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Founders Black Rye - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Black RyeFounders Black Rye

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

291 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 291
Reviews: 274
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 8.8%
Wants: 65
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Rye Beer |  6.60% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
64 IBU

(Beer added by: maxpower on 09-17-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 291 | Reviews: 274 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by meathookjones:
Photo of meathookjones
4.83/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours out almost pitch black with a tall tan head. Some nice lace was left around the glass. Great aroma filled with nice bitter hops, plenty of rye and dark chocolate. Some lighter fruit notes and smokiness were there as well. Nice citric bitter hops bite up front before some chocolate sweetness evens it out. Nice and roasty with a bit of smoke an coffee. Nice rye bread bitter finish. Very unique and damn tasty stuff. Pretty thick and well carbonated. Very drinkable stuff and it goes down way to easily. I could drink this all day. I am kick myself now for only getting one sixer of this when I was in the area.

meathookjones, May 13, 2006
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a near pitch black with a slight off white colored head that held its retention well.aromas are unique chocolate with dry earth with a hint of sour rye faintly wich goes well with the chocolaty/earthy aromas.Starts out with some bitter chocolate with a lighter caramel note finishing with that light sourness with a hit of piney hop in the finish.Quite unique in its different flavors like that of a oatmeal stout finishing with the hit of rye and American hop,I really liked it will have again for sure.

oberon, Apr 10, 2006
Photo of RoyalT
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This was indeed nearly black in color with a dark white retentive head. The head left some nice pitting on top of the liquid and was a beauty to behold.

Smell – Ah, the light black malts have some serious hop notes. This is Rye Beer Founder’s style. If there’s such as thing as black pine resin these guys found it and dumped in a boatload.

Taste – The malts are darkish and very flavorful. The hops are toned down significantly from the nose, leading me to think that this beer was dry-hopped. There is just the smallest sense of sweetness here, but it’s there and certainly not part of my imagination.

Mouthfeel – This is a medium-bodied dry black beer.

Drinkability – This is a good beer although it’s a bit unusually balanced. It’s very light on the rye so I don’t know if it quite earned its name, but it was super-tasty nevertheless.

Comments – Thanks to skyhand for sharing this tasty rye gem. She nose I loves me sum rye!

RoyalT, Jun 10, 2006
Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.45/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Finally a beer that competes with the Great Dane’s Black Moravian. I would label this as a Schwartz Bier rather than a Rye beer to be sure. A huge citric assault on your tongue and palate is followed by a deeply chocolate underbelly in this fantastically jet black brew. Dry and toasty as beer can be. Black as night. Just great. The mouthfeel is unbelievably assertive. The carbonation is extremely biting. Lots of fun and full flavored.

DaPeculierDane, Feb 07, 2006
Photo of JudgeRoughneck
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

There is big 'ol root beer float colored head on this guy that stays just as long. It is a black brew with burgundy highlights. The nose is powerful. I get alcohol, chocolate, burnt caramel, big spicy hop aroma, and a slight vanilla creme. Alcohol is a little strong.

Going in, I'm thinking a dry-hopped, roasty beer, with a rye kick is going to be either brilliant or a total punch in the palate. After sampling, I think it is both. The tounge braces with every sip to receive hop bitter, rye zing, spice, and roasty, burnt flavors all combining to pack a punch while blending so nicely you can't really tell where one character ends and the next begins. All this forefront action is held down by the firm hand of a deep, dark, chocolate-caramel tone that makes itself well-known. There is an aftertaste of bittersweet chocolate.

The midwieght mouthfeel plays a perfect role here, supporting the beast without getting in the way. While I can't stop sipping this beer it is kinda hard to think more than one in a sitting.

This beer is a marvel of architecture. Whoever brews this is showing off, and they deserve to because I doubt many brewers could pull this off so nicely. By all rights, this should taste like hate, but it is so well put together that it is awesome. Definately a different take on rye. Kind of the inverse of a dark lager.

JudgeRoughneck, Oct 27, 2006
Photo of kaimcm
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: black body thats rimmed with a deep ruby up to the light. frothy tan head.

S: roast, rye funk, a bit of floral hops but not as much as I expected for a dry hopped beer. chocolate, smoke and ash meld together quite well

T/M: up front with roasted malt, but its light and followed by a splash of sugar. chocolate chases the beer down as it dries slightly. hops finish off pleasantly and leave you wanting more. im having a hard time picking out the rye, especially compared to the red's rye. there is a hint of a pepper spice remiscent of rye.

D: relatively light for such a dark beer and easy to put down. dont mistake the relative simplicity of this beer for a fault or brewer error. while not meant for a session, it is meant for easy drinking. right on Founders again, this is a very enjoyable and unique beer. cheers!

kaimcm, Feb 18, 2006
Photo of readicculus
5/5  rDev +22.2%

readicculus, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of orbitalr0x
4.43/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours from the stubby bottle a deep dark black with hints of dark brown on the edges. A small tan head appears and slowly falls to just a ring around the outside of the glass. Wonderful deep roasty nose with hints of spicy grain and dark chocolate. Piney, resiny, slightly citric hop nose is well pronounced and freakin lovely. Wow...this smells so damn good.

First sip brings a big, charred, roasty malt upfront. A bit of spiciness shows through from the rye. Hints of dark cocoa, raisins and molasses intermingle with a nice piney, fresh herbal resiny hoppiness that adds a healthy bitterness on the way down. Quite an amazing brew here!

Good medium bodied mouthfeel and carbonation...very porter like in body. This is an incredibly enjoyable, tasty brew that I could easy see myself sitting down to a few of. Somewhat reminds me of Alpha Klaus in the flavor profile. Cheers to Founders for another winner!

orbitalr0x, Mar 23, 2005
Photo of blitz134
4.28/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Been a while since I've reviewed...been working on reducing the beer stock...

Figured I'd work on another one of my Founder's brews I've acquired, I think this one from Warriorsoul. Head erupted on this one, which quite frankly ticks me off, haha. All I want to do is pour my beer into my glass in one go. But anyways, its about as dark as you can get without actually being opaque. Some garnet and ruby light shines through. Head is light tan, and as mentioned there is a ton of it. Regardless, its still a nice looking brew.

Rye takes the forefront in the aroma leading in with a sharpness. If I didn't know it was rye I might say it has some aroma in there. A light roasted malt comes in as well with a bit of resin or pine hops to finish.

Lots of rye, but alcohol notes seem to work their way in as well. I like this much better than the Red's Rye which I found really unbalanced. This beer is loaded with lightly roasted coffee and bittersweet chocolate notes which work well to balance things out. The roastedness lasts 'til the end. I really like this one.

Typical dry rye finish that I like and look for, but that doesn't mean the flavors finish dry. They linger for quite awhile. Initially this one feels "medium" on the tongue. This is how I think rye beers should be. Drinkability is good. Lots of flavor. The dryness and the strong flavors might limit it to being a sipper. Nature of the beast I guess. But definately give it a shot should you have the opportunity.

blitz134, Mar 08, 2006
Photo of chOAKbarrell
3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I wasnt sure if I should expect too much from this one... I'm not real into the taste of rye in my beers.

Luckily, I was very pleasantly suprised. This beer has the deeper, richer characteristics of a porter, but with an outstanding rye flavor. It is not too overpowering though. Very flavorful and tasty. Seems very well rounded.

I would like to try this again, if I ever see it.

chOAKbarrell, Nov 28, 2005
Photo of Todd
4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle. Deep, dark brown, nearly opaque black with a large bubbled frothy foam head and clingy lace.

Dark rye bread and some coffee in the nose – soft.

Medium to full bodied, firm, smooth. Citric-like sharp bitterness strikes the palate upfront. Hop spice and rye meld together with a chocolaty malt flavor beneath, coffee suggestions, and a distinct roasted flavor and touch of astringency. Bready notes, with toasted edges. Nutty feel on the palate and in the finish. Quite drying. Husky and leafy tannin notes in the finish, and some rye sourness.

Simply a delicious beer. Very balanced and highly drinkable, and the rye in this works well.

"Black is Back" indeed.

Todd, Mar 05, 2005
Photo of sponberg
3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

beautiful beer to look at - deep chocolate brown with a pillowy, foamy light tan head thet sits there forever. Complex aroma of Munich-y malt, whiffs of roastiness and spicy almost junipery hops, and rye graininess.

And you thought the aroma was complex... starts with a combination of roasty bite, a lemon peel and pine hoppiness, and a thin yet round maltiness. Then a dry chocolate and rye graininess joins in, along with a spiciness that sends vapors up into the sinuses. Finishes with a slightly tart, rye, roast, chocolate flavor that I've *never* had from any other beer. Slightly thin mouthfeel - but drinkable in its oddness.

Can't think of another beer to compare it to - maybe a whiff of Alpha Klaus in there, but still different. Thanks to BA JeffKrenner for the bottle!

sponberg, Nov 13, 2006
Photo of Beaver13
3.95/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours brown with a huge rocky light brown head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is rye, chocolate and some tart fruits with a little roasted coffee.

The flavor is sweet lactic chocolate, nuts, coffee and roasted malts with a little vinous fruitiness that blossoms as it warms. There is enough bitterness at the end for a dry crisp finish. The mouthfeel is is pretty full and creamy with some slightly sharp carbonation.

Overall, an interesting and enjoyable beer.

Beaver13, Jun 20, 2007
Photo of Doomcifer
3.93/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

First time seeing this one today and curiously picked it up. Glad I did! Pours a nice cola like color - very dark with a rubyish hue to it. Excellent creamy head with terrific lacing left behind as the brew disappears. Smells of malty coffee and chocolate roastiness like a good stout in fact. Plus something else I can;t quite put my finger on, probably the rye?? Taste is of coffee, dark chocolate, roasted malts, slight hops, with a constant lingering rye undertone which stays with you after the sip is over and done with. Very dry. I could only take down a couple per sitting and move onto something else, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I am very pleasantly surprised at this blind purchase and will definitely purchase again, as well as try out other Founders brews. Recommended for stout fans.

Doomcifer, Jul 15, 2006
Photo of Jason
3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz short twist-off brown bottle with no freshness date.

A- Deep leather brown color, two fingers of lace hold strong with excellent retention which shows on the glass.

S- Layers of floral hops, spicy rye, faint burnt grain and a hint of burnt raisins.

T&M- Pretty damn smooth with an ample crispness. Thick oily hop flavor, malty with a burnt and spicy character. Sufficient hop bitterness, more roasted grain in the finish with a long lingering hop flavor.

D- Interesting to say the least, this one really grows on you after a while. Dark, spicy, hoppy in a floral kind of way ... certainly not conventional but it works. I could see drinking this one on a regular basis to mix things up.

Jason, May 04, 2006
Photo of merlin48
4.58/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Another Founders acquisition courtesy of brewedlyhooked13, and a fine one it is. Pours dark and opaque into the pint glass, ruby mahogany when backlit. Creamy tan head is two inches tall and retains well, leaving enormous splotches of lace all over the glass. Aroma begins with hoppy spruce and grapefruit, with dark roasty espresso notes and rye bread crust quick to follow. Mouthfeel is silky rich, almost full bodied, with tingly spicy hops and rye tickling the palate. The taste is complex, with bitter and acidic dark roasty malts, pine cone hops, spicy rye grain, and rye bread notes. Delicious flavors mingle all over the palate, and are never overly bitter. Wow! This is one tasty brew. Exceptional balance. This is just about the perfect beer, with outstanding aroma, appearance, taste, and mouthfeel. A sublime sipping experience that is immensely pleasant. This is one of those beers I would choose to take to a deserted island, in mass quantities. I admit to being a fan of rye beers, and this is probably the best one I've sampled. Another big winner from Founders.

merlin48, Mar 23, 2005
Photo of fdrich29
3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

6 pack from either Luke's in Rockland, MA or Curtis' in Weymouth, MA.

Mountainous head like that of a rootbeer float. Smells chocolately, with rye and bready hints. No false advertising here, tastes like rye bread. Founders continues to impress. Glad they're finally available in Massachusetts (sans Breakfast Stout).

Quite a substantial and fulfilling brew. Nothing run of the mill about this one. Somehow adds some sophistication to any beer fridge without being snobby.

fdrich29, Jul 14, 2005
Photo of warriorsoul
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Love the label....it's like an 80's Metal Band logo.

Pours a deep black w/ just a hint of light passing through...less than a half finger of head, light brown in color and disappears almost immediately. Very minimal lace and what sticks to the glass, vanishes just as quickly.

The smell is great...a sweet vanilla and coffee burst in the nostrils.

Taste is very unique...it is sweet, but dry and a touch bitter. The malt is a smack in the face w/ just a hint of hop. I can taste a dark roast coffee in here that is very clean and refreshing.

The mouthfeel is well balanced and this could easily become a session beer. Too bad I only picked up one.

Another great beer from Founders...I would highly recommend this beer.

warriorsoul, Feb 02, 2005
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Surprising darkness in the color...much more sinister than expected (however, it DOES say "black" in the label....). Aggressive pour yields a finger-thick layer of tan-colored head that is "big-bubbled" and sticky. Good lacing of the glass. Aromas are quite similar to that of a well-hopped stout: large, lots of toasty malt, and a strong hop presence. Flavor was fine, with a hefty amount of creamy mouthfeel. Hoppy from the get-go, with a bit of chocolate moving in during the middle, and finishing with a pronounced dryness. Drinkable. Another successful rye beer for me.

OldFrothingSlosh, Apr 29, 2005
Photo of jcdiflorio
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured into a flaired tulip from a 12oz brown stubby bottle with a twist-off cap. Thanks to Sudsdog for the send the last of the 2nd journey of the infamous BA shuttle.

Black,opaque with a slight mahogany hue. Tan head went over the rim of the glass with a moderate pour,creamy,pillowy lots of different sized bubbles make up the head, not tight had good retention,leaving sticking rings of lace on the top of the glass with spotty chunks the rest of the way down. Good carbination streams of very tiny bubbles surging from the sides round the glass.

Moderate aromas,very roasty,black coffee,earthy,a grainy/rye aroma with some sweet carmell notes with dark,sweet fruity overtones.

Very roasty taste,some slight sourness,burnt notes, bittersweet chocolate/carmell flavors. Finishes with a sweet, citrus rind bite with a slight grapefruityness that fades away ever so slightly.
The taste is reminisent of a Porter,except for the high bitterness.

Suprizingly light mouthfeel, feels somewhat coarse,leaving an oily hop residue on the palate. Fairly easy drinking, could drink a few of these not an all nighter by any means. An interesting beer worth a try.

jcdiflorio, May 30, 2007
Photo of Osiris9588
3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark brown out of 12oz bottle with a twisty. Three-finger tan head is glorious--great retention, slightly receding into a topography of foamy, creamy pockets.

The rye, some other grain, toasty malt, a hint of hops, and black cherry comprise the nose. The flavor also contains these components, with dry hops and grain really asserting themselves, followed by a sweeter, smoky, black cherry finish.

The mouth is medium-bodied with great carbonation. It is fairly complex, being slightly sweet and creamy, yet also dry at the same time. It is quite drinkable. Very good overall.

Osiris9588, Apr 15, 2007
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appears an almost opaque cola ruby brown forms a large tan head leaves behind even specks of lacing. Aroma has some spicy rye and herbal hops along with a very nice mix of dark chocolate, dark cofee, and a touch of anise or mint like tones. Taste...a beautiful blend of chocolate powder, tea leaves, fresh ground cofee beans, spicy rye with herbal and earthy hop notes. Mouthfeel is Schwarzish light to medium body range smooth even carbonation. Drinkability...honestly challenging and drinkable an all day any season kinda beer great brew truly quality from Grand Rapids.

WVbeergeek, Jul 12, 2006
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.58/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- Inky black dense body with an occasional bubble visible. It has a nice tan head that is creamy with a few rocky peaks.

S- nice spicy aroma with a strong floral hops and a bit of black roasted malt.

T- strong resin hop flavor followed by a nice rye spicy grain taste. Very mild finish that has some tangy notes.

M- Thick creamy mouthfeel that is almost chewy. It has a low carbonation and a hint of tartness in the finish.

D- This is a very interesting beer. It has a big hops taste that blends with the spiciness of the rye. I was expecting more malt or at least more roasted malt characteristic in this beer. It is a nice beer but I would just like to see a few more complex flavors or more depth to the flavors that are there.

rhoadsrage, Apr 07, 2005
Photo of pwoods
2.95/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Thanks to ahatch78 for this extra.

12oz. stubby brown bottle poured into an imperial pint. Screw Founders dating system.

A: Pours nearly straight black with some small brown hues that creep through when back lit. 2 1/2 fingers of mocha head that hangs out for quite a bit. Nice clumps of lacing on the side at first.

S: Rye phenols and nice citrus resiny oils. Some burnt grains that aren't as pleasant.

T/M: Dry to the point of being chalky. Dry coffee. Hoppy grapefruit with plenty of bitterness and large rye phenols. Medium body with enough carbonation.

D: Not a bad brew, but the mouthfeel really hurts it. I'll try it again to see if I like it better.

pwoods, Jan 01, 2008
Photo of tastybeer
4.63/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Blackish brown with red tones and nice head that fades fast. Great smell...burnt and roasty. Taste is compexly malty with some definite rye presence. Also alternating waves of columbian coffee and dark bitter chocolate come through. Thick chewy mouthfeel with a smooth bitterness to it. Slight mellow sourness that blends well with the bitterness. Really drinkable. Mouthfeel makes you drink fast.

Really good. I just decided rye beer is a really good beer style. I'll have to get more of these.

tastybeer, Nov 29, 2005
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Founders Black Rye from Founders Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 291 ratings.