Founders Brewing Company

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Blonde Ale - American
Ranked #8
Ranked #4,669
4.14 | pDev: 9.66%
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Notes: Imperial golden ale with coffee, cocoa nibs, vanilla and milk sugar.
Reviews: 37 | Ratings: 94 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of zeff80
zeff80 from Missouri

4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Poured out a clear, golden orange color with a small, off-white head of foam. It left minimal lacing. It smelled of freshly roasted coffee, chocolate and hints of vanilla. Nice blend of chocolate and coffee taste with a kiss of vanilla.

Yesterday at 02:58 PM
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BB1313 from Ohio

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

Bottled on 6/21/20. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours golden with nice clarity and has bubbles racing upwards; fluffy and creamy off-white head that falls slowly leaving great thick retention and sticky lacing. The aromas have a nice amount of coffee along with some chocolate and marshmallow. Malts are there. The flavors follow the nose. More coffee leading the way. More chocolate and cocoa. More marshmallow and vanilla. Some roasted characteristics. The milk sugars come through without making it that sweet. Moderate to low bitterness. Malts do their thing. Alcohol is well hidden. Mouthfeel is nice. It's on the fuller side of medium-bodied or the lighter side of full-bodied with active carbonation. It's sharp, fluffy, smooth and dangerously drinkable.

This is a pretty nice coffee beer. The coffee shines, but doesn't diminish the cocoa nibs and milk sugars. It's bold but ultimately balanced. The craftsmanship is on point. It's enjoyable and fun to drink. Well done. I really like it.

Sunday at 06:24 PM
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Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

$ 9.00 (Including tax)/4-pack of 12 oz bottles ($ 0.188/oz). Purchased 7/28/20 from Franklin Beer, Franklin, PA. Reviewed 8/9/20.
On back label “BOTTLED ON 06.21.20”. On shelf at store. Stored at home at 42 degrees and served at 45 degrees in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter.
Appearance – 3.5.
First pour – Straw (SRM 3), clear.
Body – Pale gold (SRM 4), slight haze. When held to direct light, same. Precipitate is noted in bottom of bottle.
Head – Large (Maximum 6.8 cm, aggressive center pour), off white, medium density with embedded rocks, average retention, diminishing to a five to eight mm crown and a rocky partial cap.
Lacing – Other than a single drag mark, none.
Aroma – 4 – Begins with vanilla with weak coffee wisps, no hops, no malt, no yeast.
Flavor – 4.25 – Starts slightly sweet with weak coffee/vanilla flavor and no cocoa. Vanilla figures predominantly in subsequent belches. No hops, no malt, no yeast. No alcohol (8% ABV, as marked on container) taste or aroma. No diacetyl or dimethylsulfide.
Palate – 4 – Medium, approaching syrupy, soft carbonation.
Final impression and summation 4.25. For an inexpensive coffee-based beer, well done. But then, I would expect nothing less from Founders.

Sunday at 02:24 PM
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mushroomcloud from Texas

4.09/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottled 6-20-20. Opened 8-8-20.
1" off white head. Good staying power. Creamy. Laced.
Golden amber color - slow rising bubbles on the move. Not fully clear but bright with decent clarity.
Coffee, chocolate, and vanilla - all aromas are represented as advertised.
Creamy vanilla upfront followed by coffee bitterness later in the finish.
Soft, round, and creamy mouthfeel. Higher carbonation than expected early, maybe medium-low overall.
Semi-sweet and lingering finish.
Overall a smooth experience, from aroma to taste to mouthfeel. Fun and tasty beer.
Nice use of the Golden Ale as a blank slate to build upon.
Very Good.

Saturday at 07:39 PM
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sjrider from California

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

Poured from a bottle -medium amber/gold with quickly dissipating white head leaving a bit of frosty lacing. Nose is dark coffee and sweet like vanilla sweet with hints of roasty malt. Taste follows with more sweet coffee like a Vietnamese cafe sua da . This probably isn't for everyone ,but if you like coffee, it's quite tasty.

Saturday at 02:04 AM
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ilikebeer03 from Texas

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

pours a bright, deep golden hue with a finger of slightly off white head of thick creamy foam. good retention
nose is fresh cold brew vanilla coffee. chocolate.
taste follows - fresh cold brew coffee, vanilla, mocha, chocolate. lingering sweet chocolately mocha.
creamy body. great beer.

Aug 05, 2020
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KevinHill from Illinois

2.96/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

LOVE FOUNDERS. Been to brewery. Bottle into beer chalice. They missed this one. Huge nose of coffee and vanilla, same on palate. Finishes creamy, sweet, and syrupy. Like to see less sugar and vanilla. Hope they modify the recipe.

Aug 04, 2020
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cjeep from Pennsylvania

4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

this is a nice beer. not sure i would call a "golden ale" but ok. bottled 6/21. says "drink fresh" and i am trying to oblige.
L: drinking from the bottle. the bottle's sharp
S: ok, in line with the label. coffee, light chocolate, vanilla, cream.
T: yup, totally in line with the nose. getting all the ingredients. coffee (strong), chocolate (light), sugar, cream, smooth. just delicious
F: tiny quibble. mouthfeel is a bit thin. but i'm kind of stretching to criticize.
O: definitely a winner for me. if you're not into a coffee flavored beer then it's not for you. but i'm down with it.

Aug 03, 2020
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hardy008 from Minnesota

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

Pours clear amber with a large foamy white head which settles down to around 1/2 finger of foam. This is called a Blonde Ale, but at 8 %, I think it is more like an American Strong Ale. Nice aroma with coffee, cocoa, vanilla, and cream. Tastes like it smells. Pleasantly sweet without being too sweet, nicely balanced. Medium to full bodied with modest carbonation and creamy. a very nice beer from Founders again. I always look forward to their new releases.

Aug 02, 2020
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Steve_Studnuts from Pennsylvania

4.02/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled 6/21/20
Consumed 8/1/2020
Imperial golden ale with coffee, cocoa nibs, vanilla and milk sugar.

Coupla fingers of infinitely creamy head with bubbles that start off small but quickly expand and start to lace up nicely. Smells pretty great; I mean, I'm not pulling much from the beer itself, but all those additives are enticing. The vanilla, cocoa and milk sugar combine to smell like pulling a sheet of chocolate chip cookies from the oven. Throw in some freshly brewed coffee and you've got a smell that scented candle companies would kill for. Taste-wise, this is very well-balanced; nothing dominates; everything is working in harmony. It's very smooth and drinkable (and thus a bit dangerous at 8% ABV), but is a little sweet if I had to nitpick. It's got my lips sticking together a bit. Overall, a very tasty beverage even if one is definitely enough. This kind of takes that New Belgium/Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ale collaboration from a few years back and improves on it in every way. Dessert in a glass, yo.

Aug 02, 2020
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ovaltine from Indiana

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

Perfectly clear dark golden color with a light tan head that is positively clingy after an aggressive pour. The first aroma I get - from distance - is cacao nibs. There’s little if any discernible coffee aroma.

But the coffee does appear on the nose as this warms, and is a prominent participant on the taste, pairing off quite nicely with the cacao and milk sugar.

This is like Starbucks decided to make a chocolate caramel frappe latte (please note: I am NOT a coffee drinker - maybe 10 cups in my life) and cram some alcohol in for beer nerds. I think this is absolutely magnificent.

Aug 02, 2020
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q33jeff from New Jersey

3.52/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


Bottle to snifter.

LOOK: darker yellow, hint of brown even. clear. medium off white creamy head. good retention.
AROMA: coffee and vanilla,
TASTE: a little like a cream soda. sweet vanilla, light bitter coffee finish
FEEL: creamy and smooth, though not as thick as a cream ale would be.

Good beer. Coffee and Vanilla are tasty. not perfectly executed, but tasty and drinkable enough.


Jul 31, 2020
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jkblr from Indiana

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

12oz bottled 06.21.20 (about a month ago) poured into a Spiegelau stout glass at fridge temp 8% ABV 20 IBU. The beer pours bright light honey amber in color with off white head. The head recedes to a thin cap and leaves a little lacing. The aroma is moderate in strength featuring sweetened, creamed coffee. The taste is semisweet pale roast coffee with hints of cocoa and vanilla. Minimal bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with just less than medium carbonation and a semi dry finish. Overall, very good. I did not expect to even like this beer & purchased a single only because it was Founders & coffee. Very enjoyable & the first pale coffee beer I've ever been able to recommend.

Jul 31, 2020
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NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

4.06/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Founders Brewing Co. "Marvelroast"
12 fl. oz. brown glass bottle, "BOTTLED ON: 06.21.20 1617 2". Sampled on 07.30.20
$3.49 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Notes via stream of consciousness: It's poured a clear amber colored body beneath a short head of creamy white foam. The aroma is sweetish with a distinct cocoa note that's backed by coffee. If you swirl the glass you can pick up some vanilla. It reminds me of sitting in a coffee shop while drinking a hot chocolate. I'm guessing at this point the flavor will basically be the same. I'm thinking that it won't be as sweet as the nose suggests, and that the coffee will come though more, cutting down on the perception of the cocoa but let's see... well, I think I called that mostly right. The coffee definitely has a stronger presence and carries over into the long lingering finish, and the cocoa is somewhat set aside, but what I didn't expect is that the vanilla really comes forward. It's honeys, and has a breakfast cereal flavor to it. I'm thinking Honeycomb but it's been a really long time since I've had that. It's not quite as sweet as the aroma would suggest it is, and yet it is still fairly sweet. There's not that much bitterness to it (the label its 20 IBUs), but the roastiness and acidity of the coffee work to keep it in check. It's 8% abv but I'm not really finding that, most likely because the sugar is covering it up. In the mouth it's full in body and gently crisp, and it is just a touch sticky in the finish. I'm not sure where I stand on this. It's one of the better versions of this style that Ive had, and yet it's not really that inspiring. I think it seems just a bit much. Of course it's not supposed to be an everyday beer, and I recognize that. I think it would make a great dessert beer, and could possibly be used as an ingredient in something else, but I'm still finding 12 ounces to be a bit too much for me. Setting that aside, the only flaw that I see is that the head retention and lacing could be better, especially for such a sugary beer.
Review #7,038

Jul 30, 2020
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Darkmagus82 from Texas

4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass
Appearance – The beer pours a crystal-clear golden color with a one finger head of white colored foam. The head has a decent level of retention, slowly fading over time to leave a good sum of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.
Smell – The aroma of the brew is wonderfully strong in a coffee and cocoa aroma backed by tons of caramel and milky smells. Along with these smells comes a great showing of some aromas of crème and vanilla as well as a bit of grain and malt. Overall its like a nice chocolate latte smell, but all without the darkness in color.
Taste – The taste begins with a sweet malty taste that is big on caramel and sweet crème mixed with a little bit of toast. While the coffee and cocoa are very strong on the nose, both are somewhat lighter upfront. The coffee remains light throughout, but the cocoa gets more and more intense as the taste moves forward. All the while the sweet crème is joined by even more milky and vanilla flavors as well as a little bit of a thick syrup taste. These flavors all take the taste to the end, where one is left with a sweet and rich, lighter coffee, heavy crème like chocolate latte taste to linger on the tongue.
Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is on the slightly thicker and creamier side with a carbonation level that is rather low. For the rich and sweet tastes of the brew the feel is rather nice and creates a easy sipping dessert brew.
Overall – Sweet cocoa, crème, and caramel with just enough light coffee and malt to balance it all out and make it a very easy drinking dessert brew. Another good one by Founders!

Jul 30, 2020
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russpowell from Arkansas

4.29/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours an effervescent gold with 3 fingers of eggshell colored head. Good lacing & above average head retention

S: Tons of vanilla & caramel

T: Follows the nose, dryness, mocha, coffee & dryness as well. dryness, roastyness, coffee, & plenty of vanilla as this warms. Finishes with roasty sweetness & just little coffee

MF: Medium body, restrained carbonation

Interesting "Blonde" I like it as a one-off not something I could drink it all the time

Jul 29, 2020
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lackenhauser from Maryland

4.57/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gorgeous color. Just a wonderful creamed coffee aroma and that rapidly transmits into the flavor. Just a great meld of all things latte-vanilla and mocha like. Rick creamy flavors. Smooth as a baby's butt mouthfeel completes the package. I have to have 2 each time I have this beer. One is not enough....

Jul 29, 2020
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AirMars from Michigan

4.31/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Looks lighter than I expected. It’s definitely gold.

It smells like coffee.

It tastes like a coffee with some cocoa. I just wish it was a tad bit sweeter with more vanilla. Great flavor though.

Great flavored beer beverage if your into that sort of thing.

Jul 29, 2020
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mntlover from Tennessee

4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy golden color with some orange notes guess she be bottle conditioned. Thumb sized cream colored head, good lacing. Many thanks to Charity for this sample.

Aroma is coffee loaded with vanilla creamer, lots of lactose too. This would smell wonderful to anyone who likes foofoo coffee it smells wonderful to me not really as coffee as I like it black but very interesting as a beer.

Taste is smooth good golden ale malt base loaded with lactose, vanilla and good coffee notes all around. For me the coffee, vanilla and lactose dominate might be hints of the coco nibs in the lingering coffee finish. Very unusual brew and very well done, not sure it would make it as a daily drinker but would not be opposed to have one on occasion.

Mouthfeel is solid medium fairly smooth carbonation.

Overall interesting, unique and good. Defiantly worth a try.

Jul 28, 2020
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Mikemcgrath4 from North Carolina

4.56/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cocoa nib nose with accent of coffee. Roasty coffee on palate with dominant cocoa nibs, chocolately texture despite its blonde color, sweet and smooth finish. Wonderful coffee chocolate aftertaste. Improves as it warms a bit as well. Very interesting beer, haven't had anything close to it quite yet.

Jul 28, 2020
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DrDemento456 from Pennsylvania

4.41/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Blond ale brewed with coffee cocoa nibs vanilla and milk sugar pours rather a dark orange with a massive half inch of froth. Smells of Candy coffee espresso tons of vanilla bean and coffee all around. Taste so smooth vanilla coffee and marshmallow tones. I could see the cocoa nibs they round it out perfectly well. Definitely one of my new favorite founders beers especially considering it's the same price of breakfast Stout but oh so much smoother!

Jul 28, 2020
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lordofthewiens from New Mexico

4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A very pretty beer. Deep gold color, thick white fluffy head. Some lacing.
Aroma of coffee, cocoa, and vanilla.
Taste follows the nose. Very nuanced.
Medium mouthfeel, sweet.
Definitely will be buying more!

Jul 26, 2020
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chinchill from South Carolina

4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle with a 22 June 2020 bottling date stamp on the label. Purchased at the Wall of Beer in Clemson SC ($2.69) and served in a lager glass.
Pours with an amber body that is dark for the style (ignoring the coffee addition), clear, and topped with a decent white head.
Aroma. Vanilla and malts are most obvious.
Flavor. Much less sweet than the aroma suggests as well as carrying more prominent cocoa and coffee notes. Finishes mildly bitter with a well balanced mix of cocoa, vanilla, coffee and spicy hops.

Jul 25, 2020
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Tripel_Threat from Michigan

4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Quite excellent. Fans of OddSide Bean Flicker will find much to love here. Creamy, and full of chocolate and coffee flavors that stay just shy of bitter, I'd just finished one bottle and already couldn't wait for the next pour.

Jul 24, 2020
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jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Many thanks to Knapp85 for this bottle.

A - Dark gold color with vibrant white creamy lacing, no visible carbonation and lots of pale colored "floaties".

S - Coffee roast, vanilla, and some sweet cocoa permeate the nose.

T - Coffee is definitely present but stays subdued followed by vanilla and coca roast. Ends balanced with nice lingering roasted cocoa to lend some light bitterness. The ABV is completely hidden in this beer and no warming at all on the way down.

M - Thick and pillowy soft.

O - This is impressively done and hats off to Founders with this one.

Jul 23, 2020
Marvelroast from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 94 ratings