Founders Sumatra Mountain Brown | Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Sumatra Mountain BrownFounders Sumatra Mountain Brown

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
This bold, imperial brown ale gets its body from a team of malts including Caramel malt for sweetness, flaked barley for dense foam, a bit of Chocolate malt for its deep color and Aromatic and Munich malts to add even more depth. German and Perle hops add a touch of bitterness to balance the malty sweetness. The addition of rich Sumatra coffee takes this perfectly balanced imperial brown ale to a decadent level.

Added by drxandy on 12-19-2010

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Reviews: 287 | Ratings: 1,190
Photo of Bum4ever
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

L: dark brown w/ light brown spots all over.

S: smells great, definitely strong coffee smell, but also smell something sweet

T: Really good mix of flavors, taste like a really solid brown ale that has added just the right amount of coffee w/o being to sour or acidic.

F: Fell is almost in between a brown ale and a stout or porter, just seems a little off.

O: Really solid brown ale, which is something I can be really hit or miss with. I really like how balanced the coffee is with the rest of the flavors. This is definitely something I will buy again.

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Photo of AlexeiRoquentin
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have to get a case of it every year, I'm not a HUGE flavored beer fan in general, including coffee...but I loves me some brown ales and this one turns into a glass of deliciousiocity. Wonderful beer.

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Photo of RyanK252
4.31/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into a Founders Brewing Co snifter

A: Pours deep brown with a frothy khaki head that settles to a light layer and leaves a little nice lacing.

S: Roasty coffee, vanilla, caramel, earthy, a little chocolate, toasty biscuity malt, a little spice,

T: Bold coffee up front, roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, vanilla, caramel cream, earthy, mild spice, a little biscuity malt, and a faint sorta mineral tone on the finish.

M: On the fuller end of medium body, moderate carbonation, hides its % nicely.

O: The year of the tasty coffee brown continues!

*Note: Do not replace your morning coffee with this beverage unless you plan on going straight back to bed.

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Photo of woodchipper
4.67/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Wow, coffee-bomb, in a good way. Great aroma, like a good cup of joe.
I argued with myself about the appearance. I guess I want this to be a stout, but it isn't, its a brown ale and it should be judged as such. It pours medium brown, bright light can be detected through it. Bubbles cling to glass below the surface. Head is medium to low. Its a brown ale, it should look like this.
The mouthfeel is giving me the same fits. Great for a brown ale. Medium mouth coating with generous carbonation.
Taste-- So much flavor I keep wanting this to be a stout!! Beautiful coffee, mild bitterness. My only complaint on the taste is the finish has a slight sweetness. I like my coffee without sugar, so maybe I am being too picky for a beer.
Overall, one of the highest ratings I have given in a long time. Will buy again.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown color with beige head. Aroma has toasted malt, a bit of caramel and green coffee notes. Taste starts with the green coffee / pepper flavor, continues with chocolate and finishes with roasted coffee bitterness. Full body with smooth mouthfeel. A really nice coffee brown ale, smooth and tasty.

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Photo of Everydayoff
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

355ml bottle poured into a sniffer.

Deep brown in color with some reddish shade around the edge, it tops with thick foamy light tan head that retains itself well for a while before subsiding to an eternal thin bubble layer atop along with lots of lacing patch and spot from time to time. There are plenty of residuals floating around.

Very rich coffee aroma, it is aromatic, big, and bold together with some cocoa and chocolate. Malt is also prominent with scents of caramel, cream, vanilla, biscuit, bread in kind of Munich malt, and roasted profile that is not much astringent. Hop is there too with a touch of some spice.

The taste is just like I am drinking a very good coffee that is really pleasant and tasty. The proper sweetness portion from malt is materialized with notes of caramel, chocolate, cocoa, vanilla, biscuit, and bread. Roasted malt provides some bitterness and slight astringency to add some depth to the flavor structure while hop lends its spiciness and subtle bitterness in supporting. The end and aftertaste is still coffee, coffee, and coffee. Yeah I like it!

Rather full body with smooth and somewhat sticky mouthfeel through the palate, anyway, the stickiness is not that overpowering. Carbonation is medium with some lively crispness. Finish is dry.

This beer possesses excellent aroma and taste of Sumatra coffee. Alcohol is also well hidden, so it is very good drinkable and not that hard to consume, ideal replacement for everyday coffee.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.94/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color but without that sludge viscosity, this is truly a brown/imperial brown ale, not hyped up into porter or stout territories. Great coffee aroma, substantial but not egregious, there is still some mild earthy roasted malt underneath it all.

Taste, well it tastes like coffee, brown malt and hides the alcohol well in the mouth feel. Basically all the most important aspects of a coffee brown ale are accounted for. Good price, good format. Brings in caramel moreso than the heavier stout/porter coffee iterations. Hops bring more than your average amount of bitterness, and of course roasting and coffee bring some themselves.

Also, the coffee here seems to have a better shelf life than your average coffee beer, this doesn't just fall off, its still there 180 days after bottling.

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Photo of patre_tim
4.52/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown and totally ruby. You can't see any bubbles until you hold it to the light. There's a finger of beige head on top.

Smells of coffee, fresh brewed coffee, all the way. Dark, espresso notes, snow, molasses and hints of liquorice.

Tastes of cold brew coffee, even some sour notes along with the bitter notes, black coffee, and its sweetened like a cuban espresso.

Medium, slightly viscous body, medium low, melancholic carbonation.

I'm loving it. So balanced and the freshness of the coffee tastes far outdate their age. I've held this one for months, and though its no spring chicken, its hot, I mean for its age. Got online, drinking

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Photo of q33jeff
4.19/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

I had 7 or 8 between April and September 2016.

LOOK: Dark brown, above average head, but does fade to lacing.
AROMA: Great strong coffee aroma.
TASTE: Strong coffee up front, lingering smooth malty flavors, wheat, rye, hay.
FEEL: Pretty smooth, decent carbonation.
You usually find coffee in stouts and porters, and I have disliked the presence of coffee in IPA's, but the brown ale is right there in the middle and this works great. Another great Founders brew.

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Photo of 88caprice
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Overall: An excellent, roasty, coffee-forward brown. Really well done.

Look: Very dark tea brown color with haze. One finger head with some lacing.
Smell: Sweet. Coffee, wet coffee grounds, and cigar smoke. Some charred wood.
Taste: Not as sweet as it smells. Great balance of sweetness, roasted malt, bitterness. Very prominent coffee flavor. 9% comes through.
Mouthfeel: Medium to low carbonation. Medium to heavy mouthfeel for a brown ale. Fairly smooth.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

i have to confess, i am on a major coffee beer kick right now, so some of these opinions may be a little biased, reflecting my reinvigorated love for coffee and how it interacts with beer. leave it to founders to another awesome coffee beer, this time an imperial type brown ale that really lets the coffee do what the dark grains do in so many others that are stouts or porters as base beers. i think even though the brown has a lot of malt flavor, richness, and complexity, the coffee providing the earthy, the ashy, the bitter, and the roast is a good thing. i like the lighter malts, sort of a european grain complexion here, a little caramelized sweetness, but the coffee does the rest. earthy and strong, i like the bit of exposed alcohol in this context too. toasty and nutty and bready, round and full bodied, the coffee does add just a bit of acidity. i get slight honey and almond here, brown sugar, cold brew concentrate, maybe just the faintest smoke note too. overall a real complex beer that benefits from being a brown ale and not a stout or porter. coffee used in kind of a new way here, and i really like and appreciate this. wish it were a bit more available...

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Photo of rudzud
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks to JLindros for hooking me up with this. Forgotten about in my fridge.

A - Poured into my Kate the Great tulip a nice dark brown hue with a good two finger mocha head that faded to leave thin lacing and a light blanket.

S - Aromas of VERY light coffee, fainter malts. Really, really muted.

T - Taste is much better than the nose. Good brighter coffee notes, nice light caramel, solid sweeter malts, light biscuits.

M - Mouthfeel is a bit on the thinner side, alcohol is hidden very nicely though!

O - Overall this was a solid brown ale. The coffee seemingly dropped off pretty hard, which is unfortunate. That being said, it's still an above average brown ale.

Serving Type: bottle

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Photo of Strix
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown with a tan head.

Very nice smell, coffee atop malty goodness.

Coffee balances nicely with bready, toasty, roasty and caramel maltyness.

Smooth and clean mouthfeel, doesn't feel like 9%.

Coffee adds a lot to this brown, a solid brew.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a four finger brown head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Black color, no highlights. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Coffee nose, flavor is roasted coffee some chocolate and malts. $3.54 for a 12oz bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, VT.

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Photo of Jadjunk
4.34/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

"This bold brown ale gets its body from a team of malts, including caramel malt for sweetness, flaked barley for dense foam, a bit of chocolate malt for its deep color and aromatic and Munich malts for added depth. German and Perle hops add a touch of bitterness to balance the sweetness. The addition of rich Sumatra coffee takes this perfectly balanced brown ale to a decadent level." Brewed in the style of an American Brown ale brewed with Sumatra coffee, available in 12 oz. bottled 4 packs and on seasonal draft.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a tulip glass.

(Appearance) Pours a dense foam head of a creamy pale tan color over a deep caramel brown body with high clarity. Retention is good and lacing is light and spotty. 4.5

(Smell) Strong malt aromas of American and German toasted bread malts, caramel grains, roast and chocolate malt coming together for a rich, complex body. Aromas of fruity and moderately bitter hops are met with the earthy roasted character of Sumatra coffee, teaming with its moderate bitterness and fruity acidity for a nicely balancing bitterness. Potency is high. 4.25

(Taste) The flavor of this ale is similar to the aroma, albeit richer and smoother than perceived. Toasted bread crusts, caramel and chocolate syrups and cocoa nib sweetness is challenged with the smooth, earthy roastiness of Sumatra coffee beans, contributing a rich, complex flavor. Hops are less prevalent in the flavor of this beer, but are lesser needed as the coffee comes through nicely and does a good job at balancing the flavors. Finishes clean and smooth. 4.5

(Mouthfeel) Texture is silky, lightly creamy, smooth, mildly dry. Carbonation is modest, generating a medium frothiness and a mildly crisp finish. Body is medium/heavy for the style, medium/heavy overall. Balance is nearly even sweet to earthy and roasted coffee bitter. Alcohol presence is light and there are no off characters. 4

(Overall) Founders packs a lot of flavor in this brown ale, with the perfect malt build and a lot of complexity, a rich but delicate coffee bean addition, and a very smooth, silky texture. One of the most interesting and satisfying American browns out there. I'm certainly going to revisit this beer should it come around again! 4.25

Founders Brewing Company's
Sumatra Mountain Brown

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Photo of billshmeinke
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle poured into a wine glass.

Look: Impenetrably dark brown. Big frothy head that sticks around forever and cakes the sides of the glass with lacing.

Smell: Huge coffee notes, lots of chocolate, some toasted bread. pie crust, and marshmallow. Nice!

Taste: Chocolate dipped espresso beans, rich coffee, some earthy hops, caramel malts, and toasted bread.

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy bodied, low end of medium carbonation. Somewhat acidic.

Overall: Damn fine beer. Highly recommended.

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Photo of stakem
3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle into a pint appears brown in color with perfect clarity around the edges. A khaki cap rests atop very silky in appearance yet remains awhile but when it fades it leaves a webbing of lacework.

Aroma of coffee roast, chocolate, caramel, molasses and nondescript grainy sweetness.

Taste is coffee and molasses with a slight herbal bitterness and solvent alcohol inclusion. Some roast and sweet grain flavors almost like caramel/raison but the main drivers here are alcohol, herbal bitterness and coffee.

This is medium in body with ample carbonation. A fine coffee brown ale that at 5 months in the bottle still has a firm coffee presence (maybe due to being stored in the fridge.) I enjoyed this leaps and bounds moreso than the frangelic version. Id love to see founders execute a more sessionable coffee brown ale though as 9% is a little distracting to what this brew would otherwise have to offer.

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Photo of keithmurray
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - dark mahagony body with beige head

Smell - coffee, peanut butter

Taste - coffee is most prominent, mixed nuts, some chocolate

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, lower level of carbonation, coffee upfront, nutty flavor follows that up

Overall - good brown ale with nice integration of flavors

Price Point - $4/12 oz single

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
3.97/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, deep red orange brown with a nice tan head that lingers leaving good lacing, clear
S: coffee, caramel, nutty, toasty bread
T: bitter roast coffee, toffee, caramel, bitter earthy hop finish, peanut
M: thick, slight alcohol
O: heavy hops and coffee make this one bitter, high alcohol content warms you up

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Photo of kitch
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A 355ml bottle with a best by date of 31st January 2017 and poured into a Moonzen teku glass.

Appearance: It poured a clear dark brown colour with a nice two finger tanned head that had decent retention and left great lacing.

Aroma: Coffee, roasted malts, chocolate, caramel and lightly bready.

Taste: Similar to the aroma with roasty coffee, chocolate and caramel with a hint of vanilla and nuttiness on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall: It’s a nice Brown Ale that doesn’t feel like a 9% abv beer and drinks easily. It’s one of the better Brown Ales around but not quite as good as Prairie Okie though (in my opinion), but that one is barrel-aged.

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Photo of Amguerra305
4.17/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Looks black in the glass but when you hold it up to the light it becomes a deep dark Amber that you can see through. The smell of this beer is incredible. Very coffee forward with sweet malt and caramel undertones. The taste does not match the smell. Definitely caramel up front but the coffee kind of gets lost. It reminds me a lot of Prairie coffee okie. Great nose that is not matched by the taste. The feel is rather light as well with a good amount of carbonation. Overall it is good but nothing spectacular as all the different aspects of the beer do not meld.

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Photo of mothmanscott
4.06/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear deep brown producing 2+ fingers of frothy, tan, moderately lasting head that that recedes to a nice cap of foam leaving a thick sheet of clumpy bubbly lacing. Aroma is deeply roasted malts, Hershey chocolate syrup, coffee, char & slight vanilla. Taste is fronted by Hershey chocolate syrup, coffee, dark bread, sweet, caramel & burnt malt tones. Finishes sweet transitioning to bitter in the aftertaste. Reminiscent of a chocolate Moon Pie. Mouthfeel is medium-heavy bodied with moderate carbonation, silky, creamy slick, yet lightly chewy. Interestingly, at first comes off as simple but develops into something nicely complex. A very, very good Imperial Brown Ale but unlike most I rate Wild Heaven's Ode to Mercy slightly higher than this fine brew.

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Photo of agreenman19
4.29/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

L - pours a crisp brown. Super lively head. Solid finger and a half without much effort. Has a thick, chewy, sticky look. Pumped to sink my teeth into this!

S - lots of coffee in the nose. Not black, but no Starbucks special. But of milk chocolate bittersweetness and some caramel to remind me this is a brown ale.

T - full-flavored and roasty. Some coffee stouts pin prick the center of your tongue, but I feel all sorts of flavor washing over my entire mouth, saturating it. Hint of vanilla and a nuttiness. Slight numbing bitterness rounds out the taste. Floored to see this is 9%. Drinks like 6%!

F - complements the beer beautifully. I like this a lot. Has an airy quality that expands like that crazy caulking foam shit to fill my mouth to bursting, but avoids foaming and over carbonation. Feels light, but also wholesome and chewy and velvety at the same time. Brings this beer to another level.

O - always a fan of Founders and this does not disappoint. I wish some of the flavors were more bold, but it all rounds out with an incredible balance. Highly drinkable and just an absolute joy to pour down my gullet.

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Photo of Benish
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep rich brown color with a tint of beige head. There are floaties dispersed throughout. The aromas were instantly sweet mocha with a malty backbone. Sweet and decandant - like a tirimisu dessert. The taste was absolutely delicious. A coffee dessert of some sort with vanilla. Instantly sweet, subtle spiciness of cinnamon, and layers and layers of mocha and sweet malt. The mouthfeel was rich and medium bodied. This one is a treat!

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Photo of NickSMpls
4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The pinnacle of brown ales...this one has a rich deep brown with only faint light passing through the glass. A light brown head fades fast, leaving a skim on the surface. Nice nose with a whiff of coffee and roasted malts and dark chocolate. A brown has the malt in the leading role with the hops off stage singing background. Rich and smooth, a great sipper on the first cool evening of August in MN. Highly recommended.

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Founders Sumatra Mountain Brown from Founders Brewing Company
4.3 out of 5 based on 1,190 ratings.
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