If I were to ever want a boozy coffee that wasn’t Irish, this would be it.
While not a straight coffee beer in the vein of Founders Breakfast Stout, Frangelic Mountain Brown encapsulates all the warming and tasty parts of a flavored cup o’ joe that even non-coffee drinkers might enjoy. This is thanks to the beer having been brewed with hazelnut coffee (their website says “coffees,” the bottle says flavoring) which imparts lots of pleasant aromas and tastes. It’s got an 89 on Beer Advocate.
The most impressive thing about this beer is how welcoming it is right out of the bottle. Despite a 9 percent ABV, alcohol isn’t easily detectible as it hides behind amazing chocolate and hazelnut coffee aromas. There is no bitterness you might find from coffee beans, as Frangelic rolls one sweet smell after another with heavy cream, vanilla and caramel wafting out of the glass. I’d dare say cinnamon also had a seat at the table, which could simply be residual from the hazelnut flavoring. Just a heavenly nose on this beer.
There’s a dairy smoothness to this beer’s mouthfeel, only intensified a general lack of carbonation. Tastes of cream and hazelnut sit on the forefront of each sip with a solid roasted coffee-like finish. Jabs of chocolate nip at the tongue. Any alcohol taste never even stops by.
A malt-forward brew, Frangelic still manages a slight hop-driven, earthy bitterness that rested on my palate after each gulp. That was easily replaced by the wonderful, sweet characteristics of the brew on my next sip.
The biggest downside of this beer? It’s part of Founder’s Backstage Series, which typically consists of one-off brews that may never be brewed again. Hope is not lost, however, as adventurous beer lovers can try beer trade forums like Reddit to find a bottle.
Frangelic Mountain Brown stats:
- ABV: 9 percent
- Brewery: Founders Brewing of Grand Rapids, Michigan