Dark Horse Double Crooked Tree IPA | Dark Horse Brewing Company

922 Reviews
Dark Horse Double Crooked Tree IPADark Horse Double Crooked Tree IPA

Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
Have you read the description for the regular Crooked Tree yet? Well this beer is almost the same just double the flavor and alcohol. We actually took the Crooked Tree recipe and doubled all of the ingredients except the water, just the way a DOUBLE should be made. Big hops balanced with tons of malt give this beer a huge body. Although this beer is as cool as "The Fonz" when first purchased, it gets really mellow and smooth with some age. After a year or two stored in a cool dark place you'll notice the heavy caramel and malt flavors are trying to sneak past the hops. This beer is hugely delicious so it will need your undivided attention (the chores can wait....trust us).

98 IBUs

Added by putnam on 03-05-2005

For Trade:
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Reviews: 922 | Ratings: 2,811
Photo of CHSLBrew
3.99/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter.

A-Ruby-amber beer, slightly hazy; look ominous, maybe murky. Head was pretty much not there. The high alcohol likely interfered with it.

S-Dark and sticky! Hops coming through were slightly orangey with a thick, perfumy resinous aroma. A bit of bright maltiness flirts with some fruit (can't quite put my finger on what kind).

T-Extreme bitterness sets in immediately, followed in kind by a smash in the face of big resiny/piney hops. However, these hops flavors remain under control. A pretty substantial malty backbone gives this beer a nice uhmph. Interestingly, the only reason I can tell this beer is so high of an ABV is a slight prickle on my tongue in the finish; the alcohol feel and flavor in this brew is very smooth.

M-Low carbonation with a full, slick-bodied mouthfeel. As stated, the alcohol is very smooth.

D-Hmm, defining drinkability for a beer such as this is difficult. I consumed this brew slowly and enjoyed every sip. I shared a sip with my roommate, who also enjoyed it. I finished this beer and wow, was I satisfied. I want another. I'll call that high drinkability.

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Photo of SaucyA
4.26/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


A - Pours a hazy, rusty amber with a piss foam head into the snifter. This beer just looks unpleasant. Luckily, I know it's not.

S - Huuuuge caramel malt base. Huge. Toffee. Huuuuge hop aroma. Citrus. Pine. Pineapples. Booze notes, but nothing that says "13.6%". Wonderful fruit.

T - Sweet on the tongue at first, and finishes with a nice fruity citrus twang... which slowly turns into heavy bitterness. Huge booze notes throughout. Just a huge, heavy, slow-drinkin' brew.

M - Medium-thick bodied, almost syrupy, with a fine, even carbonation. Nice.

D - This one, she's a sipper.

Notes: I can't believe I never reviewed this beer. A bruiser fresh, and a near-barleywine with a little time on it. I like this at every stage.

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Photo of tmoneyba
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft at Dark Horse.

Poured a hazy copper color with an average creamy off-white head that lasted with excellent lacing. Moderate hoppy citrus aroma. Medium to full body with a sticky texture. Heavy tart hoppy citrus flavor with a smooth long lasted bitter finish.

Good brew with no alcohol bite.

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Photo of tconboy
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark orange with a little head that fades to light film. Smell of hops dominates, with some fruity piney smell in there too, and a little malty. Little lacing as the beer is consumed. Tastes hoppy, bitter, malty, and of course the fruity pine flavors are apparent. Pretty good balance and very drinkable considering how strong the hops are in this one. Not my favorite style but definitely a worthy brew.

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Photo of jasonjlewis
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice brown orange color. 1/2 finger initial pour.

Smell is of a huge hop aroma with a piney/floral slightly grapefruity chracteristic. Several varities of hop make this beer wonderful and complex.

Taste is of pine and floral hops. There is a tiny bit of grapefruit flavor that masks the caramel malts and pale malts underneath, but in a good way.

This beer is full bodied and crisp. The hop juice comes through intensely.

The alcohol is nicely masked with all the hop flavor.


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Photo of koopa
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received as an extra in a trade...I believe from beerbeagle thanks!

Appearance: More red than any IPA i've ever tried before. Probably uses a more aggressive malt. 1.5 fingers of white head comprised of fine bubbles. Some retention and nice lacing.

Smell: Wow this is one extremely bitter smelling Imperial IPA with 98 IBU's. A faint touch of malt but really all about the bitter hops in the nose.

Taste: Yeah this brew definitely uses a more aggressive malt to counterbalance the bitterness but its not an overly caramel toffee sweet malt. Nor can the malt overpower the bitterness of the hops. Bitter from the start to finish.

Mouthfeel: I like how the brew remains light/med in mouthfeel despite the malt.

Drinkability: The mouthfeel keeps this one drinkabie despite the bitterness of the hops.

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Photo of Wetpaperbag
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- This is a lovely red/amber color with a slight effervescent action in the glass. The head is creamy and thick.

S- The hop smell is great, sweet and fruity. This beer smells sweet. I smell something that I can't quite put my finger on, I want to say cherry but I'm not sure.

T- The taste is great, the hop taste is smooth and not over powering. It is still there with a great bite. I'm getting a slight metallic taste with this, and it seems to add to the bit of the beer. I can say that this hides the ABV super super well.

M- There is a slight thickness to this beer, but the effervescent carbination helps cut that down. Very tasty!

D- Very drinkable to say the least. Very well rounded brew.

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Photo of CrellMoset
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, waxed and capped, courtesy of DrDogbeer - thanks a lot!!! My first wax-dipped 12 oz. bottle, and it was poured into a cervoise.

Appearance: Glug glug glug. This one pours a thick, hazy, dirty orange/brown. Hmmm, doesn't look like much of a head is forming on this pour ... better increase the angle of the pour ... oh shit, it's vertical, still no head. The bottle's empty - what now? Wait. ... what's that? Slowly, every so slowly, agonizingly, painfully slowly, pinpoint-sized bubbles rise to the surface: only a few at first, then more, dozens, hundreds. All they can muster is a puny, half-inch of tan foam which fades surprisingly quickly, given how solid and cloud-like it initially looked. There is, surprisingly again, some lacing, very thin but very solid-looking.

Aroma: Pungent, resinous hop oils dominate here, thick and sticky. A surprisingly large amount of fruits in the nose, grapefruit, strawberries, with a healthy dose of pine as well. As it warms, you get progressively darker malt notes as well - it was initially naught but lightly caramelized sugar notes, and it's gradually progressed to the point where I'm picking up toasted raisin bread, waffles, maple syrup. Interesting.

Taste: If this is 13.6% alcohol-by-volume, I'm ... well, something that I couldn't possibly be, which is all by way of saying that this really doesn't taste like a 13.6 abv% beer. In many ways, it tastes like a mellowed, chilled-out, well-aged DFH 120 minute. Through all the syrupy thickness, you get lots of fantastic hop flavors - tropical fruits, strawberries, citrus, pine needles, basil-like herbalness. Of course, the syrupy thickness itself is a result of this one's massive malt bill which lends heavy, doughy roasted sugars, caramel, hints of chocolate, toffee, honey. The fruity nature of the hops meld well with the sticky malts and evoke a number of "malty" fruits - raisins, figs - that are perhaps there, perhaps aren't, though I sure seem to think I'm tasting them. This one's also not a DIPA that's all about the bitter - bitterness is an afterthought here, with all the hops going into this one definitely going in late in the boil. Between the hop goodness and the thick, sticky malt foundation, there's truly not even a hint of alcohol, which both is truly impressive and makes for a damn tasty brew.

Mouthfeel: Have I mentioned it's thick and syrupy yet? I have? Ok, well, I'll say it again for good measure - this is one thick, syrupy beer, but it really doesn't feel cloyingly thick on the tongue, and finishes surprisingly clean and sticky-free. You can feel that there's some carbonation here, but it doesn't really "rise to the surface" as in some thinner-bodied beers - imagine it as a low-floating fog on the surface of the tongue rather than a fluffy, pillowy cloud. If someone told me that this was the absolute lightest mouthfeel they could get out of a 13.6% DIPA, I would believe it, so I can't knock it too much.

Drinkability: Almost more of an aged American barleywine, this one - that is, it was expertly balanced, sweet, but with plenty of hop notes to keep things interesting. The 13.6 abv% - pretty bloody high, to be sure - is absolutely nowhere to be found, except, perhaps, in my rapidly-decreasing finger dexterity; I actually found myself finishing this off rather quickly. Kudos to Dark Horse for a killer brew, and recommended for sure.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to mynie for sending this long time want of mine.

Pours a hazy amber/copper color with a good sized head, fades a bit fast but leaves some lacing along the glass.

Smell is well-balanced, decent hop aroma but I was rather surprised by the sweetness, strong caramel malt presence.

Much like the smell, the taste isn't the hop bomb you would expect but is rather balanced, although slightly leaning towards the sweet.

Not sure how much this has aged, but it does say "ages well" on the bottle and I'd have to believe them.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wax looks nice on a bottle, but such a pain in the ass to pop that cap.

Pours a fully murky orange touched brown. Very thin creme head. Nose is tangy, citric, and malty. Flavor is a slight alcohol burn (no surprise there with a 13.6% beer), but not as much as you might expect. Slick and smooth liquid feel. Low carbonation. Overall really thick on the malts and quite earthy. I like it, but this is one of those once in a while brews. Still remains very easy to drink. (this is 13.6%? Really?)

Thanks to raverjames for the nice extra.

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Photo of jwinship83
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- murky amber to copper in color with a very small beige head that quickly becomes a crown. lots of even lacing.

S- woah, thats alot of hops. blast of citrus hops and some caramel malts.

T- the hops are very present still 10 months after release. lots of caramel malt to balance things out. lots of citrus hops. very bitter. the only evidence of alcohol is the warming left in my stomach

M- full bodied and mouth coating. ample carbonation.

D- the massive ABV thats well hidden makes this very dangerous. id love to have a couple in a sitting, but that might not be such a good idea. check this out if you can!

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Photo of seaoflament
3.91/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to OC for sending me this one in the TBS Birthday Beer Club v2.0 I've been wanting to try this beer for a while.

Pours a fiery sunset color with a good inch of foam. Great retention so far, some lacing as well.

Loads of orange, pink grapefruit, and citrus hops, aged though. A large malt backbone, mostly caramel aromas with some biscuit and nutty malts. Floral and flowery hops begin to show up. There's also a metallic aroma that I noticed since I started pouring, not too distracting but it's there. Hints of mango, papaya, and pineapple.

Again, a lot of orange, grapefruit and citrus but the malt is more present in the taste. Toasted, caramel and biscuit malts with a hint of chocolate in the finish. A bit of a grassy aftertaste. Much like a barleywine but rather enjoyable, some toffee flavors are starting to develop too and that's the type of barleywines I like. Very fruity at first with some citrus, mango, nectarine, peach and a bit of cherry and the second half is all about the toasted, caramel and biscuit malt...pretty good combination. I do have to say though that aged DIPAs are not my thing.

Low carbonation but very smooth, a tad syrupy and sticky on the lips. Alcohol is very well hidden.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks goes out to Gillard for the awesome box.

Pours a very nice looking ruby red clear color with a hard to produce but lingering off white head that leaves decent lacing. Looks to be quite viscous coming out of the bottle.

Nose is very strong with a deep deep malt backbone and huge sweet and bitter hop resin dankness.

Taste is quite rich and very very sweet. This one defenitely borders on the defenition of an IPA, as expected when things start getting above that 11 mark. I do however think this one can be called an IPA. The hop profile is there for sure. Hop resins, bitter, some piney flavor, and a touch of grapefruit and sticky resiny notes. Bitterness takes a minute, but when it arrives, it is noticeable. Finish is bitter and relatively dry for the viscosity of this bad boy.

Mouthfeel is exactly what it should be for a beer of this magnitude and style. Quite viscous, but it works well with the strength and boldness of this beer. Slightly undercarbonated, and yeah, could be just a touch thinner.

Drinkability is good for the style, but great for the abv. Think relative here, as this one is certainly a sipper. But if you bought a beer that was 13.6% thinking you were gonna slam some at the company picnic, well then your just a goddamn idiot. Goes down incredibly easy and dangerously for that abv, but again, make no mistake, your keys do not need to be in your possession after one or two of these.

Overall a beer of significant magnitude, and bold flavor. It is certainly a malty mofo, but the hops are defenitely in there. A unique, and impressive brew, as this one seems like it should be alot more difficult to drink than it is. Defenitely one worth having a go at. A good one from Dark Horse, and one i would love to revisit. Someday. haha. Thanks again to Gillard for a great box. Good brew.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.37/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Good thing this is 13.6%, because I don't drink any beer under 13.5%. Thanks to tpd975 for the chance to try it!

Pours a murky copper red, with no real head to speak of. A second pour resulted in a much creamier, thicker head that stuck around awhile and left more lace. You can tell this sucker is thick by swirling and watch it roll almost like oil around the glass. Looks majestic in the glass, and I can't really dock it any points for the lack of head, considering the high alcohol content.

Big apple cider aroma, resiny hops, pineapple, tobacco, port. Simple but alluring.

***A warning if you're about to try this***: Swirl the sediment and pour. Before I did I found it had an oxidized flatness, flavor- and feel-wise. Trying and trying again, I decided to swirl and pour the remainder, and that made a lot of difference. It brought out lots of grapefruit, and sugary orange, and it thrust a decadent toffee/cherry-taffy thing at the taste buds. Everything I wanted to roll at me in waves--foreshadowed by the aroma--didn't quite gel the way I had hoped in either scenario, however. The alcohol is warming yet not cloying, but the other characteristics are poorly mingled. Hops are more like a soggy over-sugared pineapple, but again, this improved with a swirl-pour. Mouthfeel is less thick than expected, although not thin. But it feels, texturally, like I'm only getting part of the picture due to the unfocused flavor. 2.5 without the sediment, and 3.5 with. Averages out to 3.

This could have been sold as a barleywine. As it is it's a wild, unrefined double IPA (or triple IPA). It has some enjoyable flavor traits, and the aroma is terrific, but it didn't totally work for me. Given that maybe this is just a rough batch or a bad bottle, I would probably try it again sometime. But no beer, especially no double IPA, should be this much struggle and worry. There are so many better ones in this category with much less alcohol. Sometimes bigger isn't always better. (I can't believe I'm saying it...)

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Photo of joepais
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks JVD for this want
Green waxed bottle poured into a tulip glass. Hazy amber in color with slight fine sediments floating around toped of with an off white head that goes to a thick lace.
Aromas of this brew is sweet malts and piney. It is towards the barleywine in its nose.

Flavors of bitter hops hit the tongue first but then a slight sweetness ensues from the malts it is thick on the tongue and dries in the finish. I didn't taste the alcohol at all but its effects are evident.

This brew is a sipper and not one that you would drink more than one of in a sitting .It was an enjoyable experience and I do it again

Edit 4/29/09 I just had a fresh bottle wow hops galore. More hops in the nose and flavor there is still some sweetness in there but the bitter is more forward.

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Photo of gford217
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of Monger over at RB. 12oz green wax-topped bottled poured into a tulip.

Pours a hazy golden amber with a solid off-white head that left great lacing as it receded.

The aroma was dominated by citrus hops up front with grapefruit and some orange peel opening things up. There was also a serious malt sweetness that I wasn't expecting in the aroma.

The taste takes the malt sweetness to a different level. This one isn't fresh but I imagine that, even then, the malt profile was a major player in the taste. The sugar sweetness of the malts give way to a slight citrus hop kick up front on the palate with some bitterness in the finish as well.

The mouthfeel is crazy smooth and sticky with sugar due to the massive malt backbone. Bitterness is at a minimum.

This one is bordering on a barleywine for me, even with the minimal amount of aging on it. It's a great beer, but I would have loved to see the hops when it was fresh.

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Photo of atigerlife
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark copper with reddish highlights. Creamy light brown head. Lots of tiny carbonation seen rising. Good head retention.

Aroma is dominated by hops. Some grapefruit and a nice piney backbone.

Taste is of hops [as you would expect]. Light caramel, malts and grapefruit. There was a sweetness that I didn't particularly like and it became slightly overbearing as the beer warmed.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied, creamy and lightly cleansing.

Overall, a very nice beer. Quite drinkable.

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Photo of Biggness
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a cloudy copper with a light white head and mild lacing. The smell is of sweet hops. The taste has a wonderful malt base to it, not the hop punch I was expecting but I can get some citrusy hops, I am not sure how old this was, I would love to try it fresh. For a 13.6 % beer, the fact that I can not taste alcohol is a testament to Dark Horse. My first Dark horse beer was a failure and everything since has been very promising! The mouthfeel was nice, could use a little more carbonation and for the abv this is a highly drinkable brew, although I am sure it would kick me in the teeth after a few!

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

got this one from czoch75, cheers Clint!

Pours an effervescent copper with a finger of oyster shell colored head. Insane lacing & good head retention

S: Pineyness & a touch of fruittyness & a wisp of smoke!

T: Boozey dates, pineyness, some grapefruitty hops & hints of honey, golden raisins & some pineapple up front. Apricots, piney hops, & citrus flavors abound as this warms. Finishes with nice piney hoppyness, a bit of grapefruit vodka & candy orange slices, plus leafy hops. On the cusp of a 5.0

MF: Chewy, with moderate carbonation, & superior balance, slight alcohol burn detracts

Drinks super easy for the style & ABV; slight alcohol burn detracts. This is a damn fine DIPA! Only will get better for a least a year IMO

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Photo of paulthebeerguru
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: snifter. opaque tawny color. nice light golden yellow colored head. good retention rate. nice lacing.

S: huge malt aroma, some iced tea tones. some nice hoppy aromas. very earthy.

T: wow...extremely smooth flavor. tons of malts providing a great backbone with subtle earthy hops coming in. iced tea flavors.

M: good body, medium to heavy. low carbonation level. way too smooth for 13%

D: way too drinkable for 13.6%, could be very dangerous, but such a great beer.

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Photo of jneiswender
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Bottles are covered in green wax.

A--No head. dark-reddish amber color body.

S--toasted malt, alcohol

T--ALOT of alcohol flavor. Its right up front for you. cereal and malt underneath with a smack of hop fruit and citrus.


D--Very strong. Not for the faint at heart. But very nice beer. I would get this again and again--just not all at once.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.52/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

09/18/08- Received as a generous gift from BA Talsiker.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no freshness info. I have had the beer a good six months at least and I'm not sure when he aquired it in a trade. Assuming an 2007 batch, but could be older.

Appearance- Ruby brown colored pour. Creamy 3/4 inch slightly off white head. Murky pour, but ultra fine sediment particles. Leaves light lace trails behind.

Smell- Fresh picked orchard sweet hops. Both citrus notes and pine...both smell very pungent and fresh. Malt comes through as well with a bold sugary dark sweet malt.

Taste- Not sure if this is catagorized in the same genre as Younger or Devil Dancer. It doesn't quite hit hard like a 13+% beer at first, but it sneaks up on you. Full of sweet juicy hops and chewy pine needles. Malt is carmelized, but not quite as sweet at the scent would dictate. Overall it's very well balanced for a beer of such caliber.

Mouthfeel- Not quite cask style, but very little carbonation. Very smooth, lightly creamy with a both full and chewy mouthfeel and a mild lingering hoppy aftertaste.

Drinkability- Not quite Pliny the Younger, but I like it more than Devil Dancer. Very drinkable and quite quenching. Actually went well with my steak and mushrooms.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received in trade from mcallister, thanks for the opportunity.

Pours a clear deep amber with a creamy off white head that leaves a little lace on the glass. Smells of piny, spicy, citrus hops with a bit of caramel malt in the background. Taste is what the smell tells you its going to be. She hits with hops, you taste a little malt then lingering hops envelop your mouth and taste buds. Alcohol is well hidden, its remarkable how easily this went down. Thick sticky mouthfeel and body, medium carbonation. Great brew. I may have aged this one a bit as it seems to not be an all out hop assault as most double ipa's seem to be. This one could easily pass for a barley wine, but that line is so blurry these days who cares. I'd love to try one of these fresh.

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Photo of DrDogbeer
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip. Thanks to Jw347 for this extra and a couple other BA's that have sent one! Pours a dark orange/amber with a thin off-white head that leaves some sticky lacing. This beer seems thick. Strong oily hemp/hop smell to it. Big bitter kick on first taste. Full flavor- it envelopes your mouth. Oily hop presence with a slick mouthfeel. Very solid, intense beer. Bordering on a barleywine for me. I may have aged it a bit, but with the wax seal, I thought that might be ok. Would like to try one very fresh as well.

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Photo of khiasmus
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an orange/amber with minimal soapy off-white head that drops off quickly and then leaves a lacing on the top.

Aroma is rich with honey, resiny pine, and grapefruit. A hint of alcohol is evident in the back.

Flavor starts off with honey and light liquid malt, moves into grain husk, and finishes with strong alcohol, bitterness, pine resin. The bitterness lingers forever. Not super complex, but absolutely delicious.

Medium-full body with medium carbonation, and astringency, warming, and intense dryness at the back.

Drinkability is scary. 13.6%!!??!?! TRY THIS BEER!

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Dark Horse Double Crooked Tree IPA from Dark Horse Brewing Company
4.12 out of 5 based on 2,811 ratings.
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