Sunday, December 24, 2017

Founders CBS (2017 vintage)

DOB: 2017

2015 BJCP Category: 33B Specialty Wood-Aged Beer (base style: 30A Spice, Herb, or Vegetable beer (base style: 20C: Imperial Stout))

AROMA: Strong coffee and milk chocolate notes. Wood and bourbon come through as a fairly strong vanilla character; plus a subtle spicy note. Maple is present, but more of a background note. Imperial stout base is present, but not overt as flavoring additives and barrel character. Alcohol is also present, but in no way obnoxious or overpowering. No hops (none needed). 11/12

APPEARANCE: Inky opaque black (44+ SRM). Large, dark brown, frothy head retains and laces well. Alcohol legs are apparent. 3/3

FLAVOR: A bomb of complex, sweet flavors. Coffee seems to jump out at first followed by a sweet chocolate/vanilla flavor. Bourbon barrel is subtle with a gentle woody character in the back, which becomes quite strong with a sweet vanilla taste on the entire second half. Maple is difficult to distinguish among all the sweetness, but it is there. Imperial stout base is evident in the form of roasted malt, though it definitely takes a back seat to the SHV and barrel characters. Bitterness is low and seems to be provided more by the coffee and roasted malt than hops (no hop flavor to speak of, though none needed). Alcohol is gentle with just a slight tannic quality from the wood. Overall, a delicious, well-balanced brew that exemplifies the style very well. 18/20

MOUTHFEEL: Full-bodied; moderately-low carbonation. Texture is smooth, though the flavors are a bit cloying and could be cleaned up with a little more CO2. Remarkably drinkable for an intense 11.7% ABV brew. Alcohol warmth is present, but not distracting. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Not only is it delicious, it's an impressive and commendable brewing feat. I wish this was released at least yearly! 10/10


NOTE: See my 2011 original review here: