Back in 2011, I traded for a four-pack of Dark Horse Brewing Co.’s Double Crooked Tree, a 12 percent ABV double IPA that is typically released by the Marshall, Mich.-based brewery in February. The beer is an amped up version of Crooked Tree’s year-round IPA Crooked Tree, with double the hops and double the malts, although the brewery used the same amount of water to actually brew the limited release beer.

The Dark Horse website describes Double Crooked Tree thusly:

We actually took the Crooked Tree recipe and doubled all of the ingredients except the water, just the way a DOUBLE should be made. Big hops balanced with tons of malt give this beer a huge body. Enjoy right away or let it mellow and smooth with some age.

The idea behind this review was to see if a well-regarded, high ABV IPA could be aged long enjoy to turn into a close approximation of a barleywine. Theoretically, if there is enough alcohol in the IPA, the hops will fall off overtime and the malts will dominate the profile. Obviously, IPAs and barleywines are brewed with different purposes in mind, so I was interested to see what six years of age had done to this beer.

The Dark Horse Double Crooked Tree has been kept in cellar conditions since I procured it in 2011 and this was the first time I had tried one of them.