The other day, G-LO came over for our regular session (it’s so important that we keep up our workout routine!) and brought with him a couple of beers to try. One of them was the Founders Dark Penance, an Imperial Black IPA. The Dark Penance is a Fall seasonal that is available from October to December. We have had a lot of Founders line-up (Breakfast Stout, Kentucky Breakfast Stout, Red’s Rye PA, Centennial IPA, Dirty Bastard, Cerise, All Day IPA, Porter and Rübaeus) and G-LO thought that this would be a “wheelhouse” beer for me. Not one to turn down an offer, I split the beer with him and picked up my pen to provide some tasting notes.
What they say…
A heavy malt foundation includes Crystal malt for sweetness and just enough Midnight Wheat malt to push the color to black. The bitterness is huge, but balanced by malt sweetness and alcohol burn. The hop flavors and aromas range from citrus to floral to pine thanks to a delicious blend of hand-selected Chinook and Centennial hops.
I found the Dark Penance to have the following characteristics…
- Appearance: Black with ruby tinged sides and nice fluffy foam.
- Aroma: A little doughy with a bit of toasted malt and a fair amount of hops. A little of the acrid coffee aroma and some lemony citrus.
- Taste: A great balance of flavors with the malt sweetness and the floral hoppy bitterness. I didn’t find this to be overly bitter from either the roasted coffee flavors or the added hops. The extra ABV is evident as well but it acts as more of a complement rather than making it too boozy.
- ABV: 8.9%
I have yet to be disappointed by Founders as I have not had a beer brewed by them that was not expertly crafted. While I may not have enjoyed all of them equally, this had more to do with my beer style preferences rather than the beer itself. That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed the Dark Penance. This was a very good Black IPA that was made even better with the added octane that comes with the imperial touch. Well done, Founders!