Cashew Mountain Brown | Founders Brewing Company

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Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Imperial Brown Ale aged on cashews in maple bourbon barrels for 287 days, then aged one even more cashews for an additional 3 weeks

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 50 | Ratings: 133
Reviews by TasteTester:
Photo of TasteTester
4.5/5  rDev -1.5%

More User Reviews:
Photo of Magery
4.25/5  rDev -7%

Photo of BEERchitect
4.42/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's amazing what maple syrup, Bourbon, and oak barrels can do to a beer! Very much a desert beer but with much more finesse than expected, this in one dangerously smooth beer!

Cashew Mountain pours with a dense and weighted appearance. Medium brown in color, and maybe a tinge lighter than expected. The beer's supple carbonation builds a thin off white head that reduces to a lace around the glass and eventually fading completely. The beer takes on a much more brandy-like appearance than do most beers.

Amplified aromas of nuts, chocolate, maple syrup, and rich malt all fill the nose with intensities that are somehow both bold and delicate. Background notes of bourbon, oak, cherries, vanilla, and coconut are a constant reminder of the time that the beer spends in the barrel.

Delicious sweetness of maple syrup, chocolate, nuts, and bourbon give a rich taste that's also powerful with a thin and sweet alcohol taste. Chocolate chip pancakes enter the mind with each and every sip of the glass. Where the beer's focus is squarely on the sweet malts and cashew flavor, there's the complex and supportive flavors of the barrel: oak, vanilla, caramel, coconut, cherries, and mild char. Absolutely delicious with the balance tilting heavy toward malt sweetness and rich barrel contributions and hardly a rebuttal from hops.

Sweet, rich, and silky-smooth but not as heavy as you'd think- the low-lying carbonation allows the beer's weight to sit on the tongue with a full weight, and achieves only a medium-full texture with alcohol thinning. A long and developing sweetness provides an extended finish of malt sweetness deep into finish and aftertaste with only a mild alcohol warmth.

As a cousin to their Curmudgeon's Better Half, Founders Cashew Mountain Brown share a lot of flavor attributes in common with their barrel aged old ale. Although there's the nutty counterpart to this imperial brown ale, I don't think I would have noticed the 'cashew' flavor in not for the suggestive namesake on the branding. On a night when this beer opens up for the CBS, I'm not sure if it didn't steal the show!

 2,114 characters

Photo of Diomede
4/5  rDev -12.5%

Photo of immobilisme
5/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of ATLbeerDog
4.2/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap at The Porter’s 3rd Anniversary Party

Pours a pure brown with a touch of red. Very light in the pour. The mostly white head dissipates quickly. Smells like most brown ales but with a slight and I mean slight nutty flavor. First sip is considerably more nutty than the aroma with caramel malts equally dominating. There are some maple and vanilla notes present too. Mouthfeel is quite good even with the light body – well carbonated too. ABV is super well hidden. A very nice treat indeed!

 500 characters

Photo of readicculus
4/5  rDev -12.5%

Photo of tubbnik
5/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of kzoobrew
4.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in an over-sized snifter, the body is a deep chestnut color. A scant malted milk head is perched atop momentarily before fading back to a slim ring. Spotty lacing left clinging to the glass.

The aroma leaves doubt that an absurd amount of cashews were used to brew this beer. The buttery and nutty characteristics of the cashew meld seemlessly with the Bourbon and dark bready malts. The maple aroma is very complimentary and consistent through out. Soft, underlying vanilla brings a sense of cohesion to the overall bouquet.

Buttery cashew flavor lays heavy on the tongue up front. Bourbon flavor develops just behind as a very complimentary secondary flavor. Warm bready malts provide a fantastic base for the other flavors to build from. Rich caramel, smooth vanilla and maple are consistant through out. Sweetness very present but mot cloying.

Full bodied Imperial Brown with adequate carbonation. Texture is very smooth and chewy without being too thick or viscous. Long finish, bready brown malt and caramel digs in to the tongue.

Phenomenal beer, flat out delicious. The flavor are masterfully layered and display tremendous balance. If there is a problem with Cashew Mountain it may be that it is just too drinkable, I have sat at Founders and had multiple glasses on a few occasions. With apologies to Black Biscuit, Cashew Mountain utilizes the Maple Bourbon Barrels better than any other beer.

 1,419 characters

Photo of Darklight
5/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of prototypic
4.47/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cashew Mountain Brown is a dark mahogany color. Definitely looks hazy. A little light reveals some nice highlights that are somewhere between burgundy and crimson. A light tan head caps it off and stands about a finger tall. It recedes quickly and leaves light lace behind.

The nose is excellent. The brown malt base smells a little sweet and features just a touch of cocoa-esque chocolate. Smells like there's a little roasted malt too. Bourbon is easily noted, but seems polite and restrained. It works well with the malt base and doesn't overpower it. It does have a praline scent that's secondary. They all work extremely well together to produce a really nice smelling beer. Alcohol is there, but that's not surprising. Doesn't offend me.

The flavor is really impressive. There's no doubt about the brown malt base. It's a little sweet and extremely flavorful. Light cocoa and roasted malts are secondary. The barrel aging imparted a really nice, moderate bourbon flavor that is a great complement to the brown malt flavor. Oak and vanilla flavors follow and really broaden the flavor profile. There is a secondary nutty, praline flavor that's nice. I wouldn't mind if it were a little more pronounced. Nonetheless, it fits nicely and does add a positive flavor to the mix. Alcohol is there, but isn't overbearing or hot. Hey, it's barrel-aged. What do you expect? Finishes with a mix of sweet brown malt, bourbon, and vanilla.

The body is medium. It features very light carbonation and feels extremely smooth and creamy. With just a little more heft, the feel would be perfect. Damn good as it is. This stuff goes down far too easily. I'm having a 12 ounce glass, but would not object to more.

Founders Brewing Company produces mostly top notch barrel-aged beers. Cashew Mountain Brown is a fine example and an excellent addition to their roster. I believe this is my first experience with a barrel-aged Brown Ale (that I recall). It's a grand idea! There aren't any material shortcomings to discuss here. This is a stellar beer! Founders, please bottle this!

 2,069 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.92/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

dark brown, with a smallish head was lifted up onto the top, but this was quickly replaced by a thin layer of film across the top. Carbonation was visible in the very clear brew.

The smell was rich and sweet. Predominant aroma was a caramel with a touch of an earthy malt. A light feeling was released by this, so you really did not think you were going into anything too terribly heavy. As it warmed you could pick up a roasted or burnt smell coming though as well as a touch of a hop note rounding out the back. caramel that you caught right up front along with a burnt or roasted wood flavor. Almost had a touch of oaked flavor in it.

 638 characters

Photo of Manboy21182
5/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of Kegatron
3.93/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap @ Capone’s (Norristown, PA) on 6/9/11. Served in a 5 oz snifter.

Pours a deep ruby in the glass, topped with a rich cap of milk chocolate colored head. This retains with a solid foaminess around the edges, leaving back a ton of spotty frothy lacing. The aroma smells of maple and bourbon char, with notes of caramel, vanilla, burnt sugars, and a touch of citric hops. Green tannic character hangs on the edges of the nose, while those cashews pull up strong in the back. Unfortunately, as this warms up, the alcohol heat starts to take this over, as spice and sweetness start to run over the other flavors a tad too much.

The maple dominates the taste, followed quickly by the bourbon, and strong burnt char, which hangs on the sides of the profile. The barrel flavors really cover up much of the more roasted aspects of this but a good bit of sweetness from caramel, vanilla, and cocoa, does manage to make itself known. Like the aroma, I’m picking up the cashews more towards the backend of the profile, with an earthy nuttiness that lingers. The bourbon mostly finishes this dry and tannic, while a lot of lingering sugars stick to the lips and tongue. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied and mostly chewy up front but then gets progressively more sharp on the tongue the longer this hangs out in the mouth. There is a good bit of warmth to this but any stinging heat is mostly kept in the check, with much of the intensity from the ABV being felt in the overall aggressiveness of the flavors. Interesting enough, despite the high ABV, this is actually coming off as a touch too light me in spots. This could actually stand to maybe use a bit more chewiness to match up with the richness of the flavors.

While I certainly enjoyed by mini-snifter of this, it ultimately just fell a notch below many of the BA offerings that I’m used to from Founder’s (especially the ones using the maple liquor barrels). The bourbon and ABV just came off as too strong in the nose and was I surprised at the overall lightness of the body at times. I’m glad to have tried this but I think that it just came up short compared to what I’ve come to expect from these guys.

 2,173 characters

Photo of oglmcdgl
4.5/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at bluedog.

A- comes to me with a small cap of tanish head that settles quickly to leave a thing ring and a nice spray of sticky lace. Muddy brown in color with an amber glow at the edges.

S- big toasted nuttiness with a sweet maple syrup and brown sugar hit. The bourbon is well integrated not super boozy smelling.

T- great maple syrup and brown sugar sweetness right off the bat that rolls wonderfully into a killer roasty cashew and malt hit. The bourbon creeps up from the background and finishes things off with just the right amount of booziness. Hints of dark dried fruits.

M- on the fuller side of medium with a tiny bit of stick to it. Nice light to mid level carb that helps keep the sweetness and touch of stick from becoming to much. Just the right amount of heat.

O- well this experiment worked. While there is a lot of big complex flavors this never becomes to much and in its depth finds a nice clear focus.

 940 characters

Photo of nathanjohnson
5/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of dalepryor
4.75/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of jlindros
4.03/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tap at Armsby Abbey

Big fluffy 2 finger head fades slowly over super dark brown mahogany molasses color, sticky lacing.

Nose plenty of maple and brown sugar, toasty oak barrel and hint of bourbon, toasty darker malts, hint of booze, slight nutty malts and hint of caramel.

Taste wow cashews, very nutty, creamy malts, some dark crystal malts, bit of caramel, brown sugar, maple, hint of bourbon, bit of sweetness, light toasted almond, little creamy porter roast, hint of booze but drinks well. Finish is still a bit sweet and sticky, lingering nutty malts, light chocolate frosting taste.

Mouth is a bit heavier bodied and creamy, decent carb.

Overall interesting, very nutty, nose had more maple and oak, booze was light, creamy and tasty but hard to have more than 1.

 775 characters

Photo of spkissane
5/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of Brew33
4.39/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Founders tap room.

I was really hoping this beer would be on tap when we arrived.

The appearance was nothing special. A muddy brown color. The aroma was heavenly. Malty, sweet, bourbon, maple, vanilla. Just a giant nose on this beer. The flavor is fantastic. A big malt bill shows it's teeth right of the bat. Typical flavors of a nut brown ale, dark bread, molasses. Then a perfect amount of bourbon and maple with a long, sweet, oaky, finish. Good stuff. The mouthfeel was okay, I would have liked it to be a little fuller.

Overall another great beer from Founders. Anything they put in Maple Bourbon barrels is magic.

 640 characters

Photo of monitorpop
4.75/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of strohme2
4.5/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of mfunk9786
4.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Philly Beer Week brought this beer to the Philadelphia area, and it didn't disappoint. It's described as an imperial brown ale brewed with a lot of cashews, and then aged in KBS barrels that've had maple syrup added in for 3-4 months. Not sure if these are the same barrels CBS is aged in, but it sounds as if it's a similar process.

Pours a dark, clean-looking brown, comparable to a very malty scotch ale. Smells strongly of sweet, earthy cashews and maple syrup. Tastes divine, will smooth out with a bit more age but has no alcohol burn to speak of and is not too sweet like some Founders beers sometimes are (looking at you, Old Curmudgeon). Certainly unique to have a strong cashew flavor in a beer, and I can see this one being a hit on draft. Certainly the best nut brown ale I can conceive of.

 803 characters

Photo of Jips
5/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of enelson
5/5  rDev +9.4%

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Cashew Mountain Brown from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.57 out of 5 with 133 ratings