Underground Mountain Brown
Founders Brewing Company

Underground Mountain BrownUnderground Mountain Brown
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American Brown Ale
Ranked #1
Ranked #520
4.43 | pDev: 7.22%
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.
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Reviews: 53 | Ratings: 215
Photo of Lucular
4.17/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

5 oz pour on draft. This is a big, boozy brown ale with plenty of coffee and bourbon flavors while still being fairly smooth. I think I prefer regular Sumatra Brown Ale but I will revisit after having this review from the bottle.

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Photo of bsp77
4.4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Delicious Brown Ale that really is all about the Sumatra coffee and the bourbon barrel aging, with some nice chocolate and caramel undertones. Scarily easy to drink.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.48/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a very dark brown with a one finger tan head. Good amount of soapy lacing.

S - Aroma is vanilla, caramel and bourbon.

T - The taste is coffee, dark chocolate, caramel, vanilla, oak and bourbon.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel with a soft dry finish.

O - Founders nailed this one. Perfect mix of coffee and bourbon.

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Photo of DokiDokiLitFam
4.49/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a dark transculent brown, with a finger of head. Nice lacing.

Smells is mild coffee, bourbon, and chocolate. This smell is great. Not as hearty as a stout. Which in this instance is a good thing. Everything is mellow and laid back without strong malt invading everyones personal space.

Taste is wood right up front. Followed immediately by bittersweet chocolate and rich coffee. Wow. Like chocolate covered coffee beans in a glass. Bourbon persists throughout. Taking it slow. Nice and smooth.

A good amount of carbonation. Having to remind myself that this is neither a porter nor a stout. This is a near perfect consistency. Not too thin, but still silky and smooth enough to remind you of something more than a brown ale.

This is just another feather in Founders cap. A wonderful brew. One that you can tell took care and attention. In my opinion, deserving of more praise than their quintessential Breakfast Stout.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.24/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from Bert's
Dark brown almost black in color with a creamy tan head that slowly dissipates. Huge rich creamed coffee nose with bits of chocolate caramel earth and hints of vanilla oak. Creamy medium to full body really nice brown ale.

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Photo of Claude-Irishman
4.2/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep burgundy color with a beautiful mocha colored creamy head. Smell is reminiscent of coffee,toffee,mild vanilla. Taste barrel notes, coffee, vanilla,ethyl, very strong bourbon notes. Feels medium bodied, not viscous or oily.Well crafted. Anyone remember Founders Sumatra brown ? This seems identical almost except for the barrel aging and maybe lack of oats. Well done. Really enjoy all of the Founders barrel aged series. Recommend.

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Photo of ovaltine
4.58/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Looks like the world’s greatest glass of Coca Cola (or Pepsi Cola if that’s your party of choice), which is what I’d expect an imperial brown ale to look like.

The nose is a treasure trove of magnificent aromas, including earthy coffee, caramel, and toffee, but the winning vote here is cast by the oak and vanilla notes from the barrel.

The taste ..... there’s a little burn from the alcohol, which is to be expected given the 11.9% ABV, but it’s actually a great complement to the caramel and toffee flavors, and it allows the oak and vanilla to pump fake you that they’re the deciding votes on the taste - and then the coffee sneaks in at 5:59 pm on Election Day to cast the deciding vote.

There’s a subtlety and nuance to this beer that is a marvel to observe. The mouthfeel is just s smidge “soft” (watery), otherwise this beer is worthy of every bit of praise it receives. Truly world class, IMHO.

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Photo of SawDog505
4.71/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 16 oz Snulip glass bottled on 8/07/19. Pours a beautiful mahogany with a 3 plus finger sticky cream colored head, that leaves webs of lace all over the place with solid retention and drank at about 48 degrees. 4.5

Smell is is coffee, hazelnut, vanilla beans, brown sugar, cocoa, and Oaked bourbon outstanding. 4.75

Taste follows coffee, hazelnut, brown sugar, vanilla, cocoa, and oaky bourbon. 4.75

Mouthfeel is Yogi bigger than your average BEER, creamy with just the right amount of life, not very dry, and at 11.9% ABV extremely approachable. 5

Overall this lived up to my extremely high expectation. With Fall around the corner, this will be in my glass often. Wow 4.5

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Photo of VABA
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A- Pours a very dark color with a light tan head and lacing
A- Aroma has abundant Bourbon and Sumatran coffee hints
M-The taste follows the nose with a very generous Bourbon and Sumatran coffee flavor
M-A medium bodied moderately carbonated beer
O-A very well done Brown Ale

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Photo of jkblr
4.54/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottled 08.07.19 (25 days ago) poured into a teku glass at fridge temp 11.9% ABV. The beer pours dense dark brown with chocolate tan colored head. The head slowly recedes to a fat ring and leaves plenty of lacing. The aroma is coffee forward with vanilla and oak drifting out beneath. The taste follows the nose with bold dark roast coffee first followed by oak, vanilla and bourbon. The finish is moderately bitter and mostly dry with an earthy, oaky flavor. The mouthfeel is creamy with medium to full body and average carbonation. Overall, excellent. Founder's has applied the barrel in a very nuanced way here and it's delicious. Recommended.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.84/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Appearance - The beer leaned more black than brown in color with a tan head.

Smell - The beer was very oaky for a brown, which was delightful.

Taste - At first, all I could think about was dark chocolate. Not far behind, were notes of dark roast coffee, sweet bourbon, and light oak and vanilla notes. Despite all that was going on, the base pier was allowed to shine.

Mouthfeel - It was easy to tell, that this was a brown. It was not overly thick like a stout. It was the perfect template for the adjuncts.

Overall - Founders hit an absolute homerun with this one.

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Photo of morimech
4.05/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very dark beer with a nice head. Some lacing is left down the glass. Dominant aroma is bourbon and coffee with more subtle hints of vanilla, baking spices, and alcohol. Complex flavor with the bourbon barrel complimenting the coffee. I like the Sumatra coffee. A bit of heat in the finish from the alcohol. Not much of the base brown ale is detectable. Lovely carbonation compliments the big body.

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Photo of Ronl12
3.79/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle into chalice. Dtaed 7/30/19.
Look is dark brown/black. Smell is chocolate, roasted, malt. Taste follows with coffee coming in at midddle and end. Feel is creamy. Overall, very good for what it is.

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Photo of gatornation
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep brown color with some copper highlights and a creamy tan head. Smell is coffee first with chocolate and roasted malts. Taste is also smooth roasted coffee, with chocolate and a hint of vanilla mixed with subtle bourbon. Mouth feel is creamy smooth with coffee roast, ABV well hidden. Very impressed with this BA coffee Brown its better than i thought it was going to be,more coffee than barrel however all components balanced nicely,

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Photo of BB1313
3.8/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 8/9/19. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours a dark brown with a fluffy and creamy khaki head that falls slowly leaving great thick retention and sticky lacing. The aromas are subtle. Hints of vanilla, cocoa and caramel. Some coconut in the mix. Mild hints of bourbon in the background. Lots of malts. The aromas open up a bit as it warms
The flavors are a bit bolder. Lots of chocolate. The coffee is balanced, but definitely leaves its mark. More hints of vanilla and caramel. The bourbon is subtle and accents everything else that's going on. Some oak/wood. Strong malt backbone. It's not bitter or sweet. Everything seems balanced. Alcohol is extremely well hidden for being such a big beer. Mouthfeel is full-bodied with moderate carbonation. It's very fluffy, creamy, velvety and smooth. This beer is the epitome of being dangerously drinkable. It's hard to believe this beer is almost 12% ABV.

This is a pretty solid brew. I guess maybe I was personally expecting this to be "crazier", probably due to the ingredients plus the hype, but it's still pretty good nonetheless. The coffee, bourbon and everything else is balanced, but they're all noticeable and come through. It's enjoyable stuff. I like it. It's probably even better than my "numerical score" might indicate.

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Photo of MacMalt
4.43/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 7/30/2019. Poured into a tulip glass. It pours a very dark walnut - almost black. The foamy, light khaki-colored head dissipated quickly leaving a thin coating of lacing. The smell is great! Roasted malt, dark milk chocolate, freshly-brewed coffee, vanilla, caramel, and earthy nuts. There isn't a lot of barrel on the nose. But you can taste the bourbon immediately and it combines with the rich chocolate and coffee. There are also subtle dark fruit and maple syrup notes, burnt nuts, and a touch of earthy char. The bourbon is prevalent throughout but it's delicate and doesn't overwhelm the other flavors. They blend seamlessly. The feel is rich and creamy with moderate carbonation. The 11.9% ABV is warming but not overpowering. Overall, this is one of the very best Brown Ales I've had. The flavors are bold but compliment each other very well. This is a pleasure to drink!

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.47/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(12 oz bottle, bottled on 07.30.19... poured into a snifter)

L: deep dark garnet brown liquid, appears to have clarity; ample gummy-spongy tan foam on the pour - shot up, had to carefully pour, but it worked... bulging bubbly collar keeps; some jagged, crusty streaks of lace

S: whole coffee beans, Irish coffee spirit, dark chocolate, toasted cocoa powder... excellent intensity and depth; bold but not boozy... bourbon barrel may primarily lend a bit of vanilla wafting up the nostril rears after each sip

T: ethanol surges up front, charging ahead of the caramel-coffee choco-chunks trailing close behind; strident, medicinal alcohol wooshing through the finish, its spice flaming out slowly; thick malt milk quietly passes through; lovely clipped underbelly to the malt, subtly sweet; caramel-kissed creme essence... nutty chocolate takes a few moments to emerge in the aftertaste, and persists; lovely degree of dryness... mellow bourbon action apparent, though it creeps up by the end

F: sultry, smooth malty body, blasted across the top with bright beam of booze... it all homogenizes midway through; not far off from actual Irish coffee, minus the higher mercury reading

O: a lot of things to gush over here - lithe luscious malts, white-hot booze, nutty-coffee-cacao... Irish coffee brown ale? - that's all I got (1499)

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Photo of beerbully
4.46/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L-1 finger off white head that leaves fairly thick lacing that disappears in a minute r two........dark mahogany color.....

S-Chocolate, coffee, molasses, caramel, vanilla, mild woody barrel notes

T-Bourbon far more pronounced than the nose would indicate.......chocolate, bourbon, coffee, caramel, wood, maple syrup.......finish is complex with notes of bourbon, chocolate, coffee.......finish lingers for a while and is very pleasant

F-body is medium, not quite the thickness of a BBA Stout.......tingles the tongue......carb is on par with style.....alcohol heat

O-Great brew.........will buy more

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Photo of Wolvmar
3.73/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle. Didn’t see date but likely early Aug as I picked up on first day of distro. Poured into red wine glass.

Pour: medium brown with a hint of amber. Small light tan head, leaves a thin ring and cloudy surface. Bubble lacing that lasts.

Nose: hints of sweet bourbon, coffee, toffee and malt.

Taste: balanced coffee, chocolate malt, fairly subtle bourbon. Coffee seemed more subtle than the base Sumatra. Nothing particularly bold, reasonably balanced.

Mouthfeel: moderate carbonation. A little thinner than expected but pleasant.

Overall: definitely worth a try but not super special. Probably won’t buy more but glad to try it. Have a bottle to age and will see how that goes.

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Photo of Sparty1224
4.24/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Serving: 12 oz. bottle poured into a Founder's CBS snifter. Bottled on 8/7/19, making this just over 2 weeks old.

A: Pours lighter brown, of course.Off-white head around the edges. Thinner body than I remember.

S: Not as much coffee as I remember. It's wrapped in a faint bourbon aroma with quite an aged, musty smell as well. Almost as if the beer was aged an extra year.

T: Nice sumatra coffee up front, followed by sweet bourbon notes. Quite acidic, some bright vanilla and marshmallow as well.

M: On the thinner side, and a bit more boozy than I would like.

O: So this beer and I go way back. I believe it's debut as BA Sumatra Mountain Brown was at the 2012 KBS release. I'll never forget being there that night and actually preferring this beer to KBS. They were the first two BA beers I had ever had, really, and this one blew me away much more than the hyped KBS. Had I reviewed this back then, it'd probably get a 5/5. It's really been one of my all-time favorite beers, and even the base beer is in my Top 20. But I'm afraid this beer is another example of post-expansion Founder's releasing a diluted and mass-produced product that really needs more careful attention. We all know CBS and KBS aren't what they were, and this one falls in line. It's thin, boozy, unbalanced, and just not enjoyable. Where's the explosive coffee aroma? Where's the rich coffee ale with chewy bourbon and vanilla notes. It's nice to see them finally bottle this (to please the fans, I'm sure) but it really would have been better off as a Mothership small-batch release. But over 7 years later, I guess I'll take whatever I can get.

Recommendation: Certainly worth a try if you've never had it, but if you're looking to be transported back to 2012, I say pass.

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Photo of drunkenmess
4.51/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look is super dark brown almost black. Hints of dark ruby amber.
Fluffy off white head that settles to a sticky spotty oily loose lace thru out.
Nose is sweet. Maple, bourbon, chocolate, coffee.
Taste is dark roast coffee. Maple sugar, roasted malts. Slight bourbon.
Thin to medium mouthful. Light lingering after taste of coffee and brown ale.

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Photo of Junior
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L - Dark brown with a thin mocha head after a hard pour.
S - Coffee and roasted melt dominate the aroma with a hint of bourbon.
T - Coffee up front with some roasted caramel and bourbon at the end.
F - Lightly carbonated with alcohol heat.
O - Founders hit the mark on this one. Not as thick or chocolatey as KBS but the coffee and bourbon are in full force. This is a great beer. Great balance. You are going to want to drink this one quickly so be careful.

I did have this at the 2017 CBS release at Founders taproom. I didn't write a review, but I remember it being a bit thicker and creamier. I could be wrong though.

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Photo of beersampler6
4.26/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Outstanding beer that lives up to its hype. Sampled it on tap at Founders Brewery. Nice deep dark brown color with very little head and some lingering lacing. Smells great - dark roast coffee and a little vanilla and bourbon. Tastes of dark coffee, vanilla, wood, bourbon and just hints of caramel and dark chocolate. Surprising since I usually associate these kinds of beers with both coffee and chocolate tastes. Though the ABV is higher, the alcohol taste was well-hidden and not upfront at all. Smooth, clean, slightly creamy mild mouthfeel with just the right amount of carbonation. This is definitely my favorite Founders beer so far - will have to pick up bottles of the original Sumatra Mountain Brown at the local store this week!

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Photo of TheSixthRing
4.37/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From tasting notes 10/20/17
Had on-tap at Founders in Grand Rapids, MI

Appearance - Served in an oversized snifter, near black with cola brown edging. Mostly barren surface with an island of suds in the center and a thin ring around the edge if the glass. Fair lacing consists of broken lines and slotting.

Smell - As with the OG, the BA has an enticing aroma. Roasted coffee, chocolate, caramel, vanilla, oak and underlying bourbon booziness.

Taste - Follows the nose. Coffee, chocolate, caramel and some bourbon qualities upfront. Bourbon holds firm throughout, adding vanilla and oak before a hint of heat bites in the chocolatey finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied with light tingly carbonation. Creamy upfront before turning a dry, slightly boozy finish.

Overall - Equally as impressive as the OG Sumatra. The BA process just adds another layer of goodness. Highly recommended if you're ever by the brewery. Hopefully they decide to add it to their Barrel Project series at some point.

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Photo of mjshearer1
4.74/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this at the 2012 KBS release party at Founders.

Appearance: Chestnut brown with a thin head.

Smell: Huge notes of coffee with vanilla and caramel. Smelled positively divine. I think I smelled this beer more often than I actually sipped it.

Taste: Like the best cup of coffee you've ever had. The bourbon is extremely well hidden underneath the coffee, vanilla, caramel, and hints of maple syrup and toffee.

Mouthfeel: Extremely smooth, not a lot of carbonation, decent body to it.

Overall: This is one of the best beers I've ever had, period. I honestly keep debating with myself whether I enjoyed this or the KBS more. I do know I drank more of these than the KBS at the release (I also foolishly assumed I'd be able to snag some bottles in the area since I live here), so take that for what you will. If Founders ever releases this outside of the taproom, I will be one of the first ones to line up.

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Underground Mountain Brown from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 97 out of 100 with 215 ratings