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Founders Black Rye - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Black RyeFounders Black Rye

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1,075 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,075
Reviews: 422
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 7.69%
Wants: 93
Gots: 155 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Rye Beer |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: maxpower on 09-17-2004

78 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,075 | Reviews: 422 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jet black with lots of creamy head. Boozy and roast stout aroma. Some chocolate. Very faint rye, nothing like Red's Rye.Creamy and well carbonated taste, toast, spice, nothing too intense. Buit of roast on aftertaste. Very drinkable. Thanks Dr. Jay.

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another strange brew that I've come across in the past couple of weeks. I'm still learning about rye in beers and haven't decided yet if its worth trying in a homebrew or not. This beer was basically a nice balanced thick porter/stout with decent amount of rye in it. This extra ingredient surprisingly gives it a whole new dimension.

I poured my half of the bottle into a pint glass and it foamed nicely with a brown/tan color that left a nice sticky lacing behind for the duration of the drink. The foam that remained floating sat as island in the middle of the glass. Interesting to note that there was some sediment at the bottom of the bottle, possibly yeast possibly hops and other particulates.

The smell was half of chocolatey coffee malts and half of rye. Upon first smell I thought I was smelling hops but I'm pretty sure that, unless they used a ton of chinook or some piney powerful hops in the aroma, I was smelling the rye malt. Odd but interesting and eventually inviting once I figured out what everything was. The taste was along the same lines as the aroma. It had a nice chocolatey sweetness and a solid coffee spice and this was all slightly enhanced by the bite of the rye. By the time I got half way through my glass I was really starting to enjoy this, despite my general hatred of coffee flavored anything.

The body was slightly heavy and the carbonation as well as the sticky foam made it a nice thick drink. Even though it had an unimpressive abv it was moderately warming.

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of djrn2
3.64/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Texasfan549
3.84/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of nmann08
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of metter98
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is black when viewed from afar but when held up to the light the bottom is clear and very dark red in color. It poured with a quarter finger high tan head that died down, leaving wisps of bubbles on the surface, a collar around the edge of the glass, and lots of lacing down the sides.
S: Moderate aromas of roasted malts are present in the nose.
T: The taste has lots of flavors of burnt and roasted malts along with notes of piney hops; the rye lends lots of spicy flavors to the finish that linger into the aftertaste.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I really enjoyed the boldness in burnt/roasted malts and spicy flavors offered by this rye beer. It is definitely one I could try again.

Serving type: bottle

Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.71/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Aroma of dark roasted malt, rye, faint smokiness & spice, earthy. Taste bitter toasty malt & rye, spice, zest, hint cocoa & earthiness.

Photo of brentk56
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a black color with ruby highlights and a prodigious head that leaves plenty of lacing

Smell: Roasted malt, chocolate and nut aroma along with some leafy hops

Taste: Starts out with a rich espresso and chocolate flavor; after the swallow, the hops and sour rye (pumpernickel?) flavors kick in to complement the malt profile; on the finish, the rye kicks into third gear and joins with the nut flavors to complement the earlier elements

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a slightly astringent finish from the rye

Drinkability: I really enjoy a beer that stakes out its own turf and this beer clearly accomplishes that goal. Highly recommended!

Photo of BEERchitect
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Black and rye, and without owning any style delineation of porter, stout or brown- Founders Black Rye lives in that obscure world that prevent preconceived anticipations, yet creates curious anticipation that's all its own.

With its overt black appearance, the beer pours frothy, but with a sense of dry aridness that releases its carbonation quickly- suggesting dry ale. But with its stern coffee aromas, coupled with citrus, pine and burnt toast the nose is both robust and quick.

Evading much of its initial sweetness, the burnt sugar taste of toffee is cast to the side in order to favor those toasted and coffee flavors. Faint of toasted marshmallow and french-press coffee, the beer drifts into a spicy rye grain flavor that's both husken and earthen in taste, favoring root, sod and spice.

Its clean and citrus flavor captures the fleeting bitterness of white grapefruit particularly well even while burnt pine needles and peppercorn offer a special zing in its dry and drinkable finish; despite butting up against the friction of imperial strength.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.33/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Tpaliga: Poured a medium black color ale with a medium foamy head with average retention. Aroma of hops is dominant with some traces of malt being noticeable. Taste consists of predominantly citrus hops with a bitter finish and some light roasted malt. Body is a bit thin IMO and rye is very hard to detect. I would have appreciated a bit more complexity and less reliance on hops personally.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Barely transparent chocolate-covered walnut with ruby and bronze highlights when backlit. The whipped creamy head is the color of golden brown sugar and is a chiseled masterpiece as it slowly deflates. Thick gobs of lace adhere to the glass in abstract patterns and are the icing on this frosted chocolate cake of a beer.

Black Rye smells like a citrus hoppy, chocolate-focused porter. The hops are an integral part of the aroma, but I think they'll have a tougher time fighting through the roasted malt in this beer than they did in the excellent Red's Rye. While there's plenty of power, plenty of zip and zing, I can't say that I appreciate the rye.

Re-read the first sentence of the preceding paragraph and substitute the word 'tastes' for 'smells'. The dominant flavor is roasted black and chocolate malt that stops just short of charred. There's also a tendril or two of smoke, along with a tangy, almost peaty, sourness. Spicy rye keeps its head down initially, then becomes a little more bold with warming.

The finish is increasingly hoppy, with a tangy, citric fruitiness that I love. Thankfully, that smoked chocolate undercurrent continues to contribute in a meaningful way until the very end. There's nothing at all wrong with the medium mouthfeel, but I still find myself wishing it was more full and more chewy. If this beer was bigger, in every sense of the word, it'd be a world-beater.

Black Rye isn't quite the equal of Red's Rye, but then few beers are in my estimation. It's still an outstanding concoction that provides the added bonus of chocolate and smoke in addition to its rye malt spiciness. A good indication of a beer's drinkability for me is how full the glass is when I've completed my review. As I type, my pint glass is empty. 'Nuff said. Thanks once again to deejaydan for more Founders excellence.

Photo of Knapp85
3.84/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mikesgroove
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had the pleasure of having this one for the first time last night and have to admit I was totally blown away by it. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 01/30/2010.

The pour was dark and massive. Nearly completely black with a nice and tight head of tan on top that reached a of near two inches before settling back down. Aroma was loaded with chocolate and touches of light hops and hints of spice. Almost peppery with a touch of molasses, nicely done I have to admit. Each sip seemed to build the flavor more and more, really coming together towards the end. Light spice, hints of chocolate and coffee, and a deep, resionous hop flavor that gave it a decided bite as it finished. Rich feel and very well carbonated, I literally could not get enough of this one.

Overall so damn solid, one of my new favorites from Founders for sure.

Photo of oberon
4/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Photo of zeff80
3.99/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Acquired via trade from biegaman, so a big "Thank you" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a reddish black color with a short tan head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of dark bready malts, hops and some chocolate.

T: The taste starts with flavors of rye bread & dark chocolate. Then a strong hops flavor comes in and combines with the dark chocolate to create an intense but welcome bitterness. The malt character is very hearty but what little sweetness is in there gets overpowered. The after-taste is bitter and hoppy.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, clean and dry finish.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, slightly filling, good kick, this is a nice beer to drink a few of, but personally I'd have be in the mood for it in order to select it. However, overall, it's a very good beer.

Photo of Jason
3.87/5  rDev -4%
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.

Photo of Kegatron
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Always down for a new Founders beer. Nice black ale/hop tones. Kind of a robust toasted tone to it as well. Consistent flavor. A nice drinker.

Photo of Slatetank
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed chilled in a nonic on tap at Golden Crust Pizza in Red Lion

The color is black as advertized with opaque clarity with light tan head with fine bead and good retention. The smell has lots of malt -roasty with mild dark cocoa aroma with slight spice with a mild sweet malt odor. The feel is very roasty with medium body with light sweetness and semi-dry and spicy finish.

The flavor of rye malt with slight coffee-like roasted elements and some mild bitterness of hops with a slight spice quality which is peppery and continues with hops and mild alcohol in the finish. Overall this is a great rye with stout-like qualities nice dark malt taste.

Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Founders Black Rye from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,075 ratings.