Founders Sweet Repute | Founders Brewing Company

151 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 151 | Ratings: 1,103
Photo of homebrew311
3.94/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Big thanks to Roger for this surprise bottle. Pours surprisingly light for a wheat wine with a clear bronze appearance and minimal head. This appearance becomes increasingly chunky as I refill my glass. Aroma is interesting. There is tons of brown sugar and maple as well as plenty of oak. Wheat comes through as well as does some light citric notes. The aroma is all over the map, definitely unique. The taste is surprisingly smooth considering its high abv and heavy malt presence. There is plenty of brown sugar like sweetness up front which melds with the maple syrup. The oak and maple bring on some deep earthy and wood tones towards the finish. Mouthfeel is big and thick, nearly getting into the realm of syrupy. Overall, this is surprisingly balanced and smooth considering how sweet the initial sip is. Very unique and definitely a step up from other recent backstage brews. Falls somewhere in the realm of Curmudgeons better half in terms of sweetness and maple character, but the wheat presence makes it a little less enjoyable.

 1,040 characters

Photo of sweemzander
3.99/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750mL bottle poured into a snifter.

(A)- Pours a clear mahogany amber color. Minimal white froth. Some sediment present.

(S)- Bits of coconut amidst sweet but rich malts. Great maple and bourbon barrel notes.

(T)- The combination of coconut, maple, bourbon, and rich malts gives this a strong resemblance to amaretto(hazelnut) liquor. Finishes with a zesty orange peel and brown sugar sweetness.

(M)- It is quite sweet, though the maple and bourbon oak helps to add complexity. Minimal carbonation, but it fits this beer well. Overall, just very sweet.

(O)- Again, this is very sweet, but complex enough to keep your palate interested and not completely barraged by sugar.

 677 characters

Photo of seedyone
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

03/14 - On tap. Having experienced this before I saved it for the closing act on an afternoons 'tastings'. The maple & oak aroma that greets you at the outset is tempered by the reality of the liquid in the tongue. The ensuing sweetness is not transported via aroma so the tactile experience not only substantiates the initial contact, it transports from the ethereal to the real. What you thought you were smelling is indeed coursing over your tongue & buds & substantiates the illusion. If you don't appreciate oak aging or are averse to maple anything, run away because this is a pretty assertive brew.

01/05/14 Maple, no doubt. Thick almost syrupy. Oak influenced Bourbon is right there. Poured into mini-tulip & it was very turbulent. Bubbles going up...bubbles sinking down (not sediment). Thick head, no trace of yeast in aroma. All-in-all a very enjoyable beer but neither session-able nor everyday...but neither is a tuxedo, but it makes you feel good when your wearing it. Try this on.

 996 characters

Photo of angrybabboon
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Consumed 6/13/14

Shared with Goblinmunkey7

Appearance: Lightly hazy, a medium amber color - some nice red and caramel - pours with a frothy off-white head, fades to a small cap - leaves some nice spots of lacing

Smell: Rich, sweet malts with some surprisingly charming maple syrup and bourbon barrel - borderline candy-like, which is usually a criticism, but it actually seems to work here - very rich malt profile, with a ton of caramel and sweet malts, malt extract, sweet bread - some serious maple aroma, with some sweet maple syrup - big bourbon aroma with some nice barrel - overall creates an aroma long the lines of a maple doughnut dipped in bourbon

Taste: Rich malts, maple and bourbon - very sweet and dessert-like, without being excessively sweet - very malty with some sweet bread, vanilla, caramel, and maple - more candy with some marshmallow-like flavors - very cooked, very caramelized - maple with bourbon - nice bourbon and bourbon barrel flavors - some toffee and light molasses - lightly earthy with some spiciness and more wood - some light fruitiness with some citrus

Mouthfeel: On the heavy side of medium, lightly sticky but oddly clean and drinkable despite the high ABV, finishes with some booze

Overall: Sweet regret (I probably should have bought more)

This is better than I expected. The bourbon works, and the maple flavor is exceptional. This is a great sipper that is unexpectedly easy to drink. I wish I had bought some more bottles.

 1,475 characters

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.94/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to angrybabboon for sharing the bottle.

Appearance: Slight chill haze on an orange-copper color. Head is small, off-white, and thin. Small wispy cap with a thin collar and no lacing. Minimal carbonation.

Smell: Booze and some serious bourbon with a faint hint of maple running through the back. Sweet like crazy. Caramel, toffee, even some molasses. So much sugar. Vanilla, coconut, and some serious butterscotch. O much bourbon and sweetness. Raw sugar. Some hidden roasted malts and a mild bready element. Some spicy alcohol esters as well. A touch fruity, apple mostly. Bread crust and biscuit dough. Nice touch of oak.

Taste: Bourbon and oak abound. Crazy sweet. Layers of vanilla, coconut, and butterscotch. Really hits all the elements offered by bourbon barrels. Some hints of marshmallow as well. Crazy cooked and caramelized malts. Bready with a ton of sweetness. A touch of wheat in the back. Alcohol runs hot with some mild spicy esters. Maple adds a touch of sweetness and layers over caramel and toffee. Some mild citrus and floral notes as well.

Mouthfeel: Almost sticky slick on the initial sip. Medium-full body. Surprisingly clean. Minimal carbonation. On point.

Overall: It's about time.

Solid. Crazy sweet but complex enough to distract. A deft use of bourbon barrels and maple bourbon.

 1,324 characters

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.

 300 characters

Photo of larryi86
4.48/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thank you bstyle for this!
750 ml bottle poured into teku

A- A clear golden brown with a two finger head.

S- Bourbon, maple, caramel malts, oak, slight earthiness, toffee, some wheat.

T- Sweet, maple syrup, bourbon, oak, caramel malts, some earthy spices, some wheat, not too complex, but still very enjoyable.

M- Smooth, medium body.

O- This is on the side side of things, but still has a never nice balance. Bourbon adds some heat, but it doesn't taste like it is 12.9% ABV. Wish I had more, would love to see how this ages.

 531 characters

Photo of cosmicevan
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle picked up locally shortly after release, enjoyed from a sweet repute tulip.

a - brew pours a rich transparent sienna brown orange with some visible carbonation and a nice 2 finger frothy off cream colored head and left milkshake like lacing that coated the glass.

s - nose is bourbon and maple doused with caramel biscuits. Smells pretty great.

t - taste matches the nose. Really nice caramel and maple and bourbon. Haven't had this but have had the 09 nemesis and this kills that beer. Really tasty.

m - fairly thick and a bit chewy with a nice layer of booziness that makes my mouth tingle. Big veer here.

o - overall haven't heard much about this one lately but fan fare was mixed when fresh but hot dog, this beer is great! If you have me, drink em now!

 769 characters

Photo of superspak
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
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 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

 341 characters

Photo of MasterfulIdiot
4.06/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an Ikea snifter. Liquid is a hazy amber-orange. The pour produces a really nice cream-colored head that fades after a minute to a nice film that leaves tendrils of lace on the glass. There are a bunch of floaties in it that I'm not totally sure how I feel about....

Aroma is not that strong, but really nice. It actually smells just like Cinnamon Toast Crunch to me... in a good way. I guess it's the maple syrup, although I'm not sure I would have thought of that if I didn't know the syrup was in there. The bourbon notes are really nice - not super overstated, but really nice vanilla notes. Pretty much no alcohol on the nose.

Flavor is sweet vanilla, maple syrup, and little bit of oakiness. There's some significant alcohol burn on the palate and on the finish - surprising after the lack of alcohol on the nose. Really well-put together, but all the flavors seem a little bit understated.

Mouthfeel is fairly thick and chewy, with a nice amount of carbonation - not too much, not too little. Really well-suited to the flavor.

Overall, it's really good, although I think my expectations were a little too high, cause I'm not completely bowled over. I like the smell more than the actual flavor, which is always a little bit disappointing.

 1,260 characters

Photo of barhoc11
3.76/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Murky and hazy, nothing special about its appearance but this was my first wheatwine

S: Smells pretty sweet and oaked

T: Very sweet taste at first, this is something I could see being good with a dessert

M: Very good mouthfeel, coats your tongue without being too hot

O: This is a great beer but not something I would craze. I can see how some may love this due to it being sweeter than your typical barleywine or imperial stout

 435 characters

Photo of MusicaleMike
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The 8th installment of the Backstage Series by Founders Brewing Co. This beer is a wheatwine, brewed with a lot of wheat and roasted malt, then aged in bourbon barrels and maple syrup bourbon barrels for 16 months, after which it was blended for balance. This was served chilled in a balloon glass.

It appears amber gold with rich orange highlights in the glass. There is a haze, a sheen in the body at first. Possible chill haze. The head is impressive, with a thick ivory collar of dense, sponge cake-like head that leaves lots of sticky lacing on the side of the glass. There is no visible carbonation in the beer, but just little floaties suspended throughout. It looks like a thick beer.

The aroma is a bold, strong bouquet of delicious sweetness. It's promising a candy like sweetness, filled with notes of maple, honey, toffee, butterscotch, dulce de leche, and some subtle oak/bourbon aromas like vanilla and coconut. Though Founders' remarks on this beer talk about the addition of aromatic hops, there is none in the aroma.

Sweet Repute hits the palate right away with a full-bodied, smooth sweetness. There is no denying the maple quality that stands out against the strong alcohol in the finish. The beer crosses the mid-palate with vanilla, maple cream, and subtle banana. That butterscotch aroma is only slightly present. This beer does a great job of being well-balanced, never approaching cloying, with the smooth body and the alcohol helping to maintain balance. Wheatwine characteristics are there, though possibly overshadowed a bit by the bourbon and maple.

This beer is a welcome, wonderful addition to the Backstage Beer's line-up. It is certainly a dessert beer, and would pair very well with something like tres leches, or salted caramel cheesecake. I would say this stands out a lot, and I found it very enjoyable.

 1,844 characters

Photo of corby112
4.26/5  rDev +1.7%
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 HuskyinPDX
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
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 barczar
3.98/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Very clear bourbon brown with a modest cream head that dissipates to a ring of foam.

Aroma is boozy, with notes of deep caramelization, muted sherry, maple syrup, and dark fruit adding complexity.

Very fusel alcohol, sweet maple syrup backbone, vanilla, bourbon, hints of dark fruit, raisins, that are masked by high alcohol.

Body is full, with minimal carbonation and substantial alcohol heat.

A little more one-note than I had hoped for. The alcohol really rules the game at this point. Then again,I was disappointed somewhat in cbs, so maybe it's a maple thing...

 571 characters

Photo of Pencible
4.44/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: This poured a chunky gold with a little off white head.
S: It smelled like sweet short bread and butter scotch, with some oak and coconut and vanilla, and a little maple and raisin.
T: It tasted like copper and short bread and butter scotch, with some oak and coconut and vanilla. It had a clean and mostly sweet aftertaste with a little heat.
M: It was thick with a little carbonation. Excellent slick body.
D: This was excellent. Delicious complex and bold scent and taste, and fantastic body. The finish was pretty smooth, but it must be sipped. No need to age, although I'm sure it would last. Yum.

 605 characters

Photo of mothman
4.26/5  rDev +1.7%
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 jrenihan
4.31/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Beer is clear orange/amber in colour, with a smallish white head. Head gone quickly, leaving some lace.

Nose is rich, with bourbon, maple syrup, honey and sweet malt scents.

Taste is very good. A delicious mix of bourbon, maple syrup, bready malts with caramel and honey, and some light fruits. As the name suggests, it is quite sweet, but I don't find it to be overly sweet considering the style and additives.

Full bodied, moderately carbonated. Sticky.

Overall, I think this is very good. Not everybody likes sweet beers, and they often seem to be derided. If you don't like sweet beers, this is not for you. But if you do, this is a great example. Not overly sweet in a candy-like manner, but very rich and full-flavoured. Nice stuff for sure.

 754 characters

Photo of RollBounce
3.57/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

no lacing it was late cloudy great tangerine and acidic notes on the nose some dust as well with the Maple fully showing titties is a full mouth feel ok with a tangerine coming through as well overall very similar to some other beers like duclaws.I definitely suggest Casey this beer if you do see it

 300 characters

Photo of Franziskaner
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Light amber hued with significant haziness. Just a faint trace of white head is barely present on a tiny portion of the top. Brussels lacing. Intense aroma of very sweet pale wheat and apple pastry. Mouth is thick and sticky. The taste is initially loads of sweet pale wheat and the intensity of the sweetness of the bourbon and maple syrup seems to build in the fade.

 368 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.19/5  rDev 0%

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 tkdchampxi
2.83/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

I completely fail to see the appeal in this beer.

T: much too sweet. Are all wheat wines like this? There needs to be more balance. Otherwise I feel like I'm drinking partially fermented syrup.

M: low carbonation, but probably appropriate for the style. Creamy, syrupy texture

 282 characters

Photo of thecheapies
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sweet Repute in a snifter, following our enjoyment of Curmudgeon's Better Half.

Maple blonde color with a nice crop of white head. Some of the foam actually sticks to the glass. Legs look great.

Rich buttery maple, butterscotch, milk caramel, toasty caramel malt, and booze. A lot of noticeable sweetness.

Caramelly and buttery wheatwine flavors with a good dose of bourbon and barrel. The oak isn't huge, but the barrel notes of toasted coconut and marshmallow add to the butterscotch malts and results of aging. Good booze strength. Already showing some sign of mellowing.

The alcohol is still not oppressive. The body is medium-full. Stickiness is mild. There is a toned-down, but likable, carb presence.

Sweet Repute is better than '09 Nemesis. More balance, less heat. Recommended.

 791 characters

Photo of Mikeluzzjr
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I think I'm getting a lot of cherry-like aromas, and maybe a little vanilla and alcohol. Tastes pretty sweet up front, with a lot of caramel, and some fruit maybe (esepcially cherry). Definitely some bourbon, oak, alcohol, but I would have probably guessed it was under 12%. Fairly thick creamy mouthfeel. Not really getting much maple flavor, but maybe that added to the mouthfeel and sweetness. Fairly interesting and tasty overall for sure.

 443 characters

Founders Sweet Repute from Founders Brewing Company
4.19 out of 5 based on 1,103 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.