Review: Revival Double Black IPA

It’s not secret that we are longtime fans of Sean Larkin and the beers he produces. We had him write the intro to our book, because in our opinion, he’s one of the driving forces behind the RI craft beer scene. And he’s just awesome. He’s the type guy who brings kegs to a first birthday party. For real. From Trinity to Narragansett he’s won 14 awards at the Great International Beer Festival and a bronze at the GABF. This week I got to try the Double Black IPA, one of Revival’s offerings.

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63. founders devil dancer

Dry-hopped for 26 days, with 10 different types of hops; one of the highest IBU levels out there, Founders Devil Dancer is an over-the-top cocktail of a beer.

I had no idea this was a 12-percent beer when I cracked it open. Thank goodness I wasn’t about to go to work. Not like I drink before going into work or anything… Anyways. It poured a hazy reddish-brown, resembling a pitcher of instant iced tea. The head was very thin and left little to no lacing.

With aromas of cognac and caramel wafting from a snifter, and a taste like a stiff cocktail, drinking Devil Dancer left me feeling like this guy:

The amount of malt and hops present here are absolutely ridiculous. The malt base is loaded with sweet caramel, brown sugar, and those rum-soaked cakes that you can buy in the Caribbean. The malts slowly fade out, but leave a residual sweetness, and though it wasn’t the hop bomb that I expected, a bitter and citric hop taste lingers on for a while in the aftertaste.

This is not a beer for everybody. The drinkability is relatively limited due to the assertive alcohol presence, and even the mouthfeel; a thick and viscous, low-carbonated flow, is a little overwhelming.  Still, this is a beer to be tried. You’ll think it’s a barleywine, but will be quickly swept into the grandiose world of American Doubles.