Dark Horse Double Crooked Tree IPA

With Dark Horse, the results seem to have been a bit up and down. The most interesting one from this point is to consider the Crooked Tree IPA. That beer was okay, but I scored it just below average. Maybe what the beer needed was to be made into a double IPA, which, unlike what the name would seem to indicate, typically seems to be maltier than the average IPA, and that is exactly what Crooked Tree IPA needed.

This sucker is brown. Imagine what a brown ale should look like, and you have this beer. In fact, I'm pretty sure there have been some brown ales that could not achieve this level of brownness. The little head becomes a mere smear across the top while the aroma exudes a pine smell that makes me think of a dark, wet woods with about half an inch of snow on the ground that is slowly melting. That's right - an aroma makes me all poetic and stuff!

First sip is pretty much in your face with a fairly even mixture of pine and floral hops making out with a sweet caramel malt. I didn't expect a double IPA to be this malty. It's really sweet, and the malt does an excellent job of cutting the natural hop bitterness. I still get the impression of earthiness and graininess coming from the malt.

Tip-in is smooth caramel malt with a spike of hops right in the middle of it and gentle bubbles cascading up the sides. The middle pulls the spike out, and the malt fills the void with little shards of hops floating as detritus in the swirling torrent. The finish comes up with a bit of bitterness and sweetness cycling at intervals to push the bitterness down until the trail off is both sweet and bitter on the lips.

Bottom Line: Bold and flavorful, it is a pretty darn good beer.

3.75/5

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