Devil Dancer (Founders Brewing Company)

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

12% ABV

112 IBU’s

Bottled On: 04/01/2012

Brewing Notes: Dry-hopped for twenty-six days straight with a combination of 10 hop varieties.

 

This bottle is properly devilish in accordance with the beer’s name.  The subdued red and black color scheme remind me very much of classical-style paintings from the 19th and early 20th Century almost like the early movie posters of King Kong, etc…  The distressed girl on the bottle that is being lifted up by giant hands actually reminds me a little of King Kong.  I love the tree-like swath of red and the black background, and the font is perfect, reminding me of a seductive ballet.  I again am a little disappointed with the Founder’s symbol on the neck of the beer, but other than that this bottle is great and is worthy of a shelf space.

The beer pours a carmeled amber, like a more liquid-like maple syrup, beautifully russet and rust colored.  The head is small and tightly packed with white bubbles that fade out into a ring and are then gone.  This beer is really quite clear but dark with a slow and steady stream of carbonization bubbles tickling their way to the surface of the beer.  Lacing is slippery and thin but not really notable for the beer.  The beer smells fat with resinous pine though there is an oddly sour sweet smell that touches the nose when the glass has been agitated slightly.  The sour smell might be coming from the 4 months that have passed since the beer was bottled.  On further whiffs, the hops peak further through with slight mango citrus, but the sour dimming smell is still present.  The beer tastes surprisingly dim, which leads me to believe this beer sat on the shelf too long.  There is a really nasty bitter bite to the tongue that brings citrus lemon and mango that borders on a soap-like taste, but other than that everything feels rather subdued in flavor and the very lightly sour sweet taste is a gain present.  There is a clear alcoholic burn in the after taste that sits alongside the bitter sticky burn and does not leave a nice taste and might be part of the sour taste.  The malts beneath the hops seems to be suggesting the sour sweet taste too, perhaps with some caramel and sweet malts which is actually a nice backing to this beer, but overall the flavor does not seem to work.  It sort of reminds me of a harsher version of Hoptimum without as much hop flavor.  Mouthfeel is thin but harshly assaulting on the tongue with bitters, leaving the mouth relatively clean but with a bitter pucker-worthy burn and some thick cloying from the sweet/sour malt.  Overall I’m disappointed with Devil Dancer.  I have liked everything I have tried from Founder’s so far, but this seems to change that.  It is harsh and simply too overloaded with early-boil bittering hops and not enough malt to make it kiss the tongue.  Yes, this is a palette wrecking double IPA, but you can wreck my palette in a much more seductive way.  I love hops, and actually consider myself a hophead, which makes this all the more weird for me to say, but overall I would say this one is not worth drinking as it is just too harshly bitter with not enough going on in the rest of the beer to let you enjoy it without getting burned.  I will probably try this beer again if I can find a fresher bottle only to make sure it wasn’t the bottle, but the beer just felt too sour and harsh for my palate in the end.

I am not going to score this beer on Beer Advocate till I try a fresher one, the sour flavoring and length of time since it was bottle lead me to heavily suspect infection in this bottle.  As of now, however, consider this rated in the 2-3 range and no higher.

Appearance: 4.5

Smell:  3.5

Taste:  2

Mouthfeel: 2.5

Overall: 3

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