Friday, April 15, 2011

Review #12 - Founders Double Trouble

Posted by: Tyler Rippeteau

Apr. 13, 2011

Unlike most of the recent reviews here at 20 Beers in 20 Nights, the Founders Double Trouble does not have a big, long and complicated story behind it.  Founders is solidly distributed in the Chicago area and I have managed to get my hands on a few 4-packs of Double Trouble.
So, here are the specs for the FDT:

ABV: 9.4%
IBUs: 86
Brewery Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Style: American Double/Imperial India Pale Ale
Average Beer Advocate Rating: A-/4.17 – Excellent
My Beer Advocate Rating: A/4.4 – Outstanding
Current Number of Reviews/Rank in the Top 20 on Beer Advocate: 1,007/13th
Brewery Description: Founders Double Trouble
Bottled On: Tuesday, 12/28/2010 at 2:13 PM.

APPEARANCE:  (3.5 out of 5) I poured the Founders Double Trouble into my favorite pint glass, my Ska Brewing pint.  The cloudy, yellow straw color looked great behind the black and white logo.  A nice foamy head remained on top for several minutes after the initial pour and left behind a spotty film covering about 80% of the surface area.  Lacing initially looks like it is going to be fantastic and it isn’t bad, but a letdown given the strong ring of lace left after the first sip.  Below that top ring, the Double Trouble is yet another example of one of my Double IPAs having lacing on the left and right side of the glass, but not directly across on the opposite side.

On a separate, appearance-related note, I had previously never noticed that if you turn the bottle upside down, the face on the front goes from a straight-faced bald guy to a smiling guy with hair.  Cool optical illusion that I never saw before, gotta love Founders.

SMELL:  (4.5 out of 5) Very strong on the citrus aromas, particularly grapefruit.  It smells bitter and fantastic.  This is a powerful and impressive nose.  None of the sweetness/malt notes that are so common in some other DIPAs are present in this one.  It is a nice change of pace for the nose.

TASTE:  (4.5 out of 5) The nose on the Double Trouble does not lie.  It has lots of grapefruit with a very faint floral flavor lurking in the background.  There is a dash of malt to provide just enough balance to this one, but generally it reminds me of an ever so slightly toned down Stone Ruination, an absolute bitter, hop-bomb.  86 IBUs seems to be low, but when the care is taken to make sure that every last one of them is present, they go a long way. 

MOUTHFEEL:  (5 out of 5) When I reviewed Double Trouble last year, I said that the two words that describe its mouthfeel are light and flirty, and I stand by that assessment.  This beer is very well carbonated and feels like a soda going down, but it is so much tastier.  It sits light and is very dry as well.  Founders Double Trouble is a rare beer that gets a 5 in the mouthfeel department from me. 

OVERALL:  (4.5 out of 5) Great beer.  This one really does remind me of Ruination and it also reminds me why I love bitter, hoppy beer.  This is what hops are supposed to do, and while I love the big, sweet and malty DIPAs, sometimes I just want to taste the little green flower without much else getting in the way.  This beer has been climbing up on the The List from 20th to 13th just since we began the project here at 20 Beers in 20 Nights and I imagine it will continue to as it becomes more sought after.  The recent KBS fever may end up bringing it some residual purchases and of course, more reviews. 

SOUND: This was a no-brainer.  The Founders Double Trouble, is powerful and aggressive on the surface, but with an undercurrent of beauty and grace.  The Roots happen to have a song called “Double Trouble” which has all the same characteristics.  Check it out while you throw one of these outstanding brews down.  Or check out the live version.

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