Brew Review: Devil Dancer

26 Aug

Brew: Devil Dancer

Brewed by: Founders Brewing Company (Grand Rapids, MI)

Style: Triple IPA (12.0% ABV)


“When you dance with the Devil, the Devil don’t change. You do.” I guess that could be considered a warning for this beer. The first ‘triple IPA’ that I have found, it tempted me (maybe that has to do with the Devil part) as I enjoy big hoppy beers. This brew came from Founder’s Brewing which has produced some great beers and I was hoping this one would follow suit.

It poured out an amazing rich red amber color with some orange mixed in there. A great looking beer. Just by the look of it you can tell that there are a ton of malts in here to make up for the loads of hops that they continually dry-hopped this beer for 28 straight days with.

The smell is full of hops, grassy, earthy, dank. It’s kind of like when you tour a brewery and they give you a little jar of hops to smell to see what they are like. Obviously not the same thing but its like your smelling a liquid version of the plant. The bitterness of the hops even shows up when smelling this beer. There is also a definite presence of the sweet hops with some caramel mixed in there. Basically you can tell this is going to be a BIG beer by just taking one whiff of it.

The second this beer hits your lips a bitter blast of hops comes with it. Its like a punch in the mouth. That bitterness lasts throughout which is a little off-putting. The hops make this a syrupy oily affair. The 112 IBU’s that the label advertises are obviously present. Its hard to even detect anything else in this beer other than the bitter hops. Not much balance, its a pretty one sided mess. As the beer warms up, there are some more sweet malts that show up. You have to let this one sit because taking this one down fast is pretty much impossible. Its a slow drinking beer all the way through.

For the most part the hop domination is unpleasant. Its a one dimensional beer. Probably exactly what Founders was going for, but they might have pushed the envelope too far on this one. The 12% is present, its a ‘hot’ drinking beer as you can taste the booze the whole time. Might be that this one could turn into something decent if you let it sit for a year or two and let it age into a barley wine or something but as it stands fresh from the brewery this is too much for me. Too many bitter hops assaulting your mouth in this one.


Overall grade: C+


2 Responses to “Brew Review: Devil Dancer”

  1. Jim August 26, 2011 at 3:43 am #

    I definitely see where you are coming from on this one. Fresh this beer is like licking a pine cone. Over time the, intense hops bitterness dies down and the malts start showing. I have given up drinking this one fresh, I usually will age for 6months to a year and the results have been great. Also I had an opportunity to try a 3year old on cask and it was amazing. So, yes one of the few beers I would say don’t drink fresh.

    • stpjames August 26, 2011 at 2:07 pm #

      we can say that the Devil won this round

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