Diabolical India Pale Ale | North Peak Brewing Company

155 Reviews
Diabolical India Pale AleDiabolical India Pale Ale

Brewed by:
North Peak Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.66%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kegger22 on 12-20-2009

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Reviews: 155 | Ratings: 514
Photo of LiverDonor
5/5  rDev +37.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm not even going to do a standard review here because words can't describe how delicious and perfectly balanced this beer is in nearly every way. You just HAVE to try it! It's everything a great beer should be and I'm extremely impressed that the little North Peak brewery has managed to make something so fantastical, so monstrous in flavor. Yet so refined and so drinkable.

Traditionally, I've always been more of a "malt-head" than a "hop-head". Early this year I started trying many various IPAs and hoppy brews to expand my horizons. When I had Nugget Nectar, Hop Stoopid, and Hop Wallop for the first time, I truly understood this hop craze that's taken the nation by storm. I've since tried about 50+ different IPAs and hop-heavy beers, some of them insanely too expensive for my pockets but amazingly, the Diabolical IPA has been my "Holy Hoppy Grail" so far. I keep going back to it and look forward to trying it on-tap someday soon.

This one now has a permanent parking pass in my fridge.

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Photo of boyfromthenorth
5/5  rDev +37.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm telling you - watch out for this brewery. Up and down for the first year of their young life. Sometimes this beer was as good as Two Hearted but other times blah. I buy this at least a few times a month and the last two months this has been unreal. If you have had it prior to December it is a total crapshoot on whether the beer will be good or not . Try it since then and crazy good. They have the stuff together. Hop Aroma (Late January the most pronounced) not cause its new but because they are doing something different, is amazing. Hop flavor is so smooth and consistent in your mouth. Like a hop blossom that slowing melts throughout your sip. Crazy cool logo, sweet bottle and the nectar inside is what it should have always been- Awesome.

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Photo of BradDurbin89
4.75/5  rDev +30.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Standard pour with a nice 2 finger white head. Nice dark orange/amber color.

Nice earthy hop nose and bitterness. Pine, light citrus, and a touch of caramel.

Great bitterness and really well balanced beer. I tasted some caramel and piney notes, and really, really enjoyed the balance across my mouth.

Great mouth feel with medium carbonation and a hint of cream.

Wonderful drinkability. Nice crisp and dryness. I could have more than one of these.

Overall, this is a great beer. It is very well balanced IPA and I look forward to enjoying more.

I have to admit, I tried this beer earlier in the year and this one is better. It is a fantastic IPA!

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Photo of EmGM
4.47/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: yellow gold
Smell: hoppy
Taste: can taste the hops but it's a lighter hop than others tried. Light citrus notes, tasted a touch of caramel
Aftertaste: not a bad aftertaste, the hops linger a little
Overall: not bad, i would have it again.

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Photo of beermeblazer99
4.44/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I combined it with a strain of agent orange and enjoyed a quality evening. With the first sip the hops bounce upon the pallet like rain upon a still lake. Bitter tones tinge the tongue as the amber wave rushes down to cool the throat and soothe one's thirst.

Initially, the brew gives off a crisp, hoppy aroma, which is replicated on the pallet when sipped. While many American IPAs lack a little zest, however, Diabolical India Pale Ale maintains a robust, unique flavor with a rather "drinkable" composition (I detest this adjectival description). Drinking the Diabolical conjures picturesque images of a cool, sunny evening on a dock on the Grand Traverse Bay; truly gifting the drinker with all the subtle nuances of a perfect evening in beautiful Northern Michigan.

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Photo of Korbynlehr
4.43/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep color color with a little head that is off white this dissipates quickly. The nose is not too heavy with hops, but at first drink you can taste the little bunches of hop goodness and from that pint forward I could smell them. The taste is light, almost just a hint of pine resin.

Good Beer for sure.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours brilliant deep amber under a 3” fluffy white foam collar that grips the side of the glass.
S: Malt and earthy herbal hop aromas
T: Features a balanced interaction of rich hops and malt with a lingering bitter aftertaste. Melon and biscuit. A little drying in the after taste from the hops.
F: Medium body and carbonation, very soft in the mouth.
O: A full flavored India Pale Ale.

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Photo of Beerdanza
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm drinking out of the bottle, because it's summertime and drinking beer from a stubbie is a summertime activity. Anyway, I will pour one out and tell you how it looks and such.

Poured into a chilled beer mug. Lot's of cream colored foam. The color is a lovely orangey amber, slightly cloudy. Looks like an IPA. Smells faintly of hops, but it's very subtle when poured. In the bottle it smells of flowers and alcohol. Perfect. The head is hanging around nicely as I drink it. Overall the look and smell are very refreshing and satisfying.

The mouthfeel is very substantial. It slides over your tongue and lingers there. Definitely not a light beer. Chewy and satisfying.

The taste is fantastic. Nice bitterness from the hops, and a nice dose of the flowery, resinous flavor I like from hops. The sweetness of the malt balances well with the bitterness, but it's a very subtle maltiness. Not complex, which I enjoy on a warm summer day. The bitter and sweet flavors combine in each sip and neither overwhelms. This beer manages to be both interesting and exciting, and refreshing and subtle at the same time. Be careful! You can put down many of these in a sitting, and the proclaimed 6.66% ABV will kick your butt.

Overall, this is one of my all time favorite summer beers. It's refreshing, and flavorful, and substantial.

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Photo of hosehead83
4.23/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.5 oz. "stubby" bottle into a dimpled English "pot" pint glass.
Burnt-orange in color, with a nice billowy head of foam
Aroma-Subtle citrus and hops
Taste-Grapefruit and hops with a balancing malt backbone-A bit of honey sweetness mixed with a long, lingering bitterness in the finish.
Tasty, snappy, North Coast IPA, with a "diabolocal" ABV of 6.66! Enjoy, while it wards off evil spirits-like work.

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Photo of kegger22
4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

North Peak Diabolical is a hazy, dark amber with a one finger head that fades to a thin skin covering. The aroma is great, that sweet grapefruit smell that I so closely associate with IPA's. The taste is not bad, but leaves a little to be desired. Not as balanced as I would have hoped, it's more bitter, less sweet. Still, the bitterness is not of the mouth-puckering variety, just a lingering after taste. North Coast is very close to having this right, just a bit more malt (I rate somewhere between 3.5 and 4.0). Mouth feel is closer to medium bodied than full, carbonation is sufficient. Drinkability is good, I'd have another.

If the balance between malt and hops was a little bit better, this could easily be a "go to" IPA. As it is, Diabolical is quite respectable. (Note: as Diabolical warmed, the malt come to the forefront, still a little lightly but improved.)

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Photo of tubacharlie
4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A frothy, four-finger head slowly settles down to a quarter inch carpet of silky, cream-colored foam with a multitude of bubble dimensions, leaving sticky trailers along the side of the half liter glass mug. The muddy, orange-brown ale is dense and somewhat translucent when held to the light.

Smells like fresh green grapes for some reason, with other citrus notes and a good dose of flowery hop aroma. First sip reveals solid grain bill with good depth of character accented by bright hops. Not as bitter as expected, with a mellow mouthfeel and nicely tapered aftertaste lingering on the tongue. Plenty of flavor and easy to drink, with a nice citrus tang.

Great Lakes whitefish, planked and potato-crusted, comes to mind as a good pairing.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a teku)
A-This beer pours a hazy deep tangerine body with a yellow hue to the white head that fades to a sticky film.

S- The soft green hops has a light toast hint that comes through as it opens. The hops take on a green cinnamon note in the finish.

T- The juicy green hops takes on a pine resin flavor in the finish with a nice full pale malt support and some unripe citrus hops lingering with just a touch of bitterness after the dry finish.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a gentle fizz to support the hops.

O- This is a nice solid IPA with a full hops profile and some good depth with the malt holding its own.

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Photo of Bitter_Echo
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks like them all, dark and orange and tannic with a bit of haze. I slipped this in the glass, so no clue on that either, and you know, sometimes I really don't care, but some persistent foam and extensive continents of lacing. Smells really malt forward but also floral and pine and northern outdoors and cool, and some fresh hop aromas. Taste is citrus rind forward, with some gymno-notes (piney stuff), and really strong in the fresh bottle. Mouthfeel is really active, and scrubbing, and refreshing and alive and all that, and but also a bit of syrup with alcohol flavors too, but not too much of a distraction. I think this is a very good to very good IPA when fresh. I had earlier tried, what probably was a bottle long on inventory and may have been stale.

(This is a revision of a previous review)

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Photo of GordonQuid
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a stubby 11.5 oz bottle into a Spider Lake Pub Mug whilst over looking the lake in all it's summer splendor.

Clear orange-gold with a rocky one inch head, thick lace. Very inviting.

Smells of caramel malts, noble-spicey hops and citrus rinds freshly ground.

Taste is a smooth spicey collaboration of noble and high alpha hops blende with caramel and honey malts. Smooth as hell and delisciously refreshing on a hot day. A good session beer at the Diabolical percet of alcohol 6.66%; clever chemistry.

This brew reminds me of a Great Lakes Commadore Perry with less of grain bill. Lighter and more quaffable. Cheers!

Seek this one out when in Traverse City!

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Photo of Natural510
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz stubby bottle, dated Dec 22 2010.

Pours a hazy, pale orange-amber with a half-inch of creamy off-white foam.
The nose is sweet & fruity reminiscent of tangerine and blood orange.
Sweet citric apricot and tangerine flavor right up front, with a juicy, rind-like bent. Citrus is met with tea leaf and pine notes from the hops. Sweet, sour and bitter in the finish. The elements blend and balance well together.
Body in-line with the style, lightly creamy and astringent in the mouth.

I quite enjoyed this IPA. Tropical IPAs seem to be the rage right now, especially in this area, and I haven't found a bad one yet.
Looking to try more from this small brewery (and its reused Red Stripe bottles!)

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Photo of Kelly88
4.17/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Fries Cafe. Served in a Good ole pint glass.

A- I would call this beer rubyish orange. The initial glowing white head disappeares to the thinnest ivory head I have seen. Cloudy and murky means yummy hops.

S- s fantastic mixture of grapefruit hops with toffee / caramel hops creates a nice mixture of scents to be explored.

T- juicy fruity hops take control and then sweet hops and malt steal the show to guide You to happiness.

M- about perfect for an ipa. Nice and crisp but encompasses the whole mouth. Really nice.

Overall a wonderful beer. If I saw this beer regularly I would get it. Great balance but also a very hop forward taste. If You like ipas, get this beer

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Photo of carlborch
4.13/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich golden pour with a 2-inch white-gold, creamy head. Forward hops in the nose. Some sweetness and citrus (pith?) as well. Medium-full body with dramatic bitter hop notes enveloping the palate. Nice, long, lingering hops and resin in the finish. Some tropical fruits in the background. Belgian lace does form. This IPA is moreish. While the ABV is 6.6, it is not evident. I am not certain what makes it diabolical! Tasty, bright, well-made IPA. I will return for one of these.

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Photo of DannyDan
4.11/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An amber color with a thin white heaf that has good retention and very good lacing. The nose is the hops and some grains. The taste starts out with some grapefruit followed by some floral and pine hops, The aftertaste is a mix of grapefruit and pine. The mouthfeel is smooth, but also semi-dry on the tongue and cheeks. Overall this is a rather nice and very hoppy IPA that has a nice flavor that stays with you from the first sip to the last. Highly recommended.

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Photo of StoutHunter
4.08/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I picked up a single of this at the Lager Mill for $1.99. I tried Furry a couple months ago and I really liked it, so when I saw another North Peak offering on the shelf I knew I should try it. Bottled November 30th 2010. Poured from a 11.5oz stubby brown bottle into a pint glass.

A- Nice old school look to these bottles, I also like the name, first furry, then diabolical, whats next? This beer poured a nice amber/copper color with three fingers worth of nice fluffy white head that left lots of nice lacing.

S- The aroma is a nice mix of sweet malts and fruity hops, mainly grapefruit with a little bit of mango and some pine at the end.

T- At first I get a good amount of mango that blends into some grapefruit with a touch of pine, pretty similar to the aroma just in a different order. The sweet malts provide a nice backbone for this beer. It has a nice bitter finish that doesn't stick around too long.

M- Medium bodied, crisp, and perfect carbonation.

Overall this was a good IPA, I pretty much liked everything about it. The hops imparted a nice flavor of a mix of tropical fruits and thats what stuck out the most about this brew. It had a good malt backbone to balance out the hops and did not come off as overly bitter. When I tried Furry I liked it alot and it made me want to try more North Peak beers, and this beer makes them two for two in my book. I would buy this again and would love to try more beers from this brewery. I wonder what else they have in their bag of tricks besides kick ass IPA's.

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Photo of Lauthaha
4.08/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hahahaha, I get it...6.66%...Diabolical...priceless.

Poured from an 11.5 ounce bottle into a beer mug.

Appearance: Beer is a light-copper color with almost no carbonation visible whatsoever. Head is super-foamy, leaving very light wispy lacing as it recedes. Dimpled all over. Cute.

Smell: Slightly above-average for an AIPA. A light floral hop vibe along with a gently toasted malt backbone; but not a great deal of power in this area. I was kinda hoping it'd be a touch stronger. Let's see how she fares.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Very original for an AIPA! Beer goes in gently, and foams up about medium-softly. Taste is slightly nutty, with a big emphasis on spices! Nutmeg, light cinnamon, maybe even a dash of anise...and then the gentle, floral bouquet coming back around to pull this beer together. Finishes smooth, rinses marginally clean, and leaves a soft, subtle and sweet reminder in the back of your throat. Surprisingly refreshing!

Overall: Don't know if I would have called this "Diabolical." It's angelic. Really good beer here from a previously unheard of (by me) brewery. Kudos!

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.06/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.5 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint. No date or info.

A - The floating sediment in the stubby RedStripe bottle makes it into the golden dirty pumpkin-orange beer giving it small specks of haze. That still doesn't take away from the outrageous plume of carbonation rising to the bone-colored, three-fingered head. Fantastic retention and rocky, dense lace cling mercilessly to the glass!

S - American hop aroma pours from this beer. Tons of well-balanced pine needle and citrusy grapefruit rind eventually mellow out and find their place sharing the spotlight with delicious smelling toasted caramel malts and a dab of raw honey. As it warms, and interesting but nice and unique touch of spice, like pumpkin ale nutmeg, pokes out. It's different and well-balanced.

T - The light touch of nutmeg and pumpkin spice hits the tongue right away which throws me off slightly. Nonetheless, Diabolical moves into a semi-hoppy, more so bitter, strong malt body. Lots of toasted caramel malt overpowers the actual hop flavor just a bit but the finish is wholly hops in bitterness.

M - With an evil little twist to it, Diabolical starts demolishing the palate with delicious bitter hops. Surprising at firs, it mellows out quite a bit towards the end but continues to be dry. Even with a large plume of carbonation in the beer, it remains rather tame in carbonation feel going down, which makes this medium-bodied IPA generally soft and smooth.

D - It took me by surprise at first which I like. Diabolical is a well-balanced IPA that drinks as well as it smells and tastes. It's always nice to grab an unknown beer like this only to find out it's a gem that was worth getting.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.04/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle while at Jolly Pumpkin brewpub. Pours a light golden color with a big frothy head, lots of fluff and bubbles. Aroma is mostly pine bitter, some light grass. Flavor is a floral pine on the palate, some nice bitterness, and a clean crisp dry finish. Slightly dry mouthfeel, plenty of carbonation, and pretty easy drinking. A very nice, easy to find brew.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep copper slightly clouded color pouring with a thick off white khaki tan head forms fine even lacing layers between sips. Aroma is big on the citrus lemon/lime notes really light and not so piney or caramel induced in the nose more of a light biscuit malt profile with some attitude. Flavor is pretty nice juicy earthy/citric hop contents with a nice malt layer breadiness/yeast/and nice welcoming layers of juicy fruit. Makes me salivate a bit between sips, don't mind this at all. Solid Michigan IPA not the top of the hops but it's up there as a solid player. By the way this Diabolical IPA gets style points for having the jackelope on the label. Half jack rabbit half antelope. Drinks way too smooth with a touch of hops and alcohol in the finish, candied hops with sugar coated hops even carbonation as a whole this beer stands up on it's own. Compared to other standby IPAs it's got some work to do, I'd much rather indulge in Two Hearted or Centennial IPA without thinking about it.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

amber with a nice one inch head that formed on top. Decent retention left behind a nice quarter inch layer of sticky lace behind.

Nice citrus/pine blend of aromas balanced against a sugary grain back. Good balance between the two actually. The level of the aroma was also quite decent as it was not hard to pick up or discern between the different smells. orange peel like bitterness that hit pretty quick in the front. Once you moved past that a touch of lemon perhaps, pineapple or grapefruit started to shine through and mixed in with more of a fresh cut grass. A touch of earthen like malted grains balanced out with a candy like sugar. Very nice, not too bitter or overall hoppy on this one, just a nice well balanced IPA.

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Photo of Brent
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Too bad there is not a category for style points - when I first saw the beer, I assumed it would be a Belgian strong pale ale, playing on the customary devil/demonic theme (i.e. Duvel). I was surprised to see it was an IPA, but 66.6 IBU's and 6.66% abv - clever.

Up front a firm bite of hops grabs hold, with some raw hops oil at the edges and an herbacious character. Nicely balanced malt with a touch of toast. Finish is just slightly rough, but not enough to be a problem.

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Diabolical India Pale Ale from North Peak Brewing Company
3.64 out of 5 based on 514 ratings.
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