Tasting: June 3, 2017 Style: American Triple / Imperial IPA Beer #: 1,066 ABV: 12.4%
Founders Doom, Barrel-Aged Imperial IPA
There have been 14 different releases in Founders Backstage Series. The series features pub favorites reproduced for the masses. And by masses, I mean the select few that get their names on lists; get to a beer store minutes after the truck leaves or find a dusty one in a store that should never have had it in the first place.
This particular beer was originally released in 2013 and was the sixth original beer in the series. A vacation kept me from acquiring a bottle the first time around. Tough call there, vacation? or beer run? I heard awesome things about Doom and I’m happy that they obliged with an encore.
In case you were wondering, here is the current log of Backstage Series releases:
Someone asked me if some craft beers are simply copies of other craft beer recipes. While I have had many similar beers, it seems to me that the variables with hops alone make the options limitless. There are about 100 commercial hop varieties and each can be added in any quantity and combination. Hops can also be added at the various brewing stages, bittering, aroma or even dry/wet-hopping. If you note similarity, it may be that you pick up similar use of hops or other ingredients. I’ll give the example that a hop like Mosaic imparts an acrid cat pee and tangerine flavor while Galaxy imparts a citrus and passion fruit flavor.
It’s not to say that people don’t attempt to replicate or interpret a recipe. If you are going to attempt, why not pursue a legend? In this case, does Michigan Maple Jesus resemble Canadian Breakfast Stout (CBS) from Founders Brewing? Evil Twin owner, Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergso offered the following tweet.
Even the Michigan reference ties this to Michigan Maple Jesus Stout to the Michigan based brewer of CBS – Founders Brewing. I’ll also note that this beer is made by Michigan brewer, Dark Horse Brewing for the nomadic brewer.
It’s been about four years since I last had a CBS so my palate memory (if there is such a thing) is long forgotten. This is where my blog comes in handy. I noted five years ago that CBS was unmistakeable in maple sweetness. The sweetness initially masked the vanilla and wood of the barrel influence. Yet, the vanilla and oak influence eventually made their way to the surface. Initially, the same impression here. A wallop of maple syrup and some raisin. However, a wave of rum booziness that scorches quickly overruns. That’s where the comparison to CBS ends. A vigorous swirl in the glass tames a little but this beast needs to settle down. I have another bottle in my cellar and I’ll check back another time. For now, I’ll but the semi-clone at 90 points.
Tasting: May 28, 2016 Style:Fruit Ale Beer # 963 ABV: 10%
Mango Magnifico Con Calor (2016 release)
There are certain words that are polite “code” for something less appealing. For example, in real estate terminology, “cozy” doesn’t mean well-insulated and filled with fireplaces, it simply means a small house. In baseball, when someone is described as “battling”, it doesn’t mean they were a dominating warrior, it means they were underwhelming and barely eked out some success. The word “interesting” applies as a eyebrow raising description and is used in a lot of situations – there are “interesting” hair cuts, “interesting” outfits and “interesting” food. The translation, I don’t want to hurt your feelings but I hate it.
I can’t jump to that translation of interesting but I’ll admit that the ingredients here are the regular interesting. As described on the label of Mango Magnifico – a mango ale with a touch of habanero and an alcohol by volume of 10%. Sounds more like a salsa than a beer.
This is a repeat release in the Backstage Series by Founders Brewing Company. Mango Magnifico’s first release was in 2014 and at that time, it was the seventh different beer released in the series. The Backstage Series of beers are popular tasting room creations taken to a larger audience. The series included the legendary Canadian Breakfast Stout – 98 Points. If only they would re-release that in bottles (sigh).
Aroma is pure juicy mango and not much else. Flavor delivers the same and a wave of mellow heat comes underneath. One doesn’t overpower the other but the combination is…well…interesting. 82 points.
Tasting: December 15, 2015 Style: Black IPA ABV: 10.5% Beer #: 871
Project Pam is the fourteenth and latest installment in Founders Brewing’s Backstage Series. This is the same series that brought us the likes of the legendary Canadian Breakfast Stout and Curmudgeon’s Better Half. Project Pam has an interesting label. The brewery offers this explanation for the label and the name of this beer:
From Founders Brewing:As for the origins of Project PAM’s name, it will forever remain a bit of a mystery – but, we will share that it’s a nod to the cellar coding system used by Jason Heystek, the head of our barrel-aging program and star of the dark and brooding label that adorns its bottle.
Even though my Star Wars prediction of Luke Skywalker really being Kylo Ren wasn’t correct, I’ll keep tossing my theories out there until I get one or two right. This time, my theory is that since it the name Project Pam deals with barrels and aging, PAM may stand for three stages of the aging process, premature, aging, mature. We may never know.
On to Project Pam the Black IPA. My first impression after a few sips is, in one word “odd”. Odd in that the maple bourbon barrel influences dominate the subtle flavored of this dark colored ale. The classification of Project Pam as a Black IPA seems off, seems more like an old style or Scottish ale. I really don’t get much in the way of hop influence. This black ale reminds an awful lot of Backwoods Bastard, maybe just a slightly sweeter version. As I work my way through this bomber-sized bottle, I’ll note that on the plus side the 10.8% alcohol by volume is beautifully concealed. 89 points.