Founders “Dark Penance”
Dark Penance is a newly released fusion, appropriately labeled “Imperial Black India Pale Ale.“ It’s released as a fall seasonal, and available October through December in four-packs. Aromas release a hoppy bouquet of grapefruit peel, wild berries, evergreen, mint, and other herbs. Malts come across like coffee, dark chocolate, and a whisper of smoked barley. Additional notes give a weak impression of licorice and currant.
The palate begins in subdued sweetness, followed by a sudden flow of dark chocolate. Caramel holds its ground while hops leap from the middle, infusing flavors of grapefruit which rise toward a sour climax. As bitterness is ejected onto the back-end, Chinook hops unload a heavy undercurrent of pine and dank herbs. Malts finish in a burnt roast that rings out as rich flavors of cocoa powder and cold, black coffee. Resinous hop oils continue to cling beyond the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is creamy throughout, delivering a full, chewy body that leaves slightly dry and astringent.
Overall, I think this is the darkest, most malty Black IPA I’ve ever had (which I love). This style fits rather nicely into the rest of the Founders lineup. Although it does in fact contain 100 IBU’s of bitterness, the immense depth of roast provides a natural counterpoint of balance to taking the edge off. If you’ve ever had Stone’s Sublimely Self Righteous, this is incredibly similar, but Dark Penance has a darker depth of roast, and slightly different hop definition (I performed a side-by-side comparison to assess the differences). If you’re a fan of this novel style, you really have to check this out! I recommend it to those of you who love Double Stouts equally as much as Double IPA’s.
Known Malts: Crystal, Midnight Wheat
Known Hops: Chinook, Centennial
$11.99 / 4-pack
Grand Rapids, Michigan