Founders DKML Imperial Malt Liquor

Founders hands-down knows what's going on. From their Grand Rapids brewery, I hope they have a good picture of what the beer market likes at this point, as there are few brewers I would trust with something simply called a "malt liquor." I think Zima might have been labelled a malt liquor, but I don't remember, and the internet is a whole click away - who wants to put that kind of effort into this?

The hazy golden brown beverage has a thick, big-bubbled, splotchy, sticky head that puts me in mind of some of the finer IPAs. The scent, however, lets me know that this is a whole different thing entirely. It has that particular bourbon scent with the alcohol-laden wood. 14.2% ABV? Yes, that is exactly what I'm smelling. I wonder what I'll taste.

First sip is wood and bourbon. There is a corn base for everything, and there really isn't a whole lot that is going to overcome that alcohol hit. I mean, this pounds home the fact that it is high in alcohol and it means everything it does.

Tip-in is wood more than anything, but it adds grainy corn (is that a thing?). The middle is a solid hunk of wood that has been soaked in bourbon with corn kernels just floating around in it. The finish is no snap or sudden jerk of flavor, but it is a rather quiet cessation of the flavors that have been there. It's a smooth finish for such a harsh beverage.

Bottom Line: It's an experience, and it's certainly getting better as it warms, I have more, and the alcohol starts to take effect.



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