Founders Brewing is best known for their commendable Kentucky Breakfast Stout, but their Barrel Aged series aims to push the envelope beyond just one type of beer. Brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki is a firm believer that if “you put the right beer in the right barrel… you’re going to create some pretty interesting flavors.” Enter their Underground Mountain Brown. It’s an imperial brown ale aged with Sumatra coffee for a year in their famous caves deep below Grand Rapids, Michigan. Let’s check it out!
This one pours a dark, overcooked caramel color with a healthy, milk chocolate head. The nose isn’t huge, but it’s definitely impressive with Whoppers candy, freshly roasted coffee grounds, and a touch of vanilla cream. There are some boozy barrel notes in the mix, too, but they don’t overpower the rest of the aroma.
The palate is downright refreshing for a barrel aged beer. It’s not as heavy or sticky as your more typical bourbon barrel stouts, which means the flavors really have to stand up. And stand up they do. There’s a great balance of dark roast coffee, chocolate biscuits, and Tootsie Rolls. A slight dark chocolate bitterness carries all the way into the clean, creamy finish, long with chocolate syrup, drip coffee, and a bit of dark caramel. The right beer in the right barrel, indeed.
A / $16 per six-pack / foundersbrewing.com