Mothership Series #4: Panther Cub Barrel-Aged Porter
Founders Brewing Company

Mothership Series #4: Panther Cub Barrel-Aged PorterMothership Series #4: Panther Cub Barrel-Aged Porter
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Porter - Imperial
4.46 | pDev: 6.05%
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Mothership Series #4: Panther Cub Barrel-Aged PorterMothership Series #4: Panther Cub Barrel-Aged Porter
Notes: Developed after reflecting on youthful dalliances of yore, Panther Cub is a small porter aged in a combo of BLIS maple syrup bourbon barrels and regular bourbon barrels. This fierce cat has been aging in barrels for over two years with whole vanilla beans (just for fun). Tasty maple and vanilla notes plus surprisingly deep character make this rare special release one to look upon fondly.
Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 150 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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ovaltine from Indiana

4.47/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with some mahogany on the edges and a tan head that provides beautiful lacing. Gorgeous beer. The nose maple up front, and I get a cocoa note and pretty substantial booze from the barrel, but it don’t get the vanilla - maybe it’s lurking in the barrel.

The maple is forward on the taste, but is joined quickly by the booze from the barrel - and the vanilla, which mixes well with the maple and the cocoa. Wow.

The mouthfeel is perfect for an imperial porter. I approached this with some trepidation because I read reviews that stated it was too sweet, but for my palate, there was an excellent balance between the flavors, and it wasn’t overly sweet. I purchased a couple of singles, but I’m gonna go back for more because this is exceptionally well done in that “hard-to-hit well” imperial porter category.

Feb 22, 2021
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micada from New York

4.17/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very nice. I generally don’t like porters, but this is complex. The only negative hit is a tiny bit of artificial sweetness to the vanilla flavor, but otherwise it’s a good sipper.

Feb 13, 2021
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dfillius from Iowa

4.31/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Yum! Lovely vanilla notes in the aroma of this one. Barrel aging did not make this one a booze bomb thankfully, it’s very subdued and rich in flavor. Silky, chewy mouthfeel. Only gripe I have is that there wasn’t any head to speak of. Thanks warnerry!

Mar 10, 2019
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superspak from North Carolina

4.35/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 11/26/2018. Pours opaque dark brown/black color with a 1 finger dense tan head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, brown sugar, maple syrup, toffee, vanilla, cream, bourbon, coconut, toasted oak, roasted nuts, and dark/brown bread; with light notes of molasses, dark fruit, smoke, herbal, and yeast/roast/oaky earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malt, vanilla, maple/bourbon barrel notes; with great strength. Taste of huge milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, brown sugar, maple syrup, toffee, vanilla, cream, bourbon, coconut, toasted oak, roasted nuts, and dark/brown bread; with light notes of molasses, dark fruit, smoke, herbal, and yeast/roast/oaky earthiness. Mild herbal/roasted bitterness; and bourbon/oak spiciness on the finish. Lingering notes of milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, brown sugar, maple syrup, toffee, vanilla, cream, bourbon, coconut, toasted oak, roasted nuts, dark/brown bread, light molasses/dark fruit, smoke, herbal, and yeast/roast/oaky earthiness on the finish for a while. Amazing complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, vanilla, maple/bourbon barrel flavors; with a solid roast/hop bitter/sweet and bourbon/oak spiciness balance; with no cloying/acrid flavors after the finish. Lightly increasing dryness from lingering hop/roast bitterness and bourbon/oak spiciness. Medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a very smooth, creamy/silky/velvety/bready, and lightly sticky/chalky/tannic mouthfeel that is amazing. Minimal warming alcohol for 8.7%, zero barrel booze. Overall this is an amazing barrel aged vanilla imperial porter! All around incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, vanilla, maple/bourbon barrel flavors; very smooth and dangerously easy to drink for the ABV, with the mildly bitter/tannic/drying finish. Amazingly soft feel. Amazing balanced rich malts, vanilla beans, and maple/bourbon barrel presence/integration. A highly enjoyable offering, and top tier style example as expected. Tastes like a light version of CBS all the way. Nearly identical with a lighter body, less warmth/barrel booze.

Jan 11, 2019
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Fireman_RK from North Carolina

4.54/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L: Deep black and chestnut hues with a thin sandy head and moderate lacing
S: Big amber maple syrup notes followed by freshly ground coffee beans
T: Mocha, maple candies, and creamy vanilla complemented by trace hints of the barrel and dark roasted coffee and ending on lingering butterscotch
F: Slightly thinner than expected, but well carbed
O: Really nice sipper here. I get the comparisons folks have made to this being the love child of KBS and CBS. Nice coffee on the nose and complex profile on the tongue. If this had a richer body and more pronounced barrel it would really be next level.

Dec 18, 2018
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SammyJaxxxx from New Jersey

4.67/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a growler that was sent to me by the great and wonderful FlintB
A: Pours a deep dark mahogany, like the hair of an Italian girl that you dream about. A small but thick tan head that recedes to a ring but hangs around for the entire time in the glass;
N: Melted butterscotch and boozy caramel sauce. the nose is screaming for vanilla ice cream.
T: Cocoa and coffee. A hint of sweetness. As it warms there is more coffee and some bitterness.
MF: Boozy but not hot. Just enough sweetness to offset the bittersweet chocolate. A very full mouthfeel. All though it is boozy it is an easy drinker.
O: I will admit that I am partial to Founders big stouts. This one is no exception. A wonderful stout. I keep seeing comparisons to KBS and CBS but this one is very different.

Dec 17, 2018
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BenHoppy from Michigan

4/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This beer was good but mainly reminded me of Breakfast Stout, which is fine but if I want breakfast stout I'll buy breakfast stout. What I wanted in this was something like Founders Porter with some maple and bourbon. The maple was barely there, really had to look for it whereas the bourbon I couldn't taste at all. This is not a top 250 beer does not belong on the list, nothing special about it. it's still good but nothing special as it's basically breakfast stout. way over powered by coffee.

Dec 16, 2018
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jvgoor3786 from Arkansas

4.25/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Small porter aged in BLIS maple syrup barrels and bourbon barrels.

Pours deep brown with minimal head and lacing.

Tons of chocolate and bourbon on the nose.

The taste explodes with maple, chocolate, char, and bourbon. It's very sweet.

Medium body with low carbonation.

Excellent beer. Would love to see it bottled.

Dec 13, 2018
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Radcpa from Washington

4.33/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nice dark appearance with slight tan head. Aroma is a slightly sweet prominant maple with coffee at the end. Taste is als a slightly sweet maple with coffee.

Dec 11, 2018
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TreyIsWilson from Michigan

4.42/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours pitch black with a thin tan head. Good amount of soapy lacing.

S - Aroma is maple, vanilla and milk chocolate.

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

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

O - This is a pretty killer BBA porter. The flavors are perfectly balanced. Ridiculously drinkable for 8.7%.

Dec 09, 2018
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beersampler6 from Michigan

4.3/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Delicious beer sampled on tap at Founders. As others have alluded to, it reminds me of a cross between KBS and CBS - in a good way. Pours nice and dark black, nice mild white-light tan head and spotty lingering lacing. Not quite as thick and menacing looking as CBS or KBS. Smells nice, somewhat faint roast coffee and chocolate. A little surprisingly distant in the aroma department. Taste is just amazing - outstanding notes of dark roast coffee, dark chocolate, oak, bourbon, maple, caramel, vanilla and malt. Smooth, mild, slightly creamy mouthfeel and just the right amount of carbonation. The higher ABV is definitely well-hidden. As the beer warmed the aromas improved and moved to the forefront. Not as much warming alcohol as you’d expect - very mild alcohol burn. An amazing beer! Will look for it in bottles at the taproom store.

Dec 06, 2018
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tomgoodwindo from Colorado

4.78/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Picked this up today at the taproom release. Excellent aroma of coffee with slight borboun on the back end. Mouth feel is very smooth. If you've had CBS and KBS I would describe this as the perfect balance of the two. Coffee and bourbon on the front end with Maple syrup sweetness on the back end. Absolutely fantastic

Dec 02, 2018
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SportsandJorts from Virginia

4.59/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: black as night. small tannish head that fades to just about nothing. completely opaque.

Smell: chocolate and dry roasted grains, super strong maple syrup, and just a hint of bourbon and vanilla

Taste: opens up with a big maple syrup sugariness. bourbon and vanilla play around in the background. backend full of chocolate and roasty grains, showing the beer underlying the barrel. a robust porter is certainly there especially while warmer

Mouthfeel: fairly light for a barrel aged beer. fairly dry from the porter. but a good sweetness and stickiness from the bourbon.

Overall: when i saw this beer on the tap list i was very excited about it. i missed out on it once but finally got to try it. a great beer. great maple character and a must try. hope to see this one make it to the backstage series.

Mar 19, 2014
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kylelenk from Michigan

4.31/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap at Black Party 2013

Maple Bourbon Barrel Aged version of Founders Porter with Vanilla Beans.

Appearance-Poured into a Founders Snifter. Just like it's Porter cousin, no real head retention. Jet black with little tan head lacings left on the glass.

Smell-Probably the strongest suit. Imagine walking into a coffee/caramel/chocolate shop and getting that first whiff. Then bottling it and pouring it into a snifter.

Taste-Seemingly poured too cold. Would have worked much better on a firkin or allowed to warm up. Was incredibly disappointed with the beer until about 30 minutes of holding it in my hand and letting it get to room temp. When cold, the bourbon and chocolate notes are quite bland and are left to a watery vanilla mess. After time, the bourbon begins to develop and becomes a beer much like CBS or CBH. Wasn't quite as sweet as other maple bourbon barrel aged Founders beers.

Mouthfeel-Thinner than your tradItional Founders "big brew." Unlike KBS/CBS/FIS/FBS, the beer had a much lighter base that relied more on flavors than mouthfeel. Once again, needed to warm up before it became what I was looking for.

May 31, 2013
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strohme2 from Michigan

4.56/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle, dated 11/26/18. Part of the Mothership Series which is brewery only. Poured into a tulip.
Pours dark, I’m not going to call it black but it’s just about that. Light latte foam of just shy of an inch. Good retention, great lacing.
Maple, smoke, wood and dusty chocolate round out the aroma.
Maple, cocoa, medium roast, heavy oak, smooth bourbon, huge mounds bar-esque of coconut at the finish. Some alcohol heat.
Slick but lighter mouthfeel.
It’s the smell and taste that really make the beer, no? So much going on in each that really make this beer special.

May 02, 2013
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DubbelBastard from Michigan

4.86/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

A: looks like a porter. dark, not much head

S: Can smell the alcohol a little, with some chocolate and bourbon

T: Awesome flavor: bourbony porter not muddled with any other craziness.

M: Typical of a porter. Kinda thin, but lingering flavors on the palate.

O: Would definitely drink this again.

Apr 25, 2013
Mothership Series #4: Panther Cub Barrel-Aged Porter from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 97 out of 100 with 150 ratings