Dark Penance by Founders Brewing

That word, penance, it intrigued me.  So I did what an intrigued person would do.  I visited OneLook.com and perused the definitions of the word.  Here was the first one displayed: “punishment or suffering that you accept, especially because of your religious beliefs, to show that you are sorry for something bad that you have done.”  The rest were all variations on that.  So, is Founders saying they are sorry for making this black IPA?  Are they saying they are sorry that there are black IPA’s?

I shrug and move on.

IMG_0803

That Smell …
It smells of lemon and lime and Chanel Number 5 and all that implies.  Yes, those fruity hops were dancing a dance in the nose.

In Appearance …IMG_0805
For a moment I thought I was pouring a cola.  Or perhaps a really dark tea.  That really created some dissonance in my cranial area.  It smelled like Sprite and looked like Coke.  But it’s a beer, man, a beer … .  Head retention was superb and the collar itself was a stoutish cream color.  Hmmm, this beer is all about deceit.

But the Taste …
If hops madness is your bag, baby, this is your beer.  If I’d not had the bottle with the label containing the name of the brewery right there in front of me I’d swear this was a Sierra Nevada or Stone libation.  I think I’ll lean more towards Stone for the hops artistry did not seem as refined as Sierra Nevada’s.  Yes, the hops are prominent, but what did I expect?  This is an IPA.  It’s dry and bitter, like the desert.  The bitterness lays like a blanket upon the tongue right away.  It lingers then stands and dances.  There is some slight malt character that bursts out as the beer gets warm, but it’s not very strong and lasts about as long as a rainstorm here in Kingman.

Join Me For A Plate Of …
Scalloped potatoes.

The Conclusion Of The Matter Is …
It reminded me of late summer, just as the weather is getting ready to change.  It made me think of late 80’s girl pop bands that are fine to look at and are occasionally in vogue, but, really, just hard to listen to.  This beer is similarly hard to finish.  It’s a harsh glass of achromatic despair, which is exactly what it’s supposed to be.  Yes, this is an IPA worthy of the moniker.  It’s hits all the right hops notes and malt chords.  As I drank I read the BJCP Guidelines for American IPA’s and this was a Goldilocks of the style.  I did find myself wishing that the roasted malts had leant some body and not just color to this black IPA.  However, I seek no penance for having this beer.

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