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Founders Black Rye | Founders Brewing Company

446 Reviews
For Trade:
Founders Black RyeFounders Black Rye

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style: Rye Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
78 IBU

Added by maxpower on 09-17-2004

User Reviews
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Reviews: 446 | Ratings: 1,570
Photo of FBarber
3.96/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours very dark black with a tan one finger head that quickly dissipates to a thin tan film along the top of the beer. Looks like a thin stout, really interesting.

Smell is RYE. Smells like a freshly baked loaf of rye bread. Tons of malts coming through with undertones of some pine and coffee. I fully expect to drink liquid bread based on aromas alone.

Taste is really interesting. Lots of rye as expected but not as bread-y as I expected. Solid thick malty backbone with notes of pine, mild green coffee, toasted bread, and chocolate. Slight sweetness that is quickly countered by a hoppy bitterness on the finish. Not a ton of hop character but this bottle is a few months old so that may play into it - I like it as is though.

Feel is thin and oily but not at all watery or weak. There are tons of flavors in this that balance out the light mouthfeel. I find the rye profile to be more conducive to sipping, but that may just be me.

Overall I went into this with no expectations, and was pleasantly surprised. Really solid and unique beer here. At first its a bit weird, but the more you sip it the more it grows on you. Definitely a cold weather beer in my opinion.

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Photo of Gajo74
3.89/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Coming out of the bottle, it looks dark brown, however, in the glass it looks nearly black. Modest slightly tan head quickly dissipates into a thin ring like lace. A pleasant aroma of chocolate malts and lightly roasted coffee. There is a sweet and creamy chocolate coating on the tongue, however, a moderate bitterness of hops and spicy rye predominate the mouthfeel. Smooth and creamy, medium bodied and mellow in the mouthfeel. The alcohol is barely detectable but it has a warming effect. I liked this one overall.

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Photo of q33jeff
3.67/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

"3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
samsmith33 (745) - - JAN 11, 2015
Appearance: dark black, white head. Aroma: dark chocolate, coffee, toast Taste: ash, hops, rye, Interesting beer. I always love when rye works in a beer.

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Photo of SLeffler27
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Quite black with dark garnet highlights that are only visible when put to the light. A frothy, chestnut head reaches one inch before slowly settling to form a creamy half-inch layer and thick rings of lace on a Three Sheeps fisheye pint glass.

The aroma opens with pine, then completely turns over to coffee. The roasted malt rounds out as warmth brings out distinct notes of peanuts.

This Black Rye is quite bitter on entry, then momentarily balances out before moderate bitterness takes over. The backdrop is coffee. While it might simply be power of suggestion, I detected caraway seeds. The finish builds with Baker's chocolate for symmetry.

A medium body and velvety texture. Fizzy carbonation with greater alcohol presence than anticipated and generally dry.

This beer works well after work as it is interesting but capable of residing in the background. One could easily refer to this as a Black Rye Pale Ale or a Cascadian Black Rye Ale.

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Photo of MIBeerGeek
3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep brown/black pouring, little to none on the light shining through. White head that was thin to none. Smells of light hops and a coffee and chocolate and rye malts. Tastes very malty to the start and finishes with a hop kick. Feels smooth and slightly over carbonated but overall is a good beer and wouldn't mind having it again.

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Photo of classixIII
3.96/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark reddish brown pouring, almost black in the glass. Half a finger of dark tan foam that dissapated quickly.
Aroma is coffee, chocolate with light hops. I get the rye malt taste upfront with the piney hop flavor right after. Great mouth feel, like the carbonation. FInish is all hops and may be a tad bitter for my personal taste, but very good overall.

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Photo of sjones5045
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12/4/15 Home Bottle

Pours dark chocolate brown that looks more like a porter than an IPA. But as the name suggests, it's black so no surprise there. The head is of with decent lace.

The smell is a mix of hops in the background and a chocolate malt upfront.

The taste is of bitter chocolate and a light hop backbone. IT's pretty good but kind of soapy at times.

Overall I enjoy it but it's a right place right mood kind of beer.

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Photo of challenja
4.46/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark caramel charcoal hue. Light fermented white lace coats the glass. Sticky white residue.
S: Sweet molasses, bright caramel rye mash bill, all spice, sweet 60% costa rican single origen chocolate, new French oak barrel.
T: follows the nose, light bodied sweet chocolate stout in style, charred French oak, astringent hops, tight clef pallet.
M: smooth, medium body, high acidity, astringent, rye mash, top pallet wash hog.
O: another unique winner from Founders. A delicious winner deserving of a nitro tap.

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Photo of lwillitz
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12-oz bottle into craft glass

A - a finger of dark tan foam over a black body

S - coffee, grapefruit, pine

T - bready dark malts, coffee, smoke/burnt flavor, grapefruit and pine from the hops, earthy notes

M - smooth, creamy medium body (lighter than expected), medium carbonation

O - Founders Black Rye is a very good rye beer. The taste is complex and very enjoyable. While it could have a little more body, the smooth creaminess is still impressive.

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Photo of UPMD_Bill
3.81/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I had a bottle that was left over from last year. Still good but some of the hop character is missing. Starts off almost like a stout with chocolate malt flavor. Sweet malt followed by bitter. Not getting the citrus or pine notes from the hops because it's an old bottle. Creamy mouthfeel and filling. Will try again to compare a fresh bottle.

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Photo of stephens101
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sleek and shiny black with a foamy, rolling tan froth. Fresh grain and caramel aroma with a bit of roasted malt down deep. Tastes of caramel, black licorice and dark fruits. Sugar and distant florals noticed later.

Simple and very efficacious.

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Photo of SometimesIfart
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Founders Black Rye.

I really don't drink enough Founders beers these days. Not because I don't want to, but because I've had a large majority of what they offer and I'm afraid that I may one day run out of beer to review since I don't ever foresee myself trading.

Look - Well it is certainly about as black as you're going to get for the style. A but of lighting can be seen through the glass. Head was half mocha and came in a fingers worth with turned to sticky cloud formations around the glass. Carbonation is unreadable due to the darkness of the body. Microscopic lacing is left after the drink is finished. 4.

Smell - There is a larger hop presence here than I had expected. Grapefruit juices and dark malts meet in conjunction and own everything in this department. Not picking up any stout like traces. 4.

Taste - A slow drinker as is typical of the style. Large dark rye bread is the first thing to smack your tongue and is followed by a sucker punch of dry though juicy hoppiness as the beer warms. Sweetness is at a medium level and not overbearing. The bread lingers for what seems like forever and fills up the stomach. I'm willing to bet this brew is over 500 calories haha. 4.25.

Feel - Body is farrr more watery than I expected out of such a filling beer. Carbonation is medium to high depending on the drink you take and the overall feel is fairly creamy. 3.25.

Overall - This is one of the better Rye beers I have had. I'm not a huge fan of the style to be quite honest. You either get too much rye and not enough hops ( IE Mutbrød or whatever that Bruery beer was called), something balanced though slightly lacking ( Bells Smitten) or something that is hopped well, but doesn't meet the style ( GLBC Rye of the tiger) . As is typical of the style, this is a slow drinker and not for somebody worried about a diet. It's good and I'd have again on a cold winter night in front of a fire. It's a meal in a bottle and I could probably fall asleep after drinking one. 4.

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Photo of Domvan
3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark thin pour, medium bodied head
Smell of dark roasted malts and piney hops
Tasted spikey like I was eating pine cones
The rye may be too much for, it always seems to throw me way off

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Photo of jzlyo
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma is yeast, dark malts complex spiciness/rye. The flavor is dark malts, chocolate, grapefruit, citrus/fruit, tropical fruit, oily/slick and mix of sour/acidic/mildly tart in the finish.

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Photo of Tone
4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a black color. 3/4 inch head of a tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of piney hops, sweet malt, slight roasted malt, hint of yeast, slight alcohol, rye, and hint of wood. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Fits the style of a Rye Beer. Tastes of roasted malt, sweet malt, piney hops, slight wood, slight rye, alcohol, and a hint of yeast. Overall, great appearance, good aroma, feel, body, blend, and complexity.

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Photo of MaximalC
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

*Bottled 12/30/14

Pours dark chestnut in color with ruby highlights and an inch of fine, khaki foam that settles into rocky terrain. Delicate aroma smells of chocolate and roasted malt with a hint of molasses or peat.

The taste follows the nose quite closely, with a blend of both dark and milk chocolate, mild, roasty bitterness, and enough rye to make its presence felt without being overbearing. I find the bitterness to be very low key, though that may be due to the fact that this bottle is nearly 6 months old. Whatever hop bitterness exists is earthy and largely ensconced in the bitterness of the roasted malt, which is perfectly fine by me. The medium body and carbonation facilitate a very smooth and drinkable mouthfeel, almost like an oatmeal stout.

Well, this was a pleasant surprise for an unheralded beer in an unfamiliar style. It’s smooth, chocolately, balanced, and dare I say highly sessionable. It carries on Founders’ fine tradition of brewing delicious dark beers.

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Photo of TH28
3.72/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle. No code date. Appearance: Jet black and opaque, with a thick creamy tan head. Aroma: Roasted coffee, toffee, hint of caramel. Also some resinouse hop notes. Taste: Sweet roasted malt and toffee dominate, a slight peppery rye bite, and strong hop bitterness with hints of resin and pine. Mouthfeel: Medium body with light carbonation. Finish: Roast lingers long past swallow, along with some bitterness. Overall: Drinks like a Black IPA. Aggressive hopping is evident in the aroma and taste, but to me the balance of roast against the hops isn’t as balanced as I’d like.

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Photo of jmasher85
4.52/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

As soon as I open the cap, the toffee hits me. Some burnt brown sugar comes next, once I start pouring this molasses-brown, mildly heady ale into my tulip glass. Smells both sweet and bitter, with a slightly sour rye flavor in there too. A bit of pine and some scent that I can only place from certain cleaning fluids, which doesn't sound like a good thing except that I rather enjoy using that particular cleaning fluid. Later sniffs unlock a bit of chocolate chip cookie - go figure, right?

The taste is impressive as well. Bitter hops and and sweet malts meet once again on the front of my tongue in a smooth, lightly carbonated mix. The strong-ish alcohol presence is there too, but works in concert with the flavor rather than against it. Still heavy on the burnt toffee and some tootsie roll, but without the sugar. I'd say the taste and color suit each other well in this situation - it really does have an almost ashy quality to the bitterness. A bit of a smokey flavor in the hops is probably at work there.

Overall, this is a wonderful beer that's a delight every time I drink it. Just the smell of this one is enough to stop me in my tracks and make me want to drink it every time I see it, like when I see The Godfather on TV and have to sit down and watch the rest.

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Photo of NCMatt
3.08/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

I got this because I found it marked down ridiculous. My local shop had a 4-pack for $5, and while I know rye beers and black beers each aren't usually my forte, I decided to get it anyways, because how can you pass up a deal like that? Well, it's certainly a black rye. That's for sure. For the style, especially considering the ratings on this site, obviously it is amazing. For me however, it was just too much. Too strong on the rye / spice for me personally and has a strong black malt taste as well.

If you like rye beers, you'll probably dig this beer. For me however, it's not one I plan to purchase again.

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Photo of BrewUSA
4.31/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Founders Black Rye

Look 9/10
Smell 17/20
Taste 37/40
Feel 9/10
Drinkability 20/20

Overall 92/100

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.77/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: deep brown with ruby accents; 1 finger medium brown head that receded to a wispy cap; very nice lacing;

S: citrus and piney hops; some coffee; a hint of molasses;

T: rye spiciness is noticeable from start to finish; pine is evident through mid-palate; a touch of smoke in the background; very little aftertaste; moderate bitterness on the finish;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation;

O: an interesting combination of flavors and aromas;

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Photo of mfnmbvp
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, with no apparent bottled on date present. A new one to me from Founders; acquired a single bottle of this stuff from the local beer store.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - Pours a dark cola brown, near opaque in the glass with just a bit of cola brown showing near the surface. About a finger of solid frothy tan head that leaves good scattered lacing. Looks nice.

S - The aroma is a bit tame / simple, but it hits it's mark. Black malts / rye is apparent, with a touch of smoke / peatiness. Piney resinous dry-hopping is also apparent.

T - Taste is the same, only less smoke in the flavor, and more of a sweetened caramel / toffee malt presence is apparent. Melds nicely with the piney, bitter, resinous flavors imparted from the dry-hopping. An earthy, semi-roasty dark malt presence.

M - Smooth & creamy mouthfeel. Piney & bitter. Very easy-drinking for the moderate 7.50% abv. Borderline Black IPA-ish in terms of flavor.

Overall, a nice rye beer offering from Founders. I'm not normally a fan of this style, but this one kept things interesting. Would recommend.

Founders Black Rye -----4/5.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.06/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, dark almost black with a tan head that lingers leaving good lacing, clear

S: pine hops and peppery spice, nice malt character in the background

T: heavy on hops up front, middle shows the presence of the rye, peppery, spicy, finish is bitter citrus and pine hops

M: thick and slightly sticky

O: nice rye that is heavily hopped

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Photo of drunkenmess
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

I recently tried this brew again. But due to my palate change and my maturing taste for beer. I gave it a poor review... ex: "Way too bitter for my taste... rye beer was never my forte. Too much rye, hops, sourness. Idk no good, at least I tried lol."
Since then I've broaden my horizons and opened my mouth to many delicious offerings. Hence my revised review!

Pours heavy black with off white minimal head. Very light lacing. Smells of bitters and slight dark fruits with hints of burntness. Taste is strong yet delicious and inviting.
Strong up front dry hops with actually suttle hints of rye. Also little boozy on the tongue. Light cocoa and slight burnt fruit of some sort? After taste is very well balanced. Overall I'm glad I tried this again. Amazing!

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Photo of kbwalters
3.89/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured cold into a UK style stout glass. Bottled on 12/5/14, consumed on 1/9/15.
Look = 3.75 Pours brown into an opaque black in the glass with brown highlights. .5 fingers of brown head quickly fades to a ring. Spotty lace.
Aroma = 4.0 Hop hit me first, citrus notes, balanced by roasted malts and rye. The roasted malts dominate the aroma. Coffee notes come through too.
Taste = 3.75 Rye flavors upfront, a little spicy, with roasted malts on the finish that linger into the aftertaste. Moderate bitterness. There is a little bit of citrus hop flavor too.
Feel = 4.0 Medium bodied with light to medium carbonation.
Drinkability = 4.0 Standard drinkability for a black IPA, the rye neither adds or detracts here.
Overall = 3.875 A pretty solid black IPA and the Rye adds a second interesting dimension.

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Founders Black Rye from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 446 ratings.