Brewery: Founders Brewing Company

Brewery: Founders Brewing Company

Beer: Double Trouble

Type: Imperial IPA

ABV: 9.4 percent

Price: $12 for a four-pack

Web: foundersbrewing.com

Grade: 3 of 4 stars

Why I tried it :

Simply put, Founders has never steered me wrong - and its big, bold Breakfast Stout was the best new beer I tried this year. Good heavens, the flavors that radiated from that one! In the beer world, reputation goes a long way.

Circumstance also played a part. Christmas is a season for sipping, but I'm just not a die-hard fan of most thick, spicy holiday ales. I guess I'd rather my beer taste more like hops than allspice.

What I thought :

A big beer without question, Double Trouble emanates every one of its 86 IBUs and all of its hefty 9.4-percent alcohol content. You'll smell, taste and feel this beer.

Even though I drank my first one out of the bottle, every Christmas reveler within three feet exclaimed, "Man, what is that?!" Bound by the Christmas spirit, I was forced to dole out many sample sips.

What drew my needy friends were the vigorous, pungent smells of fresh pine and earthy hops. I'm not much for overboard tasting techniques, but this beer had me stopping regularly to smell.

That nose never really wanes - it only highlights the robust hops flavor and the sweet grapefruit bitterness that define this fantastic, aromatic beer.

Double Trouble is available through April.

Have a beer that John Ross should try? E-mail him at jross@columbusalive.com.