Archive for the 'Founders' category
Founders makes some excellent beers – that’s all there is to it. I’m happy that we’re finally getting distribution here in NC, and I’m finally getting an opportunity to taste their extended offerings. Obviously, an IIPA from any brewer excites me, but I must confess that, coming from Founders, I’m holding unusually high expectations.
The Double Trouble pours a surprisingly light golden color for a IIPA. It is extremely cloudy, with a soapy white head that gathers in a ring around the periphery of the glass. In the nose, there is a ton of citrusy hop bitterness with some decent malt sweetness to boot. The flavor of this is, for a IIPA, a bit subdued (in my opinion). However, it is certainly a big flavor, and it’s extremely well balanced. The initial flavor displays some grapefruit flavors, citrusy and sweet. As the beer develops, the malt lies down on the tongue, providing a backbone for increased citrus sourness and some floral bitterness. The bitterness and sourness grow through the mouth, culminating near the back of the tongue. As the beer goes down the throat, these flavors begin to slowly diminish, though sticking around for many seconds. The flavor of this beer is reminiscent of an Olympic high-jump replay, where they show the approach and vault in normal speed, only turning to the slow motion replay as the jumper reaches the apex and slowly falls to the mat. Yep, that’s just what this beer tastes like – a high jump replay… Only with a fresh hop bud instead of a person.
And now for what you’ve all been waiting for! The Founder’s Breakfast Stout (formerly the Founder’s Kentucky Breakfast Stout, if I’m not mistaken). Now, this is a mean beer – probably the best Stout I’ve ever had. However, it is an interesting stout, flavored with Oatmeal and Coffee. Might sound a little weird, but trust me it works. You’re going to love it – go ahead and buy a 4-pack before you even read the review, ’cause I can guarantee there’s no surprise ending – I’m going to like it. Seriously, go ahead and buy some then come back and we can enjoy the review together over a tasty Stout….
You’re back? Okay, now on with it.
This pours an oily dark black color with a thin but viscous caramel head that sticks to the side of the glass. In the nose, this stuff is super rich. There is a ton of coffee and toffee (the two best ‘offees’ in beer) – it smells like morningtime and a kitchen full of fresh-brewed coffee. In the mouth, no big surprise – this beer is super rich, super smooth, and has a giant mouthfeel. The first sensation is of sweet coffee on the tip of the tongue. The beer almost instantly flows into the mouth, coating the tongue and walls of the mouth. As the beer travels down the tongue, we never lose this coffee sensation. However, we do gain some complexity and richness from a warm oatmeal flavor, and the toffee sweetness begins to rise a bit as well, especially prevalent on the sides of the mouth. On through the mouth, the richness of the flavor is decadent and full, but not overpowering – just smooth and delicious. As the beer goes down the throat, it seems to travel slowly so that you can feel it all the way down the gullet, eventually leaving an essence of coffee that shoots back up the nasal cavity, sticking around for a while. Again, this is a killer beer – I can’t say enough about it – if you like coffee and big, rich stouts, then you’re going to love this beer. It IS pretty expensive, at about $10 for a 4-pack. But, this is a sizable brew, and rings in at a beefy 8.x% abv, so it’s arguable worth every cent. Now enjoy the other 3 of that 4-pack that you just bought (but not tonight – moderation is key, you know… okay, maybe just ONE more)
It is wet hop season again for beers, so I wanted to make sure we reviewed at least one this year. I picked up the Founders Harvest Ale to fulfill this duty, so lets get right into it.
The beer poured a hazy red-orange with a finger of white head. The beer showed quite a bit of life with some very good bubble action in the pint glass. The aroma is like pine sap on your fingers. It is that dense. Amazingly enough there is a slight aromatic finish of grapefruit citrus.
The flavor is heavy on the pine, which is to be expected, but the finish has some subtle citrus notes of grapefruit, orange, and even lime. The beer’s 70 IBUs are present from start to finish, but they are all enjoyable. I was pleasantly surprised with a comparatively light beer, with such an IBU rating I was expecting something a little heavier on the palate.
This beer really hit the spot for me. Good job Founders.
Founders is a brewery that only recently found distribution in NC, and I’m very excited that they did. I haven’t had a ton of their beers, but their Kentucky Breakfast Stout is reason enough to let them through the pearly gates of any town, state, or afterlife – it’s a killer beer. Seriously. Get some.
So, anyway, besides the breakfast stout, I notice that I like both the bottle art and the names of most of their beers, “dry-hopped pale ale” being about the tamest title of them all. But, more than names and art, I love dry-hopped ales, so this is the one I picked up. I picked it up, by the way, at the Carrboro Bottle Store. This is a little enterprise owned by Tyler’s, and it’s right next door to Tyler’s in Carrboro. They have a decent selection – I’d recommend checking it out if you’re in the area…
This ale pours a fairly clear medium golden color. There is just a smidgen of debris here, but it overall looks to have been well filtered. There is noticeable head on this beer, apart from a sizable island that floats around but doesn’t offer any real presence. In the nose, there is both hop and malt presence here. The malt is like a big sweet biscuit and the hop is fresh and floral. Nothing overpowering, but it is tasteful and just big enough. In the mouth, this beer is quite nice. Due to the dry-hopping, the biggest presence is hop. At the tip of the tongue, there is immediate bitterness like a big fresh handful of hop. This flavor never stops all the way down the tongue, but it never gets quite as big as an IPA. Rather, it rides with a decent fresh bitter ride, being joined by some sweet biscuity flavors about midway through the mouth. The mouthfeel is medium, the flavor is fairly large but not overwhelming, and the aftertaste is rich, fresh, and sustained. Overall, a killer pale ale – one of the best I’ve had recently. It’s big enough to be a treat, but subdued enough that you could enjoy a few in a session if you really wanted to. I’m psyched about trying the rest of Founders portfolio…