After being so impressed with Founders KBS, I decided to try a few other beers from their barrel-aged series. One of those beers, Founders Barrel Runner, enters today’s duel. Given the strength of its cousin KBS, I have high expectations for this beer. So, admittedly, I’m going into this one with a favorite. In a one-on-one clash, sometimes a favorite will fall.

The task of slaying the favorite will fall on Cigar City’s Jai Alai. Despite seeing their beer all over the place, I didn’t know much about this brewer. So I decided to do a little research on their site, and discovered they are from Tampa, Florida and began brewing around 2007. If you’re interested, click the link and read more of their story on the about page.

HopDuel Survey

Better labelFounders Barrel Runner
Better aromaFounders Barrel Runner
Better tasteCigar City Jai Alai
Better finishCigar City Jai Alai
WinnerCigar City Jai Alai

Tell us about it

As you could probably tell by the results, I wasn’t a huge fan of the Barrel Runner, but the aroma is truly unique. I’ve had plenty of barrel-aged beers previously, and their aroma typically hovered around bourbon and oak. Barrel Runner is aged in rum barrels and utilizes Mosaic hops. I’m guessing those are key differences between this and other barrel-aged beers.

Beyond the aroma, the Barrel Runner just wasn’t for me. On the flip side, Cigar City’s Jai Alai was a delicious offering for the IPA category. It’s a more traditional IPA, bursting with hop flavor, and I found it less bitter than most IPAs. A long lasting foam head lingers from start to finish, which helps provide an additional texture and adds to the drinking experience.

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