DKML | Founders Brewing Company

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566 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: 566 |  Reviews: 189
Photo of Sammy
3.76/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of kylehay2004
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Texasfan549
3.86/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

i have to give these guys props for doing something really original here, i am unaware of another barrel aged malt liquor, unless mikkeller did one years ago, but this is the only one of any prominence, and they have done a pretty good job with it, but man is this a booze bomb, zero to hero sort of beer! it smells and tastes like a whiskey water, the base beer being so light and adjuncty that the whiskey is really in front of it, although i do like the corn sweetness through this and the really light body for how strong it is, it messes with my senses, and i like that. the bourbon can really be tasted, and the vanilla notes and wood go great with what is there of the corn, but its booze on booze from about the mid point all the way through, and a little goes a really long way for me. light hints of maple and toffee, some barrel char bitterness, and a surprising smoothness given the relative juxtaposition of the style and the barrels. cool beer, i dont want any more of it, but i appreciate founders for putting something like this together. not for the meek, this is a bruiser of the highest order. if you want to taste whiskey in your beer, here you go!

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Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of djrn2
3.54/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of metter98
3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

A: The beer is clear amber yellow in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high white head that died down, leaving a narrow collar of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: Sweet aromas of vanilla and adjunct malts are present in the nose—corn seems to stand out in particular.
T: The taste follows the smell and seems to be a bit sweeter, particularly as the beer warms up. Notes of vanilla from the bourbon are also noticeable.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a bit smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer tastes a little strong but seems to reasonably hide most of its alcohol from the laptop. It is rather drinkable considering the strength.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of BEERchitect
2.96/5  rDev -23.3%
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.

 1,371 characters

Photo of emerge077
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

After 47 malt liquors, finally I can say i've had a decent one.
If you don't drink bourbon, I wouldn't recommend it, it's pretty boozy.

That said, there's a certain level of alchemy happening here, where the sweet corn and rich toffee flavors magically combine into a bourbony caramel corn flavor. Maybe it's science. Yeah, probably science.

Deep saturated amber tone with a momentary head of thin foam, and minimal spotty lacing. Bright and clear, looks kind of like bourbon with a thin ring of foam. Sharp alcohol bite, which is to be expected for a bourbon barrel aged malt liquor. No burn though, obviously this is more of a slow sipper. Bottom line, if the words "bourbon caramel corn" appeal to you, this is worth trying. Also recommended for Backwoods Bastard fans, it's really more of a strong ale.

It definitely lives up to it's name.

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Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of zeff80
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured out a clear, dark amber color with orange highlights and a small, tan head of foam. It smelled of bourbon, booziness and sweet malt. Very boozy and bourbony. It doesn't have the grain and corn flavor of a malt liquor.

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Photo of superspak
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 7/14/2017. Pours crystal clear medium orange/amber/light copper color with a 1 finger fairly dense and fluffy off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of apricot, plum, pear, apple, honey, brown sugar, cracker, corn, biscuit, vanilla, bourbon, toasted oak, coconut, herbal, floral, light pepper, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. A bit of booze in the aromas as it warms, but not overwhelming. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of pale malt, corn, bourbon barrel, light-moderate fruity yeast, and light earthy hop notes; with solid strength. Taste of big apricot, plum, pear, apple, honey, brown sugar, cracker, corn, biscuit, vanilla, bourbon, toasted oak, coconut, herbal, floral, light pepper, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Light-moderate herbal/pine bitterness and bourbon/oak spiciness on the finish. Lingering notes of apricot, plum, pear, apple, honey, brown sugar, cracker, corn, biscuit, vanilla, bourbon, toasted oak, coconut, herbal, floral, light pepper, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity, robustness, and balance of pale malt, corn, bourbon barrel, light-moderate fruity yeast, and light earthy hop flavors; with a great malt/bitterness and bourbon/oak spiciness balance; with zero cloying/astringent flavors after the finish. Lightly increasing dryness from bitter/oak spiciness as well. Medium carbonation and medium-plus body; with a very smooth, moderately bready/grainy/sticky/tannic, and slightly slick/silky balanced mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is extremely well hidden; a mildly increasing warmth, with minimal barrel booziness after the finish. Overall this is a very nice barrel aged imperial malt liquor. All around nice complexity, robustness, and balance of pale malt, corn, bourbon barrel, light-moderate fruity yeast, and light earthy hop flavors; very smooth and dangerously easy to sip on for the enormous ABV. Really great showcase of the barrel with some nice malt complexities. Not too hoppy, and the yeast wasn’t too fruity either; but added some nice balanced fruity notes, vaguely similar to an English barleywine. A very unique, but very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Boone757
4.06/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of dbrauneis
3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a crystal clear medium to dark brassy golden yellow in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and moderate copper colored highlights. The beer has a three finger tall sudsy foamy beige head that slowly reduces to a large patch of thin film covering the entire surface of the beer and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of bourbon, toasted oak, and vanilla with light to moderate amounts of corn/corn syrup sweetness and moderate aromas of grainy malts with corn adjuncts.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of grainy malts with a moderate amount of corn adjunct and a moderate amount of corn/corn syrup sweetness. That is followed by strong flavors of bourbon with moderate flavors of toasted oak and vanilla. Moderate amount of fusel alcohol flavors in the finish which linger.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly heavier than moderate amounts of alcohol warming in the finish.

O: My second barrel aged (and/or wood treated) malt liquor which I enjoy but these are big, slow sipping beers - not that easy to drink. Enjoyable but not sure that I would get this one again as the alcohol is not very well hidden. The name reminds me of the early 2000s when there were literally tons of xxML markup languages around.

 1,387 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.66/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Founders Brewing Co. "DKML"
12 fl. oz. brown glass bottle, "Bottled On: 07.03.17 1324 6" and sampled on 10.08.17
$5.49 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Notes via stream of consciousness: I just had to try this beer based on the label. It's very basic but eye-catching. As for it being a "malt liquor", yeah I'd heard that, and I wanted to try it to see how it compared to Dogfish Head's Liquor de Malt, but I had no idea it was 14.2% abv. So, OK, here goes... clear deep gold body beneath a finger thick head of bright white that drops into a 1/4" thick creamy cap. There's no lacing left behind but I'm pretty impressed with the head retention. The aroma is malty with a light note of Bourbon. Where are the hops? I thought the label said it was dry-hopped? Wow, it's very malty, I wasn't expecting that. How big is this beer to begin with that it's this malty and it still has 14.2% abv? That's amazing. And I totally believe that all of that alcohol is there because I can taste it. It's not harsh, but it's clearly coming through. It actually helps to dry it. There's some oak as well, also helping, and a moderate bitterness level. As I work through it I'm finding some vanilla in there with the Bourbon and oak. It's got some adjunct to it, the malt shows that; and I can also smell the alcohol in the nose. Not bad, not great, but certainly with a "malt liquor" character. And it has a much higher strength than most. It's creamy and smooth in the mouth with a medium-full body and moderate carbonation. Overall I'd say it's interesting, and fairly nice to relax with and sip at, but given the price I'll give it a pass the next time I see it.

 1,655 characters

Photo of chinchill
4.11/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Nicks in Clemson.
Poured with a semi-durable white head over a light copper colored body.

Mild, sweet and lightly boozy aroma. The flavor is considerably more boozy, with bourbon barrel components dominating. Fortunately, the barrel aging effects are delicious.

Near medium body and medium light carbonation with limited mouth warmth for over 14%.

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Photo of jlindros
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is gonna be interesting... bottled 7/03/17

Pours a surprisingly large fluffy creamy 1 finger head that fades at a med pace with plenty of soapy lacing, clear scotch color

Nose brings some barrel, whiskey and sweet bourbon like alcohol, a little vanilla buttery oak barrel, barrel juice, a mild sweet malt, touch of caramel, candy syrup, a little alcohol, candy bar sweet

Taste starts with big sweet malts and alcohol, some booze tingle and a bit fusel but not too much, some whiskey as well and a very young bourbon flavor, more barrel vanilla with a bit of buttery oak and wood dust, sweet candy malt with a bit of caramel and syrup, even mild honey and candy bar caramel like, toffee maybe. Finishes a bit sticky sweet, hot booze lingering, and more candy.

Mouth is med bod but syrupy and some hot tingly alcohol, decent carb

Overall at least better than i expected for base malt liquor like flavors, wish the barrel was a bit more, but still at least drinkable to kick you where you expect it.

 1,006 characters

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.96/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of oberon
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottled on 7/3/17.Pours into a becker a clear brass color with a full two finger head atop that settles ever so slowly into a frothy mass.Nostril burning alcohol and bourbon in the nose,just smells as hot as all get out.Bourbon laced fruits with some vanilla and butterscotch thrown in,kinda hot going down,nothing to reign in the booze.As boozy and over the top it is once you are able to take it in it's not bad,but you have to get over that initial blast.

 458 characters

Photo of Gkruszewski
3.81/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

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DKML from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.86 out of 5 with 566 ratings