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 Harrison8
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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Photo of do_ob
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Aged nearly a year, poured into a snifter. Transluscent ruby in color, topped with about 1.5 fingers of bubbly, sticku white foam. Very sweet nose consisting of ripened fruit (mango, grapefruit, pineapple, banana) along with sugared candy and sweet alcohol. The taste follows; at this age, it's very sweet, but not cloyingly so. Not bitter at all - more like a freshly-fruity barleywine without the caramel malt. Imagine taking a Southern Tier Unearthly or a 3 Floyds Permanent Funeral and aging it for a year. Then imagine that final result actually tasting good. That's this beer.

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Photo of JiminKY
4.72/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

How the consensus on this beer is only "good," is beyond me. This beer is tremendous, and well worth seeking out. Beautifully clear, reddish in color, appropriately pleasant smell, and perfectly blended taste and abv. Just killer.

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Photo of scootny
3.77/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

How do you get a beer of this abv to have a head that leaves as much lacing as this. A hazy reddish amber ale with a large creme' brule' colored head. As I said the lacing is mare than a 12 percent brew has a right to have. Must be the hops baby! A slow fade leaves a light covering that stays.

Nose has very sweet almost cloying quality. Some malted grains in the background. Pine and peppery spiciness. Quite a bit of alcohol but it is subsumed by the huge caramel body. Clean yeast.

Flavor is in line with the nose. Huge sweet front that platforms an even bigger hop bomb right behind it. Liquid caramel with a dough and dinner roll malt. Then wave after wave of grapefruit.
A hop oil covering of my tongue and pine oil juice. Very well hidden alcohol that shows up in a bit of lighter fluid/fusel booze.

Feel is syrupy with a mild carbonation while maintaining a surprising cripness.

Nice heavy hitter.

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Photo of JamesMN
3.89/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottled on 5/5/15.

Appearance: Maroon in color with good clarity. Half an inch of off-white froth.

Aroma: Some similarities to a barleywine here. Lots of boozy fruit, figs and apricot. A bit of oxidation as well. Sweet overall.

Taste: This one has a lot going for it. Tons of drunken blood orange, dried fruits, and syrupy flavor. Definitely more in the barleywine/imperial scotch ale category. The bitterness almost goes unnoticed. I'll attribute that to time and the whopping 12% ABV. The only downside here is the apparent oxidation. I would expect a 12% ABV beer to stand up longer than nine months in a bottle if it was purged and sealed correctly. Nice heat in the throat. Quite smooth.

Mouthfeel: Full in body but not overly thick. Good low level carbonation that fits with a high alcohol beer. All that spells good drinkability for such a big beer.

Final Thoughts: Style guidelines be damned, this is just a good high alcohol beer. It really showcases the great subtle flavors that can come from four simple ingredients. Would I drink it again? Yes, but next time I'd like to try it fresh.

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Photo of ClavisAurea
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

05/2015 bottle date served cold in a wine glass.

Malty sweet, boozy, sweet alcohol, fruity, mildly bitter, very mellow and integrated. This is an IIPA to cellar. Much more like an American Barleywine than an IPA.

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Photo of Myotus
4.01/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured at 51°F from a 12oz bottle (bottled on 24Apr2015) into a Spiegelau IPA glass. Consumed on 28Jan16.
LOOK: Pours with two fingers worth of dense, khaki foam. At 35 seconds, the foam head becomes rocky and poruous. At 2 and a half minutes, a half fingers worth of foam remains along with a moderate amount of very thick lacing left from the dissipation. Dark amber in color with a moderate amount of cloudiness. Rising bubbles are both small and medium in size and are in abundance. Lacing is moderate in quantity and both thick and very thick.
SMELL: Very strong aromas of caramel and bread are backed by mild aromas of alcohol and subtle piney hop, grapefruit, orange, and tangerine aromas. With 10 different hops used, I would have thought that this would smell like a hop bomb. That is slightly disappointing.
TASTE: Strong bread and caramel flavors first strike the palate. Mild piney hop flavors enter about 2 seconds after as caramel flavors grow slightly stronger. Subtle alcohol flavors and hints of oranges, grapefruit, and tangerines make their debut as piney hop flavors grow slightly stronger. As all flavors now push on, mild bitter hop flavors enter lastly.
FEEL: Full-bodied and moderately carbonated. Goes down smooth and somewhat creamy. Clings to the back of the throat like syrup. Finishes horribly dry. A big and welcoming alcoholic warmth can be felt as it goes down the throat.
NOTE: I've had one other beer that was brewed with 10 different hops and that was a complete disaster. This was pretty great. Not the best DIPA out there, but definitely one worth buying.

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Photo of HopHunter19
4.24/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - nice mahogany reddish brown clear colored with an off white head that dissipates quick
S - big chocolate and caramel malts. Oxidation. Dark fruits, cherry. Fig newtons. Some grapefruit and citrus peel in there that I'm sure was more forward when this was more fresh.
T - sweet caramel and chocolate malts, boozy, dark fruits like figs and plums but also grapefruit at the same time. Little bit of woody, oxidized, old ale type flavors too.
M - medium to heavy mouthfeel. Alcohol present but okay for 12%. Aftertaste is citrus peel, booze.
O - great beer. More of a barleywine at this point- bottled 4/2015 drank 12/2015. I've had it fresh and there's a lot more citrus and tropical fruit flavors to it when it's younger. Definitely an interesting beer that I'll still pick up time to time even with the high price point.

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Photo of Sabtos
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

I have a soft spot for this. This is one of the first, and only hardcore IPAs that I've liked. The first time I had it, it blew my top off, but subsequent tastings had me agreeing with the consensus.

This is closer to a barleywine than an IPA. It's booziness can be very harsh, I'd like to be able to describe the aroma and taste but I just can't put it into words. There is a lot of complexity here, sort of how certain liquors have their attributes.

Cherry vanilla honey lemon copper blood raisin caramel burn. That's the best I can do and I feel like that doesn't really cut it.

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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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