hop resin taste. Very warming as 13% should be.

Mouthfeel- Smooth, average, maybe a touch lower than average carbonation. Light bitter aftertaste. As said before, you can feel this smooth lava flow all the way down your esophogus.

Drinkability- Double IPA..no, Triple IPA...still no. A very hopped up and tasty Barleywine...yes. Any way you look at it, it's a very warming and drinkable beer. Just seems like it's in the wrong category. If it is in the right catagory...Pliny the Younger puts this one to shame.

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Photo of stevoj
3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A really nice beer, but overall killed by the candy sweetness. This could have been great. Caramel and toffee sweetness in the aroma, sweet malts in the flavor, a sugary malt bomb. No sign of the ABV though, although I suspect it will sneak up on me later.

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Photo of Tone
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, red color. 2/3 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of strong hops, alcohol, slight sweet malt, and a general grassy sweetness (hard to distinguish). Fits the style of an American Double / Imperial IPA. Mouth feel is smooth and slightly thick with an average carbonation level. Tastes of strong hops, sweet malt, alcohol, and slight grassy sweetness. Overall, a good blend, body, aroma, and drinkability.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to korguy123 for this bottle.
Poured in to Duvel tulip.
Brewed on date of 5/17/10

A - Cloudy medium amber colour with half a finger of thick bubbly cream coloured head.

S - Intense bitter aroma of hops up front that are well balanced by a sweet caramel malt nose that becomes more and more prevalent after the initial smell. The hops are grapefruit and piney.

T - Followed the nose. As was expected with a 12% ABV beer, there is a robust taste of bitter hops and very sweet caramel malts that balance each other out equally. The hops are pine and citrus and are very bitter up front but are mellowed out by the sweet malts and then return in the finish to leave a lingering bitter hop taste that exists for minutes after each mouthfull.

M - Medium body, lightly carbonated. Thick and silky for an imperial IPA.

D - This one grew on me as I got half way through it. It is a very in your face beer but mellows out a little as you drink it. I would love to try this again and even more so on tap. Not my favourite imperial IPA, but a very good one.

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Photo of tempest
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Split a bottle with a few friends. While the alcohol is very well hidden, it's reasonably thick considering the 13% alcohol. The nose was all fruity citrus hops - like big-time fruit punch with orange and grapefruit leading the charge. The flavors offers more juicy hops along with a sweet malt backbone. It finishes with a decent bitterness and a more herbal hop aftertaste. Frankly I'm not surprised this isn't more bitter, I think there's just too much malt for this to really whack your palate. Still a tasty and fun beer that I'm glad I tried.

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Photo of Duff27
3.52/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2010 Vintage

A- Little head. Cloudy/murky copper brown in color. No lacing but leaves nice alcohol legs.

S- Boozy caramel smell. Barleywine-esque.

T- Follows the nose. Booze is all but overwhelming. Hops are there but muted.

M- Thick mouthfeel. Medium to medium-low carbonation.

D/O- Normally I'm a fan of boozy beers but this took it to another level and the rest of the flavors were sort of lost as such. Definitely would try again in the future, perhaps a fresher bottle, but would not go out of my way to seek out.

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Photo of Gavage
4.34/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a hazy orange color with a 2" thick head that falls quickly to a thick surface foam.

Smell: loads of pine and grapefruit leap out of the glass. Some hints of alcohol are also there.

Taste: big malt profile here with a heavy dose of grapefruit and pine. Some green apples, honey, and alcohol round out this well balanced hop bomb.

Mouthfeel: heavy in body. Lightly crisp and dry to start, but finishes dry and smooth. Aftertaste is very long as the bitterness rides the tongue for what seems several minutes.

Drinkability: killer beer here. The high ABV puts a damper on having more than one or two in a session, but this is relatively easy to quaff this faster than you should.

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Photo of WesWes
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark amber color with a slight offwhite head that fades to spotty lacing. The aroma is good. It has a warm malty scent along with an almost sweet hop aroma that is quite bitter. It seems to be well balanced; at least in the nose. The taste is great! It has a nice malt base that goes down smooth and finishes warm and dry. The hops really mellow the high alcohol. It's a very bitter brew with loads of hop character. It leaves a hop residue on your tongue following the swallow. The mouthfeel is fine. It's a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is one hoppy brew. The taste lingers minutes after the swallow. It's warm and well balanced. This is a beer you can really relax with; a good drinker.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.39/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The last bottle at Lone Hlll Liquor, by Stan's recommendation. I have no idea how old the bottle is, so whatever happens happens. On to the beer:

Poured into an oversized wine glass, it's murky ruby brown color with hues of orange. No head on this one. The aroma was very sweet, it seems the hops have already shrivled up here. It still smells pretty good. Mild resin mixed with caramel and faint citrus. Okay, now drink it! Wow, what a kick. My throat is being tickled. The bitterness is still here, though not as assertive if it were fresh. Crazy juice baby! Syrupy in the mouth. Big and resinous. There's a little mango and passionfruit underneath this blanket of hop juice. This might be a little too much for me, though it's still enjoyable.

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Photo of liamt07
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of 67couple, poured into a tulip. Been on my wants for quite some time, thanks for this one dude. Bottled on date of May 28, 2010.

My first triple IPA! Pours a hazy, deep golden brown, with hints of a lighter orange/tangerine around the edges. Couple fingers of offwhite head, and massive, thick and chunky lace. Minimal retention. Aroma is grapefruit, pine and oranges, alcohol peaks through a touch also. Hops are huge here, some dark breadiness as well. Alcohol becomes more prominent with warmth. Malt hits immediately, slick and sweet, very caramel-like. Fruits are hot on its tail, and a wave of alcohol arrives. Seeing as this has been sitting around for quite a bit, it feels as if this almost approached barleywine territory here. Malt is quite sweet here too, and although I heard some people claim that this takes away quite a bit from the beer, I have no problem with this. Many have also claimed that this is an absolute palate wrecker, and although I agree to a degree, I've had suffered more at the hands of other beers (this however may be a function of the bottling date). Does some substantial damage as well. Mouthfeel is a bit slick and sticky, with medium carbonation, and surprisingly reasonable drinkability given the 12% ABV. Mouthfeel became quite a bit stickier and syrupy as it warmed too. One is probably enough for the time being however.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle. Bottled June 28, 2010.

The beer pours an orange color with a white head. The aroma is a mix of flowery and pine-scented hops. The flavor is more complex and is very hoppy. I get a lot o citrus and pine notes as well as some caramel malt. The bitterness is about medium and is not as bitter as I was expecting. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of aasher
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I just opened a fresh bottle from this year into a DFH pint glass. It poured a rich, smooth amber. There was a light cream colored head which sat on top of the beer. It smells delicious. It is VERY VERY hoppy and somewhat floral. It has both bitter and sweet accents. Excellent IPA smell and very smooth. The taste is excellent as well. The first thing that comes to mind is sweetness. The sweetness definitely covers up the 12% abv. The hoppiness is subtle and smooth. It is very floral. The mouthfeel is astonishing for an IPA. It is very smooth and creamy, the carbonation is present yet mellow. This beer goes down very smoothly. I think this is the most drinkable 12%er I've ever had. It has great aromas and flavor and is very smooth going down. The Devil Dancer is excellent and a great beer. I recommend the DD to all.

Update: The 2011 version smells and tastes of pure caramelized onions. It's hard to stomach and not nearly the beer it has been in the past. If I were to re-rate the beer I'd certainly give it a grade higher than a D.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to BuckEyeNation for this one.

Pours a thick dark amber/orange color, nice carbonation, quick fizzy head, some lacing afterwards. The nose is hoppy, sweet malts, citrus, and slight caramel. The taste is big on hops, malty, honey like, the finish is slightly dry. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a high octance IPA for sure, way to go Founders. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.79/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Tasted in a Spiegelau IPA glass from a 12 oz bottle on August 7, 2014. Look is hazy deep orange with a thin head and some lingering lacing. Smell is citrus zest, pine and toasted malt aromas. Taste is bitter hops, citrus and tropical fruit, pine resin and sweet caramel and toasted malt flavors. Feel is heavy in body with a thick bitter finish.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.21/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fresh 2009 bottle poured into a pint glass, 12%, 100+ IBU's, this one is a monster.

A- Devil dancer is thick coming out of the bottle, it's very apparent. A semi hard pour yielded no more than a 1/4 inch of white stuff which is loose, barely making a full skim, nice patches of lace on the top of the glass. The liquid is more red than orange which is reminisent of hell and the devil.

S- The addition of 10 hop varieties made me think the smell would be wonderful, but sometimes you get more with less, they meld into something not great smelling. Very light on citrus and earthy hop scents, im greeted with nail polish remover & alcohol. Any sweet malts are drowned out.

T- I was scared to try this again after I had last years 13% beast, but I went with it anyway since the recipe was tweaked. Nail polish remover in the taste as well backed by alcohol and just enough malt to keep my tounge in place. The bitterness is a bit more subdued which is nice but it is still there. Getting some pine which is welcome and low citrus flavors. The alcohol is there but not 12% there.

M- The bitterness went down for sure in this years version but the alcohol taste is apparent in the aftertaste, with the nail polish taste. This one is above medium bodied with a full feel in the throat. I just wish this came with more citrus coating the mouth. Carbonation is low and expected in this high ABV'er.

D- This is much more drinkable than last years version, but the same faults I found in that vintage still exist in this years, just a bit more subdued. This probably will turn out to be a decent strong ale/barleywine in about three years but I won't be experimenting with it at the price point. In most cases the more hops the better, but in this case they seemed to get into a huge rumble with one another.

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

12 oz bottle poured in snifter. A hazed orange in color, just a bit of lace on the glass.

Smells incredibly fruity and floral. Inviting to say the least. A whiff of alcohol as well.

Tastes of malt sweetness, lending tangy cherry/peach tones to the very mild (surprisingly) hop bite. The hops are citrusy and add a sharp zesty flavor to the brew. Piney and resinous at times, as it warms more of the sweet fruit tones pull through.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth going down, with a nice residual burn at the end due to the strength of this beer.

Very drinkable, and very tasty. A kickass beer overall and one was not really enough. Reccommended.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.32/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy amber orange color when held up to the light, otherwise it is a drab brown amber color. Barely a wisp of a head forms when poured, but if roused forms a thin amber-tan color. The aroma is a mix of concentrated malt and hops with a bit of alcohol in the finish. The aroma is a bit muddy actually, I was expecting a bit more of a hop attack.

The taste is thick and rich with concentrated notes of hops and malt, and that same muddy note that is found in the aroma. Up front this has nice concentrated notes of pure hop nectar (lots of citrus with notes of pine, herbs and a bit of menthol), it does seem to die off in the finish though. This has quite a thick, syrup-like palate to it; it sticks to your mouth even after you have swallowed it, and for some reason it is not all that pleasant. The malt also plays a heavy hand in this beer, it is not just all hops; there is a concentrated unfermented beer taste to it (very similar to malt extract), with lots of notes of caramel, & toasted malt. I am gonna have to say that this was pushed a bit too far, it is a bit too over the top. The flavors just clash on my palate.

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Photo of plaid75
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at the blind Tiger, NYC.

Poured a medium amber hue with a one finger off white frothy head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured an earthy caramel and a resinous hop sppice.

The taste consisted of a full on crystal malt, peppery and herbal hops, a resinous citrus and a light alcohol.

The mouthfeel was full for the style.

Overall, complex, sinister, abusive and delicious.

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Photo of biegaman
4.19/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Let me say this first: Devil Dancer may be the ugliest beer I've seen. It brings new definition to the word "murky". Having helped brew a double IPA loaded and dry hopped to the 'enth degree as well, I do know it will turn out nothing but murky. For this reason I cannot hold it against the beer - but hot damn, this looks like polluted swamp water!

A tarnished, almost radioactive looking orange colour. There was hardly any fizzle off prying the cap - to no surprise there is no head either. There is, however, plenty of little signs of carbonation in the form of bubbly trims and dotty lacing.

The smell is pure Founders - which is to say a particularly distinctive earthy, leafy, herbal hoppiness I've come to associate with the brewery. So hoppy, so alcohol filled, yet so smooth and seductive. Hop resin, so much hop resin. An explosion of every characteristic of every hop I've ever smelt: fruity, floral, herbal, piny, spicy - awesome.

And a quick word of advice: if you truly want to appreciate the beer in all its hoppy glory be sure to seek out a fresh bottle and, regardless of the alcohol content do not - I repeat, do not - let it age. You don't know Devil Dancer unless you've had it fresh. Really fresh!

The mouthfeel is surprisingly balanced with nearly as much malt as there is hops. Although equally sensed it is the hops that are tasted most. Grilled citrus and syrupy resins. There's nearly no alcohol present and this has an unexpectedly mellow persona. Nothing but toasty, caramel smothered malts, sticky resin and exotic fruits - every hop head's dream.

If the devil did brew a beer this is likely the kind of tantalizing, tempting tipple I bet he'd brew. Wheat Wine. Double IPA. Triple IPA - whatever it is it is something unique and something special. It is also a fantastic drinking beer, especially given its strength. I'm always down for a dance with the devil - it's ironically a rather heavenly experience.

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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.


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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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Founders Devil Dancer from Founders Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 5,009 ratings.
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