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Founders Black Rye - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Black RyeFounders Black Rye

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436 Reviews

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Reviews: 436
Hads: 1,490
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 7.9%
Wants: 104
Gots: 271 | FT: 9
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 436 | Hads: 1,490
Photo of BeerBelcher
4.44/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color is what the label says...black. Tan, sticky foam head has good staying power. Aroma is great! Roasted malt, caramel, and chocolate.

Flavor is definitely roasted malt with a bite of bitterness. This has that burned pizza crust taste that I love! A very, very good beer.

I'm already a huge fan of the red rye, and I'll definitely be buying a six of its darker cousin. (377 characters)

Photo of JudgeRoughneck
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
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. (1,355 characters)

Photo of alexgash
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dry-hopped dark ale made with rye sounds good to me! Pours an inky dark brown with a voluptuous, creamy, glass-coating, light khaki head. Big roasted malt aroma with whiskey, smoke, peaty earth, and dark fruit. Spicy hops. Roasted malt flavors blend with chocolatey sweetness up front. Whiskeyish fruit comes around as the roasted turns to increasingly bitter and coffee hops. Yum! Faintly warming. Long dark chocolate bitter finish. Medium bodied with a surprisingly spritzy mouthfeel. Nice work! (499 characters)

Photo of kirok1999
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very, very dark brown, almost black. Nice lingering head with some nice lacing.
Smells hoppy at first, rye speaks up a little later, and then some malt sweetness.
Tastes very dry, clean and bitter. The rye is one of the first notes to chime in, nice floral hops with a lingering finish.
Feels viscous with strong carbonation.
Very easy to drink. Unusual enough to make you want more than one. (405 characters)

Photo of Imstillthegman
3.48/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Flyingbison for this bottle.

Pours an opaque black with a thick dark tan head that fades to a ring. Moderate lacing.

Aroma is a blend of dark chocolate, coffee, rye, burnt brown sugar, and some grapefruit hops.

The flavor, for me, is closer to a stout than a rye. The rye flavor doesn't come through strong enough. Coffee flavor is dominant, with some oats and a bit of the hops at the end. Seems a lot like an oatmeal stout. Over halfway done and still waiting on the rye...

Decent carbonation in this medium bodied brew. Coffee aftertaste remains for a while. Some bitterness on swallowing and just a touch of dryness, as well. If you're looking for a rye beer you may want to grab a Founders Red Rye instead. Not a bad beer....just not quite what I was expecting. (788 characters)

Photo of adammills
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first rye and was really looking forward to drinking it. I poured this 12 ounce bottle into a glass beer mug and dark body and tannish brown head was suprising. The head had some staying power with medium lacing. The beer smelled very, i guess rye, and was very earthy as well. It may have been the appearence but it has the look of a stout and so that is what I tasted at first but then the taste mellowed on to a nice grainy taste, with a touch of alcohol. Drinkable, I like it. (491 characters)

Photo of terrabyte
3.41/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A nice black pour with a thick tan head.

A small whiff of roasted chocolate and coffee, before the smell of grapefruit hops overtook it.

I like rye breads a lot. They have a very distinct flavor and smell. However, I'm unable to really pinpoint where the rye flavor is in this beer. I feel some oat stout in this, but overwhelmed by a citrus, grapefruit hops. A tart & slightly bitter aftertaste. I would have guessed this was a cross between oat stout and IPA to me.

Mouthful is too carbonated for me, however it did make it seem lighter. However, I like the opposite.

Overall, it's drinkable, but not bold enough for me. If you're going to put RYE in big fonts, lets emphasize it. (694 characters)

Photo of Callenak
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle acquired in a trade.

Pours jet black with a huge, frothy head that lingers and lingers. The Red Rye pours the same exact way. The smell is roasty goodness with a little rye spice. Have to wait 5 minutes for the head to go down before I get a good whiff.

I've been excited about trying this one. Had the red rye a few times and have been a real rye kick lately. This was unlike any rye beer I've had. The taste reminds me of the Okocim Baltic porter I recently had but with a rye spice to it. A perfect balance of alcohol and flavor, not overpowering. The rye flavoring is more subdued than the Red Rye, most likely from the roasted grains used. Nice thick mouth feel too.

A fun beer that I would love to try again. With all the rye beers I've been brewing lately I've been curious on how a rye porter/stout might turn out, this gave me a great idea. (870 characters)

Photo of Westsidethreat
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Highly carbonated, a nice "pop" when the cap came off. Not surprisingly, a huge light khaki head was conjured once the beer was poured. Appears to be almost jet black, but its really hard to say since no light can make its way through it.

S: Bakers chocolate, chestnuts, some spicy rye and lactose.

T: Rye if very prevalent, much more than the nose would tell you. First thing that hits you is lightly roasted black patent malt and cafe au lait. Rye moves in with all its spicy goodness. Minor cola twang intertmingles with the rye and piney hops. Finishes roasted with a plentiful amount of bittering hops.

M: Medium body with a stand mouthfeel...surprising for how nice the carbonation was.

D: Interesting brew, fairly original which is always nice. This could pass like as an Xmas beer. (805 characters)

Photo of BlackAngus
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer is jet black, opaque. Big rocky head that fades slowly to a persistent ring.

Aroma is of roasted maltiness, caramel, chocolate and some coffee. No real discernable hops, and very, very little rye.

Flavor is huge, and took several sips to analyze. Coffee, roast, definite rye flavor, subtle hops.

Mouithfeel is just a tad thin for the flavor, but not bad. I just expected something a tad chewier with this beer. But not bad. Very, very smooth.

I wouldn't drink a ton of this at once, but I would drink it often. A quality beer, and very unusual. Highly recommended. (581 characters)

Photo of kennyo
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

by way of Flying Bison

Second beer of the BA fantasy football draft.

This beer is black, just like the name professes, big creamy head, belgian lace throughout. Forgot to wash the glass befre I went to sleep and awoke the next morning and there was a beautiful sticky lace that reminded me how good this beer is.

Aroma is Milk chocolate, coffee, and sweet malt

Tast is spicy, must be the rye, sweet malt, espresso, chocolate, not so much hoppagge here ,tho

Nice body abnd nice carbonation. This is a very drinkable beer that I enjoyed throughout. (561 characters)

Photo of bjohnson
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours an almost midnight black with tints of red here and there. Nice frothy one finger caramel colored head with some big bubbles. Fantastic lace. I really like the look of this rye beer.
S: Roasted coffee with sweet chocolate and caramel notes as secondarys. Dark chocolate fudge notes come through with a deep breath in. Rye is only slightly noticeable.
T/M: Roasted and burnt coffee flavors are the first to singe the tongue. Good hop infusion that seques into a good bitter dry finish--grapefruit hops are the most noticeable. Well balanced beer. Pretty smooth and velvety soft mouthfeel. Goes down so easily as if its on a slide. Remind me of a hoppy stout or porter.
D: Highly recommended. I could have a bunch of these in one sitting and with the abv being at a decent level, almost a session beer. (813 characters)

Photo of ultralarry2006
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Left a two finger head with some good retention and some lacing. Body was the deepest brown, almost black.

Smell - floral hops, roasted malts. Smells like a hoppy porter, rye is not obvious in aroma. Dark bread, chocolate, toffee.

Taste - like the smell, except the rye is now more assertive and obvious, and it lends the porter-like taste of this a pleasant and spicy sourness, like as in rye bread. Very good.

Mouthfeel - full bodied, smooth, a little bit dry.

Drinkability - this is good, would go for at least two of these in a session, might be up for something else after that, or maybe stick with this. (650 characters)

Photo of Derek
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Black with a tan head, good retention, great lace.

S: Dark rye bread, licorous, molases, mocha

T: Dark bitter chocolate; dark rye bread, black-strap molases, balanced with a slight sweetness of dark caramel. A little piney hop flavour. With the dark malt profile, it really doesn't seem like there's 64 IBU's from the hops. The hop bitterness is certainly smooth.

M: Fairly full body (more than the Red), a little chalky; moderate carbonation.

D: Probably more approachable than their Red, but I love the hop flavour in the Red (it really brings me back for more!).

Seems like more of a 'rye' beer than their Red.

Thanks for picking this up Eric! (667 characters)

Photo of Hibernator
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Founders Black Rye
12 oz brown bottle
Served in a 20 oz tulip pint glass

Pours black with ruby highlights on the bottom of the glass. Massive, fluffy head that has the body of shaving cream. The puffed head is tan colored and leaves sticky lacings all over.

Whiffs of roasted coffee beans, strong malts and light hops.

Wholesome body with flavors of dark and milk chocolate blend with the bite of espresso. Liquid tasting of dark wheat and rye bread rolled and baked together. Hershey kiss chocolate buzz mixed in with a solid hop snap finish.

Enjoyable and flavorful. Certain aspects of this beer remind me of a nicely crafted porter, but the rye flavors are nicely highlighted as well. (702 characters)

Photo of steinlifter
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured as black as Coca-Cola,(maybe darker)..frothy type head, that left broken lace all the way down.
Smell was pleasant, a lot of chocolate, and coffee notes coming through, slight rye whiff.
taste is some bold hops up front, followed by the coffee, chocolate,rye, and strong tea aftertaste, which is very pleasant,slightly dry but smooth finish.
Mouthfeel is dry and full, but mellows to a more wet finish, nice bubbly sensation.
Drinkability: I was worried that this might be a hop monster, but was pleasantly surprised that the overall impression was a bold hop taste that was very well blended so as not to overwhelm me....a very nice beer, that I would try again. (679 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice creamy tan head, lots of lacing throughout the drink.

S - Scents of sweet malts, toffee, and caramel.

T - The taste is malty with a nice toffee flavor, there is a nice dry finish.

M - Medium body.

D - Very drinkable. This is a very tasty brew offer from Founders. Glad I had a chance to check it out. (365 characters)

Photo of trep
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark ruby red body with a frothy foamy off-white head. No visible carbonation, no yeast.

Milk chocolate, definite rye presence, and faint hops. A bit of caramel and bread.

Creamy, malt profile. Very smooth with a nice hop bitterness that carries it through the finish. Chocolate and caramel are abundant.

Thin body, surprisingly, appropriate carbonation. Very easy drinking. Incredibly smooth and the aftertaste reminds you of the goodness that you just sippied on. (474 characters)

Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Fresh out the mailbox from flyingbison. Pours from the bottle a 98% opaque blcak color with a very nice sized, if somewhat fizzy, mocha head that leaves great lacing and has nice retention.

Aroma was mostly chocolate, rye, and coffee, in that order. The chocolate seems most powerful, but the rye follows suit. Chocolate then follows. Lightly citrus hops as well.

Taste is bitter rye with a big backbone of coffee and chocolate. If I were to classify this beer, I would say stout/porter with rye. Not a whole lot of the hops flavors come through in the taste, but there is a distinct hop bitterness that adds complexity.

Crisp mouthfeel with a clean finish. A little bitter in the finish but not overwhelmingly so. Light to med bodied. A nice beer with some great flavors. (783 characters)

Photo of Doomcifer
3.93/5  rDev -3%
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. (806 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
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. (572 characters)

Photo of geexploitation
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark, coke-color with sticky, lace-inducing head. Aroma of yeast, burnt coffee beans and a strange quality (that I must assume is due at least in part to the rye) that reminds me of rising bread dough crossed with a pool liner. On the palate, zesty hops give way to sweet-and-spicy malts that possess an earthy, still-fermenting quality. Full carbonation pumps up the gravity artificially, but not unpleasantly -- I'd say the mouthfeel is actually the best aspect of this beer. Overall, this experiment in rye is interesting but not terribly drinkable, and not terribly memorable. Only OK. (589 characters)

Photo of biegaman
4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A layer of foam sitting over a nutty, earth brown colour - great looking. Aroma is filled with substance - peet malt, rye malt, a fair bit of booze and plenty of hops! A good warming sensation is instilled with this one, but no booze is present in the taste. Very 'earthy' in character. Hops play a large (but understated) role in the profile. I can best describe the flavour as grainy, malty, 'oat-y' perhaps? Lots of dry character, exceptionally grainy. A coarse, coarse mouthfeel but scary drinkability. A great rye beer, I would gladly have this one again ... thanks HogTownHarry!

*A small re-review must be made to reiterate how fantastic this beer is. I have FrozenSoul327 to thank for this bottle!
I won't critically review it at this point, but I will again, reiterate what I think of it... it's awesome. So chocolatey, so hoppy, with this twisted rye sensation. Imaaculately smooth. Ultimate drinkability! I have to raise my marks - this is soo good! (964 characters)

Photo of Dubbercody
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Frozensoul327 for this bottle.

Poured from bottle, nice dark head, leaves lacing on side of glass.

Smells like hopped chocolate.

Taste is sweet, roasted chocolate with a cleaning hop presence that keeps the brew from being heavy.

This brew really opens up while it warms.

Very easy to drink! Not a heavy feel in mouth. Heck of a beer and I'll have to get some more!! (393 characters)

Photo of wingman14
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Founders. Pours a dark black with a dark tan head, plenty of carbonation and looks inviting. Smells quite hoppy with burnt and rye notes. Taste is very hoppy for a darker beer, has plenty of rye, and a good deal of bite. This beer packs a strong punch. It has ok mouthfeel, I thought it hit me a bit hard for me to score it high for mouthfeel. That doesn't mean this beer wasn't delicious, because it was. I could enjoy this beer anytime and recommend it for hop fans or porter lovers. Enjoy! (511 characters)

Founders Black Rye from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 436 ratings.