Quick Take: This is a solid fruit beer that keeps the sweet from becoming overwhelming, a testament to Founder’s skilled brewers. I can’t say it is a big departure from Rubaeus, a beer I appreciate more than desire, but Blushing Monk improves on the best qualities of its little sister. I enjoyed the 10oz pour I had and don’t regret the bottle I bought, but there are better Founder’s offering.
Let’s clear the air upfront and ask the only question that needs asking. Why pit these popular, near mainstream craft beers against each other, especially when one is an imperial IPA and the other an imperial amber? Fair enough question, and one I ask myself every January when the pissing match among PA beer nerds over which is superior gets heated (Pro Tip: If you’re uber elite, you’ll dislike both!) I suppose it’s for that reason, and the fact that I had one of each in the fridge and already did up the graphic, that I went through the arduous task of drinking not one, but TWO beers to settle the score. My dad was also on hand to help me with this Herculean task and offer his opinion of which sweet IPA reigns supreme.
(Note: I know this whole endeavor is a subjective exercise. What follows are preference and palate based conclusions and not hard science. Let’s begin!)
Quick Take: On first sip, my mind was set on giving this a firm pass, especially at $20 a bottle. But, a simple change refocused my taste buds and I found a rather enjoyable beer swimming in vanilla, brown sugar, coconut, and whiskey heat, though the hoppier elements of Bigfoot are lost. While I’m lukewarm on whiskey barrel aging in general, this is one of the more successful I’ve had.
Quick Take: This is one of the more by-the-numbers beers I’ve had from 3 Floyds, but it also happens to be one of the most enjoyable. I’m not much of a malty IPA fan, but the big grapefruit body and soft, drinkable mouth feel make this an easy beer to recommend.