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Frangelic Mountain Brown – Founders Brewing Company (2012)

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BLC Says:
Frangelic Mountain Brown was released in limited numbers, is the sixteenth release in the “Mountain Brown Series”and is also the fourth iteration of the breweries “Backstage Series”. These beers are culled from taproom and event only releases and pushed front and center so a wider audience can enjoy them. To quote Dave Engbers Dave Co-Founder, Vice President, Director of Brand & Education, “The goal of the Backstage Series is to allow those beer enthusiasts who don’t have the ability to make it to our taproom an opportunity to experience some of the beers that, historically, have been limited to our taproom and a handful of high exposure events,” Engbers said. “Although these beers are not brewed in large volume, it is our intention to distribute them to all of our markets.” The other three beers previously released in this series are, Blushing Monk and Canadian Breakfast Stout from 2011 and Curmudgeon’s Better Half from February 2012. Frangelic Mountain was released this past July and was a challenge to track down. Intrepid beer hunters that we are (R.I.P. MJ) securing a bottle was never in doubt. We saved this bottle for a special occasion and we were not disappointed.

Founders Frangelic Mountain Brown is a brown ale brewed with hazelnut coffee. It should be noted here that the coffee used in this beer was produced with artificial flavors but this is not a drawback. Not a hint of artificial flavor comes through in this brew. Frangelic comes in at a hefty 9% ABV which pokes it’s head out a bit in the aroma but is virtually non-existent in the flavor making this one beer that could for sure sneak up on you, easily kind of like ninja. This brew joins the ranks of other beers which deftly hide their ABV through clever illusions (never tricks). Speaking of the aroma, it has a nice mix of sweet and bitter with the main component being the coffee which is accented by, bits of hazelnut, malt, a cream like quality and some of the aforementioned alcohol. The appearance of this is closer to a red than brown but brownish hues are there too. It is a nice looking brew with a lovely, lasting tan-cappuccino head that is fluffy and smooth. The head takes its time both in setting up and in settling down. When it finally does it relaxes into a little cap with islands of larger bubbles and lacing which is thick and blotchy chunks of foam. The sip starts off with what is a short burst of hop and coffee. These bitter compatriots move to the background when the sweet malty flavors come in going through hazelnut, chocolate, caramel and seemingly rotating over and over until they finally fade into a slightly bitter coffee and roast accented finish. This brew is delivered in a rich, velvety and full bodied fashion with smooth, fine carbonation. The aftertaste is an encore of the experience with some hazelnut, chocolate, coffee and subtle roast. It is mildly bitter and sweet leaving you (possibly cheering for) one more sip! Frangelic Mountain Brown  is one big beer that would do well on it’s own and could be served as an after dinner drink. We hope you were able to secure a bottle and give this a taste, we are glad we did.

What Alicia Thinks:
This is undoubtedly delicious but it is definitely a beer you sip after dinner. I don’t see this as being paired with a meal, though I don’t think that was the intention when the brewed it. That being said, I enjoyed both the aroma and flavor and it would make a nice liquid dessert or late night treat. I smell booze in it but it really tastes like there isn’t even alcohol in it which is crazy for 9%. The sweetness really takes over but also may prevent you from overdoing it on this one.

What Kevin Thinks:
This is a beer with a ton of sweet, rich, nutty flavors which are kept in check by roasted, slightly bitter coffee notes. I really enjoyed the aroma on this beer as it had a pleasant coffee aroma with whiffs of hazelnut and caramel lurking in the background. The taste of this beer really brought the hazelnut flavor to the forefront along with some caramel and delicious chocolate with the coffee here moving to the background turning up its presence in the finish. The aftertaste echoes the brew as a whole nicely and I thought with a pleasing representation of all of the components. My favorite part of this beer though was the mouth feel. This beer was smooth, creamy and velvety allowing all of the flavors to glide around the palate easily. I think this was a beer that could be served as a dessert brew, like Alicia. Frangelic Mountain Brown could be enjoyed around a fire or after a holiday meal. This was a lovely beer. For me this is a well deserved 8/10.

ABV: 9% IBU: 25 Color: Medium Brown-Red Year: 2012 Brewery: Founders Brewing Company

The Brewery Says:
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.

Written by A+K

December 21st, 2012 at 8:15 pm

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