Type: English Pale Ale
Aging beers in bourbon barrels has become all the rage in the last few years. Mostly big imperial beers, especially stouts, have been aged in barrels to add subtle bourbon tones or complexity to the finished product. It seems like this craze is getting out of control, as brewers are starting to put other styles, even light styles of beer into these barrels. Which brings us to founders and their boil'r'mak'r. This is a play on I guess what you could call a beer cocktail. If you don't know a boilermaker is a shot of bourbon in a light beer, usually a cheap american lager or pilsner. I have heard some debate on wether they are combined together or a shot of bourbon is immediately chased with a big swig of beer. I associate the mixture as being a boilermaker. Well founders sought to make a craft boilermaker by aging their light and mild golden ale in bourbon barrels. This experimental brew was only available in their taproom and I was lucky (or some would say unlucky) enough to try it.
Pours a surprisingly clear, not noticeably darker then the base beer. Basically zero head, just a few islands of foam. The nose is straight up in your face bourbon. This is the clearest I have ever smelled bourbon in a beer. If you were blindfolded you would swear this was a shot of jack. Smoky and sweet with a lot of oak woodiness standard bourbon smell. It was served super cold, which I am quite glad of. I am guessing the bourbon would be undrinkably overpowering warm. It's just everywhere in the taste, like sipping bourbon overly diluted with water. Indeed it does taste like an actual boilermaker. Very thin mouthfeel, watery and easy to drink. I mean easy to drink as in at least it is gone fast, not that you will enjoy drinking it. Leaves the same numb buzz an actual shot of bourbon does (For me anyway). Nothing of the base beer remains other then the thinness. I easily could have done with a sampler of this rather then a glass. I applaud breweries for making experimental beers, and I know that is what this was. But this was a failure for me. If you want to have a craft boilermaker, I guess this is one way to go about doing it. If you would like to actually enjoy a light beer and a bourbon, I can only recommend sipping them separately.