Beer 

Backstage Series #14: Project Pam

Brewery

Founders Brewing Co.

Style

Black IPA

ABV

10.8%

Availability 

In 22-ounce bottles

Where I bought it / Format / Price

O’Briens / On tap, 10 ounces / $7

Company Beer Description

“Black IPAs have long been a staple in our Taproom and at our annual Black Party – a celebration of experimental, dark beers – and Project PAM combines this with our deep, abiding love for barrel-aging. It’s an invitation to venture into the shadows of our brewers’ minds and discover their mad genius. In development under a shroud of secrecy for years, Project PAM is brewed with an abundance of hops including, Chinook, Nugget, Centennial, Amarillo, El Dorado and Mosaic. It’s balanced with Crystal and Midnight Wheat malts and finally aged in maple syrup bourbon barrels to add complex oaky bourbon notes and the sweetness of maple syrup.”

Pouring / Tasting / Reflection

I am psyched to try this beer because the last time I tasted Founders and maple in the same mouth was the 2009 Nemesis, a maple bourbon wheat wine, and the beer was exotic and haunting. During a recent Southern California distribution launch party, Project Pam was amongst the rarities being offered, an offer I could not refuse.

The pour on Project Pam has a shallow head, the nose smells most like a raisiny Belgian Quad. There is a full, fruity palate, almost a little too lingering. Where is the maple? The bourbon is soft and sweet. Most of all, I am tasting dark stone fruit and prune sugars. For a Black IPA, there is very little hoppiness, only on the last trailing finish of a sip. A hint of lemon or orange citrus is buried within a nebulous, Quad-like sweetness. Is this a black saison? The style is swallowed up by the barrel-aging. Even with the difficulty I had tracking the flavors of the ingredients, this is still an intriguing sip for a long night of backgammon or the like.

Words I would use to describe this beer

prune, Irish coffee, lemon peel espresso, milk chocolate orange peel, bramble, candied lavender, Necco wafer

Pair with these foods

prunes in Armagnac tart, milk chocolate-lemongrass crème brûlée, lamb tagine with sultanas

Weather

gust

Irish coffee, bramble, candied lavender Even with the difficulty I had tracking the flavors of the ingredients, this is still an intriguing sip for a long night of backgammon or the like.
Crafts(wo)manship78
Flavor/Aroma82
True-to-Style/Unique Stamp39
Drinkability80

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