Beer Review 0161: Founders Porter
No secret here: this website loves Founders beer. Their beers have been oft-reviewed here, and honestly, I’ve done so many of them that I was going to hold off awhile before I did another one, but this was a special request. And when asked kindly about beer, you have to do it. Rules of the road, friends.
Founders Brewing Company is located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. They began brewing in 1997, had a meltdown after making only average beers, then started brewing more extreme beers. That philosophy saved the company from bankruptcy.
It is ironic that after mentioning that, this review will be of their Porter, which is simply called…Porter. Founders claims this one is a “lover, not a fighter,” and it comes in at 6.5% ABV (alcohol by volume) and 45 IBUs (International Bitterness Units).
The pour issued up a small tan head, creamy but quickly fading. The beer was a very, very dark brown (almost black, but not quite) with classic cola-like Porter highlights when put under light. Under the same light, I noticed this beer was chock full of heavy particles and sediment, very chunky — Founders proudly never filters any of their beers. The lacing left behind while sipping wasn’t much, just some small thin wisps here and there.
The aromatics were, of course, dominated by malts — there’s equal parts chocolate and coffee up front, supported by a general roasted note and a bit of smoke that lends a burnt aroma until the beer warms up a touch. There’s a slight hint of some pine which suggests hops, but other than that, this one is a malt-bomb. Not quite one dimensional, and certainly nice, but fairly basic. This is a beer that you can almost smell the texture of, though, as I’m guessing this will definitely be creamy…
And creamy, it is. There are three words on the bottle: dark, rich, and sexy; this beer is all three of those things. There’s dark chocolate up front and immediately the beer coats the mouth with a velvet drink, which leads to a finish of black fresh roasted coffee and dark chocolate morsels — bittersweet and elegant. This one is all about mouthfeel, as if it didn’t have the creaminess going on, it simply wouldn’t taste right. The finish lingers for a long time and as it unwinds more and more, it hints on dark fruits, maybe berries or raisins.
This is yet another great beer from Founders (big surprise there). I’m going to call this a training wheels version of one of their stouts, and that’s not bad mouthing it whatsoever. Standing alone, this is a great beer, so drinkable and packed with delicious flavor. But it’s kind of one of those things where if you’ve had their Breakfast Stout (100 points) or Imperial Stout (98 points), it kind of makes it hard to return here — but the upshot is this is a year-round beer that isn’t hard to find.
Founders Porter, 90 points. Price: $1.99 US for one twelve ounce bottle.