Dankwood is an American Red Ale brewed by Founders Brewing Co., and for the purposes of this craft beer review, the ale was served in a snifter from a bottle.
The ale pours a cloudy garnet with an opaque burgundy center. It’s topped by an inch-thick cap of dense cream-colored foam that shows fine retention. Following the head’s reduction, a thin ring of bubbles gathers at the collar while droplets and patches of residue cling to the glass during consumption.
Not surprising, considering its name, the aroma is dank with pine and resin. But having been aged in bourbon barrels, it’s also sweet with a scent of vanilla.
The palate begins sweetly with a taste of caramel mixed with a bready malt. A layered bitterness follows. Resin and earthy wood are flushed with booze and their bitterness lingers through the finish. A balance of sweet caramel and vanilla comes through on the swallow.
Its feel is smooth, creamy and a little sticky. Its full body has moderate carbonation and finishes dryly with moderate warmth.
Its appearance is lovely and its luscious feel is perfect for the palate. The aroma is really lovely but begins to fade half-way through the session. But it’s the palate that’s the real star. The layered mix of dank, earthy woods and sweet bourbon is just sublime. The ABV soars but this doesn’t smell, taste or feel like a twelve-percenter. It’s that well crafted.
Of course, this brew’s style is more reminiscent of a Strong Ale or even Barleywine. But do you really care? Dankwood is a masterpiece and well worth a few extra bucks.