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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.

285 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 285
Reviews: 274
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 8.8%
Wants: 63
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:
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 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of joe1510


4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle
$9.99 6-Pack
Binny's Orland

The name doesn't lie. Black Rye pours black, some faint dark brown highlights shine through around the edges. A tan creamy 1+ finger head formed on the pour and stayed put for the remainder. Leaves sheet lacing. Good looking brew.

Unique aroma. Lightly roasted malts are the soul behind this beer but the real highlight comes from the dry-hopping and addition of rye. Mild chocolate hangs around with those lightly roasted malts but the spiciness of the rye and citrus (grapefruit rind) of the hops take over.

The flavor might be even more unique than the aroma. Lightly roasted malts lead into a black malt acidity that just before it becomes too much (and you think it will) the chocolate and mild lactic character take over. Spicy rye comes through mid-palate along wit ha nice hopping that adds some spice and bitterness until the swallow. Excellent!

Medium body with a light smoothness. Mild tingling bitterness from the rye and hop load. Carbonation somewat tingles the tongue.

Definately an easy drinker. The myriad of flavors make this one to sip and sip and sip trying to figure it all out. Not hugely complex but definately layred expertly.

Founders comes through with another winner. This beer is so unique and delicious I can't wait to drink another. The brewers at Founders are some of the best in the country at brewing so many different styles, everyone of them excellent.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2007 23:19:21 | More by joe1510
Photo of botham


4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a stange. pours a transparent black with garnet highlights. the head on this one is immense. had to wait a couple minutes to finish the pour. very slow to settle out. excellent looking brew. head is rather loose, with lacings aplenty.

smells of black and caramel malts, with undertones of coffee and spiced hops. not much rye in the aroma. reminicent of a good porter. ale yeast shows itself upon warming a bit. well balanced nose, not sweet or bitter.

taste is very roasty up front, with slight spiced hops and rye in the back. slight alcohol presence on the way down. overall, the black and caramel malts are the focus of the flavor profile. great balance, with great concentration of flavors.

aftertaste is of coffee and caramel.

mouthfeel is a bit thin and watery for the flavors present. the brew is medium-bodied, without much character in its texture.

drinkability is decent, but the bold flavors will deter many less adventurous drinkers. a shame, but true. fans of porters and spiced hops will be fans of this one. cheers!

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2007 22:53:12 | More by botham
Photo of baos


4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Black as black, very heady.

S: Very nice deep smokey and coffee and chocolate notes.

T: Coffee, nice bitter chocolate, with a bit of honey maltiness, finishes very dry.

M: Good

D: I had this one in the hot sun too. I'd like to try in on a cool autumn night. Good beer! Went down nice.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2007 04:07:05 | More by baos
Photo of pmcadamis


4.53/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A massive four finger plus light brown head rose over the top of my 0.5L pint glass! This monstrous head exhibits honeycomb-like bubbles throughout it's entire mass, and it forms a soft-serve ice cream like whipped formation on top. Tons of sticky brown lace sticks to the glass. The brew itself is pitch black with some brownish hits around the edges, and the aweseome head never goes away!

S - Smokey black coal sooty notes predominate while charred wood campfire aromas are there too. Rye toast, pumpernickel bread, burning leaves in autumn. Deep burnt hay or grass hop notes too.

T - Toasted grains, burning wood, deep burnt cereal flavors, and rye and pumpernickel breads. Some soy sauce, rhubarb, and dark roast coffee aspects show themselves as the beer warms up. Lots of deep hay-like hops play second fiddle to the roasted grains, but they are still quite assertive. This tastes like a schwarzbier on steroids.

M - Light bodied with moderate carbonation and a very dry and smoky finish.

D - Excellent! I love Red's Rye, and this is a perfect dark side companion to Founder's other excellent rye beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2007 17:22:36 | More by pmcadamis
Photo of ndekke39


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

Drank this from a 12 oz bottle with no discernible bottling date. Pours an opaque black with ruby edges with a tall, off-white head. Great retention. Nice roasted aromas: a bit woody, toffee, burnt sugar, toasted coffee, even some dark fruit like cherries or raisins. The sweetness of the fruit comes out more as the beer warms. Flavors of roasted coffee, oatmeal, bitterness of dark chocolate. Mouthfeel is on the thicker side, complements the flavors very nicely. Overall, an excellent beer. Very drinkable. Nice, bold flavors - great complexity.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2007 00:14:49 | More by ndekke39
Photo of sullysbeer


3.45/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aroma: Sweet candy like roasted chocolate, burnt marshmellow, Citrus and spicey hop arma. Fruity esters of strawberries covered in chocolate. Smells so good!

Appearance: Clear, dark brown with ruby highlights. Thick and creamy off white head retention.

Flavor: Malty with roasted barley character mixed with a rye flavor. Slightly acidic from the dark malts but not overpowering at all. Piney hop flavor and the piney hop bitterness dominates the palate after the swallow. Slight smokiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. A tad high on the carbonation. Slick on the tongue.

Overall Impression: This reminds me of a brown ale with a twist, which would be the rye. This beer kind of dissapointed me becasue the hop aroma is supposed to be a lot more intense. Especially if your marketing the term dry hopping on the label. I was expecting a burst of hop aroma which wasn't really there. This is a well brewed beer and very tasty. Great job!!

The term dry hopping means:

Verb - To introduce hops to the wort after the fermentation. Dry hopping significantly increases the hops character of the aroma and flavor of the final beer without increasing the bitterness or IBUs (international bittering units).

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2007 01:22:33 | More by sullysbeer
Photo of mdm46410


3.38/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a shaker. This beer poured a deep brown/black semi-translucent color with ruby highlights around the edges of the glass. A thin, fizzy head lasted for a few moments, then faded into a few lingering bubbles. The aroma consisted of roasted chocolate malts, nuts, and a bit of light piney hops sitting in the background. The flavor was slightly biting, and bitter at the start. Then it was followed up by some chocolate and coffee notes that lingered. The mouthfeel was lightly carbonated and medium-bodied. This was a pretty good brew from Founders. It almost reminded me of a dry stout. Worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2007 21:10:22 | More by mdm46410
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2007 05:12:40 | More by Beaver13
Photo of jaxon53


3.53/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Recieved this beer from brandoman63 from the brews-n-tunes bif. Served slightly chilled in a pint glass from a stubby twelve ounce bottle. Poured a very dark brown, almost black. About a finger of thick, froth, light tan head formed. Head hung around for quite a while, leaving a decent amount of lace behind. Smell was somewhat smoky. A little bit coffee like, with a little bit of hops and malted rye in the background. Taste had a nice smooth malty kick to it. Short hoppy blasts, plenty of rye, and a little coffee in the background. Maybe a little bread in there as well. Moderately carbonated, not much noticeable alcohol. Somewhat rich and medium bodied in the mouth. Pretty drinkable and pleasant.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2007 15:52:26 | More by jaxon53
Photo of jcdiflorio

West Virginia

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2007 02:52:04 | More by jcdiflorio
Photo of robbyc1


4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Strong looking dark beer with nice lasting white head, black opaque and formidable looking.

Malty smell of roasted barley and rye, and nice smooth anticipating smell

Taste has a strong malt start, hops minimal, rye finish makes it very dry. Malt front gives it coffee, toffee and some chocolate overtones, seems somewhere between and ale and a dark lager, excellent balance. Finish is clean and lingering with dry aftertones.

Mouthfeel is smooth, easy, very drinkable, no noticable alcohol. A black session beer for sure.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2007 01:25:00 | More by robbyc1
Photo of bklynbeerbaron

New York

3.85/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Even a delicate pour caused a huge, cascading head. Slightly tan, like a root beer float, several fingers thick. Has the color of root beer, too.

Smell: A sweet smell of rye and chocolate.

Taste: Starts out very bitter with a noticeable hop twang, then takes on a milder, bitter chocolate flavor. The rye really starts to assert itself at this point. Definitely some stout-like complexities to this one, but lighter. Finishes extremely dry, but with plenty of smokiness. Pretty smooth mouthfeel with medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Definitely not a chore to drink, but there's just so much going on it might be a little difficult to have more than one in a sitting.

Notes: One of the more interesting beers I've ever had. My first one from Founders, looking forward to trying others.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2007 04:18:05 | More by bklynbeerbaron
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2007 01:51:30 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of uwmgdman


4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a jet black into my glass with a nice frothy tan head, when held to a bright light there is a very deep ruby hue. The head diminished to a skim coating but offered nice lacing. The aroma is moderately roasty, fairly chocolately, and there is a moderate-low spicy and citrusy hop aroma. The flavor is rather complex. A medium roasted/burnt malt note is delivered upfront, followed by moderate hop bitterness, and moderate-high hop flavor. The finish is rather smooth and has a crisp, dry rye character with a pleasant hint of roast and hop flavor lingering on the tongue. Carbonation is medium and body is medium to medium-full. Overall I really enjoyed this brew. It was nice to see the hop aroma shine along side the roasted/chocolate aroma and the flavor is very well done. A solid alternative to your typical porter or stout.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2007 00:12:47 | More by uwmgdman
Founders Black Rye from Founders Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 285 ratings.