Friday, November 23, 2012

Founders Frangelic Mountain Brown - Gus #22

The brew for today is a review from both notes and from another recent tasting.  It's one from Founders Backstage Series.  This one was more widely available than the previous brews in the series.  I love almost all releases from Founders so I was excited to try this one.  I'm not the biggest fan of brown ales usually and most tend to be weak in flavor or all the same.  Let's see what Founder's Frangelic Mountain Brown is like in the review.

How it rates with others:

YouTube Reviews:
Joseph via Proper Hops

Daniel of Beyond the Pour and Beer Geek Nation

ratebeer review:

Information from the Founders website:

"Frangelic Mountain Brown is the quintessential taproom 'one-off' beer: Founders’ brewers created the Mountain Brown series for their taproom in Grand Rapids in 2007. Frangelic Mountain Brown is the 16th iteration in the series of popular brown ales—and it likely won’t be the last. The singular characteristic of this beer comes from the use of hazelnut coffees in the brewing process. The beer has distinct aromatics with sweet and nutty flavors beautifully balanced. Founders is known for its beers made with coffee (i.e., the Breakfast Stout series), but this is both the brewery’s first brown ale and its first beer brewed with hazelnut coffees to be bottled. It clocks in at 9% ABV."

ABV:  9.0%
Availability:  July (Limited Bottling)

I poured this brew into my short stemmed Jester King glass.

Appearance:  The brew pours a dark brown brown with a little chill haze.  As it warmed up it became more clear.  Small one finger off white head that didn't last very long.  It had some nice thin lacing that stuck around the glass.  Moderate carbonation and a little hint of alcohol legs around the glass.  Really deep, dark brown almost mahogany in color.  That is something I have always liked about brown ales, the color.

Aroma:  They really weren't joking when they said they used hazelnut coffee in the brewing process.  The first thing you get is the hazelnut and mild coffee notes.  There is a sweet caramel hint to it as well.  Slight toffee with maybe a slight hint of a syrup aroma as well.  The big players really are the hazelnut followed by the coffee.  Really pleasant aroma (if you are a fan of hazelnut.)  It reminds me of the sweet aromas that come from a hazelnut liqueur.  

Taste:  Just like the aroma.  Right at the front of the tongue you get the coffee bitterness.  That's immediately taken over by the hazelnut flavors.  Sweet, nutty and malty.  Some caramel sweetness mixed with toffee and a little bit of vanilla.  Good carbonation in the mouth with a medium-light mouthfeel.  Some of those syrup flavors are in there as well.  Big hazelnut coffee flavors just as expected.  It's sweet though just like you poured some hazelnut liqueur into some fresh coffee.  The sweetness of it mixes well with the elements of the coffee and the brown ale.

Verdict:  You really do have to like hazelnut to enjoy this brew.  I am a fan of hazelnut and coffee.  I had a feeling I would like this brew.  The hazelnut is almost overpowering in this one.  I feel like if it was a little more tame it would be better.  The first time I had this brew I was overwhelmed by it.  The second time I was ready for it and really appreciated it more.  That being said it's going to get an A- from me.  It's amazing they were able to do this with a brew.  I'd love to have some more of this when the weather snaps and turns super cool.  it seems like it would be a great sipper on those cold nights.  There are a few things I'd like to see done different with it but it's in my top brown ales for sure.  For pairings I'd love to have this with some homemade sugar cookies or possibly some fresh banana bread.  Those would pair nicely.  One thing to note the hazelnut piles on more and more as you drink it.  It's almost a palate wrecker.  So, make this the last brew you will have if you are having others or save it for last during a bottle share.

Let me know if you have had this one and what you thought about it.  It is limited availability and was only brewed once.  I was able to get two bottles of it in a trade.  It really is a brew that many may not like.  You have to be a fan of hazelnut and a brown ale.  Remember to comment, subscribe and follow!  Thanks for reading!