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Founders Black Rye - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Black RyeFounders Black Rye

Educational use only; do not reuse.

444 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 444
Hads: 1,554
Avg: 4.04
pDev: 7.92%
Wants: 115
Gots: 291 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Founders Black Rye Alström Bros
Reviews: 444 | Hads: 1,554
Photo of Apellonious
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle dated 12/6/2014 poured into a tulip glass.

A - Dark brown/black, with a half finger tan lace that dissapates quickly.

S - Smells fantastic, and I am having trouble trying to put it into words. There is defintely a bourbon component courtesy of the rye, but its equally matched by a ctirus type hop and a dark fruit component.

T - And there is the twist. Burnt grains and mild smoke/oak appear, with a citrus bitter hop finish.

M - Carbonation is average to above average, has a sharp mouthfeel.

O - Grabbed a single (which I wont do again based on the price), but will defintiely be looking for it next year to see if I can pick it up when its fresher. Fans of black IPAs will enjoy this one.

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Photo of Jmamay22
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours an opaque and deeply dark black with a tan colored head that maintains its size. Nice sticky lacing too. Smells of pine and spicey from the rye. A hint of roast and chocolate. They rye is even more prominent once sipping. Very strong rye flavors and a good firm bitter finish. Hints of roast flavors behind the rye spiciness. Very enjoyable and interesting beer. Mouthfeel is on the heavier side of medium. Well done.

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Photo of cbutova
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Had a bottle of this quite some time ago around New Years. Dated 12/06/14.

A- Stubby Founders bottle pours a mostly black brew to my tulip. A crown tops the beer at one finger with a thick frothy texture. The retention is fairly good as a medium ring remains leaving a thick sheet with webs falling from that for lacing.

S- Earthy hops and blackened barley. Charred dark malts, whole cereal grains, heavily toasted nuts, hearty bread and chocolate brownies. The hops are in between earthy dirt and bright citrus.

T- Rye grows some here with a spiciness that adds onto the charred blackened malts and the heavily toasted browned grains. Cereal, caramel, coffee, cocoa nibs lead up to citrus zest, floral and earthy tones.

MF- Medium bodied and taking into account the flavors it feels just a bit thin at times. The bubbles flow at a medium to high level promoting a creamy texture. Finishes somewhat bitter with burnt and hops contributing.

Definitely some pros and cons to this experience. I think the balance of the aromas and flavor is quite nice. At time the body feels somewhat thin to support what is going on. A solid hoppy dark ale with charred, chocolate grains and bright hops.

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Photo of jmdrpi
4.04/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

served on draft in shaker pint glass

black in color, off white head, decent head retention. nice aroma of a well rounded hop aroma paired with just a little toasty malt flavor. taste is hop dominated.

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Photo of Franziskaner
4.04/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Moderately black in color and impenetrable to light. A fingernail of khaki colored head is present. Brussels lacing. The nose brings dark malt,earthy rye notes, and chocolate. The flavor is as advertised in the nose with the rye leading the way. The bitter dark malt would be next but the rye is certainly dominant. The mouth is slightly viscous and chewy.

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Photo of stortore
4.23/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle dated 12/6/2014, into a Stiegl stange.

Pours almost black, very opaque. Big head in this thin, little stick, not much lacing. Smell is a big rush of rye and malts, good amount of caramel. Overall roasty aroma. A little smoke, hint of black pepper, are those pretzels I smell? Taste continues the rye smell, strong and bitter. A big malt presence, less caramel than the nose, some bitter chocolate, still get a little smoke. Dry, solid body, taste lingers on the tongue.

Really like this beer, Founders should make this year- round. Lots of flavor, a pretty complex aroma. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of mr-jj
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip from a 12 oz bottle.

Color is dark opaque brown with a frothy tan head. Nice lacing and retention. A very nice looking beer. Definitely rye on the nose, along with some roasted malt and citrusy hops. Flavor is crisp citrus hops followed by roasted malt with a dry, semi-bitter finish. It's a very good example of using rye without overpowering the beer. The rye is there and works well with the hops.

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Photo of jlindros
3.47/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours a creamy darker colored 1/2 finger head that fades semi slowly with nice lacing, pretty much pitch black beer.

Nose brings black ipa mostly, dark roasty malts, little chocolate, caramel and various Crystal malts, with earthy spicy hops, mild coffee roast and a little spicy slight fruity rye. Mild fluffy chewy like nougat as it warms.

Taste brings fruity rye right of the bat, a mild spicy rye flavor too, quite fruity though, then onto dark malts, roasty and a little char, no choc, but a little roasty coffee, various caramel with little fluffy nougat carafa like flavors again. Then big spicy hops, earthy spicy and mild briny like, and a little toasty brown malt late with touch nutty. Some plastic phenols come through late, like a glue flavor. Finish is dry but sticky, lingering spicy hops and mild fruity rye, more plastic phenols, and dark chewy malts.

Mouth is med bod mild creamy note, sticky, decent carb.

Overall first the hops and malts clash, then rye turns a weird fruity instead of spicy, then the bad phenols just top it off. Def not the best beer by Founders, they kinda missed altogether on this one imo.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.29/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Bottling date of 12/22/2014. Sampled on March 4, 2015.

Deep dark brown to near black pour with a lingering tan head.

Great aroma of dark grainy malts, coffee, earthy and piney hops.

Decent oily. medium to better than medium body.

The taste has a powerful earthy and piney bitterness that overtakes references to the dark malts and grain picked up in the first mouth swirl. Lingering bite at the end.

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Photo of thedoubler55
4.06/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown color, pretty much black, a nice finger of tan head at the top, and some nice lacing around the glass as you drink it.

S: Lots of rye up front followed by chocolate and some vanilla as well, the roast is present throughout, nice nose on this one.

T: The taste on this one throws me for a loop, but good flavors throughout, the roast is present all around followed by some coffee notes and good mixture of hops.

M:Heavy/medium bodied, nice amount of carbonation, nice warming on the tail end.

O: Overall great flavors coming from this brew, well balanced and great mixture of everything in this brew, definitely want more of this. Love me some Founders.

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Photo of JoeyAder
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Deep brown hue with a tan head. Aromas are a bit metallic and tinny but you get some very nice roast as well. Mouthfeel is rich and creamy with just enough carbonation to break up the flavor into decadent layers. Rich roast, some leather, touch of caramel and finishes with a bit of spice. A hearty and delicious beer.

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Photo of TastyIsBeer
4.34/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Probably the closest thing I've had to the Blakkr collaboration (that was Real Ale/Surly/3F, I had the Surly version): a deep, roasty, almost savory taste that is preceded by a dark rye nose. Unless and until Blakkr comes back this may be my go-to Black IPA. Founders is really getting serious with the bitter black between this and Dark Penance (also quite good)...

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Photo of Chris_the_Tartar
3.99/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very dark brown with a 2 finger head that sticks around. Smells like hops, rye, and a hint of coffee. Tasted like hops and rye and was surprisingly smoky. Felt almost like eating sourdough bread, texture was definitely a strong point. Had me thinking it'd be an excellent beer to enjoy with BBQ. Would buy again.

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

Pours a deep brown so dark it appears black producing 1.5 fingers of somewhat lasting tan finely bubbled head that leaves a pasty wash of blotchy, streaky lacing. Aroma is dark malt, roast, cocoa, toffee, faint coffee, smoke, pumpernickel bread, brown sugar, some caramel & spice. Taste is dark malt, burnt dark bread, bold rye maltiness & spice, molasses, smoke, prune, brown sugar, tobacco & a lively bitter finish that lingers long in the burnt malt, smoky, dry aftertaste. As with a number of rye beers a metallic note emerges in the background & becomes most prominent in the aftertaste but is not detracting . Mouthfeel is medium bodied, moderately carbonated, lively & crawling with prickly spice, dry & astringent in the aftertaste. Exceptional!

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Photo of hosehead83
4.09/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12oz. bottle into a "balloon" glass.
Black, cola in color, with a sturdy head of tan foam.
Aroma-Oily hops, roasted malt.
Taste-Spicy rye, Dark roasted malt, piney hops leading to a dry finish. Well-balanced and flavorfull, a faint chocolate note emerges upon warming a bit. A great match for a cheeseburger with the works, or a well-seasoned steak.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This has an intense porter/stout character to it. “Rye beer” only tells half the story!
This pours a solid jet black with cocoa colored foam. There's an intense roasty chocolate-coffee aroma on it. This tastes like a roasty rye stout with a long intense finish.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.87/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a teku.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown color. The head is around a finger high, with a mocha shade. Retention isn't all that hot, and very little lacing is left on the glass. (3.25)

Smell: The nose strikes a good balance between an IPA and a rye porter. While I do pick up some nice hops (mainly floral in quality), the maltiness are every bit their equal. Not only do I get rye, I also get some chocolate, brown sugar, and even a touch of roast. There's a definite mish-mash of styles going on here like I said, but it's well focused in spite of that. (3.75)

Taste: Some floral hops initially appear, before turning into more of a piny, grassy flavor. Malts are sneaky, subtle, yet very much present - combined with the hop bitterness, it develops a nice coffee flavor. Gentle undertones of rye last throughout the flavor profile, and the roastiness managed to both be sneaky and bold. This could have been a total clusterfuck, yet the fact that it's balanced and cohesive is a real testament to Founders. (4)

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied yet lively on the tongue, it still features a crisp, dry finish. It's not bone-dry, though - everything about the feel is metered quite well. This is just dry enough to be easy drinking, and wet enough to feel rich. (3.75)

Overall: This one just works. Certainly, it works a lot better than Dark Penance did. Everything about this beer works in near-perfect harmony - of course, none of that would matter if it didn't taste good. Which it does, very much so. Worthy of anyone's time, attention, or money. (4)

3.87/5: Founders strikes again

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Photo of Sparty1224
4.23/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Serving: 12 oz. bottle poured into a Founder's tap room pint glass. Bottled on 12/17/2014, making this exactly 2 months old.

A: Pours a nearly opaque black, cola-like appearance, with a small fizzy 1/4-finger head.

S: A lot of spicy rye malt. Some nice earthy and piney hop aromas in the background.

T: Classic Founder's ale here. Great balance up front, lots of spicy rye notes, followed by a nice piney hop bitterness. Finishes very dry, bitter and bruising.

M: Great carbonation here. Full mouthfeel for a black ale. Alcohol well-hidden for 7.5% ABV. Nice, bitter aftertaste.

O: Never got to try this back in 2005, but I'm sure it's the same recipe. It's a really nice beer done in the classic Founder's ale-style. Tons of malt presence, hops come through very bitter on the finish. It's a very loud and aggressive beer, which is typical. Not sure if bringing back a black ale adds much to their lineup with an Imperial Black IPA just added and recently doing a single Black IPA for ArtPrize. Either way, it's a nice addition, and another drinkable, well-done beer from Founder's.

Recommendation: Worth a try for even the most casual Founder's fan.

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Photo of TX-Badger
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with tan-ish head. Pine, some roasted nuts, and a little floral note on the nose; follows onto the palate. Finishes with more hop resin. Lots of hops for a dark ale.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottling date of 12/06/14

Appearance - Pours near black with cola brown edging and a tan 2 finger head sits atop. Fantastic retention, refusing to die down, but Eventually breaks down to a silky, thin and consistent layer of suds. Lacing is sheeted all over the glass, and sticks to it like Spider-man!

Smell - Plenty of roasted malt on the nose that hits on charred smokiness, dark chocolate, lesser notes of coffee and a faint hoppy note that hints at citrus.

Taste - Peppery rye spice bite upfront and throughout. Chocolate, caramel and a hint of smoke come forth by mid-taste, then a big, bitter finish that hits on burnt coffee beans. Bitterness fades to reveal a nutty, earthy and tea-leaf character coinciding with a faded grapefruit pith aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Silky texture, going down smooth before a semi-dry finish.

Overall - Very interesting, unique and totally delicious brew. Those guys in Michigan can brew with the best of them, and it's a shame they don't distribute their product in California. Hopefully the recent announcement of expansion means we'll finally get their beers out here - come on, do it!

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Photo of angrybabboon
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Consumed 2/16/15

A: Almost black, but really more of a dark brown with some burnt caramel tones around the edges - pours with a small, lightly frothy head, fades to a few wisps, leaves some nice spots of lacing

S: Dry, lightly burnt, roasty malt - an abundance of chocolate malt - roasty and burnt, with some hints coffee, of dark chocolate and baker's chocolate - some citrusy, fruity aromas underneath the burnt, but also a blast of rye - spicy, distinctly rye aromas - bready and grainy with a minimal amount of sweetness

T: Black malts and rye, so I guess the name is appropriate - primarily chocolate malts, with burnt flavors, dark chocolate, and burnt coffee - some light sweetness with a touch of caramel - not much depth to the malts until the rye makes itself apparent - spicy, bready, grainy - burnt rye toast, basically, which kind of works, kind of does not - earthy and nutty, dry finish - nearly phenolic aftertaste

M: Medium body, mostly crisp and extremely dry, low carbonation

O: Turn down your toaster oven

Something about the burnt flavors and the spicy rye just does not excite me. I enjoy a good use of rye, and I think the concept is interesting, but I can't say I love this. Still definitely worth a try!

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

A - Pours black with a two-finger sturdy tan head. The head dissapates slowly leaving lots of spotty lacing.

S - Aromas of roasted malts, piney hops, and dark chocolate.

T - Flavors of roasted malts, dark chocolate, and spicey rye upfront. Grapefruit, orange, and piney hops balance out the dark flavors. More ryes spiciness in the finish.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Smooth mouthfeel with a dry finish.

O - So glad Founders brought this out of retirement. A nice balance of flavors make this very enjoyable.

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Photo of Flounder57
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: A one finger mocha head was poured that reduced to a thin layer. It is a pitch black color with no vision of anything. Frothy lacing down the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Smoke, roasted, bittersweet chocolate, resiny pine, old ale, and some burnt toast.

Taste: Same as above with ashy bitterness in the rear. Balanced qualities to this beer and very smooth.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, full bodied, medium carbonation, charcoal bitterness, and a little creamy.

Overall: Another solid American black ale. I'd have this one again in the future.

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Photo of metter98
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
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

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Photo of Ozzylizard
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 12/12/2014 at 45 degrees into snifter
Aroma roasted malt, no hops
Head average (4 cm, aggressive pour), light brown, fizzy/frothy, diminishing to 3 mm ring and layer
Lacing good - rings of stalactites with tiny bubbles
Body dark brown/black, opaque
Flavor of roasted malt, slight spiciness; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, creamy, lively carbonation

Appearance 4, Aroma 4, Flavor 4.25, Palate 4.25, Overall 4.25

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Founders Black Rye from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 444 ratings.