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Founders Sweet Repute - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Sweet ReputeFounders Sweet Repute

Educational use only; do not reuse.

137 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 137
Hads: 1,064
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 2.6%
Wants: 120
Gots: 323 | FT: 69
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Wheatwine |  12.60% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: JohnnieNepal on 11-18-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

One-hundred percent barrel aged in maple syrup bourbon barrels and bourbon barrels over the course of sixteen months, then blended using carefully calculated ratios for the ultimate final product.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 137 | Hads: 1,064
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to GRG1313 for sharing this one at his tasting.

Pours a hazy honey orange with a foamy beige head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Small chunks of sediment are seen floating around in the beer after the pour. Smell is of malt, caramel, toffee, bourbon, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with caramel, brown sugar, and bourbon flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of toast bitterness and an alcohol kick on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is tasty but fairly boozy. (688 characters)

Photo of metter98
4.36/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is very hazy dark golden yellow in color and has some fine particulates visible floating in suspension. It poured with a thin off white layer of bubbles on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of bourbon are present in the nose along with hints of maple syrup.
T: The taste mostly follows the smell and has flavors of bourbon infused with maple syrup, although the bourbon flavors don't seem as strong compared to other barrel aged beers considering that the underlying beer is a wheatwine.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. Slight hints of warming are present from the bourbon.
O: This is a really nice beer to sip and savor if you like bourbon, but its drinkability is a lot better compared to barrel aged barleywines and stouts. (838 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
4.85/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well this was something I had hoped would come along for quite some time. The beer poured out as a vibrant orange with plenty of floaties in there too. The beer has a nice scattered lacing and head retention. The smell of the beer is obviously sweet, loaded with vanilla, bourbon and maple. Sweetness all around on the nose. There is subtle citrus on the nose too. The taste is loaded with maple, vanilla, bourbon, citrus, and god knows what else... It's so good. The mouthfeel is thick, syrupy and creamy. Subtle carbonation also. Overall I'm so happy this beer was released. Nemesis 09 blew my mind and this one is so damn close to that. Definitely worth it and definitely something I'll be looking to get more of. (716 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Oh my! If there's a fat 10 year old with a sweet tooth in me, then this decadent ale just brought him out!

With a hazy golden appearance, a cloud of caramel gazes over the beer with its yeasty film. Partly zesty and partly frothy, the beer's cottony foam caps the beer with semi-stern retention and trailing lace.

Cookie dough, butterscotch and marshmallow fluff leap out immediately- yep, we're still talkin' beer here. Complementary bready aromas are sweetly scented, much like angel food cake, Werther's Originals and candied bourbon glaze. An overall butter pecan cocoon wraps it all together in absolute mouthwatering fashion.

As its bready-sweet taste of pound cake layers on the tongue, its rich and buttery taste takes on all the caramel and candied flavors that were collected by the nose. As its creamy vanilla flavors wash over the middle, a taste of heavy whipping cream and marshmallows wrap things up heading into finish. Its malty-sweet final chapter leaves its story open well past its end as its sweet bourbon flavors linger, seemingly indefinitely.

Medium-full throughout, the beer's bready upstart transitions to confecionary textures of candy and then bourbon in finish. Accompanied with boozy and spicy warmth, the beer fades toward dryness very slowly and drifts effortlessly into a sweet aftertaste.

A single taste of Sweet Repute conjures up memories of Nemesis '09. Despite this higher alcohol content, its flavors and sweetness come together much better than that trial version of four years ago. This is what wheatwine is meant to be! ...or perhaps my naive and seductive forgivences of a ten year old has come out as well. (1,655 characters)

Photo of oberon
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a honey tinged golden with a thinner white head atop,maple really stands out in the nose along with mild toasted oak and like others have noted a bit of butterscotch,quite warming.Maple,vanilla and toast flavors at the onset with some brown sugar and sweet alcohol lingering in the finish,at no point does it become cloying.A big sipper but packed with flavor,you can tell all the time and effort that was put into this. (426 characters)

Photo of jlindros
4.19/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle I've held onto for a while, hoping the booze would die down a bit and thankfully it did. 2013 vintage.

Mild small fizzy head barely forms then fades at a need pace, murky hazy sediment laden candy reddish orange color.

Nose brings tons of candy maple and barrel, lots of maple syrup, bourbon, candied bourbon and vanilla barrel, sweet candied wheat toasted malt aroma, some phenols, mild booze, caramel candy.

Taste brings big sweet malts, candy syrup caramel and tons of maple syrup, sweet maple syrup but not overly sweet. Some toasted oak and mild bourbon, little barrel, even coconut barrel notes. Mild phenols but just a hint or warming booze. Mild creamy wheat base too, little toasted and hint of biscuity caramel. Little grassy earthy hop in the background. Finish is little sticky sweety, just a hint of warming booze, lingering caramel and plenty more maple mixed with bourbon and little barrel with more candied creamy wheat.

Mouth is med to fuller bod, decent carb, touch syrupy, just a touch of booze.

Overall pretty nice, great bourbon barrel notes, nice base malt, barrel really brings some interesting characters that go nicely with the wheat and malt, but in the end still just too sweet even for this style. (1,240 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.19/5  rDev -0.9%

On-tap 3/23/2014 at Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub, in Pawtucket, RI served in a snifter glass.

A: The beer is a deep amber color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains vanilla, maple, caramelized malts, fruit, oak essence and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out very sweet with strong flavors of maple, vanilla, caramel and butterscotch. Then some breadiness comes in from a hearty malt character. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. There’s also not much hint of the high ABV. The after-taste is sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down dangerously easy, not too filling, deceptively strong kick, good representation of style, this is a very nice beer to sip on for a long time. (863 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
4.19/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I tried this on tap at Brass Rail in Campbelltown, 12oz pour in a Samuel Adams perfect pint glass.

The color is golden with amber hues and thin white head with fine bead. The smell is very enticing with maple and bourbon aroma bringing a mild woody and vanilla blend of aroma with moderate alcohol scent. The feel is not shy about the strength, but pretty smooth and not exceptionally hot, mild sweetness with moderate carbonation balancing the malt body.

The taste is great, lots of wheat flavor with low breadiness and a good deal of barrel character with slight maple-like woody taste with the bourbon trailing the malt is sweet but not overly so with mostlly dry finish and warming in the back of the throat. Overall this is an improvement on the other wheatwine I tried that was a maple/bourbon aged offering Nemesis. I like this but it is definitely one to not take lightly as it is smooth for 12.6% (911 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From 12/07/13 notes. Picked up a bottle of this from Top Hops and drank that night; poured from a 750ml bottle into a snifter.

a - Pours a slightly murky hazy orange color with one finger of fluffy white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of maple syrup, sugar, caramel malts, bourbon, toasted malts, bready malts, oak, and light spice. Nice maple up front, pretty sweet.

t - Tastes of maple syrup, sweet bourbon, caramel malts, toffee, vanilla, oak, toasted malts, fruity malts, coconut, bready malts, and biscuits. Taste is sweeter than the nose with more maple and sweet bourbon, Really nice, not hot at all.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. No heat and very smooth; very easy to drink. Great mouthfeel.

o - Overall a very good beer; reminds me a lot of their Nemesis 2009, which is one of the best wheatwines I've ever had. Loads of maple and sweet bourbon to it and not hot at all; super smooth body. Like this one a lot, would love to have it again sometime. (993 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into snifter, bottled in late 2013. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy deep orange amber color with a 1-2 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapt lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big caramel, brown sugar, golden raisin, wheat, vanilla, coconut, toffee, oak, bourbon, maple syrup, light floral, and oaky earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of sweet malts and maple syrup bourbon barrel notes; with good strength. Taste of big caramel, brown sugar, golden raisin, wheat, vanilla, coconut, toffee, oak, bourbon, maple syrup, light floral, and oak earthiness. Slight earthy oak bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, brown sugar, golden raisin, wheat, vanilla, toffee, coconut, oak, bourbon, maple syrup, and oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity and robustness of sweet malt and maple syrup bourbon barrel flavors; with a fantastic malt/barrel flavor balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and very full bodied; with a very smooth, creamy, and moderately slick mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an outstanding barrel aged wheat wine. All around fantastic complexity and balance of sweet malt and maple syrup bourbon barrel flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering. (1,518 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at the 2014 Secret Stash Bash (Atlanta).

Medium amber with a durable off-white head.

Fruity, hoppy, bourbon barrel aroma with pretty good balance. Boozy.

Flavor is also rather boozy, and sweet. Made a great first impression but then became less enticing.

O: a bit strong and boozy, but given this, nicely crafted. (324 characters)

Photo of mothman
4.26/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

White head. Orange hued copper gold.

Flavor profile: sweet. The maple from the barrels actually shows in this beer. Caramel and toffee. Lots of wheat. The oak show with a lot of vanilla and spice. Big bourbon presence, but not boozy. Hints of orange peel. Some molasses shows. Very sweet, but enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: warming, smooth, sweet. Medium to full bodied. Ends fairly clean.

Overall, a very enjoyable beer. In tempted to say this is better than nemesis 09. Drinkable with tons of flavor. I love how the maple actually showed with this beer. (551 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.41/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Churchkey in D.C.

The beer is yellow with a mild haze. Soft white was that hangs out for several minutes, leavin ample lacing in its wake. Aroma of malt, maple syrup, vanilla, oak. Wonderful flavor. Not too sweet. Alcohol is present but really delicate and unobtrusive. Much better than Founders Better Half. Loads of oak and vanilla. Creamy and smooth on the palate with a mild warmth in the finish. Very tasty. (425 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured on tap at Churchkey into a snifter glass.

Candy orange body amber color, apricot dark with a slight bit if haze. Slight soapy collar and some staying power on the collar as it manages to keep it's sudsy ring.

Bouquet is lots of sticky caramel, with a thin slight wet honey sense. Spiced clove and tannic wood. Not too boozy smelling, but definitely sugary.

First sip is lots of icing sugar and controlled brown sugar sweetness. Big whiskey and caramel action with sticky butterscotch. Good coating on the mouthfeel slightly syrupy but with a nice light feel. Very controlled boozy character, has more of a whiskey feeland flavor with malt depths subdued. Aftertaste is a little off bitter with a strange crazy finish that get a little medicinal and menthol like.

Overall not bad, obviously sweet but controlled except the finish. Fairly enjoyable though if a hint too sweet for my tastes. Drinkable could consider a future bottle. (941 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.54/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Golden amber. Mostly clear except for the floaties suspended in the beer. Small white head that settles to a thin collar. Some lacing and wisps.

Smell - Wheat and cracker malt. Maple syrup. Oak and bourbon.

Taste - Sweet up front. Oaky immediately. Bourbon. Lots of grainy wheat. Astringent. Very sweet.

Mouthfeel - Viscous and syrupy. Astringent. Medium carbonation.

Overall - It's tasty, but it's super sweet. And a barley wine would have been much tastier than this wheatwine crap. (542 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.34/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Well, this a mighty fine beverage we have here! Nothing too complex about this, just seamlessly put together flavors that go on and on. The base wheat wine is sweet and smooth and becomes sweeter still with the maple notes that give it some further depth, and the double barreled Bourbon it of the two barrels is noticeable instantly on the nose and builds to a nice spicy sweet finish with vanilla and caramel notes. Beautifully structured, a very nice after dinner sipper. (474 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
3.84/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle from Bert's
pours a deep golden/amber color with a good sized bubbly white head that persists forever leaving spotty lace on the way down. Aromas of dark caramel, vanilla, wood, nuts, a bit of spice and an odd but enticing pineapple coconut thing going on. The flavor is maple and dark sugars with a tart tropical fruit flavor with a spicy wheat edge and bits of vanilla, alcohol, and bourbon oak. Medium to thick body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet slick mouthfeel. I enjoyed sipping on the one for most of the afternoon. Its and odd but enticing brew. (579 characters)

Photo of corby112
4.26/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a slightly cloudy, dark golden amber color with golden copper edges and a two finger, pillowy white head that very slowly settles into a thick, lasting ring. Excellent retention for the style and high ABV, taking a while to settle and coating the glass with streaks of soapy lacing on the way down. Looks great!

Intense yet inviting aroma with a strong barrel presence that's decently integrated into the wheat wine characteristics. Strong charred oak/toothpick character along with some toasted coconut, faint vanilla and prominent boozy sweetness. In addition to the bourbon there is a heavy dose of booze/ethanol. I'm not picking up much maple syrup but there's a decent amount of spirit without interfering with the prominent leathery malts and ester-y fruit notes. The barrel masks most of the wheat character but the Barleywine elements stand out in the nose with notes of leather, fig, raisin, caramel and toffee. Complex and well balanced aroma but it could use more maple and wheat beer character for my preference.

Chewy full body with prominent barrel flavors that remain nicely integrated into the flavors of the base beer. The maple that was missing in the aroma really stands out providing syrupy sweetness that compliments the oak barrel and boozy spirit. Subtle hints of bourbon along with dry, toasted oak and silky vanilla flavor. Has a lot of the flavor of a high end bourbon without any of the heat. There is plenty of boozy sweetness but nowhere near as much as the nose hinted at making this complex beer dangerously drinkable. Underneath, there is some nice wheat wine flavor with bready yeast, banana and faint light fruit notes followed by boozy sweetness, dark fruit and leathery malt. Overall, I was really impressed with the balance of this beer. There are some intensely flavorful barrel notes that provide multiple layers of complexity without completely obliterating the Wheatwine characteristics. Each sip reveals something different and the high ABV is excellently masked. Another great beer from Founders! (2,048 characters)

Photo of John_M
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Sampled at long last over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Interesting beer, no doubt. The combination of maple syrup and whiskey seemed to impart a spearment and tea aroma, that was unusual. There wasn't as much of this on the palate, but there was still some noticeable bourbon whiskey, vanilla and sweet malt that was enjoyable. Alcohol was well integrated into the flavor profile, though you could still tell it was up there a bit.

Enjoyable, but it's hard to imagine drinking a lot of this. (496 characters)

Photo of vfgccp
4.57/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep golden honey wheat color. Creamy bone white head with nice retention and lace.

S - Butterscotch, caramel, scotch, sweet vanilla, hardwood smoke, maple, burnt banana bread.

T - Huge butterscotch note, honey, vanilla bean, bright white oak, maple, caramel candy, almonds, cognac.

M - Incredibly silkily, super smooth body. Almost creamy. A shade light on carbonation. One of the best finishes I've had in a while.

O - Heavy sweetness, but incredible complexity and integration. (489 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle opened on 2.6.14

A - Pours a cloudy dark-orange-amber with a fluffy light tan head with great retention.

S - Wheat, sweet caramel, a touch of bourbon.

T - Swwet caramel, toasted sugar, light wheat and bourbon in the finish.

D - Good carbonation with a medium body.

O - Sweet and light. Very heavy on the caramel flavors. (332 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
3.79/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

on-tap, Vintner on xmess eve

Just because something is "extreme" does not mean it is good - this a sweet mess of a beer. Maple bourbon barrels are a fun novelty and who doesn't love a good wheatwine, but my god this is a diabetic's nightmare. I really think Founders needs to dial it back with trying to push everything over the top and just make a great wheatwine. There are some fun things going on here - maple, vanilla, booze, and candy. In the end, just one dimensional and entirely too sweet. (499 characters)

Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden orange body with minimal head and lace on top of a boozy, bourbon like aroma that has some woodiness and I get a sugary sweetness so I assume that's the maple syrup (also get a touch of sour patch from somewhere). Boozy, heavy, woodiness keeps it smooth and there is some sugary sweetness although I can't really pinpoint an exact flavor. I like this beer b/c the alcohol, for as high as the ABV is, is not overpowering and there is more of a sweet vanilla like bourbon profile and than straight alcohol/heat flavors. Finishes dry with some sweetness and not overpowering. (587 characters)

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.46/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle poured into a Founders snifter.
12.6% ABV

A - Lightly hazed, this goldenrod beer pours with a nice skim of off-white foam despite it's high alcohol level. Loose, soapy bubbles circle the snifter and leave specks of thin lace on the glass in it's wake.

S - Sweet Repute overflows with sticky caramel sweetness drizzled with sugary maple syrup all stirred with a damp bourbon barrel oak stave with soft, wet wheat becoming an afterthought but doing a great job of balancing and softly smoothing the nose out. White grape and apricot punctuate Sweet Repute's big aroma with nice fruitiness.

T - Semi-melted caramel cube, a dribble of maple syrup and an abundance of soft wheat flavor wash over the tongue, coating it in sweetness that's rich and flavorful and somewhat balanced by thinning bourbon alcohol on the finish.

M - Full-bodied, Sweet Repute has a near cloying level of sugary sweetness that's balanced with care by a perfect level of bourbon barrel aging; not too big, not too little, the thinning, warming alcohol balances out the big maltiness on the finish without becoming too hot. Abundant wheat maintains the beer's smooth body and soft nature for a supple feel.

O - Sweet Repute is undeniably sweet through and through but when shared with fellow beer lovers, the smaller pours spread around should be enough to facilitate a wonderful drinking experience; soft wheat, rich caramel maltiness, subtle maple syrup, and warming bourbon barrel oak with that classic Founders barrel-aged profile. Sweet Repute isn't hot so it's great for drinking fresh but would age wonderfully as well! (1,614 characters)

Photo of twiggamortis420
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle courtesy of johnyb pours a mostly clear copper color with a very dense and creamy off-white head. Very sticky lace and the head has some longevity for sure.

Nose is interesting for sure, they got the 'sweet' part right, lots of maple syrup and bourbon. Not a whole lot from the wheatwine side of things...pretty much all wood and syrup.

Lots of wood on the flavor too, like licking a freshly split cedar log. The maple is there, as is the bourbon. Hell, blind this could be any number of beer styles...barrel treatment did a number on this beast. It all plays fairly well though, the underlying malt has a softness to it that Founder's has a knack for and the alcohol is well integrated. Its sweet for sure, but not cloying and drinks as smooth as any 12-13%'er Ive ever had. This is a really good beer, I would like to get my paws on another bottle or two. (873 characters)

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Founders Sweet Repute from Founders Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 137 ratings.