Founders Dark Penance Black IPA

Total score: 8.15/10 HopFlower1Earth1Biscuit1Tulipglass1

This is another one from the shopping list of desires I never even thought of – Founders, aka probably at the top of my “stuck on a desert island – can only choose one brewer for the rest of your life (inexplicably) even though theoretically you could start your own brewery with all the coconuts lying on the beach and that odd wild hop garden meters away from your house” list*, brewing a Black IPA, huzzah!

Poured from a 355ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Presents a deep dark reddish brown body with a thin light khaki head that drops back to a lace ring with speckles in the middle… appetizing to say the least… to say the most? I want to shrink myself down to the height of 1 cm, climb up the side of my Duvel tulip – undoubtedly a tall order – and dive right in. 9/10.

S: It’s Founders Centennial IPA with sex added. It’s hard to go past those big earthy/dirty, wet hop pine/grapefruit notes without tripping over into a bed of pure hop ecstasy – they don’t make it easy at Founders do they? Overall aroma is hoppy and alluring with a smattering of roasted/toasted biscuit malts simply there for the ‘Black’ in the Black IPA. 8/10.

T: Liquorice is the immediate thing that slaps me right in the brain – liquorice! I’m a bit gobsmacked as I was not expecting that, but there you go – Founders manage to sneak in a surprise for me again, you wily devils 😛 Apart from this it’s all textbook Centennial IPA flavours: Earthy/dirty, wet hop pine/grapefruit notes with a toasted biscuit base and caramel. The only reason it fails the same score is because please; we’ve already got Centennial – what does Dark Penance bring to the table? 8/10.

M: Mid to heavy, Chewbacca Founders stylez, with a creamy dense carbonation. 9/10.

D: This is very much a Black IPA with the ‘IPA’ bit in bold italics font, highlighted and underlined with sparkles on top… in other words there is not enough malt intensity or char in the flavour or aroma to differentiate it from their already loved and popular Centennial IPA. But hey, it certainly doesn’t suck by any stretch of the imagination, and that liquorice note in the flavour was… interesting. However we need a little something more for a Black IPA to stand out in our established amber IPA crowd. #IPAsSoAmber 8/10.

Food match: [copy pasted from my Centennial review] Spicy hot soft taco.

*Admittedly I’m still working shortening the title of this list, any suggestions?

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