I don’t think that anyone would disagree that Founders knows a thing or two about brewing a big beer with coffee. Between their world-renowned Breakfast Stout, their “highly acclaimed” KBS and their white whale CBS (be on the lookout this winter!), it seems as if Founders’ portfolio is already chock full (pardon the pun) of world class coffee adjunct beers. Yet they also offer Founders Sumatra Mountain Brown.
Part of Founders Specialty Series, Founders Sumatra Mountain Brown pours extremely dark brown, nearly black, with about a finger’s worth of light tan head. When held to the light it is evident that this is indeed a brown ale, as ruby tinges of light refract around the edges of my Teku glass.
When first poured the beer gives off a light aroma of rich roasted coffee and complex malts. As it warms all of these aromas are amplified, with heavy notes of coffee, toffee and cacao escaping the glass.
The initial taste of this beer is that of cold brewed coffee that overpowers any trace of the brown ale. Once warmed, a complex array of rich roasted coffee melds with the complex malt backbone of this imperial brown ale. Hints of toasted nuts, dark cacao, and the slightest taste of alcohol are present on the back end with a finale of bitter coffee.
As expected from a brown ale, this beer is moderately carbonated. It features a slightly thin, partially sticky mouth feel that makes this a dangerously easy drinker for a 9% beer.
If you see this when you are out at your favorite shop I would recommend picking up a 4 pack. Drink a couple and let a couple age for a year or two. At 9% this beer will age nicely, and the heavy coffee notes will fade a bit and allow the complex malts a chance to shine.