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

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Ratings: 42 |  Reviews: 21
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 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 CRJMellor
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of mcallister
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of gratefulbeerhead
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

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 randylangford
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

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 PhatAtUT
5/5  rDev +19.3%

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 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 brycevolk
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of klipper
4/5  rDev -4.5%

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 monitorpop
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of Gtg642
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

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

4/5  rDev -4.5%

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 strohme2
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of ccozzi
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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