Tasting: October 12, 2011
I love being in the right place at the right time. A couple of months ago, I became a fan of Founders Brewing on Facebook. Within a day, they announced that they were going to bottle and release their cult beer – Canadian Breakfast Stout in early October. Within a couple of hours I went to the Wine & Beverage Depot in Totowa and added my name to the waiting list. Surprisingly, I was number nine on that list. Shows how competitive special release beer can be. I have heard stories of people following distributor’s trucks on delivery days. I was lucky enough that Matt from the Depot got a case — and I was lucky enough that Ana called just before lunch. I was at the store before they hung up the phone. Matt told me that only twenty-five cases made it to New Jersey. So, I got one of three-hundred bottles – I am lucky. I also see that this beer has easily and repeatedly topped $100 for a bottle on ebay. Mine’s not going anywhere. I’m making plans for my own Founders Night at my house to share with my fellow pops. So far the lineup includes, Canadian Breakfast Stout, Kentucky Breakfast Stout, Devil Dancer and for some outside influences — Parabola from Firestone – Walker and 120 Minute IPA from Dogfish Head (also arriving in stores this week).
While I was at the depot, they also got a few cases of Founders seasonal releases — Backwoods Bastard, Harvest Ale, Porter and Breakfast Stout. I bought them all. Really, I can’t say enough about Founder’s they produce excellent beer after excellent beer. If you are a novice — I suggest trying some beer from Founders. It’s readily available and generally excellent. From the label – 6.5% ABV with an IBU of 70. Also says that this brew is wet hopped (meaning fresh, un-dried hops are added to the fermenting beer). It should add an extra hop layer. I’m assuming harvest as a tribute to the harvest of hops and wet-hopped to accentuate the freshness of fresh picked crops of hops.
Pours a rich golden color with a pretty white head. Carbonation settles quickly. Wow, you really get a fresh hop nose of citrus. Gross as it is — even some cat pee (pungent and acidic). The first sip is heavenly. Thankfully it’s not cat pee — but you certainly get that strong hop flavor. But that hop citrus, pineapple and juniper is boldly fresh thanks to the wet-hopping. The wet-hopping also make the IBU of 70 deceptive. However, IBU is an indication of bitterness — not hop flavor. But these hops are layered nicely over a roasted bready base. The mouthfeel gives my some stickiness – although seemingly thinnish. It does have a crisp finish with a hop flavor that seemingly lingers on forever. I’ll call this one Devil Dancer’s younger sister – dangerous in her own right. I’ll also call this a solid 95 points.