Dark Horse Brewing in Marshall Michigan has quite the reputation for making big flavor beers that sometimes fall a little under the radar. I’m not really sure why, Dark Horse had its own show on the History Channel for some time so they definitely have earned a level of notoriety, but it doesn’t seem like I hear then in the conversation with other Michigan breweries like Founders and Bell’s all too often. The brewery definitely deserves to be though, they have an arsenal of phenomenal beers and make consistently great beer on a regular basis. Double Crooked Tree is the Imperial version of Dark Horses Crooked Tree IPA and is available in limited release at the beginning of the year in February.
Double Crooked Tree pours dark, the beer is a hazy amber to copper color and is opaque to look at in a glass. It’s dark and somewhat ominous, almost mysterious and somehow just fits the feel of a Dark Horse beer. The aroma on the beer is something of a boozy scent, I really didn’t get a whole lot of hop, citrus or pine that tend to be more common with big double IPA’s. The beer is definitely a big IPA, the flavor is big and citrusy with prominent hops and notes of caramel and malts. The beer is very lightly carbonated and drinks relatively smoothly finishing with a little bite and a bit of alcohol burn. It’s warming in the belly just enough to remind you that you are definitely drinking a full-bodied strong beer but doesn’t leave you feeling bogged down.
The Dark Horse website describes this beer as almost the same thing as Crooked Tree, just double the flavor and double the alcohol, basically double everything except water. Makes sense, although I found this beer to be somewhat significantly more complex than its flagship IPA brother. I’m not going to compare the two beers they’re both wonderful for very different reasons and both are excellent choices to invest your beer money in. What I didn’t know about Double Crooked Tree until writing this review is that it’s an IPA that actually cellars well, which is a rarity to say the least. I look forward to next February when I get to restock up on this bad boy not just for a few fresh bottles but also to add a hopped up IPA presence to boss around all the stouts hanging out in my cellar awaiting consumption.
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