Founders Devil Dancer | Founders Brewing Company

very good
1,481 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: 1,481 | Ratings: 5,030
Photo of BucannonXC5
3.96/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Beer Nerd tulip glass
From: Bine & Vine in Normal Heights (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $6.30 (10 pct. off with mixed 6-pack purchase)
Purchased: July 1, 2016
Consumed: July 2, 2016
Misc.: Bottled on May 10, 2016 at 11:49 a.m. ET

Got talked into buying this by Geoi at Bine & Vine, but he wouldn’t give a bad recommendation. Had never heard of it before purchasing it. Super pricey ($6.99 before the 10 percent deal) and it will be tough to live up to. But I love Founders (it’s currently at top-10 brewery (min. 10 reviews)) and I like boozy beer. Let’s do this.

Poured a copper, amber, hazy color with 2-to-3 fingers of frothy, khaki head. Some hints of bubbles coming up from the bottom. Excellent spiderweb foamy lacing. Good retention. (Sight - 4.25)

Smelled a big whiff of tons of hops, not sure about 10 though. Could single out Mosaic and Citra out specifically, but that’s it. Also got tropical notes (stone fruit, mango and light pineapple), caramel, hints of spoiled orange peel and citrus zest. Initially smelled pretty good, but thinned out quickly. (Smell - 3.75)

All right, no hiding that 12 pct. Got a punch in the face of hops - Mosaic, Simcoe and Citra are most noticeable - to go along with tropical rind, mango, red grapefruit rind, juicy stone fruit, candied sugary caramel, resin backbone, herbal grassy hops and hints of vegetables. (Taste - 4.00)

Medium body. Creamy-to-sticky texture. Lively carbonation. Finish starts out super boozy, but smooths out nicely. (Feel - 4.00)

This was better than I thought it would. Not $6.30 ($6.99) good, but nice for 12 percent. I’d have it again for sure. (Overall - 4.00)

3.96 | 89 | B+

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Photo of threeviews
4.58/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Initial Review:

12oz bottle (Bottle On Date: 6/01/12) poured into a Spiegelau balloon glass.

A- A vigorous pour yeilds a semi-hazy (albeit suprisingly clear for a bottle conditioned beer), blood orange / copper color with just over 1-fingers worth of a light, kahki head. It should come as no surprise the head was short-lived and noticable alcohol legs coat the glass.

S- Initally, very muted...but once the head subsided and the beer settled into the glass, I get tangerine, hints of ruby red grapefruit, pine resin, oak and caramel malt. Surprisingly, it reminiscent of my favorite Imperial IPA's, Dogfish Head's Burton Baton (although much more muted than BB). If you told me this was aged on oak, I would believe you! As the brew warms (and unlike Burton Baton), alcohol becomes very evident in the aroma.

T- Sweet caramel malt gives way to a burgeoning, piney bitterness that scrubbs the palate dry. Simultaneously, alcohol heat builds in the back of the throat and warms all the way down into the chest. The hops definitely keep the malts in check, as you only perceive them in the initial stages of the sip. Although a much heftier bittering assault...yep, it continues to reinforce the similarties to Burton Baton. But where DD pummels you with bitterness, BB has more overall flavor.

M- Malt sweetness coats the tongue but your palate is ultimately left like sandpaper. A slightly heavier body and more subdued carbonation marks the most drastic differences between DD and BB.

O- If you didn't see it coming already, I cannot shake the correlation to DD and BB. That said, this is a wonderful beer, but being that it is a seasonal, limited availability and quite pricey (I've seen it range from $5 to $7+ per bottle), I just don't think it is worth the extra money (although I could only imagine the base cost to make this beer!). I will just be thankful for being able to quaff Burton Baton year-round and at a significantly lower price. Although a tremendous fan of all things Founders brews, this will be a one-time purchase for me.

Updated Review:
12oz bottle (BOD: 05-10-2016) into an IPA glass:

Although I have had the advantage of sampling this year's version more fresh than previous iterations, this is one remarkable brew. This is truly an IPA deserving of Imperial status and nothing that could be considered a "Hoppy Barleywine." Notwithstanding the heavy malt backbone (as expected), the hop profile stands up in spades: pine, bitter citrus, sweet berries and under-ripened tropical fruit all come through in both aroma and flavor.

As it warms, the alcohol is present but it provides a sweetness and dryness that hops and malt cannot alone provide. This is a massive beer and the only other "extreme" IPA that comes to mind is Molotov Cocktail (Evil Twin). However, Devil Dancer has a more gentle bitterness and possesses none of the astringent qualities that Hop Extract affords.

The ~$19.99/4Pack pricepoint is a bit steep which is the biggest detractor of this brew (and hampering my overall rating). However, it is bold enough, hoppy enough and limited enough to make it worth a purchase of a single 4-Pack.

(Grades given based on the 5-10-2016 release)

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Photo of 98green
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle to snifter. Look is medium ruby. Smell is boozy sweet malts, some pine. Taste is total malt bomb, heavy, bitter hops hits hard, but in a harsh way. Bitter doesn't linger long due to all the malt. Not a bright hop flavor at all. I normally don't fall into the camp that thinks big IPAs go to barleywine, but I see the link with this one. Feel is rough as well, the ABV is very present. Overall not high on my list of big IPAs.

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Photo of BrownAleBollocks
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep red brown with a fluffy beige head that disappates quickly. Aroma is pine, resin, earth, caramel, toffee, and some alcohol. Taste follows with resin, toffee, earth, alcohol, a big bitterness. Mouthfeel is full and oily, almost imperial stout like viscosity. Overall, this is a damn good triple ipa, and dangerously drinkable for 12%.

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Photo of Bleer
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Founders is my favorite brewery but....this beer is a miss based on cost. It's a great beer, smells and tastes great, but for $20/four pack, it's not much different than a handful of DIPAs I've and very similar to Ruin Ten by Stone which is much cheaper. Good beer, price doesn't make sense.

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Photo of Rockjocknroll
3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Ruby-red brown with huge head...looks like the foam is meringue.
S: Little to no hops; caramelized sugar, sticky toffee pudding.
T: Definitely boozy with tons of caramel and light malt; reminiscent of a toaster pastry including some dark fruitiness. Hints of hops sneak through a long finish with tons more malt; very little ethanol on the finish.
M: A little viscous and heavy but still drinkable.
O: While not an amazing beer it's interesting to see how a more traditional approach to heavily hopped and malted beers can be pushed to their limit. Personally I prefer the newer, lighter, low dextrose approach to high ABV hops but this is still an interesting beer and worth a shot.

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Photo of RyanK252
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a Founders Brewing Company snifter

A: Pours deep crimson red with a frothy tan head that settles to a dense layer and leaves some

S: Big caramel toffee sweetness, bready malt, fruity notes, pine, a hint of citrus, and a touch of boozy warmth.

T: It's a full blown war between malt and hops. Pine and citrus, grapefruit, lemon, orange, gives way to fruity tropical notes, mango, passion fruit, peach, and a little plum, all fighting for supremacy against a mountain of toasty bready malt and caramel toffee sweetness, with a little booze (which is pretty expected in a 12% beast).

M: Medium to full body, moderate carbonation keeps it from getting too syrupy, mild warmth.

O: This beer is an absolute monster. Sort of an imperial IPA meets barleywine. Fun one to try and a fine beer, but I can't say it'd be what I would reach for if I was craving a 3xIPA. I'm curious to see what a little age would do to this one.

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Photo of ZAP
3.39/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Sticky and rich feel to this on first sip...boozy....first taste had some light tropical rum like notes....aroma more pine....pine emerges on the taste as well.....toffeeish malt...a somewhat sharp biting bitterness on the finish...more of an alcohol sharpness than hop finish...

Overall I find this too boozy and alcohol laden with all the hops really not shining through much. I've had many beers with more ABV and less biting alcohol notes.

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Photo of THSdrummer
4.14/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, opaque ruby-plum with a thick white khaki head. Head retention is moderate to strong with good lacing. Aroma is a blast of hops with notes ranging all over the spectrum. Dominate notes of the aroma are resin, floral, and earthy. The flavor profile actually has a considerable amount of toasted, biscuit malts, or perhaps all of the hops are cancelling each other out. Hop notes in the flavor include resin, pine, and spruce. Mouth feel is full with a smooth, velvety texture. Overall, it's a huge beer. Not only is the ABV at 12%, but the hop notes are incredibly abundant. Despite the complexity and hugeness of this beer, it does remain easy to drink or sip. Rather enjoyable. It does not seem to be "harsh" as the IPA stereotype suggests, although this is one I would recommend for "hop haters" to steer clear of, especially at this price (hops are expensive).

Served in a 12oz snifter.

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Photo of GreatStoutman
4.09/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle 5/17/16... so its about a month old.

Look is dark amber with light-tan head, spotty lacing and not much retention.

Smell is boozy, with ample pine and some subtle citrus notes.

Taste is initially very bitter and full of booze, but ass it breathes and opens up a bit the malts come forward and the piney hops shine through.

Feel is medium to full body, and definitely bigger than your run of the mill IIIPA. Bitterness is striking, and there is a slight stickiness that hangs on long enough to balance out the huge malt bill.

Overall, this is good stuff fresh, and I'm really curious to see what it does with some age on it.

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Photo of puffthestuff
4.26/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

L: nice head but this is by no means pale guys. Almost red in color.
S: floral juicy citrusy hops on top of hops
T: earthy bitter finish nice fruit zest upfront tropical tasting and almost alcohol burn in fact there is not a burn but a warmth in the belly. Which I enjoy. Body lasts a while and has floral notes.
F: nice carbonation I can be knit picky and say I don't like the oily texture it leaves on my mouth but then again that gives it it's nice body.
O: overall this is a wonderfully tasting beer and gets you drunk fast I enjoyed it a lot one downside 25$ a 4 pack. Whatever the case the month of dry hopping made something nice. Another winner from founders.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.81/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle bought in Hill City, SD, driven to Denver, and flown home to Seattle. Bottled on 05/02/16. Served in a tulip.

Pours a surprisingly dark clear amber with medium-small head and lots of very fine carbonation. Smell is tropical fruit, ripe pineapple, smells nice.

Taste is a fruity sweetness with a delicate floral note and a moderately bitter finish. Somewhat dangerous in its ability to hide 12% abv. A little roasty character seems to come through (or I might be fooled by the visible darkness). Subsequent sips enhance the bitterness to extremely high levels, but its somewhat vague. Keeps me coming back for the pineapple sweetness, though.

Mouthfeel is very thick, sticky, almost a barleywine. Overall, it's a worthy but not excellent beer.

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Photo of Absolut
3.52/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

enjoyed less than 25 days from bottled on date.

dark brown, super brown for an IPA.

smells is sweet, barley and hops.

taste is too sweet, then bitter hops. no strong hop flavor.

12% IPAs are hard to pull off, and this is not my favorite example.

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Photo of Wiffler27
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

bottled 5/10/16 and reviewed 6/6/16

pours dark amber with a solid head.

smell is very bland, lots of caramel malt to this. slight hops aroma, was expecting this to be overwhelming with hops.

taste is damn near barleywine-esque. lots of malt with a hop smoothness, slight burn at the end. gets smoother at this warms.

overall this isn't bad but it sure is different. personally i prefer 120 Minute over this but they're different.

bottled 5/10/16 and consumed 8/10/16
the first time i had this it was very malty and large. i prefer 120 Minute to this greatly.
-still this has a barleywine feel to it. good flavor and easy drinking for 12%. seems much more like a barleywine (which is fine) but from the jump this never felt like an IPA to me, even when fresh.

this is more barleywine to me than anything. i had this less than 30 days old and i had this 3 months old. better with moderate age but still more barleywine-y to me.

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Photo of MonkeyBread
3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I definitely enjoy this style and been wanting to try this for a while. $21 for a four pack though, youch that is pricey for an American beer. Pours a dark, Amber looks like s barley wine. Smell is earthy, herbaceous, piney hops. Very muddled with numerous flavors coming through mildly. Taste is a vague medley of hops with nothing distinct followed by a barley wine level of sweetness, bread and booziness. Mouthfeel is viscous and thick.

Overall, I came into this liking the style but having a low level of expectation for Founders ability to do hoppy styles. They hit the malty dark beers well but I've never had a quality hoppy beer from them. True to form this didn't impress. The label says 10 hop varieties used and that's a good summation for the beer. It's like they lobbed a bunch of malts and hops in with no regard for the flavors they'd bring. It's a bit of a garbage bin beer.

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Photo of mobrado
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Excellent DIPA/Barleywine hybrid on steroids, probably one of the more extreme beers to have a wide distribution footprint. I agree that you have to let it warm up a bit for full effect.

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Photo of whatthehull
4.29/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter/tulip/wine hybrid glass from a 12 oz bottle

A - Very pretty deep blood red meets copper, one finger nearly tan frothy head and some serious lacing/legs

S - Huge sweet, booze, mild/medium/dark grains/malts, pine, pineapple, the yeast I can't figure out, used WLP001 yeast a lot and reminds me a lot of this, crisp clean and fresh, the hops are all over the place but in a good way, dank, very green earth notes and citrus bomb.

T - The hops up front is huge bitter and vast, then a nice sweet and roasted malt/grain profile steps up with the huge hops still sitting in wait. Pine (very sappy), fresh cut onion, nice alcohol note, very sweet, huge citrus both bitter (rind) and sweet (pulp), pineapple, yeast is there but more in the background reminds me a of mix between a bread style meets a Belgian style, caramel and more hops!

M - Full bodied, great balance, huge complexity, medium plus acidity, medium carbonation and a huge bitter sweet hop adventure.

D/O - The "hugeness" of this IPA can not be understated but isn't overstated in the beer itself. Whine the complexity is over the top the balance perfects this. Huge, flavorful and worth aging for sure. A "new" (under a month) bottle tastes a bit "young" yet still lovely. However when aged the hops abound, just toned down a bit. Really nice ale/beer/IPA.

Final thoughts - This one is huge in both price ($18-24 per four-pack) and a 12% ABV -- though I'd gather it is a bit more.

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Photo of Catracho5
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a tulip

A: Pours a deep rich golden color with a vanilla cream colored head, some slight lacing, no head retention, low carbonation.

A: Lots of malts, sweet caramel, toffee malts, hop presence not like I expected, a mix of piney/citrusy aromas, alcohol comes through pretty strong, reminds me of an American style barley wine.

T: Follows the nose, a mix of piney/citrusy hop notes with a big malty finish, caramel, toffee, there's a punch of bitterness in the middle like chewing on pine needles and citrus peel, finish is very dry, heat lingers in the aftertaste.

M: Full bodied with a dry finish and low carbonation, a little stick on the palate.

O: This is a big sipper of a beer, I like it but I don't think it drinks like a IIIPA, more like a hoppy barley wine because of the big malt presence, well balanced, but if you're looking for a hop bomb, I don't think this beer is for you.

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Photo of captaincoffee
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Half growler from Whole Foods in Fairfax VA. Pours a deep amber with small-medium head that leaves a ring and spotty lacing. Nose more dried fruits come from the heavy malt than citrus and some earthy from the hops, but both are present. Flavor is deeply sweet and bitter together at once...sort of a barleywine meets IPA hop bomb. Candied fruit comes in strongly, but the high bitterness cuts through to prevent any cloying feeling. Full mouthfeel. Overall, a very good beer, but maybe too much of everything doesn't quite equal a well balanced beer.

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Photo of ocelot2500
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazy garnet color with a tight, tan head that leaves little chunks of lacing.

Smells of caramel malts mostly with some pine hops behind it.

Tastes of a strong, citrus hop profile layered over plenty of caramel malt. Strong hop notes lead off with pine, citrus, herbs, and earthiness. This gives way to sweet caramel malts along with some toasted bread. Hops come back in with a bit more bitter earthiness lingering through the finish.

Mouthfeel is full with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is a very good DIPA, but you better like hops in your face.

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Photo of Suds
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From a bottle, this chestnut colored beer has a 2 finger head, off-white in color and providing good lace. The aroma is all about hops...musty, pungent, woody, spicy, hops. The taste has plenty of malt sweetness as a canvas, but the story is painted by the hops. Flavorful, pepper, fruit, pine, citrus peel, and pine. Lots of complexity here. Dangerous because it really hides it's ABV, but this is one incredible beer.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Huge thick orange pour, this is a sandwich in a bottle. For having so much dry hopping, this didn't come across as really all that. Hops yes, but fresh dry hop late stage aroma hops? Not as much, came through a lot more like a barleywine, with all the heavy booze and malt stuff.

Taste packs a ton of bitterness into a massive caramel presence. This is pretty much a barleywine for all intents and purposes. Its hot. You can't discern specific hop flavors because there are so many different ones in immense ways that it all just coalesces into a giant barleywine.

A neat beer, but hardly something I really wanna drink a bunch of in one sitting.

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Photo of EMH73
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a slightly cloudy, deep Amber color with a minimal tan head. Smells of ripe, almost overripe fruit, sweet malts, oak and booze. Taste is quite boozy, in a very good way, blood orange with rind, some caramel sweetness and lots of hops. Not nearly as bitter as I would expect with an IBU of 112. Medium bodied mouthfeel with light carbonation. This is a beer to be sipped and enjoyed, not gulped. Very different and enjoyable.

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Photo of q33jeff
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle to pint glass. Deep copper color. Miniscule head. Aroma is floral, maple, caramel, brown sugar. Taste gives a quick pop of hops and sugar, then fades to woody, Ashy, tar. Pretty tasty considering how much punch this beer has. Not my style but I can appreciate it. Above avg Carbonation. Beer leaves a tingle behind....maybe that’s the 12% becoming slightly unmasked,. Glad I tried this.

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Photo of BethanyB
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Big, frothy golden head melts quickly over a cloudy body the color of cherry wood stain. No lacing--the glass is left clean and clear.

A strong, multilayered aroma of toasted malt, floral and earthy hops, peppercorn, oak, maraschino cherries, mint leaves, and milk chocolate. Boozy and brilliantly complex.

A sipper, for sure. Rye flavors mix with citrus rinds and small doses of dark stone fruit liqueurs. A roasted character adds to the strong bitterness brought on by big helpings of resinous hops. As one becomes accustomed to this beast, more gentle flavors come through, such as caramel and buttered cinnamon toast.

Creamy, with a medium body and a bit of an oil slick, this has a bitter, biting finish. Carbonation is moderate, making this big beer seem even bigger. A more crisp quality would reign this back into the IPA style.

A big, complex, bitter, booze-fest, this beer is not for the faint of heart. Great for those who aren't afraid of a gargantuan first impression!

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Founders Devil Dancer from Founders Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 5,030 ratings.
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