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: 293 | Ratings: 1,220
Reviews by drxandy:
Photo of drxandy
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Christmas growler from my good friend Richard!!!! YESSS
poured to tulip glass, footed ale glass// pours a beautiful cascading head deep brown, hints of red in light, tan head fades

smells of delicious coffee, heavy malt, sweetness

taste is of fresh oily coffee, heavy body, slick, sweet and creamy vanilla notes, light complementing hop presence, a founders style traditional brown ale doubled and delicious coffee added to it.

mouthfeel is syrupy, slight hop bitterness matching the coffee quite well, alcohol hidden well, coffee addition is very nice, great heavy body, carbonation is lower but maintains well over 2 days - great balance and very easy to drink

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More User Reviews:
Photo of BEERchitect
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

For every mood, there's a beer. And in some cases there's a beer for several moods. Looking to wind down? Or gear up? Or for a dark and balanced taste? Or for something strong in stature. Something bitter? Something sweet? Founders covers all these bases with Sumatra Mountain Brown.

The imperial brown ale pours devilishly dark and springs to life with a dense blanket of mocha whipped foam. The high earthen perfume of nutty, butter and soilish coffee rise up but not without a firm followup of chocolate, toffee, walnut and wood. Its taste is sultry with the toasted sweetness of toffee, caramel and candied pecan- all laying on a bed of toast and coffee.

With the Sumatra coffee riding high, its overtones of shaven woods, dried chicory and butter pecan is both delicate but bold. Supporting the coffee well is the chocolaty malt center that registers on the middle palate like candy nougat and malted milk balls. Alas, the dark ale trends beer-like and chases a woodsy hop bitterness, that easily disguises of coffee-derived bitterness, into a deep bittersweet finish.

Full in body, yet there's a lightness that the coffee brings. The beer's gently rolling carbonation is off-cask but light and creamy nevertheless. The light simmering warmth of alcohol allow a kaluha-like flavor to reward the finish like fine coffee liquor.

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Photo of Balderayne
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is a KEEPER! Get it! Enjoy it! Hide it from others!
Rich coffee and chocolate flavors. Smooth on the tongue with a robust, yet smooth feel and finish. You'll want to come back for more.

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

Enjoyed from the growler via Buehler's Market in Wooster which is the best darn collective of brew in the area. Period.
Poured into a snifter this fantastic brown ale pours a deep murky brown with a fantastic head of off white foam that settles to a thick ting, thin layer, and excellent lacing---ESPECIALLY for a coffee brew. Nose of sumptuous rich dark java, dark sweet cocoa, earthy notes from the coffee, and notes of creme brulee. Flavors surpass the nose by a mile with rich coffee on the front and sides, cream, brown sugars, and subtle char notes hit perfectly in the middle and fade into the rear with a VERY subtle zesty hops flavor that tingles nicely with the warming background of the brew. Excellent mouth feel, medium full, quaffable and dangerous with perfect carbonation to keep it lively.


A stout drinker brown ale that exceeded my expectations from the small sample at the grocery store.

Excellent job Founders, a classic to be certain taking the brown ale to another level.


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

Saw the new Founders brew at our local Martin's grocery store in Stevensville, Michigan on May 28, 2016. I normally love Founders Breakfast Stout and KBS and I also love imperials, so when I saw this imperial brown, I was excited. Founders did not let me down. Wow! This tasted like an imperial brown version of a KBS. This definitely could be a top 250 beer on Beer Advocate.

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

12oz bottle from Pioneer on the UWS NYC.
Dark brown with light hazelnut head, good lacing, smells straight up like fresh coffee grounds, taste is very sweet chocolate syrup and creamy coffee that ends with a mild roasted bitterness, this beer is medium bodied and well carbonated. A sweet caffe latte freddo of a beer, delicious!

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

A- Dark mahogany 12oz to goblet pour. The head is creamy and thick ascending above a finger with decent retention. A thick pillow remains for a long time and large thick sheets of lacing remain behind each sip.

S- Coffee mountain. The aroma is basically dominated by the coffee with a luscious, rich blend of caramel to toasty aromas. Milk chocolate comes to mind big time. Vanilla sweets even.

T- A bit more of a brown ale here but to be real its like you took a rich brown ale base and pressed it ala French with medium roast coffee. Dutch cocoa powder, vanilla bean sweets, medium caramel, toasted pecans, slight sweetness, bitter dark chocolate bars and slight raisin.

MF- Silky and extremely smooth body that in the end is of medium thickness. High end carbonation is taken aback by the chewy creaminess and bitter coffee grounds linger forever in the finish. Decadent.

Coffee Brown Ale done right. The malts and coffee pretty much marry each other and blend into one entity. Each sip brings on decadent flavors that smoothly bless the taste buds without being a slow sipping dessert beer. Finds that rare medium between rich stout and watery dark ale with amazing coffee usage. No surprise as Breakfast Stout still runs the show.

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

A: Pours an opaque yet still clear extremely dark brown (approaching jet black) in color with light to moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising along the edges of the glass and faint dark cola brown highlights. The beer has a three finger tall dense foamy tan head that slowly reduce to a medium to large sized cap of very thick film surrounded by a large patch of medium thick film covering the remainder of the surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of rich freshly brewed coffee over the top of moderate aromas of caramel, nutty, and chocolate malts. Light notes of earthy hops.

T: Upfront there is a moderate to strong flavor of caramel, nutty, roasted, and chocolate malts with a moderate amount of chocolate sweetness. That is followed by moderate to strong flavors of freshly brewed, slightly sweet, rich coffee. Finally there is a very light flavor of earthy hops which contribute a light amounts of bitterness in the finish which does not linger for long.

M: Slightly heavier than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth with a light to moderate amount of slickness in the finish.

O: A nice complexity and depth of malt flavors from the grain bill in this brew and a wonderful, rich coffee flavor and aroma. Easy to drink and hides the alcohol really well. If you enjoy coffee, definitely consider grabbing this one.

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Photo of BrokenEdge
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a damn fine beer. Pours a very dark brown, nearly black. Thin but persistent head that dissolves into foam and leaves soapy lacing along the glass. Smells stunning, just like coffee with cream in it. Not an overwhelming, bitter, dark roast type smell like you would find with most coffee stouts. Seems the brown ale style mellows the intensity some. Taste is exactly like it smells, like a nice cup of creamy, sweet and only slightly bitter coffee. There's some light charred sweetness (like toasted marshmallow) and a roasted, nutty quality. Really deep and complex flavors at work. Feel is also excellent, creamy, smooth, but still full bodied. Alcohol is imperceptible. If you're at all into coffee flavored beer, it's worth a try. I just hope this becomes a year round release!

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Photo of ByronDBeer
4.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Very nice dark brown, not much head.
S: Exotic coffee smell, almost chinese herbal, not too strong of a smell due to lack of head.
T: VERY balanced coffee, almost like a perfect cold brew. Not too bitter, enough malt backbone to give the sweetness for the very nice coffee taste.
F: Medium balanced mouth feel. Not too much carbonation.

Exactly what you expect when you hear "Imperial brown ale with sumatra coffee"

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Photo of Xenoreactive
2.95/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.75

L: Dark brown and watery looking. Not much head, but whatever comes through goes away rather rapidly.

S: Fucktons of coffee. I mean, this is alot of coffee beans just being shoved into your nose.

T: Not too impressed. Alot of flavorful cold brew coffee, but other than the general brown ale flavor, this is lacking.

F: Over-carbonated and very thin. Lacking density.

O: If you climb the mountain, you might burn the calories that this throwaway gave you.

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Photo of puck1225
4.21/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a beautiful dark brown from a bottle into a snifter. Nice thick fluffy light brown head and great lacing. The smell is of coffee, chocolate and a bit of banana. The taste is strongly coffee with some dark chocolate. The feel is silky smooth. A very enjoyable beer!

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Photo of wuthrichj15
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow what an awesome beer. Had the first one out of the bottle today. Sticky, sweet, a little chocolate, a nice coffee. What a wonderful beer. Definitely get this if you can.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.45/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark burgundy color. The head is three fingers high and mocha in shade. I'm quite impressed by the retention, though slightly less so by the slightly bubbly texture. Plenty of lacing sticks to the glass

The aroma brings a wondrous combination of black coffee and milk chocolate, especially at first. After some time, some earthen and grassy tones show up. Since it's a brown ale, caramel and brown sugar set up the foundation for the other notes. I have to say the aroma comes together really well.

It doesn't taste like a pure coffee bomb - it just mostly tastes like a pure coffee bomb. The flavor starts off with nice notes of caramel, milk chocolate, and brown sugar. Then the black coffee hits around the middle with a nice roast, and is augmented with a nice finishing hoppiness. Unfortunately, there's an Achilles heel to this beer: the coffee seems slightly vegetal and stale. Since the base beer seems designed to showcase the coffee, that's a bit of a problem. Still, everything else about the flavor is actually quite good, so I can't bitch *too* hard.

I do think the feel is a little thin for 9%, and the general texture is more slick than creamy. Still, the off-dry finish and coffee astringency help will it off the palate with surprising ease. Founders really know how to make a big beer drink like it's much smaller. Carbonation is medium.

Founders has a TON of winners, but every once in a while they let me down. I'll call this a mild letdown, personally. It's wonderfully easygoing for 9%, but the stale coffee notes hinder - this would be a great beer if I didn't get those "coffee that's been sitting in the pot for three hours at the office, which is why we joined the rest of 2016 and bought a Keurig machine to replace it" vibes. I probably won't buy again, unless it's on tap.

3.45/5: Almost great, but the vegetal qualities hurt those chances

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Photo of ChrisMon02
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a globe.

Deep brown color-pillowy head-quickly dies.

Rich coffee-bittersweet chocolate-quality creamer note-burnt molasses.

Coffee bomb-creamer-caramel-milk chocolate. Slight bittering burnt malts. No booze.

Medium mouthfeel-medium-low carbonation. Moves nicely throughout each drink.

Wow-this is simple but delicious. If you enjoy strait forward, simple, quality coffee dominant beers than you will love this one. Recommended.

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

Pours a deep roasted chestnut brown with a thinner but well sustained creamy lighter beige head atop.Caramel and hazelnuts stand out over the dark coffee roast in the nose to me,love the hazelnuts...The coffee roast comes more into play on the palate with chocolate and that hazelnut really standing out.Chocolate and hazelnut are a great combo pair that with some dark roast coffee and you have a great beer.A joy to drink with not to much roast,and/or char.

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Photo of don1481
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into glass.

Appearance: Pours a coffee brown with a light off white, faintly tan head that lingers on top.

Smell: malty and hoppy and bitter on the nose. No real coffee notes to be found.

Taste: Nothing like the nose. Definitely like a cold press coffee, minus really any bitterness. Not too sweet at all, either. Very well balanced taste.

Mouthfeel: coffee taste lingers on the tongue. Pretty crisp Mouthfeel overall.

Overall: glad I got a 4 pack of this.

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Photo of mojohawk21
4.54/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of McGiblets87
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Best regular coffee stout out there

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Photo of tbryan5
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A- Pitch black with a light tan head.
S- Sweet chocolate and coffee. Splenda?
T- Great balance between hop bitterness and malt. Sweet but not cloying. Coffee adds a nice flavor.
M- Coating with low carbonation and a slight tingle.
D- A great full bodied dessert beer that won't fill you up.

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

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

Dark brown, near black in color. Small tan head.
Intense coffee aroma with some chocolate and caramel.
The taste followed the nose. Espresso coffee, dark chocolate, and caramel.
Medium-bodied. Easily the most coffee-forward beer I've ever had.
Well done!

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Photo of warnerry
3.92/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Notes from 12/7/10

Pours a somewhat cloudy medium brown with minimal head. Aromas are rather subtle coffee, some noticeable alcohol, and a faint amount of sweet malt. Taste is primarily coffee with some apparent alcohol. Has a nice hop presence for a brown. Malts are mostly caramel, and rather subtle. Medium mouthfeel, very slightly syrupy. Overall, this was good but not amazing. The alcohol is very apparent.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.8/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, bottled on 3/31/16. Pours brown with a big pillowy tan head that retains well and leaves a little lacing.

The aroma is sweet lactose and chocolate malt with lots of fudgy roast coffee and a bit of hazelnut.

The flavor is sweet milky chocolate malt with acidic roast coffee and some nuttiness and a lingering bitter finish. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, a nice coffee beer. I'd like it better if the sweetness and bitterness blended together better.

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Founders Sumatra Mountain Brown from Founders Brewing Company
4.3 out of 5 based on 1,220 ratings.
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