I think "Doom" is a very funny name for a beer that makes me so incredibly happy. From the sunny color that greeted me as I poured it to the last bourbon-scented sip, I had a big 'ol smile on my face. Get your hands on a bottle of this special brew and I guarantee that you will too.
Beer Details: Doom from Founders Brewing Co., Grand Rapids, MI (Bourbon-barrel-aged Imperial IPA, 10% ABV)
Appearance: Deep golden with an incredibly creamy head of foam, thick at first and then bubbling down to a thin but persistent film.
Aroma: This one filled the room with soft aromas even while I was still pouring. You'll notice the oaky bourbon aromas first, followed by heady aromas of vanilla and orange juice concentrate. A smattering of floral hops edge their way in there, too.
Taste: So smooth. So balanced. Dessert-sweet vanilla bourbon flavors at the beginning of the sip transition into a hoppy bitterness by the end. It's the opposite of a roller coaster — more like driving a golf cart over a grassy hill. As the sips merge together (...ahem), I start to taste those bitter notes sprinkled evenly throughout and pick up on that lush fresh-squeezed orange flavor I first noticed in the aroma. If you close your eyes, you also taste the darker burnt sugar and coffee bean flavors of a darker beer.
This is just a beautifully crafted beer. It perfectly merges the warm, oaky flavor of the bourbon barrel with the bright and sunny flavor of the double IPA. There's a lot going on here between the hops and the bourbon barrel aging and who knows what else, but everything works together in perfect harmony.
This beer was brewed as part of Founders' Backstage Series, which brings some of the experimental beers they were brewing just for their tap room to a larger audience. This was still a very limited release, so if you see a bottle, snatch it up before someone else does.
Food Pairing: Drink this one on its own, very slowly and with great happiness. If you find yourself peckish while drinking, cheese and crackers would go quite nicely.
(Image: Emma Christensen)