Barrel Runner
Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Imperial IPA
Ranked #2,073
Ranked #25,574
3.57 | pDev: 17.93%
Oct 13, 2023
Mar 22, 2018
Inspiration for our barrel-aged beers can come from the most unexpected places and our latest release is proof of that. Sweet and hoppy, rich and bright – this rum barrel-aged imperial IPA brewed with Mosaic hops will make you believe you’re in the tropics.
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Ratings by eric5bellies:
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Reviewed by eric5bellies from Australia

4.34/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
A - Pours a cloudy Copper colour with a White head that reduces slowly

S - The rum is quite present, with hop driven aromas that are tropical.

T - Really nice rum flavours up front, with some sticky caramel mid palate, the hops kick in mid palate and the finish is boozy rum bitter driven.

M - Medium to full body with medium carbonation.

O - This is a somewhat unusual beer. I recommend it
Jul 18, 2021
More User Ratings:
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Reviewed by NickSMpls from Washington

3.62/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Bottled June 5 '18; tasted Oct 12 '23. Pour is a viscous amber, clear with only a trace of head. Heavy legging on the glass. Nose is a faint whisky / rum and a little floral. Taste is a strong bitterness with a long finish; not unpleasant and worthy of some slow sipping. The feel is heavy and low in carbonation.

This is five- plus years aging which is probably more than the beer can support.
Oct 13, 2023
Rated: 3.49 by acurtis from New Jersey

Aug 20, 2023
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Reviewed by NorsemanOne from Utah

3.96/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Bottled 5.29.18

Poured at fridge temp into a tulip glass

Pours a burnt sepia/murky copper with a thin light sandy colored head. 3.75

Barrel and boozy nose up front. Some mild tropical fruitiness, and fermented pineapple. 4

Fermented tropical fruits follow from aroma, some boozy burn, and remnant hop bitterness. 4

Body is surprisingly carbonated for 5+ years old. Some lingering bitterness, and alcohol bite. 3.75

Overall, a surprising and interesting rum BA IPA that broadened my vision of what an IPA can be, and the fermented tropicals were actually very nice. 4
Jun 11, 2023
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Reviewed by Whyteboar from Michigan

4.13/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
For a beer last brewed in 2018 this has held up well. I don’t think it resembles the fresh version much though.
Poured opaque copper orange with a beige to apricot color head. Really good lacing for a BA beer 5 years old.
The aroma is lost on my nose right now, sorry.
The taste was ripe fruits like mango and peaches and some raisins I think. The rum as far as I could tell has left the building. Alcohol was evident but not the type.
The feel was actually pretty good for this old IPA. Nice body but eminently drinkable.
Think I have one of these left. I probably should drink it sooner than later.
Mar 10, 2023
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Reviewed by ChrisCage from Canada (AB)

4.39/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
I don't know what year this is from but I found it stored away in a cool dark corner that I had forgotten before May 2019....lets see what we have here!

A- Pours a very hazed copper/orange hued color and with a thick creamy eggshell colored head that shows excellent retention, going from two and a half fingers thick down to a soapy rich ring around the inside of my glass, which also leads to me mentioning the excellent lacing. Seems to be a medium level of carbonation going on as well....overall a very interesting and excellent looking brew!

S- Well I thought I'd have huge boozy rum up the nostrils, however, what I get is super smooth caramel and/or toffee, vanilla bean pod, subtle hop presence and slight mandarin orange zest and tropical nuance. Nothing overpowers anything else here....such balance!

T- Wow there is such a tropical flavor happening, pineapple and papaya! I wouldn't have any clue that this is a strong beer, with the alcohol having smoothed out to the point that this has become very creamy and milkshake like in flavor....vanilla, creme truffle, caramel/toffee, brown sugar, and sweet amber or dark rum. The finish contains some hop bitterness, but it is smooth and rounded out, and as it warms, the rum barrel woodsiness starts to really come out and with it, some ginger spice.....overall this is very nice!

M/O- As mentioned earlier, this has taken on a creamy milkshake like texture, so medium full in body. The carbonation, as I thought I observed, is soft-ish on the palate and really allows the flavors to shine through. With this said, I am finding that the further into this one I go, the alcohol is warming and catches up to me so I don't find the drinkability factor would be super high, however, I am quite enjoying this....I only wish I knew what year this was made....for something that in print was best before 2019, this is holding up very well....or else my storing capabilities are superb lol....
Jul 04, 2022
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Reviewed by Atlas1 from Texas

4.03/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
I've been sitting on this bottle of the 2018 release for a few years now and decided to break it open. Pours a pretty orange-amber color. Not much head, but it's a few years old so I won't ding it for that. But it is a very attractive beer. The nose is boozy with rum and ethanol. Some orange and vanilla notes mixed in as well. The taste is also assertive with a strong alcohol presence. Perhaps the rum influence has subsided over the years, because I can't quite detect rum specifically. Alcohol, yes, but not necessarily rum. Any hoppiness from the original IPA has faded considerably, but you can sort of tell that it was once an IPA. Maybe. Still, it's not a bad flavor, and I get pings of sweetness from dark fruit. Very earthy, but in a refreshing sort of way. I like this 4-year old Barrel Runner. Mouthfeel holds up well. Pretty damn good, all things considered.
Apr 24, 2022
Rated: 3.2 by TMoney2591 from Illinois

Dec 03, 2021
Rated: 3.89 by LesDewitt4beer from Minnesota

Nov 21, 2021
Rated: 3.27 by Junior from Michigan

Jul 17, 2021
Rated: 4 by TomBanahan from Kentucky

Feb 22, 2021
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Reviewed by aa911911 from Michigan

3.78/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
update.... this beer has changed in the bottle in the two plus years since it was created.... much less bite and none of the sharpness.... it has really mellowed. that being said ... it has remained light.... not malty... way more interesting than the young version...
Dec 11, 2020
Rated: 3.57 by jaxon53 from Connecticut

Nov 14, 2020
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Reviewed by Ernald_Elbertson from Delaware

3.38/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
Definitely interesting if anything, a beer I may have to come back to at some point in my life. I'll preface this by saying I'm not as naturally inclined to rum as I am to whiskey, and so this is a much harder to approach beer for me.

Look: standard Imperial IPA look, slightly murky, dark orange.

Smell: smells strongly of rum, and to me, typical white rum, not sweeter dark rum as I was hoping it would be. Big ethanol characteristic, and while somewhat tropical, a bit overpowering.

Taste: again, the alcohol taste is pretty front and center here. That's not a bad thing per se, but I'm not used to rum enough to really enjoy this as much as I enjoy Bourbon aged stouts, or the Mas Agave series which put the liquor notes on the backburner as opposed to being the leading note. If you enjoy rum, I think you'll love this, but Personally I feel I'm not enough of a fan right now. This beer might help me get into rum though.

Feel: Like the other barrel aged beers from Founders, it is quite fulfilling and generally a treat to drink, regardless of the flavor. As usual, they nailed this aspect

Overall: I probably would not buy this beer again, for a while at least, and it's hard to recommend. however, this does not mean it's a bad beer. Quite the opposite, I feel it's high quality, just not something I'm prepared for. Maybe I would criticize the character of the rum, as it reminded me more of Bacardi white and less of something dark and complex. I will say, my experience may be tainted by how old this beer is; bottled in 2018. For an IPA that's a long time, but for whatever reason they just started carrying them at my local store and I just assumed they were a new release. Yes, it is barrel aged, but being an IPA still means it will be not as fresh.
Sep 30, 2020
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Reviewed by JamarcusMarinovich from California

3.63/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
Poured from bottle into pint glass. Great amber color, finger head that lasts a bit...pretty much similar to all other IPA, but that's where much similarity ends. Right off the bat, nose of rum hits you. I like rum, one of the main reasons I got this offering, but holy cow! The words 'subtle', 'hints of', and 'notes' are not descriptors of the rum-forward smell, taste, and feel. Actually seems like a mixed drink (literally a mix of an IPA and shot of rum). Slight bitterness from the hops, but any hop-imparted goodness is masked by the high rum. Has the back-of-tongue feel of a mixed drink at 11.1%, and the rum lingers there. I was pretty amped to get this, a marriage of two favored alcohol offerings, but I think the rum is just too overpowering. Dialed back a notch or three, I can see this being a great beer. It's a sipper, for sure. We call this a 'd**k in the dirt' beer...a couple of these, and fellas, you can fall over face first, with your **** in the dirt.
May 16, 2020
Rated: 3.87 by mrfrancis from Kentucky

Apr 19, 2020
Rated: 3.69 by Eyedoc27 from Illinois

Apr 09, 2020
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Reviewed by mikeinportc from New York

3.71/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Hazy bronzy-orange, with slight off-white head. 1/2" of spotty lacing.

Aroma is mostly rum [heated vanilla,sugar + wood tannins ] with maybe a little candied tropical fruit mix.

Taste is rum tempered with some vague fruit mix , as if dried citrus rinds were soaked in rum. Light bitterness that balances the sweetness.

Slightly oily medium feel, with light very fine carbonation .

Overall , well-balanced, and enjoyable. A bit much for a big bottle. Probably end up dividing this into three sittings.
Mar 18, 2020
Rated: 3.5 by smartassboiler from Illinois

Mar 15, 2020
Rated: 3 by MountainHiker from Wisconsin

Feb 26, 2020