I knew this beer was hitting stores near me the second week in February 2012 and I still had a hard time finding it. I was not able to get to the store the day is arrived and two days later I ended up visiting 4 different locations in search for Founder’s latest addition to their line-up. I honestly had a mix of emotions. First, I was proud to live in Chicago where we are part of that select market and proud that beer geek like me jumped on buying this product up. Why not, Founders makes quality beers that are respected worldwide. What pissed me off a little was that people probably didn’t do their homework to realize that it is not a one-off production (check their product calendar: Feb-Dec). So I’m sure a bunch of individuals bought up more six packs than they needed. Whatever, I found a few single bottles for the purpose of this review so all is good. More will hit shelves.
A few of my fellow PHM buddies went on a Michigan brewery tour last February and Founders was one of our stops. During our time there Founders has a beer on tap named Endurance Pale Ale. The experiment: to brew a hoppy beer that you could go the distance with in regards to consumption. From what I remember, it was very delicious and had some great hop character.
One year and a renaming later, I get to try the perfected bottled product. It is a knockout! In classic Founders form the hop profile is amazing. It fits right in with the likes of their Pale Ale, Centennial IPA, Harvest Ale, Double Trouble and Devil Dancer. I’m pretty sure it is dry-hopped as the nose busts from the glass. It is predominately citrus in character with some softer floral, juicy tropical fruit notes. These softer notes remind me of their Harvest Ale, while at the same time there are also some big pungent notes that are reminiscent of Dubs Troubs. As it warmed there were some piney, earthy herbal qualities that the hops displayed as well.
The taste is all hops and very little sweet malt. While some might find the reduced amount of malt or caramel off putting, I actually prefer it in IPAs. Moreover, if you let it warm some, the malt sweetness is noticeable. The hops give a bite at the front and back half of the palate as they definitely dominate this beer. It essentially displays a wide array of hop qualities like floral, pungent, citrus, herbal, fruity, and piney. The mouthfeel is light, and you really can drink this all day. I put down my first one quick and then prepared myself for the effects of the abv of Double Trouble. This is a great beer…refreshing, super drinkable for hop heads and and great for a day out in the woods as the label suggests.