Cashew Mountain Brown | Founders Brewing Company

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133 Ratings

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

Added by Rifugium on 06-10-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 133 |  Reviews: 50
Reviews by hu5om:
Photo of hu5om
4/5  rDev -12.5%

More User Reviews:
Photo of DanGeo
4.75/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of readicculus
4/5  rDev -12.5%

Photo of warnerry
4.45/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Founders

A 4.5. Pours slightly muddy brown with a small amount of head that persists as a collar and leaves a bit if lacing behind.

S 4.5 smell has a nice but not overwhelming amount of bourbon and a very noticeable cashew presence.

T 4.5 bourbon takes a backseat to cashew on the taste. The cashews make this very smooth. Some alcohol is noticeable but not overwhelming. A bit of wood presence and a slight drying finish.

M 4 Surprisingly creamy. Some numbing alcohol and a dry finish

O 4.5 Founders continues to show how to make barrel aged beers. Nothing dominates here. A great blending of the nuttiness, malt and nice subtle bourbon notes. Would love to see this in their 750 series.

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Photo of jisom123
4.59/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank directly from the tap when no one was looking at IN summer Microbrewers Fest. Kidding. Sample glass. I was volunteering at the front gate so I got first dibs one this awesome beer.

This beer is a super rich and very smooth big brown ale. The alcohol is well hidden and the cashews are very pronounced in the nose as well as the flavor. Perfect balance. The cashews taste like they were slightly roasted, but that may have been the grain; who knows.

One of the brewers was there and he said that they grind up whole Cashews into a fine mush. Turned out perfectly.

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Photo of bpfrush
4.75/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of TCJosh
4.5/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of Brenden
4.42/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I thought this was a one-off, but wasn't sure. Now that I have the notes, I'll review in the hopes that Founders considers doing it again, or should it return for any reason.

The color's a medium brown, though edges a bit lighter; it's actually not as dark as I expected and even has just the slightest opacity to it. A scrappy-looking off-white head puts up a fight and eventually settles to a compact crown that lines the edges of the glass and manages surprisingly decent lacing given that it wasn't particularly dense.
All the nuttiness I'd hoped for is in the aroma along with some maple, not just the sweetness but a nice base flavor that foes with the nut very well. Alcohol comes out but not as hard as I feared, and not too fusel either. Dark fruit and vanilla lay down an extra sweet complexity, likely from the bourbon. The malt foundation seems strong enough to rest it all on.
Malty enough for sure, it needs the strong base to rest all of the flavor's boldness and complexity on. Nuts are not just the main element, mingling with the other flavors rather than overcoming them. It stands out as a flavor, but just. Quite sweet but not massively, all the maple, vanilla, dark fruits, and semi-sweet chocolate come out strong. They couple with more complexity from the barrels, and a balancing dryness to boot (without which an effort like this one fails). Oaky, with just a touch of smoky char to it, it really counters the sweetness well. Founders is Founders.
Fortunately not too heavy, I don't forget that this is a brown rather than a stout. It's rich and robust weithout being destructive or sinking heavily. Carbonation is low but enough to allow everything to work together, and enough to make for smooth sipping (key). A lingering finish is semi-sweet.

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Photo of spkissane
5/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.79/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drinking this one as I type at the source. Poured into a snifter.

Served with a 1 finger frothy, creamy, light coffee head with moderate retention. Beer is a dark, near opaque brown. Lacing is patchy and spotty with decent stick. Slightly above average.

Nose is sweet booze, brown sugar, and caramel. Super robust and aromatic. Some vanilla notes present also. Definitely one of the best brown ales I've ever smelt.

Opens spicy sweet. Brown sugar, molasses, and honey. Cashews prominent towards the middle and peeters out gradually. More maple syrup towards the end with some heat and a bourbon-like characteristic. Grainy brown sugar and toffee aftertaste. Exceptional... Downright one of the best tasting beers I've ever had.

Medium bodied with low carbonation. Smooth and oily in the mouth and subtle and silky going down. Finish is quiet with a slightly lingering aftertaste. Perfectly drinkable.

This beer is a revelation. Hands down the best brown ale I've ever had and in the running for one of the best beers period. Awesome balance and exceptional feel. Fantastic.

 1,078 characters

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 33nickadams
4.74/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the brewery during the wife and I's brewery tour of Michigan. I promised the wife that I wouldn't go on BA for the trip, but I have to review this one.
It is completely opaque with a dark brown hue. Almost no head. The smell is great! I get cashews and chocolate and maple syrup. The taste is the same as the nose. Is there any alcohol in this? (10.5%). Medium body and carbonated perfectly. Browns are probably my least favorite style, but these guys know what they are doing with this. Just talked to staff and no plans to bottle this. Too bad because it is a great beer!

 588 characters

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 rhong187
4.47/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

my go to bar had the pleasure of having this on tap... poured in a 4oz flight glass

A - dark brown with about a half finger head. just looks amazing...

S - the smell if what really captures every bit of awesomeness this beer possesses. Right away, you get hit with a short whiff of bourbon, and hten the cashews really take over.

T - wow... the cashews completely take over your taste buds. a slight sweetness remsembling vanilla hits you as well.

M - medium bodied, but I don't really know if I'd be able to finish a pint of this stuff. It's very sweet and very rich..

I had the pleasure of enjoying this beer while speaking with Dave Engbers from Founders. It was great listening to the way this idea was developed yet disappointing why we won't see it in bottles any time soon. The 4oz pout was just perfect, and wow this was a flavor bomb...

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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 AndrewKroll
4.75/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of dfclav
4.27/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the blue dog 6/10

A - fairly brown with reddish gold hue. Not much head to speak of or lacing for that matter, just a small ring with very thin, patchy lacing.

S - very strong notes of bourbon and cashews. The beer itself smells very rich.

T - huge assault of sweet cashews and bourbon. Very complex combination of flavors and oak. The maple syrup makes itself very noticed in the sweetness of the cashews and the finish provides a very refreshing orange/tangerine citrus note.

M - medium bodied, not very active on the palate carbonation wise and very chalky finish. A bit hot, but that's understandable.

O - this is without a doubt a dessert beer. It would pair extremely well with anything vanilla (especially ice cream) above anything else. This is an enjoyable sipper that falls well short of being too cloying, and I'd recommend you seek it out.

 866 characters

Photo of Manboy21182
5/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of Magery
4.25/5  rDev -7%

Photo of Diomede
4/5  rDev -12.5%

Photo of Yulles
5/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of enelson
5/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of jmarsh123
4.67/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured in a snifter during my visit to Founder's.

Poured with a small creamy tan head with some lacing. Beer is very dark brown and very opqaue.

Nose is amazing. Good booze smell with some molasses/brown sugar smell. Maybe a hint of maple.

Up front a bit sweet with lots of brown sugar notes. In the middle some great nuttiness appears. The end is a wonderfully sweet maple mixed with the heat from the booze. One of most gloriously complex beers I've ever tasted.

Medium body with low carbonation levels. A little viscous, but not overly thick and syrupy.

I usually don't like malty brown ales, but as with most stuff, Founder's knocks this out of the park. If it were winter instead of summer, I probably would've stuck to this beer my whole visit. It's that good.

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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 vrbulldog22
4.75/5  rDev +3.9%

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