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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Ratings: 42 |  Reviews: 21
Photo of maximum12
3.03/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Meeting old friends for a beer at Grumpy's Downtown & spotted this on the seasonal list; instant woody. Nothing like a new Founders beer to start winding my crank. Launch!

If you didn't know any better, you'd think the smallish (10 oz. ?) pour was a Michelob Golden Light. OK, a little more body than that, but not much. Smell was hard alcohol & somewhat stale hops, which suprised me.

Looking Glass is one of the few innovative Founders brews that fails to impress. Mostly, this just tastes like an old IPA caterpillar that hasn't turned butterfly yet. The hops are faded, the barrel aging adds some harsh, indistinct alcohol. And it's sweet.

Really, this is a mess. Not a bad mess, but I certainly didn't want another sample - & I could drink just about any Founders bourbon barrel beer until my throat closed. Cut above mediocre, but not up to Founders high standards.

 876 characters

Photo of Urbancaver
3.58/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a classic DIPA... honestly, quite unremarkable... a shadow of the hopiness that devil dancer imparts. maybe that was my mistake for doing a side by side... still, well blended. and at 11.1% it packs a punch without really tasting of it. Overall, not the most drinkable DIPA but still quite good

 294 characters

Photo of kzoobrew
3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on tap at Founders

Golden orange body with slight haze. There was not much head to speak of by the time the snifter got to the table. Splotchy lacing left clinging to the side.

Lots of citrus and Brandy in the nose. To be perfectly honest the brandy covered up a lot and was a bit heavy handed. Slight hints of pale malt barely reached the surface. The hop aroma was rather bright despite being overwhelmed by the brandy. Slight hints of oak though not to the level I would expect.

The nose gives a very good indication of what will be revealed on the tongue. Looking Glass is a Brandy bomb. The sharpness of the brandy is not terribly offensive though I am not such a fan of pairing it with a DIPA. Slight biting bitterness and a rather decent amount of citrus hop flavor does manage to hold up. Once again the brandy and the citrus dominate nearly ever other aspect.

Medium bodied with a light carbonation. Slightly oily texture with a drier finish than what I had anticipated.

I love the concept and I love the experimentation but this beer is just not for me. The brandy just seems out of place. I was very happy to have the opportunity to try this one, would definitely give it another shot. One is definitely enough for a sitting, just not super drinkable.

 1,275 characters

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

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 Eriogonum
4/5  rDev -4.5%

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 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.

 1,246 characters

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 amrozga
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of klipper
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of surlytheduff
4/5  rDev -4.5%

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

Photo of monitorpop
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of ccozzi
4/5  rDev -4.5%

4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of SuperNova777
4/5  rDev -4.5%

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 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 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 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 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 AndrewKroll
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of CRJMellor
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Founders Looking Glass from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 90.5% out of 100 with 42 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.