Founders Dark Penance Imperial Black IPA

While I generally have an unfavorable impression of imperial stouts or imperial IPAs, that doesn't mean I count them all out automatically. I find that there are some really interesting beers around the fringe of these kinds of beers like the black IPA or black lager or something like them. So, I'm really hoping that Founders (who have a good enough track record) do this up well.

And yes, it's pretty black just like the label says. It has a ruby shine to it around the edges, but the base of the beer is flat black. The head is thick and sticky - it leaves copious amounts of lacing. The aroma is chocolate and caramel malt with pine hops. It's very alluring.

First sip is smokey and not nearly as bitter as I expected. Instead, it's well balanced and very smooth. The coffee and chocolate I smelled are muted, and there is more of a citrus and somewhat floral taste. It's very good. A full draught might make it great.

Tip-in is very gentle carbonation and smokey raisins. The middle hits the back of the throat and grates the tongue with the bark of a tree. It's unsubtle, but it's not off-putting. The finish is almost anti-climactic with its notes of chocolate and coffee and molasses, but they are all very gentle, and they drift off like they just don't care.

Bottom Line: An excellent beer. It could use a bit of refinement, but it is very good.



Popular posts from this blog

Omnipollo "Nebuchadnezzar" Imperial IPA

The Purge (2013) Security System

Tennessee Brew Works Extra Easy ESB