Beer Review – Devil’s Backbone

  • Name: Devil’s Backbone
  • Brewery: Real Ale Brewing
  • Style: Tripel
  • Origin: Texas
  • ABV: 8.1%

Having now lived in the great state of Texas for a little over six years, Real Ale Brewing has cemented itself as one of my favorite breweries. From the first time I tried their Fireman’s Four, I have been pleasantly surprised by each of their beers. Devil’s Backbone, a tripel, is quite possibly the best of a great cast of beers from this Blanco based brewery.

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Devil’s Backbone presents with a transparent, amber color when poured into a glass. It is highly carbonated and builds a medium head. Aroma wise, nothing is particularly strong. The main recognizable smell is somewhat malty.

Despite its light coloration, Devil’s Backbone is surprisingly thick. It has a smooth and “fluffy” mouthfeel. Its flavors are a great combination of bitter and sweet. The aftertaste maintains both flavors for a short period, but dissipates to almost zero between each gulp.

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I thoroughly enjoy this beer for two reasons. Firstly, it tastes amazing. It has enough complexity to be intriguing and not taste like watery garbage. At the same time, the flavor profile is not so strong that it becomes overpowering. Taste wise, it is extremely session-able. That said, you may want to think twice before doing so because…

It is much stronger than many beers on the market. It’s somewhat unusual to find a beer with an 8.1% ABV sold in 12 oz bottles that come in a six pack. Compare that to many beers that are more likely to be in the 4-5% range, and Devil’s Backbone is excellent value for money (purely when considering alcohol content).

Even better is, despite its strong alcohol content, Devil’s Backbone doesn’t taste overly boozy. As stated above, this beer is surprisingly session-able.

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If you’ve never tried one of Real Ale’s brews, I would highly recommend picking up any of them. Devil’s Backbone is great, but I also enjoy Fireman’s Four, Pinsetter and Lost Gold IPA.


Devil’s Backbone is an excellent beer. It is well flavored, well balanced and packs a punch ABV wise. If you’ve never tried Real Ale’s fare, go ahead and start with this one. That said, all their stuff is good and I would happily recommend any of it.

Rating: 8.5

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Learn more about Devil’s Backbone on Real Ale’s website, Untappd and Beer Advocate.



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