Sumatra Mountain Brown
Founders Brewing Company

Sumatra Mountain BrownSumatra Mountain Brown
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Brown Ale - American
Ranked #3
Ranked #899
4.3 | pDev: 7.21%
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Sumatra Mountain BrownSumatra Mountain Brown
Notes: 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.
Reviews: 439 | Ratings: 1,771 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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Sigmund from Norway

3/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

355 ml bottle, from Systembolaget, shared by my son Steinar. Dark brown colour, small beige head. Aroma of cold coffee and brown malts. Distinct flavour of sharpish coffee and slightly dry malts. Not really a favourite of mine.

Apr 17, 2021
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mothman from Minnesota

4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 4/16

Tan head with some lace. Dark caramel brown color.

Reminds me of kbs without the barrels. The chocolate and coffee are almost identical. A bit lighter bodied. The coffee is great even after so many years. Solid brown ale.

Feb 28, 2021
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Argail from Louisiana

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

From frige 12 oz. bottle (bottled on 4/27/17 date on the bottle, 9% ABV and 40 IBUs also on the bottle ) to the tulip. Look - dark brown strong pour. Big tan head (had to slow down). Smell - sweet coffee boozy. Taste - coffee cookies chocolate rye bread. Feel - smooth weak bourbon! Good beer try to find it now, I know some small remote liquor stores still have this (all depends on where they kept this beer - shelves or fridge).

Apr 28, 2020
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EMV from Pennsylvania

4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: Dark brown pour.. nearly black with 1.5 fingers of fluffy white head. Nice ring of lacing.

S: Coffee and roasted grains. Earthy hops.

T.F: Semi-sweet to tart. Roasty toasty malts... a bit of brown sugar. Strong espresso/coffee gives some bittering. Earthy/nutty without much hop bite. A bit of cocoa. Medium bodied and creamy carbonation.

O: A well made coffee brown ale. Not a favorite but well executed. A 4pack was probably 2 too many.

Apr 12, 2020
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PathofChaos from Maryland

5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Aged in refrigeration for 3 years, bottling date 05/06/2016. Poured at 45 degrees Fahrenheit into snifter.

Deep chestnut brown, like a forest mountain trail, damp from the rain. Minimal head but surprisingly dense lacing with strong retention.

Bold, cold-brew coffee, chocolate and caramel malts, nuts, vanilla beans, German chocolate cake, and after-notes of dark berries. I have never before experienced an aroma of malts as creamy as this.

Authentic Sumatran dark roast coffee, chased by bittersweet baker's chocolate, confectionery caramel, toasted chestnuts, and malts so rich they emulate real cream.

A velvety, medium bodied, imperial brown. Light carbonation----possibly due to the aforementioned aging. Its like drinking a gourmet cup of silky coffee.

So deep and rich, you'll swear you've been transported to its namesake country when you have a sip. I have yet to drink *actual coffee* that even remotely parallels the pure excellence of this beer.

Dec 29, 2019
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farrago from New Jersey

4.36/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The head slowly crests at about two fingers, bright tan color, really dense and creamy with very good retention, leaves a solid ring around the glass more than streaks of lacing. Mahogany brown liquid with a serious amount of particulate chunks floating throughout, all but fully masks any carbonation bubbles. The nose is pure café au lait, milk chocolate with minor chicory notes, while heavy on the roast still seems “sweet” and nutty, the plum fruit scents muted by the rest. Medium-bodied and avoids heaviness, here the carbonation adds prickle to contrast with the general creaminess. Toasted coconut, marzipan and caramel play nice with the coffee roast, feels dry from start to finish. The mixed black fruits more prominent but not distinguishable. You get more oats and cereal grains as an aftertaste alongside more chocolate. More focused than flamboyant, it doesn’t overpower you with the coffee and manages the high ABV well. Would happily revisit.

Feb 09, 2019
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Darkmagus82 from Texas

4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a snifter
Appearance – The beer pours a brown color with a tiny head of tan colored foam. The foam fades relatively quickly to leave a light level of streaky lace on the sides of the glass.
Smell – The aroma of the brew is big of sweeter smell of caramel and chocolate mixed with some nice roasted and toasted malt smells. Along with these smells comes some nice coffee aromas and a little bit of a hazelnut smell. With a little bit of hay and earth mixed within there as well, a roasty and sweet smell is produced overall.
Taste – The taste begins a lot of sweeter flavors of caramel and brown sugar along with all the roasted malt that was detected in the nose. There is a little bit of coffee taste upfront which grows stronger as the taste moves forward. All the while the roast and brown sugar lose a little bit of ground with the sweeter caramel and some toast growing in intensity. Flavors of a grainy bread and some hop tastes of an earthy nature join the flavor toward the middle giving a balance to the sweeter tastes. At the end some light nutty and hay tastes come to the tongue, leaving one with a roasty and sweeter taste to linger on the tongue.
Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is average side with a carbonation level that is rather low. For the rich sweet and dark flavors of the brew the low carbonation is spot on while the average body accentuates a slightly more easy drinking brew. Not too bad.
Overall – A tasty brown ale with a strong roasty flavor, a decent coffee hit, and all balanced by some decent sweetness and a bit of hop. Overall flavorful and quite drinkable!

Jan 18, 2019
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DerAudi from Ohio

3.98/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A very unique beer - has the same excellent heaviness and feel of a robust dark ale, porter or stout, yet does not have the same roasted malt characteristic, which makes for incongruity on the palette. Overall, though, a quality beer!

Dec 03, 2018
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Nass from Florida

4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

It looks dark brown & almost black in my snifter. It's medium bodied. I am getting big sumatra coffee aroma & taste, some maltiness, some brown bread crust. I agree with the booze being well hidden. The beer does pour a beautiful creamy foam which is from the flaked barley. On a bad note, I have found that Founders has some problems at time with consistency, but a lot of other big name breweries do too so I am always cautious when trying out their beers. In addition to, I like how Founders puts a bottle & canned on date on all of their beers. More & more I am starting to become a fan of Brown Ales & dark beers in general. Coffee & beer are a match made in heaven. Founders has a wide distribution, therefore this beer should not be too difficult for you to get your hands on. Cheers! A-

Oct 09, 2018
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Damasen from Massachusetts

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

Smell is caramel cofffee with some chocolate. taste starts with the caramel sweetness then goes into chocolate coffee with some caramel covered dark fruit. after it finishes with cocoa powder with some vanilla sweetness. i had kbs right before this and they are similar without the bourbon aspect and more coffee. overall it's a very good chocolate coffee brew.

Sep 27, 2018
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npolachek from New York

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

A very good alternative to KBS at an attractive price point! Highly recommend this beer to those that like imperials and stouts. Tatses of caramel and chocolate with great balance.

Sep 20, 2018
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joeseppy from Illinois

4.98/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Every once in a while some brew just blows me away. Here is yet another I found on tap. Very aromatic with roast coffee, split vanilla bean, hints of caramel and chocolate cake just to name a few. Flavor matches nose to a tee. Very reminiscent of bourbon county coffee without the 'syrupy' feel. Very palatable and the coffee, cake and vanilla lingers on. This was basically desert for my dinner cap off. Overall everything was spot on near perfection. Truly a mastercraft.

Aug 19, 2018
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JamFuel from Sweden

3.87/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours dark, dark brown with fine light brown head.

Smell is all about the coffee. Some hints of salt, malt and fudge, but mainly it's coffee.

Taste also goes all out with the coffee and coffee grounds. A little bit of malt and salty ham makes it through along with some toffee.

Mouthfeel is medium, rich and well carbonated.

Overall, a nice brown that ges a little bit too strong on the coffee for my liking.

Jul 31, 2018
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beersampler6 from Michigan

4.09/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A great beer, even when bottled still holds up to the barrel-aged version on tap at Founders. Nice dark brown color with mild head and lingering lacing. Smells of dark roast coffee, vanilla and caramel. Tastes of dark coffee, vanilla, a little wood, caramel and dark chocolate. Alcohol taste was well-hidden and deceptively mild despite the higher ABV. Smooth, slightly creamy mild mouthfeel with decent carbonation. Less bourbon boozy than the barrel-aged version but just as delicious and enjoyable to drink.

Jul 04, 2018
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sulldaddy from Connecticut

4.21/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sampling a cellar temp 12 oz bottle poured into a snifter. The beer pours a dark cola brown color with a beige fizzy head of 1 cm foaming up on the pour. the foam fades to a wispy surface layer and sticky edge lacing.
The aroma is heavy with coffee grounds and and roasted malt, I also get some brown sugar and a little dark chocolate. No hops anywhere on the nose and the booze is well hidden in the aroma.
The first sip reveals a smooth textured beer with spacious and gentle carbonation. The flavor is what the nose advertises with all malt, lots of roasted notes and coffee grounds. I get a little dark chocolate mixed in here too, but again, no hops in the flavor profile. This is a very drinkable beer and the booze is well hidden and heavy with coffee dose.
Glad to have tried this one.

Jun 17, 2018
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NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Founders Brewing Company "Sumatra Mountain Brown"
12 fl. oz. brown glass bottle, "BOTTLED ON: 12.15.17 00132"
$3.79 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Notes via stream of consciousness: Wow, that's a dark beer for being a brown ale. Held to the light it's a ruby accented deep mahogany brown beneath a two-finer thick head of khaki foam. The aroma expresses clear oily coffee beans that are nutty and toasty over a sweetish and caramelish malt base. It reminds me of opening a bin full of medium roast coffee beans at my local shop. The flavor follows, delivering lots of nutty, mildly roasty coffee with plenty of rich, sweetish caramel malt behind it. How strong is this? 9.0%, well that makes sense as there's a lot of malt here. I'm getting some toffee and chocolate as well. It's all blended very nicely though, and each note comes through on its own but still supports the larger overall flavor. Very nicely done! This might be my favorite coffee beer ever, and to be honest I'm not that big of a fan or brown ales, although this is a big one, but that combination really lets the coffee come through nicely. It's firmly bitter, and it finishes with some sweetish malt fading but eventually eroding to leave it dry and nutty. Some leafy hops appear across the middle and into the swallow but they really come out mainly in the finish. The coffee lingers more than anything else. The alcohol never shows. In the mouth it's medium bodied with a bit of a dextrinous feel, and crisp. I think that crisp carbonation is needed to keep it alive, if it was softer it might appear too syrupy. This is one of the most balanced and decadent coffee beers I've ever tasted - well worth seeking out!
Review# 6,058

Jun 08, 2018
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RonaldTheriot from Louisiana

4.81/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Sumatra Mountain Brown has a thick, creamy, ivory head, a hazy, red-brown appearance, and moderate glass lacing. Aroma is of rich, creamy, dark-roast coffee, chocolate, and sweet brown bread crust. The flavor is the same, with no bitterness, aside from the char bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium high, and Sumatra Mountain Brown finishes medium dry.


May 29, 2018
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HardTarget from Texas

4.19/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Deep brown glass holds a half finger of bright tan head that laces and lasts.

Aroma: Coffee, with an earthy nutty aroma. Little hints of malt sweetness poke through, but that's a lot of coffee.

Taste: Roasted barley, a bit burnt, coffee of course, very earthy, a little sweetness in the finish keeps it from being harsh.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, medium carbonation, bit oily, finishes dry, on the edge of burning.

Overall: Big flavor, very earthy, very roasted. It makes for a great sipper, but isn't going to win everyone over. I could see getting more.

May 24, 2018
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cbenson from California

4.21/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: Cloudy black with minimal carbonation and a tight frothy head of milky tan. Slightly less viscous than a thicker stout without much carbonation.
Smell: Wow! Notes of buttermilk and sweet toffee with a definite scent of coffee. Fairly nutty as well.
Taste: Sweet and smooth. Very coffee forward. Slight bitterness in the aftertaste. The malts are not super noticeable but have a full warm texture.
Mouthfeel: Smooth buttery entry with immediate mouth coating and a happy warm finish. Very full-bodied and creamy for a brown ale with just a hint of carbonation.
Overall: A delicious coffee forward ale with a warm smooth full-bodied texture and an amazing scent. I love it!

May 18, 2018
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Tdnarba from Florida

4.16/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Has a very dark, rich, chocolate look to it. Malty smell to it that stays through the taste, keeping it's brown ale identity. Goes down insanely well for a 9.0% imperial. Impressive beer

May 02, 2018
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Scottsbeer from Florida

4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Found this on a nitro tap and since I enjoy this beer in bottles I had to try the nitro. This review is for the nitro version.

L Dark brown with a typical nitro pour that had tiny nitro bubbles that took a couple of minutes to cascade to the top leaving a two finger, light tan, dense head with a creamy texture.

S The smell is the only attribute that was lessened by the nitro tap. Due to the density of the head there was not as much aroma escaping until well into the beer. What was there was coffee, milk chocolate, caramel and nuts.

T As with the standard bottled version the taste opens with strong black coffee and chocolate, in the middle caramel cream joins the party with a light touch of vanilla and the coffee continues, a slight pecan essence and a slightly more bitter coffee tempered by dark chocolate and slightly sweet malts round out the finish. The nitro pour brings out a caramel cream and intensifies the sweet malty nuttiness of the brown ale base.

F The nitro makes the feel shine. A medium to full bodied brown ale with a silky creaminess and delicate carbonation that is awesome.

O I like the bottled beer a lot and have a few bottles aging but the nitro definitely kicks it up a notch or two. The nitro brings out more subtle and delicate flavors that blend with the beer in a perfect way and the creamy nitro mouthfeel is excellent. If you see this on a nitro tap you need to try it, it is world class. Hey Founders, if you see this please increase distribution of nitro kegs!

Apr 26, 2018
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Tripel_Threat from Michigan

4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle to pils glass. Deep mahogany in color, with a finger of off white head. Nice aromas of roasty - but not burnt - coffee, toffee, and caramel. Beautifully balanced flavors of a better than average brown with roast-but-not-bitter coffee. No cream or sugar necessary for this coffee ale, it's crazy balanced out of the bottle.

Apr 22, 2018
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11rufus11 from South Carolina

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

Very similar to their Breakfast Stout but a bit milder tasting. The chocolate malt/coffee takes center stage and the nutty flavor of the brown ale hits at the back end. The flavors blend well together without being to overbearing. This is my new Founder's best friend.

Apr 22, 2018
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doktorhops from Australia

4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is it: Founders Breakfast Stout’s (Colorado?) cousin, an instabuy as soon as I laid eyes on it and a beer that I know will be excellent before I’ve even cracked the crown seal: Founders Sumatra Mountain Brown! What do we know about Sumatra Mountain Brown? Well what’s in a name? It’s an American Brown Ale (which tend to be sweeter, stronger and fuller than the original English Brown Ale style), it’s got coffee from Sumatra (Indonesia) which IIRC FBS has Java coffee, and it’s 9% ABV which makes it 0.7% heavier than FBS and one can assume richer in mouthfeel and sweetness. All in all, to quote the title of a Velvet Underground song “We're Gonna Have a Real Good Time Together” [Indeed!].

Poured from a 355ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Deep rich molasses almost-opaque brown body with a boisterous tan cappuccino foam head on top that sticks to about 2 centimetres and stays there for a rather long time before slowly dropping back to nice half cm. 8/10.

S: That Sumatra coffee, like in FBS, comes across with a cold drip aroma, mingled with brown sugar, a nice woody/earthy tone and a hint of cinnamon. This is indeed one brown temptress of a brew, smouldering like a classic noir femme fatale: “Ah, now you are dangerous.” - Sam Spade. 8/10.

T: Balance - Founders never seem to have a problem with balance, this is another example - it’s sweet, but right on the border of going too far a nice earthy tobacco leaf character steps in and provides a suitable bitter foil. Flavours are so on the money that it ain’t funny, with notes of: Sumatra cold drip coffee, brown sugar, molasses, the aforementioned earthy tobacco leaf and a woody tone in the aftertaste. The coffee could have easily gotten carried away in this brew but Founders know just how to balance it out with brown sugar, it’s like they’ve got some magic going on inside their brewery! 10/10.

M: Mouthfeel is a bit less “Founders-like” than the other Founders beers I’ve reviewed with a nice enough mid to heavy bodied and a fairly dense carbonation, but it’s not as Marvin Gaye smooth as FBS, more like a Reggie Watts, still pretty damn good though... 8/10.

D: Wow, it’s hard to decide which beer I love more, I mean FBS will always be etched into my heart (I love you man!) but Sumatra Mountain Brown has everything one could ever want in a Brown Ale, it depends on your mood then. 9/10.

Food match: Bit of a dessert Brown that would match well with salted caramel tart.

Apr 19, 2018
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twosheds from Massachusetts

3.82/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Brown with slight red tint and a tan head.

Smell is very nutty and chocolatey with some coffee. A little caramel too

Coffee is definitely more forward on the taste, but the nutty chocolate flavor is still present. At 9%, the alcohol bite is immediately noticeable.

Has a lighter mouthfeel than I expected for an imperial, but it makes it a little easier to drink.

I probably wouldn't get this again, but I'm glad I tried it.

Apr 13, 2018
Sumatra Mountain Brown from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 1771 ratings