Founders Devil Dancer IPA: Not As Wicked As You Might Think

Founders Brewery puts out some very highly-rated beers overall. The Founders Brewery website describes the company’s history thus:

Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers both had steady jobs when they decided to chase their dreams and open a brewery–which meant writing a business plan, quitting their jobs, and taking out giant loans. They figured if you’re going to live life, you ought to live it hard, without regrets.

After some initial challenges, due to making well balanced but unremarkable beers, we were on the verge of bankruptcy. It was at this point that the original Founders team decided to brew the kind of beer that got them excited about brewing in the first place: complex, in-your-face ales, with huge aromatics, bigger body, and tons of flavor.

The Founders Family, a group of passionate beer enthusiasts, has grown around this simple philosophy: “We don’t brew beer for the masses. Instead, our beers are crafted for a chosen few, a small cadre of renegades and rebels who enjoy a beer that pushes the limits of what is commonly accepted as taste. In short, we make beer for people like us.”

As for Founders Devil Dancer IPA (12% ABV), the company describes it in this manner:

When you dance with the Devil, the Devil don’t change. You do. Massive in complexity, the huge malt character balances the insane amount of alphas used to create it. At an incredible 112 IBUs, it’s dry-hopped with ten hop varieties.

ABV: 12%
IBUs: 112
Availability: June

As an ale, Devil Dancer is top-fermented and warm-fermented. As an IPA, it contains a large amount of (alpha) hops, meaning that it should have a strong, pleasing bitterness. Let’s see how it stands up to this reviewer’s palate.

Everything On Tap Review: Founders Devil Dancer IPA:

Bottle: The dark brown glass bottle sports a standard-sized rectangular label. The label’s main image is orange on black, but all but impossible to recognize. Is it a devil? A dancer? A shrimp doing ice capades? I cannot tell. The lettering is white, and it indicates that this is a triple IPA, meaning that it should contain three times the hops of a standard IPA! As a huge fan of IPAs and hops, I can only hope it lives up to the promised hoppiness.

Pour: The color is a stunningly-profound reddish-amber, almost like a beautiful Burgundy red wine. The head is off-white and thin — less than one finger — and it leads moderate lacing.

Aroma:  The first aroma to touch the nose is ethyl alcohol, which I personally find to be a good sign in an IPA. Some reviewers complain of this aroma, but to me, a good IPA should be bitter, and strong in terms of alcohol. This is followed by a light floral aroma, and the certain aroma of citrus hops.

Flavor: The first flavor to hit the palate is that of lightly-roasted, malted grains. While I do believe than an IPA should be strong on the bitterness of the bat, I do appreciate IPAs that are not 100% bitterness, but that also can balance in some nice grains, and this ale does that well. But, my complaint about this supposed triple IPA is that the hops are just not present enough. There is some bitter citrus and pine flavor, but it plays second fiddle to the malted grains, and in my opinion, that is unacceptable for an IPA.

Mouthfeel: The body is medium to full, and the mouthfeel is nice and creamy (again, unusual for an IPA, which tend to be more astringent). The carbonation is a solid medium, which is nice.

Structure: This beer is a bit of a paradox. While it really does not fit the bill for an IPA, in my opinion, it is a nice beer overall, and because the malted aspect is so nice, therefore the structure is solid and stable. Another reviewer elsewhere

Food Pairing: This is difficult, because this beer shares more with barleywines than it does with IPAs. But even so, it is a decent ale if you disregard the IPA moniker. So, I feel that this ale would pair well with roast duck or lamb, with some sort of wine reduction sauce.

Overall Rating Out Of 5 Possible Beer Mugs:


Tags: Ale Beer Review FanSided Founders Founders Devil Dancer IPA IPA Matt Miller Triple IPA

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