Founders Looking Glass | Founders Brewing Company

Liked This Beer
4.19 w/ 42 ratings

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Double / 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
5/5  rDev +19.3%

Photo of PhatAtUT
5/5  rDev +19.3%

Photo of cluth
4.83/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Absurdly good. Crisp and deep. I was a bit hesitant with Kaiser Curmudgeon being the first pints we ordered, but I took a chance with this beer as it was one I'd never seen bottled. I was well rewarded. Founders has a way with beer that few breweries are able to match. The taste was distinct and good. From the first sip I wished I had ordered two as busy as the bar was. Definitely one that should be bottled for mass consumption.

 432 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 MichaelinFishers
4.67/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On-tap at the tap room in an 8 oz snifter.

This is brandy-barrel aged Double Trouble.

A beautiful gold color with a little bit of wispy head remaining in the snifter.

The aroma is all Double Trouble, with a little bit of oak and booze.

The brandy barrels impart a little bit of oak to the point where, if you're familiar with Double Trouble, you think that this is DT with a little more meat on its bones. The oak is much more subtle than previous attempts to age DT and it ends up very well-balanced.

I could drink this all night if someone else was driving.

Excellent.aging job, a fantastic beer!

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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 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 mothman
4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is a Brandy Barrel Aged D/IIPA.

Served into brandy snifter.

Served with 1/2 finger of white head. Color is a clear golden orange.

Aroma: Very sweet brandy, oak, and vanilla. Fresh floral hops. Bright citrus kick.

Taste: Very fresh floral hops. This IIPA has a huge fruit citrus taste. Grapefruit, pineapple, lemon citrus. Oak and warm brandy flavors. Top of the line IIPA. Very fresh with a nice brandy addition.

Mouthfeel: Bitter and smooth but warm. Full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends a bit sticky.

Overall, this is a solid -bal aged iipa. Normally -bal aged/oak aged ipas are awful because the hops are faded but this was very fresh. Reminded me a bit of Devil Dancer. Very drinkable and I love the addition of the brandy -bal aging.

 766 characters

Photo of mcallister
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of randylangford
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of jampics2
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Brewzilla, the grand tasting of Cleveland Beer Week 2010.

I took an informal poll and each and every person I asked at Brewzilla thought this beer was a reference to Alice in Wonderland. That means everyone was wrong. In order to really appreciate this beer, we need to take a trip. Not a trip down the rabbit hole, but a trip back in time.

Our destination? A time when life was simpler and music was music. August 26th, 1972. The end of the era of Freedom Rock. The week when 'Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)' by pop-rock quartet Looking Glass hit number one on the charts.

Just like the album cover of the 'Golden Classics' album, the beer posed and polished but still a bit rough around the edges. It is a hazy copper color with some gold and orange highlights. A nice head remains and some lacing is noted on the glass. But the haze and slightly dirty color stop this from certified platnum status.

Looking Glass suffered from a problem common to many groups. People came to Looking Glass concerts yearning for the same kind of New York pop sound they'd heard on "Brandy." They got bits and pieces of that sound, but they also had some gritty and dirty bar rock. Likewise, the aromas of Founders Looking Glass come close but don't live up to the billing. There's some hoppiness and some prominent barrel notes, stacked atop some subdued sweet malt and brandy. But the amazing thing is how these come together. Some vanilla and wood make the brandy and hops play nicely together. But the hops are past their prime and just miss the mark.

Everyone knew "Brandy". But fans had no insight into the band Looking Glass. In the end, these four men never quite established their own musical identity. That same problem stops the taste of Founders Looking Glass from making it to the hall of fame. The beer has some sweet malt and brandy with a touch of booziness and liquor sting. The barrel is mild and lets the hops shine through with pine and some grapefruit and mango. But nothing makes this identifiable or unique - the brandy just melts away and the signature hops of the base beer (Double Trouble) are faded and washed-up. It's nothing like Founders 'Hand of Doom' where the barrel treatment makes the beer an entirely different beast.

The beer's mouthfeel is creamy carbonation without too much pop. As for drinkability, this beer happened to be a one-hit wonder. But those who got to experience it live will always remember that simpler time. A time when Looking Glass topped the charts before fading into obscurity. And, as the song says:

"Brandy, you're a fine girl
What a good wife you would be
But my life, my lover, my lady
Is the sea"
(The CBS that is)

 2,677 characters

Photo of AndrewKroll
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of CRJMellor
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

You had this beer. Write a review.

Photo of gratefulbeerhead
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of Gtg642
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of brycevolk
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of strohme2
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of KellyScottMad
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of boomer31
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed 8-27 and notes taken at tasting

A - Light gold, transparent with tiny wight bubbles...wouldn't consider the bubbles head.

S - Slight brandy barrel nose but the malts really come through. The fruity hops are noticable especially as the beer warms. I expected more barrel in the nose but was very happy when the hops and malt dominated. My only problem with the nose is not knowing what to expect...hops, barrel, malt?!? Nothing slaps you in the face, just ok.

T - Malt in the front with a touch of sweetness with a hint of brandy but hop bitterness in the back. This again was a great relief when the hops and malt balanced the brandy.

M - Rich double IPA, low carb and a bit dry from the hops

D - The IPA really shines here...the barrel compliments the beer nicely but never overwhelms. Too drinkable

I was not sure what to expect from this beer. I love barrel aged beers when the barrel shines though but not on barrel aged IPAs. This had a fantastic balance between barrel and double trouble. Nice work here

 1,025 characters

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 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 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 MasterSki
4.01/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Founders during the Nemesis 2010 release. Guess this is about a month old. Served in a large snifter.

A - Pours with a finger-plus of off-white foam that leaves behind some spotty lace, a thin ring, and some filmy haze. Pretty impressive head volume considering the type of glass used. Slightly hazed golden body.

S - Smells like an aged IPA - like two month old Double Trouble. There's a bit of oak, but not a lot of overt brandy flavor, maybe a bit of additional sweetness that could be confused as malt or sugared hop.

T - This is very smooth and deceptive - I was surprised it picked up almost 2% from the brandy barrels. There is more overt brandy character and oaky vanilla imparting a sweetness that I don't normally associate with Double Trouble. It also blunts the bitterness of the base beer. On the flip side, this is nothing like Hand of Doom, as you can actually still taste citrus and pine DIPA flavors here. This seems to have held up better with age, as aromatic hop character is generally the first thing to go.

M - There's a bit of carbonation zing at the outset, but then it moves into a soft, medium-bodied phase before finishing with some oily hop resin character. This is far more DIPA than barrel-aged in terms of texture - not particularly tannic or oaky.

D - The barrel-aging seems fairly subtle here (particularly compared to Hand of Doom), but I think overall it diminishes the original beer by removing a lot of the aromatic hop character, while not adding much more than some additional sweetness and alcohol. It would have been nice to try this when it was first tapped, as it'd be easier to be objective about this subject. Like all the other Founders barrel-aged Double Troubles, this is more of a curiosity than something of which I'd want multiple pints.

 1,803 characters

Photo of Eriogonum
4/5  rDev -4.5%

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Founders Looking Glass from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 90.5% out of 100 with 42 ratings
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