Dark Horse Crooked Tree IPA | Dark Horse Brewing Company

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very good
909 Reviews
Dark Horse Crooked Tree IPADark Horse Crooked Tree IPA

Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by xlperro on 08-10-2002

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Reviews: 909 | Ratings: 3,149
Photo of cdkrenz
3.67/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Extremely hazy orange color. Light can barley get through this cloudy brew. The head is minimal but is a very pale tan. It does maintain a bit more than a trace of head as it sits waiting to be consumed.

Smell - Citrus aroma but the hops are the real deal. The scent is begging a sip.

Taste - This brew is filled with hops. It starts out smooth and slowly gains more and more strength and oomph as each gulp is swallowed.

Mouthfeel - Unlike most hoppy brews this one somehow maintains a wetness usually not characteristic of any of an IPA.

~ This hop filled beer is one to be reckoned with. I certainly recommend anyone that likes strong hop filled and tasty beer give the Crooked Tree a shot.

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Photo of JustinOSU99
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: An Orangish-Copper color with very little head..Seems similar to a lot of IPA's.

S: Grapefruit and floral smells dominate up front. Definite hoppyness also catches the nose. Smells like a nice one.

T: Different than IPA's I've had recently. Has hints of a darker ale, which helps bring the hop out in a different manor than other IPA's.

M: A little heavy for this type of beer, but sits in the mouth nice and feels smooth over the tongue.

D: Could have maybe one or two of these, but it would be worth it to include one any time you can!

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Photo of klewis
3.65/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A careful pour reveals a hazy rust copper color with quite a lot of large, suspended particulate. A big foamy head with good sustain leaves plenty of lacing.

S: Vegetal and citric hop aromas. Fine and average.

T: A prominently piney and grassy hop taste. A slight earthy, oak character adds a bit of depth.

M: Moderate body and carbonation. Quite dry with a lingering bitterness.

D: Overall, quite nice and an easily drinkable IPA. Not outstnading, but worth buying again.

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Photo of BeaBeerWife
3.15/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Orange IPA with a fair amount of bottle condition yeast that stirs and suspends easily. Aroma is so-so for an IPA, strong citrus tones overall in the drink. Nice but leaves me wanting a stronger american ipa. Would really like to try this one on draught.

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Photo of HardTarget
2.84/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle Inspection: Simple cartoon looking tree, no information at all.

Aroma: Slightly worty malt base spiked with a floral grassy hop perfume with a hint of tea.

Appearance: Thick flakes of… something make the rounds in a dark cloudy orange glass. Solid finger of meringue head laces heavily. Flakes are dark, they don’t look like protein coagulation, a bit disturbing. As the head settles, there are dark particulates suspended in it like dirty snow.

Flavor: Heavy bittering hop, firm tea flavor, mild malt base. There’s a heavy orange peel element and some earthy tea flavors that make me think English hops. As it warms up a bit, some of the worty under-attenuated malt flavor comes out.

Mouthfeel: Heavy carbonation, over carbonated really, medium body, fairly clean finish.

Overall Impression: Too many off elements here to really enjoy this one. The unidentified floating objects don’t help, the dark dusting in the head is a new one for me, the heavy use of bittering hops rather than flavor or aroma hops is counter to the way I prefer my IPAs, and the English rather than American IPA profile has me confused.
Looking at other reviews, it’s possible I got a bad bottle, but no date on the label has me wondering if it is possibly old. In my book, no date = brewer takes the hit. It’s sad, after all that, the basic flavor is pretty good, but everything else really brought down my score.

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Photo of Gehrig
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first taste of the highly touted Dark Horse, Crooked Tree is a terrific start, a hopped-up IPA with vibrant flavors. I was impressed with Crooked Tree from the beginning, with its two-finger head of white froth topping a very cloudy orange body. The smell was full of hops as well as fruit, with orange, lemon, and grapefruit arising from the hops. Excellent taste--lots of hops, fruit, and some pine and mint to boot. As if that weren't good enough, the carbonation was effervescent but not obstreperous, making this IPA highly drinkable.

This last part is significant, since the heavily hopped beer might be too much for some. It's a crisp-tasting IPA, but heavier on the hops than most straight-up IPAs. In fact, I had to double-check to make sure that this was not a Double IPA.

Quite impressive, and one I'll be sure to try again and again. Dark Horse is officially on my radar. Excellent stuff.

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Photo of calsbeek
3.61/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. Poured a cloudy orange at cellar temps into a tulip...left the sediment in the bottle.

S. Fresh citrus, earthy tangerine. Very Nice

T. Ehh (with a wobble of an open hand). One dimensional taste with little malt to back the hops. Not much bitterness behind the earthy hop flavor.

M. A little full bodied for a beer with this hop character but it works. My humble opinion is that this should have been mashed at a lower temp. Good carbonation. Rich on the tongue.

D. Nice session beer. No harsh flavors but nothing exceptional here either. I'd call it a low brow craft beer if there is such a thing.

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Photo of plaztikjezuz
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a hazy bright coppery color with orangish highlights, nice thick dense head, that leaves a coating of foam on its way down.
the aroma is very hoppy, with a firm malt backbone, citrus, peaches, and fresh baked bread.
the flavor is up front malty with a firm bitterness, hint of citrus, herbal, and very easy drinking, there is a lingering spice on my tongue.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
4.42/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle a very cloudy apricot color with a creamy white head and lacing which fully enveloped the inside of the glass.

Aroma was heavy with hops, both grapefruity citrus and pine and a touch of malt.

Taste is sharp and zingy with lots of citrusy hops and a nice malty finish.

Medium mouthfeel with a zippy carbonation.

This is a really nice American IPA. Full of personality in the same way as a Bell's Two Hearted. This is a beer to enjoy for sure.

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Photo of cameraman
4.32/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A medium amber color with a quater inch, off white head colored head forming on top. It shows tremendous retention. A strong citrus scent dominates the fragrance, folowed by the aroma of grass and pine, folowed by the faint scent of malt at the end. The malt comes out in the flavor at the start, it then gradually blends itself to some intense hop flavors. Those flavors start with grapefruit which is the most dominate, with touches of grass and pine, and it finshes with tobbaco taste. A slightly watery feel at the front, as it rolls across the palate it gains some weight, to become more medium to maybe full bodied. There is the ever so slight tingle of carbonation at the end. This is a very good IPA, an easy sipping beer. A strong aroma and intense flavor not only makes this an excellent choice for an IPA. It would make an excellent session beer, with only 6% ABV.

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Photo of 1fastz28
4.32/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a very very cloudy light brown color, probably the cloudiest ipa i've ever had, lots of sediment in the beer, very hefe like.

smell is hoppy,(duh) piney hops are the most prevelant, taste is a hoppy/bitterness mixture, not to strong, but not to weak a nice mixture...

mouthfeel and drinkability ar egood too

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Photo of franksnbeans
4.17/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a ruddy tangerine with visible sediment and a frothy tan head that dies slow. Lacing occurs in full sheets all around the glass. Smells nice and citrusy with mean hops and a little yeast and malt. This is mean at the start with a rindy hop bite followed by a pure balance of yeasty sweet malt. Best of both worlds. Medium in the mouth and drinkable but DIPA like.

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Photo of grub
3.92/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

got this one from BlackAngus as part of BC2. thanks josh!

12oz bottle.

pours reddish orange with just a wisp of off-white head. spotty lace.

aroma is great. grapefruit and pine. light orange and tangerine sweetness. bit of alcohol. bready malt. slightly floral. lightly toasted biscuit hiding in the background.

taste is good. medium bitterness level. alcohol. resinous pine and grapefruit hops. bread and biscuit malt. bit of orange.

mouthfeel is good. medium-low carbonation level. medium body. the resinous bitterness has a clinging long-lasting mouthfeel.

drinkability is good. well balanced, with great interplay between the alcohol, bitterness, and malt.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks go out to hoppymeal for this one.

Pours a hazy, burnt orange color with a sold, white head. Lots of lacing as the beer is consumed. Little bits of yeasties floating around due to a somewhat aggressive pour. Average head retention.

Aromas were citrusy hops. Lemons and grapefruits are the predominant aromas here. Decent malt backbone to back up the aggressive hopping. A little disappointed in the aroma, but certainly nothing too bad.

Nice flavor profile. Malts greet the palate followed by some great hop bitterness. Just on the edge of the bitterness cliff. A little more and this would be a little over the top. I would have liked some more caramel malts to back up the hoppiness.

Mouthfeel is barely medium bodied and dry in the finish. A pretty good beer overall.

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a 12 oz. bottle going into the workhorse Abita Beer pint glass. Label on this bottle looks slightly different from the photo, with the 'Dark Horse' logo now floating above a slightly smaller 'Crooked Tree'. This one has a story behind it: it was 'heroically' rescued by Metalmonk, a seemingly forgotten 'extra' in the depths of a saved shipping box. Thanks to the person who sent (guesses are: jpm30 or grynder33) and to Jeff for being an upstanding individual and not including it in his Oregon bounty, though he easily could have... :) On to the tasting...

A: Thick, murky sienna brown/orange- definitely bottle-conditioned. Bits of floating detritus and a granular scum on the bottom. Held to a light, I can see carbonation rising in the chunky depths. Head is nice: a bit over a finger of sandy tan creaminess, leaving nice bands of splotchy lace.

S: Lots of toasted grain, some earthy and herbal-smelling hopping, with scant pine and tart orange-citrus. An unusual but pleasing 'tea' smell - yes, brewed black tea - in the fading finish.

T: Zesty oranges and a bit of tart lemon, somewhat grassy with a chewy caramel/grain backing. Nothing terribly sweet or overly bitter, just a well-crafted, good-tasting IPA that says 'American' but resembles 'English' in its restraint and balance.

M: Fairly creamy mouthfeel, straightforward 'medium' body. malted grain sticking on the finish gets a little gummy; neither hop bitterness or toasted grain lingers, leaving a finish that's neither hoppy/bitter nor sweeter malt. Maybe that's a sign of a good IPA, but here it seems somewhat vague...

D: A credible IPA that I'd like to have again. Without a date on the bottle, my assumption is that this is still good (while maybe not at its freshness peak), despite hiding at the bottom of a box for a couple months. Nice balance; good, but far from dominating, hoppiness; nice aroma. Recommended.

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Photo of berserker256
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy and orangey with a nice lasting thick head. Heavy aroma of hops, pine, and a little bit of citrus and sour dish rag. I'm not a huge fan of I.P.A.s but I have to consider how this beer tastes for the style. And for the style it's an excellent example. It's what an I.P.A. is supposed to be. Heavy on the hops, some pine tree, and a bitter aftertaste. Not too thick and not too thin. Good feel. Good beer.

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Photo of Bighuge
3.56/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one murky looking IPA. I like it. Thick and dirty looking. Muddled butternut squash tone. Thin ivory white head leaves little lace. Nice mix on the nose of piney hop tones and sugary maltiness. Could use more on the hop side of the equation with regards to the nose. Nice balance of flavors, but not much with regards to the bright hoppy tones I like. Sugary caramel malt tones with a spattering of piney, reinous hoppiness. Bitterness lingers, as it should, but is a little rough around the edges. Medium-full body. Light prick of carbonation. Decent beer.

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Photo of bashiba
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice hazy dark copper with a thick full head, good lacing, moderate retention.

Smell is nice and hoppy with a good citrusy grapefruit quality.

Flavor has a nice bit of toasted malt, but is quickly overpowered by the strong grapefruity hops.

Mouthfeel has nice carbonation and good body with a heavy oily tongue coating.

Very Drinkable and tasty, a very solid IPA.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.14/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark Horse Crooked Tree IPA. 12 ounce brown bottle. Odd looking label art, slightly askew and off-kilter, like many of their others.

Hazed orange appearance, small white head, soon gone.

Intense aromatics, out loud and proud! Huge grapefruit citric notes, big pithyorange and lemon peel, slice of pineapple, fresh, vibrant, even pungent, and lively. Lovely stuff.

Fat mouthfeel, plump and abundant with flavor, but it fades back after such a shining promise. Tasty hops. Persistent bright orange flavor never flags, big, bristling bitter buzz playing on the palate.

Little malt in action here.
Nice hop action, but, yet not quite enough, there's a certain spark missing that could push it to another place.

However, I do like this. I could possibly learn to really like it.

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Photo of zdk9
4.57/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours out a cloudy orange with lots of sediment in the bottom of the bottle (didn't expect that). A finger of puffy white head lingers for a while and leaves sheets of white lacing.

S- A delicious and strong whiff of hops- grapefruit, flesh only, not pith; blood orange; a touch of evergreen.

T- Hops forward in the taste as well. A little more pithy though in the taste, and without the orange. There is a good amount of carmel too which didn't come out in the smell. I like the balance.

M- Bitterness is strong on the sides of the tongue. Creamy but also more carbonated than expected. Do I like the tingling? It's interesting, I might prefer more mouth coating, but it does relieve the bitterness which I like...the verdict isn't out yet, but hopefully that's enough info to decide for yourself.

D- I'm loving the hops profile on this one. I really enjoying the taste on this one. The mouthfeel is great. Delicious- initially the bitterness was harsh for me, but as the beer warms up (along with the hightened carbonation) it becomes a delicious silky mess.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.42/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Coppery apricot with an impressive cloud of particulates in suspended animation. The final pour results in an opacity that is as light-rejecting as any stout you'd care to name. The cap is pastel orange-ecru in color and develops a mesa of melted foam as it departs. Thin rings and larger chunks of lace appear on the glass.

The aroma is impressively 'West Coast' hoppy, just like the brewers intended. It may not be quite as explosive as some, but it does open up nicely with warming. Eventually, bursting bushel basketfuls of grapefruits, oranges and pine cones greet my nose with each sniff.

Crooked Tree IPA is my kind of IPA. It has the flavor profile that I love, a near perfect malt:hop balance and tons of drinkability. I wish more brewers would keep the ABVs on their IPAs on the low end so that hopheads could get satisfaction over the course of several bottles without inebriation becoming a factor. Dark Horse has done a very nice job with this one.

There isn't an abundant amount of malt. What's present adds a light sugary sweetness, along with a 'just right' amount of melted toffee candy. The American hops (natch) are the stars of the show. White grapefruit rind, lemon pith, orange peel and a significant amount of spruce sap wash over my taste buds and make them very happy indeed.

I have no idea how old this bottle is. It tastes fairly fresh to me, but I can easily imagine a brand spankin' new Crooked Tree ripping the top layer off my tongue like this one doesn't quite do. It's still damn good and is disappearing in a big hurry.

The mouthfeel was designed for speed (of consumption), but is still pleasurable from a tactile point of view. It's medium for the style, with a rounded smoothness that comes dangerously close to silky. A perfect (read: restrained) amount of carbonation doesn't hurt.

Most of my Dark Horse experience prior to today had to do with their excellent Holiday Stout Series. Crooked Tree IPA shows that they know what the hell they're doing when it comes to hoppy beer as well. I continue to maintain that the Midwest does hops as well as California and the Pacific Northwest. Let's see... Surly Furious, Three Floyds Dreadnaught (and Alpha King and Alpha Klaus), Bell's Two Hearted and HopSlam, Town Hall Masala Mama and Fresh Hop, Tyranena Bitter Woman... and on and on and on.

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Photo of malibujohnny
3.66/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours in my pint glass to a very cloudy amber haze.Small lacing ring left after the pour and stays throughout.Some bubbles creep up from the bottom durring the drinking.Smells of fresh cut grass and slightly rotted fruit.I got the maltness and the hops but...I think the cloudiess of the beer takes away from the taste and flavour it could have.In the mouth it is great,but unfortunatly it only lastes awhile as the aftertaste is a bit too dry and chalky.Overall not a bad beer,as i'm a hophead and will get this again.

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Photo of dfried
3.97/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep pale orange in color, cloudy with a lot of sediment floating around, off white head settles as a film. A lot of citrusy hops jump out of the aroma, orange slices, grapefruit, and tangerines, with a few piney and floral notes. Some toasted grains and biscuity malt are there too. The taste had a tart, resinous edge and was a bit chalky due to the sediment up front. A lot of citrusy hop flavors are there again, mainly orange and grapefruit. Make no mistake this is a hoppy IPA, but some of the rich toasted, biscuity malt does make itself known. From the hops and the malt there are some apple/pear like flavors that show up, similar to an amber.

Overall: this was an alright IPA, kind of middle of the road to me, which was kind of a let down considering a six-pack is $10 here in Minnesota. Very much an American IPA with all of the citrusy hops, but it was a bit maltier and biscuitier than most. I felt it was more like an ambers malt profile.

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Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle

A-Nice brilliant copper body. Dense, light and sticky head that goes nowhere. If I hadn't accidentally poured extra sediment, it would have been very clear.

S-Big punch of grassy hops. Very fresh and crisp.

T-Hop bitterness from start to finish with a decent malt backbone. Hops are a bit gritty, but nice and dry. The body is very full and filling. The abv is difficult to detect. Heavy hop resin aftertaste.

D-Easy drinking with enough hop impact to satisfy any hophead. For not being a Double IPA, this one has tons of flavor and body. Very nice IPA!

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Photo of box299
2.62/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

To be honest I only had one bottle...
The Color was murky for sure... a Murky Yellow/Orange... Not what I expected from an IPA.
The smell was kind of sour and that is what really turned me off. The taste was as I might expect... a little Murky and Sour!
Half way though the Glass I noticed what I thought I left in the bottle... Floating Sediment. Down the Drain it went.
With the high ratings this site gives this beer I am planning to give it another shot... I will update if I have a different experience...

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Dark Horse Crooked Tree IPA from Dark Horse Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 909 ratings.
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