An imperial for the purist at heart
A Review of Double Trouble by Founders Brewing Co.
Posted on 3/17/2012 by Chops
                   
Delicious
Few breweries enjoy a rabid cult following like the one loyal to the Founders Brewing Company. From their consistently delicious core line (Dirty Bastard, Centennial IPA, etc.) to their highly praised specialty line (Curmudgeon, KBS, etc.), these brewers have more than earned every ounce of respect they have. Their fans are many and fiercely devoted. This is why I never hesitate when I come across a Founders brew I have yet to try. On a recent trip to my favorite local pub, the bartender needed only say ''Fou...'' before I placed my order. Moments later I was introduced to the Double Trouble Imperial IPA.

In the glass, this beer has a pure golden coloration and is crystal clear. It comes with a sudsy white head that dissipates quickly. The aroma consists of a pungent piney citrus with a complimentary spicy character. There is little else to take away from the introduction. Going into that first sip, I was expecting little more than a strong well-balanced Imperial IPA.

Yup, suspicions confirmed. That first sip was a relentless assault of piney hops. The bite is actually pretty dry and coats your mouth with an aggressive bitterness. So crisp is the bite that it actually makes the mouthfeel seem thin. The best way I can describe it is to imagine a vodka version of an Imperial IPA. The impression is similar (minus the elevated alcohol burn of course). There is a sweet caramel-like malt that resides underneath the hop profile, which is only really noticeable on the middle ground. The hops dominate the start and finish, so you really have to be prepared for the malt transition. The finish is very sharp and very bitter, so expect a lengthy aftertaste whether you like it or not. Even though the hop profile is merciless, the overall aggression remains consistent for its strength. So, it ends up being a very well balanced Imperial IPA. As an added bonus, the malt note gains some flavor ground as the beer warms, so don't feel that you need to muscle through it.

Overall, the Founders Double Trouble Imperial IPA is an aggressive delight with a bold flavor. In typical Founders fashion, they made it big and made it right. Consequently, I can point to Double Trouble as a purist example of the Imperial IPA style. Hop Heads will adore this beer as a straight up taste bud punisher. Seasoned drinkers will admire it as a well-balanced monster. But, my recommendation stops there. This beer is way too vicious for novices, so they should stay clear. I would advise exploring the softer side of Founders like their Centennial IPA or Red's Rye PA before tacking Double Trouble. Course, those beers are so damn tasty that you're liable to never leave.

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Double Trouble by Founders Brewing Co.
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