Underground Mountain Brown
Founders Brewing Company

Underground Mountain BrownUnderground Mountain Brown
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American Brown Ale
Ranked #1
Ranked #531
4.38 | pDev: 7.08%
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
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.
Reviews: 147 | Ratings: 461 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of SFC21
4.13/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Didn’t get a ton in the nose until it warmed up, then got some light chocolate notes. Taste is great, super smooth for a BA beer. Milk chocolate, some cola, light coffee finish. Drinks very light for almost 12%

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Photo of Jordy24
4.85/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

World class beer from Founders from first sip to finish this beer offers a film mouth of chocolate and bourbon with a long coffee aftertaste. Heavy body and long finish. Fills the gap between a quad and imperial stout. Love it!

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Photo of Wxb1111
4.31/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Starts with heavy burnt chocolates made moreso by the aroma. The coffee notes quickly rise to the top and ends with a welcome slightly sweet finish. Beautiful rich dark umber color with a warm tan head. Nice beer I recommend it!

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Photo of Beaver13
3.58/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Pours brown with a small creamy light tan head that goes to a thin film and leaves some lacing.

The aroma is sweet vanilla bourbon, lactose and coffee and some booze.

The flavor is sweet vanilla and lactose with roast coffee and a big boozy finish. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, there's a lot going on. It's overly sweet with too much vanilla and booze drowning out the coffee.

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Photo of stevoj
4.16/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle from Brewers Haven. Dark brown pour capped with a creamy beige head. Aroma is roasty, coffee, chocolate. Taste is mocha, equal parts coffee and chocolate. Sweet and bitter, with only a slight presence of heat. Silky smooth.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.88/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle - $5.49 at Total Wine & More in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Bottled On: 08.08.19.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown body, fairly obscured. Diminishing, beige-hued head.

Smell: Dark toasty, bready malts stirred up with brown sugar and chunky chocolate and given a heavy coffee infusion (faint g-pepper lurking, there), rounded by the oak aging. Slight dark fruitiness, hint of cherry as well as some nuttiness.

Taste: Heavily malty, plenty of caramel, liberally toasted bread, milk chocolate. Drizzle of sweet, sugary treacle and a generous sprinkling of light brown sugar. Cherry ripple, rich coffee, slightly nutty. Vanilla tinged oak. The sugar and alcoholic heat have their fierce lil' pincers out on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. A slight velvety quality to the mouthfeel. Throat-warming, belly-warming.

Overall: A generous, generous maltiness and richly flavorful, and though it skews just a tad bit hot, it's fairly decent (there's no way whatsoever I'd clear the 750ml version without ample help).

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Photo of Gajo74
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark mahogany brown with hints of ruby. A large frothy tan head displays good retention and lacing.

Complex aroma with notes of dark toasted malts, coffee, caramel, dark chocolate, brown sugar and maple syrup. The barrel aging evokes aromatic notes of oak, wood, bourbon, as well as a touch of earthy and minty grass from the hops.

Rich and robust malt flavors, toasty and biscuity with a subtle sweetness. Flavors of coffee and roasty caramel play well alongside raw maple and earthy hops. Lots of understated character coming from the barrel, wood, oak and bourbon. Full and mouth coating with a well tempered alcohol spice. Moderate bitterness burn and a roasty finish. The alcohol spice provides a nice burn, yet, is well masked.

Perhaps the best brown ale I’ve ever had. Easily drinkable for the high ABV and complex yet amazingly balanced.

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Photo of Charlieadams72
4.05/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Look- looks great, nice black color, pour was smooth, similar to KBS and CBS.

Smells to me like Oak up front, followed by sweet chocolate syrup. Really a pleasant smell.

Feels great in mouth. Doesn’t coat mouth as much as KBS and CBS but more than enough to satisfy.

Overall, a pretty good beer. Is it better than CBS, not close. However I did enjoy this beer more than KBS but a tiny margin. I would recommend this beer, let it warm a little as the taste really comes full circle.

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Photo of JediMasterLenin
4.44/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a snifter

Look: Pours a deep amber/brown with a lightly tan finger-width head of fine, fluffy foam leaving fine lacing along the glass.
Smell: Light toffee/brown sugar and toasty malt. Tons of roast coffee.
Taste: Follows the nose exactly, mostly dominated with lots of roasted, nutty, coffee. With lighter notes of caramel/brown sugar, molasses and toasty malts.
Feel: Medium body, with the fine, creamy head lending it a softer feel.
Overall: Rich with roasty coffee, and lighter notes of sweeter brown sugar/caramel/toffee. The fantastically soft, foamy head lends a smooth and satisfying feel to drinking it. A must-try for coffee lovers.

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Photo of Weirdmuse
4.48/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Starts with heavy burnt chocolates made moreso by the aroma. The coffee notes quickly rise to the top and ends with a welcome slightly sweet finish. Beautiful rich dark umber color with a warm tan head. I'm putting a few back for a year or so.

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Photo of PORK
4.69/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12 oz nitro pour....big chocolate aroma with a nice thick head....smooth creamy feel with rich dark chocolate and coffee flavor that hide the big ABV...I wouldn't be able to tell it was oak barrel aged if I wasn't told though. This is an awesome flavor bomb.

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Photo of q33jeff
4.2/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25


Bottle to snifter. About 3 months old. Sampled against other founders beers, BB, KBS, CBH. Just read my several reviews of Sumatra Mountain Brown.

LOOK: Superb look, deep dark brown color. massive creamy beige head with excellent carbonation. This appearance was missing in SMB.
AROMA: Coffee is of course prelavent (Sal); notes of barley an barrel character follow up and compliment nicely.
TASTE: whiskey and barley dominate, oaky finish; coffee lends a hand as well with some bitterness.
FEEL: silky smooth except for a touch of coffee astringency in the finish. Boozy. Medium Body; below average carbonation.


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Photo of LifesAnesthesia
4.7/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L - Opaque, dark brown with a tan head that somewhat sticks around leaving some lacing behind.
S - Tons of roasted, bitter coffee, some oak, some rich dark chocolate and molasses. Some brown sugar as well
T - Largely follows the nose with tons of roasted, bitter coffee up front and throughout along with notes of oak and sweet bourbon as well as rich dark chocolate, molasses, brown sugar, and caramel. Some vanilla in there as well. Some smoke in there as well.
F - Medium, leaning towards fuller bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Rich and smooth.
O - A fantastic brown ale. Slightly improves upon the standard base. Overall one of the best brown ales out there in my opinion.

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Photo of mschrei
4.73/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Number one American brown ale? This must be good. And you know what? It is! The best part about is how I thought I was drinking a stout initially. It looks like one, just a bit lighter, and it certainly smells of roasted malt and strong coffee with mild bourbon barrel hints of wood and booze, but then the taste throws a curveball at you. There’s plenty of roasty malt and strong bitter coffee flavor up front, but the hoppy presence definitely asserts itself and is accompanied by a tangy jam on the back end. Feel is interesting-it’s got a kind of light body to it and it’s very mouth watering, and man, is that alcohol disguised well. It definitely rounds out as it warms, but I don’t know how warm it’s going to get because it tastes too damn good to let sit for long! This is a really excellent beer, one of the best in the Founders rotational series.

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Photo of stephens101
4.06/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown with crimson hues.

Aroma is strong but pleasant with coffee grounds, brown sugar, plum and berry.

Brown sugar, caramel and coffee bean and a touch of pine, oak and gum through the finish.

Enough alcohol to warm you on a cool fall evening.

A tasty brew, especially if you're a coffee lover.

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

Always very happy to find a Founders beer on the shelf that I've never had before, and even happier of it's a barrel-aged
offering. After years of sampling beers from this Michigan brewer, I'm convinced they are the new world barrel aging masters. A little sharper than a b/a stout, a little smoother than a whiskey b/a, this one is very balanced and smooth, not to mention delicious. Thank you yet once again Founders.

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Photo of jmdrpi
4.27/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle, dated 8/7/19 so about 2 months old

Very dark brown, cream colored head. Decent head retention. Huge aroma of bourbon, espresso, and a hint of chocolate. Similar flavors in the taste, a touch boozy, some vanilla in the finish. Mild sweetness. Medium bodied.

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Photo of DIM
4.54/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is simply marvelous. I have tried and loved plenty of barrel aged imperial stouts with coffee. What a magnificent change of pace! The lighter body and subdued roastiness of this brown ale make it wonderful showcase for the Sumatra coffee addition. The coffee notes show up mid palate and build to a robust, deeply satisfying finish.

The barrel character is well incorporated, bordering on subtle. I found sweet bourbon and hints of vanilla up front with a faint woody tingle intermingled with the coffee at the end. This doesn't come across as having spent a year in the barrel.

I can't get enough of this beer. I have bought over case to share and enjoy over the winter. Simply stellar.

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

This one pours a fairly dark brown color, with a small white head, and a little bit of lacing.

This smells like smoky and nutty coffee, roasted malt, baked bread, oak, earthy vanilla, leathery bourbon, caramel, and toffee.

This is some real burly stuff. It's pretty roasty and smoky, with lots of nutty and black coffee flavors, along with a heavy cedar and oak sort of flavor. There's some pine, caramel, toffee, and black breadiness, along with a nice leathery and vanilla-heavy bourbon type flavor.

This is creamy, and pretty rich, with a good level of drinkability.

I don't think this is quite better than regular Sumatra Mountain Brown, but it's still a tremendous beer.

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Photo of KRug
3.5/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 8/9/19

My first brown ale ever and it's #1 for the style, sweeeetttt

The pour into my snifter is a murky, opaque brown with 2 fingers of khaki colored head

Given my complete lack of experience with the style, I equate the nose to KBS, very rich and malty with coffee and chocolate notes with woodiness to back it up, though I get an almost maple quality here

The taste was actually a little bit of a let down, the coffee seems muted and the malt was overbearing, almost going into a sickly sweet territory. I really want to like this, but maybe this is just not my style

The feel is nice and smooth, almost a nitro-like finish, but doesn't exactly make up for the fact that I don't enjoy the taste

It's not an overall bad brew, I enjoy it, but only in small doses. I was excited to try this given its' ranking, but I either fell for the hype or just don't enjoy the style. It seemed almost indistinguishable from a stout. I'll have to try some other examples of the style, any suggestions?

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Photo of smcolw
4.11/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Deep dark brown and apparently clear. Moderate lace from the minor head.

The smell reminds me of a collection of semi-burnt branches. There’s a mild, almost barley wine rich nose with a touch of alcohol.

Smooth, thick semi-dry barley wine start. The swallow draws out a burnt, ashen taste. Thicker than most brown ales and certainly far more potent. Low carbonation with an above average richness. The finish is like a dry brandy with a thicker body.

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Photo of Franziskaner
4.12/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chestnut brown in color with excellent clarity. There’s a fingernail of brown on top. Light lacing. The aroma is of aggressive sumatra coffee, vanilla, and bourbon. I’m tasting the bold, dark sumatra coffee bourbon and vanilla. The mouth is dry, thick, and heavy.

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Photo of Longhorn08
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark dark brown with frothy white head that dissipates within a minute or two.

Smells of bourbon and brown sugar. Coffee takes a while to pick up.

Taste follows the nose. Reminds me of a lighter less bitter coffee of KBS, which I like.

Feels like a brown ale should. Personally all brown ales are a bit thin, but it’s where it should be.

Overall, my wife and I will enjoy this 4 pack.

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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 unlikelyspiderperson
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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Underground Mountain Brown from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 461 ratings