Founders Barrel Aged Spite Habañero - Founders Brewing Company
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Ratings: 20 | Reviews: 2 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by JDizzle:
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4.36/5 rDev +17.8%
This brew was served on tap at the Founders Brewing Company taproom in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It arrived in a generic snifter, glowing a rusty golden amber coloring. It put up an easily reproducible one finger head of stark white foam, showing nice retention, and spots of lacing as it dissipated at a moderate pace. The faintest chill haze was noted at first, but quickly faded. No sediment was noted. Carbonation appeared to be moderate. The aroma gave smoke roasted habaneros off the bat, with sticky sweet vanilla and thick earthy moss from the barrel aging. With warmth the nose was able to flesh out a bit more, giving pale and lightly caramel malts, more genuine heat from the peppers, fusel booziness, whole peppercorn, and light cheddar funkiness. Our first impression was that this is hands down the spiciest beer we’ve tasted to date, but there was beautiful balance from the woodiness which gave unexpectedly sweet and cooling vanillas. As we sipped, the taste opened with those pale and thickly sugared caramel malts giving a syrupy and sweet base to build from. Mixing was a light citric hop balance, sweaty saltiness, old musky woodiness that went on for days. These were all transient, however, as the habanero slammed into the palate, decimating all flavoring, and singing the taste buds. The peak showed a bit of a reprieve, with continued thickness of those caramel malts coming out more robustly, lightly bittered metallics of the pales, faint wheatiness, moss, distant citric hop balance, big earth, and dirty mineral. The end came washing through with huge vanilla coolness, in a final attempt to ease the peppery baptism of fire. Regardless the peppers burned on, with eventual balance from sourdough breadiness, black pepper, and sweeter twangs of ethanol. The aftertaste breathed of heat, heat, and heat that was 100% authentic to the inherent qualities of the pepper, with cooling vanilla, oaky moss, grassy hops, metallic and dirty vegetal oils, brown sugars, lightly buttered popcorns. The body was medium to full, and the carbonation was medium. Each sip gave nice slurp, smack, cream, froth, and pop to the lip. The mouth was left wet and slickly coated with hot, oily heat of the peppers. The abv was appropriate, and this was one of the slowest drinking beers we’ve ever sipped, but in a good way.
Overall, what we enjoyed most about this beer was the insane interplay between the massive spiciness, and the woody, vanilla coolness of the barreling. Starting with the aroma, it smells like you stuck your face into a hundred year old barrel of dried habanero peppers, with the wood contributing just as much as the flesh of the peppers. This woodiness remained streaked throughout the flavoring, as well, helping attempt that final balance. That being said, this is hands down the spiciest beer we’ve ever had. While it may seem like a bit of a novelty, we think it was really smart for them to barrel this guy, as that vanilla coolness, musky woodiness, and dirty earthiness from the aging (very similar to what the barrels did for “Doom”, but better) gives surprising balance, if you can call it that, as the heat does remain quite pervasive. This is an amazing authentic chili beer, and something that you should absolutely try if given the opportunity.
05-18-2013 20:10:47 | More by TheBrewo
2.05/5 rDev -44.6%
I had this beer at the tap room in Grand Rapids. The beer appears normal, a light color with very little if any head. Smells peppery like the Habanero. The taste is one of the most different and weirdest. The beer is served cold, but one sip and your mouth is on fire. Very hot pepper taste, yet your drinking a cold beer. It was VERY hot. With that there was some light malt and a hop to finish it off.
Overall you have to try it because of the uniqueness, but to drink a 6 pack would be an accomplishment.
08-17-2013 21:58:31 | More by cruzbay
Founders Barrel Aged Spite Habañero from Founders Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 20 ratings.