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 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 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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Photo of Pahn
3.97/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle into a red wine glass.

Appearance: Free pour yields a longlasting 1 inch frothy white head. Pours a clear copper and leaves waves of lacing.

Smell: From the bottle: smells exactly like opening a bottle of Woodford Reserve. Amusingly smells *exactly* like bourbon. Whenever I read a comment like that in a beer review, I think "Hmm, you haven't had much bourbon have you?" I stand corrected; I guess sometimes it happens.

With time, it develops that sort of "ruby candy" aroma of various American barleywines like Gnarlywine and Old Ruffian (and sort of Brooklyn Monster in its hard candy-ness). By the way, I know that "ruby candy" doesn't make sense, but the word 'ruby' is always what comes to mind. What can I say?

Anyway, smells good, not great. Some toffee comes out eventually that bumps the score up to 4.

Taste: Sweet, caramel, toffee, lot of American oak, none of the outright bourbon. Very simple, almost simplistic. Not much going on with the base beer it seems besides boozy sweetness. Thankfully, the mouthfeel is perfection, and the oak influence is quite nice.

Mouthfeel: Full side of medium bodied, perfect creaminess and softness. A velvety BA strong ale, very very nice.

Overall: This is a funny beer. In a way it's sort of a disaster. So much alcohol, so much oak, so little else... It's a big candy bar of a beer. Almost like a direct "fuck you" to BA forum posters who inexplicably complain about barrel aging being "a shortcut" as if American craft brewers didn't prove their talent daily (like a parody of their complaints).

But it's nothing that complex or silly or petty. It's the Twix of beers. I like oak, I like Twix, why the fuck not?

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Photo of Abra
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Liquid gold!

Pours a beautiful golden color with a fittingly small ivory head.
Very sweet aroma.
Tastes very similar to a mead, with dominant honey and bourbon flavors complemented by smooth maple undertones. Low carbonation and a definite warming effect from the high ABV. Extremely sweet.
Almost forgot i was drinking a beer!

Overall, it's a beautifully crafted beer.

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Photo of zimm421
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bomber into a tulip glass. Appears a deep orange color with hints of ruby sneaking through. There's a thin white head that dissipates fairly quickly, leaving a ring around the glass with some lacing.

The nose is very sweet, and keeps drawing you in for more. The bourbon is very evident here, with hints of dark fruit, vanilla and caramel coming through as well. Very deep and complex here. The taste follows along the same lines with more of the dark fruit and caramel, but adding in maple and hints of marshallow. The bourbon comes through in the middle, and holds on through the finish. There's a slight hint of alcohol on the back end, but otherwise, well hidden.

The mouthfeel is heavy bodied, with low carbonation, and very sticky. The stickiness lasts long after the finish, keeping that bourbon flavor around. Overall, this is a deep, complex beer that has the ability to warm, and the ability to knock you out in more than one way. Glad I was able to find this out of state, and wish I had more bottles to savor.

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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 Vonerichs
4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear and honey colored. Large fluffy white head that resolves quickly leaving behind only and outer ring.

Oh my it smells sweet. Vanilla, butterscotch, coconut. I perceive a little pineapple, giving it a piña colada twist. Then there's maple... Lots of maple.

Same in the flavor. It melds so well. Vanilla and maple syrup dominate with a huge backdrop of butterscotch. It's amazingly smooth fir such a high abv. The barrels pull a ton of wood and vanilla.

Smooth and buttery mouthfeel. Carbonation is just right. Very clean and leaves a sweet aftertaste.

A superb beer. The flavors pulled from the barrel blend do nicely without being overtaken by booze.

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Photo of thedoubler55
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: A transparent amber color that leaves about two fingers of off white head at the top with some slight lacing around the glass.

S: Some vanilla and caramel, but lots of booze on this one the bourbon is very powerful on this one.

T: The taste is almost just like the nose but lot more booze coming through on this one, some maply syrup is present as well. The hops and malts are present as well.

M: Medium/light bodied, good amount of carbonation and some stickyness as well.

O: Overall a very unique brew with lots of good flavors and very well balanced One of these was enough for me

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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 zaphodchak
3.51/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reddish amber with thin but consistent lacing.

Sugary, alcoholic nose.

Tastes kinda like candy cigarettes, and, inexplicably, celery. Some kind of blonde licorice (if that were a thing), and some kind of leafy herb—almost cilantro.

Not much carbonation, but kind of thick and unctuous.

Good, and has a lot going on, but I wish I held on to this and cellared it.

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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 Immortale25
4.01/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at Thirsty Monk Asheville. Served in an 8 oz tapered glass.

A- Pours a medium amber color with a 1/2 inch off-white head that retains a bit before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a half sheet of surface foam.

S- Boozy bourbon aroma. Literally like I'm sniffing a shot of Woodford Reserve or something. Just all alcohol with just a little sweetness and vanilla character.

T- Now the taste, on the other hand, is wonderful. Sweet vanilla maple bourbon goodness. Slight hop bitterness but mostly just sweet and oaky. Alcohol is extremely well-hidden though you would've never expected it from the nose.

M- Sharp booze bite at first that smooths away once the sticky maple coats the tongue. Medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the lighter side.

O- Can't stand the aroma but the rest of the beer more than makes up for it.

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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 twiggamortis420
4/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

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Photo of Maxwell
3.91/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The beer pours a gorgeously clear, golden amber color with hints of pink and ruby. The beer forms a small head that quickly works down into a scrim of off-white bubbles that are nearly tan. The bubbles cling to the glass and leave thin tendrils of lacing alongside pretty hefty alcoholic legs. In body, this beer is shockingly clear, especially given the barrel-aging, with some definite viscosity. The beer is bright and translucent in the light, with no floating particles and practically nothing in terms of haze. This beer looks like a lager!? On the nose, the booze and oak make themselves nicely present. Smooth oak and rich bourbon tango on the nose with touches of sticky maple syrup that are subtle, but also present. Coconut, toasted oak, stale bread, marshmallow, vanilla, and soft fusel alcohol waft across the nose along with just a hint of rubbing alcohol. There is even a light brininess to the nose, but oak and Buffalo Trace bourbon are the dominant notes on the nose. The smell is rich, but very subtle and doesn’t blend as nicely as I hoped. On the tongue, the beer tastes boozy sweet. An alcoholic heat tingles in the start of the sip and again as the beer flows down the throat. Sweet maple and wheat malt tango with tannic oak bitters and slight bready malt. The finish is rich booze and sweet malt. In flavor, the beer begins as vanilla, marshmallow and booze that then transitions into rich bourbon, much like (if not exactly the same as) the Buffalo Trace I drank last night. Touches of vanilla wafer, coconut, and praline also cross the palate. As it warms, caramel comes out along with maple syrup in the middle of the sip. The finish blends boozy bourbon with maple syrup and oak tannins, and is of a middling length, but leaves a long sweet booze feeling at the very back of the palate. In the mouth, the beer feels medium in body with a touch of weight at the finish. This beer is oddly smooth and light for its ABV. Carbonation is soft, and the mouthfeel is pure velvet and light syrup with a touch of rough alcohol that prickles at the beginning of the sip. The aftertaste is of stale bread, light nail polish, and praline with licks of maple syrup. The mouth is left with a sticky coat of booze and spittle with a hot tingle of alcohol. Overall, this beer is very hot with the bourbon character. Bourbon is the predominant flavor, and I kind of wish there was more of the maple syrup and less of the bourbon. As is, it reminds me of Buffalo Trace, malty beer, and a touch of oaky maple blended together. This Sweet Repute is a little over a month older than its release date, and from what I have read, its stepped off on its sweetness. This is still a sweet beer, but that sweetness is blended with all of the other flavors of bourbon and just a touch of maple. I also feel like the hot alcohol is starting to come out a little more in this beer, which is odd. You need to like bourbon to really appreciate this. The beer is rich and complex, but not my favorite from Founder’s barrel aging program. This is a great beer, but Founders has done better for me, and the wheatwine character is practically nonexistent here.

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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 scottfrie
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml split with friends. Thanks to my brother-in-law from bringing this one back from the source.

A: Pours a burnt golden with a frothy, greasy, off white head slowly faded into an oily bubbly film. Oily, greasy, spotty, lace was left down the glass as the head faded into a fuzzy, long lasting and well retained, collar.
S: Bourbon and sticky hop resin stand out alongside syrupy sweet notes of molasses and brown sugar. Perfumey notes, floral notes, raisin, a bready wheat backbone come through as well.
T: Creamy wheat and biscuit backbone with layers of toasted marshmallow, whiskey and vanilla oak. Hints of greasy white chocolate. Maple hits in the finish with a smooth woody notes that is just sweet enough to cancel out some of the boozy. Not cloying or syrupy. The finish is leafy with earthy and herbal hops, but is not overly bitter. There’s a good amount of fresh whiskey flavor and warming alcohol. Mild tobacco notes in aftertaste.
M: Full body, sticky slick and warm mouth, warming boozy alcohol, low smooth carbonation, very drinkable but definitely strong.
O: Very smooth and flavorful. Could use a few months of age but very drinkable and rich now. Layered flavors, and a great use of balancing molasses sweetness.

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Photo of jzeilinger
3.93/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice dark orange copper color with a creamy thick lacing ring and gentle carbonation.

S - Maple/maple sugar, bourbon, light candy toffee, with significant alcohol effervescence.

T - Maple and bourbon dominate the palate with this beer, lots of alcohol warming and effervescence, vanilla, honey, sweet toffee, some lemon, and oak.

M - Thick and viscous with substantial warming on the way down, sticky.

O - It would have been nice to have an extra bottle of this to cellar and see where it goes, as of now, it's very bourbon/alcohol forward, borderline too much and definitely something to split with a friend!

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Photo of jbaker67
4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

pours a hazy orange amber with a thick white head...good lacing and retention. aroma has some mild fruity sweetness...almost cognac...lightly boozy and bourbony...sweet. flavor has vanilla and earthy hops...lightly oaky and mild boubon...maple sweetness, citrus and bourbon really giving a cognac note...enough oak and hoppiness to cut through the sweetness. mouthfeel is full and resinous with a dry oaky/earthy/boozy warming finish that lingers for quite a while.

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Photo of CMUbrew
4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Orange-amber color with the body being slightly clear. Tremendous-looking off-white head forms on top and sticks around for a couple minutes. A thin layer of foam lingers with some sticking to the glass.

S: Light, sweet bourbon nose. A whiff of alcohol accompanies a tiny bit of a mapley smell.

T: Delicious bourbon, alcohol, light maple and a hint of butterscotch.

M: Big body with a silky feel. Alcohol warms the mouth.

O: A big complaint with this beer seems to be that it's too sweet, but I think it could actually stand to be sweeter. If I could pick up more of the butterscotch marshmallow that others seem to be doing I think I would like it even more. Nevertheless, this beer is great. The Backstage Series has regained some credibility with me.

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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 inlimbo77
4.02/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml, November 2013
Boulevard tulip

A: Pours like an IPA. Hazy orange yellow color. Nice full layer of bright white. Sticky lacing. Seems to be nicely carbonated.

S: Booze. Maple. Bourbon. Vanilla. Sweetness.

T: Sweetness. Caramel. Vanilla. There is some booze heat. It's pretty tasty though. Finish is long and lingering.

M: Full bodied.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-Clear orange, some stuff floating around, one finger head that doesn't last long.

S-Maple, good deal of it. Bourbon, grass, wheat, lemon.

T-Good deal of maple, rather sweet, then nice balanced bourbon. wheat, lemon and citrus.

M-medium bodied, hidden alcohol heat, sweet.

O-A solid maple bourbon barrel aging. The maple seemed to dominate but it wasn't a detraction form the beer.

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Photo of Or80rowley
4.36/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Hard to find here, so I'm excited

A. Cloudy honey , half finger white head

S. Oak, brown sugar, toffee, little alcohol

T. Bourbon, wood, sweet, warm alcohol

M. Thick, mouth coat, clean finish

O. This is a strong one, but the balance of sweetness, bourbon, malt, make it work, I made a good choice

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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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