Dark Horse Double Crooked Tree IPA | Dark Horse Brewing Company

919 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

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Reviews: 919 | Ratings: 2,793
Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.43/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark golden color with a slight off white frothy head. Plenty of "chunkies" floating in this beer. Smell is mostly bitter hops. Some malt comes through in the finish, but this is dominated by bittering hops and alcohol.
Upon my first taste, I am trounced with bittering hops and a huge alcohol burn. This is big and badass. Usually DIPA’s are highly sessionable beers that I’ll have a couple of in a sitting. Not this brute.
Mouthfeel is astringent and slightly cloying.
I love this brewery. I’ve not had anything remotely resembling a average beer from them.

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Photo of rmalinowski4
3.43/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my Mikasa Tulip.

Pours a deep amber with a one finger slightly tan head. The head recedes quickly leaving little lacing.

The smell is sweet malts and dark fruit, almost smells like a juice drink. There is a faint alcohol smell also. almost smells like a Barleywine.

The taste is sweet malt, dark fruit, some pine and earthy hops. The alcohol is very well hidden, its not even hot on the finish. The taste is more like a barleywine than a DIPA, I was expecting more hop presence.

The mouthfeel is a little thin and the carbonation is almost nonexistant. This needs both more body and carbonation.

Overall, this is not a bad beer, but i'm not sure where to clasify this one. It tastes good and I will drink it again, but imo, it's not really a DIPA or a Barleywine. it's stuck somewhere in between.

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Photo of n2185
3.45/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is a little vertical of the 2010 and 2012 batches of this beer.

2010--Pours a slightly hazy mahogany with a finger of beige head that fades into a thin layer with pretty decent lacing.
2012--Pours a slightly hazy orange with a finger of off-white head that recedes into a thin layer with a little lacing.

2010--Loads of caramel malts on the nose with hints of citrus and vanilla. There is also a strong, musty, and somewhat woody aroma to it.
2012--Caramel malts up front with some bubblegum notes. Sweet citrus aromas follow, mostly of oranges and pineapple. There is also a hint of an alcohol aroma.

2010--Caramel malt flavors dominate with strong flavors of molasses and dark fruits--raisins really come to mind. The finish has some slight piny bitterness and a light alcohol presence, but mostly the sweetness dominates.
2012--Again, caramel malts are strong at first but are quickly followed by a big blast of hops. There are some grapefruit citrus notes at first followed by resiny pine and earthy flavors. The finish is slightly sweet with a light alcohol burn.

2010--Medium-thick body with mid-low carbonation, this beer is thick and sticky sweet, though the carbonation helps some.
2012--Medium-thick body with lowish carbonation, this beer is a little watery from the lack of carbonation and a bit sticky as well from the high abv.

2010--I'm surprised at the strong molasses and dark fruit flavors in this beer. I was expecting something more caramel-forward after two years. I wouldn't call it a good beer, but it is certainly interesting with two years on it.
2012--An interesting beer, overall, that definitely borders being a barleywine. It's not as boozy or as sweet as I feared considering its abv and has some pretty decent hop characteristics.

Ultimately, I'd say the fresher beer is the better one (which is what my rating applies to). I wouldn't call either great, or even good, but the fresh bottle does have some nice hop characteristics and is surprisingly mild for something with such a high abv.

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Photo of PDXHops
3.45/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Ryan011235 for this 12 oz bottle, poured into a La Chouffe tulip.

Pours out a quite cloudy darkish amber with a 1.5 finger head. This reduces slowly to a skim, which is pretty decent retention considering the hefty ABV. Lacing starts out as a creamy sheet up top, ends up as drippy bubbles down below.

Quite a strong nose on this; I got a big whiff of citrus as soon as I popped the cap. Loads of sweet and bready malt with a healthy citrus presence demanding attention. Smells a little boozy, but I would have never guessed 12%. I'd prefer the sweetness to be turned down a notch, but it's pleasant and inviting.

The alcohol is very more noticeable in the mouth. It has the odd effect of lightening/'lubricating' all that malt and making for a less sticky beer than I'd imagined it would be. Excepting a healthy dose of lingering warm booziness, it finishes quite cleanly. The citrus is joined by a fairly strong pine bitterness that flares up mid-swallow, but more or less disappears by the finish. Lacks the powerful hoppy finish I crave.

Overall impression: I'd love to see the lupulin ratched up and the booze/sweetness ratched down, but it's an interesting take on the style.

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Photo of morimech
3.46/5  rDev -16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep, dark amber with two fingers of tan head that did not move until I took a sip. Moderate amount of lacing is left on the glass. This smells like one of those hopped up barleywines. Pungent citrus and pine hop aromas combat the sweet malt for dominance. The hops and malt somehow supresses the whopping 13.5% ABV. Doubling ingredients to make a bigger beer does not necessarily makes a better beer. The bitterness, sweetness, and alcohol just makes this too much to take in. My tastebuds are conflicted. The bottle states that this beer ages well, maybe it would be better when the hops fade and becomes a straight forward barleywine. Has a very good mouthfeel. Thick and rich with a smooth carbonation and texture. Very nice but cannot hold the flavors together. Worth a try, maybe I should get another bottle and forget about it for a few years.

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Photo of WesMantooth
3.47/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle dated 1/23/15

Looks as beautiful as all of the pics I have seen. A big reason I grabbed a 4 pack at $16. A deep, hazy ruby orange with a slightly off-white head.

Smells of strong alcohol, sweet caramel malts, pine and floral hops all in that order to me.

The alcohol really comes through in the taste. I am shocked by the reviews that say it is hidden. I would swear it was 15%+. Also rock candy like sugars, some citrus hops that I didnt notice in the aroma, still some piney flavor along with bitterness and nostril burn toward the end.

Nice thicker bodied beer with a slick resin feel, but finishes very harsh. Average carbonation.

Overall, most of the good qualities of this beer are squashed by boozyness. I can probably list 2 dozen beers that are at this ABV or higher that don't taste/feel anywhere close. It may be one of few ipas that will improve with cellaring. I have 3 more, so I am going to find out.

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Photo of hansgruber
3.48/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep amber body with a thin off-white head.
Nose is full of sharp piney hops and is malty and boozy as well.
The taste is a balance of the hops and the malt. The bitterness is mellow. The hops lend a piney and resiny taste with a touch of citrus too.
The carbonation is a tad low giving it a slightly syrupy mouthfeel.
This beer is pretty boozy fresh but mellows out after a bit of age. Not too bad but nothing I'd seek out again.

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Photo of JDV
3.48/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to tytoanderso for the bottle!
Pours a hazy dark orange color with a lasting whitish head and nice lacing. Smell is a unique musty and fruity smelling hop character. Taste is moderately bittered and similar musty fruit flavors with perhaps some mango. Not a very clean flavored IPA in my opinion with the citrusy character I get in lots of IPAs, but still nice. Body seems full but the low carbonation still makes it seem almost watery at the same time. Unique, and drinkable. Solid IPA.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.48/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A very vigorous pour is only able to produce a two-finger thick, tan colored head in my 25cl tulip glass. It is fairly large bubbled, but doesn't melt instantly. The beer is an unnatural, completely clear, deep cherry red color that shows a rich, cranberry stained amber color when held up to the light. The aroma smells of sticky, candied hops and hot alcohol; candied orange zest, ruby-red grapefruit, lychee, concentrated tangelo and candied pine tips are accentuated by a thick, caramelized malt note. The finish has strong notes of pine sap and hemp oil to it. Somehow this smells very clean, almost lacking in complexity some how; there is a fair amount of malt noticeable in the nose, but it seems stripped of its character.

Quite sweet tasting, but it is not as sweet tasting as I was expecting this 13% beast to be. It is still fairly viscous and chewy, but it almost comes close to being like a good double IPA. Hop flavors dominate of course with concentrated citrus / fruit notes up front (lychee, bergamot oil, tangelo and apricot), but substantial herbal notes of pine and especially earthy hemp in the middle and finish. Alcohol provides some substantial warming notes to the finish that actually lingers on in the throat for quite some time after each sip. This is bitter, but not nearly as much as one might thing, the hop character really focuses more on the hop flavor notes than the bitter notes. The malt flavors play a removed, secondary role here (as they should), but do contribute ample caramelized malt sugar notes that help support the hop character. A touch of toasty, biscuit-like malt can also be found floating through the flavor profile.

Not bad, but not all that great either. This was certainly worth a try, but it really is too strong in alcohol, for me, to be an IPA. I do like that it is not overly heavy though, but it is still not something I want to drink more than a few ounces of. Still this is not bad in small doses.

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Photo of Cresant
3.5/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured this 12 oz. brown bottle with a green waxed cap into a Tripel Karmeliet glass. Minimal white head was ever generating. 3/4 inch beads of carbonation raced upwards, attaching themselves to the sides of the glass like little anchors. The body was a cloudy dull orange.

Smell was intense. Pine sap and fresh baked whole grain bread. Aroma became solvent-like as it warmed.

Taste was citrus, pithy grapefruit. Oily citrus skin bitterness. There was an intense sweetness as well but it deferred to the cranked-up citrus bitterness. It may sound as if I am complaining but I'm not, I really enjoy the citrusy bitterness of this style. The flavor of alcohol was more understated than in the aroma.

Mouthfeel was full bodied with an oily smoothness. Mild carbonation in the mouth. There is not mistaking--this is a big beer.

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Photo of aasher
3.5/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours somewhere in between murky amber and ruby red. The off white head quickly dissipated to lace the glass. The aromas are instantly sharp, bitter hops and fade to a sweet caramel malt. It's also features some sweet pine. The flavors are in your face hoppy and sweet. The malts taste like butterscotch and caramel, not two of my favorite flavors. The pine is ok but the sweetness dominates. It's like a 90 minute on steroids. The alcohol is also in your face and not well hidden at all. It's a little thick in body for an IPA and could be considered "chewy" for the style. To me this beer is too much. I don't like overly sweet IPAs and this is one sweet IPA. The alcohol is overly present and kind of overpowering. For what it's worth, I think that this beer is better on tap.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.5/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from a long ago trade or BIF.

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, with a few random bubbles over the cloudy coppery amber brew. Lacing was minimal, at best. Aroma consisted of musty grains and ample alcohol. Taste also exhibited the same dull malt flavor, with moderate hops character and alcohol warmth on the swallow. Mouthfeel is okay, as is drinkability, but just not exciting enough to meet the Double IPA style and/or make me ravished enough to search it out again. A rare miss for me from these guys.

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Photo of sween100
3.5/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Deep bronze beer with good amount of head. Has pine and citrus smells. Good mix of citrus and hops in its taste. Lots of hops and malt give this beer a good body. Can taste the hops as soon as it hits the tongue. Great beer that goes well with both food as well as on its own.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.5/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from khumbard. Thanks man!

The beer is murky, muddy, hazy, rusty orange. It looks thick even as it segues from the bottle to the pint glass. The head hangs out briefly before sinking into the abyss. The aroma is of pine, tree sap, resin, malt, candied citrus, and sugary fruits. The flavor brings more of the same. This drinks more like a hoppy American barleywine than a DIPA. It is a formidable brew, and though tasty, probably better shared. The feel is thick, syrupy, and sticky, with fairly low carbonation. While this isn't my bag, per se, it's well done. Worth a try.

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Photo of GJ40
3.51/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from a 12oz bottle at 50 degrees. There appears to be part of a date on the bottle neck but it's unreadable.

A - Dark golden to amber with a cloudy finish and a minimal white head. Pretty lifeless.

S - Very piney and somewhat boozy with a hint of citrus.

T - Very piney and earthy hops with a moderate bitterness and a firm kick of alcohol. At 12%, how could there not be.

M - Silky smooth with a low carbonation.

O - A big, bold beer (maybe too big and too bold). I guess it's just not my thing but it seems to focus on ABV over flavor.

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Photo of klikger
3.52/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle served in a tulip

A - Very dark amber in color and nontransparent. A small white head appeared after pouring, but quickly disappeared. Lacing makes a brief appearance, but falls back into the liquid in mere seconds.

S - Citrus, floral hops, honey, and sweet, woody malt.

T - Sugary malt up front with notes of dried apricot, wildflower, and bread. This is quite hot, and the alcohol flavor is almost medicinal, approaching cough syrup at times. The finish is a pleasant, slightly underwhelming, hop bitterness. I know the recipe - twice the hops, twice the malt vs. Crooked Tree - be that as it may, this is underhopped for my palate. Perhaps I've been spoiled by all of the west coast beers which I've had lately, but this is far more akin to a strong ale than a DIPA.

M - Medium-heavy, this gets slightly syrupy as it heats.

D - The high gravity and the alcohol's transparency limit its drinkability. This is meant to be sipped. Kudos to Dark Horse for putting this in 12 oz bottles instead of bombers.

To be honest, I was slightly let down by this. I'd heard people raving about it, and it didn't completely deliver for me. It's a well-made beer, and enjoyable, but it doesn't satisfy my hop craving like I thought it would. That said, give it a try for yourself. From what I've heard and read, there's a relatively high amount of variance in different people's reaction to this brew.

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Photo of Fargrow
3.52/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A: Cloudy, medium brown. Head is about 2 fingers with a white-cream color.

S: I actually smell a little cocoa and maltiness. Also some citrus and pine.

T: Really malty for a DIPA. Caramel but no distinguishable fruit for me. Definitely some alcohol in this one. That's really the only aftertaste. It overtakes the hop bite that should be there. In the after aftertaste, I'm left with a sweet grapefruit taste.

M: Medium bodied and smooth. Kinda fluffy.

O: I can see why it's not normal to double the malt with the hops in DIPAs. It would be really good with about 8% alcohol. I'm disappointed with this one, but I bought a 4 pack so we'll see how it ages.


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Photo of ibbjamin
3.53/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Paid $3.99 for a 12oz bottle from Discount Liquor in Milwaukee, WI. Poured into a snifter to review. 13.6% ABV, 98 IBU's.

3/4 inch off white head. Transparent when held to a bright light. Dark ruby brown in color. Little retention. Some falling strings of lace.

Citrus, grapefruit and alcohol with underlying malt.

Well balanced, full flavored taste. Some warming alcohol, malt and resinous hops all in nice harmony.

Full body. Mild carbonation. Long citrus hop aftertaste which becomes puckering after a while.

This one has a huge ABV which alone attracts attention. Reminds me somewhat of the 120 Minute. Have yet to be really impressed with Dark Horse.

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Photo of Yesac
3.53/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Courtesy of jwinship83 - thanks!

A- Murky copper color. Very small off-white head. Great even lacing on the glass.

S- Strong alcohol, slight hop aroma.

T- Surprisingly tasty and smooth. Sweet caramel and a overly powerful alcohol taste. Oh yea.. hops are in there somewhere. This is just an ABV bomb.. hard to pick up anything through it.

M- Smooth, slightly sticky. Thick bodied, little carbonation.

D- Drinks like a strong barleywine, the ABV is ridiculously present, however this brew is smooth but not complex.

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Photo of Bogforce
3.53/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This has to be one of the most extreme beers I have tried..

No bottling dating but I know it came out, acouple months ago? Maybe one month..

A: Probably the appearance I have ever seen, super soapy head that dies instantly, no lacing, and really just looks like crap literally.

S: Smell is pretty good, a slight sweet malt but not too much and some hops. Mainly citrus

T: A malty hoppy alcoholic punch to the face, wow. It's a good taste, I think fresh this thing could be great. The malt isn't too sweet and the hops seem to be very balancing.

M: With the high abv and being an IPA this thing really can't get better on the mouthfeel with age. So right now it's okay, definitely feel the alcohol.

O: This beer could be great fresh I bt, I am enoying as it is now but it's more like a barleywine than a double IPA.

Good beer

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.54/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: deep orange color. Fairly hazy and near opaque. A small off white head that fades to nothing.

Smell: citrus and pine hops blended with sweet crystal malts. Smells more sweet than hoppy.

Taste: lots of hops. Resin, citrus, light pine, floral. Little to no malt taste.

Mouthfeel: strong bitterness that lingers for a long time. Fairly light and no alcohol for 13%

Overall: a good dipa but left way behind by all the competition in my opinion. Also way off at on the price point.

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Photo of chinchill
3.55/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Beer Trappe (Lexington, KY).

Medium amber with excellent clarity and a large, bone-colored, durable head. Excellent coating of foam gets left on the glass.

Remarkably sweet up front, but there's a load of hops in here and it turns moderately bitter by the finish. Complex hop mix give off a mostly herbal and fruity aroma but are herbal, piney and floral in the mouth, and a bit earthy in the aftertaste. Some citrus too.

Feel: medium body and carbonation.

O: a hop bomb for hop heads, particularly if a lower level of bitterness is desired.

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Photo of AngryPenguinBrewCo
3.55/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Boozy malt bomb. Amber in color, definitely not a pale ale and at 12% Id consider this to be a triple not a double ipa. If you like scotch ales you will like this, somewhat similar to dogfishhead burton baton.

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Photo of brewerburgundy
3.55/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, Bruery tulip, no idea what the vintage is.

The look is really quite standard IPA, IIPA, or Bigfoot type Barleywine. With an immediate "oops" I poured a big slop of yeasticles, having forgotten how cloudy this was when I received it as a super thoughtful extra from Shango42, so I'm ignoring my own mistake. Still, a thin layer of fine yellowed bubbled formed up on top of a deeply hued orange beer.

I'm going to guess a more advanced age for this bottle. Treacle and a whole slew of caramelized sugars do a strong ale impression. Double Bastard, Brown Shugga? I thought I got a big whiff of tropical fruits when I popped the cap, but they are fleeting. Candied orange peel, orange liqueur, and something more exotic are still around.

It's very sweet, but hugely bitter and that hits you not all that far into the sip. Kind of sugary at first, brown sugar, and then wham! Candied orange turns to bitter orange peel and tobacco centralizing to a numbing lump of hop bitterness. Slightly tannic, as over steeped black tea is. There may even be a little oxidation in there.

The texture is really quite balanced. More carbonation might be appreciated, but for the age I'm guessing, not bad. Moderate-low carb with what you can tell is just the body of a big beer.

Double Crooked Tree is not quite what I expected. It's my belief that this bottle was old enough to have lost nearly all the hop aromas and flavors; one, two years? It is amazing how well the alcohol stays hidden. You can tell it's there, but I'd probably have guessed cold that it was closer to 9%, or less. I would still love to try the fresh product, but thank you very much Craig.

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Photo of rpstevens
3.55/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to abbddull for this awesome extra, I have been looking forward to trying this brew for a little while.

This beer pours a dark brown/burnt orange color with a small white head. Not very appealing to look at honestly.

The smell is some pine and grapefruit but the hops are overpowered by the malty sweetness and alcohol, much like a DFH 90.

This beer starts all liquoury sweet and the hops and grapefruit don't show up until the very end of the sip, a little disappointing. With such a high IBU I was kind of hoping to smacked with hop flavor.

The beer is well carbonated and goes down pretty smooth for a 13.6%, but it's not anything I could drink more than one of in a sitting.

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Dark Horse Double Crooked Tree IPA from Dark Horse Brewing Company
4.12 out of 5 based on 2,793 ratings.
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