American Red Ale Founders Brewing Co.


Dankwood, an American Red Ale by Founders Brewing Co.

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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.

Packaging art for the Dankwood by Founders Brewing Co.

Packaging art for the Dankwood by Founders Brewing Co.


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.

Label art for the Dankwood by Founders Brewing Co.

Label art for the Dankwood by Founders Brewing Co.


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.

Have You Tried Dankwood?

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About the American Red Ale

The American Red Ale is similar to the American Pale Ale and American IPA styles but has a more pronounced malt backbone (caramel malt, typically) and it more bitterness than the similar American Amber Ale. The ale is amber in color with moderate alcohol strength. The style typically has a medium body or a bit over with matching carbonation.