Saturday, October 22, 2011

Founders Devil Dancer

Another devil themed beer which means I get to rock my New Jersey Devils Scott Stevens Jersey (now with the 1995 Stanley Cup patch on it!). Devil Dancer is what Founders calls a "Triple IPA" right on the label. Most people would call that an "Imperial IPA," but whatever. I'm actually surprised this beer doesn't generate a lot more buzz because it's a Founders beer and it's only made once a year and sold in July (which would make my bottle about three months old). I'm just really happy that most Founders beers are now available 90 minutes south of me in Poughkeepsie :D

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (644) - Albany, New York, USA - OCT 22, 2011
I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Dirty, ugly, orange/brown/red opaque from the hop haze. Forms a small, yellowish, frothy head which, surprisingly enough, retains and laces very well.

Smell: Pure hop syrup! Pine sap plus the gooey toppings of a make-your-own ice cream sundae bar.

Taste: At 12% ABV and 112IBUs, Founders Devil Dancer might not technically meet the definition of an "extreme beer," but one taste is all you need to know that it is indeed, not just your average imperial IPA - but an imperial IPA on steroids hit by a Gamma Bomb.*

The taste is an a massive one-two punch of extreme hop bitterness and confectionary sweetness. As soon as it hits the tongue the mouth is overcome with intense, dry bitterness. This is quickly followed by sticky, sugary, bready, malty, confectionary sweetness. It’s a combination of liquid butterscotch and toffee and traditional beer maltiness of bread and dough. The balance between the bitter and sweet is remarkable. The only problem is it’s essentially the same two flavors from beginning to end. Is it tasty? Heck yes! Is it amazing? Not quite, but it definitely is a fun, enjoyable experience for your mouth.

Mouthfeel: Intense bitterness lights up the tongue the way a sour candy might. It is easily and quickly adapted to, though. Otherwise it’s thick, sticky and soft. A residual aftertaste of hops and candy linger, but are very enjoyable.

Drinkability: While Founders Devil Dancer might taste like an extreme beer, it doesn’t really taste as such. A very energetic palate and mouthfeel to be sure, but it goes down very smooth. There is no raw "booze" or heat sensation despite the 12% ABV, but only a very mild warmth. It’s quite drinkable in and of itself, but seems to demand pairing of some sort - inferno levels of spice would do the job, I think.

*"Incredible Hulk" reference for all you comic book nerds out there!

Grade: 8/10

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