Dark Horse Crooked Tree IPA

Dark horse was really a... dark horse, I guess... when I first tried one. since then, I expect quirky, bold, and good representations of beers I've had before. I like a brewer who tried to go outside the box once they have mastered the traditional beers, but it seems like Dark Horse has managed to skip the first part and go right to the second. I support this, if it goes well.

The very hazy light brown beer sports a white, clumpy head that indicates that it means business. The aroma is a fairly quiet and unassuming light floral and pine hops with little else there to back it up. It's surprising that the IPA is so mild in its presentation, but presentation is only part of the whole experience, and the taste is really what we're here for.

First sip is not at all mild. Instead, the floral and pine hops positively attack the mouth with the attitude that they may only get one shot at leaving an impression, and they're going to leave one that will take a couple of weeks to completely go away, and your tastebuds will have to explain to friends that they fell down some stairs into a bucket of hops or into a hop-flavored door. Maybe the different flavors can be teased out of it with a proper swig.

Tip-in is heated carbonation burn with floral hops and spices sizzling in the foreground and a very light malt out back, trying to see what all the fuss is about. The middle stammers in with pine hops joining the floral as an all-out assault on the mouth begins in earnest. The finish can't up the game, much though it wishes it could, so it instead plateaus the hops and set the stage for a bitter trail-off that leaves me thinking I've probably got less challenging beer in the fridge.

Bottom Line: Is there really such a thing as too much hops? Yes. Yes there is.



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