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Founders Black Rye - Founders Brewing Company

Founders Black RyeFounders Black Rye

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

285 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 285
Reviews: 274
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 8.8%

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Rye Beer |  6.60% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

64 IBU

(Beer added by: maxpower on 09-17-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 285 | Reviews: 274 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of t0rin0


4/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2008 07:21:45 | More by t0rin0
Photo of Monkeyknife


3.95/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle a deep rich brown–nearly black with a bubbly tan head and a ton of sticky lacing.

Aroma of grassy hops, espresso, and roasted malts.

The roasted malts and rye really come through in this beer. The rich taste of espresso sticks nicely to the tongue with every sip. Sadly, the hops are hardly noticed in the taste.

Creamy mouthfeel, smooth, with a light carbonation.

I found this Rye to be very drinkable. The character of the rye and roasted malts makes this a nice beer for the winter season.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2008 22:08:32 | More by Monkeyknife


4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours to a attractive black body with decent carbonation showing on the sides of the glass and in the head. Head is a rocky deep tan with nice retention. Nose is wonderful with a mingling of smokey malt and spicey hops. Really gets the mouth watering. Flavor is a little thinner than the nose would have led you to expect. Does have a solid burnt malt character followed by a even, dry bitter feel that rounds out the mouthfeel. Maybe even a hint of sweetness in the middle of the palate. Nicely drinkable and quite complex the style.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2008 02:57:57 | More by SPLITGRIN
Photo of MuenchenerKindl


4.43/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a Growler I picked up quite some time ago and stored in my cellar. The liquid is dark brown close to black with ok carbonation. The head is on finger thick and dark mocha, it has good retention yet leave very little lace.

The smell is very good, like dark rye toast, very nice roasty toasty all around with some great hop character as well.

The taste follows and delivers. This is a high quality brew, great malt and hops, really satisfying, the roasty flavor is wonderful, and the hops bring great balance.

The mouthfeel is good, nice body and a very good carbonation feel.

The drinkability is really good, I am happy to drink this brew anytime. Really this beer drinks awesome, a must try. it has some thing to offer all lovers of great beers.

Prosit und Zum Wohl, MK

Serving type: growler

01-06-2008 07:05:20 | More by MuenchenerKindl
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2008 00:36:29 | More by pwoods
Photo of homebrewhawk


3.68/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Opened with a pop! Poured a deep black with an off white head. Lots of roasted barley and citrusy hops in aroma also some chocolate. Aggressive roasted/patent malt bitterness. Some tangieness from the rye. Long dry finish of roasted malt and hops. Not sure if I could drink a lot of this.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2007 15:47:04 | More by homebrewhawk
Photo of seaoflament


4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one in my recent Secret Santa package and could not wait to try it, thanks sprinkle!

Pours like cola with a MASSIVE amount of foam, even with a careful pour. I had to wait a few minutes for this one to calm down, which left thick pillows of lacing behind. Impressive, but c’mon I wanna start drinking!

Lots of rye bread with citrus notes. Grapefruit peel along with roasted malts, roasted barley, dark berries and raisins.

Taste is similar to the aroma, with some roasted barley and rye bread upfront followed close by the citrus hops, cocoa, and coffee.

Love the mouthfeel of rye beers, a little dry and grainy. A bit of red grape skin after taste.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2007 02:56:53 | More by seaoflament
Photo of genog


4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a thick black color with a generous amount of foamy, and frothy rich brown head. Bubbled up almost over the rim of my glass. PLenty of sticky lacing on the side of the glass. Aroma is of rich, dark roasty malt with a vine type grape aroma. Taste is sweet at first followed by a hoppy bittering. Mouthfeeling is very flat allowing for the flavor to really dominate and that is mostly the rye.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2007 02:44:06 | More by genog
Photo of DavidEddie


4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brownish black in appearance. Thick head. Aromas of roasted malt, chocolate, a bit of spicy rye and coffee. Tastes of chocolate, roasted coffee, burnt toast, mild pine, dark rye bread and some tangy citrus. Finishes kind of crisp. Mouth feel is creamy and slightly thick. Drinkability is nice. Alcohol is well hidden. Reminds me of a spicy/hoppy porter. Recommended!

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2007 03:45:06 | More by DavidEddie
Photo of BeerTruth


4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to limesmut for this one.

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours an almost black with a one finger light tan head that quickly dies down to a thin layer of bubbles. Very spotty lacing on the sides, could use some help in this department. The nose of this one is probably the best characteristic of this beer. There's a wonderful explosion of fresh grassy rye and dark smokey chocolate. Fresh ground coffee with a subtle citrus hop bite. In a way I could find people really disliking this smell, but I find it complex and very appealing. Taste is very similar to the smell. Fresh burst of citrus up front with a chocolate and carmel malt undertone. Toasted rye flavors are presesnt from start to finish which gives this beer a very unique and crisp bite. Aftertaste is somewhat dry and clean with a fairly bitter feel. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a fair carbonation. I just recently had Bell's Rye Stout and find these two beers to be fairly similar in taste. Bell's was more creamy and Founders has more of a bite. Another solid brew from Founders.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2007 00:40:52 | More by BeerTruth
Photo of jjayjaye

New York

4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque darkness with a huge stiff tan head. A good amount of lacing as the rocky foam drapes and fades. The first mouth full through the beast is creamy and full bodied. Initially you can enjoy a chocolaty aroma from about a foot away from this one. As the head subsides the rye character sneaks out from beneath the cocoa. Full flavored, the taste is quite similar to the nose. A hoppy finish balances the malts out nicely. At 6.6% ABV this one is real nice drinker. Been looking forward to trying it for a while...thanks Dave!

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2007 23:02:40 | More by jjayjaye
Photo of barleywinebrewer

New Hampshire

3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

this one caught my eye while on a beer run and I thought, why not? Rye seems to be showing up more so let's see what they did here:
A - dark brown, black with a bit of reddish tint when held to the light. Huge, tan head that lasts forever.
S - roasted grains, chocolate with an unerlying note of rye.
T - similar to the nose with a light balancing piney hop character
M - medium bodied, very carbonated, smooth with a lingering roasty aftertaste.
D - Mild, accessible and pleasant. I would probably have one with a flavorful dinner next time, rather than an after dinner drink. Seems like it would pair well with a steak and blue chess salad.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2007 19:45:02 | More by barleywinebrewer
Photo of zdk9


3.35/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

My third and last night without power. Tonight a beer for the blackness of the night.

A- Who let the foam out?!? Pouring this beer took considerable time as it foamed up incredibly and I had to wait for it subside three times before I could get an entire bottle into the glass for drinking. And I have to say that that somewhat ruined the experience for me. As for the color of the beer, well it's black, black as night, enough said.

S- Roasted grains, coffee, and a bit of unsweetened cocoa.

T- The biggest contributor to the taste party is roasted coffee, but there is also some bakers chocolate or cocoa, and a hint of roasted almonds or hazlenuts. Very porterlike which I find delicious.

M- Very overcarbonated. As if the pouring wasn't enough the first sips were sharp as the bubbles attacked my innocent tongue. After I got past this I found a dry and astringent beer.

D- If this beer is always this carbonated I would not drink another. But if I simply have a bad bottle I would certainly be willing to give it another try. I enjoyed the porteresque smell and flavor, though I was hardpressed to find any contribution of the rye.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2007 00:02:18 | More by zdk9
Photo of atsprings

North Carolina

4.47/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an almost opaque black with a thin tan head that leaves spotty lacing on my SABL glass. The aroma is somewhat reminiscent of a stout but also has shades of smores being cooked over a campfire. There was an abundance of roastiness in the flavor, but not quite what you would find in a stout, more like toasted rye bread than roasted barley. Bitter espresso and dark chocolate linger in the finish. The beer is medium bodied with a slight amount of carbonation but nothing too aggressive. This is certainly one of the most interesting dark beers I've ever had, clearly not one to fall into either the porter or stout classification. I truly enjoy this beer as well as their Red's Rye and I cannot wait until Founders becomes available in North Carolina early next year.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2007 05:32:19 | More by atsprings
Photo of markaberrant

Saskatchewan (Canada)

4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - opaque black, but visible carbonation, big tan head holds up well. Good lacing down the glass.

S - great citrus nose, underlying chocolate notes

T - This is one smooth black beer! Starts out with some citrus hop, roasted notes don't show up until long into the finish. Bitterness is listed as 64IBUs, but this is so smooth.

M - Smooth body, silky. Carbonation dances on the tongue and really enlivens the hops.

D - Very unique beer, great flavours, smooth as can be.

Not once, did I mention rye in my review... this bothers me when an ingredient is specifically listed in the name, yet it is not a distinct characteristic. That being said, this is a great beer. I would liken it to an American-ized Oatmeal Stout; very smooth and creamy with a dose of citrus hops.

Thanks to Demcorhip for the bottle!

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2007 20:03:30 | More by markaberrant
Photo of wagenvolks


4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a tulip...thanks to atsprings for bringing this my way.

This pour surprised me, after having just drank a Founder's Red Rye a few weeks back, I was certainly not expecting such a jet black, opaque beer. The head is generous, fluffy, tan, and well retained. Excellent lacing on the way, too.

The aroma reveals a biscuity malt backbone with notes of brown sugar, foresty hops, and toffee. The taste blasts off with a huge roast coffee malt note, acrid as hell and lingering for what seems like an eternity. Some smoother milk chocolate and hops blend into the background. Lovin' it. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and viscous, with (again) a huge bitter java bite to the finish. This beer is good, if not very good, but it's a bit much to be able to stomach more than one per setting. Nevertheless, it's one I'll be looking forward to trying again soon.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2007 02:45:50 | More by wagenvolks
Photo of soupyman10

District of Columbia

3.93/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got this one cause I was so impressed with the Red's Rye. This one was also very good, although maybe not at quite the same level. Great 'sphit' when the bottle opens. Something crazy in the pour of this whole sixer - huge (4") tan head, frothy, if a little excessive. Beer is mahogany with nice red highlights. Looks great and I'll blame the giant head on mishandling. Nose is crazy spicy malt, turns more roasted as it continues. Molasses, some light dried fruit. Taste is much more roasted than the nose. Spices go strong on the tip of the tongue. Some bittering hopes at the back end and in the fairly short aftertaste. No real sweetness to this one. Too carbonated and fizzy, although the body's good. A tasty brew, although I'll probably stick with the more plentiful Red's.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2007 18:18:52 | More by soupyman10
Photo of Enola

North Carolina

4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Obtained in the original Double Trouble BIF

Wow, this beer is carbonated. A deep black beer with a huge head, so much in fact that there was more head than beer as I poured. It has finally settled and there is a half inch atop the brew. The smell is oatmeal, coffee. This is the first rye beer I have seen that is this dark. The taste is like a nice porter. Roasted flavors abound. The mouthfeel is interesting. Ths carbonation really makes the beer foam up. The drinkability is good. I could certainly go for this again.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2007 00:53:24 | More by Enola
Photo of TurdFurgison


4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. This beer made a huge pillowy cloud of a head over a pitch black liquid. The aroma is hoppy (the label states 'dry hopped') and a little stout-y (maybe the rye gives that smell) with chocolate undertones. The taste is not unlike Storm King, kind of like a hoppy russian imperial stout. Very nice, easy to drink, an excellent beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2007 22:29:21 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of

3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle "Dry Hopped Dark Ale Made With Rye" -- mmm!

Clear, dark brown, not quite opaque, sports some red highlights. Medium sized, light tan, creamy head. No lacing, minimal, if any, legs.

Aroma was spicy, rye? Chocolate. Phenols and alcohol.

Taste was more bitter than sweet, mainly due to roast and citrus flavors. Chocolate surfaced. Finish was spicy and peppery.

Medium in body. Carbonation was medium to high, and I think they could turn it down a bit and improve this beer. Fairly dry.

Overall, quite good, and refreshingly different. I have bought some more so I can try this a few more times.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2007 16:53:39 | More by
Photo of tpd975


4.43/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Have always enjoyed the red's rye, so I figured it was only natural to go to the dark side.

A: Pours dark as night like a stout or porter. There was an average head made up of tiny bubbles, but little to no lacing.

S: Very nice aromas with this brew. You could smell the nice spiciness of the rye. There were also notes of milk chocolate, and the sweetness of caramel.

T: Wonderful brew. It knocks the socks off of red's rye. There is a wonderful balance of spicy charred malt and malty sweetness. The taste is as complex as the smell. Bitter sweet chocolate, mild spice and coffee dominate. There is an underlying brown sugar like sweetness that helps to pull it all together.

M: Medium bodied and very smooth.

D: Ultra drinkable.

Overall: I love this beer and wish I had grabbed a six pack opposed to one for me and the Sudsdog. This is a wonderful beer that is packed with flavor. It is another great brew, as I have come to expect from Founders.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2007 18:06:31 | More by tpd975
Photo of MiScusi


3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a nonic pint glass, with a lot of the yeast going in at the end. The beer is brown and just barely able to be seen through when held to light, otherwise it looks very similar to a porter. The light tan head builds up very big and is frothy. As it recedes it grips the sides of the glass to leave lace and a ring. The smell is no different than a typical porter to me, not that that's bad. It's a little bit of roasted and chocolate malt. The taste start with a combination of chocolatey malt and ends with a bitter roastiness that actually then turns into sweet chocolate after the taste. I can pick up a little bit of floral or perfumey hops hiding deep behind the malt.

The mouthfeel is a little to highly carbonated for my tastes at first, but seems to get better after a bit. This beer is fairly complex and the taste allows it to go down pretty easily. A good dark beer when you want something a bit roasty.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2007 03:57:57 | More by MiScusi
Photo of scott


4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


A pull from the cellar, so this isn't a fresh review. Although, I have had it fresh this year.

Aggressive head pearched atop a dark lovely that teases the eye with amber highlights. Robust aroma consisting of roasted coffee. Medium-bodied, this is initially creamy but finishes with a dry halt.
Coffee cola. Near crisp, but highly refreshing. Easy drinking. The complexity is guarded by simplicity. You will want to try this at least six times. Just to be sure, of couse. Highly recommended. Bless Founders.

This is so well constructed it held up for a year without any significantly noticeable changes.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2007 01:49:29 | More by scott
Photo of Halcyondays


3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, bottled in about September 2006, so it has been aged for about a year, bought at the Lone Hill Liquors in Glendora, CA,

A: Dark black, with a thick, tan head, with excellent retention, it just isn't going to disappear.

S: Smells of dark malts, with burnt sugar, and lots of dark chocolate and coffee notes.

T: Tastes like a stout, with some spiciness. Dark maltiness, chocolate, mocha coffee, some nutmeg, allspice and anise.

M: Smooth, thick and medium-bodied, a very well built beer, but a bit thinner than I would have expected from a beer of this type.

D: I've only had 2 beers from this brewery the Red's Rye and the Black, both are outstanding, I like the Red a little better, but this is a great beer, I just wish that Founders distributed to California, but that is wishful thinking.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2007 04:14:38 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of adowney523


4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into the new Sam Adams Boston Lager glass from a 12 oz bottle. Pours an almost black with a thick tan head. Some bits of yeast appear to float around my beer.

Smells of raw dough along with some citrusy notes. Subtle roasted character.

Tastes hint at chocolate and roasted marshmallow. Lots of citrusy hops to back up the roasted malt character.

Exceptionally smooth and easy to put down. Well balanced with a semi-dry finish. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2007 03:37:17 | More by adowney523
Founders Black Rye from Founders Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 285 ratings.