Now this was a really hard beer to find. There were a lot of shops that didn't even get bottles of this. Luckily I was ready for the drop when it came out last Friday (by the way, Founders limited releases normally drop on Fridays). Doom is part of Founders Backstage Series, which are "experimental taproom beers [brought] to a much larger audience." The Backstage Series is really the creme de la creme, but they are very limited and getting them down here in Indy isn't as easy as I would have hoped. Luckily I have a friend up in Michigan that was willing to help me out and pick one up and ship it. I also found one down here for myself. O-Dawg was able to get one and El Duque was able to get a couple to share. We had varying reviews, but for me this was one of the best finds in a long time.
It poured out a beautiful yellowy orangey color that reminded me of a sunset, or something manly, whatever. It had a great barrel aged aroma with some vanilla and oak scents mixed with some nice sweet caramel notes and hints of citrus fruits.
The flavor was sweet and smooth, which was not really what I expected from a DIPA. The hop flavor was sweet and citrusy without the traditional harsh bitterness. There was big bready and caramel sweetness to the body of the beer. The barrel aging did a nice job rounding all of this one out. The vanilla and oak flavors helped bring the sweet malts and hops together. Behind all these beautiful sugars was a great boozy heat that added a bit of sharpness to the beer that was missing from the hop profile. The most impressive part was how well everything was balanced and played off of each other.
This was a really unique treat, and I am thrilled that I have another one aging (I will pop it open in about six months to a year). I will make sure that when the next Backstage beer comes out I do whatever I have to to hunt it down. I give this a 5!
Trivia: This little gem went by the name "Hand of Doom" when it was originally released by the Michigan Masterminds at Founders in limited quantities in their Tap House and festival-only beer line ups over past years.
Pro Tip: These are sold in the European & Australian standard large bottle 750ml. For the metric non-initiated that is 25.4 oz. In Indiana, large bottles are called "bombers." Other colloquialisms in the USA are "rocket" or "deucer." What that means dear neophytes is that you squeak out an additional 3.4 oz. than the typical American bomber (22oz). More beer is more beer!
At 10% ABV the brew reminded me of Backwoods Bastard with the malt and booziness balance. I hope more people get a taste of Doom! I would not be surprised if it snuck into a seasonal rotation... One can only hope!
What I have tried from The Backstage Series thus far I have really enjoyed! I can not wait to see what else comes out for the last two releases for the year. If they are anything close to Frangelic Mountain Brown or Doom I will be very happy!
A big "Thank You" to The Big Guy's beer contact in MI and my Hippy Beer Guy.
Let me start off by saying that I really liked this beer, so when I say bad things, it's from a place of love, not my usual angst ridden vitriol. I was just as pumped for Doom as I was KBS, but just like this year's KBS, it seemed like it was a little off its game. Doom was bourbon smooth like caramel, and sweet like chocolate, which considering it was Double Trouble, caught me off gaurd. Double Trouble was bitter with a floral bite. Those notes didn't seem to transfer well in the aging, which I understood, but Doom needed something to tie everything together. I was hoping that throwing a well done DIPA into a barrel would create a more unique flavor profile than the typical "...this barrel aged brew was syrupy, caramel, blah blah blah." I hoped for more, maybe like how Goose Island's Nightstalker had some surprising hops, I hoped that Doom wouldn't be a typical bourbon barrel offering.
But it was.
And it was still damn good, if underwhelming for the hype. I give it a 4
I was disappointed by Doom after all the hype. It was basically a decent IPA... oh, and there was some bourbon flavor. The two tastes didn't really seem to complement each other very well, it seemed more like two separate flavors just thrown together.
I give it a 3.5, which might go up to a 4 if I tried it again, but it's not worth the effort of trying to track down a bottle.