Underground Mountain Brown
Founders Brewing Company

Underground Mountain BrownUnderground Mountain Brown
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Style:
American Brown Ale
Ranked #1
ABV:
11.9%
Score:
96
Ranked #562
Avg:
4.38 | pDev: 7.08%
Reviews:
124
Ratings:
393
From:
Founders Brewing Company
 
Michigan, United States
Avail:
Rotating
Wants
  43
Gots
  52
SCORE
96
World-Class
Underground Mountain BrownUnderground Mountain Brown
Notes: Barrel-Aged Sumatra Mountain Brown

Underground Mountain Brown is the harmonious drinking experience only achieved when our imperial brown ale, earthy Sumatra coffee and a year aging in caves below Grand Rapids comes together. A team of malts complement the bold sumatra coffee perfectly, while time spent immersed in oak creates layers of depth and complexity. A celebration of the barrel, the bean and everything in between.
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Reviews: 124 | Ratings: 393
Photo of Harrison8
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with two fingers of dense, khaki-colored foam. Head retention is good, with a foamy ring of head lingering a long while after the pour. Aroma is boozy even at a distance, with bourbon cutting through the mix. It's not overly hot, but definitely present. Coffee hits the nose second, carrying properties associated with a clean pour-over cup of coffee, which is to say, compressed and concise coffee notes. Toffee, molasses and chocolate add a little further sweetness, which balance out the roasty, toasty malts at the base. Flavor profile is sublime, hitting notes of coffee, chocolate, molasses, brown sugar, and caramel. Coffee is lightly acidic and, again, carrying the tight and concise qualities of a pour-over coffee. This sugar list of descriptors is counter balanced by roasty, toasty and caramely malts, which counteract the initial sweetness extremely well. Final balance is delivered via a small hit of bourbon with a rough oaky char kiss for dessert. Bourbon brings up just a hit of alcohol and booze, which dries the tongue and rinses away the initial sweet notes. Balance is sublime. Mouth feel is thick with a lightly gritty, chunky, velvety texture. Overall, big and bold, folding in coffee and bourbon well.

Served in a 15.5oz Speigalau tulip from a 12oz bottle.

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Photo of stevepat
3.87/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a very deep dark brown with a large active khaki head that fizzes away but holds it's form impressively.
Smell has heavy nutty malt notes along with molasses and a bit of booze. Pleasant but muted
Taste is mellow and smooth, the nutty and molasses malt notes are there, and there some sharp edge on the back end that might just be barrel and booze, but I'd be hard pressed to place it if the bottle didn't tell me. Nice flavor that adds a little complexity to your typical brown ale
Feel falls a little short for me, comes across a bit watery. Barreling often gives me something a bit thinner than I'd like and starting with a brown ale rather than a stout seems to have made that problem worse. It's not straight water but it's thinner than ideal for sure.
Overall I may have let the hype get to me here. I was expecting something real mindblowing and this was a nice beer that I would drink again but it's nothing special really. I would take founders breakfast stout, KBS or CBS over this for sure any day. And FBS is even cheaper. Nice beer though, the malts play nice with the booze and the barrel. if you're a brown ale lover this will either be heresy or a welcome bit of texture, and I think most will go with the latter.

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Photo of glass_house
4.41/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Hmmm, the best [coffee] brown ale I've had, now aged in bourbon barrels? Yes, please. Lived up to expectations beautifully. The bourbon, coffee, and chocolatey malts meld flawlessly. Silky smooth, creamy medium mouthfeel. I'll be stocking up.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Founders Brewing Co. "Underground Mountain Brown"
12 fl. oz. brown glass bottle, "BOTTLED ON: 07.30.19 1408 6 11.9% alc/vol
$

Notes via stream of consciousness: So what is this? An Imperial brown ale brewed with coffee and aged in Bourbon barrels? Well that sounds like a breakfast beer to me! A rough half pour, waited for, and then topped of delivers two inches of tan foam that settles down into a more interesting inch and a half of rocky head. The body beneath is quite dark, appearing almost black in the glass but giving up orange and mahogany brown highlights at the base of the glass when held to the light. The aroma suggests oily medium roast coffee beans in a bin at your local shop. Beyond that there's some oak, a hint of cocoa powder, and just the lightest touch of Bourbon. On to the flavor... the coffee continues, and now that I think about it, it really does mirror the aroma. There's some oaky dryness to it, which is nice, and just a spritz of Bourbon and alcohol - although in my mind the alcohol is welcome in a beer of this size and maltiness, or at the very least, expected at 11.9% abv. There is some more caramel to it, and I'm not really finding the cocoa that I got in the nose, it's just a light dusting. I guess there's also a slight bit of yeasty fruitiness there as well, with apples and berries, although it's pretty well eclipsed by the bigger flavors, and I'm only getting a background of leafy and earthy hops as might be expected. In the mouth it's full-medium in body with the alcohol cutting through it and making it seem a little thinner, and a median to moderate fine-bubbled carbonation that lends a light caress on the tongue and then softens to become smoother. In fact, I think the alcohol itself is adding almost or just as much to that caress as the carbonation is. I'm probably not being clear in saying that as I'm just breaking it down, so to clarify, it's got a good mouthfeel. I should also note that although this is a higher alcohol beer, and one that's been barrel aged, it's still maintained a very good level of head retention and left some impressive lacing about the glass. I would normally score this as a 4 out of 5 based on appearance, but given the alcohol and barrel aging I certainly think it qualifies as a 4.25. In the end I think it's pretty nicely done, Could it be smoother? Yes, but at the same time there is certainly something to having that alcohol there so let's face it, you knew it would be there, or at least you thought it might be there, and you bought it anyway - AND I feel without it it might seem too smooth, which brings me to my next point, which is that although this is a higher alcohol, kind of malty beer it wouldn't be my first pick as an after-dinner 'reading a good book before the fire' kind of beer. With that said, number one, it contains coffee and thus caffeine which is not conductive to sleep, and it's a touch too brash. I see this as more of a beer that I'd drink on a weekend in the late afternoon while watching an action/adventure movie before dinner than anything else. I don't know if that helps to give you an impression of the beer, but that's the best I can come up with. I don't think it's the best out there in its limited category, but it is worth at least trying.
Review #6,751

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Photo of Buck89
4.24/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter. A bit darker than a typical brown ale but not totally opaque. A modest tan head formed and quickly retreated. The aroma featured the fresh coffee along with vanilla, caramel, toffee, and faint bourbon. Taste followed. The imperial brown base lent a refreshing lightness to the overall drink without taking away from the great coffee flavor and restrained but enjoyable barrel. Hard to believe that this was 11.9%. Very well done. Glad I picked up a 4-pk.

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Photo of TijuanaTovar
4.04/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Smooth imperial BA coffee brown by founders. Their BA series never disappoints. Big fan of backwoods B and this falls a little short by lacking layers/complexity and has a green peppery note from the coffee perhaps. Kinda let down but still good.

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Photo of MattDecker
4.71/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L: pours a deep coffee brown with a fair amount of carbonation
S: chocolatey coffee goodness
T: rich dark chocolate, little coffee, malt, little oaky, slight boozy
Feel: full bodied, but not a deep full body
Overall: for me, reminded me a LOT of KBS. Like if KBS had a little brother. While KBS is a rich decadent chocolate souffle, this is a rich tastey dark chocolate cake. Seriously, for me, it's baby KBS for half the price which seems about right. Delicious!!

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Photo of thebeers
3.96/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty caramel brown color with a lush tan head that leaves modest lacing. Light coffee, caramel malts and bourbon with vanilla and almond notes in the nose. The taste follows, with even stronger almond, light marshmallow, some slight earthy hops and alcohol burn. Creamy, sticky feel. Solid, but not anything that stands out from the pack these days. The coffee gets stepped on a bit, IMO.

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Photo of ilikebeer03
4.37/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown with a light khaki head.
Nose is a blend of fresh roasted coffee, soft bourbon, vanilla,
Taste is a huge wave of soft bourbon, vanilla, oak, fresh roasted coffee, light chocolate, caramel, a touch of toffee. Light earthy hop character. Finish is bourbon, coffee, oak, nutty, touch of marshmallow
Medium plus body. Creamy. Low medium carbonation.

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Photo of VoodooBear
4.01/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz. brown bottle with the bottling date printed on the back label. Served in a tulip glass.

Appearance: The half finger, tan colored head, stays around for a bit and leaves behind a lot of pretty thick lacing. It's a murky, muddy, dull brown color.

Smell: It's a rich and complex aroma that's well layered; starting with fresh roasted coffee beans and malts, followed by vanilla and dark chocolate and ending with a faint, smokey charred oak note.

Taste: The roasted malt and light roast coffee bitterness wraps up the palate at first. Then some sweet vanilla, milk chocolate and brown sugar notes balance things out.

Mouthfeel: It's quite robust but not overwhelmingly so. There's a crisp, high carbonation bite that fades away as the beer warms but is still quite jarring at first.

Overall: "Don't judge a book by its cover"  pretty much sums up this beer. It doesn't look that great, but the smell and taste make up for it. A rich and complex beer that's very enjoyable and quite easy to drink despite the big ABV, surprisingly.

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Photo of consmienor
3.54/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

You can definitely taste the alcohol in this beer and, for me, the bourbon was a little overpowering. However, as I made my way through the 4 pack, each one I enjoyed more than the previous spread out over four days (not in succession!).

I definitely prefer the likes of Dragon’s Milk, Dirty Bastard, and Backwoods Bastard to this, but that does not mean this isn’t a pretty good beer!

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.36/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep brown color with 2 fingers of head that fades down to a thin cap

S: Toasted malt, coffee, oak, bourbon, caramel, nutty undertones, and light molasses

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with the toasted malt, caramel, and bourbon and then picks up some bitter coffee and oaky tannins. Moderately sweet, moderately bitter, well balanced. Finishes with lingering oak, coffee, bourbon, and toasted malt

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation

O: A very nice dessert-like brown with a good balance of sweet and bitter. The bourbon and caramel notes compliment the coffee and oaky tannins very well. Definitely worth checking out

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Photo of sjrider
4.43/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle - pours a deep dark brown coffee color with short khaki head quickly dissipating into a bit of wispy lacing. Nose is coffee,cocoa,wood,bourbon and sweet roasty malt. Taste follows with a smooth slightly boozy finish. Damn- this is good,really f...ing good.

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Photo of Quackershnoc
4.49/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: thick, muddy brown color; two fingers of frothy khaki head

Aroma: coffee; chocolate; nutty; malty; sweet; oak

Taste: starts with a bit of chocolate; moves into a toasty malt profile with chocolate and coffee overtones; nutty notes on the back with more coffee and hints of chocolate; oak and vanilla come through the finish with a hit of boozy warmth

Mouthfeel: liquid velvet; creamy; frothy; perfect

Overall Impression: dang, this is a really great beer; I am very impressed with the amount of flavors, the complexity of the tastes, the balance...I don't quite know what to say about it; the mouthfeel is amazing--perfect 10 if there ever was one; absolutely delicious

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Photo of andypeters1971
4.49/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I normally don't like coffee beers but holy scheisse this is good. Extremely complex with plenty of wood taste and while you absolutely taste the coffee , it's not cloying or over bearing like some are. I don't know how they did this ... Seriously, this is unlike any beer I have had heretofore

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Photo of clayrock81
4.03/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown body with minimal head and no lace. Aroma has mild notes of roasted malts and coffee beans with some woodiness and booziness. Beer is pleasantly smooth thanks to the woody aspect of the beer. Minor chocolate sweetness that balances with a lactic coffee taste and hints of booze. Finishes dry thanks to coffee notes and the high ABV is mostly hidden but when it pops up it is pleasant. This beer is an enjoyable sipper and well worth the time.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.47/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a snifter glass from the bottle.

Appearance: Thin super dark brown body coming off almost opaque. Medium bubbles creating an off-white head going with a tan finished head.

Smell: light coffee aroma accompanied with a very light whiskey feel which dissipates super quickly in the nostrils.

Taste: a very complex dry espresso accompanied with hard-hit of whiskey/bourbon. Lightly malty with bitter notes.

Mouth: ridiculously sticky beer with a soft carbonation. Body is medium at best But The taste lingers.

Overall: incredible beer and one of the finest Founders' beers introduced in the last 3 to 4 years. If you see on the shelf do not let it go grab it and drink. Salud.

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Photo of MNAle
4.21/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Aroma of roasted malts and coffee. Also subtle hints of vanilla. Bourbon is present, but not dominant.

Thick, creamy, tan head leaving thick sheets of lacing as it recedes. Opaque deep brown with a front light, tinges of ruby around the edges with a back light.

Medium to thick body.

Taste is as the aroma: roasted malts are dominant, then the coffee. But the taste mellows in the middle, a little sweet, allowing the more subtle flavors of vanilla and bourbon to come through. I get a little oak, a little alcohol heat in the throat, and, again, bourbon.

Fairly bitter middle and finish. The finish is roasted coffee and dry. Bitterness lingers into the aftertaste. But evening this out, the smooth flavor of vanilla and subtle bourbon remain on the tongue and throat.

Exceptionally good.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
4.4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle into a snifter
Appearance – Appropriately the beer pours a coffee colored dark brown with a head of tan colored foam. The head has a great level of retention, very slowly fading over time to leave a ton of thick foamy lace on the sides of the glass.
Smell – The aroma is big, sweet, and woody. There is a huge caramel and molasses smell that is matched by a roasted malt and a big showing of coffee. Along with these aromas comes some oak aromas and a decent showing of a ice boozy bourbon smell. The beer smells like a sweet mild brew of coffee with a couple shots of bourbon mixed within. Delicious!!
Taste – huge malty tastes of roasted malt and coffee great the tongue along with some sweeter flavors of caramel and molasses balancing them out, and producing a nice base flavor for the beer. While light upfront, the bourbon flavor really begins to amp up as the taste moves forward on the tongue, getting quite delightfully boozy more toward the finish of the taste. At the same time some oak and char along with an earthy hop also comes to the taste accentuating the bourbon flavors quite well. While so, more caramel and a bit of an almost creamy like taste come to the tongue and leave one with a robust boozy roasted coffee flavor to linger on the tongue.
Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is somewhat chewy with a carbonation level that is lower. The lower carbonation accentuates the chewy and thicker feel and really allows the big boozy and sweet coffee flavors to be savored.
Overall – This is one big and robust sipper for sure. Dark, sweet and very robust. A very nice nightcap on a cool fall day!!

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Photo of LarryV
4.82/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours black with a 1/2" tan head. Big aroma of roasted coffee greets the nose, hints at things to come. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with an appropriate level of carbonation. Coffee is right up front - Sumatra is one of my favorite coffees so no argument here. Tinge of oak blends nicely with the dominant coffee notes. Hops grab hold of the sides of the tongue and the flavor lingers long on the palate without being overly sweet. The ABV is well hidden here making it dangerously drinkable. An outstanding beer that leaves me with no complaints, well done!!

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Photo of TreeHouse_Erection
4.31/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

If you gave this to me blind and told me it was a barrel aged stout, I would believe it. Smells great and tastes great. Not much coffee flavor but it’s not even a negative because everything else comes through and works together almost perfectly. If you were expecting big coffee you will be let down but still give it a try.

It actually reminds me of KBS which is a good thing. It has less chocolate, but more bitterness, coconut and vanilla flavors.

Bought it on a whim and am very pleased

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Photo of MaximalC
4.03/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark chestnut with tawny highlights, capped by a mound of sudsy, khaki froth. Mellow aroma smells of toffee, molasses, peanut brittle, dark chocolate, hot cocoa, and bourbon. Sheets of reticulated lacing adorn the glass as the beer recedes.

Balanced flavor profile features roasted malt, bourbon, coffee, and slightly astringent, earthy hops that meld well with the roasty character of the malt. This brew is not easily dissected, as all of the elements synergize with aplomb. 12% ABV is impressively well-masked. Warming reveals notes of coconut and chocolate-chip cookies. Medium body and modest carbonation make for a smooth, slightly still mouthfeel.

Overall, this a classy brew with no glaring weaknesses. What it lacks in intensity it makes up for with execution, and it readily justifies itself at the apex of the American brown ale hierarchy.

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Photo of kevanb
4.17/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle, dated 08.09.19, poured into a Founders gold rimmed KBS glass.

The beer pours a dark burgundy brown, nearly black color, opaque and thick with a khaki head that rises about two fingers and has nice retention and yields a few swatches of lacing. The aroma is lovely, the coffee jumps out nicely but brings out chocolate chip cookie, soft bourbon barrel that is nice and woody, toasted coconut, vanilla and brown sugar find their way out as well. The flavors are great, soft coffee roast and a smooth and oaky bourbon barrel, coconut, vanilla, brown sugar and caramel with a lingering chocolate chip cookie dough. The mouthfeel is good, coating, lively medium body that is smooth and easy and finishes with a warm bite.

Verdict: A nice barrel aged brown ale. The coffee is a great addition but doesn't overpower the beer or let it become one dimensional. There is a great brown ale presence underneath and the barrel really brings out a lot of complexities.

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Photo of VoxRationis
4.46/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, Michigan
A: Pours a rich, dark brown color with a one finger, wheat head, rim retention, but decent rings of camo shaped lacing.
S: Aromas of bourbon, sweet coffee, and vanilla. Boozy nose very evident.
T: Sweet (toward the end sharply so). Flavors follow the nose with the addition of more molasses and chocolate roastiness. Balancing bitterness offsets much of the sweetness.
M: Full bodied with solid carbonation..
O: A delicious take on American Brown Ale. The best that I have had.

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Photo of rajendra82
4.52/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

In my goblet glass, the beer looked dark brown in color at a normal viewing angle and displayed ruby highlights when held against the light. The head was under one finger thick immediately upon pour and dissipated as I typed these first two sentences. The aroma clearly showed that coffee was used during brewing. The barrels of bourbon used in aging seemed to evoke smells of vanilla, and coconut, while the malts smelled quite a bit like toffee and chocolate. The taste was pretty much a what I was smelling, but chocolate and vanilla were more prominent, and the coffee not as much. There was a pleasant alcohol warmth at the end of each sip. The mouthfeel was rich and a little oily. This beer and the Mas Agave before it has sold me big time on the Founders Barrel Aged Series. I am looking forward to the CBS next, hoping it will be available.

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Underground Mountain Brown from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 393 ratings