Founders Sweet Repute | Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Sweet ReputeFounders Sweet Repute

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Wheatwine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.60%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by JohnnieNepal on 11-18-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 147 | Ratings: 1,099
Photo of sjones5045
4.97/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

11/26/15 Home

Note: Have had this on more than one occasion but first review. Aged for two years

Look, brown caramel looking beer with good head and retentions. To be fair the only knock would be the amount of sediment floating in it. It doesn't bother me at all but strictly rating on look you'd have to mark off for this.

Smell is perfect. a blend of sweet bourbon and vanilla smacks you in the face. Like a backwoods backwoods on steroids.

The taste an insanely mellow sweet bourbon brew. Caramel and vanilla are in the distance enough to balance out the bourbon. One of the best tasting barrel aged beers I've ever had.

The feel is so mellow and smooth. This is definitely a sip and enjoy the glass as long as possible kind of beer.

Overall I've had this beer when it first came out and it was pretty good then, but this beer should be the poster child of what aging the right beer can do. Wish I had more of them to pop. World class for sure.

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Photo of mjshearer1
4.91/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Copper red with decent head.

Smell: Booze, sweet maple, bready malts.

Taste: Follows the nose to a T and throws in some bitter hops at the back end.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, great carbonation, smooth and far too easy to drink.

Overall: An absolute knockout. Easily the best Backstage beer since Better Half.

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Photo of Skull40
4.85/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The appearance was a soft orange with nice lacing. The taste incorporates a maple oakiness with bourbon, wheat bread and butter. Not much hop bite at all. The alcohol is also hidden well. It's a really nice, soft, malty wheat wine that I spent an hour drinking. Founders has another winner here.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.85/5  rDev +15.8%
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.

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Photo of bball208
4.85/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

The name is appropriate for this beer, it was sweet as hell both literally and figuratively.

Poured an awesome light gold with a pure white head, foam dissipating fairly quickly but leaving a beautiful trace of lace on the side of the glass. Just absolutely beautiful.

The smell was quite mild, but i did get some oak, a ton of vanilla, and malt.

The taste was unlike anything else I've ever had. It was an explosion of vanilla beans and coconut. I love a soft beer that can deliver vanilla, and this one took that promise to a new level. I still can remember the vanilla and coconut even 3 days after having tried this. It was really nice, but the only thing I would knock about it is that maybe it was a little too much without much of a hop balance. Luckily, i love the vanilla and coconut flavors so much that it was okay with me, but I could see how maybe others wouldn't like that as much.

This was so awesome, that I actually decided to have a scoop of vanilla ice cream as a "beer snack" in between sips and HOLY HOT DAMN it paired REAL nicely. I even tried having a beer float with it, and it was delicious!!! I swear I'm not crazy, try it yourself and you'll see how well the two merge. Anyway, I'd give this a 95/100. It's definitely world-class, but still has room for improvement. Luckily i have two more bottles, and I'd love to see how this will taste 2-5 years down the road.

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Photo of sb3000
4.83/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Wow! First beer in a while that made me do a double take!

Crystal clear copper color that has very little head.

Smells like burnt sugar, toffee and caramel. (Obvious bourbon notes for those that have brewed and aged beer in bourbon barrels.)

Loads of flavor. from candy corn to sugar daddies and alcohol. Some hop bitterness, but very much in the background. Vanilla notes with peaks of maple astringency.

Mouthfeel is slick and somewhat thin, but coats the mouth with a film of sweet wort and candy.

Very good beer. Similar to the Smuttynose Wheat wine but much more complex. The oak and vanilla are very prominent. I would definitely recommend this beer as a sipper.

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Photo of Swik
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance I really don't know what to compare it to, no floaties or anything of that nature. Nice Amber hazy color.
Smell WHEW straight bourbon with a lil sweetness
Taste simply blew me away this beer is complex from start to finish sweet for sure, even picked up some slight fruitiness, finishes amazing.
Overall I wish I could grab this in bombers and stock pile, had a founders tap takeover going on in town and it was obvious this is what everyone showed up for and for great reason, thank you Founders, this one hit the spot!

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Photo of winningwes91
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Went in to this one not knowing what to expect. Pours a dark, murky amber color. Looks similar to Backwoods. Smells of sweet maple syrup, bourbon, charr, dark fruits, and some coconut. Taste follows suit. Wow. What a sweet, sticky beer. Such a treat. I actually prefer this to BB. Super surprised by this one.

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Photo of brycevolk
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - Ruby red on top that fades to a golden honey with a white head that is fairly quickly dissipated.

S - Bourbon heat right away that fades to sweet maraschino cherries. Then caramel and vanilla notes on the finish

T - Maple, vanilla, and bourbon up front with little to no heat. The middle has subtle hints of cinnamon and a few other holiday spices. The finish is just slightly hoppy that washes away to sweetness.

M - Syrupy. Exactly what one expects from a Bliss barrel aged wheatwine. Spot on.

O - In lieu of CBS, this offering does not disappoint. With a bit of temperature (above 55 degrees) the maple bourbon flavors really shine. The boosiness is well hidden. As I'm writing this review, Sweet Repute has broken my top 10. Well done Founders. Cheers!

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Photo of robwestcott
4.72/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

poured cold and semi translucent copper to an upland snifter with a 1/2 finger short lasting off white head leaving a halo around the edges of the glass

great big vanilla, bourbon, sweet dark sugars in the nose

super sweet, butterscotch, maple syrup, vanilla and oak, bourbon in the wayback

scary drinkable. great beer.

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Photo of superdoopersauce
4.72/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Here's one for the record books. Huge bourbon and maple presences underneath a syrupy mouthfeel and kick-me-in-the-pants alcohol boost. Tastes way higher than the already high ABV. Profile changes drastically from cellar to room temperature, a sure sign of a complex brew. You see this, you buy this.

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Photo of Hopeswimmer
4.71/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I was really excited for this beer and it impressed me. Glad I got a few bottles to store.

Very sweet, easy to drink, butterscotch & pineapple tasting. I don't think I could really get much maple from the flavor, but the sweetness must be due to something. Would certainly drink again and hope Founders continues to use maple bourbon barrels.

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Photo of Donco
4.68/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

So..just returned from a road trip to the Founders brewery in Grand Rapids. Before purchasing my two bottles of Sweet Repute, I had an 8oz. pour on tap. I have to say this beer was outstanding! I would think that those who prefer IPA's and very hoppy brews may not want this. However, as a stout/barleywine/old ale lover, I thought this beer hit it out of the park.

Not anywhere as sweet as some have portrayed it, there is a subtle maple sweetness underneath a strong butterscotch/vanilla/carbonated mouth feel and taste. Smooth (at least on tap) and a slow sipper, this is a beer you will want to savor over a long time. Either plan on consuming this bomber with a fellow beer lover(s)...or plan on spending a few hours on your couch if you choose to handle the bottle on your own. At close to 13% you won't want to go anywhere fast! I know that they are different types of beers, but this beer reminds me of an amped-up version of Backwoods Bastard.

Founders really rocks as an outstanding US brewer

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.59/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the sweetest beers I've ever had, but that's not a knock against it. I want to now try everything I can get my hands on that was aged in maple syrup bourbon barrels.

Poured on tap into a 7 oz flute at MacGregor's Grill and Tap Room in Henrietta, NY.

Pours a hazy, creamy looking orange color. 1 inch head, pretty nice lacing and retention down the glass.

Smells like Werther's Candies, maple syrup, bourbon, and brown sugar.

Tastes like the aforementioned smells (so much caramel in this one), with subtly folded in tastes of bourbon. Not bourbon forward really- it's well integrated. Brown sugar and molasses make appearances, obviously rich maple syrup, marshmallow, and sweet butter.

Full, creamy, sticky mouthfeel. Very little carbonation. Very full bodied.

A decadent beer if I ever tasted one. Sinful, almost.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

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Photo of StoneTSR
4.56/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

APPEARANCE: Light orange and hazy like an Imperial IPA. The head pops up for a moment before a quick fade into one fifth of the glass (in a triangular shape) being covered in a big-bubbled cap. Lacing is not there.

SMELL: This is a lot more of a Barleywine-like smell than I expected. Brown sugar/molasses is what hits the nose immediately. Behind that big, sweet smell is a touch of vanilla, a good dose of chocolate and a hint of mint.

TASTE: There is a lot more mint in this beer than I would have ever imagined could be in a beer that I enjoyed…but it’s good. This is the closest thing to a dessert IPA I have ever tasted. There’s a huge wave of chocolate up front, followed by a much more intense mint that I ever would have imagined, rounded out with caramel, vanilla, maple and a touch of oak.

MOUTHFEEL: This is a sweet beer, but still well balanced…the finish dries out just enough to make this a perfect beer. Carbonation is low, along with a silky, smooth finish. Wow.

OVERALL: Complex. Delicious. Different. Interesting. Fun. Enjoyable.

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Photo of reebtaerG
4.56/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had 4oz pour into snifter glass at Churchkey on 5/10/14

A-Pours golden brown with off-white head. Great lacing.

S-Aromas of bourbon, citrus, and tropical fruit.

T-Tasting notes of brown sugar, caramel, bourbon, and vanilla.

M-Mouthfeel has a medium body with a dry finish. Good carbonation

O-Overall a very solid beer. Founders rocks

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Photo of ThickNStout
4.54/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle from IAmJacksHopTongue (thanks a million Reid!). No dicernable bottling date but released 11/13. Served in a Founders snifter.

Pours a bright, clear orange/gold with two fingers of fluffy pale head. The froth lingers until settling to a halo that leaves large sheets of clumpy lace. This is a nice looking beer.

Aromas of bourbon, sugary maple syrup, vanilla, wheat and oak. Definately sweet and quite inviting.

Plenty of bourbon an booze bite initially. As it warms layers of fantastic wheatwine goodness set in. Maple syrup, biscuity wheat, vanilla, toast, mildly charred oak, caramel, marshmallow, piney bitterness, faint coconut and fusel alcohol. The boozy and bourbon notes remain at the forefront but blend well, particularly as the chill fades. It's like boozey hot maple bourbon caramel candy.

Sticky, syrupy, medium heavy body with mild carbonation. Strong alcohol and bourbon linger in the finish with notes of maple and burnt caramel.

I remember my first bottle being a bit sweeter with less alcohol burn than this but this remains one of the best wheatwines that I've come across. Excellent depth of flavor. I find the maple really strengthens the malty base and bourbon heat. I'm glad to have a modest stash and will enjoy tracking it's progress over the next few years.

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Photo of Hopswagger
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

P: Clear body with tiny specks floating around in a sea of pale copper amber. Off white cap of airy head that settles to a bubbly ring along the edge.

A: Stout sweet bourbon, inside of a wheat bread bag left out in the sun, fresh coconut, orchard fruit, macaroon cookies, semi sweet maple glaze.

T/M: Werther's originals, pears, apples, coconut, pecans, maple glaze, earthy hops mellow out the sweet and compliment the bourbon profile. A touch of peppery spice and pears in the finish. A chewy mouthfeel with a delicate dose of carbonation and finishes smooth with a gently building dryness.

O: After much anticipation I can easily say this was an amazing brew. I had high hopes for this and it passed the grade in stellar fashion. Heavy hitting booze tamed by sweet glaze and earthy bitterness. What more could you ask for in a beer. The only downside is that this was my only bottle.

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Photo of themind
4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is an excellent beer, I like it. It's potent but the barrel aging really shines thru with balance of the flavor. Top notch beer that I acquired a growler full of that was aged a year.

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Photo of terrapinfan88
4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a DeTroch tulip.

With a little agitation this small snifter of transparent deep orange nectar develops a dense frothy head about a pinky finger tall. Carbonation rises from the center of the glass at a leisurely pace to meet the thin layer of meringue waiting for it on the surface.

Vanilla, toffee, honey, and bourbon come up off the foam to tantalize your nose. It's what I would imagine it would smell like if an english candy store decided to open up inside your nose. The bourbon is pleasant distinct and clean not grainy and out of place.

Your tongue paddles out through the thick foam heading right for monster swells of butterscotch and toffee with rich delicious streaks of bourbon infused caramel. A faint but sharp citrus bitterness peaks through on the back end to brighten it up just a bit. After the swallow bourbon and vanilla front and center, but not incredibly hot or overwhelming, they are still plenty balanced by the richer flavors that also persist in milder forms.

As the beer warms the bourbon and caramel become the more dominant flavors, there is a pleasant heat from the alcohol, the soft spoken sharp citrus bitterness is all but gone. Instead there is a bright honey sweetness, in addition to the butterscotch and toffee symbiotically keeping the bourbon in check.

The mild carbonation and hop bitterness helped carry this more viscus beer over the pallet especially when it was cold. At warmer temperatures the dry boozy bite of the bourbon kept the sweetness at bay while the sweeter richer notes kept the bourbon from completely dominating, and allowing you to get pitted sooo pitted at 12.7 percent.

Overall this beer was fantastic. Incredibly balanced not overly complex just a very well choreographed waltz of the same flavors yielding back and fourth to one another as the beer warmed. It also went incredibly well with a slice of caramel cheese cake.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.51/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: amber in sunshine body, a quick swirl will stir up constellations of fizzy bubbles; slim finger of ivory head reduces to a slight collar

S: sweet booze and pale fruit, bourbon barrels and caramel covered marshmallow

T: lots of impressions here: pineapple, marshmallow, banana, vanilla, bourbon, oak, caramel, and holiday spice

M: medium weight, slightly sticky, slightly slick; bourbon vapor on the roof and vanilla caramel on the tongue

O: a truly fantastic beer, better with every sip as it warms - sweet up front, no doubt, but not overdone - there is nothing cloying or heavy-handed - a fantastic drink for this time of year in particular, although I wouldn't turn it down at any time of year. Not that I've had many wheatwines, but this is a top-notch beer that transcends style.

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Photo of Jjski
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A year has done the repute well.

Cloying sweetness on release has turned into cordial like balance, while retaining beer background. Honey, maple bourbon with sticky orange candy.

Seems more effervescent due to lightening of the sugar load.

A worthy nemesis for wheat wine advocates. If JW Lees floats you, than give it a whirl if you can find it. I like thick sweet barreled variations, and will continue to age the few I have left.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a brilliant copper color with a fingers worth of head that lazily fades down to a bubbly cap that leaves some nice lacing

S: Very complex. Malty sweetness, maple syrup, bourbon, oak, vanilla, caramel, and a hint of alcohol all show through very nicely. Some nuttiness and light fruitiness in the back

T: Again, very complex. Starts off with an initial burst of sweetness from both the malts and maple syrup. This is quickly accompanied by bourbon, oak, vanilla, caramel, some wheatiness, and alcohol. Finishes with some of the nuttiness and a touch more of the sweetness

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Sticky and thick

O: An extremely complex and layered brew. Every sip brings something seemingly new to the table, while maintaining everything from the last sip. Somehow remains quite balanced despite the sweetness. It's certainly interesting to open it up around 45 degrees and letting it warm up, as it really enhances the experience. I'd certainly pay $18 for a bottle again

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Photo of TwelveOunces
4.49/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750Ml poured into a snifter
Review #600

A- A surprisingly light and clear amber orange color. A one finger white head. Lingering alcohol legs.

S- Smells sweet, with a twinge of alcohol. Definite maple syrup. Some oak, a hint of bourbon. An airy, light and pleasant smell.

T- A very light flavor compared to what I expected. A smooth caramel and toffee, some charred oak and burnt sugar. The bourbon is subtle but very complimentary to the beer. A hint of sour mash and grain. A dry oak flavor and remaining feel. The maple is also subtle and an interesting twist. A tasty beer, somewhat simple but very drinkable.

M- Smooth and very drinkable. Alcohol is there but balances the rest of the brew well.

O- An awesome beer. It has calmed down and smoothed out since its release. Drink at a warmer temperature.

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Founders Sweet Repute from Founders Brewing Company
4.19 out of 5 based on 1,099 ratings.
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