Founders Devil Dancer: 12% abv
It’s not often we report IBUs (International Bitterness Units) in our reviews, but for this one, I think you have to. This is why. Devil Dancer is one of Founders specialty beers, but it is not just some lame oak aged beer. It is a TRIPLE IPA. There is certainly some intimidation that goes along with drinking a beer called Devil Dancer that’s a Triple IPA and ranks 112 IBUs on a scale that you rarely ever see above 90. I won’t lie, after having had Double Crooked Tree, I wasn’t so much interested in trying this beer at all, but we have some IPA junkies over here, so we did it out of obligation to our audience. I will say, it does have a calmingly beautiful amber color to it. And then it eats you alive like Cerberus would on your decent to Hades. I exaggerate.
So what can we say about this one? The nose is not like Cerberus eating you alive, frankly. It is actually quite fruity, with an immediate impression of pineapple, peach, ripe pear, apple, lemon, cantaloupe, and grapefruit. Yeah, that’s just the fruitiness behind it. It has those sweet flavors of caramel, molasses, honey, and malt to it, but you don’t miss out on the floral and piny flavors as well. The taste will surprise you. And no, it doesn’t start or end with BITTER!!!!! The taste isn’t very “IPA”. It is malty, with a full mouth-feel, meaning it’s a little thicker in texture. It’s certainly not a lager. The sweeter notes resemble caramel, milk chocolate, maple syrup and pineapple. Contrasting that are the grapefruit and pine notes that are strangely not overpowering. So this beer isn’t bitter? What was all this hype about Cerberus and triple headed dogs and what-not. Yeah, hold onto your shorts, impatient reader.
The finish will hit you different ways different times. It happens now and again that the beer you’re drinking can be hugely impacted by HOW you drink it. Meaning, how much of a gulp did you take, which part of the back of your throat did it hit, etc. And the bitterness behind this beer is the same way. Also, it builds up, like the heat behind a ghost pepper would. Needless to say, the finish is long and bitter no matter what, but there is sweetness and some interesting stuff goes on here. Let’s start with the basics: pine and lemony citrus, and that’s the basics. From here, our tasters came up with orange rind, coffee bean, sugarcane, rock candy, and Meyer Dark rum mixed with tonic. These notes might be a little obscure, but there is some truth to each of them. Like I said, this beer’s bark is worse than it’s bite. Ha! See, I went back to that Cerberus thing one more time! It’s good, but maybe not having the depth and complexity, or the balance that we seek in ideal beer world.