Showing posts with label Founders. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Founders. Show all posts

Dec 28, 2014

Founders Black Rye Ale

     Originally introduced in 2006 and brewed for less than a year, it's been a long while since anyone has seen Founders Black Rye around. So much so, where even though the beer had developed a devoted who swapped legends of it and very few actually got to taste it, that Founders co-founder Dave Engbers has noted “Most people drinking craft beer and even Founders beer today have never tried Black Rye. Officially, this beer is a re-introduction. But for most, it’s a new Founders beer.”
     Being a Founder devotee for quite a long time now I am one of the many first timers when it comes to spending any amount of time with this brew.
     As far as it's color the expression "none more black" can be bandied around at first look. Held up to the light though it gives off a dark ruby hue. The tan colored head is a modest one finger, melts fairly fast leaving a constant cap that leaves a thick lace behind with each sip. A smell of dark roasted coffee is big the front followed by scents of pumpernickel bread and notes of chocolate.
     A mix of black coffee and pine resin come out first in the flavor. The hops are quite present but work well with the roasted malt nuances.  Those begin to intermingle with tobacco, baker's chocolate and a good amount of wild rye throughout the middle. It finishes with an equal amount of charred wood, grapefruit peel and just a hint of purple grapes.
     Interesting in it's complexity all the way through. Founders will be brewing this to March of 2015. If you are looking for something on the darker end of the beer spectrum but for something different than a stout or porter consider this as a choice to put on your list.
foundersbrewing.com     

Oct 20, 2014

Founders Mosaic Promise IPA

   
     Brewed to benefit ArtPrize, the world's largest art completion that happens in Founders home base of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Mosaic Promise is brewed with one single malt, Golden Promise, and with just one hop, Mosaic.
     This is the 2nd year their 5 year contract for creating a unique beer for the competition. Last year they brewed the pretty dang great Inspired Artist Black IPA so what they would come up with this year, like everything Founders makes, was something to look forward to giving a taste.
     Pours a rich golden slightly bordering on orange in color. It was a soft pour brought a one finger head that faded fairly quick but made a ring that left enough for spotty lacing behind through its drinking.
     Very crisp scents of grapefruit peel, lemon zest, some green bud and fresh ground pepper all intermingled on the nose in the top. The malt hold it all up in the background providing some honey and warm biscuits to the smell. There's quite a few levels of complexities actually which is interesting due to the fact that there only being one singular hop and malt used. Founders are masters at pulling every nuance out of a variety of hops they use and so far, as the smell goes at least, it they've done all kinds of magic again.
     The flavor is similar to the aroma. Lots of citrus and tropical fruit such as mango and pineapple along with a sour candy such as Spree's impart at first. Some pine qualities along with some grassy (as both in some lawn AND some primo weed), green grapes and blueberry notes then begin to waft through in the middle. If this was all the tastes the beer had to offer it would be enough to compare it to a super great harvest ale but, as a TV pitchman would put it, "Wait! There's more" as the malts come out in the end weaving things together with some fresh out of the oven wheat bread thing happening. The finish is peppery and piney but in a way that is very refreshing and not sticky.
     Of course this is a limited run and stock is running low on how much is left. I've picked up a couple six packs of it now and will continue to do so when I spot it around at stores til it's all gone. I'm not going to hoard it all though because I enjoy sharing beers with friends. Yes, this beer is for aficionados but is also a very flavorful and palatable one to turn on a neophyte to as well.
www.foundersbrewing.com

Jan 5, 2014

Founders Brewing Comany's Imperial Stout

     The weather forecast is calling for one of the most major snowstorms the region has seen in some years. Of course though these days if 2 inches drop it causes the every area TV station to post "STORM TRACKER ALERTS" and so on causing some type of hype and scare-mania for what is just an everyday run of the mill Michigan winter snowfall.
     None the less, errands and a trek was made to the store for a few things needed in case the weather actually hindered getting out on the roads over the next few days. On my final stop I spotted these Imperial Stouts on the shelf. Knowing their powers from many past years when they make their winter appearance I know that IF we did actually get the snow the weather folk were banging out about these beers would be something to warm me as I watched a tundra happen out my windows.
     This is one of the darkest beers ever. It looks and pours pretty much like old motor oil. Save from a dark ruby color along the sides of the glass no light gets through this brew. The head is a sliver of bubbly mocha color that, though thin, leaves a fair amount of lacing behind in it's wake.
     Cocoa, coffee and vanilla notes are what comes through first on the nose. None of them come out blasting in scent. Instead, they are all mellow and roasty as they intermingle with each other. Just beneath them are hints of charred maple, vanilla and tobacco. Very warm and soothing-which is to say it is already starting to do it's trick as I am watching the snow starting to pile up and watching the thermometer dropping down.
     Tastebuds become immersed in dark coffee and bittersweet chocolate flavors at first sip. They hold strong through the soft & chewy nature of the beer but also give room for dints of raspberry, vanilla and hardwood smoke. Towards the finish, where a lot of bold stouts seem will drift off into either a watery sweetness or spent coffee, this takes a bold turn with a piney hop bite and a reminder that even though the 10.5% abv has been well hidden beneath ten varieties of malted barley it still packs a punch.
     Damn! It is starting to look really monochromatic outside. Maybe the television wasn't actually over-exaggerating the mess this storm is gonna make. Good thing I found a store with this in stock as it is one of the most hearty things ever for such weather nuisances.
foundersbrewing.com

Oct 13, 2013

Founders Inspired Artist Black IPA

    
     Though this had been floating around a little bit in the past as a rare experimental beer that a lucky few got a sample of here in there it was officially introduced earlier this summer. It's name is in tribute to ArtPrize, the world’s largest art competition held annually in Founders home base of Grand Rapids, Michigan and it's limited batch run that was sold in the Mitten State only proceeds are going to benefit ArtPrize's future competitions.
    The brew pours almost black in color but when held up to the light shows off a dark crimson in color. The medium soft pour brought out a minimal head but what is there leaves a pretty solid cap and ring that holds tight and leaves drifts of lacing all the way through the drinking session.
    Roasty malts, a bit of maple wood smoke, bakers chocolate and more than a touch of the aroma that is standard for Founders other IPA's come out on the nose. None of the scents are aggressive and have a muted but pleasant relationship going on.
     The taste is right along the lines of the smell but all much more pronounced. The first thing in medium & creamy weight in mouth feeling beer is the flavor is something of a less sugary Nutella. You know what I am talking about. Hazelnuts & cocoa happening. Since I am not one to ever turn down some Nutella-I am already charmed as soon as it hits the taste buds. That is followed by a hint of charred wood which then gives way to some grapefruit tang. It finishes with a mix of dark coffee bitters and lingering citrus with the 7.5% alcohol being pretty well hidden.
     My experience with some other black IPA's have been hit or miss but this one hits it not only out of the park but the ball is found 3 blocks away from the park when it finally lands.
     Been hoping that I could find another six pack somewhere (because sometimes there is that rare stroke of luck locating a stash in a out of the way store that doesn't realize what it has) but all I got from clerks were a chuckle and a "Yeah, good luck with that, Bub" in a scoffing tone.
     I don't know if Founders plans on releasing this every year but one can wish so wish I do.
http://foundersbrewing.com

Mar 23, 2011

Founders KBS (2011 edition)

 A week or so ago when we had temp's in the 60°F range I told friends and family "I have to finish up whatever straggling stouts I have kicking around. The warm weather is here to stay and it's time for warm weather beers. These thick stouts just ain't the kind of thing that cut it in that kind of climate."
"What about KBS" It'll be in stock in a few days" a buddy who orders the beer at one of my go to party store's in town asked.
"Well, that doesn't count because it's not just a stout but something close to pure manna" I said to him "but even after that NO MORE STOUTS til the old man winter weather returns."
Then last night BOOM! ANOTHER FREAKING WINTER STORM. Mean, thick, heavy sleet fell down. It was some back breaking work digging the car out of the nasty and wet mess that had dropped from the skies out but it had to be done. KBS had arrived to the area. It's a rare bird and is not something that can be put off picking up "sometime later in the week" because it doesn't last long on the shelves after it's released and when it's gone IT'S GONE FOR A WHOLE 'NOTHER YEAR (unlike this freaking snow though it seems).
A thin but hearty coffee with cream colored head sits on top on what has the be the darkest stout brew on this and, though it melts a bit, still hangs on all the way through the session. The aroma is first and foremost bourbon and oak wood due to it being casked in whiskey barrels for over a year. Other scents that follow it are coffee, chocolate and vanilla.
The scent alone is enough to make one smile and the flavor bursts open the tastebuds senses in ways the aroma was just hinting at. The bourbon characteristics warm the tongue and body even faster than they did the nostrils. Warms the heart of a serious beer lover too as it is making me smile despite no matter where I look outside I see a six inches of cold and clumpy mass covering everything.
The bourbon flavors don't overtake everything in this velvety and thick brew though as the sweetness from the chocolate and vanilla flavors and coffee bean bitters come in and balance each other out. Compared to other years this finishes with a slight hop hotness but it works incredibly with the bourbon warmth that goes along with it.
Other brews attempting the same kind of thing that Founders is doing with this may try to come close but none of them can match the twists of  complexities that are going on here. There's a reason why KBS gets ranked one of the top end beers of the world in places like Beer Advocate (where it currently ranks as #4). Utterly amazing stuff here. No doubt about it.
http://www.foundersbrewing.com/

Oct 10, 2010

Founders Nemesis 2010

As a music fan and working in various degrees of the business involved around it for years I used to get a laugh out of the obsessive collectors. You know the type, The ones that have to have every single released format variation of their favorite artist. Never satisfied with having the music in one form they'd have to have the 12inch, the 7inch, the import 7inch on colored vinyl, the picture disc 7inch, the 12inch with a different color variation than the other 12 inch, the CD single because the mix is slightly different than the one on the import 7inch of colored vinyl and on and on. They would haunt record stores, distributors, trade lists etc on a daily (and in some cases an hourly) basis scaring up copies. It would get to a point where you'd see them, make eye contact and just give them a nod of the head to let them "No, we don't have it yet" and save the breath of telling them so.
Nowadays, things are different. With the internet and a paypal account they can usually end up finding whatever record you're looking for and, if price is no object, possess their very own copy to add to the shrine. I was always like "Hey man, I just want it for the music. What's the big damn deal." Then I became a beer geek.....
With almost all of Founders specialty brews I scoured the county for at least one bottle of this years Nemesis. My trusted beer sellers were just as frustrated as I was about not being able to get any (because they love GOOD beer too) and then would make comments about the local distributor of Founders only being good at keeping up on things that come in cans and are advertised on the Super Bowl. I ended up scouring the next county over and following an anonymous tip rolled into a particular store. Lo-and-behold there was one lowly bottle sitting on the shelf. She's been sitting in my fridge ever since taunting me. Until tonight.
Brown/almost black in color while sitting in the glass and a deep mahogany when held up to the light I'm a little taken back because I'm am more used to barley wines looking a bit more of an amber color than this. I know they style can variate in color and all that but I guess I've just haven't seen many this dark. Very minimal head but a millimeter or so size ring hangs tight all through the glass leaving some spotty and running lacing behind.
Lots of chocolate come out first in the scent followed by aromas of date nut bread, cherries that have been soaking in bourbon for a couple of months and some slight coconut. Not much notice of alcohol to this nose which is surprise because of it hitting a 12% abv. The taste has a very interesting complexity to it. A dark like licorice and tart like grapefruit hop bite comes out that then is wrapped cozy by coffee, maple and bourbon flavors. With each sip it's the same experience-here comes this bite then it's surrounded and softened up. The finish gives the hops some hang time again with some coffee hanging in the background. Founders always does a good job covering up their higher end alcohol content and here is no exception. Very mellow. It's different than the Nemesis of the past but each year tweak has never been a sidestep. If you see one on the shelf-snatch it, sip it and savor it. It's gonna be another year til they're spotted again.
http://www.foundersbrewing.com