6 delicious(and dangerously strong) beers from Founders Brewing
It’s been an awhile since I sat down, slammed a sixer and wrote shitty poems. But hey, dry January is over, and unfortunately, winter is not. And since there isn’t much to do in the winter in Wisconsin anyway, why not hole up, try some delicious Founders Beer and attempt to write about them?
Most of these beers are from the brewery’s barrel-aged series, so they sit pretty high up in the ABV category, but what makes them so dangerous is how all that booziness is hidden behind an array of incredibly delicious flavors. Seriously, each beer is a 90+ on Beer Advocate, with an average score being 95.
But enough with the boring parts, let’s dive into some soul-warming beers and slurred word poems.
KBS – 12.2% – BOURBON BARREL-AGED CHOCOLATE COFFEE STOUT
“This beer taught us that patience truly is a virtue. KBS is a big imperial stout brewed with a massive amount of coffee and chocolate and then bourbon barrel-aged to perfection. Incredibly silky and full-bodied with notes of vanilla, cocoa, roasted coffee and charred oak.”
Right away it hits you with strong bourbon, cocoa, and oaky woodiness. It’s thick, decadent beer, and alongside the flavors above, there’s a rich hint of vanilla and general creamy/silkiness. It’s the perfect fireside beer.
Walking Boots – inspired by a much better Frost’s poem “Acquainted with the Night”
I’m well familiar with the road
the dust, the puddles, the faded lines
and every crumbling hole
I keep a pace, a steady 4/4 time
Shuffling my sore feet
Seeing, not heeding, the signs
When did the main street
lights fade to black
barkeep, a bourbon neat
Does death look like that?
Tall satin black, hints of vanilla and smokiness
Smile like a Cheshire cat?
Watch out for bourbon on the lips
hers is a devil’s kiss.
KBS Espresso – 12.0% – BOURBON BARREL-AGED CHOCOLATE COFFEE STOUT
“KBS gets its coffee fix in the very first variant to come from our beloved bourbon barrel-aged stout. Yes, KBS may already be brewed with coffee, but it gets some extra oomph when it’s aged on espresso beans after being removed from barrels. The result is a fresh and snappy coffee twist on our classic barrel-aged beer. Who says you can’t start your day with a barrel-aged stout?”
The KBS above had very subtle notes of coffee and featured more prominent notes of bourbon, oak, vanilla, and chocolate. The KBS Espresso shares a similar bourbon-iness, and woodiness, but also a slap-in-the-face strong kick of coffee notes. Like bitter black delicious coffee, with other notes of both bitter dark chocolate and sweeter chocolate chips.
‘My favorite types of coffee moments include
rainy warm café coffee in the afternoon
a Sunday morning roast, a book,
the breath of sun glowing
a window pane
the shitty hotel hangover coffee
thinking never again
The espresso stout
with breakfast dining out
or the over-priced
cup in between a layover flight.
Perhaps my favorite of all includes
that bitter black at midnight
Backwoods Bastard – 11.0% – BOURBON BARREL-AGED SCOTCH ALE
“Expect lovely, warm smells of single malt scotch, oaky bourbon barrels, smoke, sweet caramel and roasted malts, a bit of earthy spice and a scintilla of dark fruit. It’s a kick-back sipper made to excite the palate.”
Sometimes a beer’s name really captures the flavors of a beer so well. And Backwoods Bastard is one of those beers. It tastes like everything that comes to mind when you think of remote, wild, backwoods. It has an incredibly malty background, with strong roasted woody malt and smokiness that are balanced by an unexpected fruitiness, with notes of dark cherry and raisin. To add to the subtle sweetness, there are small notes of brown sugar and molasses as well.
Longing for the calm of the wild – inspired by the Twopointeight song “This is where we part”
Sometimes the song is too much, too loud
and you want to shuffle the tracks
but you can’t
Is there something softer?
something like smoke,
with a honeyed liquor, melodic flow
I’m longing for it now
the calm of the wild
fires that burn slow
I used to know the songs by heart
those days have gone
I don’t know where to start
yet I long for it once more
As we waltz toward the end of the world.
Frangelic Mountain BrowN– 9.0% – Brown Ale
“We love a well-balanced brown ale. Especially a brown ale of the hazelnut coffee persuasion. Case in point: Frangelic Mountain Brown. Initially brewed and released in bottles in 2012, this deliciously sweet and nutty coffee brown ale quickly became a favorite amongst beer fans and inspired us to continue pushing the coffee and beer envelope.”
I’m in love with this beer. A beer that if you spilled it, no matter who was looking, you’d probably lick it off the table. a A beer that tastes almost nothing like a beer, and more like an iced-hazelnut caramel coffee – all without being overly sweet. It’s just pure, straight ecstasy to drink, with notes of enticing hazelnut, creamy coffee, and slightly burnt, caramelized sugar. A perfect life would be being able to start every morning with one of these.
Burnt Sugar – (side note: really starting to feel it here. My poems get even shittier from here on out)
‘Burnt sugar breath sweet
Mas Agave – 10.0% – BARREL-AGED IMPERIAL LIME GOSE
“We love cocktails. Like, really love them. If you ask us, few are more refreshing than the tart and tangy margarita and our latest barrel-aged beer pays tribute to that perennial classic. We took an imperial gose brewed with agave, lime and sea salt and then aged it in tequila barrels. Consider it a party in a bottle.”
An imperial gose?! I’m seriously in heaven. This barrel-aged beer does its best impression of a boozy margarita and excels at it. It’s full of lemon-lime flavor, a burst of saltiness, and hints of agave and tequila. Pour it in a margarita glass and you wouldn’t know the difference. A perfect beer for when you are facing down a polar vortex in February and want to remember what the beach and sunshine taste like.
Winter Blues at Bay
takes you away
to a better place
when the winter of our discontent grows
open this bottle
filled with notes
lemon and lime
salty ocean spray
taking you away.’
Blushing Monk – 9.2% – BELGIAN-STYLE ALE FERMENTED WITH PURE RASPBERRIES
“When our love of fruit and our love of beer come together, Blushing Monk happens. Brewed with a ridiculous amount of raspberries for tart yet luscious raspberry-jam character and fermented with Belgian yeast for subtle fruit and spice esters. Think of Blushing Monk as Rubaeus’ older sibling – more intense, slightly larger and just a little bit more mature.”
You could pour this over a piece of toast (please don’t though) because this beer is straight-up jelly. In that, it’s full of raspberry/cherry jam fruit flavor, along with an interesting note of rose wine. The fruit also adds a small tart component, while the Belgian yeast brings along that classic peppery-spice for a well-rounded, complex Belgian fruit beer.
Holy Roses (side note: we’re really slurring our words here!)
‘Baptized in roses,
wine, and fire from the ghosts
but they weren’t holy
they were roses and lonely
taught us to speak in tongues
Radio waves going nowhere
sad monk songs,
yet no one was hearing
on virgin snow
spring is closer than you know.’