Brewery: Founders Brewing Company
Founders is an American brewery that I had not had the pleasure of sampling properly until a few years ago. It seemed quite hard getting hold of their products over here in chilly northern Sweden. Nowadays it is a bit easier and small batches of their beers seem to be popping up in the local Systembolaget every few months or so. They’ve been brewing since 1997 and have an aim to brew big, flavourful beer for the beer enthusiast who wants to try something a bit bolder. When I started thinking of beers to have in the blind tasting, I wanted to have a brown ale but the selection here is rather limited. When I found out the that the Sumatra Imperial brown ale was making an appearance on this side of the Atlantic, I knew I had to have it.
Right from the first pour it was obvious that Founders had kept to their word about making big beers. This brew was thick and rich, pouring milk chocolate in colour and formed a firm hazelnut coloured head. One intake of breath revealed aromas of caramel, chocolate, cream and fresh tobacco. The taste was heavy and produced delicious hits of milk chocolate, nuts, roasted coffee and sweet caramel malts. The beer warmed the throat as it was swallowed, leaving an almost creamy coating to the palate. The Sumatra coffee came through strong in the aftertaste as the bitterness lingered for a while.
A great word to describe this beer would be luxurious. Everything about it from the full bodied aroma to the deep, warming body felt like it should almost be called an imperial velvet brown ale. You can taste why this costs a bit more than other beers in the same category. I really enjoyed this and I think it’s rather a shame that it only a limited edition release. I’m hoping to stock up and store a few of these for myself as I think this would be a great way to get through the long winter nights. I highly recommend you pick up a bottle of this if you can find one.