Got Beer? My Head Is Spinning Over Founders DKML

Founders DKML – An Imperial Malt Liquor aged in Bourbon Barrels, this beer promises the highest of low-brow. The name “Malt Liquor” conjures images of piss-yellow 40s being slugged backdkml by people who care more about getting wrecked before noon and passing out on the lawn next to the rusted-out tractor than anything else. Naturally, Founders isn’t going down that road. I sense the name is applied in a more technical sense, as it is over 14% ABV. Yipes! I better clear my calendar for the day.

And because it is Founders, the slogan on the bottle says, “Kicks you where you most expect it.” It’s that level of self-awareness that separates a good craft beer from the discount hillbilly booze.

It pours an inviting amber-red, and has a lovely sweet malty smell that’s actually reminiscent of a good Scottish Ale.

The first sip is — *THUD*

Wow… Okay… Ummm… What I said about passing out on the lawn? Well, I guess we’re gonna hug the tires of the Prius instead of a rusted-out tractor.

This brew starts with a very nice malty beer taste, as I said, very much like a Scottish ale, and then comes in with the special combo finishing move that sends you careening to the floor just before you hear the ominous words, “Finish him!”

You certainly can’t claim any false advertising. This brew is so boozy I think actual bourbon might have less of an alcohol heat. I can only assume this was intentional given that it’s Founders, and the label has a nice tongue-in-cheek vibe. The thing is, I know there is an incredibly good beer in there underneath all the alcohol, but all I can taste right now is “I’m going to bed in an hour.”

After a few sips, one becomes accustomed to the alcoholic atmosphere. There is, indeed, something like a fine red beneath the surface of the bourbon fumes. It’s malty, but not sickly sweet, and has a very nice malt complexity. You just have to be able to put on a diving suit to get to it.

I love Founders, and I will never say a bad word about a brewery that makes one of my favorite porters in existence, but I have to question the decision to drown this perfectly nice amber brew in pure moonshine.

I keep coming very very close to finding what other flavors might be lurking in the depths, but I just can’t go that deep. I think we’re going to have to dredge the lake on this one, and likely find that someone stashed old pre-prohibition barrels of contraband bourbon at the bottom, which explains all the pickled fish.

I guess, considering what they were going for, this beer is spot-on. They wanted a big, boozy bourbon malt liquor, and boy did they get the job done. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to drink a big glass of water and write an apology note to my liver.

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