In my continuing quest for a Michigan made IPA to rave about I present to you the based out of Marshall, Mi brewery Dark Horse and their Crooked Tree IPA. As I've said plenty of times in the past it seems everyone has their own idea on what an IPA should taste like and these folks are no different. My contention with a some of them is that I wonder if the brewmasters even like what makes an IPA an IPA and if so-do they care or are they just tinkering with them enough to make people think "Is this even actually an IPA?" Check out our review of Arcadia's IPA for what I'm getting at as far as that's concerned.
With that all said I really like this. Great dark orange color, the smell over a sweeter citrus & pine. And the taste? Ah yes this one has a character all of it's own but there is no denying or questioning that it is an IPA all the way and not some kinda reinterpretation that has gone askew in the translation. The first thing that stands outs is the hops as it should but they're a bit fruiter than most yet still keeping the bitterness one expects. It's got a bit of that sting that the hops should have but not over the top. I kinda felt like Goldielocks when I had my first sip and thought "Ahh. This is just right." An interesting balance complimented by a nice malt bottom end. Great body, very crisp and a mellow yet still noticeable hop aftertaste that doesn't linger too long and wear out it's welcome. Even as a huge fan of IPA's that I am I still hem and haw about a lot of them sometimes as being a "session" beer due to their nature and ABV (Y'know, the burn that can spread from the tongue to the throat then down to the gut after a couple) but this is one of those that I could (and probably will) find myself enjoying a six pack of in one sitting not too far the road.
Bravo Dark Horse Brewing company. Bravo!