Founders Brewing Company

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Blonde Ale - American
Ranked #8
Ranked #3,751
4.14 | pDev: 8.94%
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Notes: Imperial golden ale with coffee, cocoa nibs, vanilla and milk sugar.
Reviews: 83 | Ratings: 205 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Treyliff
Treyliff from West Virginia

4.29/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours a golden color with an orange hue, one-finger foamy white head reduces to a ring around the edge

S- creamy vanilla and milk sugars are complimented by notes of blonde coffee, cocoa nibs, light undertone of caramel

T- slightly sweet up front with notes of sweet cream and whipped vanilla. Mid-palate brings out some light roasted coffee that adds a hint of earthiness. Undertones of chocolate and caramel follow, before finishing with more earthy coffee that continues into the linger, along with more creamy vanilla

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel that turns slightly creamy into the finish

O- this one hides the abv well, and the coffee and sweet vanilla cream notes are a fantastic compliment

Jun 23, 2021
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vi11am from Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Golden cloudy amber color, strong milk chocolate smell, nice head light carbonation that disperses quickly. Smooth lager like hit, followed by a hot chocolate after taste.

Feb 22, 2021
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RonaldTheriot from Louisiana

4.62/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Marvelroast has a thin, white head, (cottony) sediment-filled, deep orange, lazy bubbles, some lacing. The aroma is of mild, light coffee, barley, and vanilla. The taste is of strong golden ale (white bread crust), vanilla, faint coffee, and no bitterness. Marvelroast has a medium body and a dryer- than-expected finish.


Jan 05, 2021
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Gajo74 from New York

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear golden amber color. A thumb length foam head is followed by a ring of lacing.

The presence of the adjuncts dominates the nose. Sweet and roasty aromas of cocoa, coffee and vanilla are supported by notes of biscuity malt.

Chewy and sweet notes of caramel and biscuity malts provide the base. Meanwhile, mouth coating flavors of cocoa, chocolate, vanilla, sugar and coffee dominate the palate.There is a mild roasty bitterness that adds balance, while the finish has a dry alcohol spice to it.

Full bodied and ultra smooth. The carbonation is gentle.

What an Interesting beer! Hard to perceive it as a Blond Ale given all the coffee and cocoa flavors. Nevertheless, this was pretty yummy.

Dec 25, 2020
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mycousinvinny from New York

4.62/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

look. golden brown color, nice 1/2 inch white head, some lacing
smell chocolate, caramel , coffee and vanilla
taste Nice bodied Low bitterness black coffee, vanilla, and dark chocolate.
feel light and smooth, medium body mild carbonation
overall this is one of my favorite beers this is perfect winter beer

Dec 04, 2020
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ChainGangGuy from Georgia

3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a tawny golden-orange body with a creamyish, off-white head.

Smell: Sweet-smelling, candied, liqeuer-esque nose of vanilla-infused sugars, splash of dairy cream, chocolate sauce and roasty coffeebeans.

Taste: Sugary and sweet. The taste follows the aroma decisively, delivering an abundance of its additives. There's no trying to barely discern any of the nibs, the lactose or vanilla, it's there, in spades. However, let's not starting touting any subtle nuances that aren't present. It's a big, sweet beer, even a bit cloying, though it falls mercifully short of being hot or grotesquely sugary (Lizard of Kos, I will never forget you in that respect).

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-soft carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel.

Overall: I was worried this would be too sweet for me. It was too sweet for me. Looking at the label, under the 'roa' in Marvelroast, there's the word SUGAR giving me a shit-eating grin. I would say it was a better Not Your Father's Cream Ale, though I suspect it's merely a more expensive Not Your Father's Cream Ale.

Nov 22, 2020
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EMV from Pennsylvania

3.59/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2020 release. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: Cloudy medium golden pour with big foamy white head. Great retention/lacing.

S: Coffee, vanilla, and cocoa. As advertised.

T.F: Sweet-ish grains and coffee. Chocolate, vanilla, and toasted marshmallow, and more espresso. Oily mouthfeel... relatively smooth. Medium bodied with more coffee and some roast to finish.

O: It hits the advertised flavors but it really didn't do much for me. Reminds me of a 'golden stout'. Too much coffee and sweet... not enough yeast/grain. I'm usually a fan of the Founders barrel-aged series but for this one I'm glad I only bought a single.

Nov 13, 2020
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Antg8989 from New Jersey

4.94/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottled on 6/21/20. Picked this up my local liquor store as I wanted it before the favors faded. But even over 4 months after bottling, I am impressed. Perhaps what impresses me most is the presence of cacao nibs. Such a great blend with the coffee and vanilla. Aroma is definitely roasted marshmallows/s'mores. Taste is everything you read on the label. This could be my new favorite from founders. Definitely picking up more.

Nov 12, 2020
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TBoneJones from Texas

4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears golden blonde and with a fair head and moderate lacing.
Nose is sugary vanilla with sweet dessert coffee roast, with complex cocoa notes, in a most surprisingly pleasant way.
Taste is much like what the nose provides. There’s ample vanilla. It’s like a strong ale that’s blonde, and for dessert. It’s very much like a superb cream soda beer, in the sense that’s really a thing.
Feels full and creamy.
The name threw me off because I didn’t like the name so much, but it really is accurate. Not normally a fan of coffee in beers other than stouts, but this does its thing.

Nov 08, 2020
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andrewjraab from Michigan

4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours a golden brown with some clarity and a Hughe pancake bater of oily and creamy head.

S - Loads of chocolate, vanilla, caramel, some hops, and coffee.

T - Coffee, vanilla, chocolate, followed by a delicate balance of hops and malt. Sweet and creamy finish on the back end.

O - Very solid roasted coffee blonde ale. I'd recommend one to start your tailgate on a Saturday morning before watching college football.

Nov 08, 2020
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Mitchster from Michigan

4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

8% ABV, 20 IBUs, brewed with cacoa nibs, vanilla and lactose. Pours out to a deep golden with flittering bits of gunk floating around, forming a modest slightly off white head with very good retention and lacing and a creamy sticky consistency. Carbonation is moderate, ~2.75 carbs or so. The nose is ripe with vanilla and coffee, basically like opening a bag of vanilla coffee beans with some chalk on top. No hop aroma. No off aromas. Mouthfeel is sticky, dense bodied, full. The taste is like drinking a super dense sweet syrupy vanilla coffee dosed with hersheys syrup with some type of beer character. Very minimal hop bitterness. Sweet syrupy finish. No off flavors. No fusels, oxidation. Not hot, can't taste the alcohol. Well brewed.

An interesting dessert beer. Richer than the 8% would suggest. Worth a try. Could see myself buying this one again if I was in the mood for something sweet and different.

Nov 06, 2020
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josanguapo from Spain

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

De Labirratorium. En copa Teku. Scon galletas tostarica. Delicioso café tanto en boca como en nariz toma el protagonismo, junto a notas a lactosa y vainilla bien ajustadas que le dan sedosidad y cuerpo.

Nov 04, 2020
Photo of Freonicus
Freonicus from Tennessee

5/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Absolutely spectacular. Highly underrated. This is a beer anyone will love, from your girlfriend to your grandma. Strong taste of S'Mores, marshmsllow, chocolate, vanilla and the slightest hint of coffee. Not overdone with coffee like many stouts and coffee beers. This is thick in the mouth, sweet and a delight to drink. No alcohol taste whatsoever. Founders has never made a beer I don't like.

Oct 28, 2020
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Franziskaner from Missouri

3.83/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Copper to dark gold with a heavy sedimentary presence. There’s a quarter inch of densely packed, creamy brown on top. Moderate lacing. The aroma is of cocoa, lactose, coffee, and vanilla. I’m tasting vanilla, lactose, coffee, and cocoa. The mouth is oily and viscous.

Oct 11, 2020
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arizcards from North Carolina

4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Picked up a single from Kings Beer & Wine 7-22-20 for $2.69. Bottled 6-21-20; consumed on 10-8-20.

Beer poured golden with a very nice white head that has some good hang time.

Nose is modest roast with a touch of vanilla sweetness.

Taste follows the nose with a roasted malt base that is accented by vanilla and cocoa finishing with a slightly sweet lactose finish.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied and fairly smooth.

Overall a nice tasting milk stout that was fun to try. Can see this potentially being barreled!

Oct 08, 2020
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stortore from Illinois

4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle into a tulip snifter. Bottled 6/21/20, had 9/22/19.

Pours a clear golden orange, with a one inch foamy head with good retention and a good amount of foamy lacing. Aromas of vanilla, milk sugar, coffee, malt, some chocolate, marshmallow when warm. Similar flavors- vanilla, milk sugar, malt, coffee, light chocolate- a little more as it warms. It’s a little sweet, not overly. Smooth, somewhat creamy, a good medium body, well carbonated- maybe a little on the higher side.

A fun beer and an interesting combination. The vanilla and milk sugar are the most prevalent, but the coffee has a solid presence and the chocolate is complimentary. Solid effort. Very enjoyable.

Oct 01, 2020
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matcris from Arizona

4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

LOOKS: 24k gold, tons of tiny carbonation, and a huge, white foam. Nice lacing, looks great.
AROMA: Coffee is there but mild. Vanilla, Coffee Mate creamer, marshmallow/Rocky Road.
TASTE: Tasty. Definitely a dessert brew. Rocky Road, creamer and just enough bitterness to keep it in check.
FEEL: Medium full body, moderately dry, average carbonation.
OA: I enjoyed it. One per session, though.

Sep 26, 2020
Photo of hman43
hman43 from North Carolina

3.85/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Look: It pours dark golden and clear with a white head and tiny beading. head retention is very good.

Smell: It has a pleasant roasted coffee aroma up front. There are also some vanilla and cocoa elements with a bit of sweetness in the background.

Taste: It has strong roasted coffee flavors with cocoa. The vanilla is a background flavor with a cream like sweetness.

Feel: It has a medium body with a bittersweet finish.

Overall, quite an interesting beer that does a better job at a blonde type coffee beer than most.

Sep 25, 2020
Photo of dsa7783
dsa7783 from New Jersey

4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Four-pack copped from Bottle King in Livingston. Pours a golden, straw-colored hue with minimal frothing. Moderate aroma replete with notes of sugarcane and vanilla iced coffee. Fluid mouthfeel. Bold, assertive flavor reminiscent of marshmallow and milk chocolate. Satisfying, tasty brew which pairs superbly with a variety of sweets. Recommended.

Sep 25, 2020
Photo of RyanK252
RyanK252 from California

3.99/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a Founders Brewing Co snifter

A: Pours golden amber with a frothy beige head that settles to a light layer and leaves a little nice lacing.

S: Big milk chocolate, vanilla, caramel, lactose and maybe a hint of marshmallow, smooth coffee, a bit nutty, underlying herbal notes, and lightly toasty biscuity malt. Definitely has a frappuccino kinda vibe.

T: A quick hit of coffee, quickly followed by milk chocolate, big vanilla, hazelnut, caramel and sweet cream, underlying herbal earthy notes, subtle floral hints, a touch peach and candied orange buried in there, slight peppery spice, and some lightly toasty biscuity bready malt.

M: Full body, moderate carbonation, creamy smooth.

O: Was pleasantly surprised to find this one had snuck onto the shelf at my local Total Wine. Just wish they got it a little sooner as my bottle is around 3 months old. Beer wise, I think they could have bumped up the coffee a little more (who knows, it may have fallen off a bit), but overall it's a solid golden stout. One of the biggest issues I've seen with this style is they can get overly sweet, but this is pretty well balanced. Props to Founders for letting the brew crew get creative and releasing it to full distribution. Fun one to try.

Sep 25, 2020
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gooddaydiablo from Texas

4.54/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

look: blond, thousands of particles floating around, wow this is such a scene, I've never see this in any other beers before

smell: vanilla, chestnut, chocolate, cheese, sweet coffee

taste: Love it! Sweet vanilla milk coffee, some cheese, oh so good

feel: medium or thin body, airy, finish is sweet, balanced

overall: this is a very interesting flavor combination, and it's kind of rare, a very nice new brew from founders, cheers!

Sep 19, 2020
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cwm51662 from Indiana

4.46/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

One thing I have to say first, it seems like every reviewer had something different hit them first. One guy mentioned floaties, but I had none. A nice thick head with lacing after a while, really yellow-orange color. Popping the cap makes you think this is going to be a chocolate fest, but out of the bottle I agree there's a Werther's scent to it. Hides the alcohol well, but not well enough to not remind you to take it easy.Vanilla becomes stronger as you go, just a hint of coffee, and not a bit of chocolate, except maybe unsweetened. Kind of feels sticky (especially if you stuck your face in the head, lol). There's something kind of sour in spots, but I can't figure it out. This is for me the definition of an entertaining beer. And I bet you can't find two reviews here that agree on more than 2 points. Heck, I can't even agree with my roommate!

Sep 12, 2020
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DoctorZombies from Florida

4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 6/21/20 and pulled from the store’s walk-in cooler, then to my dorm fridge/freezer at home. Poured at 52 degrees; deep gold with white flecks, a total snow globe; but for the floaties, excellent clarity otherwise very good cap retention; heavy ring; medium minus lacing; no legs. Strong coffee nose initially, followed by milk chocolate; vanilla asserts itself as liquid warms Taste is sweet chocolate milk; very little coffee and lots of vanilla candy; no hop bitterness or flavors; some caramel malt base underneath the sugary flavors. Creamy feel and tongue coating from the milk sugar addition; medium body, moderate minus carbonation; no warmth from 8% abv. Overall, tastes like an iced vanilla latte from Starbucks with an extra pump of chocolate syrup; despite the strong nose, very little coffee flavor; not a fan of floaties, unless it’s flaked coconut; I like sweet beers, and this beer works taste-wise; more coffee flavor would have elevated the whole, for me.

Sep 06, 2020
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buschbeer from Ohio

4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a snifter

This beer pours amber with suspended yeast visible. It is topped with an inch of tan head that leaves spotty lacing.

The smell is coffee, dark chocolate, and vanilla.

Coffee and cream comes to mind flavorwise. It's pretty darn tasty.

Medium bodied with a creamy mouthfeel

This is quite enjoyable beer. Founders is still a favorite of mine ever though they sold out. I still like the Detroit and GR taprooms.

Sep 05, 2020
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BloodSoakedAleMug from New York

4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Pours a glowing, deep orange with a two finger off white head. No lacing.

Aroma: Custard, marshmellows, cocoa nibs. Understated coffee and cream in the background.

Taste: Follows the nose, mostly custard and nilla wafers with a backdrop of bittersweet coffee and cocoa. A touch of graham cracker spice to round things out. Very tasty. As it warms, gentle flavors of floral/tropical orange hops become more apparent.

Feel: Sweet, but not cloying. Full boded, but not thick. Medium carbonation. "Smooth" for lack of a better term.

Overall: This probably isn't for everyone but it's really good if you like coffee blonde ales. Reminds me of sixpoint C.R.E.A.M.

Sep 03, 2020
Marvelroast from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 205 ratings