Beer Review 0394: Dark Horse FF Dekoorc Eert (Falconer’s Flight Crooked Tree) IPA

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Recently, Dark Horse Brewing Company (Marshall, Michigan) released an IPA variety 12-pack; the pack includes three bottles of Crooked Tree IPA, which I rated 88 points. The other three beers in the pack are single-hopped variations of Crooked Tree, featuring Citra, Cascade, and Falconer’s Flight hops.

I was excited about this variety pack until I got it to the cash register of my bottle shop, where it rang up $26.99. I was expecting maybe $20-22, but not that price! This steep price proportionally increased my expectations of the beers contained within the slick packaging…

I should also let you know that I’m writing this preamble AFTER I’ve had all the beers. There is one thing I must point out, especially with the three single-hopped beers contained in the pack — Dark Horse doesn’t filter their beer, which is fine, but the difference between pouring a bit of the bottle into a glass versus the full bottle is quite substantial. My tulip glasses I use for reviews only hold 13 oz. of beer, so I tend to pour about 8 ounces into my glass to start with — each of these single-hopped beers (the regular Crooked Tree didn’t do this) poured fairly clear to start with, but became choked with sediment by the end of the bottle. While it didn’t really affect flavor, it did presentation; pouring the whole bottle made for a much larger head. Here’s a picture of how chunky these beers are:

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So…if you don’t like chunks in your beer, you have been warned.

Falconer’s Flight Crooked Tree comes in at 6.5% ABV (alcohol by volume). The Falconer’s Flight hop is blend of seven popular ‘C’ hops — (Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, Citra, Cluster, Columbus, and Crystal) plus other experimental varieties. Not only is this hop supposed to provide citrus aromas and flavors, it also lends earthy, spicy overtones.

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The appearance of this beer followed all the other brews from this variety pack: it initially pours a small head, soapy and fast diminishing. The beer is a golden color, with a slight haze. Drink a little and pour the rest in and you get a very cloudy golden beer with a large head that lasts. Particles and sediment are outrageous, leaving thick chunky bits floating in the liquid. Lacing is poor until getting the entire bottle in the glass, then it becomes pretty good.

On the nose, this is pretty weak: I got strawberry and butter up front, which are off-flavors, in my opinion…this is lightly hopped, with some general fruitiness and perhaps a nod toward grapefruit. The malt backing is sweet and mainly caramel. The hops give off a slight astringency/bitterness, but other than that, there’s not much going on here.

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The initial flavors are grapefruit and a touch of strawberry; the malt backbone shows up grainy and thin. Middle of the mouth opens up to some dark pine, leading to a crisp and clean finish that doesn’t feature much bitterness. The lingering taste is grapefruit and pine. I’d call this light-bodied with a thin, creamy mouthfeel.

Once again… we’ve got a decent IPA here, but it drinks more like a Pale Ale. This brew is merely good, not remarkable in any way, and certainly not worth the price tag it commands. Sigh…

Dark Horse FF Dekoorc Eert (Falconer’s Flight Crooked Tree) IPA, 79 points. Price: $26.99 US as part of the Dark Horse IPA Variety pack, which contains three bottles of this beer.

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