I was down the road in Minooka checking in on Route 6 Liquors for new arrivals. The nice lady behind the counter quickly walked to the back and came out with a bottle of a new beer from Founders. I hadn’t heard of it. It was their ReDANKulous Imperial Red IPA.
I certainly could do an IPA this weekend but this one came with a caveat and it was right in its name, DANK. I think it was the last homebrew club meeting, someone brought a bomber of an IPA to be passed around. The comments mumbled from all those who sampled included the word “dank.” I remember when I took a sip, it immediately reminded me of a cold wet crawlspace in an old wooden house. “Dank” was the perfect word to describe the flavor. There was something earthy about it.
Trying this new beer based on my previous experience would be… well, another experience in dankness. I bought a bottle and went my merry way.
ReDANKulous is a part of Founders’ Backstage Series and was this year’s August release. Like many other imperial IPAs, Redank weighs in at 9.5% alcohol and they have printed on the label that it has 90 IBUs. Only on Founders’ website does it give any inkling as to what kind of hops are used in this beer, Incidentally, the label image was created in crushed hop pellets.
What makes a beer dank? This beer abounds with Chinook, Mosaic and Simcoe hops. With exception of Citra (tropical fruit,) the other two are all grassy, and piney with grapefruit along the sides. All are quite high in alpha acids. An odd and bitter mixture to be sure.
It was time to get wet and dank. Let’s get going.
The glass filled with a red-orange liquid bringing up a large off-white foamy head. The beer was crystal clear with tiny micro-bubbles of carbonation. The aroma was of sweet hoppiness. Where was the dank? I could hardly wait to find out.
The first sip contained a nice medium to big body with some slight sweetness at the front. The swallow was another thing. A massive wallop of bitterness that stayed on a while after the sip was gone. This was the oddest DIPA I’ve tasted. It was as if it wanted to like me but kept baring its teeth every time I approached. It was a smack to the throat.
There was somewhat of a balance between the malts and the hops but the hops were just nuts. It was a balance but not a pleasant one. It wasn’t hops for hops’ sake, but rather an almost-blend of familiar hops but with that one oddball thrown in. I recognized some familiar hop flavors then after another sip I got confused wondering how the hell did they do that.
This Redank beer is sort of an imperial red ale on hop-roids or a DIPA on Mars dirt. I’ve had a dank IPA before and this one approaches dankness quite well. But the odd flavors yielded by the blend of hops the brewers used almost defies description. The dankness experienced comes from the hops and not some mystery flavoring from a plastic vial.
Redank is not as brutal as Green Flash’s Palate Wrecker. This one has a bit of flair. And it’s not as tasty as their own Devil Dancer. The beer does live up to all that the brewery says about it. It’s true to style and the redness of the liquid gives you something to stare at as your throat recovers from the rasp train that just passed by.
ReDANKulous is a great beer for hop heads and those who want their taste buds exercised. It’s well made carefully thought out. But I’d say it’s not for everyone. If you’re feeling daring, get yourself a 750 and try it. Any other beer you may try after this one may taste like carbonated water.
Style: Double/Imperial IPA
Taste: A bit of sweet and a bushel full of bitter.
Smoothness: The smooth lasts in the millisecond range.
Drinkability: Slow and easy. Get up courage for each successive sip.
Bang for the buck: Adequately priced for the taste experience received.
Amount paid: $9.99 per 750ml bottle.
Get it again? Probably not.
Wife’s all-encompassing opinion: (Sniff) Grapefruit. (sip) Oh that’s a lot of grapefruit. (sip) Always so citrusy. (sip) Although it’s not as bitter as I would have thought. (Now that’s surprising.)
The making of the ReDANKulous label [0:56]