Brewery: Founders Brewing Co.
Style: Impreial/Double IPA
Serving: 355ml Bottle
Price: Around £4 Bottle Shop / £6 Bar
I had a goal at the beginning of the weekend; to try a beer that I’d never had before. On Saturday night on the way home from a friend’s house, I stopped in at a pub near me, The Alexandra Hotel, to pick up a couple of bottles. My intention was to get a bottle of Sierra Nevada Narwahl imperial stout but they had unsurprisingly sold out of that. So I leafed through their impressible bottle menu for something I’d never had. When I spotted Founders Double Trouble I knew I had to go for it. Nothing I’ve had from Founders has been bad and as I’m a sucker for Imperial IPA, this was a no-brainer.
I’ll come right out and say this before I start; This bottle was a fair few months old so I knew the hop flavour and aroma would have taken a hit. Still, going in with that in mind, I found there was a nice balanced sweet, dank aroma of ripe grapefruit, peach, orange and melon. There was some pine there as well. There was definitely a sweet brioche malt presence like you’d expect from an East Coast IPA. None of these aromas blew my socks off but I was under no illusions that this was a result of the age of the bottle. There was a tiny amount of booze on the nose but nothing to write home about.
Flavour wise, I was pretty surprised at how much hop character remained. It was sweet from the heavier malt backbone but those hops still punched through with dank, resinous pine, mango, grapefruit, pineapple. orange and melon. There was a good crisp, dry bitterness in the finish that was really nice after the sweetness up front. The 9.4% was almost undetectable. I’ve had 4% beers that have tasted more boozy but it somehow still hung on to a medium to big body and sticky mouthfeel. I get the feeling that this beer has aged the way you’d want a barley wine to age. The hops have dropped off and lost a bit of the aggressive edge and have left the sweet malts to come through and deliver wintery, ripe fruit and sweet bread flavours.
I can imagine what this would have been like fresh and, honestly I don’t feel cheated by the hop dial being turned down here. I can only speculate but I imagine the flavour would have been a little too astringent and dry early on. I would like to have hung onto the punchy aroma though.