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DKML | Founders Brewing Company

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Very Good
498 Ratings

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Malt Liquor

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 14.20%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by rudzud on 04-09-2017

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 498 |  Reviews: 169
Photo of rossracing
1/5  rDev -74%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Photo of probert
1.06/5  rDev -72.5%
look: 1 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Photo of Buckert
1.44/5  rDev -62.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.25

This is one to avoid. Very harsh and just unpleasant to consume.

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Photo of KatK123
1.48/5  rDev -61.6%
look: 1 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

i can not write 0 to it so it will be a 1==it has a good smell so i did not think it would cause harm ..one of them was contaminated with god only knows what...i have been ill like never in my life...be very careful or avoid this beer

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Photo of maximum12
1.69/5  rDev -56.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Morbid curiosity. It gets the better of me frequently. Here we have liquid proof in a 12 oz. bottle.

The pour looks like an orangish IPA, fairly clear, big, small pool of bubbles. Smells like creamed corn. I love creamed corn. Liquified? Not so sure. Let’s find out.

DKML falls under the “WTF were you thinking” category. Someone thought to pour corn likker in a bourbon barrel, then, I assume, a bunch of people signed off on it, then actually brewed it. Cream corn, hefty booze quotient, grain, harsh whiskey bringing up the rear. Melds together like chocolate, pickles, & onions…hey, maybe I shouldn’t give Founders any idea. Six sips in. Done.

I have great respect for Founders as one of the trail-blazing pioneers of good beer that still puts out pillars of their styles (porter, Centennial IPA, etc.). This, however, is awful.

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Photo of ntanner83
1.84/5  rDev -52.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Photo of Derranged
1.96/5  rDev -49.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.75

As a malt liquor drinker, I was excited to try this. I bought two small bottles and one big one. The reviews indicated that this was a hit or miss, so I chose to open one of the small bottles first.

A- So far so good. Nice amber/dark golden color, small white head. Poured into a McChouffe tulip.

S- This is where it turns bad. Initially, all I got was Jameson Irish Whiskey and some faint hops. As the beer warmed up a bit, the booze died down a little and picked up some fruity notes, more hops and maybe a touch of vanilla.

T- Atrocious. Booze completely overpowered this. Irish whiskey, some hops and more fruity notes. Best way I could describe it is a somewhat hoppy, fruity Irish Whiskey and soda. I didn't pick up any corn, vanilla, caramel or oak.

M- Thick and carbonated. 14.2 abv, this drank more like something 80 proof. I was sweating after the first few sips.

O- Horrible stuff. Probably drain pour worthy but I toughed out and finished the glass.
I'm not sure what Founders was trying to do but this did not work. The only redeeming quality is the buzz factor. I was good and drunk which I like.

Couple of other things. I don't care for the overall condescending attitude towards malt liquor but I'm used to it. However, bashing their own product by writing "A Malt Liquor That May Be Worthy Of A Glass" on the label is an entirely new level of snobbery. Guess what Founders: This beer ISN'T worthy of a glass. You know when people pour out a little bit of a forty bottle for their dead "homies"? Well that's all it's worthy of. However, instead of pouring out just a little, the whole bottle should be spilled out on to the street after which I'd pick up a forty of Country Club. This is an insult to malt liquor. I typically don't get all worked up over a beer but the poor product paired with the snobbish remark on the label aggravated me. Anyway, to be fair, I will keep the other bottles I bought. Perhaps some age will calm this down.

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Photo of atlbravsrno1
2/5  rDev -48.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Photo of aaronyoung01
2.04/5  rDev -47%
look: 5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Photo of scream
2.09/5  rDev -45.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

This just did nothing for me. It looks fine in a glass and is probably better than AB or MC but that is about as far as it goes. Founders can do much better than this.

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Photo of dazedman
2.24/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2

Photo of MaximalC
2.33/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

Pours a transparent amber color with a modest cap of sudsy, white froth that soon recedes. Mild aroma suggests boozy beer and little else.

The taste delivers an unrepentant blaze of raw alcohol up front--probably makes for a remarkable cleaning solvent. Bourbon and vanilla show up on the back end to suggest some level of sophistication, but you sure do pay price to get there. Warming reveals a smack of grain husk and disdain. Medium body and mild carbonation dress a slightly oily, sticky mouthfeel.

I'm always wary of a beer that touts copious amounts of corn on the label, and this reminds me why. DKML gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "slow sipper". A worthy adventure courtesy of our friends at Founders, but hardly up to their usual standard.

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Photo of q33jeff
2.39/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.25


Fresh Bottle to snifter.

LOOK: Slightly darker yellow ale color than you would expect from something categorized Malt Liquor. Mediocre off white head.
AROMA: Initial thought was "Fraternity Party". Whiskey, mold, stale malty beer.
TASTE: Whiskey hits you like a Kick to the Groin....Oh wait, I get it now. Think Milwaukee's Best with an Old Crow floater.
FEEL: Decent carbonation. Medium body. Solid.

I initially was going to rate this very low in taste and aroma, but it smoothed a little as I went on; plus its one of those beers you have to work your way into . Still not stellar, but less of a train wreck than originally assumed. Aging a few, but not having high hopes.


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Photo of ruzzal
2.43/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Dont know why i expected something good from a malt liquor. Will be giving out the rest to others to try so they dint waste their money also.

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Photo of M_chav
2.46/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

Photo of cjgator3
2.56/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled on 07.06.17 printed on the label. Bourbon, oak, vanilla and malt liquor on the nose. The taste is sweet and boozy with a spicy warming finish that gets more medicinal as it warms. Not something I’d purchase again either. Definitely a slow sipper.

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Photo of ScaryEd
2.64/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a clear deep amber color with a small off-white head. No retention or lacing here, but not unexpected given the style.

The aroma is basically pure alcohol. There's a faint hint of sweet corn and maybe some grass, but it's all about the booze here. Imagine if Budweiser was 15% ABV. That's what this smells like.

The taste is more of the same, with a strong vanilla presence throughout. Sweet corn and booze. Again, add some Bud to a snifter of bourbon and you aren't far off.

The feel is smooth and boozy, but not unexpected. Tons of alcohol burn going down, but again, not unexpected.

Overall, I appreciate what Founders was trying to do here, but it just didn't work, in my opinion. Malt liquor is hard enough to get down, but throw it in some barrels and make it 14.2% ABV and it's really tough to finish even a small glass. I think this would do better as a whiskey than a beer.

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Photo of Lonewolfwmv
2.64/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Photo of Alieniloquium
2.66/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle. Clear deep golden. Medium white head. Smells of bourbon, sweetness, alcohol, caramel, oak, and fruit. Tastes of strong fruitiness, bourbon, oak, alcohol, and more alcohol. Pretty sweet, but it's cut by oak and alcohol. The back end has a huge spike in alcohol and oak. Heavy. Sweet. And the burn is real. I expected a train wreck. It's a mere fender bender.

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Photo of dannycohen62
2.74/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Photo of TheNakedStiletto
2.75/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of JayAre46
2.75/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Photo of EdwardAbbey
2.84/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

I applaud the audacity of the idea, and Founder's willingness to experiment and be creative, but this definitely strikes me as being a mistake, and a regrettable waste of bourbon barrels. I hope it shall only be a one-off.

The alcohol totally overwhelms it, as was obvious from the first sniff. And there's just not enough there, in terms of what's going on with the malt, hops (if any were used?), yeast, and barrel to compensate for it.

I finished a bottle, I'm (sorta) proud to say, but it will certainly be my only one. Despite what I'm sure was Founder's best effort, this "slighted style" remains unredeemed.

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Photo of mpmsu2003
2.87/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

What the heck was Founders thinking???

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Photo of BEERchitect
2.96/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Daring to do what has yet to be done, the brewers at Founders take on the daunting responsibility of making a malt liquor a craft beer. And they do so with a generous late hop character and a long slumber in bourbon barrels, so a promise of complexity comes strongly. We'll just see about that.

Bold amber a tawny, the golden and copper beer gleans in the glass. Capped with a sturdy eggshell froth, the beer's upstart is a far cry from those adjunct riddled beer. Its scent is rife with corn, caramel, honey and charred whisky. As coconut and vanilla aroams rise, the taste delves into a sweet corn, caramel and honey taste to start the session.

Although those upstarts seem pleasant enough, the corn presence and simple caramel coat trails into a grainy taste with barrel complexities of vanilla, coconut, caramel and spice taking too far of a command of the middle palate than should be. Spicy, solventy and soapy, the finish is an empty cloud of sweetness with a moderately bitter finish of pine, woods and mineral.

Full in a lush and lasting sweetness, but the beer's boozy thinness and lack of complexity renders the beer a shell of what a bourbon barrel ale should be. It shows that the underlying style of malt liquor is an inferior type of beer and unworthy of salvage. Harsh, spicy and fusel, the beer's aftertaste is long and solventy without palate regard.

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DKML from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.85 out of 5 with 498 ratings
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