When it comes to Founders Barrel Aged Series, KBS definitely gets the majority of the attention every year. And while I’m certainly a big fan – I’m half ashamed and half proud of how much I bought this year – I really enjoy trying the other offerings throughout the year as well. The 2018 Barrel Aged Series began with KBS in March, followed by Backwoods Bastard in April. The most recent addition to the line up, arriving in May, is Dankwood.
Dankwood is a barrel aged version of the brewery’s imperial red IPA, reDANKulous, which was part of the 2015 Backstage Series. With a blend of Chinook, Mosaic, and Simcoe hops, reDANKulous is a well balanced and complex mix of spicy, piney, and fruity hop notes. Dankwood takes that deliciously hoppy red IPA and adds a further layer of complexity with the sweet caramel and vanilla notes that come from spending some time in a bourbon barrel.
- ABV: 12.2%
- Brewery: Founders Brewing Company
- Availability: May – June 2018
- Price: $16/4-pack, $13/bomber
Appearance: Pours a dark, slightly reddish brown with a 1-finger, cream colored head. Head dissipates pretty quickly, leaving a thin layer of bubbles on the surface. The color is slightly translucent – kind of reminds me of a light-roast nitro cold brewed coffee.
Nose: Very hoppy aroma, a little bit of pine with a lot of citrus. Very sweet with a little bit of tartness
Taste: Very smooth mouthfeel. Lots of bright hoppy flavor with a pretty low amount of bitterness. Again, a little bit of pine with lots of citrusy hops. Pretty full-bodied without being syrupy. Just a little bit of a vanilla sweetness towards the back end.
Finish: The bourbon barrel really comes through here. Fairly long finish, slightly boozy with a good amount of those citrus-hoppy notes followed by a very pleasant caramel and vanilla sweetness that sticks around to the end.
Overall: Founders really knocked it out of the park with the name on this one – Dank and Wood really tell you just about all you need to know. The taste is everything an imperial red IPA should be – a complex mix of in-your-face hops, full-bodied, and a good amount of maltiness. The finish, on the other hand, is everything you would expect from a bourbon barrel aged beer – slightly boozy yet smooth, with that familiar caramel and vanilla sweetness. I’m usually not a fan of barrel aged IPAs, but this one works surprisingly well. Sitting in the same release series as KBS and Backwoods Bastard, it’s a pretty firm 3rd place for me…but those two don’t exactly set the bar low. I wouldn’t expect Dankwood to be a hit with everyone, but if you’re a fan of big, full bodied imperial IPAs and you can appreciate the sweet bourbon notes of a bourbon barrel aged beer, give it a try. At around $16 for a four pack, it certainly won’t break the bank.