Founders Azacca IPA

I've already said that Founders is probably the most underappreciated brewer out there. They have been really good almost without exception. I didn't look too hard at this bottle before buying a six pack, as I have some faith that this beer will be pretty good - it has Founders written on the top, after all. I don't know what's going on with the label that has a tree that kind of looks like leopard print, and I don't want to try to figure it out.

The brown beer has a heavy orange tint and a fuzzy light tan head that hits with lacing that grips the sides of the glass like an alien grabbing a space mine worker who went off by themselves after saying something like, "There's nothing down there. Here, I'll show you." The aroma is sweet malt with citrus hops hiding behind it like it just saw the alien just hissed loudly. Smells good.

First sip is more sour than I expected. I thought the sour beers would be labeled for sale as "WARNING: SOUR BEER FOR HIPSTERS!" This one was not so labeled. Admittedly, it's not nuts with the sour, but it's not the bitterness that I expect from an IPA (or the nice balance that I sometimes get with a truly fantastic IPA). It's not entirely off-putting, but it's only a sip, so it's not sufficient for an actual appraisal. For that, we need the gulp.

Tip-in is very, very light carbonation burn and caramel malt. The caramel has been set on a frying pan a little too long, and it has charred a bit. Fortunately, someone poured some mango juice on it to stop the smoldering. The middle rolls in with the meat of the taste. Various tropical fruits come out and show off while the malt provides a firm background of biscuits. The finish is a wave of sour and the charred ends of caramel have overtaken the mango, and some grapefruit was added to try to stop it.

Bottom Line: Rough at both ends, the middle of the beer is where delight lies, so drink long, heavy draughts, and you'll be rewarded.



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