Mar 20, 2015

Devils Backbone and Coronado Devils Tale

Collaborations are nothing new in the craft beer world, but this is the first that I’ve come across involving the Commonwealth’s Devils Backbone. The duo has crafted two versions of this beer. The east coast version is a black IPA, while the west coast variety (the one I am reviewing here) is a big, citrusy IPA. Having had products from both of these companies, it’s easy to see/taste Coronado’s influence in this collaboration, but I’m not sure where Devils Backbone plays a part.

This 7.5% ABV brew is crafted with a hop blend that contains Northern Brewer, Centennial and Mosaic varieties. The result is a brew that embodies the west coast style of IPA with plenty of tropical fruits and pine while a soft malt backbone supports the entire thing. Toss in a little deceptive drinkability and you’ve got a beer that not only tastes great, but goes down smoothly, as well.


The brew pours golden amber in color with a frothy cap of off-white foam that falls slowly to a sticky crown around the surface.

Devils Backbone and Coronado Devils Tale photo


A tropical fruit medley leads the way for pine, a touch of cattiness and lightly toasted bread. The beer certainly smells wonderful.


There’s not doubt that this beer is a big, west coast style IPA. Loads of tropical fruits and pine fill the mouth instantly as peppery, herbal hop notes quickly follow in. A mild sweetness and moderate-to-hight level of bitterness meet half way for a fairly balanced presentation. The medium bodied brew ends with a lightly drying and lasting finish with just a touch of alcohol warmth.


This is a damn fine IPA. I love the fruit forward nature of the hop blend as well as it’s refreshing drinkability. The soft level of maltiness in the background adds a bit of east coast flavor to the collaborative effort. Now, I just need to find the Black IPA version of this beer.

Rating: 4/5

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