Looking Glass | Founders Brewing Company

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42 Ratings

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.10%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by mothman on 07-30-2010

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 42 |  Reviews: 21
Reviews by zoso1967:
Photo of zoso1967
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served up at the taproom, this beer is a slightly hazy burnt orange color. It has a small parchment head that leaves surprisingly nice lace on the sides of the snifter, given that this is a barrel aged beer.

The aroma is boozy and sweet, spiked with citrus hops and a bit of spice. It also has a slight buttery character and plenty of caramel. This smells a lot like an old, but not too old, double IPA with some extra earth and heat.

The flavor is an interesting mix of sweet caramel malt, honey, grapefruit, pine, oak and brandy. Aging a double IPA in brandy actually makes a lot of sense now that I taste it. The sweetness from the beer shows through and mixes well with the sweetness of the brandy.

The mouthfeel is medium and, though it is a bit sticky, quite nice. The carbonation seems about right and though it is fairly sweet overall, the high hopping rate gives it a tingly dry finish.

Looking glass is quite smooth and despite the stickiness in the finish, I found it to be a very drinkable sipper of a beer. I can't say that this is the sort of beer I would go for time after time, but I think Founders accomplished a very nice marriage of malt, hops, brandy and wood in this beer. Definitely worth trying if you have the chance.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Eriogonum
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of AndrewKroll
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of alleykatking
3.99/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Came to me on tap at Fiddler's.

A- Pours a golden orange with light red hue when the light hits it. One finger white head shows great retention pretty much staying the entire time. Nice sheeting lace on the sides of the glass. A fantastic looking beer.

S- Citrus hops right off the get go with a caramel malt underbody that shines through a lot of aroma. Light wood notes mixes along with a honey and green apple scent. Alcohol isn't very apparent or at least as much as the other people have said. Light pine hops in the ending of the aroma seem to have faded a little while aging.

T- The hops do come out first with a nice citrus blast. The caramel malt underbody stays from the start to ending. The barrel aging comes out toward the middle of the beer with notes of wood, vanilla, and some sweet grape skins. The ending of the beer to me had some light alcohol at the ending that was a little on the sweet side...brandy forward for sure. Piney hops come out as well along with some more barrel notes...more oaky than anything else.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation was a little light for the style. Caramel malts, green apple, and oak left on the palate. Piney hops, sweet alcohol, oak, and caramel malts left in the aftertaste. Flavors are well balanced I thought for an aged beer. No off flavors at all in this beer. Medium drying on the palate from the alcohol.

D- This beer was very easy drinking and I had many glasses of it. I can see why people choose brandy barrels now after tasting this. The alcohol comes out a little sweeter and not so in your face like bourbon barrels. There was a higher ABV but it did not drink like that at all. A mellow version I thought of Double Trouble but it worked out very well. I will be looking for more brandy barrel aged beers.

 1,783 characters

Photo of CRJMellor
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of frisk
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of WeisGuy
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On-tap at the Founders brewpub on 8/26. Review from notes.

a - pours a bright golden amber color with a slight haziness, one-finger ivory head with decent retention and lacing for the high abv

s - piney, resiny hops along with nice orange and grapefruit citrus notes, booziness is substantial with the brandy barrel character really coming through on the aroma, light oaky notes

t - this really assaults your palate, big grapefruit and pine resin hoppiness up front with a light sweetness from the barrel aging and caramel malt on the midpalate, nice brandy and oak notes on the midpalate, finish is quite bitter and fairly dry, though the caramel malt and brandy flavors add a subtly sweet backbone, substantial boozy heat lingers on the palate after swallowing

m - medium to fuller bodied, moderate to lower carbonation, big alcohol warming effect, on the dry side, but with a nice sweetness

d - out of this, Kaiser Curmudgeon and Bourbon Barrel Apple Cream Ale, all of which were sampled on this visit to Founders, this was by far the most drinkable, that said, this is a big -bal aged DIPA that doesn't try to mask that fact, a sipper for sure and probably not something I would order more than one snifter of due to the intensity

While a brandy barrel aged DIPA did not sound all that great to me, I love Double Trouble, the base beer, and Looking Glass really exceeded my expectations. Founders really knows what they're doing with -bals. That said, I would probably choose regular Double Trouble if both were on tap.

 1,529 characters

Photo of
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

You had this beer. Write a review.

Photo of ne0m00re
3.72/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

09/04/10- Had this one on-tap at the Founders brewpub.
A: Burnt orange amber with a nice white smaller head.
S: Clean, pale malts, sweet bread, citrus (orange and apricots), slightly musty.
T: Sweet, tastes cloudy and pale with slight resiny hops. Honey sweet. Oaky vanilla, but mild. Sweet sticky on the teeth.
M: Heavier, with lighter spritzy carbonation.
D: OK. One glass is enough.

 385 characters

5/5  rDev +19.3%

Photo of Thorpe429
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pale copper with a bit of rust coloring. Minimal head or lacing. Hoppy with citrus and earth. Not overpowering. Semi-sweet. A bit of the brandy comes through. Taste is initially a bit boozy. Behind is some sweet malt. Not too hoppy. The barrel-aging takes precedence. Mouthfeel is a bit boozy but with a nice sweet/bitter mix. Good drinkability and fairly unique.

 369 characters

Photo of LanceW
4.66/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I had this beer for the second time last night.

The first time I had this brew it was on recommendation from the server at the brewery. I as tasted it... I was extremely impressed with the color. It was served in a snifter and had a color similar to cherry wood. After finishing this my generous pour, I asked the server what was used to create this beer. He said that it is their Double Trouble IPA fermented in brandy barrels.

This came as a surprise to me. I am not a huge fan of IPAs but this brew really took my fancy. The brandy and wood barrel flavors really toned the the finishing notes of the hops.

 612 characters

Photo of TCgoalie
4.54/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Notes from 7/31/10

A: Poured into a large snifter courtesy of Founders. Dark gold in color, good lacing is evident from the start as clumps stick to the glass from the waiters off balance tray carry. Just a rim of head appears at the top, enough to show off its lacing.

S: Quite possibly the best smelling IPA I've ever had...at least the best in quite some time. Heavily citrus up front with grapefruit, cherry, peach and a touch of bready malts.

T: A grapefruit tone mixes with cherry, spice and pine throughout most of this drink offset with a rich malt. The hop profile dims toward the end revealing a piney aftertaste. Hop lovers, this is an excellent DIPA for you as you will avoid heavy malts. The balance is excellent and the overall taste profile is quite complex.

M: Fairly heavy in the mouth, a bit of heat kicks in at the end showing off its ABV. The aftertaste is somewhat bitter yet clean.

D: 2 or 3 of these would be quite easy to put away, though the alcohol content would surely creep in.

 1,012 characters

Photo of NorthsideFred
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had an 8 oz pour in a snifter at Founders (12 oz pour also offered).

Nice orange appearance, not as dark as some DIPA's, but that's not always a bad thing. Nice white lacing.

Wow! The smell of brandy punches you in the nose.

Mmmmm. This is good. The strong alcohol smell does not follow through in the taste. Don't get me wrong, it is present, but not overpowering. A little more bitter than I prefer, but not out of line.

This is full bodied, and much smoother than I expected.

The drinkability is there, and this is an excellent beer; but, you're at Founders, and there are so many other beers to try, so I can't imagine having more than one.

 649 characters

Photo of JDizzle
4.82/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap a while back at Founders.

My favorite beer to date at Founders. DT is my favorite DIPA and this adds a new dimension to it. Such a good barrel flavor comes through. A little more of an alcohol burn from the higher ABV, but easily tolerable. Not as bitter as DT either. I wish they would release this again.

 318 characters

Photo of Spider889
4.02/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My very first beer at BREWzilla, what a way to start off an epic tasting! Described as an IPA aged in brandy barrels in their gypsum caves in MI.

Hazy orange color with a small cream-colored head. Decently carbonated.

Smelled sweet and woody. Vanilla and oak really dominate. Followed by citrus hops with some minimal pine resin in the background.

The flavor is much hoppier than the nose, but vanilla and brandy heat still dominate. Prickly on the tongue and warming all the way down. Bitter, semi-dry finish. Drinkability is low due to the abv and rarity of this beer.

Overall I was impressed. I liked that they put their IPA in brandy barrels, the barrel wasn't overpowering the way bourbon likely would have been in a lighter style like this. Hope to see this again some time!

 784 characters

Photo of gratefulbeerhead
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of cadaugherty
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brandy Barrel Double Trouble on tap at the Founders tasting room.

Appearance- Light gold with a small but lasting head. Good lacing.

Aroma- Sweet honey right up front. After a couple sniffs the hops come out with a light citrus note.

Taste- Oak, vanilla, honey, with a rather crisp light bitterness at the end. This is really sweet at first but it unfolds into a much more complex bunch of flavors after a minute.

Mouth/Drink- Perhaps a touch thick with not as much carbonation as I would like but overall pretty nice and smooth.

I think the brandy really makes this a completely different beer. If the bartender hadn't said it was Double Trouble aged in Brandy I would never have guessed.

 694 characters

Photo of amrozga
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of mcallister
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of klipper
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of surlytheduff
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of Gtg642
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of brycevolk
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of cpetrone84
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at The Steel City Big Pour (Brandi Aged Double Trouble)

A-hazy pale gold with an off white head.

S-the nose has a fair bit of hops present, citrusy juicy hops with some syrpuy pine aromas, fairly sweet, notes of booze and brandi light in the back.

T-light malt body of caramel and brown sugar but hops really making a strong presence. resignous and piney hops with notes of tangerine and grapefruit behind. vanilla sets in with wood letting a lingering brandi flavor hanging on next to a lightly assertive hop bitterness in the finish.

M-smooth, soft up front but plenty of carbonation with a lively crisp finish.

D-the barrel imparts a light amount of flavor but definitely present and reasonablly integrated. the hops are still quite strong but enough balance to be above average. well done blend for me.

 822 characters

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Looking Glass from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.19 out of 5 with 42 ratings