Sunday, May 8, 2011

Founders Double Trouble (2011 original review)

You know I love IPAs and I like to hunt down hard-to-find beers, so that makes my review of Founders Double Trouble Imperial IPA all the more special (and appropriate). I bought this about a month ago in NYC and wanted to save it until I had reviewed all the other Founders beers since this is supposed to be one of the best IPAs on the market. Some people even say it's the Pliny The Elder of the Midwest. I decided to review this outside on a sunny, but noisy afternoon - sorry for the distractions. Also, you might notice something new at the tail end of this video - be sure to watch all the way through!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Chad9976 (627) - Albany, USA - MAY 8, 2011
I’m a huge fan of India Pale Ales and as a craft beer enthusiast to the extreme it’s always been my goal to get as many of the highest-ranked IPAs from around the country (and the globe) that I can possibly get. Beers like Pliny The Elder, Dogfish Head 60 Minute and Stone Ruination are known amongst the beer nerd empire for all being great IPAs while all being noticeably different from each other. Add to that list Founders Double Trouble Imperial IPA. A beer from the Midwest that seems inspired by the West Coast brews, but is still its own brew.

I poured a 12oz bottle into a tumbler.

Appearance: yellow/orange hue with a slight haze and many slow-rising carbonation bubbles. Even a vigorous pour results in a small white, frothy head - but it never completely dissipates and leaves beautiful lacing on the glass.

Smell: Oranges, flowers and more oranges. Quite similar to a tropical fruit juice, but with a distinct hop presence.

Taste: Based on the brighter-colored body (for an imperial IPA) and the juicy aroma, I was expecting Founders Double Trouble to be the Pliny The Elder of the Midwest. One swig into it, that notion was disconfirmed, but I still got a great-tasting beer. This is a thick, bitter, orange-flavored IPA from start to finish. Intense hop presence before, during and after each swig with a very tasty orange and citrus-like tartness for the first half. I also detect a noticeable sweetness, much like an orange creamsicle or orange sherbet ice cream. The bitterness is very strong, but hits the palate with a thud rather than a bite or any kind of crisp sensation. The hops linger, but are never cloying and I’m refreshed by each following swig.

Mouthfeel: Quite thick, but soft and gentle. Does not sting or tear up the tongue with hops or carbonation, although the aftertaste is noticeably dry.

Drinkability: For a beer weighing in at 9.4% ABV and 86 IBUs, Double Trouble is amazingly drinker-friendly. I suppose it might be intimidating for those not accustomed to massive hop bitterness, but I found myself drinking it in large gulps rather than sips - as would normally be the standard for the beer of this magnitude. A fantastic brew to pair with spicy food, but not something you want to drink on a hot summer’s day.

Overall, a really great IPA and a really great beer in and of itself. Not quite a Hall of Fame beer, but one worthy of praise and acclaim.

Grade: 9/10

NOTE: See my 2018 re-review to BJCP specs here:

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