Founders Big Lushious Stout

Founders is a good beer maker, and this is a stout with chocolate and raspberries. I had a chocolate treat once that had a hint of raspberry, and it was quite good, but I think I'd prefer that Founders not actually add chocolate, and they should instead rely on the chocolate taste coming from the malt. Still, they make beer, and I only drink it.

One look, and that is a damn chocolate stout. It's not a porter masquerading as something more or better than it. Instead, it is big, thick, nearly black, and it sports a thick head of tiny little bubbles. Light does not penetrate the blackness of this beer, but I can occasionally see a hint of red in there. The head is a dusty tan, like the pith helmet worn by the guy stranded in the desert for a few weeks. The aroma is heavy chocolate with smokey malt and, yes, a hint of raspberries.

First sip is... ZOUNDS! THAT is a LOT of raspberries. It's a whole heck of a lot more than you would expect from the aroma. The smell was overwhelmingly chocolate, and this beer is a giant raspberry with other stuff tossed inside. That other stuff is chocolate, smoke, and even a hint of coffee. It's very unexpected, and I'm not sure what I think about it. Only one thing can solve this problem... a full, manly Irish swig.

Tip-in is carbonation burn and deep, dark chocolate. The raspberries are sitting on the tip of the tongue, but they don't take things over, and the smokey combo with the chocolate is very, very nice. The middle comes tromping in with a sickly sweet syrup of a raspberry and chocolate concoction. Then abruptly, the raspberry takes everything out and shoves itself into the tongue. Finish is a bit more mild, with chocolate resting on the tongue and lips at the end.

Bottom Line: It's too much. The raspberry should compliment the beer rather than taking over like a robber taking hostages in a bank. In the end, everyone dies, and no one enjoys it.



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