Dream Crusher
Deep Ellum Brewing Company

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American Imperial IPA
Ranked #1,058
Ranked #3,956
4.09 | pDev: 11.25%
Deep Ellum Brewing Company
Texas, United States
Notes: 2x (Double) Rye IPA

A quantum leap beyond our IPA, with rye, of course.

It’s no secret, at DEBC, we’re fond of hops. Citrusy, piney, floral and fruity hops are at least a third of the reason we got ourselves into this whole adventure. Hops may be the current ruler of the craft beer scene, and we, for one, welcome our resinous, spicy, bitter overlords. We’ve taken the IPA category to its Event Horizon, and pulled back just enough to see the edge. Get the big picture, it’s hoppy!
Reviews: 43 | Ratings: 399 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Darkmagus82
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a can into a pint glass
Appearance – The beer pours a nice deep amber color with a one finger head of white foam. The head has a great level of retention that slowly fades over time for a decent level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.
Smell – The aroma of the brew is massive of a rye aroma mixed with a nice sweeter smell of caramel and sweet citrus of tangerine and orange. Along with these smells come some aromas of a light pine and herbal smell giving a sweet and inviting smell overall.
Taste – The taste begins with a big sweet and malty taste with tons of caramel and citrus sweetness mixed with some big rye bread and a slightly boozy alcohol taste. The taste moves forward with these flavors and makes for a nice base taste for the brew. Toward the end there are some tastes of more citrus and sweet tangerine come to the tongue and with a slight increase in the boozy tastes as well as some incoming flavors of herbal, pine and earthy hop, one is left with a nice warming and sweet taste to linger on the tongue.
Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is on the thicker and chewier side with a carbonation level that is on the medium to slightly lower side. For the rye bread, sweet, and alcoholic tastes of the brew the feel is very nice and creates a nice and easy slow sipper.
Overall – This is a nice sweeter imperial rye IPA. Very tasty and quite approachable.

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Photo of detgfrsh
3.94/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap. Amber color with white head. Smells of pine and citrus. Medium body and sticky feel. Tastes of pine and citrus with some spicy rye in the background.

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Photo of TheRougeBastard
3.84/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

M'eh...I've often said the D/IPA, in my humble opinion, has the tendency to turn barley-wine-ish as it ages, well, these canned on 10/24/18 (?) but still on the shelf at 04/08/19 show this to be true...again IMHO. Not bad by any stretch, just no longer a D/IIPA. I would guess, Dream Crusher would 'earn" the exceptional rating if fresh...6 months old though,it's okay, and lucky me, have five more to enjoy.

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Photo of Labeorphile
4.27/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The advertise this beer non stop on the local sports radio station, so I thought I would give it a try.
Pours beautfiully with a cloudy haze and I nice thick foamy head. Smells great and tastes great. I like the addition of the rye, it gives it a little bit different flavor that isn't so better. A really good beer I look forward to picking up more of.

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Photo of Mister_DIB
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A double IPA that doesn't taste too bitter. Still tastes balanced after food. Could be a standby. Take into account the ABV - high, but doesn't taste like it.

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Photo of DenverHopHead
3.4/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz can with a canned on date of 4/10/18; into a tulip.
Appearance- amber with lots of floating sediment and bubbles; head is thick, fluffy and white and leaves thick lacing!
Smell - rye and booze.
Taste - rye and booze, again.
Feel - medium body, bitter and acidic.
Overall- looks great, but other than that this is a poorly crafted DIPA.

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Photo of Weisenbeer
4.36/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Had this little dandy right at the brewery in Dallas...this place looks like it is exploding with expansion... This appears to be their signature high-gravity beverage. I am very high regard for it and recommend it to all my friends

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Photo of Todd
4.04/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Spice, Fruit, Bread, Deceiving

Golden with orange hues and a frothy, creamy head, Deep Ellum has brewed a beer with rye spice, bread and fruit in the nose. Creamy on the palate with a bit of chewy viscosity and prickly carbonation. Big notes of fruity and juicy orange with rye spice, some sticky pine, rind and pith steal the show. Malts are soft and bready with a some caramel and suggestions of vanilla here and there, but not overly sweet. The finish is coarse with herbal notes and the alcohol is well-hidden, but noticeable as the beer warms and adds more spiciness. Dream Crusher is a surprisingly balanced DIPA, and the addition of rye pairs well with all of its hoppy nuances.

As reviewed in BeerAdvocate magazine #118 (November 2016).

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.01/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

We're going double, not just with the hops, but with the rye as well. Here comes 12 ounces of high octane liquid. On to the beer:

Coming out like a very toasted orange and topped with a somewhat creamy inch of head. It smells like sweet hops, like carmelized hops. Sugar crusted hops. Resiny with a dash of orange.

Double Rye IPA or barleywine? Tastes rather sweet so I'm going to say barleywine. Once you accept that, this beer becomes quite enjoyable instead of cloying. Sugar crusted citrus fruits with a layer of caramel seems to be the theme. Not bitter, full bodied, and the alcohol is neat. I begin to warm up to the sweetness, and of course the low 60s evening helps too (cold for us Orange Countians).

Starts like an IPA, but overal tastes like a barleywine. It sure is a Dream Crusher for those who want lots of hops, but once you accept, it will take you on an adventure.

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Photo of puck1225
3.86/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a can into a snifter, deep orange-yellow. It has a nice foamy head and good lacing. Citrusy smell, oranges. Taste is also citrusy, with a bit of vanilla, but not a lot of sweetness. Enjoyed it!

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Photo of Mateo2699
3.13/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pour is a darker copper color. Slight haze, foamy head moderate lacing.

Smell is very one-dimensional. Pine foward with slight citrus. Maybe slight sweet bread. That's about it.

Taste was good. Still quite one-dimensional, and similar to the nose (pine and citrus) with slight candied orange and caramel sweetness. More of a malt bomb than hop bomb in my opinion.

Overal okay at best. Pine, citrus, malt. Pretty much all I get.

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Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
4.62/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz can into a speiglau IPA glass.

Look is a hazy orange amber with straw highlights. Head is frothy with little bubbles inch and a half thick.

Lots of orange on the nose mixed with a thick sweet caramel malt aroma. Herbal pine undertones to it.

Taste is full of rich bitter hops. Piney and citrusy almost creamy when combined with the malt.

Wonderful drinker. Completely different from can to glass.

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Photo of enrique_m
4.85/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

poured this into an IPA glass and it is a clear amber color with about 2 inch of head. the hoppy aromas are of citrus with slight pine undertones. the taste is what you'd expect from the aromas and you taste the rye. but it is bold and punchy with a tasty, bitter aftertase.. overall i dig this DIPA beer and i consider it a staple in my beer cooler.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.77/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

one of the few beers i have had from these guys, and one of the best. even though its a little generic in flavor, the beer itself is really well done, and i always like a big bad hoppy beer in a can like this. a little hazy in appearance, honey colored and holding a full inch of thick white head on it, looks great in the glass. the aroma is sweeter than expected, and much sweeter than the style norm. hop oils and pale malts provide that, and there is a northwestern high alpha overall hop complexion to this, still juicy as it is bitter it seems. the flavor confirms that, and its nice in this instance to have that leftover sugar there to balance the intense hop bitterness, its sticky and sappy and dank too, pretty bold beer packed into this can! they must call it dream crusher because as a night cap, it was a poor choice. the abv is so well hidden and the flavor so enticing that i drank it pretty quickly, pushed myself over the edge to inebriation, and passed out dreamlessly, so i guess its appropriately named. i liked this one a lot, it has me keen to try the less intense ipa from these guys. thanks to be beerliner folks for hooking this up for me, what a cool mission theyre on, raising funds for prostate cancer and supporting bike trips. awesome. thanks guys!

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Photo of Caj1
4.47/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great beer. The Deep Ellum guys really make a Texan proud.

Pours a nice copper/amber with some haze but no sediment. Half an inch of caramel-colored head that takes it time dissipating. Light lacing.

Smells like grapefruit and grass. Very hop forward. Great caramel malt undertones. Light aroma of pineapple/mango comes through as the beer warms.

Tastes extra fruity with great hop character but the nutty caramel malt does well to balance it without that sticky sugary feeling some double IPAs have. This is so well balanced that I think I could drink the whole pack if it didn't get me shitfaced.

Lovely, crisp mouthfeel with some great bite from the alcohol, but it doesn't overpower. This is the easiest drinking 8+ % ABV beer I have ever had. Goes down smooth with a nice warmth in the stomach.

Beautiful IPA. Deep Ellum migh t miss the mark once in a while (see Neato Bandito) but when they hit it, it's a bullseye. Watch out guys, I see a Texas craft beer renaissance brewing with these guys at the forefront.

To good health and good beer.

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Photo of Domvan
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

If you are reviewing this from 2014 and beyond, then you drank Dream Crusher Double IPA, not this version, they rereleased the new version in Spring 2014...unless you aged the Rye version, which was in a bomber and had different art work.

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Photo of 1ale_man
4.62/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Really love this beer. Looks like honey. Smells of grapefruit, lemons, caramel. Tastes like caramel and grapefruit and slight sweetness. No alcohol taste. Easy drinking to me. Slight bitterness. Will buy again and tell others.

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Photo of Ken_gibson
4.49/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at drunken donkey in Lewisville, texas. Orangey-amber color. Like the deep Ellum IPA but with a little more to give it a perfect hoppy taste. I agree with other posters that this is light for a double IPA but if you don't think about that and just enjoy this it is very vibrant with it's tastes. Definitely can't wait to get another one of these. Local texas beer too!

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Photo of CTbrew32
3.39/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance- Amber in color and clear. Pours a two to three finger head.

Aroma- Very piney with fruit and caramel sweetness.

Taste- Bitter pine upfront, pineapple and citrus in the middle, and caramel malt in the finish. Very mild taste overall and packing a light hop punch.

Feel- Medium/full bodied, medium carbonation, and a little syrupy.

Overall- Not too impressed with this dipa. Some nice tropical fruit flavors in this, but the hop are mild and malt is a little too sweet. Besides being a little too sweet there is no glaring issues, but it just isn't appealing to my tastes. An ok dipa that I'd pass on in the future.

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Photo of HardTarget
3.86/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Deep red amber glass holds a solid cover of white foam that dries onto the glass.

Smell: Juicy fruit, pineapple, peach, pear, mild esters, no alcohol, yeast, or malt profiles, just fruity, impressive.

Taste: Forgive me; Hawaiian Punch. A real fruit basket, but under it slowly emerges a bitter hoppy IPA. The deeper in I go the more the hop flavor builds, and starts to show the alcohol.

Feel: Heavy, oily, burning, sudsy.

Overall: A good beer. Heavy handed in many ways, a brutal alcoholic slap hidden in a fruit basket.

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Photo of Beer-Revelry
4.26/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Dogfish Head IPA glass.

A - 4.75 - Pours a deep honey color, touches of caramel and orange in its hue. Massive head potential, forms 2 and a half finger of slightly off white, dense head. Medium head retention, spotty lacing.
S - 4.25 - Things you would expect from a DIPA. Hops, grapefruit, oranges, apricot, peaches, mangos, and somewhat wet, dank hops.
T - 4 - Not so much a double on the taste as just a good standard IPA in my opinion. Begins with a bittersweet hop-forward arrival, ends on a somewhat neutral grapefruit and pineapple finish. Not exactly of the strength of a double in my books, but tasty nonetheless.
F - 5 - Very slick, oily and smooth textured mouthfeel. Really digging the mouthfeel on this beer.
O - 4.25 - It is very good... going into it with the mindset of a standard IPA. As a double, not anything crazy special. This should be packaged, advertised and sold in six packs as their flagship brew and I think it would do them a world of good!

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Photo of 513Brewery
4.51/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On the lighter side as double IPAs go. Smooth, slight citrus notes with the hops taking the driver seat. You can tell they put some time and thought into this one. Would drink again and again.

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Photo of brewqueno
4.47/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Best Deep Ellum has to offer. It doesn't necessarily have the look (appears a little flat) but whatever it lacks in other departments, it makes up for in flavor. It's easy to drink - a lot smoother and more pleasant than their flagship IPA.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.57/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

12 fl oz aluminum can with a standard pull-tab purchased for $8.00 a 4-pack at a local Austin, TX bottle-shop (hint: beer rescue) and served into a pilsner glass. Label is purple and red, with uninteresting skeletal artwork.

Reviewed live as an imperial IPA per the label. 8.50% ABV. Canned 06/30/14. Expectations are average given the brewery.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 6 fingers wide. Pale khaki colour. Nice creaminess and thickness. Could be frothier and softer-looking. It has a nice supple consistency and a fairly glistening complexion. Retention is good for the high ABV - about 7-8 minutes. Leaves spotty inconsistent lacing on the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

BODY: Translucent transparent orange-copper of average vibrance. Clean; no yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible. But it's a bit murky, and has poor clarity.

Appears well-carbonated. Far from unique or special - we've all seen this before - but it's generally appealing for the style, sure.

AROMA: Copper. Tame piney hops. Some floral hop character. Hints of light hop oils. Loads of caramalt lend it what seems like too much sweetness. Pale malts, of course. Candied notes. Syrup. A hint of grapefruit.

I'm actually a bit surprised by the hop aromatics; it lacks what I look for: no citrus (aside from the weak grapefruit), no nectary notes, no juicy evocative fruit, no clean bitterness. The aroma comes off too sweet, and suggests a syrupy brew with a coating dragging mouthfeel.

Aromatic intensity is above average. I detect no yeast, alcohol, or off-notes. It's too malty for an IIPA aroma...

TASTE: The taste matches the aroma in the sense that malts dominate, though they shouldn't. The candied sweetness, overindulgent caramalt, and malty syrup easily overpower the modest hop profile, which offers only uninteresting floral hop character, some troubled pine, and a hint of grapefruit, with some light oils in there too. Hops should dominate - this is an imperial IPA! Grapefruit should be the strongest flavour in the profile, but it lacks the usual grapefruit bitterness and hop bite. There's no juicy fresh citrus or oily nectar here. It's not dank or herbal or interestingly flowery. Just bland and boring, with an unfortunate malt dominance that ruins the balance. More pale malt, less caramalt please.

Shallow depth of flavour. Average flavour duration and intensity.

It's not a well built imperial IPA by any means, and features dubious choices right down to the ingredients on the malt bill - why choose these hops? This much caramalt? I don't like it much, and it doesn't bring much to the table in terms of complexity or subtlety, though I do find some cantaloupe sneaking out as it comes to temperature.

TEXTURE: Sticky, coating, and artificial, with an unnatural creaminess contrasting with its scratchy roughness on the palate. It's smooth and wet, which is jarring alongside that scratchiness. Medium-bodied, with an apt thickness and not too much weight on the palate. Overcarbonated. Unrefreshing.

This texture neither elevates the beer nor complements the taste. Subpar execution, with an irritating overall presence on the palate.

OVERALL: Even on-sale, this imperial IPA from Deep Ellum is overpriced for its (lack of) quality. I'm none too keen on drinking the 3 remaining cans in my fridge, and wished I'd opted for a single of this. I wouldn't recommend it to friends, but in terms of the local market it's not much worse than your average Texas imperial IPA. Just more mediocrity to fill the shelves. It's pedestrian stuff, but isn't very drinkable. That said, it does do a decent job at disguising its ABV. I'd like to give it the benefit of the doubt and assume that it'd be better more fresh, but then this is Deep Ellum...


03/01/19 CAN:

Hides its ABV okay.

Stale tangerine, bitter fruit rind, floral hop notes, overripe tropical fruit. Meh.


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Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours hazy amber color with a finger width foamy head. Head retention and lacing are good. Has a boozy citrus aroma with hints of caramel. Smooth malty taste up front with slight hoppy bitterness and caramel smoothness at the end. Boozy aftertaste. Good smooth beer.

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Dream Crusher from Deep Ellum Brewing Company
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 399 ratings