Home > Black IPA, Imperial/Double IPA, India Pale Ale > Founders Dark Penance

Founders Dark Penance

Rating: 4.1

A relatively new release from Founders now, this one is their ‘new’ imperial black IPA that was first released as an autumn seasonal in 2014 and is already the fifth most reviewed American black ale on the BeerAdvocate website so hopefully that means it’s a good one. The beer also currently ranks as the 33rd best in the style on the same site and is a beer that I picked up in my local bottle shop a couple of months ago and would probably have already drank by now if I had noticed at the time that it was a black IPA and not another imperial stout (I also picked up a bottle of Founders Backwoods Bastard at the same time, hence the confusion). The beer is the first new one from Founders since they introduced their All Day IPA in the spring of 2012 and to be honest I’m surprised at how fast new Founders beers are making their way to the UK now; I even managed to pick up a couple bottle of their KBS recently and look forward to trying them. This one should be available from October through to December each year as well as being available on draught at the Founders taproom from October each year as well.

Founders Dark Penance

Appearance (5/5): Black in colour with a half centimetre tall, foamy head that is a light beige colour and looks quite creamy. There is touches of lacing on the sides of the glass and the head holds remarkably well for a beer that comes in at almost nine percent, there is little sign of any movement at all for upwards of the opening five minutes; an excellent start with this one from Founders here.
Aroma (8/10): This one starts with a lot of tropical fruits, most notably some passion fruit and pineapple that comes through alongside some pine and citrus notes. Quite a few darker malts start to come through around the middle and there’s a bit of chocolate in there too before a bit of liquorice makes an appearance too. Some floral notes feature towards the end with some caramel and a little bit of alcohol as well.
Taste (7/10): This one starts like the nose with some pine and grapefruit flavours coming through although they were definitely more muted than the aroma. The alcohol is a little more noticeable in the taste though, I got some dark malts soon after with a bit of chocolate and touches of sweetness too before a few roasted flavours come through.
Palate (4/5): This was a really bitter beer from Founders, it came through with a strong hop presence and a touch of sweetness too but the bitterness really dominated, particularly towards the end. The body was a medium to full one with some sticky parts and carbonation was fairly soft but there was a little more alcohol showing than I’d probably have liked.

Overall (16/20): Good stuff from Founders here, a really bitter offering that was a lot more so than I’d been expecting going in and one that really packed a punch too; there was a lot more alcohol showing than I’d have liked but the beer remained drinkable throughout and never really seemed a struggle to get through. I liked this one, particularly the aroma that hit me straight after opening the bottle but at the same time I doubt it’s one I’m all that likely to go back to, it was just that little bit too strong; despite sitting around the 9% mark it seemed a lot stronger.

Brewed In: Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States of America
Brewery: Founders Brewing Company
First Brewed: 2014
Full Name: Founders Dark Penance Imperial Black IPA
Type: Black IPA/Imperial Black IPA
Abv: 8.9%
Serving: Bottle (355ml)
Purchased: Good Spirits Co. (Glasgow)
Price: £4.40

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  1. January 8, 2016 at 08:20

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