Underground Mountain Brown
Founders Brewing Company

Underground Mountain BrownUnderground Mountain Brown
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American Brown Ale
Ranked #1
Ranked #558
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: 128 | Ratings: 409
Photo of pants678
3.87/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

Black with tan head like most stouts.

Bourbon, chocolate malt, coffee.

Taste like a brown, or rather a lacking stout. Bitter coffee combines with heat of bourbon for a pretty hard licorice/anise flavor. Chocolate notes are secondary. Not exactly what I'm looking for.

Not quite full bodied. More carbonation's needed, IMO.

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Photo of mintzmeet
4.14/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

On draft at Ashley’s in Ann Arbor. Nice hazelnut brown. Delicious ale. Nutty flavors. Way stronger than it tastes. Nice aftertaste of absinthe. Coffee notes.

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

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Deep brown/near black. 1/2 finger of creamy tan head.

Hazelnut, espresso, coffee, bourbon, vanilla, and oak.

Hazelnut, espresso, and coffee grounds. Baker's chocolate, caramel, and roasted barley. Smooth bourbon with nuances of charred oak and vanilla.

Medium bodied, silky, oily, creamy, sticky, warming, and balanced.

Founders is still knocking it out of the park! Incredibly smooth for the near 12%.

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Photo of sjdevel
4.62/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

LOOK - super dark brown and a 1-2 finger head upon pouring from a 12 oz bottle - stays nice and active and head retention is decent for a barrel aged beer
SMELL - rich chocolate, coffee, and caramel - fairly strong oak barrel and bourbon - some slight earthy/bread notes/yeast
TASTE - HUGE bite of bourbon and then some bitterness (hops or dark roasted grains - dark roasted coffee) - this one is pretty boozy, but it is almost 12%!! After the booze dies down, you get some nice coffee and toffee flavors that are sweet and very rich - would be great with some ice cream - the sweetness fades out and then the smokey burnt log flavor comes in - can't really make out that it is a brown ale, it might as well be a porter or a stout
FEEL - nice and thick - but a bit syrupy / oily
OVERALL - This is a really good barrel aged beer. I didn't get much from the Brown Ale side for this one as the barrel aging and bourbon steal most of the show - very flavorful but very high ABV and boozy - which isn't a horrible thing - very good beer - a dessert beer - I'd consider blending this up with some ice cream to make a milkshake

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Photo of Treyliff
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours brown in color with a one-finger foamy off-white head that has good retention after the pour

S- aroma is an equal dose of bourbon and herbal sumatran coffee, with undertones of brown malts, roasted nuts, cracked pepper & brown sugar

T- Coffee-forward upfront with the Sumatra coffee really shining, earthy and herbal with notes of black pepper. Mid-palate starts to bring out notes of oak, caramel, toffee and a hint of vanilla. The finish brings out notes of toasted hazelnuts, before more herbal coffee pops through and the bourbon barrel lingers long after

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and slightly warming finish

O- a showcase of Sumatra coffee and bourbon, outstanding

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Photo of Hyptochrons
4.52/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

its a truly beautiful looking brew, aromas are of rich coffee roast, bourbon, vanilla. palate follows with the coffee leading the way but there is also a sugary roasted nut character and plenty of barrel sweeetness to balance out an admittedly overbearing coffee flavor. the coffee is roasty, earthy, acidic, and sharp, but there is sweeetness, oak, and booze to stand up to the coffee.

there is plenty of sweetness from the barrel but honestly overall this one is a little rough around the edges with the sharp coffee character and boozy notes.

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

Drinking out of an Innis and Gunn glass - somewhat appropriate.
Nice dark walnut brown color, but still slightly transparent.
Nutty, coffee smell.
The coffee and bourbon come out strongly in the taste.
Very reminiscent of an imperial stout, but lighter.
Very nice!!

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Photo of woodychandler
4.22/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Roll out the barrels for this portion of New Back to the Beer Future Sunday, Part 3 (Week 761) with a return to NBS Week 720 & my friends, Dave & Mike, at Founders. Oops, I'm not supposed to name-drop. Hey, when I have a standing invite to Marigold Kitchen for breakfast & a ride out to Olin-Turville Park for the GTMW, it's tough not to mention them & their S/Os. I really want to get back aht there after a multi-year hiatus.

From the Bottle: "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."

This was how I was going to start today until I read @cjgiant & his mention of Oktoberfest.

This one needed a soundtrack & for me, it was The Jam's "Going Underground". Jim Shuba turned me on to them back in 1982 & it was a revelation. Still is.

I Pop!ped the cap & while I wanted to go aggro, I held back & let it gently slide into my tilted, awaiting glass. By restoring it to a full & upright position, it began a pseudo-cascade that formed two-plus fingers of dense, foamy, rocky, deep-tan/light-brown head with great retention, leaving a load of lacing as a souvenir. Color was Dark Brown to Very Dark Brown (SRM = > 27, < 34) with gorgeous garnet highlights. Nose smelled strongly of the rich, bitter & black coffee that I had this morning! Mmm. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, not quite creamy, but in the neighborhood. I let it just roll around in my mouth & on my tongue to warm. It was mos def a coffee-infused Brown Ale, but the intensity imbued by the alcohol was unlike anything in recent memory. I dislike "unique", but this was very different. Warming, it tasted like my late-Pops' favorite ice cream - Tin Roof Sundae with chocolate, vanilla, caramel, fudge & peanuts! OMFG. I miss the old man, gone 18-+ years now. 8=(

This was a beer that he might have actually enjoyed sharing with me. He & Mom-Za were both low imbibers & thought that I might be headed down a wrong path as a young man. I survived many untoward events & really came into my own as a drinker while in the Navy. Mom-Za is & was more into cocktails, but between me & Cousin Colby of Ballast Point, she is willing to taste beers. Oops, more name-dropping.

As I drank through it, I became more & more aware of my inherent bugaboo. I don't like sweets! When a beer begins by tasting like liquefied ice cream, is this tiger going to change its spots? Er, is this leopard going to rearrange its stripes? Er … I've clearly been imbibing. 8=(

At any rate, despite my mangled analogies, it was TOO sweet for my liking. 8=( I have enjoyed their base Imperial Brown Ale in the past, but this tipped the scales a little too much towards sweet for me. I do not have diabetes, although it runs in the family on both sides & I get tested for it annually. That said, I begin to get a flushed itchiness when too much sugar is present & that was starting to happen here. Allergy? Perhaps. At any rate, I was happy to be closing in on the end of the contents of the bottle. Finish remained sweet & while I wanted to steer away from such things, the day dictated otherwise. YMMV.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.55/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Top tier brown ale, essentially black in the glass under a foamy tan head... Lots of coffee and roasted malt on the nose, aired out with wood notes... Really only mildly sweet, with molasses-like flavors, but refreshingly drying, roasty and toasty, full of warm coffee and earthy whiskey barrels... Medium-full bodyfeel, subtle carbonation, with a bitter shellac of brown coffee resin left behind... Gotta try it...

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Photo of russpowell
4.28/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours an effervescent mahogany with a pinky of tan head. Some lacing & head retention

S: Coffee, whisky barrel, great nose

T: Follows the nose, dryness, vanilla, hazelnut & a little booze bite up front. Barrel dryness, plenty of coffee & more hazelnut. Finishes pretty dry with coffee & barrel

MF: Fairly chewy, subdued carbonation

I liked this but the barrel & coffee forward nature kept me from loving it. Will try to age my last 2 bottles to see how it ages

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Photo of AZBeerDude72
4.34/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark brown/black with rich tan/white head and loads of lacing.
N: Barrel notes with nice coffee essence, dark chocolate, malt, and roasted barley.
T: Really nice barrel hit with a solid acidic coffee feel, dark chocolate, malt and burnt caramel with some barley flavors.
M: Full feeling with a mild ABV burn.
O: A really solid beer but almost too green, I think a few months would mellow this one out.

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

I was really feeling paranoid about not finding this anywhere around me. Finally I located it by phone quite a way away and was internally weighing the wisdom of traveling so far and then found it when I took Teddy, my avatar, to a dog park and made an excursion, give or take a mile or two or TEN, and found it (is that what Founders *really* means?). Anyway it's still unseasonably hot around here so I was thinking of maybe a nice Oxbow farmhouse ale until I said to myself "just do it after all the horseshit you've been through". So here we are!

8/8/2019 12 oz bottle poured in a DFH tulip. Nice inch tan head over a dark brown body that never quite dissipated. Smell is very coffee forward with a nice booze barrel tinge. Taste was the big surprise because with all the flavors in the smell it's remarkably light (after all it is a brown ale) for the last Saturday of the summer while still packing a flavor heft. Mouthfeel is zesty and refreshing. A friend of mine told me he combined this with Founders Breakfast Stout which makes 100% sense.

All my bitching has been rewarded. This is at least as good as expected.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.44/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz, bottled on 08.08.19. A thick foam rests atop a dark brown ale. Boozy and malty aroma with plenty of coffee. Complex flavors with notes of coffee, dark malt, chocolate, grain, caramel, toffee, boozy bourbon, oak, and vanilla. Full body, ample carbonation allowing flavors to meld on the palate; boozy but not overly considering the ABV. Great utilization of coffee and bourbon barrel aging - exceptional beer!

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Underground Mountain Brown has a medium, beige head, a dark brown, nearly opaque, somewhat bubbly appearance, with some glass lacing. The aroma is of rich dark-roast coffee, brown bread crust, and vanilla bourbon. Taste is similar, with no acrid bitterness. Mouthfeel is heavy, with an unfortunate chalky underbody, to an extent. Underground Mountain Brown finishes midway sweet/dry.


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Photo of JohnFred4
4.49/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: A hint lighter than CBS, and a hint darker than "Take 'Er Easy Dude". Persistent Lacing

Smell: Oof. Bourbon and oak. love.

Taste: Similar to CBS, tastes like maple sweetness, but with more dark chocolate, if that's possible. If CBS is regular dark chocolate, this is a higher cocoa %. Bourbon barrel aging is apparent.

Overall: I guess this is a brown ale? Wouldn't know if you hadn't told me, pretty stouty. But I guess lighter.

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Photo of Oh_Dark_Star
3.86/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L: A deep auburn brown - nearly black without a light source. Two-finger dark beige head disipates to a partial cap and ring with stellar retention and clumpy lacing.

S: Boozy upfront. Sweet molasses and toasted sugars. Raisins.

T: Cloyingly sweet, follows the nose with mineral (wet stone) scotch at the back end and aftertaste.

F: Thin for the ABV. Hot. Mouthfeel is otherwise medium and coating. Good carbonation.

O: Not too big a fan. Enjoyed the Sumatra more. I will age one though as I thing it will balance out a bit. Will update.

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

From the 12 oz bottle in a snifter. This beastly brew pours a
dark and muddled ruby tinged brown with a nice head of khaki
foam that settles to a thick ring, thin layer, and displays some very nice
lacing. Nose of earthy malts, coffee, deep roast, char, and dank
barrel notes. Flavors knock it out of the park with dark earthy
malts mingling nicely with oak and subtle bourbon elements
amongst brown sugar and light vanilla nestled amongst
elements of light cream and boozy goodness....and coffee....
LOTS of it, rich and inviting to the other drink of choice!
Very nice mouth feel; medium full body, expressive booze
warmth, moderately dry, and featuring light prickly

Overall, a SUPERB ale from a FANTASTIC brewery!


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Photo of mgundy32
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark brown with a thick tan head. Tons of coffee and some chocolate on the nose. Lots of coffee up front on the sip fading to oaky warmth that lingers from the alcohol. Thinner body per the style.

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Photo of Steve_Studnuts
4.17/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Couple fingers worth of fluffy, tannish head sits atop one of the darker brown ales I've laid eyes on. Some real nice lacing going on as it recedes. Nose is complex as fuck; there's the bourbon notes and all that they entail (vanilla, charred oak, light caramel) mixing with toasty malts and roasted beans. Smells fantastic. Taste falls somewhere short of that, but still very good. Bourbon kind of overpowers on the back end. I like bourbon, but I thought I was sipping a beer here! Somewhat shy of medium-bodied on the mouthfeel, with just a touch more carbonation than I'd like. Overall a very tasty beer, if quite the departure from how I remember the (excellent) base beer. This is nowhere near as sweet or coffee-forward, but that's cool. You do you, Underground Mountain!

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

12 oz. bottle.
Bottled 08/09/19.
Moderate pour yields a 3/4 inch light tan head over a dark brown body with mahogany edges and some lacing. Nose of dark roasted malt and coffee; vanilla and caramel; and a bit of bourbon and oak. Taste mirrors nose wonderfully with the caramel, vanilla, bourbon, and oak asserting themselves right through the finish when the Sumatra coffee comes back. Very nice feel and overall, yeah, this is worthy! Cheers!!!

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Photo of jrc1093
4.21/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 8/9/19

Pours an incredibly deep brown featuring bright red highlights when held to light; large, rich, and frothy khaki head fades steadily to islands of cap, a light ring of foam, and sensex consistent walls of lacing.

Aroma presents a continued burst of robust roasted coffee, perpetually informing the bouquet against underlying bakers chocolate, burnt toffee, and boozy whiskey.

Taste shows more powerful roast coffee ag the forefront, but deepens with notes of mild creamy vanilla, charred whiskey barrel, and thin caramel, while toasted malts of the base brown ale are still shining through; a touch of smooth cocoa/milk chocolate fades delicately into the finish.

Mouthfeel has a medium/medium-light body with a creamy medium carbonation; a robust char is balanced through the mid-palate, transitioning softly to a slightly drying, semi-bittersweet malty finish.

This is a powerful coffee-forward ale, but with a rounded presence of the base brown ale remaining integral to the profile; the barrel doesn't dominate, but syncs calmly into the background. Overall, a very well-executed BA brown ale, taking equal hints from both barrel and base and this creating a beer both rich and uniquely drinkable.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.9/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle. Pours deep brown, nearly black. Big khaki head. Smells of bourbon, oak, vanilla, and all the barrel notes primarily. Coffee backdrop with maybe a little bit of nutty malt sweetness. Tastes a little more balanced. Coffee and nutty malts take a more central role with bourbon still strong, but not the dominance it has in the nose. Back end is dry, oaky, boozy, and a shade bitter from the alcohol. Medium heavy. It's big and boozy, but it's mostly bourbon flavor, so it gets a little bit of a pass. Also, it just isn't that sweet. Sometimes I pick up 12 oz. singles of beers I don't expect to like much, which is what I did here. I remember the non-BA versions being guilty pleasures and this delivers in the same way. It's silly alcoholic but it's very tasty and surprisingly easy to drink.

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Photo of 2beerdogs
4.2/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Deep slightly opaque brown in color. Fluffy mocha colored head rises, slowly fades to scattered bubbles. No lacing
Smell pushes a melange of dark roast coffee, charred brown sugar, and bourbon swagger.
Taste follows faithfully. Oh so light on the bourbon kiss comes the coffee. A round, charred sweetness comes through with smoky caramel, deep roasted coffee, dark chewy dates, a hint of squaw bread, and then it comes 'round full circle to a melange of dark roast coffee with a firm kiss of bourbon. The sweetness dries out a bit on the finish.
Mouthfeel is on the heftier side of medium. Not quite chewy, but significant. Carbonation is not visibly a factor, yet still adds to the feel.
Overall, a super solid brown ale.

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Photo of jzlyo
3.94/5  rDev -10%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Aroma is malts, sweet caramel and mild bourbon. The flavor is coffee, malts/slightly nutty, chocolate and a medium sweet/caramel/a hint of sour finish.

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

Pours a diluted coffee brown color with a khaki head that I would call rocky. Clear body. The foam falls to a thin layer, but clings with tenacity to the glass.

The nose is an assault of excellent quality coffee, vanilla, kind of a brown sugar caramel, and well done toast. There is a kiss of bourbon barrel character, but no indication of the ample ABV.

The flavor somehow manages to be assertive yet light. No doubt, a lot going on. There is coffee first, brown sugar caramel, and the coffee further emerges as bright, rich, slightly acidic, and slightly bitter. Very light chocolate. Ample vanilla that lends a sweetness, balancing the tannic presence imparted by the barrel. It is sweet, but not to the point of annoyance. There is a bit of alcohol sting in the taste, but I wouldn't call it hot at all. It feels medium to heavy bodied, and the flavors linger gloriously on the taste buds with just a bit more barrel emerging. Not highly carbonated, very slightly chalky feel on the slightly drying finish.

Is it a classic brown ale - maybe too intense for that. Is it a worthy riff on the basic style - gimme an oh hell yeah on that thought. My son just took a sip and we think it is like a stout without actually being a stout...stout light, if you will. If more crosses my path, it will likely follow me home at $14.99 a four pack.

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Underground Mountain Brown from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 409 ratings