Founder’s Harvest Ale Review

2012 Founder's Harvest Ale

2012 Founder’s Harvest Ale

When it comes to fresh (wet) hopped beers, I am a very difficult consumer to please. The majority of wet-hopped beers I’ve tried have a distinct ‘dirty’ flavor that I do not enjoy. It is a flavor that is hard to describe, but one I chalk up to the massive amount of raw plant material that tends to go into these beers. For lack of a better word, I tend to call it chlorophyll-like. Some people like this flavor, but I tend to enjoy bright, clean hop flavors. Founders managed to impress me with this beer by avoiding a lot of the flavors I find rough or harsh in wet-hopped beers.

Beer Data:

Purchased: 11/3/12 at Bierkraft ($16.50 / 4-pack)
Consumed: 11/3/12
Bottled: 10/4/12
Alcohol: 6.5% ABV

Commercial Description from Website:

This liquid dream pours a hazy golden straw color with a white, two-finger head. Your first sip rewards you with a super juicy hop presence bursting with fresh citrus, then finishes to introduce toasted malt undertones.

Tasting Notes:

Aroma: Sweet orange peel and tangerine dominate the nose. There is a touch of pine resin and light grapefruit as well. Aromas are clean and defined; not dirty at all. The hop intensity is somewhat subdued compared to other IPAs. Very light malt sweetness. 8 / 12

Appearance: The golden appearance alludes to the fact there isn’t going to be a ton of darker caramel malt or toasty flavors in this beer. Clear, but not brilliantly so. White persistent head. 3 / 3

Flavor: The hop flavor is lighter than what the nose foreshadowed. Grapefruit flavors are much more apparent on the palate along with some light tropical fruits (pineapple). The bitterness is firm, but moderate for the style. There is a light toasty / crust-like malt character. No caramel or alcohol flavors. There is a hint of dirty chlorophyll-like flavors. 14 / 20

Mouth Feel: Very light, crisp, and dry body. Medium carbonation with a slight amount of astringent bitterness. 3 / 5

Overall Impression: Harvest is an enjoyable light and clean IPA. The hop flavor is balanced and doesn’t overwhelm you, making it quite sessionable (if that is possible for a beer of 6.5% ABV). Founders managed to avoid much of the negative flavors which I get in a lot of wet-hopped beers. If the hop intensity was dialed up and the roughness of the bitterness toned down a hair, this would be an outstanding beer. That being said, this beer is very good. 7 / 10

Score: 35 / 50 (Very Good)

Note: Evaluation done according to BJCP Scoring System. This beer was reviewed as a Category 14b American IPA.

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