Founders Brewing Company

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Red Ale - Imperial
Ranked #9
Ranked #4,218
4.08 | pDev: 8.33%
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Notes: What do you get when a big, bold imperial red IPA meets an oak bourbon barrel? A palate stunner that’ll send your senses spinning or, as we like to call it, Dankwood. Rich caramel notes emerge from the depths of the IPA, highlighting strong malt character while the bourbon barrel-aging develops the complexity. A dank, sticky and slightly sweet sipper, Dankwood is the perfect alchemy of wood and hops.
Reviews: 194 | Ratings: 626 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by neliam24:
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neliam24 from New York

4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dec 02, 2019
More User Reviews:
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VABA from Virginia

4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a nice brownish amber color with a very nice head and lacing
A-Aroma has resplendent amounts of bourbon, malt and dank hints
T-The taste follows the nose with a generous bourbon, malt and dank flavors
M-A medium bodied well carbonated beer
O-A very well done Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Red IPA that has a very nice but not overpowering kick

May 20, 2018
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RaulMondesi from California

4.19/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Can Raul get a hells to the yeah? After some whateva beers, Raul said, no more! And like King Tut reaching for his finest mead, Raul reached for a Founders Dankwood. Straight up hella barrel flavor like Annie Edson Taylor going down Niagara Falls, which is met by extremely clean hops and caramel. At 12.2%, this thing is smoother than Eddie Murphy in the 80’s.


Jun 11, 2018
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tommyboydmd from Arizona

4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I liked Doom when it came out last year. It was a surprisingly good barrel-aged IPA. Many of the reviews for this year's Dank Wood have been luke warm. My opinion is that Founders has struck gold with this one. While Dank Wood is clearly an IPA, I think the barrel aging has perfectly softened the sharp edges and made for an outstanding offering. No beer-snob language...just honest opinion.

May 20, 2018
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TooManyGlasses from Canada

4.14/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Burnt slightly cloudy amber red pour with scant short lived off white head. Aroma is initially floral piney hop but then a slightly sweet malt with some herbal notes. Taste is a hoppy caramel malt, some nuttiness, almost a bitter root beer sense, spiked with a boozy bourbon backbone. Certainly some significant sticky sweetness - toffee, caramel. Mouthfeel is a sweet creamy bitter delight. Bitterness lingers and the bourbon booziness washes over. I really enjoyed this.

Jun 29, 2018
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BenHoppy from Michigan

3.56/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This is one of those times I'm glad I only scored 1 bottle. Yes there is strong piney forward citrus flavor but that's what Redankulous is. Founders ruined a good Redankulous using bourbon barrels, should've stuck with Doom. Doom was delicious, this is very mediocre to both Doom and regular Redankulous as it's more brown than red and the bourbon is mildly in the background. There is some caramel maltiness yet the last quarter of this beer is quite disgusting. If it weren't for Redankulous and Doom being so delicious I might appreciate this better but really there needs to be more bourbon flavor to this. Being 12% is really the only winner for this beer.

Apr 27, 2018
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SABERG from Massachusetts

3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a recent bottle into the test glass.
A - Deep copper color, nice clarity, tight knit off white cap ride the offering down the glass, lacing is amazing
S - Hop oil, vanilla, some toffee and tobacco, alcohol rises in the nose as well
T - Spicy hops up front, caramel and a hint of toffee, burnt pineapple glaze as well
M - A slick number, with the start being sweet, then a bitter wave rides through, the finish is a bit sickly sweet, with some rough edges
O - Glad to have tried this offering,the flavors are bold, the palate is totally absorbed, the alcohol is right up front.
A fine sipper worth exploring

Jun 11, 2018
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DrDemento456 from Pennsylvania

4.29/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Rather hazy rich dark brown color with a 1/4 inch of foam that settles to a very attractive ring.
S - Mixed smells which to me caught me off guard. In the bottle it smelled very hoppy and bitter yet in the glass more sweet and woody aroma's. Both times bourbon is not that strong which is a plus.
T - Well it's very different kind of like Devil Dancer (which shocked me they didn't brew it anymore) but much smoother with only a slight twinge of bitter hops in the finish. Balancing malt sweetness of caramel mixes very well with the wood hiding any bourbon or ethanol burn. Again different.
M - This is a very bitter and heavy beer but drinks rather smooth and kind of dangerous.

Overall a very tasty beer one would not expect would work which I assume is just Devil Dancer in Bourbon barrels which surprised the heck out of me they stopped brewing. Another note I would drink this again and Devil Dancer I would not so this is a sure step up from the classic. Worth the 4 bucks I spent for a single.

Jun 02, 2018
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Wolvmar from Michigan

4.27/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle. Bottled April 11. Poured into a Founders chalice.

Pour: beautiful reddish-brown with a one finger head that dissipates into clouds and a ring. Lots of lacing. Really nice presentation.

Nose: heavy malt prominent with some dark fruit. Sweetness and alcohol. Very interesting and, other than the malts, somewhat difficult to pinpoint.

Taste: Sweet malts upfront. Caramel, dark fruit, some citrus hops, followed by hops bitterness on the backend. Pretty complex, like the nose. Tends to get better as the beer warms a bit and as you drink.

Mouthfeel: fairly high carbonation. Somewhat viscous. Rich.

Overall: I wasn’t so sure at first, but this beer gets better as you drink. I would buy again and look forward to another after additional aging.

Apr 30, 2018
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dcotom from Iowa

4.34/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

What;s not to like? Poured from 12-ounce bottle into a long-stemmed tulip of sorts. Appearance of dark rum, with a gorgeous ruby tinge and a thick light-tan head that leaves lots of curtain-like lacing. The bourbon barrel is prominent on the nose and palate. Malt forward as advertised: dark caramel, with a little sweetness to balance out the dank and bitter hoppiness. Very dry finish, with a bit of alcohol warmth and a little oaky astringence on the tongue. This is a pleasant sipper, smooth, almost like a bourbon cordial. Well done, I say!

Jun 16, 2018
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superspak from Ohio

4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 4/17/2018. Pours fairly crystal clear deep reddish orange/copper color with a 1-2 finger dense and rocky cream colored head with amazing retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Thick soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Fantastic appearance. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, peach, pineapple, apricot, passion fruit, papaya, mango, melon, berry, citrus peel/rind, pepper, pine, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, bourbon, charred oak, brown bread, light coconut/vanilla, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of citrus/fruity/tropical/earthy hops, bourbon barrels, and dark/bready malts; with great strength. Taste of huge grapefruit, tangerine, peach, pineapple, apricot, passion fruit, papaya, mango, melon, berry, citrus peel/rind, pepper, pine, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, bourbon, charred oak, brown bread, light coconut/vanilla, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Moderate pine, citrus rind, herbal, grassy, peppery bitterness; and light-moderate bourbon/oak spiciness on the finish. Lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, peach, pineapple, apricot, passion fruit, papaya, mango, melon, berry, citrus peel/rind, pepper, pine, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, bourbon, charred oak, brown bread, light coconut/vanilla, and herbal/floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/fruity/tropical/earthy hops, bourbon barrels, and dark/bready malt flavors; with an awesome malt/bitterness and bourbon/oak spiciness balance; with zero lingering hop astringency after the finish. Moderate increasing dryness from bitterness and bourbon/oak spiciness. Medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a very smooth, creamy/bready, sticky/resinous/rindy, and fairly tannic balanced mouthfeel that is great. Lightly increasing warmth of 12.2%, with mild barrel booziness lingering after the finish. Overall this is an amazing barrel aged imperial red IPA! All around incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/fruity/tropical/earthy hops, bourbon barrels, and dark/bready malt flavors; very smooth and dangerously easy to drink for the big ABV; with the moderately bitter/resinous/drying finish, never overly aggressive. Huge juicy and dank Chinook, Mosaic and Simcoe hop complexity from the base beer; awesome malt balance and barrel integration. Not overly sweet for the ABV. A highly enjoyable offering, really exceeded my expectations. Liked it a lot more than regular reDANKulous.

Apr 28, 2018
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SHDoyle from Ohio

4.02/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Description: Dark amber almost ruby color that closely resembles the color of a Founders bottle. Has a cloudy virtually opaque appearance when first poured. Only a small amount of slightly off white head. As its name implies, the aroma is dank with noticeable elements of bourbon, oak and possibly vanilla. Not terribly hoppy as the sweetness of the bourbon seems to dominate. The taste is not as sweet as the aroma indicates and the finish is actually rather bitter, maybe even a little too much. The dank aromas are apparent but not to the degree they are in the smell. The alcohol is noticeable and it seems a little too hot; might benefit from some aging. Feel is smooth, with low carbonation and a medium to heavy body.

Overall: 4 (This beer is good and I may or may not drink it again) This beer has some very good individual elements, but it felt a little muddled and disjointed to me overall. It's like I was seeing glimpses of a really good beer without seeing the entire picture. Given that and the price point ($15.99 4-pack) this is a beer you can probably skip and not feel about missing out on.

May 27, 2018
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jkblr from Indiana

4.31/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottled 4/11/18 (27 days ago) poured into a Spiegelau IPA glass at fridge temp 12.2% ABV. The beer pours a mostly bright rusty brown color with a very light brown head. The aroma is caramel first with a touch of oak and bourbon trailing behind. The taste is oaky bourbon first, but restrained, leading into a bittersweet caramel (think burnt sugar) finish. The piney, citrusy IPA notes actually come through more as the beer warms. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, adequately carbonated and somewhat dry in the finish. The beer never really goes sweet, but rolls through many malty, hoppy layers and finishes clean without a trace of booze in the nose or taste. Overall, very good.

May 06, 2018
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MacMalt from New Jersey

4.19/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 4/14/2018. Poured from 750 ML bottle into Founders pint glass. It pours a hazy, brownish-rust color with a large, fluffy, light khaki-colored head and a nice thin coating of lacing. When first poured, the primary smells were sweet malt, pine needles, and just a whiff of bourbon. However, as the glass warmed the bourbon aroma became stronger. The bourbon is apparent in the taste from the first sip. The base IPA opens rather sweet and malty with lots of dank resinous pine and oak. Thankfully, the bourbon doesn't overwhelm and you can tell its a Red IPA - and a good one. As the glass warms the overall flavor becomes sweeter. There is minimal hoppy bitterness at the finish. This ale has a pleasing, fairly creamy mouth feel with moderate carbonation, and I expected the 12.2% ABV to be more in my face. In fact, this ale is surprisingly subtle. That said, it's still a sipper. Overall, it's nicely done. Given the choice I'd prefer Backwoods Bastard but I'll certainly drink Dank Wood again. Hopefully, it becomes part of the regular Founders rotation.

May 06, 2018
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ThickNStout from Georgia

4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from Sprayberry Bottle Shop (Marietta, GA). 4.49. Bottled 4/10/18. Served in a Founers snifter. Enjoyed 6/16/18.

Pours a murky russet with several columns of rising bubbles reaching up towards a full two finger cap of near-white head. Retention amounts to some scattered surface froth, a narrow collar and some wispy lacing, particularly where the head rested before fading.

I get an herbal hop note at the forefront of the aroma, followed by oak, caramel, orange and bourbon.

The flavors are slightly infringed upon by an assertively boozey heft but still quite pleasant. Pine, orange peel, caramel, woodsy bourbon, rye toast and dank onion. An interesting blend of an incredibly dank red IPA and bourbon barrel.

Medium full, almost slick feel with dainty carbonation. Perhaps I’m just impressionable but this beer is named after its aftertaste.

Founders almost has a “Doom 2.0” here. Danker, spicier and boozier than their more familiar barrel aged imperial IPA, Dank Wood is like an amped up Redankulous that took pretty well to some barrel time. Good stuff.

Jun 19, 2018
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fermentedbarley from New Hampshire

4.19/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

May 23, 2018
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q33jeff from New Jersey

3.84/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75


Bottle to snifter. 3rd of a 4 pack with the 4th set aside for DC.

LOOK: Reddish brown color; some light gets through but not much 10-15%. Big foamy off white head fades to a full lacing with a few straggling suds. Good Retention.

AROMA: oak, metallic hops, hint of grass and maybe vanilla.

TASTE: starts off a little harsh with the dry/dank hops but smooths out throughout. I never get the sweetness hinted in the aroma, but it does round out a bit as it warms. I get a little heat as well that builds through drinking, it definitely comes from a bitterness, but not the hops; maybe a touch of bitter sap from the oak flavor; it has that type of flavor in the finish.

FEEL: Full bodied, yet light to drink. Creamy and well carbonated. The mouthfeel kind of floats between many styles.

Pretty good. Not my style, but there is a lot to like. Founders again produces a winner.


May 18, 2018
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MKrauss from Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

May 23, 2018
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DMcGirr from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jun 03, 2018
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NodakEric from Minnesota

4.26/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Feb 02, 2019
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Harrison8 from Missouri

4.34/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky burgundy-brown with two fingers of dense, khaki foam that looks frothy enough to be atop a root beer float. Great head retention. Aroma is deep and complex, showing notes of toasted, nutted, and biscuit malts with hints of caramel, and toffee. Dank, resin, and floral hops form the sticky portion of the aroma. There is a light dose of bourbon booze, but it's faint. Flavor profile is dank, resin, pine, and floral with toasted and nutted malts behind. In addition to the complex of dense hops and malts stuffed into each sip is pleasant caramel and toffee layered over a bourbon booze finish. The dynamics are great, with the entirety of the flavor profile working together in harmony to form one complex show. Mouth feel is thick with a light fizzy texture that keeps it surprisingly crisp despite the thickness. Overall, a hearty barrel aged IPA that proves to be well executed and delivered. Marvelous.

Served in a 12oz snifter from a 12oz bottle.

Jun 29, 2018
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DMarlinJ from Michigan

4.19/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Overall it's very good and different. A red IPA and the woody barrel flavors work together. I am surprised at how little I smell, nothing really. I can look past that cause I really enjoy the depth of flavors. It delivers what it claims with flavors. I will be having another. Cheers.

May 20, 2018
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MercInc from Wisconsin

4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Another high ABV barrel aged brew from Founders. Great products.

Jan 09, 2019
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admonster00 from Illinois

4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

May 15, 2018
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Sabtos from Ohio

3.94/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Shimmering dark copper to chestnut brown with a moderate, uneven khaki foam that settles to a slick, still surface.

Dankwood exhibits a potent punch of bourbon, but also leaves room for caramel, fiery pine, dry woodiness, butterscotch, black pepper, and a fire-licked orange peel, sort of like an Old Fashioned.

A crisp yet soft froth glides through a slick medium body with a super hot exhale. Normally I'm not into this kind of thing, but somehow it works here. Closer to a cocktail than a beer, in a sense, but enjoyable.

Jun 19, 2018
Dankwood from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 626 ratings