Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Lager - Malt Liquor
3.87 | pDev: 13.18%
Dec 20, 2021
Apr 09, 2017
Very Good
Notes: Here you have what could be the first malt liquor worthy of a glass. Typically a slighted style, we thought we would class it up with a stay in the wood and a healthy dose of dry-hopping. A huge hit of corn gives this one a smooth sweetness while its time spent aging in bourbon barrels will give you reason to share. Be warned: this one’s a pry-off, not a twist-off.
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2.88 by illtexzona from Illinois on Dec 20, 2021
3.45 by TMoney2591 from Illinois on Nov 30, 2021
Photo of Roy_Hobbs
3.51/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5
by Roy_Hobbs from Connecticut

Light amber in color with an inch of surprisingly dense and long lasting head. Aroma is very sweet and mostly one-dimensional. Not picking up any of the bourbon barrels on the nose. Taste is sweet yet harsh. The barrels are more present here, and help to add a bit of depth to the flavor, but the sweet / harsh combo is hard to overcome. Overall, this isn't a bad beer, just not a great one either.

Oct 23, 2021
Photo of Sigmund
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Sigmund from Norway

355 ml bottle, 2017 release, Cardinal Pub & Bar, Stavanger. ABV is 14.2%. Deep golden to amber colour, moderate to small white head. Distinct aroma of bourbon, oak and vanilla. Medium sweet flavour, again with distinct notes of bourbon, oak and vanilla, moderate hops. Warming mouthfeel.

Apr 16, 2021
Photo of GregBarleycorn13
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by GregBarleycorn13 from New York

When I had this beer fresh it was too hot with the alcohol - 14%. Really didn't like it. Had one today after being in the cellar for 3 years and it mellowed out to be quite good. Good clean taste of the malt liquor and the bourbon was nicely balanced.
The bourbon smell was good each time I took a sip.

Jan 06, 2021
Photo of beerookie
4.49/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by beerookie from Ohio

I know this doesn't get a lot of strong reviews but I love it!

The combination of booze and the power of malt liquor is amazing to me!

Dec 22, 2020
3.68 by hophugger from Virginia on Nov 11, 2020
4.18 by Sparky44 from Illinois on Sep 23, 2020
4 by jslice99 from New York on Jul 16, 2020
3.85 by GeorgiaBeerMoose from Georgia on Jun 01, 2020
4.23 by gooddaydiablo from Texas on May 24, 2020
4.4 by jwohio from Ohio on Mar 25, 2020
Photo of EMV
3.94/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by EMV from Pennsylvania

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: Slightly cloudy light golden amber pour with 2 fingers of foamy white head. Great ring of lacing.

S: Sweet malts/grains and booze/bourbon. A bit of vanilla but mostly sweet.

T.F: Sweet and boozy. Malt and caramel... vanilla and bourbon. A bit of oak... not much in the way of hop character. Corn/adjunct and alcohol. Rich... not overly cloying. Medium bodied and sticky on the tongue. Caramel and vanilla at the finish.

O: An interesting brew/take on the idea of 'Malt Liquor'. Strong bourbon barrel character... malty and sweet but still pretty nice. Makes for a solid winter dessert beer. Founders rarely disappoints, even when they step out on a limb like this one.

Feb 24, 2020
3.87 by smi69 from New York on Jan 04, 2020
4.19 by neliam24 from New York on Dec 02, 2019
4.19 by Old_Dead_Oak from Wisconsin on Nov 27, 2019
3.44 by baklo from North Carolina on Nov 10, 2019
Photo of SHODriver
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by SHODriver from North Carolina

A: Poured into a snifter to a light golden orange topped by a dense and slightly rocky white head which fades slowly to a collar around the edge of the glass with minimal lacing
S: Smells of sweet corn, caramel and oak. Hints of fruity alcohol on the nose as well.
T: Taste is bourbon barrel with some caramel and vanilla, corn, sugary sweetness, alcohol, and aged hops. On the swallow there's a lot of bitterness with some wet woody oak, vanilla, corn, and more aged bitter hops.
M: The beer has a fairly full body with a slightly creamy feel on the palate. Carbonation is light but adequate for the ABV while the beer has a fairly neutral finish that is slightly drying.
O: Overall this is an interesting beer. It's pretty raw on the bourbon barrel while the base beer struggles to provide flavor. It doesn't drink terribly but it's kind of an odd concept. Decent complexity and flavor though. I guess it's worth a try if you really want to try something that colors outside of the lines.

Oct 05, 2019
4.43 by AldoBlitzcarr from England on Aug 16, 2019
Photo of JayQue
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by JayQue from Virginia

Best Malt Liquor I ever had!!!! I have had this one in my refrigerator forever, as high octane beers tend to sit longer with me. Pours a fairly clear dark gold color with a surprisingly big frothy white head. Aroma and taste area from the bourbon barrel, malt and corn. Fairly strong aroma and good rich flavor, with the oak and bourbon from barrel aging most prominent. Mouthfeel is rich, some alcohol presence but more a warming presence than a burn. a slow sipper to be sure, but goes down fairly easily. I would drink this one again

Jul 11, 2019
Photo of dacrza1
3.89/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
by dacrza1 from New Jersey

DATE: June 22, 2019... OCCASION: celebrating Michael's first Little League playoff win, a 7-6 thriller...GLASSWARE: Chivas Regal tumbler...pours a nearly opaque, orange amber body that sits confidently beneath a soft swirl of off-white head... the malt bill is thick, sweet, lightly flowery, and a corny finish worthy of bourbon... first sip is smooth, buttery, warm, and calming--a clean finish that retains a reasonable relation to its hard alcohol cousins... the corn is pleasant enough, with an appreciable sweetness, woody and vibrant... lemon, sugar, caramel, toffee, a ringing ethanol vapor, tea leaves, and a citric kick... I love its rounded bourbon, full of caramel and sweet sugars... this is a nice alternative to whiskey, as its buzz creeps slowly and evenly... Founders does this right, albeit pushing a crazy amount of alcohol in its profile.... another bourbon barrel winner...

Jun 23, 2019
3.95 by samEBC from Belgium on Jun 13, 2019
4.32 by GClarkage from California on May 12, 2019
Photo of Oh_Dark_Star
4.19/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Oh_Dark_Star from Washington

FYI this brew is sweet - but not off-putting

May 05, 2019
4.01 by TheHopsman from Nebraska on Apr 07, 2019
Photo of mishi_d
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by mishi_d from Romania

Clear golden color with white head, aroma of liqueur, bourbon, roasted malts and some tropical fruits, taste is medium bitter / medium sweet, medium body and carbonation.

Mar 13, 2019
Photo of Ciocanelu
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Ciocanelu from Romania

Clear golden color with off-white head. Aroma has some bourbon and toasted malts, a bit stinky though. Taste is bittersweet, malty and resiny, quite intense on the bourbon notes. Medium body and carbonation. A bit too boozy but overall it's quite good.

Mar 09, 2019
Photo of Everydayoff
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by Everydayoff from Thailand

355ml bottle poured into a snifter.

Hazy amber in color with thick foamy white head with good retention, it slowly dissipates to some lasting bubble sheet atop along with good amount of lacing.

Obviously dry hopped in the aroma and flavor with its fruity touch like a pineapple, lime and citrus as well as big bitterness while malt and adjunct play an important supporting role with its corn alike and sweet biscuity grain. Also, there is a barrel note with the characters of bourbon whiskey and toasted woodiness that also lends some bitter bite.

Medium body with proper carbonation and right mouthfeel, finish is very dry. Interesting Malt Liquor, not that easy to drink.

Mar 04, 2019
3.98 by JeffSK from Wisconsin on Feb 24, 2019
3.75 by szmnnl99 from Michigan on Feb 12, 2019
4.22 by deereless from Colorado on Feb 11, 2019
Photo of TooManyGlasses
3.94/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by TooManyGlasses from Canada (AB)

2017 Barrel Aged Series - single picked up at Founders in Grand Rapids last March. Review a little biased as I love Founders in general.
This pours a clear pale orange colour with 1/2 finger short lived white head.
The aroma starts with a fusel alcohol hammer - but as this blows off (and honestly it never really does) there is a sweetness of caramel and bourbon.
Taste is boozy - with that background of fusel alcohol but also sweet - significant sense of corn but with a woody bitterness that lingers, with hints of vanilla trying to push through the booze.
Mouthfeel is full with persistent alcohol burn but remains smooth and even a bit creamy. Clearly not a beer you go to very often but I actually enjoyed the ride - and then the nap.

Jan 27, 2019
3.83 by desint from Belgium on Jan 21, 2019
Photo of MaltMartyr
4.6/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by MaltMartyr from Illinois

Tempted to comment. Will cover the nuances, but this is my score.

Jan 11, 2019
3.2 by BeenTired from Pennsylvania on Jan 07, 2019
Photo of TheBrewsky
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
by TheBrewsky from California

Bottled in 2017. Picked it up a while back at a discount. Not sure what to expect, but excited to try.
L: Pours a light caramel/butterscotch color. Has an evident syrupy viscosity that is noticeable as I pour. About a half a finger of a tightly packed white cap that retains rather nicely. Clumpy soapy foam clings to the glass as I sip this beast. It looks rather appealing.
S: Oak character is the first thing I noticed, followed by some heavy notes of caramel, dates, malts, and bourbon. As it warms, the bourbon character is more pronounced, making bourbon, malts and oak the domineering aromas.
T: Tastes like bourbon with a strong malt backbone. Oak barrel present on the finish with lingering charred oak aftertaste. The malts provide a sweetness that pairs well with the woody bourbon presence. I am rather enjoying it, and surprisingly so.
F: Incredible feel. Reminds me a lot of Backwoods bastard. Smooth, rich, full and borderline creamy. Carbonation has retained nicely, still providing a fizz element.
O: I wasn't sure what to expect from this, but came out enjoying it. It is a perfect slow-sipper for this rainy day. I am very glad to have tried, especially since I've held onto it for so long. Cheers!

Jan 06, 2019
4 by kaseydad from California on Dec 22, 2018
3.86 by CraftFan5 from New Jersey on Dec 03, 2018
Photo of woodychandler
3.96/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75
by woodychandler from Pennsylvania

I am both hesitant & anxious to open this bottle! I well remember DFH's foray into this realm & it did not end well, mostly due to leaking caps. I am always up to a challenge & since AMLs were the early backbone of The CANQuest, who better to judge, ahem, rate/review this gem, er, beer?

From the Bottle: "Kicks You Where You Most Expect It"; "Imperial Malt Liquor Aged in Bourbon Barrels"; "Here you have what could be the first malt liquor worthy of a glass. Typically a slighted style, we thought we would class it up with a stay in the wood and a healthy dose of dry-hopping. A huge hit of corn gives this one a smooth sweetness while its time spent aging in bourbon barrels will give you reason to share. Be warned: this one’s a pry-off, not a twist-off."

As to that last, thank goodness for the smallest of favors … I began with a Pop! of the pry-off (I woulda said "prise-off") cap.

Is that ENG? AUS? My mother, in her dotage, has become a world traveler, often remarking that she has heard many overseas words & phrases coming out of my mouth over the years. I am a born linguist, having begun reading at the tender age of 2 y/o, or so she & Pops told me. My time in the Navy exposed me to all sorts of languages & not only did I become fluent in French at one point, but I made it a point to get the local talent to teach me some words & phrases as we chowed down on their local cuisine. Sure, I was making like a sailor, but they all loved me, often showing up on the pier as we pulled out. I came away as a cunning linguist and oftentimes, I will lapse into a foreign language, usually under stress. One afternoon, in Junior Seminar for EngLit majors, I could not find the words & lapsed into exasperated ITL as my classmates sat agape.! Oh well.

Back to the beer. A slow, gentle C-Line pour & I was off & running (or was it often running?). It generously puffed up to for, two-plus fingers of dense, foamy, rocky, eggshell-white head with moderate retention that slowly fell back, leaving nice lacing in its wake. Color was Amber to Deep-Amber/Light-Copper (SRM = > 9, < 13) with NE-quality clarity. Nose smelled evil! Okay, I have copped to my dislike of corn as an adjunct and Bourbon before, but this was the worst of both worlds for me. I do not remember who said or wrote it, but someone said that Bourbon always made them think of stinking, rotting death. 8=O I do not feel THAT strongly, but fermenting corn does put me in mind of silage & that is NOT a pleasant thought. Here, upon leaning in for a sniff, I got old, fermenting, rotting corn in an all-new and special way. That said, such is NOT a knock on the beer, given its style! AMLs rely heavily on corn & hearty, sometimes overworked yeast to produce a high ABV relatively inexpensively. I allowed my first sip to simply sit on my tongue as I rocked back & forth, contemplating & anticipating the swallow. OMFG, this s**t was vicious, viscous & rather delicious! If you like Bourbon, this was definitely going to trip your trigger. If you like sitting in the alleyway in the midst of Summer as the pop-po rolls past, nodding their approval since we weren't on the front porch, this is your paper bag. If you don't mind shelling out high-end $ for an upscale AML, this is the drink for you. I got corn, Bourbon whisky, fusel alcohol, some kinda mind**k & a whole lotta sit your a** down, boy! Who knew that as a Northerner, you didn't take an African-American beauty out in town on a date?!? Phew. Smoooooth. Things were smoothing out real good. Namely, my brain. Doctors have shown that working on puzzles, of any stripe, as you grow older, will help with cognizance & memory? How do they know? The deeper the grooves in a brain, the better. A brain that resembles a walnut? Excellent! My brain? Smooth as a bowling ball! Mmm. Whoosh! It was like someone hit the "Pin Reset" button as my pinhead came active again. Where was I? Oh, yes, groovy. No, I mean that this was the right beer to get the job done, but was it at the right price point? We used to get lawn chair-wasted for 1/4 or 1/6 of the price, so I would say that if you are after an AML buzz/drunk & its inevitable hangover, look elsewhere. If you are AML-curious, then maybe. Finish was dry, but that was undoubtedly by design. A non-dry, high-ABV AML? In what universe? Lissen, if this does the trick, so be it. If you are left wanting, then move on, but don't blame me!

Dec 01, 2018
3.9 by KMcGrath from Massachusetts on Nov 27, 2018
DKML from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 646 ratings